Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wrightsville Beach, Shell Island Resort, December 27, 2009


 

Ron and I took a walk on the beach this afternoon. The sun was shining and even though it was 48° it wasn't warm to me. I wore my jacket with a hood lined in fur. Yes, I did get some looks as if I came from the tropics and this was very cold to me. In the ocean you could see men dressed in wet suits trying to catch a wave as they rode their surf boards. The waves were not huge by any stretch of the imagination but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. They were using paddles as they stood on their boards; something I have not seen before.


 

The beach is so white that it looks like the dessert or in some places as snow. The seagulls swim close to the green water in a line as if they are surfing the waves too. Off in the distance the water is blue and you can barely tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins. The white clouds fill the sky and look like cotton candy …it is absolutely beautiful. We were able to walk on an area of the sound where there is normally water but for some reason the water had receded and made designs in the sand. I know people probably wondered why I was taking pictures of the sand, but nature has a way of making the most intricate designs that man can only imitate.


 

When the ocean waters covered the sand, I looked at that as being the most beautiful sight. Sand is pretty but it doesn't compare to the water. But then when the water was taken away, it is like God says, "look under the cover and see that beauty is also there. Beauty is not just on the surface but under the surface. Maybe even more so.

Friday, December 18, 2009

God convicts even through movies!

Life sure is happening all around me. Loved ones going through difficult times and yet growing into in their compassion and love for others. Isn't that how it works? We think we want absolutely no suffering in our lives but it is through our suffering we see the truth about the life here on earth. The Lord did not say we would not suffer but He said He would be with us as we suffered.

Last night Ron and I saw the movie, "Blind Side" , and it was awesome! I tried to hold back the tears because there was only one other couple in the theatre. Two couples, one white, one black, in this big room. The story line is a white upper class couple takes in a young black man who has never had his own bed and helps him get an education and football scholarship but most importantly they give him love. It's amazing what love, genuine love, can do for a child. Love as a verb; an action that produces fruit.

I say I love my children and grandchildren. Do my actions, say that also? I love my husband. Do I put his needs and their needs before my own? In the story about Michael Oar (a true story) his mother loved him, but she was unable or unwilling to give up her drugs and show him how much she loved him.

Do we as parents understand just how much we change the lives of our children if we withhold affection? Little girls need their dads to be active in their lives just like little boys do. Even if their parents are divorced, children need to have both parents active in their lives. You don't feel like a princess if the King in your life makes you feel like a peasant. That is why it is so crucial to tell young ladies that the real King, Jesus, has made them princesses.

If part of your holiday tradition is going to the movies...like ours is...don't miss Blind Side. Very rarely do I purchase a movie, but this is one that I would not only buy, but one that I would watch over and over and show it to my grandchildren.

We can make a difference in the lives of others. I can make a difference....if I weren't so selfish. That is why I wanted to cry at the end. What do I do to help others? There are so many hurting. I guess it is to help one person at a time. As the song goes..each one reaching one.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The signet ring.

Haggai 2:23 "On that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'I will take you my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, 'and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Life Application Bible has a footnote that reads...

A signet ring was used to guarantee the authority and authenticity of a letter. It served as a signature when pressed in soft wax on a written document. God was reaffirming and guaranteeing his promise of a Messiah through David's line. (Matthew 1:12)

God closed his message to Zerubbabel with this tremendous affirmation: "I have chosen you." Such a proclamation is ours as well- each of us has been chosen by God (Ephesians 1:4). This truth should make us see our values in God's eyes and motivate us to work for Him. When you feel down, remind yourself, "God has chosen me!"

Haggai's message to the people sought to get their priorities straight, help them quit worrying, and motivate them to rebuild the temple. Like them, we often place a higher priority on our personal comfort than on God's work and true worship. But God is pleased and promises strength and guidance when we give Him first place in our lives.

I love to cross reference, so I went to Ephesians 1:4, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will..."

My Interpretation: Praise God!! I so love Him. We are not to be the frozen chosen but actively participate in the work He has for us. He has chosen us and predestined a work for us. He has a plan for each of our lives. It has taken me so long to understand my calling and yet I still have times when I am not sure I have heard Him correctly. But the Holy Spirit in me is the signet ring that seals this love letter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fordham Manor Reformed Church...here I come!

What a beautiful day it is! The sun is shining and yet the air is so crisp and cool. This is my favorite time of the year. The beauty of the leaves changing color excites my senses. I even enjoy raking the leaves in my yard. How weird is that?

I have been preparing for my trip north to the Bronx. My costume is ready and I have packed my suitcase with the supplies I will need to pamper them at a mini Spiritual Spa. I have been emailing back and forth with Millie and I was able to talk to her on Monday. What a blessing! I could hear the love of Christ in her voice and I am so excited about meeting her.

Donna and I will first visit her friends in Piscataway, NJ, and then we go on to the Bronx. On Friday night we will join Fordham Manor Reforemed Church for a meal and then the service. We will start with worship and then the drama of the Samaritan woman, followed with my testimony and a message about worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth. The next day, we will have our mini-spa. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will move among us and we will stand in awe of His marvelous love.

Please keep us in your prayers as our desire is to glorify the Lord in all we do and say. He is so amazing, isn't He? AMEN!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shoes....why so many kinds?

I love this weather! It is drizzling a little rain but...we need the rain. It makes me want to sit on the couch bundled up with a blanket and watch "Dancing With The Stars." The guys in my house say they hate it and would rather watch a ball game. There was a time when my hubby and I loved to dance. I used to dance with my little guys in the kitchen when disco was in; now they are 36 and 34. When I was dancing I was in much better shape than I am right now. Maybe that is what I need to do; join a dance class.

My granddaughter, the Princess, takes dancing lessons. Sometimes she likes it...sometimes she doesn't. She is just at that age where she is involved in everything like she is trying on a pair of shoes and seeing which ones she likes best. Tap shoes do well. Ballerina shoes are ok. Soccer shoes are fantastic! But probably play shoes are her favorites. She is also practicing for the Christmas musical and she wears whatever shoes she has on at that moemnt. Last week it was her soccer shoes. She didn't have time to change after her game. Busy, busy!

I like high heeled shoes, but I have noticed that my feet are screaming for some shorter heels. My back starts hurting and I want to kick off my shoes... not dance in them. Then of course I have my tennis shoes and my flats and my sandals. I like them all but they are so hard to keep them nice and neat in my closet.

One of my pet peeves is the clutter of the shoes in my laundry room. TD has soccer shoes, football shoes, basketball shoes and "mowing the grass" shoes and they are thrown in the laundry room as if that is his closet. His regular tennis shoes are in his bedroom along with his only pair of black dress shoes.

Do shoes tell us anything about how we live and what we think about? In Haiti the children pray for a pair of walking shoes (tennis shoes). That is for survival as they walk miles to go to school over rugged terrain. Our shoes seem to be for entertainment or sports. I am not saying that is a bad thing, it's just that do we really need all those shoes?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sinus Surgery...Dr. Ebert at UNC is the best!

The night before surgery my hubby and I stayed at my son's house in Raleigh, which meant we would not have to get up so early on Wednesday morning. My surgery was first scheduled earlier and we had to be there at 7:00 am. Then it was changed to 10:00 and we had to be there at 9:00. I was thankful for the extra time especially when we were maneuvering on I-40. What a mess of traffic! I wouldn't want to drive that every day.

