A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What To Write Now

November was a great month for me!  Having a writing prompt every morning, (even though it was the same one every day), caused me to think and just write off the top of my head.  I was amazed at how much easier it got as the month went on.  My sister, who is talented writer in her own rite, says that if you want to be a writer, you just have to write.  I guess it's like practicing the piano, cooking, or sewing-the more you do it, the better you become.  (Unfortunately I have also discovered the exception to that rule.  Making cookies over and over again does not seem to help me improve in that area at all!)  Thank goodness God does not require cookies to get into heaven!

Now, what to write about?  Any ideas or suggestions?

Thankful-Day 30

I can't believe that November is over already!  Where did the month go?  As I looked over the month's posts, it just reminded me again and again how blessed I am.  I thank God for helping me through the month, one day at a time, by permeating every moment with His presence, His help, and His love!  Life is so much more peaceful when you know that you are never alone or without the parameters of His power!

Thankful -Day 29 (Forgetfulness)

Oh goodness!  I forgot to post yesterday!  Having to leave for work by 10am makes my mornings extremely interesting some days because I squeeze a whole days worth of errands into the early morning when I would normally be writing.  When I turned on my computer this morning I realized that I totally forgot to post!  How could I be so forgetful?

Forgetfulness is often a characteristic not thought of as being a positive one.  It causes us to be unprepared.  For instance, I forgot to go to the office store and buy ink for the printer so when I went to print out chord sheets for the worship team last night, I couldn't because there was no ink in the printer.  (Thank goodness for google docs!  I just threw them on there and printed them out at church!)

Forgetfulness can also be a good thing!  God has chosen to separate us so far from our sin that it is like He forgets them.  (I don't believe for one moment that He forgets anything, but He chooses to no remember them or hold them against us.)

So today I am thankful for forgetfulness because when I stand before God at the the judgement knowing full well how guilty I am of sinning against a Holy God, and understanding that I deserve the worst possible punishment, the forgetfulness of God will cause Him to be unprepared to sentence me to the fate I deserve.

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dog Abuse

 Isn't this the saddest sight you've ever seen?  The droopy eyes, the flattened ears which are too weak to stand up, the dry nose.  If she didn't have my son's leg to hold her up, she might just faint dead away from hunger.  All we need is some sad music and we would have promotional spot for the SPCA and PAWS.    If you feel so moved, donations towards her rehabilitation will be gladly received!  LOL!

This is my dog, Zoe, begging.  And that is my son eating a frozen dinner.  Yes, I admit, I took the low road and bought frozen dinners for dinner because I needed something quick and easy.  The kids like them from time to time and we hadn't had any since the mowing season ended.  Evidently Zoe has missed having them too because she tried to convince my son that she was breathing her last breath before dying from starvation.  

And much to her delight, he believed her and gave her some!

Thankful-Day 28 (I Don't Want To Be Here)

Working a part time job has been an eye-re-opening experience so far.  After working for myself for the past 10 years, I've been able to make many choices that I now cannot make for myself like where I will work, when I will work, and with whom I will work.  I knew that I would see many things in the workplace and I prepare myself each morning by spending time in the Word and prayer so as not to get sucked into it and to set a stark contrast to it through my actions at work.

Recently I received this devotional through Bible Gateway in my inbox.


Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The overflow of singing praises amid great difficulties has tremendous spiritual power. Paul and Silas set the biblical pattern in the prison in Philippi (Acts 16).
Helen Berhane spent almost three years in the shipping container prisons of Eritrea. In her book Song of the Nightingale, she shares about the first time she and other women were put in an old metal shipping container that was very hot and filled with fleas and lice:
Everyone was very despondent, and many of the women were angry. They asked me what we should do and I knew they were expecting me to say that we should shout or bang the container, to let our captors know that we were not going to tolerate this treatment. But I remembered… [reading] about how Christians, like nightingales, could not be prevented from singing even in captivity, and I suggested that we sing: “We should praise God in spite of the fleas, in spite of the lice, in spite of the heat. We should thank God despite our circumstances.” So I began to sing with them, and pray, and share the Word of God from memory.[1]
Pastor Ung Sophal sat in a filthy Cambodian prison badly beaten. His hands and feet were chained for five months. “Only my mouth was unchained,” he said.
“...So I sang to God in prison all the time. Another prisoner heard me singing through a small hole in the wall, so I taught him the song—a bit at a time. He passed it on and soon eight of us were singing.”
Archbishop Dominic Tang spent twenty-two years in prison in China for his faith. He reports:
“Besides my prayer and meditation, every day I sang some hymns in a soft voice: ‘Jesus I live for you; Jesus I die for you; Jesus I belong to you. Whether alive or dead I am for Jesus!’ This hymn was taught to me by a Protestant prisoner who lived in my cell.”[2]
RESPONSE: Today I will respond to all the challenges of life I face with praise and thankfulness.
PRAYER: Pray that all Christian prisoners around the world will also respond to their circumstances as those documented above.
1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale, ( Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), pp. 36-37.
2. Tony Lambert, The Resurrection of the Chinese Church(London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1991), p 179.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

Then yesterday I was sitting in the locker room at work when a couple of workers walked in.  One flopped down on the couch and said "I don't want to be here!"  The other agreed and they proceeded to sit and complain of how unfair and terrible their job was.  As I sat there in a nicely heated room, on a soft and comfortable couch in a place where everyone in this town desires to work because of it's pay, opportunities for advancement and it's benefit package, it just seemed such a stark contrast between these workers and those dear saints who had been in much much worse conditions but who chose to sing.  I wanted to stand up and tell these women to get a life, but I refrained.  It is only my second day at this job, you know!  LOL!   

As I continued through my day doing the boring tasks that I do at this job, I found a renewed joy and thankfulness for all that God had provided me.  And as I worked away, I hummed a praise song to myself.  And I prayed for those saints around the world who are suffering for Christ, imprisoned. languishing away in dirty disease-filled cells.  

There are days I don't want to be here, I'll admit, but it's those days when I, like Abraham realize that I am living as a foreigner in this world.  It is not my home.  My home is in a city whose builder and maker is God.  This world has no appeal to me.  Thank God this world is not all there is.  What a sad documentary of the human experience that would be! 

