Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year To All




2008 Thankful List

1. I have enjoyed meeting new friends through blogging this year, sharing devotions, crafts and recipes. I hope my list grows this year.
2. I am thankful for the answers to prayer and the grace God has given through the down days.
3. I am thankful I still have a good job. I will pray for those of you who don't.
4. I'm glad I got to spend time with my mother at Christmas who is 88. Pray for her.
5. I am thankful for a good husband and all of my family.
6. I am thankful for a year of good health.
7. I am thankful for Christian friends.
8. It was a blessing to go to quartet convention for our anniversary. I appreciate those who sing songs that are so encouraging to me. I love music.
9. God's Word has been a strong place to stand this year. May it be even more a part of my life for 2009.
10. Thank God for salvation.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I would like to say that there have been many people in my past that have been a blessing and a spiritual help. There were many encouragers along the way. My husband always says "You don't throw the baby away with the bath water" meaning don't toss out everything but carefully choose what was good and leave the bad behind.

A tenderhearted Christian can be vulnerable to someone else being their guide of what they should and shouldn't do because they want so badly to please God. A sinner who is looking for love and a release from sin can get saved and yet depend on another human or church family so much that they fail to get rooted and grounded in God. The aim of a mentor, pastor or church fellowship should be to encourage personal growth in God not create a person who is forever dependent on them and under their control.

Sometimes in order to follow God's leading we must "take a walk off the beaten path" and "take the road less traveled by." This does not mean we are heady and highminded, not accepting advice from anyone. It means we need to carefully seek God's will and learn to think for ourselves. I here insert a poem by Robert Frost. Have a blessed evening.



The Road not Taken
Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The second puzzle piece

On Christmas day we found out our nephew was in the hospital after experiencing a very low heart rate, 30 I think. He was taken by squad and heard them saying they couldn't find a pulse. They gave him medicine through an IV and he came to. When they ran tests they couldn't find anything. But we thought we should go see him while we were in Ohio and that is where we were Christmas day. He was sitting up in bed with his wife nearby,waiting to be released. His family, too, was involved in the same church we used to be and it seemed he wanted to talk about it that day. He told of experiences they had and we shared ours. We have kept silent to a lot of people, but there are times when God fits a puzzle piece together and the time is right. Their children, our friends children (from my first puzzle piece story in the previous blog) and our children had experienced times when "elders of the church" had tried to separate them from their parents. Supposedly, we were all a bad influence on our children and we were not worthy to be our own children's spiritual mentors. There were so many bazaar things that happened. There are some today that want nothing to do with church because they saw through the hypocrisy. There are others that are still entangled in the hypocrisy of it. Thankfully, there are some that realized they could have a one on one experience with God without bowing to man rule and in spite of how people acted.

We had such a good time of fellowship and kept talking. Finally, the hospital staff kindly informed us we could talk down the hall as the patient had already been released and they needed to free up the room. Our nephew had not told us he could go because he wanted to talk. It was funny. We all left the hospital together.

I can't explain the joy that God has blessed me with as he fits these puzzle pieces together. Some would say I have backslid, but I am only making my way to the place that God would have me to stand in.

I had a freedom in God when I got saved and am feeling more of that freedom again as God untangles all the threads that have gradually bound me up. Paul spoke to the Galations about getting entangled in bondage after they were saved. And that they need not follow the traditions of men. I am thankful for all the trials that God has brought me through. In spite of all the heartache and the puzzle pieces that are still not in place as I would have them to be, God is helping be to breath fresh air again and again. Bless the Lord, oh my soul.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The first puzzle piece

The past few weeks I connected with some old friends that we had went to church with years ago. We had been in a congregation that was very conservative. The unwritten rules there was that if anyone leaves don't go visit them or you might be contaminated. When these friends left we faithfully followed the man made rules. We have had to repent several times of our negative, finger pointing ways. God continues to free us from the incorrect beliefs we held tight to. This is just one of those puzzle pieces I spoke of in my previous post.

Anyway, through facebook, we found out that our friends' son, who my husband had taught in jr. high sunday school was now a pastor. Hubby was able to call our friend and apologize and we made arrangements to go hear their son preach when we went to Ohio. My friend said "You don't have to come, they're kind of contemporary." She did not know that we were no longer looking down our noses at anyone who did not look like We thought they should. I told her we wanted to come. Yes, it was different, but it was good to know their son was saved and he brought a very good message. He was not preaching down to people like we had been used to in the past. He spoke in depth but easy to understand about Herod and his need for control and how paranoid he was, killing even his own family because he was scared of someone taking his throne. He pointed out how Herod shed blood because he wanted to be the only King of the Jews and how Jesus shed blood also but it was His Own and Jesus really was the King of the Jews. Then he asked if in our life was their any of the same attitudes that Herod had. I see where we don't need to control people. I reflected on how in our old church there was much man control and fear of losing positions and "spiritually killing" those who didn't believe like we did and the need for people to obey the pastor instead of God. I rejoice more and more of being free from that.

We had dinner afterward with our friends. It was a good time of letting God help us put another puzzle piece in place in His own time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spiritual Puzzle Pieces

I have been away from blog access for the most part of the past week. Anyone who watches Anne of Green Gables, I feel like Rachel when she greeted a returning Anne "Oh I'm so glad to see you. I've got so much to tell you about what's been going on in Avonlea." Not a direct quote but I think you get the idea. God has blessed me with an abundance of spiritual inspirations and positive blessings while in Ohio and on the trip home. I hope to share them over the next few blogs.

When I put a puzzle together, I work on it for a while putting pieces together that I find. Then, nothing seems to fit, so I leave it till later. When I come back I find others that fit and so on. Now if I was in a hurry to put it together I would start jamming things together that didn't really fit and I would have a mess. Well some spiritual puzzle pieces fit together this week. Sometimes we are in a hurry for God to put things together for us. But He does it a little at a time. And it fits just right. He has to take His time not because He can't do it all at once, but because He is working with us humans. It was God that reminded me on the way home from Ohio how He had snapped a few more pieces together for me this week. What a faithful God He is.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowmen Fall from Heaven Unassembled

Today I am sharing some items that I bought from the Western Carolina Center. It is a home for extremely challenged blessings from God. They have a Christmas shop each year that sells items that the residents have made in their workshops. They make beautiful items.




A couple of years ago I bought this little wooden box there that reads "Snowmen fall from heaven unassembled". Below you will see the box opened. Inside are wooden decorations for a snowman: the carrot nose, 2 eyes, 3 buttons and a pipe.




I bought the red metal container this year and am using it for candy. The little beaded purple ornament matches my bedroom and the placemat underneath were also this years finds.

Look for other Friday show and tell items at Show and Tell

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prayer

Please pray for my coworker. Her mother passed away last night in New York so Mary has to travel. It is icy up north and she couldn't leave today. She was blessed by the fact that she had decided to visit her before Christmas this year because her mother was ill. She was with her last week and Mary got to talk with her mother and gain assurance that she was spiritually ready to go. Also pray for her father. I believe they have been married for around 60 years. He does not seem to know how to communicate with the Lord and it would be good if he turned his life to God at this time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God is Good

God has been very, very good. He has lightened some of our burdens. He knows how much we can bear. I thank Him for the strength He gives me through His word and communion in prayer.

I am looking forward to being with family and friends up north. I hope their ice goes away before I get there. It hasn't been real warm down here but at least I'm not sliding around. :)

I have a few days to get some major work done on the job. Our big new project is providing continued employment for our company. I hope all of you that are unemployed have things work out for you. I can't believe the low percentage rate from the federal reserves. But we never know from one day to the next what kind of situation we will be in. That is why we must seek God. I know from experience that it is not always easy to be thankful when there are no "calves in the stall, nor fruit on the vine" as it says in the word. But God gives us grace and contentment. My mind keeps going back to the night I went up the mountain and was on the curvy road that I thought would never end. Around each curve I knew town was coming but it seemed like forever till my faith became sight. It's like God is saying, life is like that too. You wonder where God is but you just keep on going and trusting till your faith becomes sight.

I have been looking at a few of the Christmas tour of homes. I believe there are over 800 now. I'll never be able to make the full tour even a little at a time. I appreciate how many of them are teaching their children about Christ and making it the theme of their blog. Many of them are keepers at home. It makes me long to be there but alas I must be content with the responsibilities God has given me.

Well I believe I will try again to go to sleep. I started out early and tired but my mind did not cooperate.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nativity/Show and Tell Friday with Kelli

These are photos of my Thomas Kinkade Nativity. My husband gave it as a gift to me a few years ago.