I have had several groups of ladies pray over me and for me. The Spa TECHs have been for praying for several months as they saw how the headaches were affecting me when we had the spas over the summer. My Tuesday group, "Women on Purpose" have been praying and anointed me with oil. And then on Tuesday night I received a phone call from our elders. They put me on speaker phone and Bane prayed for me. I was very touched that this group of godly men who spiritually guide our church, would take time during their meeting to call me. Granted I know that they would have done so if I asked them, but I have felt God set this surgery up, but to have them call showed how they care about their flock.

My surgery was at the UNC Ambulatory Care Unit in Chapel Hill. From the time I arrived until I left, I felt pampered...as much as you can be while having needles stuck in you. Their kindness and assurance that all would be well, had a calming affect. Even my blood pressure wasn't as high as it gets when I go for a doctor's visit!

Each nurse and doctor came in and asked me what I was having done. I guess this was their way of making sure we are all on the same page. At first I wondered how necessary it was to repeat it several times, but then I overhead the older lady in the next bed tell her doctor that they were repairing her eye to see far away, but her surgery was for her to see close up. After several minutes or repeating what she wanted the result to be, her friend was able to get both doctor and patient on the same page. After that my doctor came in and put a little star on my right check, so they would know which maxillary sinus was to be operated on. I was relieved.

I remember the nurse telling me she was putting something in my IV that would put me out and I told her, "It's not working." She smiled and said it takes some people a few minutes and others go out as soon as they lay their head down. The next thing I knew I was opening my eyes and seeing my husband's smile. A nurse was sitting beside me and within what seemed minutes I was getting dressed and being wheeled out the door. The ride home was a blur.

Of course, I wasn't feeling any pain because of the anesthesia, and I had no bandages. Everything was done on the inside of my nose. To look at me you would not have even known I had surgery. My nose and sinuses felt stuffy and there was pressure, but there was no pain. All the horror stories of the packing and the severe pain, was not present. I am so thankful Steve B. called me and told me about this new procedure and the doctors at UNC. For ten years I have feared this procedure. Now it is up to me to cleanse my sinuses out three times a day with 4 large syringes filled with a salt solution. This will keep me from scarring and I know how that is so important.

Dr. Ebert was fantastic and even called me yesterday to see how I was doing. He placed a splint inside my nose where he removed a small bone in my sinuses. It was as if he removed a wall in a hallway, enlarging the passageway into the sinus. This splint will have to be removed next week at my first post-op visit. I will have to go in weekly for the next 3 weeks and then at the 5th week and 8th week. Already I can breathe better, but the whole purpose is to have my sinuses to drain better so the yucky stuff doesn't stay in the cavity and become infected.

If you have to have sinus surgery, check out Dr. Ebert at UNC ENT, and ask about the FESS procedure. Even though it is only day 2 after surgery, I feel good enough to clean and get back to my routine. I do know my limits and so I will not allow myself to get too tired. My throat still hurts where they put the tubes in to help me breathe during surgery and I would love to blow my nose, but I know that's a no no.

God is so good to give us such smart people who can come up with new procedures and doctors and nurses who are so skillful. Most important He gives us caring friends who pray and bring us food! We all need each other.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm getting a little nervous about my sinus surgery.

As most of you know, the reason I went to the ENT was because of the severe headaches I was having. After examining me the first doctor didn't think anything was wrong with my sinuses but thought he would rule it out before sending me to a neurologist. Of course, after the CT scan, he found I did indeed have a sinus infection and put me on Augmentin for 14 days and I started squirting Nasonex in my nose. Nothing happened!

Then I went to UNC Hospital and Dr. Ebert examined me and thought it was probably migraines, as he didn't see any signs of sinus problems. He ordered another CT scan, and found my maxillary sinus cavity was completely filled with infection and possibly fungus. YUK! After 21 days on Prednisone and Levaquinn, the headaches eased up but the infection is still there.

The passageway needs to be enlarged so the fluid can drain from the maxillary sinus into my nose. Nasonex helped with the inflammation in my nose, so the passageway is not blocked but it still needs enlarged. A couple of days ago I felt great but today my face hurts and I know I need this surgery. I have mentioned to some that I was having sinus surgery and everyone gets that "Oh NO!" look on their face. I am told by my doctor that this new procedure is much better...no packing!

I was told not to take any aspirin or ibuprofen for 7 days before surgery. I have not had any major headaches this week, so all is well. But I am going to the beach for the weekend with some friends and I am worried I will get a migraine... what will I take? I don't want to ruin our time there. I am so ready to get this over and behind me. I can't imagine what it is like to breathe from both sides of my nose!! It has been blocked for at least 9 months.

Why did I wait so long? I just didn't think it was an infection. I had been told for years that I needed surgery because I had a deviated septum. That wasn't the problem at all. Thank God I had the headaches that got me to the doctor. Thank God, Steve called me and told me about the doctor he saw and how the procedure was new and improved! Thank God for doctors!!

But I have to tell you, I am a little nervous about the surgery. Being put out and having something stuck up my nose doesn't thrill me. Plus, so many get sick just being in the hospital. I can't let myself think too much about it, so I focus on the positives. No more aching face...no more headaches...lot more air...

Pray for me!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Suffering People

Well today I begin my journey with Dr. Ebert and who will be operating on my sinuses, October 7th. I have put my trust in him...mostly in God who will direct his hands! I will have my right maxillary sinus cleaned out and one of the passageways enlarged.

When I went for my pre-op, I was stunned by the number of people waiting to be seen by a doctor who specializes in ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat). There was a lady with a growth on her chin, a man with some kind of apparatus on his nose, little children and teenagers with different ailments, all crammed into the waiting room. Some even had to stand and wait.

It reminds me that life happens and as much as we may pray and ask the Lord to heal us, He may have other plans in mind. My good friend Donna went with me and she, as I knew she would, befriended a lady sitting with her son. The lady is from the Bronx, where Donna and I are going next month to speak at the Fordham Manor Reformed Church. They had invited me to perform the Woman at the Well drama, and Donna so graciously accepted my invitation to join me. She will be "setting the stage" for my entrance and following up with a Scripture reading.
The lady gave Donna hints on what we should and shouldn't do while in New York. God is so good to give us some practical tips on travel.

While at UNC Hospital, Donna and I were able to pray for all the hurting people. My surgery seems so minor to what others are suffering through. God be with them!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What does Mikveh, Washing of the Disciples Feet and Christian Baptism have in common?

As I study about the Jewish marriage, I understand more about my relationship with Jesus and His bride, the church. There are so many interesting facts ...Here is a sample of what we are studying today from "Attending the Bride of Christ...preparing for His return" by Martha Lawley.

Prior to their betrothel ceremony, the Jewish bride and groom separately prepared themselves to enter into covenant relationship. This preparation included the ritual of water immersion known as the mikveh. Ritual immersion represented spiritual cleansing. When Jesus washed the disciples feet at the Last Supper he was symbolically preparing the bride for covenant relationship. Christian baptism represents spiritual cleansing. Isn't that so cool?

At the betrothal ceremony the bridegroom gives the bride a gold ring to wear...on her finger or in her nose! That ring set her apart exclusively for her groom. They shared a cup of wine, symbolizing the blessing of their new covenant relationship. This betrothal covenant was not a promise to marry; instead, it was the initiation of the marriage relationship. Continuing to live apart, the bride and the bridegroom each prepared for the fulfillment of the marriage covenant.