So today, I will choose to sing!!  No matter where I am, what I'm doing, and who I am doing it with.  When I think on Jesus, what other response is there?   He can lift the spirit above this world!  He can cheer the heart and fill my soul with the wondrous expectation of what it to come that will make this present day, with all it's troubles and challenges, seem but a tiny speck in the timeline of eternity!   And perhaps, should someone hear my song and respond, they may just travel there with me on that glorious day when we all the redeemed are called home!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful-Day 27 (Connected)

As I was reading in Acts 9 this morning of the story of Saul on the road to Damascus, the Holy Spirit spoke to me of how connected I am to Christ.  Saul had been in Jerusalem raiding homes and arresting men and women, dragging them to prison simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.  As the voice from heaven said "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?", I'm sure Saul didn't have any idea which one of the people he had arrested this voice was talking about.  So he asked "who are you Lord?"   The Lord's response was "I am Jesus who you persecute!"

Now Saul had not arrested and was not physically persecuting Jesus because Jesus had died, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. He was out of the picture as far as Saul knew.  But to Jesus, when one of his church, when part of His body was persecuted, it was the same as persecuting Him.  And He is one with the God Almighty, so it was the same as persecuting God Himself!

We are so connected to Christ that what happens to us happens to him.  He shares in  all of our struggles, trials, hurts and triumphs.  He is part of us.  We are part of Him!  You cannot separate Christ from His church.  Think about this!  It is a wonderful thought!  Enjoy the knowledge that you are tied to Christ today.  He will be with you everywhere you go.  He will walk through everything you walk through today.

And realize that all that is His is yours as well!  You are one!  All that Christ accomplished, all that He is, it belongs to you as well!  How blessed we are!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful-Day 26 (No Nerves)

I started a temporary part-time job today to make some extra money for Christmas and to get my foot in the door at the local university.  It's very boring work.  About all I do is scan ID's at the cafeteria.  So far, it's only cost me money to work there.  I had to buy 2 pairs of pants and a parking permit.   I think that I may be out the hole by Wednesday!  LOL!   But all things considered, it's a good introduction back into the world or working-for-someone-else.  I've been self-employed for several years now.  It's only 4 hours a day if you don't count the drive to and from the parking lot and the time I wait for and ride the bus to my place of employment on campus.  I have to park clear on the other side of campus!

I have to admit that the touch screen program that I use is still a bit confusing to me but they gave me a radio so that I can yell "HELP" when I get stuck!  And I did!  Several times!  But they asked me back!  So that's a good sign.

As new as all this was, I was very surprised that I wasn't the least bit nervous!  Even when I jammed up the line because I pushed the wrong button on the touch screen and I had about 30 hungry students standing there staring at me with that "you are such a dork" look on their faces.  LOL!  It was really nice to not be nervous.  I haven't figured out if it was all the peace of God or the just the fact that I'm just too old to get embarrassed about most things.  But it sure felt good to be at peace, even in the midst of a totally new and challenging situation.  God is so good!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful-Day 25 (The First Day of the Week)

Today is Sunday, the first day of the week.  Although life is simply a pile of days that run right into one another, it's nice to be able to break them down into weeks, to separate them into 7 day increments for the purpose of organization and reflection.  Sundays are the days of new beginnings, a chance to put the last 7 day behind and to look ahead to a clean slate of manageable time.  A chance to separate what is passed and what can be to come!

The greatest new beginning happened on none other than the first day of the week.  Scripture tells us that it was on the first day of the week that Christ rose from the dead, thus completing the great plan of redemption for all mankind through the resurrection of Jesus Christ  to new life.  The first day of the week often gives us a fresh start, a new perspective, a renewed hope.

There may be weeks when things are hard for us and the first day of the week only brings us closer to some grim reality that we do not want to face.  But if we have put our trust in the one who rose triumphant on the first day of the week, we know that a fresh start is coming!  We can see life from a new realistic perspective and can live in renewed hope that truly Sunday is coming and it will open up a lifetime of days that will be glorious!

Thankful-Day 24 (Seasons)

Today we had our first indication that winter is on the way.  Cold winds chilled the bones as we took our dog for a spin around the park.  Even my hubby was cold, a rare occurrence.  I don't like the ice on slippery roads but I have to say that winter can be a beautiful season here.  Snow lays on pine trees, sticks to leafless trees and allows the wind to swirl it into beautiful patters as it covers everything with a thick blanket of clean, white loveliness.  Each year, where we live, there is a vivid reminder that not only does our valley have four seasons that come and go as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but there is the reminder that all of us go through seasons of life.  Within each season are the things that are difficult or frustrating, but along with that there is always so much beauty that can be found, if you are truly looking.   

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Still Penn State Proud!

After an unprecedented year of college football, the Pennsylvania State University football team won their last game at home in front of a crowd of over 90,000 people bringing their season record to 8-4, something no one thought they would pull off.  Playing amidst the media hype, the extreme NCAA sanctions meant to not hurt the innocent but which hurt this innocent team of guys beyond belief,  the defection of key team members (who we ended up not missing after all),  playing under an entirely different coach with a totally new coaching philosophy after saying good-bye (twice) to a legend beloved by them all, while keeping up with their academics (several of them are multiple year academic all Americans with 4.0 averages) speaks of the kind of young men that Penn State prides itself in building.  This team rose from the proverbial ashes like the mighty mountain lion that their mascot represents.  They played with heart.  They played with emotion.  They gave it their all to represent all that they knew to be good about Penn State, State College, and yes America-Joe Paterno.   Bill O'Brien has received many accolades, as well he should.  He was handed a royal mess and created a masterpiece.  However, he gives credit to the young men, especially the seniors, who chose to stay and finish their collegiate football careers at the university that they had come to love.  Their character, loyalty, and sacrifice moved Coach O'Brien to tears many times through the season.  Without this particular group of young men, Bill O'Brien's first year as head coach of a college team would not have been the success that it was.

And then there's Sam Ficken.  Sam Ficken, the sophomore kicker who was forced to step up after Penn State's kicker left the team and the backup kicker was also dropped from the roster.  After a start so shakey that Penn State choose to take a chance on 4th down rather than let him attempt a field goal, it is just poetic justice that it was him that scored the last points, a 37 yard field goal,  that Penn State would score this season to win their season finale at Beaver Stadium.  He, like the rest of his team, had his own personal resurrection  from the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory embodying the Penn State football story of 2012.  He was a true inspiration!