Especially look at Kathrine's show and tell at Yellow Rose Arbor. She has a lovely tea tree which I thoroughly enjoyed.


Enjoy other Friday Show and Tells by going to Show and Tell

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What is darknes to God?

Excerpts from Psalms:

Chapter 139 "...If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me...the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."

Chapter 112:4 "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.."

Chapter 18 "..darkness was under His feet...the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.."

and...

Luke 1:79 "To give light to them that sit in darkness..."

My MOST favorite Psalm for all my life has been Psalm 27:

"The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavillion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me up upon a rock.

And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

...I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lady Ann



This is a picture of our dog Lady. She is really Lori's dog. She has had her for about 14 years, since she was a pup. Her mom was a full blooded sheltie and Lady looks mostly like her. She is very good natured. This is where Rick and I found her napping in Lori's chair during Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Are we making the way harder or easier for others?

Meditating this morning on stumbling blocks. Sometimes it doesn't take much to cause a person to stumble. Your toe can catch on the smallest bump and throw you off balance creating a fall which bruises and possible breaks bones or brings a concussion or even death. Now apply this spiritually. What small action can cause someone to stumble? What about continual actions causing someone pain? Are you kicking someone or helping them along? Romans 12:13 tells us to "distribute to the necessity of saints" What can you distribute to someone to help them along? What is the brother or sister in need of? Don't throw more gravel in his way and make it harder for him to run the Christian race. Don't ignore his needs and pretend they aren't there. Many a soul is crying out for a kind word or just acceptance. Or an "I'm sorry. Forgive me. I love you."

Do your actions say "Don't touch me. I am holier than thou?" Or do you reach out and gently blow on the smoking embers and help heal their wounds?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Sharing with Kellie today at http://kellishouse.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-sleighs-show-and-tell-friday.html
I like to collect snowmen and today I will share my favorite find. I found this special snowman puzzle in a small shop in our town. It was one of my favorite shops and sorry to say it is no longer there. It was one of those times you splurge a little on yourself and later you are glad because you would have missed out. It is ceramic and goes in stages of the snowmen melting.



Here is a picture of it separated so you can see the different pieces.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Changes

My blog picture seems to have resized in my absence. I have been experimenting with my blog as anyone who looks can see. I tried the red background with snowflakes but that seemed to gaudy and I felt like I lost my quiet solitude of the breath of fresh air. The red reminded me of a peppermint candy that was too strong. I went to the snow picture of my bench in the backyard. That is one of my best quiet places to meditate and pray. But lately my quiet place has been inside at the sofa before anyone else is up an moving. It's still dark when I get up and too cold to stay outside at that time of the morning. It will have to wait until Saturday in daylight.

Meditations lately have been on those humble humans that were around for the birth of Christ. I am blessed that God works through ordinary people. I am so blessed to have fellowship with him. I love Mary's praise speech when she realizes God has looked upon her low estate. I rejoice with the shepherds that God sent them an announcement in the field with angels singing. It is special that God consoled Simeon and Anna in their old age to see the fulfillment of the promise of salvation.

Tomorrow evening, Lord willing, we will be going to the outside walk through Bethlehem near by. We have been several years and it always seems to make the whole Biblical history of the birth of Christ come to life. I can't wait. I am to pick up my friends niece so she can see it for the first time. I hope we get some pictures that can be shared.

We put up Christmas decorations this evening but are not quite done. Things were getting pretty messy around here and just cleaning up greatly helped. And I am ready for Kellie's show and tell tomorrow. I have my draft waiting to share. Have a blessed evening.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

May I have some blog help?

1. I would like to know how to make my blog heading picture smaller.
2. Can you tell if people are visiting your etsy shops?
3. How do you set up a give away with Mr. Linky?

Thanks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Velvet Curtain

I want to share the theme of a book "The Velvet Curtain" by Trudy Harvey Tait. Lori had a friend who shared the book with us to see what we thought. It is fictional. The girl who is the main character comes from Eastern Europe when Communism ruled in the eighties. She comes to live with distant family in America. On the plane over, a Christian elderly gentlemen admonishes her of the velvet curtain. She has left the Iron Curtain behind but has exchanged it for another type of curtain. At first it is a real culture shock seeing people waste food at restaurant buffets and seeing how freely young people dress and act. She is pretty and attracts attention. Her cousins influence her and the velvet curtain starts to close in on her till she messes up her life. She rejoiced in her new found freedom but found that she also had to escape the velvet curtain and find the balance that is in the freedom that is found in Jesus. I know there is much need for prayer for those who are persecuted in foreign countries. But there is much need for prayer also for those in America who are so swallowed up by this velvet curtain. The root of all sin against God is wanting to go our own way and not His. Revelation 3, the letter to the Laodiceans, warned them of feeling like they had no need of anything but yet they were wretched and poor and needed the eye salve of God so they could have a good vision of themselves. This was not just a letter for them, but a lesson for us. I constantly need God's guidance on my life that I may let Him shepherd me. That will always lead me beside the still waters where I can find a breath of His fresh air.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

On the Mountaintop


After secluding myself in the house this holiday, blogging, facebooking, watching Hallmark movies, crafting, having time for prayer and Bible study,etc. I escaped today. I asked my husband if he minded if I was gone for a while he said go ahead. Now mind you, I am not always this lazy. I needed the break as I have not had one for some time. And I did do laundry, hanging clothes on the line to save electricty.

Anyhow,I took off with library books to return, stopped at a couple of shops uptown and decided to take a drive up the mountain. This is not usually something I do by myself, especially the route I took. It was a beautiful day if somewhat cloudy. I do wish I had taken Lori's camera with me to share pictures.

I stopped at a country store I had never been to then followed the signs to Blowing Rock. The drive was enjoyable and going real well considering I don't always do well with heights. On good days I'm ok sometimes I feel panic. Then as the last sign to Blowing Rock said 19 miles the drive went through curve after hairpin curve with not much road room between me and the edge. Still doing fairly well. Then it continued on and on and my nervous panic slowly started working on me. I kept thinking, Lord you know I can do this, I'm going slow and eventually town will come. I start thinking of facing medical procedures that gave me the tremors God brought me through them, I know I can do this...No, Jane, enjoy this ride. By the way, what other choice did I have? NONE. Finally, houses began to come into view instead of trees and drop offs. Thank you Lord. Finally the outskirts of town and places I recognized. YES! I did it.

It was cold up there and snow was visible and some ice on ponds. Stopped at my favorite shop and bought a glass nativity ornament(see above). In spite of the cold and the economy the town was packed but I found easy parking places. Moved on to another favorite shop. For me, looking at the beautiful home decorations does wonders for my mind. Looking is free (smile). Hot drink completed my night out on the town.

Fortunately, I knew a different way home. A way more traveled and right past Julie's house. By then rain was falling and I was glad to be headed home in case it froze on the road. Going past Walmart did not escape me. I stopped in to pick up a few minor things needed at home. About the time I am headed to pay, Rick calls and asks me to bring home something to eat. "I already have something and I will be home in 40 minutes." "Forty minutes?" "Yes, I am in Walmart in Lenoir." "OK."

Now I am headed to feed the dogs and to bed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving #2

I have to admit, especially last night, I was kinda bummed out about staying home for Thanksgiving. Even though I was trying to have a good attitude about it I had no plans to fix a Thanksgiving meal. Guess what I did today. Went to the store to get a few things including 2 strips of turkey white meat to cook. So here is my thanksgiving meal for two.





I am no good yet at placing these pictures. And also I was not the only one at the store getting turkey fixings. I also don't know how you other homemakers keep up with your children, your blog and taking pictures while you cook. :) And don't forget to notice my maple leaf cutouts on the pie crust. :)

Thanksgiving Day

This is how beautiful a day it is at our house today.







I must tell you that while you all are very busy cooking and traveling and visiting with family, I have no hustle and bustle. I slept in till 9 a.m. and had hot chocolate while reading my Bible and having prayer. So in that regards I am blessed. I don't have to be anywhere today but I can if I want to. My husband is doing some better but still had some chills last night. I am off to feed the dogs and rabbit. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Glad to be Home

Glad the work day is over because I was so tired from interrupted sleep. I was not much good at work today and besides we had our thanksgiving meal. Preparation and clean up always takes longer than lunch hour. I did get my apple dumplings made last night since they are not much trouble. Everyone at work is super nice and very good cooks.

