Wednesday, February 10, 2016

3 hour relaxing, peaceful, instrumental music by Tim Janis



This morning, as I reflect upon the goodness of God, and His many gifts to each of us, daily; I am reminded of His gift of music. 
Sometimes, during the stress of the day, we need to just relax, slow down, listen to reflective music, putting ourselves in the presence of  God in prayer, thanking Him for His gift of today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday's Joy



Every month I count it a joy to write letters to my sponsored children in Rwanda, Tanzania,
Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, sharing our lives with theirs.  I receive letters from them, regularly with updated pictures and sharing their progress at school, their home life, health check-ups, and fun times at the church based community centers in their areas.
It was time well spent and enjoyed this afternoon writing to William, Grace, Ishimwe, Elizabeth,Esmeralda, and Fedline.
This joy could be yours to by sponsoring a child in need, and sharing Compassion in Jesus' name.
http://compassioninternational.org
                                                             compassionbloggers.com/trip/ecuador2016/

Compassion Bloggers are in Ecuador right now. Check out their visit with the children.
Be blessed, pray to see if God has a special child waiting for you to sponsor.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jars of Clay- I'll Fly Away- with lyrics



I really like this lively gospel song from Jars of Clay. What about you?
Like chasing away Monday morning blues, which I had this morning thinking
about one of my pet parakeets who died yesterday. Molly had been sick for a week
and on medication from our veterinarian. She and her mate have been fun to watch over the years
as they share my reading room space and love to chirp loudly to the sound of my constant Pandora Praise and Worship music playing all day long.
Yesterday, as I thought about the loss of my pet, this song played on Pandora. Wow! What a blessing.
It immediately lifted my sadness-music can do that. Have you found that to be true.
Like my very favorite song, Amazing Grace. I could listen and sing that song all day long.
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come.
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
 And grace will lead me home.

When we've been there ten thousand years, 
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we first begun.
                                                                  written by John Newton 1779

What better way to spend the Sunday afternoon than with my granddaughter? She enjoyed Molly also, after all, she chose her from all the birds in the pet store, several years ago. "I like her because she's blue and my favorite color is blue."  So, Molly, was her pet also, taking care of both birds each year when we went on vacation.
Today, she spent the afternoon with me and what fun we had!
Olivia enjoyed making a watercolor creation while I made chocolate chip cookies, all the while, listening to country music, her favorite on Pandora. "Oh, this is my favorite song," she'd say to almost every song, and then dance to the music.

I told her about a couple I read about in "World Magazine" the night before. Country singer and song writer duo , Joey +Rory. We listened to their music too. They are an inspiring couple, going through the trial of Joey's cancer, and are reaching many with their testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.
You can read Rory's blog here   http://thislifeilive.com

This blog will draw you into their lives and I believe you, too, will feel the peace they are experiencing in knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, even in the face of death.
May you be richly blessed this Monday morning, may all your "blues" fly away!
                God bless you!
In need of your own Savior?   www.godlife.com

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
                                                                                  Jesus' words from John 10:10

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bethel Music - It is Well (Live)

It is well with my soul,
It is well because of  who You are, Lord.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday's Winter Promise



Dogwood and lilac branches holding promise
of bursting color!

                                                  Winter blues setting in yet for you?
Venturing out in whatever weather the day holds and walking has helped me stave
off winter doldrums.
And have you tried forcing spring flowers? 
It's fun to watch as buds from cut branches begin to swell and reveal shades of green leaves,
branches taking on a rich green color to brighten any dark winter day.
Forsythia and pussy willow branches beginning bud swelling,
placed in a mulberry paper covered vase I enjoyed making.


The internet holds a wealth of information on forcing spring flowers, which is quite easy and enjoyable to watch day by day.
1. Select pencil-thin branches about 12 inches long with plump buds and make an angled cut.
2. Strip  buds and small branches from lower section that will be under water. Carefully split the base
of the branch about an inch up on its sides to encourage more water absorption.
3.Place whole branches in warm water all night to soak.
            4.Remove from water bath, place in a container where they will be displayed, using
slightly warm water. Change the water every few days.
Keep room temperature about 50-70 F (10-21 C)
Flower branches will need bright, indirect light in order to bloom properly in 1 to 8 weeks depending
on cutting time. Late January, early February is a good time to begin!!
Why not bring spring inside, today!


My very old Thanksgiving cactus is brightening my winter days now!


Dried zinnias and Russian sage from summer's garden

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Memory


How was your weekend?
If you live in our area, then you, too, are blessed that we don't have the memory of going through
the Blizzard of 2016! Such hardships experienced by those in our East Coast States, and now the clean-up and the mountains of snow piles around. I know my thoughts and prayers are still with
the residents of the affected states, and most especially for the families who lost loved ones because of the treacherous conditions.
God bless you, and give you comfort during this time of sorrow.