As much as has been written of the goings on in our small town,  much of it subjective and even fictitious rhetoric that was sensationalized to advance the news media's agenda which ended up damaging and hurting an entire community and a world class university, there is still one thing that needs to be remembered but which will not be written by any member of the news media outside of our charming community.  We must take a look back beyond the scandal, the trial, the pending trials, the hiring of Bill O'Brien, and the NCAA sanctions that were pivotal in this whole story.

Those young men whose character, spirit, and fortitude so impressed their new coach were built by the direct influence of  none other than Joe Paterno.  So even though he was not here to witness the impressive season these young men managed to pull off, it is as much a tribute to him as it is to them.  The world can think what they want about this man who became the media's scapegoat but it was his investment in these young men that made them the men they proved themselves to be through all the adversity of this year.  To me, it just seems fitting that the last team of young men privileged to be coached by the greatest college football coach of all time would produce perhaps the most amazing accomplishment of any college football team in a very long time.

Congratulations PSU Nittany Lions!  You have shown the world what those of us who live and work in this area already understand-what "Penn State Proud" truly means!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful -Day 23 (Leftovers)

Most people I know doing the "thankful" thing are now done since Thanksgiving has come and gone but I thought "what the heck", why not just finish out the month!  It's a good writing prompt and as you all know by now I need all the practice I can get AND it does a body good to find at least one thing in each day to be thankful for!

Today I am extremely thankful for leftovers!  This really does not require any explanation!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful-Day 22 (Early Morning Quiet)


It's early in the morning.  The only thing stirring are the finches flying in and out of the feeder and the noisy blue jays who are increasingly perplexed by the new feeder I have hung up just for them.  They are such bullies, but yet beautiful.  So I strung a slinky on a coat hanger making a round tube and filled it with peanuts in the shell, which they love, so that they would focus on that instead of pushing all the other birds away from the other feeder.  Beyond being tempting, it is also a bit more challenging for them and I delight in watching all the different ways they find to get them out.  I have had many giggle filled mornings watching them navigate it.  Even my husband now lays in the window with me to watch.  (More on that later, after I charge up the battery to my camera!)

I love the early morning.  It's too cold now to grab a hot cup of tea and slip out to the deck in my jammies, so I just grab my Bible or a book and stay snuggled under the covers a little longer and enjoy the peace of no phones, no timers, and no children going "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom...", well you get the picture.  Somehow it just seems in the early morning that everything is as it should be as if night and sleep smooths over all the rough edges of the day before.  The sky is bright with color as the sun comes up over the mountains that I love so much and it bathes everything with a rosy colored hue.  When the sun does peep up from it's place behind the skyline, it causes the frost to glisten as if the yard is full of diamonds.  It's nice to start each day out with something beautiful.

Okay, now it's time to jump into the craziness with both feet!  Dinner is at 2:00!

For my international readers that are not familiar with Thanksgiving, it is a day when we eat way too much!  LOL!  One of our presidents declared a day of thanks as a national holiday to remember our history and those that forged the path that founded our nation and to be thankful to God for blessing this nation the way that He has.  The pilgrims shared a feast with the Indians, thus the tradition of the food.

The menu:
Turkey with stuffing and giblet gravy
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on top
cranberry sauce (personally I think this stuff is gross, but hey, it's tradition!)
Green bean casserole
fresh baked rolls
fruit salad
deviled eggs (these are wrongly named because they are heavenly!)
apple dumplings
pumpkin pie
shoofly pie
coffee and an assortment of other beverages (non-alcoholic!)
fun times with family whom we rarely see
Leftovers!  ( I won't have to cook for several days!  I intentionally make extra so that I actually get a holiday after working like a mule on the holiday!  LOL!)

Thankful-Day 21 (Fullness and Firefighting)

I started this post early in the morning yesterday and here it is today and the post still sits pretty much empty.  So as I sat here reviewing the day yesterday I realized that my day was really, really full.  I had it pretty much planned out beforehand, but as usual all the empty spaces soon became filled with urgent needs that couldn't wait until today.  The time management gurus warn us about waiting to complete tasks til the last minute or getting sucked into other's people's procrastination (commonly referred to as "fires").   I try to heed these things by working at least  a day ahead as much as is humanly possible.  So yesterday I baked 2 pans of apple dumplings, 2 pumpkin pies, and a shoofly pie.  Then I mixed up a mega batch of bread dough for rolls and put it in the refrigerator to rise.  I peeled a huge bag of russet potatoes and put them in cold water on the back deck.  Then I peeled another bag of sweet potatoes.  I made fruit salad and cut up the bread for the stuffing.  That sounds like a lot but I had plotted my plan of attack out so that everything was evenly spaced enough that I could fix dinner and have times of rest along the way.

First thing in the morning I got a call asking me if I would be interested in working a part-time temporary job that starts this Monday!  I said yes.  This required me to have to go out and purchase two pair of pants that are required for this position.  (Seriously I am a dedicated Black Friday boycott-er and didn't want to be out trying to buy pants for work in the madness of this shopping weekend!  I'm spending black Friday at the shooting range!)  That is no easy task as I am very tall and finding pants long enough is a minor miracle.  But I managed to find some fairly quickly but it wasn't something I was planning on doing so my time schedule got a little more scrunched.  (That's partly my fault to because I got distracted by the toy department.  I can't help it!  I'm a Grandma!  And Christmas is coming!)

Then in the midst of the pie making, the appliance repairman called to inform me that my part was in and he would be right over to fix the dishwasher.  This meant that I had to move all of my fixin's to another area in the kitchen which meant 2 messes instead of one.  As he was finishing up the repair and was waiting for me to write him a check, my son called.  He was stranded at a store because they wouldn't take his mac card for payment.  I had transferred money earlier that morning, but the bank had not worked their magic yet to make the money available so I had to call the bank and then call him back.  In the meantime, the oven timer began to ring to inform me that the pies were done and needed removed!  And to add to everything else, my husband chose that same time to be under the table repairing a wobbly leg to insure that Thanksgiving dinner didn't end up on the floor or in someones lap.    (I really didn't mind because he had graciously gone to the church to retrieve an extra table and chairs and then made a butter run as well-something he hates to do!)