This is a very interesting and enlightening study and I highly suggest you get a copy from Lifeway Bookstores and join us on Sunday nights or study alone. Martha has a unique way of bringing the Old Testament, New Testament and life application together in a single setting.

As I think of Christ as my husband, I am reminded of my earthly husband and Ephesians 5:25-33...

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

My Interpretation:

I am washed by the blood of the Lamb! Jesus sought me and bought me and now I am part of His Bride. Also, Jesus washes me through His WORD...that is, when I take time to read His WORDS!! And my earthly husband shares with me what the Lord has revealed to him when he reads the Bible. Cleanse me Lord!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Attending the Bride of Christ by Martha Lawley

Sunday night we started the study, "Attending the Bride of Christ" Preparing for His return. It was like sitting around the dinning room table with your friends talking about wedding preparations and what role we will play. Are we the friend of the bridegroom, the bride, or the bridal attendant...or are we all three? That's what we are going to learn about this week. It is a wonderful study and since this is the second time I am doing it, I am learning even more.

Have you ever thought of your relationship with the Bridegroom, Jesus? You, if you are a believer, are part of His church which is His Bride. So we have a relationship with Him individually and yet we are His bride collectively. He has gone to prepare a place for us and will some day come back for us. That is when the Father says the room is ready and the bride is ready. The symbolism between the Jewish marriage and wedding feast to Jesus and His bride is exciting and opens the eyes of your heart.

Check out Martha Lawley's website, http://www.attendingthebride.com . We are doing the study at church but you can do it on your own; I did the first time. Familiar verses will take on new meaning. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fantasy Football and the difference between boys and girls

There are times when my seventeen year old son gets on my nerves. Like when he doesn't clean his room and it smells like a gym room, or when I have asked him for the tenth time to take out the trash. But then I have to remind myself that he is a good kid...a good man. Right now as I write this blog, he and 5 of his friends are sitting in my TV room putting together their Fantasy Football draft picks.

I am sitting in the dining room and even though I am not listening...honestly....I can hear their chatter. They are so NOT like girls when we get together. They don't mind calling each other names and disagreeing with each others picks. Girls on the other hand, have a hard time making choices because they don't want to hurt each others feelings. I love having them here and I love hearing them laugh. I know they must have said something I wasn't supposed to hear because they got real quiet and then giggled. I didn't hear what they said and I made sure I didn't react so as not to embarrass them. Boys!

I just received a cute email from my sister...about the differences between men and women. Read it and enjoy! I love my man, but we are like most of what is written below!

NICKNAMES
If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.
EATING OUT
When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
MONEY
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.
BATHROOMS
A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel .
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.
ARGUMENTS
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
FUTURE
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
SUCCESS
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
MARRIAGE
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.
DRESSING UP
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
NATURAL
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sinus Problems- UGH!

WOW! Time sure has flown by! Celebrating my 57th birthday was such a treat. mY hubby and I woke up laughing at how old I am. I just can't seem to believe I am 57. Especially while I am on Prednisone and my whole body is in fast gear. I will soon be returning to normal...whatever that is...and hopefully my sinus infection will be gone.

Today I had to go to the dentist and have a tooth reparied. No decay; it just fell apart. Of course, then the dental assistant had to tell me how to brush my teeth...like i haven't been. Why do they do that? I had no cavities and my gums looked good other than one little spot. It always irritates me when they treat me like a child. Plus I read when you go through menopause it can affect your gum tissue and there might be some receeding.

One more week and I will off Levaquinn and we will see how it worked. I was able to go to YouTube for a look at a procedure I might have to have. So, take a look, especially if you have sinus problems. It's kinda gross but so informative. It didn't dowlnaod but if you go to Youtube you can watch different ones.

Friday, August 28, 2009

REST not from sleep but from the Lord

All the meds I am taking now for my sinus infection is starting to wear me down a little, yet as I am typing this, my insides are a bit shaky and my fingers can't move fast enough! Why are there so my side affects from something that is supposed to make me better? The Prednisone makes me wired so I need a sleeping pill, Ambience, that gives me four hours of deep sleep...usually. But last night I think the popcorn messed me up because I didn't even get three hours of tossing and turning rest. REST...I need REST.

I love how God always talks to me in the wee hours of the morning, when I am fading in and out. And the last couple of weeks I have been awake to hear Him. So when He began to put His imaginations in my brain as I lay on my bed, I knew He would give me more than I could possibly write down. Spiritual Spa Ministries, I feel, is a gift that God has given, not only me but to the Spa TECH's who minister to our guests. And the TECH's are gifts to me in every way. I cherish their friendship and I am awed at their dedication to help other ladies REST!

For several years God has shown me that my job is to be a promoter of gatherings for women and to use Spiritual Spa as an additive (promoter in chemical terms) that will increase the efficiency of the Catalyst (Holy Spirit). Not that the Holy Spirit needs me but, in a sense, He does ask all of us to take His Spirit into the fallen world. Through Spiritual Spa, hearts are provoked (stirred of an emotion within) to actively participate with God in their journey here on earth. Prayer easily flows from a soul at REST and we find a peace that passes all understanding. When we find REST we become poems of the Living God. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. " Ephesians 2:10. Workmanship in Greek is poeima, which is where we get our word, poem! We are His poem, created in Christ Jesus for good works and when we walk in them, others will become acquainted with God. From there the Holy Spirit woes them to Himself!

So I have been asking God if I and Spiritual Spa are on the right track. Do I understand what He wants from me. Not always, but this morning He gave me Psalm 16.

A miktam (silent prayer or a prayer that someone might be covered with protection) of David.

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."
3 I say of the godly who are in the land, "They are the noble people in whom is all my delight."
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out their libations
of blood or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful
inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one
see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with
eternal pleasures at your right hand.

REST....Retreat, Engage, Surrender, Transformed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dreams and Goals

I can't believe TD is a senior in high school! Our youngest son soon to be 18 in November. Yet when I looked at him today asking for a trip to Dairy Queen, I still saw the little boy with the great heart and big smile. His shoulders are broader and his voice deeper, but his humor shines through as he curls up his eyebrow and gives me the "please" look. I can't seem to resist it!

The time has come though for him to begin thinking of what he wants to have as a career and we want him to decide right now. How unrealistic is that! You would think after having three older sons we would realize it takes time and each son has had to find his own way at his own pace. Do they even know how much I dreamed about their futures and still do, except now I know it is in God's hand, not mine.

My mother always dreamed about the future of her six children too, and would even write out her goals and plans for them. Not sure if any of us ever met her standards but I know she is proud of us no matter what. And I am proud of my children too.

Is that how God looks at us. He has these plans and dreams for us and wants us to walk into our destiny, yet He has given us free will to make the choices needed to accomplish His will. But He knows what we will do and He is sovereign. It all makes my head spin. I am just glad He loves me so much that He allows me to stumble along on the journey without giving up on me.

Thank you Lord!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trust in the Lord and be like a TREE.

Jeremiah 17:

5 Thus says the LORD,
"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 "For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
8 "For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

I understand these verses, oh' so well. For I have been in the wilderness when I put my trust in the strength of my flesh and not in the Lord. But now I trust in the Lord and trust the Lord. Even during my latest sinus infection and the weird feelings that go along with the medications, I trust the Lord will get me through this. My roots are extending into the stream of Living Water that Jesus provides and His Holy Spirit gives me guidance and reassurance that all is well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Snake in the Pool!