Rick is improving. The doc was great today and took a lot of time with us. We were ready with our list of questions. I thought he might put him in the hospital, but doc
was glad hubby looked better today and sounded better. He said the medicine and prayer was working.

The song comes to mind, "God is faithful, God is faithful,......God is so faithful to me".

I wrote a song many years ago about how some folks are satisfied to go to church on Sunday but leave God there the rest of the week. The chorus says "I'm so glad that He's with me every day." The thought is still good today. Thanks for your prayers and keep it up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trying to be open to the change

Thanksgiving plans are suddenly on hold. Friday night when I came home from work my husband was chilled to the bone. And not wanting to eat. I kneeewwww that meant something was wrong. He usually gets hot easily. But he had his jeans, a shirt, his flannel outside jacket, extra heater on in the bedroom, heating pad on his back, the rice bed buddy warmed up in the microwave, blankets on and still not warm! I got him another blanket. Then I felt his head. Boy! was he hot. Took his temp and it was 104.7. Removed covers, gave 2 tylenol, temp went down to 103 something. He was only slightly queasy, no cold symptoms, but achy. Saturday morning, normal temp but still not feeling too good. Saturday afternoon temp back up to 103 and still aching, no appetite. Restless nights and interrupted sleep for both of us. Sunday morning temp down. I went to church to our Thanksgiving service and stayed for the dinner and brought plates back for him and Lori(who was sick with a head cold). I had talked about seeing what Dr. was on call for the weekend but hubby declined. 7a.m. Monday morning I called for a sick appt. Got one for 9:50. I went to work came back and got him. We waited about 45 min to see doc after the routine checks with the nurse. Doc ordered an xray and blood tests. He said he is really sick we better be praying for him and he didn't know how he was still up on his feet. Pneumonia. Well, he got a huge shot and prescription. So I took him home and went to the drugstore and to the library to get him some books. So we will be spending time at home this week instead of going to Ohio. I made several phone calls to everyone that was expecting us. Doc needs to see him again in the morning so I will go in to work late. Looks like I will be enjoying some blogging during my days off. Julie is supposed to record some Hallmark movies for me.

My company's big announcement was in the paper today. We will be making furniture for Ralph Lauren. At work we knew it but had to wait for it to be properly announced. We have already been busy with this new project for several weeks. In an area where many furniture factories have closed down, this is good news. I'm thankful for the job I have. Many in this area are without jobs. Hopefully, this will help out a few when we hire additional help. If any of you would like to see pictures of the beautiful furniture we make, go to http://ejvictor.com/

Personally, with all the economic upheaval in the country, the disregard for truth and Jesus Christ, my faith is not in any earthly organization. There are storms on every hand and we never know from one day to the next what we will face. As the old song goes, "Put your hand in the hand of the one who stilled the water." When you do, you will look at things differently.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thankful for the Word of God

Show and Tell This is a link to No Place Like Home Show and Tell Friday.

Today I am showing two Bibles. The one on the left belonged to my dad. He passed away in 1994. The one on the right is a Chain Reference Bible I bought for my self about 37 years ago for around $18.

I am most thankful for the Word of God. It is what will keep us when all of our treasures are gone.




The centerpiece is one my daughter gave me this year and the coffee table came from the company where I work.

Now to use some of the ideas that were shared this week: I bought everything I needed for the Thanksgiving Blessing snacks. I thought this would be something I can make ahead to take to Ohio next week. Kmart had some fall cookie cutters. My plan is to make my sisters' sugar cookie recipe. For the apple dumplings I'm making for work I thought I might try using one of cookie cutters on the dough for a leaf or acorn shape on top. This morning I gathered pine cones from my yard and used them for the break table at work with the leaf cut outs glued at the end. My pine cones are long and not too fat so they don't look much like a turkey. I stacked some on top of each other and I think it makes a nice decoration for our dinner on Tuesday at work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

To see more Thursday Thankfulness go to Giving Thanks




I am thankful that this morning God answered a prayer before I could ask. After I was praying someone came to me and told me an answer to one of my requests. I knew the answer came before I had ask.

We have changed our plans and will be leaving for Ohio next week. All of our family is from there and I will be so glad to see them. What do you all think is the best thing to fix ahead of time so I can share in fixing the dinner. I am not sure if we will have room for a cooler. I will be glad to spend time with my mom. She has always had decorations for every season.

I am not sure when I can leave work on Wednesday because of inventory. I will be fixing homemade noodles Monday night for our pre Thanksgiving meal at work. Also, apple dumplings that someone is begging for. I have used this recipe for years and modified it to make a smaller portion rather than using a whole apple for each one.

Apple Dumplings

Pastry ( I use premade crusts from the dairy dept. and cut it in wedges.)
Apple slices

Boil this for 3 minutes:
2/3 C Sugar
1 1/2 C water
2 TBP butter or margarine
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix this in a small dish:
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp cinnomon

Place an apple slice or two on a wedge of pastry. Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place a dab of butter top. Fold pastry around apple. Place in a square glass dish. Continue until the dish is full. Pour the hot liquid on top. Bake at
425 degrees for 1/2 hour or until pastry looks done.

Everyone's posts are so great. Thanks to all for your ideas and beautiful decorations. And thank you for taking the time to share.

Here is a picture I took I couldn't help sharing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanks and Giving



Someone on the radio passed along today the thought that not only is this a time of thankfulness but a time of giving. We have a record that is still playable by Debbie Boone from many years ago. One song goes "Lord, You have given everything to me what can I do for you?"

See what others are sharing at Giving Thanks

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving

"Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all His benefits" Surely every good and perfect comes from the Father above.

My favorite memories of Thanksgiving are all the family together at my parents home. We never took vacations but Mom always made holidays special. She cooked the best turkey, roasted slow all night and juicy. I usually got to slice it and do the pre tasting on it. She rolled out homemade noodles and cooked them in the turkey broth which is something southerners in my area have missed out on. Dishes I remember:

1. My brother Ronnie and his wife Barb would bake pies.
2. My sister Jana made cut out, decorated sugar cookies.
3. My sister Sandy made broccoli casserole and pecan tarts.
4. My sister in law Mary made mixed vegetable casserole
5. Some of moms dishes over the years: mandarin fruit salad, lime jello/cottage cheese salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows browned on top, oyster dressing.

Mom is in her late 80's now and Dad passed away several years ago. I thank her for all the things she did for us.

For other thanksgiving posts go to No Place Like Home @


Giving Thanks


I would also like to link here: http://confessionsofasnowflake.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 14, 2008

Show and Tell Friday


Ok my first picture on my blog site and my first day of sharing show and tell was not quite according to the rules. I needed to show something from home instead of my office picture. So here is one of my Thanksgiving decorations. I picked it up at a great gift shop in a small town where my daughter lives. I like things that are different and hope you enjoy it. In case you can't read the words the leaves spell out it is GIVE THANKS. To see other show and tell items go to Show and Tell

Tie Day



Yesterday one of our owners brought in ties that he was abandoning. They were laid on our break table which means "free for the taking". For fun, my boss had us each wear one today to surprise him.

Next time I will share something on show and tell from home which is where I would really rather be. But hey, some of the ties are probably antiques. :)
To view more show and tells go to There's No Place Like Home

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Progress

I was able to delete one of my duplicate pictures of the prayer bench on my own today. Last night the same thing I did today did not work so I don't think it was me. Now to learn how to personalize my format.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gadget Trouble

We had a good visit at the rest home tonight. We went room to room. Also, I still am meditating on the weekend messages. Rick spoke Sunday morning at a church in Glen Alpine. He talked about knowing the time of the Lord's visitation. Sunday nights' message was being prepared for spiritual battle.

I am trying to fix my blog. Julie has made available to me a picture of my prayer bench. I added it on a gadget space. I tried to delete it from there and it won't delete. I did place one somewhere else. Then I moved the other one. Now I have two. I would like to rearrange my blog but I've studied the templates and I don't like any of the others. I guess I'll hang it up for tonight. I'm sure there are other ways to make your own setup without the templates. I'll wait for directions from someone smarter than me in this area.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Different Path

I just read an opinion by Call Thomas called "A Different Path"Cal Thomas believes that after 30 years of trying to transform culture through politics, evangelicals would be wise to try a different, God-glorifying direction.

It struck home with me. I know since we have the freedom to vote and help direct our country, we should. But what really changes people is not legislation or politicians. Heart changes from Jesus Christ is what is needed.