Now most people would call that busy but if you've read any of my thoughts on this before, that is not a word that I allow in my vocabulary.  I prefer to look at my life as FULL!  Full of people who need, love and appreciate me.  Full of blessings like automatic dishwashers and ovens that bake delicious goodies for my family.  Full of relatives that we actually want around enough that we're willing to extend our dinner table into the living room in order to accommodate everyone.  Full of the bounty of God's provision.  Yes, sometimes those blessings cause "fires" that demand my immediate attention but oh how lonely life would be if there were never any of them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful-Day 20 (The Alternate Universe)

There is a show on the sportsman's network that we always tease our youngest son about by saying that it is his t.v. show.  It's called "Out There T.V."  You see, our youngest son is very creative, random, and unique and you just never really know where he is coming from or where he is going with something.  We have, through the years, seriously pondered the question "is he even human or did aliens invade his body and take over?"  LOL!  And because he's 16 (that age when adults know nothing and teens know everything), we struggle to know what alternate universe he is a part of because he totally misses the reality of this one on a regular basis.  This causes him to make some pretty odd and sometimes disturbing choices.

The past few weeks have seen some very disturbing, unsettling things happening around the globe.   Even non-spiritual people are wondering "What in the world is going on?"  World events are shaping up in such a way that people are worrying.  Many are preparing for the great Apocalypse,  even though they don't know what that is.  Some think it will come in the form of disease, others believe it will be a nuclear holocaust, civil war or an extreme natural disaster.  Reality shows like Doomsday Preppers and organizations formed to promote and supply underground shelters, bug-out bags, and extended food/survival supplies are popping up all over!  People are seeing the handwriting on the wall and endeavoring to prepare for the unseen that they feel is looming in the near future.  I just wish that they would take as much thought, preparation and care with their spiritual lives.

For the Christian, an alternate universe is already our reality.  We are "not of this world".  Yes, we live in it but we are not "of it".  Thank the Lord!  Yes, we suffer along with the rest of the world in many ways.  We are not strangers to calamity, sorrow, pain, or suffering nor  are we exempt from them.  In the end, what we endured on this earth is not what will matter, but rather, how we endured it.

Today I am thankful that when this present universe gets too overwhelming I can instantly remember that this is not my reality.  My reality lies within the universe of God's Word.  It is a universe that supersedes any and all that happens in this one.  It is also a universe that can overcome this one both on a personal and a more broad level.  God's reality lifts me above the things of this earth's reality.  It allows me to see more clearly and completely so that I can have a greater understanding of what I am experiencing in this one.  It offers wisdom on how to live while I'm here and gives me peace in knowing that the troubling things of this world are temporary.  There is coming a day when the world will be at complete peace because the Prince of Peace is coming in great power and glory to establish His kingdom on earth.  But for me, I am already a citizen of that Kingdom of peace and rest.  While the world roars and whirls all around me, my King has spoken "peace, be still" to the storm and it does not touch me.  My heart is at peace.  Truly I can sing:

"When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, God has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful-Day 19 (God's Provision)

Well, I can tell that Christmas is coming!  It almost seems as if we have an unwritten law that something major goes wrong right before Christmas.  This year, instead of a vehicle (our normal mode of operation), it's the dishwasher.  So here we sit, should we spend half what it would cost us to get a new one on a part or should we just bite the bullet and get a new one.  I've come to the conclusion that dishwashers and garbage disposals are a bad investment.  My garbage disposal hasn't worked in two years.  It just sits there and now backs up into the dishwasher which isn't draining either because it has no power.  So every now and then (about once a day) I get to scoop a couple of gallons of stinky water out of the dishwasher before it runs all over the floor and onto the carpet!  You see, if I run too much rinse water while I'm washing the dishes by hand, that causes the problem.

So added to the fact that I am not currently teaching any piano lessons which usually funds the little we actually do to celebrate the holidays, things are looking a bit dismal on paper.  I saved through the year but more pressing needs always seemed to steal a little here and take a little there and there just isn't much left in my cow can (where I keep the Christmas money) except IOU's from several family members who had fallen on hard times.

Now you're probably thinking that I'm not very thankful today.  NOT TRUE!  You see, in spite of these complications (piddly in the grand scheme of things when I realize that a large portion of the world is starving to death, displaced from their homes, being bombed or laying on a sidewalk somewhere dying because they don't have money to get into hospital-I mean really, us Americans need to get a grip), I know that I will not be without what I need.  God ALWAYS provides what I need, when I need it.  I will never forget a sermon I heard once about Jehovah Jireh-the God who provides.  The word implies that God goes ahead of us and leaves us provision at every point of need so that when we get to that place, our provision is already waiting on us.  What a good Father He is!  I have found this to be true through the years, not just with financial needs either.  He has always provided everything I need no matter if it is financial, emotional, or spiritual and His provision has always been exactly perfect!

You know, Christmas will come and go and soon be forgotten by most but nothing about the reason for the celebration changes!   He is always and will remain unchanging and completely faithful and trustworthy.  The message of peace on earth and good will to mankind (from God) will still ring loudly in my heart as I sit and ponder the miraculous wonder of God incarnate in human flesh.  I mean seriously, that is a mind blower!  And I can rest assured that I will not be in need this Christmas because He is in charge of taking care of me.  It may not be what we usually do this year but if I know anything about my heavenly Father it will be enough.  In fact, it will probably be better in a lot of ways than I could ever imagine!  That's just the way He is!

Just having my family around me with all the chaos that it creates makes any day memorable and I'm sure that after all the festivities are over, the wrapping paper is thrown away, the Christmas tree lights are extinguished and everyone has gone home for the night, when I walk into the kitchen and take a look around at all the dirty dishes,  that part to fix the dishwasher that God provided will seem like the best present of all!  :-)

UPDATE:  11-21-2012  I just got a temporary job for 4 weeks at the local university!   Hmmm.....interesting timing? I don't think so!  God truly is good to those who love Him and put their trust in Him!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful-Day 18 (True, Blue, I Know You Friends)

Today I am thankful for friends.  Not the facebook kind of friends, but true, blue, I know you kind of friends.  I've been blessed with many of those through the years and just let me say that life has been so much happier, easier and fulfilling because of them.  They fall into all ages, denominations and social statuses.    Can I share about them with you?

There's my church ladies.  Our church is full of wonderful, diverse ladies and I love every single one of them!  They are all so different but somehow we all just seem to mesh.  I love these ladies for so many different reasons.  They all love God and that is what brings us together.  As a Pastor's wife, I don't have the worry that so many in my position have when it comes to "cm's" (congregation members).  I can just be myself and they love me in spite of it, as I do them even though we are quick to jump to one anothers aid when one of our weaknesses becomes obvious.  Some don't say much, but they are quick to give a smile or a hug when they know I could use one.  Others just are full of good deeds and seem to have this ESP about what to do and exactly when to do it.  Others I don't spend a lot of time with but their interactions with me are so practically simple and pertinent that I don't know what I would do without them.  Some just pour into my spiritual life without even knowing they are doing it.   When we all get together, it's a sure bet that it will be a good time.  They all love to laugh, play and pray and mostly our gatherings include a little of all three.