Today my granddaughter and I were trying to cool off by swimming in the pool. I don't know what the temperature was today but yesterday the heat index was 105 degrees. I always sweep out the leaves and do a good check but today I forgot to check the skimmer. Should have! We were swimming around and doing some exercises when I noticed something moving in the distance. The sun was glaring off the water and I couldn't make out exactly what I was seeing, but I knew it wasn't good.

In a very stern voice I asked my granddaughter to get out of the water. At first she asked why and then she realized grandma Barb was very serious. She immediately obeyed and once out of the pool she asked me what was wrong. I then told tell her there was a snake in the pool and I was so proud of her for following my orders quickly. She stood off to the side as I scooped up the snake in the net. She followed my command to get uncle TD to kill the poisonous water moccasin. Yep! A poisonous snake could have hurt my little princess. Lately there have been reports of people getting bitten by snakes, and I am so thankful that we aren't going to be on that list.

Recently I was put on some medication for a sinus infection that can produce heart palpitations. Well I don't know if it was the meds or the presence of danger, but my heart was pounding. We sat on the edge of the pool for awhile and I kept a close watch on the clear cool water. What caused me to notice the small squiggly creature taking a dip in my pool? How the outcome could have had a bad ending! I wondered how this could be used as a life lesson.

So many times I am in the cool waters of life, nothing dangerous by any means, but not paying attention to my surroundings. Then all of a sudden it feels as if something or someone is after me. The devil is ready to pounce and attack. My husband has a keen awareness, a discernment that tells him when he is in danger. It is a spiritual awakening to take physical action. It has happened so many times that I, like my granddaughter heed his warning. I must admit I used to question, but now I follow his lead and when out of harms way, he tells me what the Holy Spirit has revealed to him.

My Interpretation:

1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober {spirit,} be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in {your} faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

David Tyree is a great role model!

I just watched a program that I really didn't want too, but my teenage son had the controller. Of course it was on ESPN and it was about athletes. Not sure of the name of the show but they highlighted different athletes from a young boy playing little league, getting shot in the head while at bat (he lived...amazing!) to David Tyree who plays professional football.

On national TV, David told about his drug addictions and how Satan possessed his soul. He went on to say he stopped into a church and cried out to God. He ended up in a mental institute for awhile but God healed him totally! Now he goes around and talks to teens about abstaining from drugs. http://www.montclairtimes.com/NC/0/1085.html

As much as I complain about the poor role models in college and professional athletes, it was awesome to watch this show with my son. Shame on me for clumping all athletes into one bad pile.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

She has been asked to abort one twin.

I met a young woman who is pregnant for the first time. I don't know if she is married or if the father is there to help her. All I know is she was told that one baby is 4 oz. lighter than the other twin. One weighs 10 oz. the other 6 oz. I guess that is normal for a 3 month old fetus. The doctors have told her she needs to abort the smaller twin. I realize I do not have all the facts, but I know a mother's heart and hers is hurting.

God says He is like a mother hen spreading her wings over her chicks. What a loving God we have that He has put this wonderful characteristic of Himself inside us. We want to protect our young ones and to nourish them to good health. When we can't we feel like a failure but truly in this situation the mother has no option...other than prayer.

Please dear friends, keep this young mother in your prayers. May the babies in her womb grow strong and healthy and yet if this is not to be, may she find peace in the arms of the Lord.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I love to hear my grandchildren sing!

It was one of those Sunday afternoons when you just wanted to lay on the couch and do nothing; especially while fighting a sinus infection. The meds made me sleepy and well...a little grumpy. I heard the phone ring and thought for sure no one would answer it. But my hubby surprised me and I heard him call my name and as I looked up he motioned for me to get up and walk into the kitchen to take the call. I just wasn't in the mood to talk. But ...

"Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear grandma, happy birthday to you!" My grandchildren were singing with voices like angels and I could hear their mother's voice joining with theirs. I was so surprised and I hated to tell them that it was not my birthday!! How can you tell the sweetest people who cared about me, that they made a mistake.

My daughter-in-law and I started laughing and she realized she was a month early on wishing me well. It was her first senior moment at 35. Then the children were asking to talk to me so they could tell me how much they loved me and how they hoped I was having a great birthday. I guess when my birthday comes around next month they will think grandma is getting old fast by having another birthday.

This phone call really touched my heart because my son and his wife divorced last year. I have had to learn new boundaries as I strive to keep an open heart. So for her to think of me and make the call for my grandbabies to sing to me, really made my "not so great" day, very special.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My grandson tried to eat his hand!

Today I was called upon to pick up my four year old grandson from day care. He evidently wasn't feeling good and vomited all over himself. YUK! I rushed over to see him sitting in the office laughing and listening to the secretary read him a book. He seemed pretty jovial and didn't look like he felt bad, so I asked him if his stomach hurt and if so, was that the cause of him vomiting. "Well," he said as if he was thinking about how to tell me, "I put my hand in my mouth and it made me sick!" At first I thought he had already learned a way to get out of school from his big brothers, but then I realized he was just a little guy trying to see if he could fit his whole hand in his mouth. Since his clothes had to be changed and the teacher didn't know the cause, his mom was called. I loved that I was chosen to spend the day with him!

Later after lunch, my seventeen year old son had a doctors appointment for a physical..no big deal. Except that my grandson had just been to the same doctor last week and received three shots and it was not a good experience. He wanted to see if his uncle would cry like he did. Uncle TD told him he wasn't getting a shot; so he thought. Of course at seventeen you don't cry even if it does hurt, but the little guy took notice of the big guy and how he handled himself. It was one of those moments that I was so proud of being a mom and grandma. Both boys love each other and I know TD will take care of his nephew if the need ever arose. Family is so great!

My Interpretation:

Children learn from those around them. Older brothers and uncles have a great impact on how they view life. They watch to see how they handle tough situations. I pray that my grandchildren will learn a few things from me too.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Life Coach or Mentor

Life coach or mentor? What is the difference and do I need one? My mother has always been my mentor and when I hear people say that every women needs a mentor, (I have said those words myself) I wonder if they had a mother. Isn't that the mothers job to be a mentor? My mother showed me how to be a wife (mom and dad had a passion for each other that was so obvious), raise a family (she was a mother of 6), a business woman (my father would tell you if it weren't for her money management, they would not have had a very successful business), and she made sure I knew how to can and freeze the harvest from the garden my father tended. She is my mentor. I want no other.

Yet, my mother was not one to read the Bible or tell you stories of life. She lives her life in the moment looking toward the future. Even at 76, she engages in world events and watches CNBC every day. So I was surprised today when she called and told me she read the book I had given her months ago; 90 Minutes in Heaven. My mother is an avid reader but Christian novels never interested her and the Bibles my sisters and I have given her throughout the years still have pages stuck together as they have never been turned. She did read and loved the series "the Mark of the Lion" by Francine Rivers and "The Shack" by William P. Young. Those were the only two authors that excited her enough that she called me to see if she could pass the books to one of my siblings. That is until "90 Minutes in Heaven".