Saturday, we visited our daughter and son-in-law's new home up by the lake, taking a lunch for all, of eggplant casserole, salad, homemade pita chips to go with a hot cheesy pepper dish, and oatmeal raisin cookies. They prepared pizza for our lunch also.
What a delightful time we had!
Sure like this picture I captured of their front door wreath which reflected the trees behind me and the beautiful blue sky!


Their cat, Phoenix, in front of the
fireplace for a Saturday afternoon nap while
we enjoyed our visit.






Sunday, we drove in the other direction, an hour south, and visited my husband's 91 year old uncle in a nursing home; listening as he reminisced  about his growing up years and adult years of his job making clay pipe for 40 years. His wife, of  over 70 years together, sat right beside him, listening lovingly to his retelling, over and over, of his memories of the years long gone by.
                                                 This is their happily ever after.
Now, at 89 years old, his wife has sold their home and will move into the nursing home
with him next month.              Happily ever after, their days together.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of this weekend; visiting a young married couple beginning their life together, and then listening to memories retold from an old married couple- oh, how the years are quickly gone.

                                     "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast;
                                      it is not arrogant or rude.
                                      It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
                                      it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
                                      Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
                                      endures all things.
                                      Love never ends...
                                      So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
                                      but the greatest of these is LOVE."     1 Corinthians  13:4-8,13

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Snow





 Lacy whiteness covering  my roof window
As much as I'm not fond of winter coldness, or the early evening darkness,
lingering long into morning-
I am grateful for it holds its own beholding beauty.
Winter walks in whiteness pour a peace over me in the quietness of slumbering nature-
not like the budding blooms of spring days, colors splashed about like a rainbow.

But not today! Winter turned treacherous yesterday for the East Coast of America!
Blizzard conditions from DC to Philadelphia to NYC and further south.
News reports 3,400 flight cancellations, white-out conditions on highways in several States, low visibility, snow fall 1 to 2 inches an hour in some areas, high wind gusts,
nine storm related deaths, power outages, and 50 million people likely to be affected by this storm.

Father God, I pray for Your mercy and grace upon the East Coast of our Country
facing this blizzard that has crippled States with power outages, cancelled flights,
extremely dangerous  road travel, and heavy snow fall.
I pray for Your safety upon road crews, emergency workers and all battling the extremes of weather to keep people safe.
I ask for safety for the millions of people affected by this storm, and through it all, I give You all the praise and glory for we serve an awesome God.
Praying in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace
to help in time of need."  Hebrews 4:16

"To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy."  Psalm 59:17









Friday, January 22, 2016

National Sanctity of Life March in Washington DC, Today!


Thousands are gathering in our Nation's Capitol today to proclaim the sanctity of life; the protection of life as given by God . Please pray for safety for all participating and traveling as the weather is very treacherous with blizzard conditions and winter storms from Fla. up the East Coast.

Pray that God will hear the cry of His people for an end to this horrendous crime of abortion in our Nation.

Join with me and thousands of others in prayer with Intercessors for  America  ifapray.org
12:15- 12:45 (ET)  TODAY by calling 712-432-0075 and enter access code 1412453#
   
                              ifapray.org       Please be in prayer for our God to hear the cries of His people for                                                          the lives of the unborn and to heal our land.
                                                      God bless you!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Capturing Winter Whiteness


As I spoke with a friend today, she told me of her plan to take one picture a day, some special remembrance of her day, gathered together at year's end into 365 picture memories of the year.
 Great idea!
I'd like to do this too!

Today was a beautiful, sunny, not too cold 20 degree day- perfect for capturing winter whiteness!


Lavender still green!


Deer tracks throughout the yard



                                                                                   
                                                                                    Who knows, I may even get to enjoy this winter
                                                                                     whiteness!

PRAYER in the Heart of My Everyday Life

Memorizing Psalm 71
 Since late December, when I chose
my verses for 2016, I have been
working on a plan to put my verses
in the heart of my everyday life.

"Pray without ceasing..."

My word for the year: PRAYER

Making a Plan:
1. Plan Times To be in Prayer
Having set times to spend in prayer help to form a lasting habit.
early morning,
 midday time with the Lord,
 while driving long distance to and from work,
 while doing chores,
during daily walk or run time,
while knitting or crocheting,
or at day's end. The Lord wants to hear from you every moment of your day.