There's my "old" friends.  Not old in age, but longevity of our friendship.  Some of these are the ones that awe me the most.  I have a  couple of friends of over 25 years that I rarely ever see or talk to.  There is the Christmas card, an occasional birthday card, an email or two and if we're really being "diligent" a phone call once a year.  Every coon's age or so (that's mountain lingo for every couple of years), we may cross paths by traveling through on our way to somewhere and stop for lunch and a chat.   The thing that amazes me the most about these girls is that no matter how long it is between actual conversations, it never seems as if we've ever been apart.  Even with a span of 15 years between this conversation and our last, we just pick up where we left off last time.  I LOVE these kinds of friends!  These are the kind that really know you so well that they know you down to the fuzz that covers your heart and relate to you on that level no matter how much time has passed or what has transpired in your life.   They know ultimately what really makes you tick, what is the essence of who you really are.  They are a rare gift.  I just happen to be blessed with several of these kinds of friends.  A true extravagance in good fortune and blessing, in my book.

Then there's the smaller crowd.  I have several "little" friends.  These are mostly children of my church lady friends.  There's just nothing like finding a plastic baggy with a hand drawn card with a message that just makes your heart feel like a newly poured cup of hot chocolate with a big, gooey marshmallow floating on the top.  Inside there may be a primitively shaped cookie,  a necklace made from macaroni or purchased from the discount store that was purchased with prized birthday, leaf raking or babysitting money.  You can bet it didn't come easy!  These are the truly "priceless" gifts and I am so blessed to be the object of their generosity and love.

Then there's the friends I've never met.  What, you say??? How can that be?  With the dawn of technology there are these things called blogs, chat rooms, and groups of every shape and size you can imagine.  And crazily enough I have made some pretty neat friends with people I've never actually seen in person.  There's my Pastor's wives group and my Cafemom friend who I playfully call "the best friend I've never met".  We just connect on the level that counts the most-Christ, His Word, and how to practically live out this life in a way that honors and glorifies Him!

And I'd be remiss not to mention my sister, although she is not technically a "friend".  She is my blood relation but never has anyone ever found such a loyal, loving, caring friend as her!  She ALWAYS has my back.  She ALWAYS tells me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it.  She ALWAYS makes me laugh.

I don't know how people with no friends make it through life.  They miss out on so much!  Friends are the fancy, gawdy, funny, colorful, necessary embellishments of life!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful-Day 17 (The Birds and the Bees)

Aha!  You thought I was going to talk about sex didn't you?  LOL!   Sorry to disappoint you!  I am thankful for all the beautiful creation that God has made.  This time of year, I'm thankful for the beautiful leaves.

And I'm thankful that I have these to rake them up!

(They are about twice this size now, but this is the most recent photo I have of them together.  I'll fix that this week!)

I'm thankful for the beautiful sunsets we see this time of year too.  This one was so brilliant, it shone into our kitchen and for a moment we thought there was a fire in the kitchen. (Not an unfamiliar occurrence at our home! LOL!) 

And for the beautiful skies during the day.  

I'm thankful for my happy valley with it's beautiful valleys and majestic mountains that surround us and often protect us by breaking up weather fronts that would look to dump on us. 

 It reminds me of that verse in scripture "as the mountains are around Jerusalem, the Lord surrounds His people from this day forth and forevermore." Psalm 125:2

For all the beauty that I see everyday, in every season.  Things that cause me to stop and stare.

The delicate dogwood blossoms on a tree we share with our neighbors
The dinner plate daisies that remind me of my mother.

The unique faces of the pansies in my garden

This was God's fireworks display on July 4th.
The variety found in these poinsettas

This Old Man Winter's face that nature carves by the stream edge

The little embellishments of  nature.  This day the stream looked as if it had been lined with eyelet.  

The beautiful valley between two mountain ranges

There's also the birds that visit the feeder every morning-the loud and comical blue jays, the elegant cardinal couples, the quirky nuthatches, chickadees and sparrows, the soft muted beauty of the juncos; and even the sheen of the occasional crow ; 

the antics of the golden retriever who daily enriches my life and makes me feel so very loved (and sometimes used-LOL  I'm not sure who's actually in charge when it comes to her); the owl that often sits right above me when I sneak outside to the deck for a late night chat with my sister who is 3 time zones away;  the swallows that dance around me as I mow, catching all the insects that are blown into the air with the grass; the tenacious squirrel who is determined to get to my bird feeder even at the expense of his own health and safety-he falls more than he succeeds but he keeps coming back for more; and yes, I can even appreciate the beauty and disgusting distinctiveness of Mr. Stinkypants who is probably in skunk heaven by now.  (I didn't ask the trapper what happened to him.  I only know he was alive and breathing when he left our property.)

And all the beautiful fruit of the "birds and the bees":


Extended family

Husbands  (I sure love this man!)

 And, the most wonderful thing...........Grandchildren!  (Isn't he just a little slice of heaven?)

There is so much more that I could mention, but the leaf-rakers are on duty today so I am going to fill them up with chocolate chip pancakes before I send them out the door.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful-Day 16 (Joy and Laughter)

Life has not been very kind to me in some ways through the years and certainly not very kind to me this week, but I have learned that there is this thing called laughter that truly is good medicine!  Imagine if God had not created us to laugh!  Life would be unbearable without comic relief!  Religion would be torture without the joy that the Holy Spirit brings to us!  Let's face it folks.  There is something funny that can be found in even the gravest of situations that just helps to lighten the load a little.

Of course, being a Christian lends itself to this much more readily because:
-we never face problems alone.  We have the God of all the universe working on our behalf.  He knows the best solution to every one of them!
-this life is temporary and no matter how bad things get, all of the bad things put together are but a blink of an eye compared to the  wonderfulness awaiting us in heaven.