Pray for revival of men's hearts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nations Are A Drop In The Bucket

Someone passed a scripture reference to me today. Isaiah 40:15 "Look, the nations are like a drop in the bucket and are counted as small dust in the balance." the whole chapter is sooooo good. Verse 23 "he brings princes to nothing, he makes judges of the earth as vanity" Verse 24 "He blows on them and they wither, a whirlwind shall take them away as stubble"

Verse 26 "Lift up your eyes on high and behold the one that created these things" Then come the verses I have heard a lot. 28-31 "Haven't you heard, don't ya know, the the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth doesn't faint or get tired? He gives power to the faint, strength to the weak, renewed strenghth to fly and run and keep on walking."

Verse 1 "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people" What a blessing to belong to God, to know his comfort, his strength. Oh praise the Lord, Hallelujah!

Here is a good prayer list copied from someone else:
Whether you voted for Obama or not, you need to pray for him. Here are 10 ways I plan to intercede for him regularly:

1. Pray for Obama’s protection. We already know that some weird, neo-Nazi fanatics in Tennessee plotted to kill Sen. Obama during his campaign. Let’s pray that racist hatred is not allowed to spread. Let’s cancel every assassin’s bullet in the name of Jesus. May civility triumph over bigotry.

2. Cover his wife and daughters in prayer. It is not easy to live under constant media scrutiny. Pray for Obama’s wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Malia and Natasha, as they face invasive cameras, nosy reporters, maniacal fans and dangerous enemies. Obama is not only a politician but also a husband and a father.

3. Pray that Obama will govern with God’s wisdom. God rewarded Solomon because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth, long life or vengeance on his enemies (see 1 Kings 3:11-12). Pray that Obama will order his priorities like that. Despite Solomon’s tragic character flaws, his legacy was wisdom. We can ask God to give our president the same grace.

4. Ask God to keep our president humble. Many great American leaders became corrupt after they moved to Washington. The fatal attraction of fame, wealth and power proved irresistible. The only thing that will guard a man or woman from this pitfall is humility. May God deliver President Obama from the curse of pride.

5. Pray for wise and righteous advisers to surround him. Godly leaders cannot do their job alone. Even the best leaders have failed because they trusted the wrong people. Pray that Obama will not select his counselors based on party, race, pedigree or political cronyism but on godly character and proven wisdom. Pray also that he will not allow secret traitors into his inner circle.

6. Ask for the spirit of reconciliation. Some segments of our deeply divided society want nothing to do with Obama now that he has won the presidency. Even some Christians will be tempted to harbor resentment and nurse political grudges throughout his term in office. Pray that God will grant forgiveness and healing so that leaders on all political levels can have constructive dialogue.

7. Pray that Obama will adopt pro-life convictions. Many politicians have changed their views on key issues while in office. In the 1800s some leaders who favored slavery later denounced it. In the 1950s some who opposed racial integration later became champions of it. Even though Obama won approval from many voters because he sanctions abortion, God could soften and change his heart.

8. Bind all evil forces assigned to manipulate our president. The specter of Islamic terrorism looms over the United States, and dark forces are ready to infiltrate. Our only hope lies in prayer to the God who is able to expose and outwit the schemes of the wicked. This is truly a time for spiritual warfare, and intercessors must not come off the wall in this hour! Pray that no foreign government, terrorist organization or demonic principality will use Obama as a tool. We must stand strong against the spirit of antichrist that promotes dictatorship, persecution of Christians and hostility toward Israel.

9. Pray that Obama’s door will remain open to the church. The loudest voices of secular culture—from Bill Maher in Hollywood to atheists in academia—would be happy if religion were removed from public life. Pray that Obama, who claims to have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, will unapologetically welcome Christian leaders into his company and seek their counsel. And pray that false religious leaders (who claim to know Christ but deny His power) will not have his ear.

10. Pray that our nation will enjoy God’s peace and blessing during the Obama administration. The apostle Paul instructed early believers to pray for all in authority “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2, NASB). God’s will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so that we can continue to export the gospel to the nations. This must happen whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. As we cry out for God’s mercy on our wayward nation, pray that He will allow us to be a light to the world as we finance global missions, feed and heal the world’s poor and share Christ’s love at home and abroad.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Thoughts

Yes, I am dissappointed today in mankind. No, I am not dissappointed in God. Because of the history of my generation and the barriers that were broken through for the black people I would love to celebrate a black president but I cannot because of his values and ideas for this country. I have loved to worship in a racially mixed congregation and sing at a black/white wedding when it was not popular. And I was certainly not popular with my mother for worshipping with blacks even though she associated with blacks and did sewing for them (Bless her heart!)

But I have been admonished against having a pity party today. Yes I see a move to the socialist left which is bad, but it is a good time for me to see them for who they are and be more informed. It is a good time for me to face the storm with the help of God. It is a good time for me to bone up on history, the constitution, the Bill of Rights, contact senators, governors, representatives, etc. Also, it is time to increase my Bible study and prayer and witnessing while I have the opportunity. May God help me.

Some may say a Christian has no business being involved in politics. We certainly would not have the opportunities to worship today if the pilgrims and forefathers had huddled in their own group in a corner and ignored what was going on around them. They "stepped into the water and waded out a little deeper."

My prayers are for those who are in authority, but I am watching them and not expecting them to make everything all right in this country. The Bible says the heart is deceitful and desparately wicked. When the Spirit of God has not changed a heart it meets this description. And I believe we have a huge fight on our hands for "wickedness in high places."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do you believe on the Son of God?

It is such a beautiful fall morning. I had to go out to the backyard and to my bench to breath in the fresh, crisp air. We have 1 tree with leaves that are very red. But I must hurry to get to work and be inside most of the day. Maybe I will try to use my breaks and lunch to go outside.

Reading in John chapter 9 this morning. The man who was blind and Christ gave sight was conversing with the Pharisees. They were questioning him and he gave them some good answers. He said how could a man be a sinner and heal his eyes. But they were offended at him. Thought they could not be taught anything by this insignificant man and they excommunicated him.

Jesus said to him, "Do you believe on the Son of God?" And the man said "I believe" and he worshipped Him.

How simple. When others cast you aside, know that your relationship is with Jesus. That is where the connection is.

This morning I thought of how many sinners are so vulnerable when they get saved. Instead of building on Christ they attach themselves to a group of people who are willing to make them one of "their" group. We must be careful to let people attach themselves to Christ, the vine.

As the saying is politically speaking these days: It's ok to look for a hand up when you are down, just don't look for a hand out. People need help and encouragement to get what they need from Jesus. But the main attachment should be the person themselves connecting with Jesus. Then if they are cast aside by a group of people, they are still attached to Him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trunk or Treat

Today was a fun day. I took the day off from work and Rick and I spent it getting together our trunk display for the trunk or treat for the kids at church. Even though I don't celebrate Halloween I always tried to do something special for my kids when they were little. Sometimes we had a party at home and sometimes they dressed in non scary outfits and got candy in their Grandma's neighborhood. So today was fun. We centered our trunk around the woman at the well. We took our shed trash can (cardboard barrel) and covered it with paper that I had drawn rocks on to make it look like a well. Rick printed "Jesus is the living water" stickers to put on some bottled water which we placed in the "well". I pulled a story on the woman at the well and Rick made it into a booklet with a picture of Jesus and the woman at the well. We also had candy in a can to look like a water pot. We made a bright sign to hang that said "Living Water". We then covered the back of the seat and floor with leafy sheets, put a big rock in with some fall decorations, hung Biblical desert scenes from the church prop room and hung some white lights. I dressed in a prop robe to be the woman. I didn't know they had prizes, but we won first prize. Pastor James set up games for the kids to play. Thank you Lord for a relaxing day. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

Woman at the Well

Here is a guest post. I found this article on the web while looking up information about the woman at the well. Rick and I are doing this theme for the fall festival. It is a long post but good reading.

Jesus and the Woman at the Well
by Mitch Lewis

John 4:5-42

What do you need?

When I came back from my deployment to Iraq in 2003, I needed a new car … and a couple of new computers. Just a few months prior to my return, however, my needs were much simpler. I didn’t even need a roof over my head, a flush toilet or fresh food. Even a cot, a porta-potty and Unitized Group Rations (UGRs) were luxuries that I could live without if I had to - and did quite often. I could sleep just about anywhere and eat my food from a plastic bag. I didn’t need clean clothes; I just needed to beat the dust out of my uniform. I didn’t need a shower - hot or cold; I just needed to wash the dirt away with a damp cloth, shave and brush my teeth.