But as far as a life coach, my mom helped as much as she could; but I needed someone to help me make career choices and a plan of attack. I don't remember ever having a school counselor in the small Catholic school I attended and I didn't take advantage of the counselor at OU-L. If I had maybe I would have attended college more than one year. But now I want to expand my horizons and I have a friend that is great at pulling out my desires and wishes and putting them in an organized form and helps me with an action plan to accomplish my goals.

My husband is a fantastic life coach for our sons that are in business because he has been a manager for over 30 years. He lights up when they ask him for advice and I find myself just beaming with pride. His insight into how to handle HR problems, including firing people (ouch!) and giving performance reviews that propel the employees to do better and not to make them bitter, are qualities that some managers need to learn.

The trend right now for the over 50 gang, is to reinvent themselves and one way they get on the right path is choosing the right life coach. Of course to me the best life coach is Jesus Christ and I know when I seek Him first all else falls right in line!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Your Brain and Menopause!

I wish I didn't know this first hand, but I do...the brain's RAM is affected by the hormonal changes during menopause. I could share my journals with you so that you would know I am speaking the truth, but really, let's face it, those of you who know me personally know the train leaves without me quite frequently. Although I am doing much better since I take USANA fish oil and Ginkgo along with my multi-vitamins and minerals, I still seem to make up words as I go and don't use correct English. I know I sound like an advertisement, but it's true. When you feed your cells, they work better.

What 's really funny is when I am talking to some of you and you understand what I mean! My sisters, Carla and Cyndi have a way of making me feel better...we talk each others language. It does make our husbands wonder if we have some secret code of communication, but hey, what they don't know won't hurt them!

Read the article below and visit the website if you have any questions about menopause.



Your Brain’s RAM and Processing Speed ARE Impacted by Hormonal Changes During the Menopause Transition

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Boomers remember the moon landing

Baby Boomers remember the moon landing

Posted using ShareThis

Click on the above link to read the article. Below are my thoughts...

Well what about you? Do you remember watching the moon landing on television? Wow, does that make me feel old! But that's ok. I thought that visiting the moon would become an annual event after the historical landing; but it didn't. Visions and dreams of flying to the moon were often floating through my head. The thoughts must have camped out there fueling my imagination because I never made any move toward being an astronaut. Could you see me jumping up and down on the moon, giggling like a little girl, thanking the Lord for His awesome work of art. It would be the only time I could do the famous Michael Jackson moonwalk, that's for sure.

My grandmothers could remember when the horse and buggy was the best form of traveling. Of course the also enjoyed the train and cars. When my grandma Huber went to Israel at 82 years old, that was her first and only trip in an airplane. So many events happened during her 98 years here on earth.

What are the memories, us baby boomers will pass on to our grandchildren that will totally amaze them? Maybe that we had to use clunky typewriters and a lot of white out to present a book review to our teachers. My younger sons can't even imagine life without their own personal laptops. Times have changed. Honestly, I love my laptop!

Baby Boomers are now receiving Social Security checks in the mail and trying to figure out what to do with the last half of their lives. Some have lost the security of their long term careers and are now reinventing themselves to bring in an income. Others are at the height of their careers, making a good wage and yet feel they are ready to tackle new challenges. Life can get stale and the baby boomers are not used to settling in and doing nothing. We still have a lot of living to do!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Living, Loving and Giving

Yesterday my hubby and I took our Sunday afternoon excursion and walked four miles along the Roanoke River Canal Trail. Four miles may not seem that far to you, and actually I could have walked longer if I had water with me, but we normally don't go more than two miles when it is so hot outside. One Saturday we walked seven miles and every muscle in my legs and feet ached!

We saw two young deer and a groundhog, along with butterflies and birds. Of course on the trail you will also encounter little bugs and spider webs...and we always check us for ticks, but walking the trail is so worth the effort. It is in the shade so the heat of the day doesn't keep me inside and the beauty reminds me of my Creator. It gives us time to dream about where we could travel; places we have never been before (which could be a lot of places). We are ready though to take a few more risk as we have been very conservative and now we are in our fifties and ready to enjoy our lives before we have health problems. My hubby has gotten his diabetes under control and we are in relatively good health for our age and our youngest will graduate from high school next year and off to college. So we are going to start planning some trips. If you have any ideas let me know!

Just after having our dream talk and before we could even procrastinate we received a phone call in the early hours of this morning and a good friend was shot while vacationing at Myrtle Beach. He had taken a late night trip to Walmart and went to a carwash to get the sand off his car. It was there that he was shot four times. Now, I don't have all the facts but I do know he came through surgery and is still critical. It is a reminder that your life can change at any moment when you least expect it. Lord be with James and his family!

Life is so precious and our families are so important to us. This act of violence reminds me that we need to enjoy our families before something happens. Not that I want to live my life as if something horrible is going to happen soon but that I will live my life to the fullest! During our walk my hubby said how his view on life changed dramatically at 18, when his mother died. Her death and his life went hand in hand. Without her in the family the five children went into adulthood without the physical love of a mother. Being the mother of four sons and mother-in-love and grandma, I want my children to know my love, not just the thought but that they see me helping them in tangible ways. For when I am gone it will be the memories I make with them that they will keep in their hearts.

Please keep this family in your prayers.

My Interpretation:

Living, Loving and Giving all with the love of Christ, is the desire of my heart. NOW…TODAY…I want to live in the present moment.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Something Wonderful by Sonya Speed

Sonya Speed is a new artist...well not new...but she is selling her sculptures for the first time, and I was delighted that I was her first customer! Sonya is a Spiritual Spa TECH (Telling Others Christ Heals) and she is teaching Scripture through sculpture. The Woman at the Well has become so special to me for so many reasons. We have a lot in common. For Spiritual Spa I become the Samaritan woman and tell her story through drama. Visit www.spiritualspa.net to find out more.

God has given us all talents and gifts that we can use to glorify Him and I am so happy when I see another creative soul using and sharing their gift. Thanks Sonya!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Lord makes honey!


Busy little bee! That's how I felt today; like a busy little bee. Bees are so important to our Eco system and if you have allergies, eat the local honey as they help your immunities. Even though I understand how this small bee helps me in so many ways, I still don't like to be stung. Which happened to me last week. I want to stay busy taking care of my family and yet I want to stop and smell the flowers and spend time with God.

Right now I am watching a television show on DOC. It is called Prophets Rising...Nashville, Tenn. has become a hub for the modern prophetic movement. Several young people are convinced that God is moving and maturing them at a much faster pace than what older Christians have matured. I believe Christians have been in a slumber and the winds are changing and we are better equipping our children for their faith. The youth of today do not want to play church, they want to understand what it truly means to be the church. The pastor just said the teens have been to the circus and seen the show and now they want reality...and Jesus is reality! He is my reality.

Bees take pollen from one plant to another and then they make honey. (Ok, that's a simple explanation, I know.) I see the Holy Spirit taking His love from one Jesus lover to another and making honey! Taste and see that the Lord is good. Yes, He is good!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The real fishermen in our family!




Yep, my three year old grandson (will be 4 next week) caught his first fish and if you had seen how we reacted, you would have thought he hit a home run at the World Series! He was so excited he reeled in a big fish (well for him it was) and his big sister was thrilled to touch the scaly thing! I thought it was rather funny though that when they wanted to remove the hook from the mouth of the fish, mama had to hold the fish. None of the guys would. I was so proud of myself! See, I can be tough when necessary.