God has placed so many things in my life that make me laugh.
   -three teenagers
   -a husband who just says things in a way that makes me laugh
   -a very silly and cute grandson
   -a dog who seems to have at least one psychotic episode everyday
   -lots of friends (both young and old) that always bring a smile or some funny perspective
   -the goofy things that I observe people doing and saying on a daily basis if I pay attention
I even find the Bible funny!  Not to sound irreverent, but when I read I get mental pictures of things like "their eyeballs stand out with fatness"  or "her belly is as a bushel of wheat" and it makes me giggle.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful-Day 15 (Providence)

I am thankful for God's providence.  Providence is the manipulation of natural means to achieve a divine purpose.  Sometimes God will just manipulate our natural world so that we end up at the right place at the right time.  That happened to me yesterday.  I "strayed" from my normal course of action concerning something I do quite often, for no apparent reason except that I gave someone involved a choice that I don't normally offer and they took me up on it.  Turns out, it put me in a place that I wouldn't normally have been just at a time when it was important for me to be there.

How many times do we as Christians say to one another "well thank goodness so and so...or things wouldn't have turned out so good"; or "it just so happened that..."   Yesterday I found myself saying "thank God I was there and was able to help."  As one who believes that God goes before me, with me and behind me, is there really such a thing as a coincidence?  Are there really "just so happens?"   Wouldn't it be much more realistic and comforting to know that we live in the providence of God and know that God is "working all things" so that we will be provided for in every situation and even used to by Him to further His kingdom and plan.  That thought just adds a few cups of significance to the recipe of my life and it reminds me just how attentive God is to every detail of my life and is working all things "for my good."  And for that I am thankful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful- Day 14 (Grace, Angels, and Driver's Ed)

Today I am thankful for the grace of God!  I don't define grace as just "unmerited favor" that leaves me in a position of thinking that I have the favor of God no matter how I live.  I don't believe that is a full definition.  I believe that the Bible defines grace as unmerited favor from God that enables and empowers us to live above sin and walk in holy living!  Every now and then we are put in a situation where we really find that out, like yesterday!

In the past my kids have taken a two-part driver's education class that is offered by the school.  There is the classroom part where they show you scary movies about car accidents and go through the driver's manual.  Then there is the "in-car" part where they take you on a range and let you drive around, learn to do 3-point turns and to parallel park.  By the time I get them, they have already driven a little.  Due to budget cuts by the state, they started to charge for the in-car training and it was just way out of our budget to pay for it.  Unfortunately I forgot that my son didn't take it so when he got his permit yesterday, I let him drive us home.  The poor boy had never driven anything except a Need for Speed car on playstation so you can imagine how terrifying it was-both for him and for me.  We only ran off the road once, we didn't hit anything and I feel assured that I do not have a yet to be diagnosed heart condition!  LOL!  In spite of how terrified I was in that car with him, the grace of God helped my demeanor to remain calm, encouraging and soft even though inside my common sense was telling me to "jump!"

That's what grace will do.  It will help you remain calm in times when fear would normally take over.  It will help you respond in a Godly way when your flesh is fighting with all it's might to take over.  It will keep you from doing something that you will have to repent of and apologize for later.  And it will help you in those times when you make a bad decision or just plain forgot and end up somewhere that was really not where you should have been.

And also, today, as an added bonus-I am thankful for angels!  They really got a workout yesterday and they didn't fail us!  LOL!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thankful - Day 13 (Healing)

I am thankful for the healing provided me through the stripes Christ bore.  Healing is a controversial subject, even among church people.  I don't know why.  It's so plain in scripture that healing is part of the atonement but while many freely avail themselves of salvation from sin,  healing is viewed as a subject lost inside the mysterious sovereignty of God.   If you really give the subject a good look-see in scripture you will see that healing is just as easily obtained as salvation through faith in the atoning blood of Christ.

"But, many are not healed!".  I hear this all the time.  Many are not saved either!  That doesn't mean that they couldn't have been or that God didn't want them to be!

 "It's God's sovereign will that so-and-so died.  Look at all the wonderful things that happened as a result."   God's will is revealed through His Word.  If it is His will that all be saved, then it has to be His will that all be healed!  "It is not His will that ANY perish...!)

Am I saying that God wants to heal everyone all the time?  YES!  I am!     The problem does not lie with Him, it lies with us!  Anything we receive from God is by faith!  "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Biblical hope is a sure thing!  If I have faith for something, it is a sure thing, even if that thing is not seen yet.  Even if worldly wisdom or doctors are telling me something different.  But it is true.  Not all are healed but there are reasons, also so plain in scripture, why sometimes healing does not come.  None of them are because God did not want or will it to be so.  Jesus NEVER denied one single person healing that came in faith.  He never told anyone that they were sick because God was teaching them a lesson or that He had a higher purpose in it.  He just healed them to the glory of God.

"Well, we are all healed in heaven."  NO we're not!  We don't need healing in heaven!  Heaven is not healing!  We are changed in heaven!  We have a new body in heaven, one that never did or ever will need healing!  Healing of sickness which is a direct result of the sinful world in which we live, is for the here and now!  It was provided through the atonement because it is a direct result of sin.  There was no sickness until there was sin!  It is the work of the devil, not God!

Even the human body is a testament of God's will to heal.  Our bodies naturally does everything it can to heal itself.  Antiseptics and band-aids do not heal us.  The healing comes from within.

Take an honest look at scripture and see for yourself that healing is yours, it is for today and it is for WHATEVER ails you!  Let the faith building nature of the Word build your faith to believe for healing and health!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful-Day 12 (Al Gore & the Internet)

I'm thankful for Al Gore-because HE "invented" the internet!  LOL!  Truthfully I am thankful for the internet.  With all of it's pitfalls and temptations, it is a remarkable tool.   It helps me keep in better touch with those I care about.   I'm a sanguine.  People are important to me.  The internet lets me share more of my sister's life.  She lives far away!  I've never even been to her house but I can see photos and videos of her crazy turkeys and it makes me feel a little more connected.   It has provided me with many wonderful recipes that my family loves.  It has given me many gift ideas that I can actually afford.  It has let me explore far away places that I can only dream of visiting without having to sit on the hard floor of Barnes and Noble.  I can just curl up on my bed and go anywhere I please.  Maybe this doesn't sound too spiritual, but life's pleasures are also a gift from God who desires us to live in joy here on the earth and to enjoy all the wonderful things He has created and provided us.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful-Day 11 (Modern Day Heroes-Our Veterans)

Thankful for veterans, for people who count an ideal worthy of their own sacrifice, even if that sacrifice costs them their life.  They are really BIG people in my view.   Much like my Savior who did not consider his life worth saving so that others could live.  We need more people like this in the world.  I strive to be one myself.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful-Day 10 (Hope-A Sure Thing!)