And what I needed most of all … in the 100+ degree heat … was water to drink. Any water would do, but water cooler than my own body temperature would be really nice.

Jesus, too, needed a drink of water.

Jesus is leaving the unfriendly environs of Jerusalem. He’s headed from Judea to Galilee and he has to go through Samaria. It’s 75 miles as the crow flies from Jerusalem to Capernaum. Unfortunately, there are no roads like that. Jesus is on at least a hundred-mile road march.

It’s noon. They call it the sixth hour because the day starts at our 6:00 am. He’s been walking for 6 hours, and Jesus arrives at the place called Jacob’s Well.

Jacob’s Well is at a crossroads. Surrounding it are vast fields of wheat. About a mile away is the town of Sychar (formerly called Shechem). The well itself is about a 100 feet deep and lined with rock. Jesus decides to sit and rest at the cross roads while his disciples detour into town to get some food.

The land is filled with Jewish memories. Abraham had pitched his tent there and built his first altar to God. When Jacob returned to the land of promise from his ancestral homeland, he buried his idols there under an oak tree. Jacob eventually bought the land and dug the well. One of Jacob’s daughters was assaulted there, and Jacob’s sons defended her honor by massacring the local residents. Jacob’s bones were buried there when the Israelites came out of Egypt and entered Canaan.

While Jesus is sitting there, a woman comes to the well with a jar for water. Why is she there? The town is about a mile away, it’s the middle of the day, and there is water closer to town. Is she an outcast, as many presume? Or, maybe she’s just getting water for the people working in the nearby fields.

A Drink of Water
The gospel of John is funny. No gospel that emphasizes the deity of Jesus more than John, but also no gospel that emphasizes his humanity more. What’s the shortest verse in the Bible? “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) What is Jesus after a long journey in the midday sun? Tired and thirsty.

Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water. Ordinarily, the rules of hospitality say you honor such a request, but the woman says, “What? Are you talking to me?” Maybe she’s a little snappish because she’s hot and tired, too. Maybe she’s wary because she’s a woman and he’s a man, and the social divide between the genders was very strong. Maybe she’s afraid that she will get in trouble for talking to him. For a woman to be alone with a man who is not her husband is a punishable act in some parts of the world even today. Or maybe she’s afraid that he will do her harm. A woman alone would be very vulnerable. Maybe she’s defiant because she’s a Samaritan and he’s Jewish. Jews and Samaritans didn’t even use the same dishes. That’s what it means when it says Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. An armed force from Judea had even marched into Samaria a hundred years previously and burned down the Samaritan temple. For many reasons, then, the woman is surprised that Jesus expected to have anything to do with her. “Why are you talking to me.”

And then ensues this conversation about water. “You know, I could give you a drink, too” Jesus says. The well is about 100 feet deep, and Jesus has no bucket or rope, so the woman wonders just how Jesus can do this.

Jesus says that he can give her water that she won’t have to fetch every day. He says that he can give her living water, and she likes this idea. That sounds good to her, because she has to tote water back and forth to her home every day: every drop that she drinks, every drop that she uses to cook and clean, every drop that she uses to wash herself or clean the dust off her clothes. It’s the middle of the day, and a hot time to be carrying water.

I can tell you, running water is a great idea! In Iraq, I filled a 5-gallon can every day from the water buffalo sitting in the sun and carried it to my own little spot in whatever shade I could make. I could also usually get dusty box of bottled water to tote back to my truck. I learned something that I didn’t know before: clear plastic bottles in a sunny environment make terrific water heaters. I dreamed of a day when I could walk in my house and turn on a faucet! And dang - water is heavy. What does a five-gallon can of water weigh? I don’t know what the can weighs, but the water weighs about 44 pounds. The woman had to carry her water a lot further than I ever have.

Jesus offers the woman “living water,” which was the best kind. Most water came from cisterns - an open pit into which rain water was directed. And leaves fell. And animals fell into and died. It wasn’t great water. Well water, like this, was a little better. But the best of all was running water, like from a spring. They called it “living water.”

She doesn’t quite believe it and she makes a little fun of Jesus. You don’t have a bucket. How are you going to get any water? Are you greater than Jacob who built this well? Sure, give me some of that living water, mister.

Jesus takes her up on her request, as lame as it is. But of course Jesus wasn’t talking about physical water.

A Spiritual Image
Jesus wasn’t the first one to use the symbol of water to describe spiritual things. The entire Bible is filled with the imagery of water, from the very first page. The spirit of God hovered over the deep. God delivered Noah and his family from the flood. He led the Hebrews through the Sea and gave them water in the desert (that’s the Old Testament reading for today from Exodus 17). He led them across the Jordan into the land of promise.

The Gospel of John is likewise filled with the imagery of water. John baptizes in water. Jesus turns water into wine. Jesus tells Nicodemus that one must be born of water and the spirit. He offers living water to a woman at a well in Samaria. And that’s just the first four chapters.

Jesus heals a man who is waiting for the waters to stir in chapter 5. In chapter 7, he is at the feast of Tabernacles, which featured rituals with water from the pool of Siloam. Here, he proclaimed: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38) He washes his disciples’ feet in water and from his side water and blood flow after his crucifixion.

With the woman at the well, Jesus uses the image of living water in the same way that the prophet Jeremiah used it: “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. (2:13)

So we get it, Jesus is using water here as a metaphor, as a symbol. Jesus is saying that there is a human need even more significant that the water we drink, and that he is the one who can fill that spiritual need.

A Living Reality
So, OK, Jesus, let me have it…..

Uh, what does it look like when Jesus is giving us this living water? Do I just raise my hands to the sky, lift my head and soak it in? Does God pour some sort of magical stuff into my soul, and boy, it just makes me feel really good?

The woman didn’t know it, but Jesus was giving her a drink from the moment she walked up. Jesus encountered her on many levels, and he was watering her spirit with every word he spoke.

First, he asked for a drink of well water. A cold cup of water is a spiritual matter. A watered soul learns compassion. There is living water for me in acts of mercy for others.

Jesus spoke to her, a woman, a Samaritan and a person apparently disconnected from her community. Jesus broke down more social barriers than you can imagine. There is living water in our fellowship, in our being one people in Christ, undivided by race or gender. There is living water in Jesus’ gracious openness to all, regardless of circumstances. There is living water in Jesus’ overcoming every form of alienation in our lives.

Jesus spoke to the woman about her husband … her five husbands, that is, and the man that she is living with now who is not her husband. I want to know more, so I can judge. Is she guilty? Is she innocent? Is she a little of both? I’ve heard so many sermons that jump to conclusions here, but we don’t know any more than the text itself says. Whatever the reason for her many marriages, there is surely a story there with heartache, grief, anger, and broken dreams. Whatever her story happened to be, she was certainly a person that had been ground down more than a little bit by life. In his encounter with her, Jesus lifted her life story into the presence of God where forgiveness and healing take place, where hope never fails and where new life is possible. There is living water for broken lives in the presence of God.

He spoke with her about worship. Samaritans and Jews had different centers of worship. Jesus and the woman had a theological discussion, which itself is quite surprising. There is living water seeking the truth with Jesus.

Our word worship comes from the English word “worthship”. You worship something because it is worthy. The ancients bowed down and built fires and burned incense and sacrificed animals and did a lot of stuff that seems strange to us today. The idea of bowing down before something seems just wrong to us today, but we all do worship! Whatever is most important to us, we worship. Jesus told the woman this: God is looking for people to worship him in spirit and in truth, regardless of where it takes place.

What was the most healing thing I did after I returned from Iraq? Worship. Behind a battered building by myself. In a congregation, in which I couldn’t get through a hymn without weeping. Worship watered my soul. Worship is giving God the honor and praise due him, but it is also a fountain of living water. There is living water is worshiping God.

The woman told Jesus that her community was expecting a messiah – a Christ – to come and make the truth known to them. Jesus declared that he was indeed the one she was expecting, so she ran to her village. Her testimony was simple: He told me about my life. Her invitation was simple. Come and see for yourself. Her profession of faith tentative: He couldn’t be the messiah, could he? The people came and they believed. Have you ever been part of the excitement of a growing body of believers? There is living water in even the most basic, unformed immature faith in Christ. There is living water in a living community of faith in which belief grows and spreads.