And my youngest son (17) was the other fisherman of the group. I don't want to leave him out...he thinks I think of the grandkids more than of him. Not true and I am glad TD and I have a great relationship, so I know he knows he's loved!

Jesus told Peter He would make him a fisher of men. Today we think it is so hard to witness to people about God. We really don't want to be fishermen. We want to put the bait on the hook and then sit on the sidelines relaxing; maybe even fall asleep. I watched my son patiently wait as the fish would go back and forth without noticing the tiny fake fish on the hook. He moved the pole gently back and forth as if to tease the fish. Well it must have worked because he caught three fish that day. But my son really didn't want the fish, so he threw it back into the water.

Are we like that when we are fishing for men/women? Do we patiently wait for the Holy Spirit to move or do we move the bait back and forth, taunting and teasing the hurting and hungry people who want to meet Christ. Sometimes we move so quickly that we don't give them ample time to ask us questions about our Lord. Honestly, there was a time in my life that I really didn't want anyone to ask me questions about Jesus. I just knew enough to love Him and I thought I would totally mess up if I were to quote Scripture and explain doctrine, so I didn't say anything.
If I am to fish for women ( I leave the men for my hubby) I must learn to be patient and know the Holy Spirit is the bait. When the lady is pulled in by the Holy Spirit in me all I have to do is tell her what God through Jesus has done in my life. I could talk about that for hours! I don't need to tell her the doctrines or the views of my local church...I just need to tell her of the love of Christ and the Holy Spirit does the rest. Whew! that takes me off the hook!!

My Interpretation:
I am holding the fishing rod, Jesus, the WORD, that God uses to place the bait, the Holy Spirit inside of me, that will lure the fish to HIM. Instead of throwing the fish back into the murky water, I am to show her the love of Christ. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fire Alarms Blaring yet No Fire!

All the children went back home and so hubby and I was the only ones at the lake house on our last night. As we were watching the movie, "Thelma and Louise", I accidently pushed a button on the controller and the movie went off. Ron was not thrilled that I couldn't get the TV to work and it was right at a good point too! Funny how just a little thing can get so blown up. Soon we were not happy with each other even after we did get the TV working again, and we went to bed without the usual kisses and "I love you." A good night's sleep would help us. We had grown to enjoy the early mornings on the deck, reading and looking out over the water and that time together would mend any little spat.


 

I was awaken out of a very deep sleep with a piercing beep; just one beep. A few minutes later, two beeps…then we were both awake wondering what was beeping. Maybe the dishwasher had ended the cycle and it was letting us know. Maybe one of the batteries in the smoke alarms was weak. Maybe… we didn't have time to even think about it what it could have been because the piercing beep turned into a prolonged shrill. We couldn't smell anything and we went downstairs and out the front door to see if the other units were on fire. Nothing. We went from room to room investigating, looking for smoke. Nothing! The noise was almost unbearable and now it wasn't just one alarm going off, every alarm in the house was blaring!


 

It was 2:22 am and we didn't want to call the fire department if nothing was smoking or burning. What would they think? We ran through the house touching the walls and ceilings to see if anything was even warm. Ron had to get the bar stool to stand on so he could reach the fire alarm in the entry to reset it, then he went to the fire alarm in the Master bedroom and reset it. I have never heard anything that instantly gave me a headache. After 15 minutes the penetrating noise stopped abruptly. We looked at each other and wondered what had just happened.


 

Our minds were really wandering in some strange ways, although we didn't talk about it. We tried to go back to sleep but I couldn't stop thinking of the "what ifs" and I know hubby was still awake because he was tossing and turning. My heart was pounding and I was so glad that the grandchildren weren't with us because the shrill alone would have scared them and then they would have been crying. It was so weird! One good thing though…I made up real fast with hubby and was so glad he put his arm around me.


 

Sleep did not come easy but eventually I could hear the familiar snore of my husband and since he was alright then I was alright. So I fell asleep…for awhile. Once again at 4:20 am, the alarm went off, but this time it was for only a couple of minutes. What in the world was going on?


 

We decided we would get up and leave early for home. Going over the events and trying to figure out what had happened and what we would have done if it had been a real fire or a burglary. We were in a new townhouse in a new subdivision one mile from the main road. In fact, the other three townhouses were empty and so we were all alone. I had no phone numbers I could call for help other than the fire dept. and 911. I know we sound foolish but hey what would you do?


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Danger! Man’s quest for adventure!

He took off his sunglasses and jumped in the choppy water. The knee board was the only thing my husband could use to help him swim to the boat where his youngest son, Timmy, was in trouble. There was no life jacket at the dock. The life jackets were on the boat and the three boys were obviously having problems and not able to get the boat started. As Ron and I were watching from the upper deck, we thought the boys had decided to jump in the water and swim for awhile before coming in. But they took such a long time and then it appeared they were in the water pulling the boat to shore. He had to swim out to them and bring them home. It was a, "I'm his dad and I have to help my boy" moment.

My heart pounded for my husband more than for the boys because they could get back in the boat and wave down another boater for help. There were several boats in the area…that was another problem for my husband. The farther he went out the harder it was for me to see him as the sun was going down. The glare on the water made him disappear. So if I couldn't see him then I knew boats flying on the water wouldn't be able to see him. In fact, earlier in the day, Jacob, Timmy's friend, was knee boarding and when he took a fall two boats whizzed past him without even seeing him. ..and they never even looked back. The thought that Ron could get ran over made me very nervous.

Water was splashing as Ron was kicking ferociously as the current was taking him the other way. Then he stopped. I thought he fell off the knee board. Yes, he did fall off. My mind raced and I thought if without a life jacket would he be able to swim to the knee board or would he have enough strength to reach the boat. It was only a few seconds but it seemed much longer, when he grabbed the knee board and pulled himself back on top of it. Then I yelled to warn him a boat was coming his way, but the boat turned and I said a breath prayer. Actually I began saying breath prayers as soon as I saw the boys in trouble.


Ron is diabetic and his blood sugars were spiking ever since we came to the lake house. He had just had a drop earlier and I worried that the stress would also drive his blood sugars down while he was rescuing our son and his friends. What would I do if he had a cramp and fell off the knee board? I tried to run different scenarios through my mind so I would be able to make a quick decision if that happened. I also knew that the love of a father is stronger and more propelling than anything and Ron was determined to save his son. I was never prouder of this man I am married too.

The boys were using the skis as paddles and someone was in the water pulling it as they swam. When Ron reached the boat I let out a thank you prayer, but then I noticed the boys were still in the water swimming toward the dock. Ron had taken the helm and it looked as if he was drifting with the current. I was totally confused. Why were the boys swimming and not in the boat? Was the motor running? Were they going to swim to shore and then get help for Ron?

Finally I heard laughter and saw them floating on their backs flipping over often and talking casually to each other. I think they thought that if Ron had swum out they should be able to swim in….boys !

My Interpretation:

There is something inside each man (boy) that requires "danger" to make them feel alive. Well that's great for them but for the women watching it can be terrifying. Although I must admit, it made my heart swell up with pride and admiration. Maybe that's why we read in the Bible …men love your wives, wives respect your husband. I saw both my hubby's love for our son (and me) and my respect for him grew. Ain't love grand!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Relaxing at the lake with our loved ones!