I'm thankful for hope.  And not just because the American president election didn't end as I would have preferred!  LOL!  I'm thankful that God's kind of hope is not a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-will kind of hope, but an assurance of things to come.  So no matter what situation I find myself in, God's Word gives me hope in that situation for the intervention, help, and blessing of God.  And if not in this life there is a greater hope-the return of Jesus Christ to set up His kingdom on this earth!  "Comfort one another with these words."  Eternity is coming and is now here for the believer!  No matter what we suffer in this life, it is not even a blink of an eye in eternity and will seem very, very insignificant.  I'm sure we'll wonder why we took it all so seriously!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankful- Day 9 (Family Chaos)

I'm thankful for family.  Yesterday was a birthday so the whole family gathered together to eat and celebrate.  As usual, it was total chaos.  The kitchen was a mess from dinner preparations, the grandson had toys all over the living room and my plastic containers all pulled from the shelf of the pantry onto the floor.  There were 3 conversations going on at once in our tiny living room.  My grandson, who is much like our golden retriever in that he likes to know where everyone is at all times would toddle down the hall yelling "Mimi, Mimi" when I would go to another room.  When I unloaded the dishwasher, he had to help, handing me one dish at a time until they were all put away.  Every time the freezer door would open he would come running yelling "I, I" because he has discovered that ice is fun to eat.  Because I have 3 teenagers there were the usual body noises, the outbursts of laughter, the petty arguing and playful teasing as they attempted to establish themselves in the pecking order.   In general, it was pretty chaotic.  For some, this would be a very disturbing scene but as I looked around the room it struck me that all this was a product of love.  Love between a husband and a wife, a father and a mother, a brother and a sister.  And I thought of the family of God.  They too are a product of love and it's such a great blessing to be a part of it!  To call the God of all the universe "Father" is a blessing beyond imagination!  To have a big brother like Christ is wonderful!  To be part of the largest loving family the world has ever known is incredible!  I am truly blessed and thankful!

Now, I have to go and tackle that kitchen!  LOL!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful-Day 8 (My "Ever Present")

I'm thankful for the omnipresence of God.  It's so easy to forget sometimes that God is everywhere and aware of everything.  And as a believer, He is resident....in me!  What a thought!  I am never alone, never left on my own, never without help, strength, wisdom, forgiveness, love, mercy and peace!  Sometimes I forget that He is so near, but He still is.  He is "my ever present..." God.  Ever faithful.  Ever true.  Ever perfect.  Ever willing.  Ever able.  Ever steadfast.  My ever present God!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful-Day 7 (The Great American Mistake!)

I'm thankful that the election is over!  I'm thankful that the outcome, although not at all what I prefer, does not determine the quality of my life!  I'm thankful that the one I follow, who truly determines everything about my life is faithful, true, perfect and the ultimate power and authority!  I'm thankful that even in the midst of disappointment I can have perfect peace and unspeakable joy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mormon or Muslim?

It is a sad indictment of the Christian church in America when my choices of viable candidates for the office of president are between a Mormon and a Muslim. (I don't care what the president says he is, his actions prove otherwise.  The proof of true belief is found in our actions and his profession and performance don't line up.)   However, it is a no-brainer as to which one of those two to choose.

I am a Christian first and an American second.  My first priority is the Kingdom of God-what honors it, what advances it, what promotes it.  Everything I do MUST be done with that in mind.  If I truly love God I will vote for whatever is most beneficial to His kingdom.  If I love my country, then my vote will be for the candidate whose platform most closely resembles God's platform so that the blessing of God may be on America. (God's funny that way.  If you want His blessing, you have to play by His rules.  He can get away with it because HE'S GOD for heaven's sake and He knows what's best!)  "Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people."  Prov. 14:34

So since I cannot vote for a man or woman filled with the Spirit of God to lead this nation then I will follow the advice of the founding fathers and choose the most moral one.  And even though some of the moral issues are cloudy between the two candidates, I will choose the one who best exhibits moral behavior, common sense, and who seems to see the big picture clearly.  No matter what anyone will try to argue, a man's morals define his actions.  Our morals form the foundation of how we live.  If I have no morals I do not exhibit moral behavior unless it benefits me in some way which is not morality at all but selfishness.  A self-centered, self-serving man in the highest office of a country is detrimental to all.

I will choose the one that values life-both of the unborn and of the living.

I will choose the one that values Israel because those who bless her are blessed of God.  (The only reason, I believe, that God has not already judged America for her wickedness, apostasy and sin.)

I will choose the one that will support laws that allow freedom of religious practice as long as they remain within the principles of freedom established by the founding fathers.

And to those professing Christians who will vote otherwise today- who will vote for a man who openly denies Christ in word and deed, who openly supports and promotes policies that are a stench in the nostrils of God, who places no value on the lives of the unborn, who chose to honor his re-election campaign over  the lives of 4 Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice, called them "bumps in the road" and then tried to cover it up,  who encourages "revenge", who cannot find time for our closest ally in a time of crisis but can find time to appear on every late night talk show that will have him, who never says the same thing twice when talking of policy or promise- I say SHAME ON YOU!

I have no idea how this will all turn out.  Even the "experts" can't predict it.  And that saddens me because this election in this so-called Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian values shouldn't even be close.  It is a poignant indictment of the Christian church.  We are not doing our job. We are guilty of dereliction of duty!  We are not promoting Christ in our services, teaching or sermons.  If we were, this election would not even be close.  American church, get a clue!  We are not changing our world.  Instead our world is changing us.

May God have mercy on America!

Thankful-Day 6 (America)

I am thankful that I live in America.  It's not the perfect place.  That's reserved for Christ's kingdom but America is an awesome place to live!  I'm thankful that I can vote and my vote counts for something.  People can criticize her but she is still the greatest nation on earth!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Read the Bible in a Year Programs

A friend added me to a "Read the Bible in a Year" group at the beginning of the year because she knows I love to read the Bible.  However, I've never been a fan of one year Bible reading programs for a variety of reasons.  I thought about deleting myself from the group but decided instead to hang around and just observe. I was hoping to get some insights from the others in the group.  Instead most of the discussion was about how far ahead or far behind they were and what they were going to do to catch up.  I was hoping there would be more discussion of the contents of the Word itself.  Many felt guilty because they had fallen behind what another person had prescribed for them from the Word.  I know their intentions were noble and God-honoring, but I seriously question the method.  Read the Bible in a year programs seem to be like most New Year's resolutions-good intentioned but something that pitters out pretty quickly.