Jesus says, “I am he.” He claims to be the messiah, the Christ. Now from time to time people come along trying to tell us how to live our lives. By and large, we resist such people, although we’re bigger suckers than we like to admit. Who you follow can make your life better, or it can make your life worse. But Jesus is doing more than claiming to be the best leader, the best adviser, the best guide, or the best teacher. He claims to be God. I can give you living water. I can give you a spring of eternal life. Who can do that except God?

This hot, tired, dusty and thirsty man is God! In her encounter with him, this woman has a divine encounter that fills her most basic need for life. It is truly living water that Jesus offers..

Compassion for others. Acceptance and healing for yourself in the presence of Christ. Worship for God in Christ. Belief in Christ that engages the mind and the spirit. Living in Jesus’ community of faith. These are all aspects of Jesus’ living water in our lives, and I need a drink.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voting

Although I don't believe any politician has all the answers, I am definitely a McCain/Palin supporter. Went to see Sarah Palin this evening in Asheville because we had no church. First time ever I went to a political event such as this. Glad I went to see what is going on first hand. I just encourage you to vote for them. May have more on this later.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Busy day

Woke up early this Saturday morning. It was such a gorgeous fall day all day long. It was pick up day for Angel Food Ministry at church. When that was done I stopped at a gift shop in Lenoir that is one of my discoveries since Julie has moved to Lenoir. They lady that owns it, a couple weeks ago her husband had a heart attack and she had left a sign on her door apologizing for having to close. But today I found out he is doing fine and the shop is open again. It is such a neat shop. It is also a tea room and I have been dying to have lunch or tea with Julie and Lori. On Saturdays, they are open until 2 so when we are done at the church there is not much time and the guys are around. No offense to them, but it is a girl thing. The shop is packed with neat gift items solid from floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Then there are small round tables for 2 that are set up very elegantly with cloth napkins and more decor. I finally got to show it to the girls today but we had already eaten lunch so my goal is still to sit down to tea/lunch someday.

I don't know if it will take place or not, but I talked to the lady who runs our showroom (from my job). It is a couple of hours away from here and very elegant. I told her that the girls from the office were going to have a tea there some day when it is not market time and we are not just asking her business questions. She thought it was a wonderful idea and suggested we do it some time closer to Christmas.

I thank God for small things like enjoying a cup of tea. In this day and time when one can't afford vacations or shopping trips it is nice to give myself a treat of a special cup and quiet corner.

Rick and I decided to bring the weight bench in the house where we could get some use out of it. Our old flabby muscles need some help. His pulmonary workout was only covered for the summer. We really need a family room so I can have my living room back but we'll just use what we have and be thankful for what we've got. He got it set up tonight while Lori and I did some crafts and baking. She made a pumpkin pie completely from scratch, the crust and the fresh pumpkin. I made some rigatoni (spelling ?) and grape surprise. Tomorrow is pastor appreciation day and church is having a dinner after the morning service. I also made a new recipe for supper. Stuffed green pepper soup. It is basically the same ingredients you would put in stuffed peppers but in a soup. We all liked it very much and it is low calorie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poison Ivy

I have been attached by poison ivy from Saturday's workday. On my legs. I should have had them covered. But thankfully, I got some good advice from the internet and purchased some good stuff at the drug store and am not being bothered by bad itching. I have not had a bad case of poison ivy since Michael was a baby. I had blisters all over my hands, in between my fingers and on my face. I used disposable gloves when I changed his diapers so he wouldn't get anything on him. It still hasn't made me lose my love for working outdoors. I think I could live out there. I like the crisp autumn weather even if I get cold and then come in and drink a hot cup of tea.

Speaking of tea, I recently have been treating myself to having tea in my good china and making it a special time for me. One of my favorite blogs is a girl from Texas and she has a fall tea tray picture on her blog. If you look at her link on my blog you may see it.

I have been enjoying my early morning, before work devotion times. When we think of the direction our country is heading and what might be in store for us as Christians, our relationship with God is something no one can take from us. I do think that we need to fix God's Word in our mind and pray more than ever. We never know when our open worship and Bible's may be taken from us. Also, we need to keep our relationship with God in tune and up to date should Christ's returning be today. My prayer is that God would help my family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. May they feel the strong urging of the Holy Spirit to get their needs met.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Activities

Saturday was a good workday, workout at home. I love being outside so I did not mind helping my daughter and husband. Lori decided to put an in ground dog fence around the yard, the whole yard. That meant across the driveway, by the woods at the neighbors, behind the dog pens, through the woods and on the backside of the shed. They had rented some digger machine (if you know me, I don't know the names of stuff)which made the job pretty easy, especially since I wasn't operating it. But I did help with clearing out brush, making sure the wire was covered and getting on my knees and clearing out mud from the digger. Not bad for an almost senior citizen. It took all day, then we cleaned up, took the digger back to the city and Lori bought our supper at Red Lobster. What a sweet daughter. Now all she has to do is work with the dogs to get them used to it. I know she'll do it, she is good with them. They are her babies.

Sunday was good. God answered prayer by sending us a Spirit filled morning service. Thankful for God's moving. Lunched at Julie's, enjoyed her yard,took a nice hike with Lori, practised songs and choir. Then evening service. I enjoy the way we have Sunday closing with people coming up front with special prayer requests and people joining them to help carry their burden.

This week will be catch up at work after spending last week costing for market and letting everything else go. I should be doing my tax class homework now.

God bless and don't forget to pray for the election. God will help us no matter which way it goes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ebenezer Stone

Well, here it is again, can't get away from it. I Samuel chapter 7 I believe. Samuel lifted up the Ebenezer stone, meaning, Hitherto the Lord has helped us. Julie and I are making progress on making our own Ebenezer stone. We had baptism back in the "holler of the mountains at the creek" Sunday evening. One of Clay's cousins, Pat, owns the property. There were plenty of big rocks by the creek. Julie asked Pat if we could have a couple to take home. She said sure you don't have to ask. So we picked out our favorites. Maybe by the time we are done with it, Julie will have shown me how to put a picture on my post and we'll do a show and tell.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Move on to be an oak tree, Ebeneezer!

I just had to somehow incorporate the spiritual thoughts of the last 2 days in my title! I didn't get to hear yesterday morning's revival message because of helping in the kitchen. But Rick told me about it when I went back to get in line with him to eat. God told Joshua "Moses is dead, move on, cross over Jordan and do the things I tell you." The thought of the message was if there are things in your life that are still troubling you and they are dead, leave them and go forward to do the things that God would have you to do.

Then, the great Ebeneezer message in the evening. Becky Laywell had brought to my attention the story in I Samuel about the Ebeneezer stone and I did a blog on it, ask Julie to make me an Ebeneezer stone and was looking it up again yesterday afternoon. Ebeneezer means the Lord has helped us. The message was remember all the times the Lord has helped you in the past and know that He will help you in the future. The speaker gave us stones at the end of the service.

Today I read a devotion that pointed out that the author was so frustrated after having gone through major disasters in his life that he cried out to God and said "Where are you?" He was sitting on a fallen oak tree and God showed him the huge oak tree standing in front of him. God said that his brokeness was needed in order for him to become like the large oak tree still standing. After many years, God replaced the painful circumstances with inner joy.

So I need to: 1. Move on and leave what's dead behind. 2. Remember how God has helped me in the past (Ebeneezer). 3. Know that the events that have devastated me will help me to become a large oak tree for God.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bail Out

I have been following the talk of the billion dollar bail out. It is quite scary to think of the repercussions of all this. It is already affecting many people right around me. But thankfully, if we trust in God we are not without hope. I read the scripture this week in Psalms that it is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in princes. I take princes to mean any government authority or even spiritual authority. I heard someone on talk radio today say WHAT WE REALLY NEED IS A BAIL OUT OF HONESTY AND TRUTH. I'd say God is looking down from heaven and seeing humans scurrying around and troubled about earthly cares, shaking His head. His heavenly, most wise vision sees how humans need to be concerned about honesty and truth and salvation.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Better Be Packed and Ready for Heaven

More reminders today that it pays to be packed and ready for Heaven. I got a call today from the rest home that one of the younger residents had unexpectedly passed yesterday. Then, one of our sanders at work unexpectedly found his wife dead, sitting in a chair in their home. What if this were your loved one? What if it were you? Are you ready? Would you regret not clearing something up with someone you could no longer talk to or make things right with?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heavenly Sunshine