2.Plan PRAYER With Scripture
Have a favorite devotional that you like to use?
Unto the Hills  by Billy Graham

The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children  by Stormie Omartian

 Reading Psalms in meditation is a beautiful way to pray.
Reading the Bible using a daily plan to read the Bible in a year, meditating on the readings for the day, asking the Lord to speak to you through the readings, then contemplate them throughout the day

3.Plan PRAYER with Others
Do you have a prayer partner? Join a prayer group from your church or start a neighborhood group, or plan to pray with a friend by phone on a regular basis.
For myself, I have a prayer partner every morning at 7am and another prayer partner 7pm every evening. Over the years, my prayer life has deepened and has become an integral part of my days.

4. Plan To Record Your Prayers
Prayer journaling has been a part of my prayer life for several years. As I hear of someone's need for prayer, it goes in my journal; family, friends, children's needs, our country,world needs
I have often gone through previous year's journals in thanksgiving for all the answered prayers and have seen how the Lord has worked in the lives of those whose needs were brought before the Throne in prayer.

5. Plan To Read About PRAYER
I love to read at night and have been gathering several books on prayer and the Holy Spirit to read on these cold winter nights.
The Holy Spirit   by Billy Graham

C.H. Spurgeon's Prayers                                                   

Sermons on Prayer  by Charles Spurgeon

Glory of Heaven  by John MacArthur

At the Throne of Grace  by John MacArthur





Credit for this 5 point plan goes to www.donotdepart.com
where you will find much more detail and encouragement
to begin your own plan of praying through 2016 and memorizing Scripture- hiding God's Holy Word in your heart.
We have just started, this week, to memorize Psalm 71.
At this site you will find helpful resources to assist in memory
work, like memory verse cards to carry with you for spare moments to commit a verse to memory.
God bless you as you desire to walk closer to the Lord this year in PRAYER

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"High Time to Awake Out Of Sleep"


"And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our
salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on the armor of light."  Romans 13:11-12

It has been a week since  Pastor gave us these words and many thoughts to ponder for the beginning of this new year. He was passionate in his plea for us to wake up; these are dangerous times
in which we live. How are we living these days? How am I living in these days?
Am I apathetic, clueless, to what is happening around me, in our country, in this world?
No one likes to hear these words directed to themselves, but the questions need answered by each of us individually.
Am I complacent, unconcerned about where we are as a Nation under God?
Am I praying for my Country to seek the Face of God, or distracted by the everyday cares of my life?
Am I committed and passionate for Jesus Christ as His follower?
Am I committed to the reading and studying of His Word?
Have I sought repentance of my sins and prayed for our Nation to seek repentance of our National sins?
Have I submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and willingly obey His will and Word?
Have I prayed for the lost and shared the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, alone?

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven
given among men by which we must be saved."   Acts 4:12

Oh, Lord, let me not sleep, but give me a passion for those who need to hear the Gospel that will set them free. Let me be in constant prayer for Thy will to be done, to have a deeper love for Your Son Jesus each day, for Holy Spirit wisdom to guide my days, to pray for my Country to turn back to You before it's too late, to pray for government leaders who follow Biblical truths to lead our Country, to be in prayer for the persecuted church to remain strong in the face of atrocities.
Keep me on my knees, Lord,
                              Rejoicing always,
                               Praying without ceasing,
                               giving thanks in everything,
                               for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for me.
                                                                                                                 Amen.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's Resolutions


Wow! where are all those birds going? South, I hope. That's where I would head if I could.
I'd like to be like some of our human "snowbird friends" who have headed south for winter.
Alas, I'm here in the cold, which up until now has not been cold at all, but very enjoyable.
Then yesterday it all came to a halt, and snow blew in. Thankfully, it didn't stay long, but cold temperature did.   9 degrees this morning!
Which brings me to one of my New Year's Resolution, which is also my way of coping with dreaded winter

                      Watching, feeding, photographing my winter birds!





I seem to do more baking in the winter, and why not,I get to heat up the kitchen using the hot oven.
Today, I tried a new recipe from my favorite blog site;  sallysbakingaddiction.com


                                               Skinny Peanut Butter Banana Muffins!
Whole wheat muffins with the delectable taste of honey, peanut butter and bananas all in one 
delicious breakfast treat.
          I have learned a wealth of cooking knowledge  from Sally's blog. Every recipe, it seem I want to try.  Like New Year's Eve I made Spinach Artichoke White Cheese Pizza for  myself; husband and son had their usual  pizzeria pizza while we watched the movie, War Room.
            Fantastic movie! Hope you have seen or will see this  movie about the transforming                                                                                               power of prayer in our lives.