I've never quite understood what the magic was of reading the Bible in a year.  I do know some people have become rich selling one year reading plans, Bibles, and programs as if reading the Bible in a year is some sort of spiritual victory.  I guess maybe it is for some people, but I never really understood it.  I really don't think that being able to say "I read the whole Bible this year" impresses God that much.  I think He's more concerned with what I did with what I read.

  Ministers of previous years read the Bible several times a year.  Why can't we do the same thing?  Surely we can't say that we have less time than they did!  We have so many more "time-saving" appliances and technology!  That should leave us more time for Bible reading!  And if we don't have time to read the Bible and we say we are Christian then we need to get our priorities right or take a serious look at our spiritual condition.  Our time with God, our relationship with God IS our first priority.  There is nothing and no one that is more important.  If I never just focused on spending time with my husband because I was so busy doing things for him, our relationship would gradually grow more cold and distant until eventually we really wouldn't have much of a relationship at all.

After thinking and observing over the last year I've come to the conclusion that there are pros and cons to following these types of programs.

The Pros
-For undisciplined or those weak in faith, this may be helpful. You may end up spending more time in the Word than if you didn't use it.  However, reading without the desire or expectation of spiritual revelation is just that...reading.  Jesus condemned the Pharisees many times for knowing but not understanding the law.

-Reading the whole Bible can help you get the whole picture when it comes to God's character and what is truly God's heart.

-After reading all of it you will know that the Bible does not say "the Lord helps those who help themselves" or "spare the rod, spoil the child", or "money is the root of all evil",  and that Jesus, not Abraham Lincoln came up with "a house divided against itself cannot stand"

-When used as a SUPPLEMENT to your devotional life (not making it your devotional life) it could enrich you spiritually.

The Cons
-For the undisciplined or those weak in faith, it may become a badge of honor in that you successfully read a pre-packaged passage and check it off your list making you feel more spiritual (as if works will somehow contribute to your salvation).  Sorry, it doesn't.  The rich young ruler was very disciplined in his religious activity but got rejected when attempting to enter the Kingdom of God.

-Using someone else's list of daily readings cancels out what the Holy Spirit may have planned for you. Most people would choose a fresh meal as opposed to a pre-packaged frozen meal that you can microwave and eat quickly.  For me, one-year reading programs seem like settling for a frozen meal.  Why not pray and find out what is fresh on the menu just for you that day?

-It's too easy to get caught up in the program and forget the purpose of the program.  Honestly what is the purpose of the program?  To read the whole Bible in a year.  Very few have a specific spiritual purpose in mind other than just reading all the words and being able to say you did it.  For the task oriented person or the very competitive person it would be hard to keep the main thing the main thing.

-For the undisciplined and weak in faith person, this is not a remedy for the deeper lying problem of not hungering for the Word of God.  That is a heart problem and can only be settled with God in repentance and  prayer.

 I came to the conclusion that one year programs were surely not for me.  Although there are some years that I didn't read the whole Bible in a year because I spent extended amounts of time studying a certain topic, book, or person, I usually do read the whole bible in a year without a program or the feeling that I have some kind of daily obligation to a program.

 I've heard so many times that one year reading program help to keep a person accountable.  Accountable to what?  We are accountable to God whether we are in a group or not.  For me, that is all the motivation I need!  Is there any better way to be accountable?  And believe me, if we do not keep accountable to God, the devil will come knocking with temptations, problems and lies of every kind.  Can we really afford that?

A healthy Christian will love the Word and have no problem finding time to read it everyday.  In fact, I find that not only do I want to read each day,  I NEED it every day-many days more than once a day-just like I need to eat food more than once a day. (I do however eat a pre-planned natural food menu but that's only because it saves me time, money and trips to the grocery store!  I hate to shop!)

If you use these programs, I'm not condemning you.  It's just not for me at all.
- Because I often get stuck in passages of scripture, using a reading plan would frustrate me more than benefit me.  I would want to stay put and the program would be pushing me forward.
- Because I want to hear the Spirit's voice for myself I would rather pray and discover where in the Word I'm supposed to be.  I don't want to eat green beans on a day when chocolate cake is on the menu!
-Because I don't want to be lazy about my spiritual life.  I want to be accountable to God not only for what and how much I read but what I do with what I read.  I want to know that God is leading me to the exact passages that will develop me spiritually and move me forward and higher in Christ. A reading program would hinder that, in in my mind.  (And that could be the point-it's MY mind- whose thought processes are often a topic of discussion in my household!  LOL!  What can I say?  I'm an abstract thinker!  It's the artsy-fartsy tendency.)

Truly our whole day should be the Word.  If not reading it, we can listen to it, meditate on it, pray it, memorize it, and sing it thus hiding it in our hearts that we might not sin against God.  The Word of God it truly amazing!  So I guess the most important thing is that whatever or however you do it.....JUST DO IT!

Thankful-Day 5 (My Favorite #5-My Hubby!)

It's only fitting I would be thankful for my husband on Day #5.  His favorite number and the number on every sports jersey he has ever had is #5!  He is such a Godly man.  He is also my Pastor.  Of all the people that I have heard preach or teach I have learned more from him than anyone about practical Christianity.  His life has spoken volumes to me about the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankful-Day 4 (The Sabbath Day)

I'm so thankful for the Body of Christ.  Today is the Lord's Day.  I get to be in God's House with God's people, in God's presence.  I'm thankful that church is not a building, it is people, called together as one to live, love, encourage, help, uplift, correct and care for one another until Christ returns to take us to Himself!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful-Day 3 (God's Word)

I'm so thankful for the Word of God-both the written Word and the revelation of the Word through the Holy Spirit.  To know that all knowledge resides in me and is available in every situation every moment of every day is my peace and comfort.

Thankful-Day 2 (Jesus)

I am thankful for my Savior!  That He became what God hates the most so that I could become what God loves the most is simply incomprehensible.  I'm very thankful that He is my shepherd and my guide, that He sticks closer than a brother, and that he NEVER leaves me or forsakes me.

Thankful-Day 1 (#1)

I am so thankful for God!  There is absolutely no one like Him!  There are no words that describe His magnificance, His greatness, His power, or His love.  The more I see and know of Him, the more awestruck I become that someone like Him would care about me.