Julie and Clay got me a new Legacy Five CD from the quartet convention. I have been listening to it all week. One of the songs mentions breathing fresh air in heaven. Sometimes I can't wait to be there breathing that air. I wonder if there will be a quiet place like in my header picture.
The mother of one of the girls at work passed away unexpectedly this week. I sent her a sympathy card and inserted the words of "Hello After Goodbye". It talks about how our time in heaven with our saved loved ones will be longer than the time we have missed them down here. There are so many grevious things going on down here on earth that it makes me long for heaven. We never know how soon that might be. Kim's mom was a healthy, active 72 yr old. She was putting her lawn mower away and it looked like she had just sat down and laid back from what I understand.
The altars were lined at church this morning. James preached on Revelation 3. Being fervent and not lukewarm. Clay's niece's husband, Justin, went to the altar. Nancy and Doug ate lunch with us and Nancy said that Justin had never been brought up in church and she was excited to see him go.
Nancy and Doug are such sweet people. They have been an encouragement to Rick and I.
Well I need to see some of that heavenly sunshine this afternoon. The weekend is always over too soon for me. Monday will find me back in my office with no window. I have to admit I am jealous of Julie being able to quit her job and be a stay at home wife. I remember those days being at home, being in prayer and in the Word without worrying as much about what time it was. Also, getting the house in order and having supper ready for Rick when he came home from work. I tease Julie about having everything done for Clay when he gets home. She can mow the grass and have all the house repairs and errands done and Clay will have his evenings free. Ha! Ha!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scrawny Bushes

My rose bushes have not been the greatest this year. I think it was due to the dry weather. They have still pleasured me with many blooms. Also, I haven't taken the time to cultivate them very much. Last night I did some trimming and hoeing, gettting them ready for winter. I did a real major trimming on my white one. It always gives me 100's of blooms in early summmer but doesn't have a second blooming. My other bushes ususally bloom several times throughout the season. I just read a devotion that says: "I don't know what issue you might be struggling with today, but I know you are not alone. The Holy Spirit is a Master Gardener who delights in working with scrawny, out-of-control bushes if they will yield to his gentle pruning." Lord help me today to be shaped up and pruned by You.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Small breakthroughs mean a lot.

One of the best encouraging time of my week is being at the rest home. Lori took her guitar this evening and we sang through the halls instead of having a service. Julie and Clay are still on vacation. Rick is sick. Our first stop was Alice's room. She has alway had a private room and is a very private person. She doesn't mingle with other people. When we first met her, she seemed to be a very proud woman, never wanting to talk about the Lord. But some months ago, we found out from one of the activity directors that Alice really did like for us to stop in and visit. She had very limited vision and used to love to read, but would not listen to books on tape. She asked us about our singing but she declined having us sing to her in her room. It was like she did not want to appear to need anything or anyone. In the past few weeks she has been less able to care for herself and limited to a lay back chair or her bed. Alice is in her ninties and is starting to lose her memory but she always calls us by our names or asks us to repeat our names. A few weeks ago one new nurse brought her into our service. I knew from experience with her she did not want to be in there and she kept repeating to be taken to her room. The new nurse thought she just needed to be out of her room and I did not over step her authority. I don't try to push God or the Bible or our singing on anyone who does not want it.

But tonight, Lori and I had a break through with her. She could tell Lori had an instrument with her and ask her about it. Then when we asked her about singing a song she said yes. Alice seemed to really enjoy it. We sang "Come unto Me" I prayed as we sang that some of the words would sink into her soul.

Before we left, one man stopped Lori in the hall. He wanted to play her guitar. He sat on his bed and was explaining to Lori how to tune her guitar. Then he started majorly turning the tuning keys like it was way out of tune. We had to smile. He used to be in a band called the "Brown Mountain Boys". He never did play anything, he just sat there trying to tune it. We laughed when we got to the car. Lori will have to do a major tuning before she plays again.

The small breakthrough with Alice may be God softening her heart. I remember Brother Homer Norwood talking about God tapping on a rock and causing little cracks until He is able to get through to somebody. I pray today that God is working with my children and grandchildren and Mother and brothers and sisters. May the Holy Spirit deal with each one until their needs are met.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Heaven Invading Earth

I just read the title of a book: "When Heaven Invades Earth". I am looking today for heaven to invade my earth. I read in Psalms 107 this morning, "Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saveth them out of their distresses." The question again today is: HOW BIG IS MY GOD?. May God be so invasive in our lives today that we are smothered with Him. God help my cup to so run over that there is enough to share with others.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

P + P = P

This formula is Purpose + Passion = Potential. I am reading a book by Jerry King "Now get a Real Life" given to us by our friend and business mentor, Marv Jackson. On my break I am reading and sharing. Jerry says he tries to ask himself daily "How BIG is my God? We think that even though God created the entire universe he's not quite big enough to help us get into college, obtain our dream job, write a book or play, record a CD, begin a grass roots movement or ministry, or even big enouch to supply enough money to pay our monthly bills." We think He is not quite big enough to solve our problems. I am thankful that God is teaching me that He can help us through long years of trials and that just because something takes a long time doesn't mean we should give up. Jerry says we need to stop putting God in a jar. AMEN! We need to take the lid off and let him work. If we let God use His passion and potential in us, WOW.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Breath of Fresh Air at Britthaven

We had a wonderful time at Britthaven tonight. It was a breath of fresh air. Some might think, "fresh air at a nursing home?" Oh yes, I know sometimes I wish they had several of our Ecoquest "Fresh Air" machines. But the fellowship there is great. It's a blessing to sing for them from our hearts. It doesn't matter that we're not on some stage with a crowd of people. Jesus reminded me while we were singing, "Just a cup of cold water in my name". It was a blessing that after we were closing, one man ask for Clay to sing a solo. This is the 2nd time this has happened and Clay was happy to oblige. Rick brought a good lesson from Romans 6 and how God wants us to live a victorious Christian life that is changed. And how God wants us to be a joyful Christian. We have been reading some encouraging books that explain how to stretch yourself and believe in the abilities God gave you. Maybe I will have more on this later.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Are We A Delight to Jesus?

I would like to preface this post with the fact that God has allowed and blessed us to be able to fellowship with other Christans that love God. We have met some wonderful Christian senior citizens at the nursing home. We have met sincere Christians in many congregations and appreciate those that we currently worship with.
Some of them also have been delivered from the same conditions that our family has experienced. It is our desire to lift up Jesus to them and none other and to grow together in the Lord.

I would also like to thank God for answering prayer for my boss's biopsy. The reports came back benign. Thank you all for praying.

Yesterday I read the poems about being a pastor's delight on the website jesussavesfromsin.com that is from the brothers and sisters who have "come out" in Springfield, OH. My thoughts exactly. I WANT TO BE A DELIGHT TO JESUS. Stephen and John the Baptist and Paul and others were a delight to Jesus. But there were many Pharisee leaders who were not delighted with them at all. Talking with outsiders, they recognize that being the pastors delight in some circles means letting everything else go, but make sure you're a hard worker for the church upkeep and don't question the pastor. While I love and appreciate and respect those who have not known any different than to do just that, I cannot be satisfied to do that anymore myself like I did in previous years. And I believe there are many people who do know better but they don't want to lose their position or face the persecution and so they go on deceiving themselves that everything is ok.

There are some today who are building on the same crumpled foundation believing they can do it better than the previous generation. It is the same leftover wood, hay and stubble they build on and not Christ Jesus. As the saying goes, If you do what you've always done you'll get what you've always got. Did Jesus not say we need a new lump, beware of the leaven? It will grow again just like bread that has been punched down rises again.

We certainly found that moving to a different congregation of the same fellowship was not the solution. Though it gave us peace and comfort for a while, the leaven popped out. And it began popping out all over other congregations without any connection to the problems we had encountered. A little variation to the same story, different characters, different location.

I have learned not to let the past over rule me. But if you look at the Bible, God and Jesus left a record of people's unrighteous deeds for all generations to read. Was God a gossip? Would anyone accuse God of being bitter because He recorded those things? No, God just wanted to warn all generations of the pitfalls and it is not wrong for us to continue to bring the unrighteous deeds of the fellowship when it is necessary. The SIN, yes I said SIN, is there and it is unpardonable (just as Sis Debbie's lesson brought out on the website) unless it is repented of. The sad thing is the longer they hang on to the sin the harder their hearts get and it never does get pardoned although they are still playing the "church game".

May eyes be annointed with the salve that Jesus spoke about in Revelation 3 to the Laodicean church. He said as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.