Anyone  like new beginnings, like I do?

beginning of a new day, earlier the better
beginning of a new book, like the one I started New Year's Eve, The First Hostage, by Joel Rosenberg- sure to be a thriller, and very often close to what is happening in our world today.

beginning of a new year, a fresh start, anew, and that means a new daily journal for me!
Reminds me of one of my favorite verses;

...but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

I have keep a daily journal for many years,
having 33 lined up on a shelf; recordings of many years of days;joys, sorrows and a rainbow of answered prayers. God has been gracious  with me during the difficult, carrying me through the darkness, providing light for my daily walk with Him and giving me joys and blessings to innumerable to count.
Truly, all because of prayer!

Looking to journal your days? May I suggest my favorite one from Joni and Friends. It contains her own art work, plenty of space to journal the day's happenings and a section for prayer requests for each week.   joniandfriends.org  Look for Joni's 2016 Planner

Each year, I begin the new with a special verse or verses, calling it my verse for the year.
2016 my verses are from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Rejoice always, 
 pray without ceasing, 
 in everything give thanks,
 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

And my first three New Year's Resolutions are contained right in these verses!
It cannot be denied that we are living in very troubling, tragic, turmoil-filled days.
Only hope is to lean hard on the Lord, trust Him in everything and draw close to Him through His most Holy Word.
My husband and I are using  The MacArthur Daily Bible  this year as we read through the Bible in 2016; containing an OT reading, NT reading, portion from Psalms and Proverbs each day with study notes. It's always a blessing and joy to begin each day in the Word.

Our world, our country is in dire need of seeking God, of turning back to the God of this Nation before judgment is heaped upon us. We cannot be lukewarm followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, but be bold in our witness, stand strong for theTruth, and arm ourselves with the Word of God.

Today, began the Decision America Tour 2016,  nine months of touring all 50 States by Rev. Franklin Graham, with prayer at each State's Capitol Building, beginning today at Des Moines, Iowa. Get involved in praying for our States, our government, our churches, schools, our cities,our neighborhoods, our families.
Go to www.decisionamericatour.com    and get involved and pray!

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Clean Slate


Create in me a clean heart,
O God, and renew a right spirit
within me.     Psalm 51:10

Today, as we begin a new year,
I want to share with you an entry
from one of my devotionals,
Unto the Hills, by Billy Graham.
      January 1
"Did you ever have the experience
in school of erasing an entire
blackboard? When the slate has been wiped clean, it is as if nothing at all
had ever been written on it.
   This is what God does for us when we come to Him confessing our sins.
First John 1:9 says, 'If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'
   How many times in your life have you wished you could start over again with a clean slate?
Resolve right now to allow God to wipe your slate clean by confessing your sins and letting Him
give you a brand new start.
   The apostle Paul did this when he said, 'Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.'  (Philippians 3:13-14)

Our Father and our God, I come to You conscious of my sins and failures but confident in Your love and mercy toward me. Thank You for giving Your wonderful grace and forgiveness to me and for wiping the slate of my life totally clean. Let me start all over with You and live in Your purpose for my life, now and forever, through Jesus Christ my Savior. Amen"
                               (from Unto the Hills,  Billy Graham)
This devotional, we had given to my mother-in-law in 1997; January 20, 2014, she is with her Savior, and I, now, journey Unto the Hills.

I pray this meditation for the first day of our new year has blessed you as it has me.
Now, for New Year Resolutions; got yours ready? I do, can't wait to share them with you!
   

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Finding Joy in the Little Things


Today, as I look back on our quiet day of Christmas, I find JOY in all the little things surrounding the excitement and busyness of the weeks of preparation.


                 Joy of sparkling, colorful lights
                  to light up the Christmas nights.                                          










 Christmas Eve Service at our church;
a time of reflecting upon the meaning of Christmas,

of voices singing; O Come O Come Emmanuel, What Child is This, Love Came Gently,
 O Come All Ye Faithful

of Scripture reading concerning the birth of the King born in a stable; Gospel of Luke 2

of a candlelight  darkness in the peace of   Silent Night

of a Communion service in remembrance of His sacrifice of His life; for this He was born



 "I have found such joy in simple things,
A plain clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along a floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.

I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days, a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose fresh-cut and placed within a vase,
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.

 Grace Noll Crowell 1877-1969,American Poet
                                                                                                                       



Joy of special cards from family


Joy of gazing upon treasured, old, handmade ornaments!


Christmas full moon
Joy of making delicious biscotti for first time !

Small things matter!





    Finding joy in listening to granddaughter
     read a Christmas story.





 Joy of sharing with granddaughter a very special book that was her father's at age 5.
         Enjoy the little things!




Gingerbread time with granddaughter  enjoying
the cut-outs, making frosting and decorating


Memories made and treasured.

"Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back, and realize
                         they were the big things."