My hubby and I are sitting in Lake Pitt ( a gas station and convenience store) hooking up with the Internet. That has been the only problem we have encountered while we are here at the lake. Not that we have to be on the Internet constantly, but we have grown fond of being able to keep in touch with everyone via the air waves. Our cell phones can't get a signal...just when I get a Blackberry too! What good has it done for me?



Our four sons and the grandbabies were with us the first three days and we enjoyed water skiing and swimming. But now they have all gone home and our youngest went back home to pick up some friends so they can ski and swim for the rest of the week. We know he is old enough to take the boat out on the lake without us, but boy does that seem weird! Our baby doesn't need us. We do pray a lot though that he will use his head when out on the water. Things can happen so fast and someone could get hurt. But we have faith ...in him and in HIM.



Our grandson caught his first fish! I wish I could show you the picture but that will have to wait unitl I get home. We were all screaming like the child had just won the lottery. He kept the fish out so long so we could see it that it died before we got it back in the water. Poor thing!

I know I have said this so many times, enjoy your family...TODAY! At Clyde's funeral, I watched three of his four sons standing side by side and looking lovingly at their mother. One son was missing. I remembered Clyde and Joanne telling us that their son David died some twenty years ago. Life happens and so quickly a young man's life was shortened and his parents grieved for many months and years. Now Clyde is rejoicing with his son in heaven. In his son's place stood his friend, Jimmy. Even though David had been gone twenty years, his memory is forever sketched into Jimmy's heart and now he held back the tears just as a son would.

My hubby and I talked today in the quietness of the pool...we were the only ones there...about enjoying every moment as it happens. Not thinking about what we were going to do in a few hours or a few days; but being focused on the present. The present is a gift, a precious awakening of the soul to the love flowing one to another. I love that feeling. God is with us and we so grateful for His love and through His love we can love more deeply and passionately, for God is love.

My Interpretation:

When I live in the present, I embrace the present God has given me, my family!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A tribute to a godly man, Clyde Spence

Yesterday evening Joanne called to tell me her husband was in his last few hours here on earth and she knew he would want to see my husband. As we entered his room, I was reminded how life is but a breath and we should enjoy every moment we have with our loved ones. My hubby loves to read Ecclesiastes and so did Clyde. Here is a passage that helps us to make sense of life.

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peacce.

Clyde was called home in the early hours of this day, July 3, 2009. He was a wonderful friend and mentor to my husband. A couple of years ago Clyde asked him to be a pall bearer with his 3 sons and 2 grandsons. This is an honor that humbles my husband. You never know how much you mean to people. Joanne also asked my husband to say a few words at the grave yard service. May God give him the words to say that will encourage Clyde's family!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beautiful Ohio!

What a wonderful trip to Ohio! All of my siblings (there are 6 of us) gathered at my parents for a summer time party and most of their children came too. My children were not able to be there. So here's the list: Sister C and her husband, her three daughters and husbands/boyfriend with five little ones (and one on the way); my brother and four of his six children, my sister from Texas, her husband and son, my sister from Delaware, Ohio, her husband and two of her children, my brother from Lebanon, Ohio and his three children. That's 33…and then my aunt and cousin came…35 of us! It was noisy, fun and you could feel the energy of love!

I have not lived in my home town for over 15 years and only a few times have we gathered there during the summer at my parent's house. We have gone to the beach several times as a group and to the mountains, but with mom and dad getting older it's easier on them for us to go to Ohio. I had forgotten just how beautiful Ohio is and I'll download the pictures soon.

We did have a scare on our way there. I called my mom to tell her our estimated arrival time and she seemed a little disoriented. She was talking slow and couldn't remember things...like my husband's name. We've been married for 26 years! She told me her fingers were going numb and she thought maybe she had a stroke. I called my sister who went to their house and they called the squad. It wasn't a stroke but they think a seizure. I hope she tells her heart doctor because it really sounds like she is not getting enough oxygen to her brain. She said she has told her doctor that recently but he didn't think it was anything. Hope he's right. She was fine within a few hours and she will have a follow up in the next week.

It is so relaxing being around people who love you no matter what. They know the good, the bad and the ugly of me and may even at times get upset with me, but their love covers a multitude of sin. We are blessed to be a part of a God fearing family for when we go through crisis, such as divorce, job loss or when Jamie and Brittany were called home to be with the Lord, we have the common thread of prayer and the strength of the Lord to get us through. I am so thankful God put me in this family and I only pray they feel the same.

My Interpretation:

There is a marvelous ethos that has been created within my family that gets better and better each year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Love, Respect and No Drips!

Last night my hubby and I attended a class on marriage. The focus was love and respect; how a woman needs love and a man needs respect. We have been married for 26 years now and have been very committed to our marriage and have pursued each other passionately. We have attended several marriage retreats, classes, done bible studies on marriage, taught classes on marriage, read many books, and practiced what we have learned. But we have also found that we can never rest on our laurels and think we don't have to work on our relationship. Sometimes we slip up and within a few days we find ourselves fussin' and fightin' over silly things and driftin' apart. It doesn't take long to go from a fantastic marriage to an irritating self seeking existence. When that happens one of us will hear God's voice and wake from our stupor and apologize. Even when I want to stay mad, I can't for the words, "I'm sorry, I was a butt head" melts my heart. Weird how that works!

No matter what we read or study, we always need...yes, need....to stay in close contact with God through prayer. God is so gracious to us when we humble ourselves and ask for guidance. Why does it take me so long sometimes to humble myself? Why do I want to have my own way and find ways to manipulate my hubby into doing what I want? Shame on me!!

It still amazes me how much we have grown closer together as we individually grow pursue God. I have been studying Proverbs in preparation for the message I will give at the Woman's Day in July, and I have to admit that the verses about the nagging wife upsets me. First of all because I am in denial and then because I am convicted. Could I possibly be a nagging wife? "A nagging wife is as annoying as a constant dripping on a rainy day" (Prov. 27:15 NLT) I would rather be considered as "more precious than jewels." (Prov. 31)

This morning when hubby left for work, he told me as he always does that he loved me, and for a change I told him that I respected him. We both laughed! He still wants to be told that I love him, and I want to know that he respects me. Love may be my top need, but respect is a close second.

My Interpretation:

It is through our relationship with God that we have a great relationship with one another....without God's intervention, our marriage could be just two people sharing a house and children. We want passion, love, respect and adventure! No dripping here...from either one of us!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacation Bible School…Queen Esther and gifts.

If you read my blog yesterday, you realized I was a little disturbed about the whole point system and rewards for giving money and gifts to the missions. Please know that I totally support missions, financially through my family's individual efforts and our church contributions. What I was worried about was the child being singled out for not giving. Last night the gifts were collected during the opening ceremony and the child just left it in the pew. The teacher made a note on her score card if the child brought something; so the other children, I don't think, even noticed if a gift was given or not. I think this is a better way than in a small group.

There are so many dedicated volunteers it's amazing! Every age group has at least three teachers and the younger group has even more. You can tell, they love children and want them to experience God. As the different groups came into my classroom to visit with Queen Esther, I was able to see how interested the children are in learning about the characters in the Bible. From first grader to fifth grade, the children were well behaved and listened intently on what Queen Esther had to say about Mordecai, the good guy, Haman, the bad man, and how Queen Esther was able to beg the King to save her people, the Jews.