One of my favorite scriptures is "Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." Be delighted with God and let Him be delighted with you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Day At Home

A day off from work is like a breath of fresh air. It has been a long time and it makes you feel sane again. Many aspects of the job are fulfilling but there is nothing like being able to come and go, work or relax as it pleases. Although there is much to accomplish today in getting ready for an informational gathering here tomorrow morning with Marv Jackson from Ecoquest, the blog was very inviting. But here goes, back to cleaning.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Milestones

In the Old Testament the Israelites laid stones in places to remind them of something God had done for them.

In Joshua 24:26,27 after God's people had made a covenant to serve the Lord, Joshua took a great stone and set it under an oak tree that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. He said "This stone shall be a witness unto us for it heard all the words of the Lord that He spoke to us and it shall be a witness to you in case you deny God".

A milestone is something significant and good that we want to remember or a goal that we have reached. Since my last post, I had a milestone, my birthday and on Sunday, Rick and I will have our 35th anniversay. There have been many, many, many significant things that God has done for us along the way. Listening to the stories of people in our community of how deeply troubled and in trouble those right around us are, we have much to be thankful for. How different our lives could have been without God.

"And all the praises should be given to my Saviour.
For He's the One who picked me up when I was down all the way.
And all the praises should be given to my Jesus.
For He's the one who made me what I am today."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Home again, Home again

As badly as I have wanted to go spend some time in Ohio, it has not been possible this summer. We have big new projects going on here at work. Gas is too high. Vacation is limited.

But, alas, Lori called us from OH Friday evening. She had purchased Eric's straight drive truck while she and Julie were visiting the family. Is there any way Dad and Mom could drive up for the weekend and Dad drive the truck back since she has not yet learned to drive it? We considered and called back and said sure. She has been such a help to us we just wanted to do it in spite of the fact we just ain't as young as we used to be.

But we got to see Eric and the kids and God blessed us with the strength and safety to make the trip.

I read a really neat devotional today from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was talking about Lazurus being raised from the dead after Martha said he had already been dead for 3 days and "he stinks". The thought that struck me was that you may have some situations in your life that seem stinky, but don't give up hope because it can still be resurrected. I've been experiencing some of that from God lately. Resurrection from stinky situations. It may sound funny but God can do anything. He saved me thank the Lord.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Acting alone for God

Yes this is my second post on the same day after not posting for a while. I have tried to post on some days and it just didn't seem like the thoughts were flowing for what I wanted to say so rather than bore you with something meaningless I opted to be quiet. But today 2 thoughts were coming that didn't seem to fit on the same post.

Let's meditate together on acting alone for God. I know God did not create us to be hermits, always by ourselves, although that lifestyle seems pretty tempting sometimes. But think of the many instances in the Bible where one person had to act on what God had told him alone, not a group of believers.

John the Baptist came to my mind first this morning. He had to tell Herod the truth about the adultry situation in Herod's family. The Bible didn't say anything about the believers getting together and discussing what ought to be done about confronting Herod with the situation. John told Herod himself and John was the only one beheaded for it. There wasn't a group of people arrested for conspiring against Herod. John acted alone for God on this one.

Abraham acted alone when God told him to sacrifice Isaac. Joseph alone had the dreams and told them to his family. And he was certainly alone on his journey from the the pit to the jail in Egypt to being second in command to Pharoah. Many of the disciples made decisions each day on what they faced for the day whether it was a healing, a rebuking of a liar, or facing a crowd of Pharisees with the truth. They didn't have a big conference asking believers if they should heal, how should they confront Annanias and Sapphira or if they should speak so plainly to the Pharisees.

The disciples didn't stay huddled up in a clique either. I looked up the word clique today. It means a select few, priveleged, splinter group, sect. They boldly went out to do God's business and they suffered for it. They didn't get permission from the Sanhedrin about where they were aloud to go or what they were aloud to do. Many times they acted alone for God. And they were marked and persecuted but they did a work for God. Their prayer life and Bible knowledge and closeness to God directed them to act on God's behalf.

Today many people feel they can't take a step one way or the other unless they have permission from some human. Even in society, Americans have the mind set that they need the government to tell them what to do and solve their problems.

Let us walk today with God in a way that we can act at His direction. It is amazing the vision He can give us when He helps us pull ourselves away from organized religion to think for ourselves.

TGIF

No, it is not Friday, but we can still thank God. TODAY GOD IS FIRST.

This morning God encouraged me with II Corinthians 12:10 "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" Back to verse 9 "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." This was the apostle Paul speaking.

Most of the time being thankful in our troubles does not come natural, even to the Christian. In another scripture Paul said he had to learn to be content. And when he was having a mountain top experience he was given a thorn in the flesh to buffet him. So even the apostle Paul had to feel weak, beat upon and dissatisfied with his circumstances. But he made an effort to be thankful and glory that God's power was going to be shown by getting Paul through his problems.

I don't think any of us are protected from having days where we feel like the devil is pressing us down on every side. No, I'm not talking about being dragged through sin. I'm talking about depression and not knowing which direction to take next. Not having the strength within ourselves to face the problems that surround us. But I have personally experienced over and over God coming in and lifting those black clouds and giving me renewed strength and vision. Sometimes He has solved the problem but more often He has given me strength to keep going through it.

TODAY GOD IS FIRST. HAVE A GOOD DAY.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Different characteristics of God

When we read in the Bible verses that tell us to have the mind of Christ or be Godlike or be filled with the Holy Spirit there is an attribute that automatically comes to our mind. For most people the attributes that are most prevalent are loving, peaceful and sweet. The human mind likes to push to the side the fact that God is angry with the wicked every day. Or that Jesus stood up to the Pharisees and talked very plain and what most people today would call rude. But Jesus did not apologize for one word of it. When the apostles were first filled with the Holy Ghost after Jesus went back to heaven, they had a boldness that caused them to speak very plainly with people. Stephen spoke so plain he got stoned to death. I know of at least one time when the disciples asked Jesus, "Don't you know that you offended the Pharisees?"

Today, if Jesus stood in our pulpits and said what was on His heart, most Christians would think He had overstepped His bounds. They would tell Him He just couldn't talk like that around here and that he had a bad Spirit.

And yet, as Christians we ignore that side of Christ. We don't want to take on that characteristic of God. But if we are going to stand for God, yes, in the way He would have us to, we are going to have to speak up at times when it makes us uncomfortable. Sometimes it is not going to make us very popular. But doesn't God tell us to please Him and not man? He most certainly does.

You see, He is sending us out amidst wolves in sheeps clothing just like He did the disciples. Spiritually we cannot afford to be sweet talked by a wolf that looks like a sheep. We need to be in our Bibles and in prayer and on our guard. Read in Acts how the power of the Holy Spirit affected their actions.

As God breaths on us, let us be filled with all of His characteristics.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Breath on Me, Breath of God

Here are the words to an old hymn I was playing this morning: Text: Edwin Hatch Music: Robert Jackson

Breath on me, Breath of God
Fill me with life a new
That I may love what Thou dost love
And do what Thou wouldst do

Breath on me Breath of God
Until my heart is pure
Until my will is one with Thine
To do and to endure

Breath on me Breath of God
Till I am wholly Thine
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine

Breath on me Breath of God
So shall I never die
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity

How strong is just a breath from God. The song references John 20:22 when Jesus "breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Surprise! Surprise!

I really got suprised today. About 2:30 this afternoon at work, one of my co-workers, Cheryl,called me and asked if I was really busy and could I please take the box of mail to our other building. She said that Tracy, who was covering that this week, needed to work on her May closing reports. I said sure. I went and ask Tracy exactly what I needed to do and proceeded to carry the box to the van, opened the passenger door, slid it in. As I proceeded to walk around to the driver side, there stood Rick, Julie and Lori. Rick said "Come on we're kidnapping you." I said "I can't I have to take this mail to the other building." He called to Cheryl (I didn't know she had come out the door after me) to help him out. She proceeded to take the mail back out of the van. The four of us got in Julie's View and took off. I kept asking questions but nobody would tell me anything. We ended up at the rest home where we have volunteered for almost 7 years. I knew they were having ice cream for the residents today. But my "3 family members" had a certain grin on their face and I suspected something else was going on. Sure enough, when the homemade ice cream was ready, Lisa, the activity director surprised me with a volunteer of the year plaque, 2 cards, an Ingles gift card and lots of nice words and hugs. I felt like crying. I never suspected that my "3 family members" knew about it for several weeks. Then tonight, Clay said he was sorry he couldn't take off work today to come.

What a nice "breath of fresh air"! Thank you everyone! Love you all!