My little princess (granddaughter) was in the first grade class and she made sure everyone knew I really wasn't Queen Esther but Grandma Barb. I am hoping being Grandma Barb is better to her then me being Queen Esther! I want so much for her to understand that God has a plan for her life just like He did for Queen Esther, and that one day she will walk into her destiny if she seeks God with her whole heart and soul. That was one point I wanted the children to take away …God has an individual plan for each of us. Amen!

My Interpretation:

God is in control and He watches over the little ones. His Holy Spirit will teach the children and lead them along the path holding their hands and guiding them into their destiny!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vacation Bible School...what's our focus?

I have always enjoyed Vacation Bible School, watching the little ones learn about God and His people. There is this sense of awe in knowing the children will hear that God loves them for if they live in a home where those words or even the word love, is not spoken, they will hear it during VBS week. My grandchildren love the crafts and music too. Baby Hay, 3, remembers usually one thing, and tells me all about it. Princess, 6, remembers the songs and wants to sing them over and over.

Having been a VBS director, I certainly know the time and effort that goes into planning the week. Finding other volunteers who may be coming home and then quickly changing clothes and grabbing a bite to eat before spending three hours in a noisy environment, can be challenging. But God calls His people to help him get His words to the younger generation.

Missions has become a very important focus of VBS, rightly so. We want our children to know about the efforts of our missionaries and how we can help them. We take up an offering at the beginning of the VBS, every day; boys against the girls, to see who can bring in the most money for the mission. That in itself doesn't bother me, except for those children coming for the first time to church and not understanding (nor do their parents) how God is the One who propels us to do good by helping others. At the end of the day, our focus is how much money was brought in by the children and if they bring in enough they will have breakfast with the main characters of the theme. Are they giving because they understand how they help people or are they enthralled with all the hupla and reward.

The children have several ways to earn points so they can receive a prize at the end of the week. The point system involves, coming to VBS, coloring a picture, memorizing a Bible verse and bringing items for the missions, such as toilet paper, garbage bags or paper towels. So when the children are in their small group, they will be singled out if they do not bring an item. Let's say, little Susie comes from a family that brings 4 children to VBS, and they are not financially secure themselves. This causes undue stress upon the parents who tells the child that they just can't afford to send any items. Little Susie then goes to class and everyone else gets extra points for bringing paper towels. At the end of the week, Susie has done everything else asked of her but because her parents wouldn't send an item , she doesn't get as many points as the others in her class and therefore feels shame. Why would we put our children in this position?

I just can't imagine Jesus using our children to raise money. I can see Him using VBS to reach the children and their parents, telling them biblical truths and encouraging them to help others. But let's face it, if you are using this to teach the children about giving in secret as Jesus requires, we have missed His lesson. I took a child home and explained to the mother about the gifts and offering to the missions. She is a single mom with 4 children and a limited income and she loves the Lord. But her response surprised me yet it supports my stand. She jokingly replied, "Well we can't have people looking down on us, so I'll get something for them to take!"

Some people may have that attitude for real and it certainly is not what God requires. Now, I know she was just joking but for those not in church, what does this say to them? I believe in VBS and how it is vital for a church to reach the children. I want my grandchildren to attend and they love going to church, but I don't want them to think that they are to give money so they will be held in high esteem and win a prize. We give because God owns it all and we are to help others. Plain and simple...it should not be an extraordinary thing but an ordinary everyday choice we should make without even thinking about it.

My Interpretation:

That's just it...this is my interpretation and you may not agree with me at all. I am just trying to work through what I feel about how we use VBS as a means to support a mission and not as an outreach to teach Jesus and His ways only.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day!

My husband deserves the award for the best dad! He not only married me but he married my two sons who were then 8 and 10; now they are 34 and 36! Later we had two more sons who are now 17 and 22. My boys have a good role model and I am so proud of my hubby. Being a step father...a term we never use...is not an easy task. But my hubby has grown in his faith and he tries to be a godly earthly father so they will see the characteristics of our heavenly Father.

Oh, I can remember times when tempers would flare and I was caught in the middle, but once I realized it was a man thing and I didn't interfere, they worked things out. Now my sons, all four of them, call and ask for advice and when they are together they still play basketball. Of course, I was the one who taught them how to do the lay up. Ha! Ha! We laughed about that yesterday.

I know I have talked about my dad before, but he is an amazaing dad and he is the best dad for me!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Getting Ready for a Spiritual Spa

We, the spa TECH's, got together tonight to pray over the Spiritual Spa we are having on Saturday. I can not express in words what it is like being with women who are so on fire for the Lord. This group of women want to pamper other ladies, physically, emotionally and spiritually! What does that mean exactly...well, you need to come to a spa to find out! So many who are invited are not comfortable with the unknown but when they finally take the steps to join us for the day, they are happy they did. We have a lot of fun and yet there are serious times when God reaches deep into our souls and tells us He loves us.

I met with our Women's Ministry team this week too, and this is another group that loves the Lord and allows Him to guide them on what programs and Bible studies to offer to other that will bring women into a closer relationship with Him. He is the ONE we want to glorify.

I love how God weaves these precious sisters in my life. Never a dull moment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pretty Face, Beautiful Heart!

I received the above poster in an email many months ago and stored it in my files. I don't know Martin Buxbaum but I wonder if this is a picture of his mother or grandmother. For him to see the beauty of a woman as more than an outward appearance, says a lot about a man's heart. Maybe the beauty of his face is now in his heart or maybe he is the recipient of a beautiful love shown to him by this woman. I just don't want to think the composition is made up from faces of ladies that he doesn't know at all. (Which is more likely.)

Putting together a power point for the Senior Saints at my church, was such a joy for me. The pictures of years gone by, were place side-by-side with recent photos. Some of the older ladies in my church were down right gorgeous! They could have won beauty contests and gone on to be movie stars, but they chose to be mothers and nurses, teachers and mill workers. Their faces are still beautiful but they also have a beauty that emanates from their hearts . They are kind and compassionate and so non-judgmental. They have lived their lives with integrity and their children call them blessed. Even if they have anything in their past that would embarrass them, I don't know about it and I don't want to know about it, for I can see Christ living in them and working through them.

Wonder what my face will look like when I am in my eighties? More important, will there be beauty in my heart. Some days I imagine my older life and I always think of me and my man cuddling up together on the beach. Of course both of us are in good shape and look fantastic for really old people. Ha! Ha! Our love is strong and we hold hands as we walk along talking about our hopes and dreams....the ones fulfilled and the ones yet to be dreamed. My heart is overflowing with love for my children and grandchildren and everyone is together and happy. Life is always good in my dreams. Actually, real life isn't too bad either!

My Interpretation:

A pretty face would be nice, but a beautiful heart filled with God's love is worth more than silver and gold!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kindergartners and Meeting a new friend from Latvia.

Looking into the eyes of my granddaughter as she saw me enter her classroom was priceless. I happened to be the only parent...well, grandparent...to join the teacher as she walked with the 16 kindergartners to the house hosting their end of the year party. I could tell they were excited by the high squeals and constant motion. I felt like I was herding young calves (which I have done) trying to spur them to walk a little faster and to stay in line. Actually they were very good listeners and the journey was fun.

The backyard was filled with the blow up water slides and the children had no problem jumping in and having fun. After a few hours in the sun, the teacher even climbed up the slide (which is harder then you think) and slid down amongst the giggles of the kids. Us adults were having a good laugh as we cheered and encouraged her to do it again. I'll give it to the teacher; it would have taken a lot for me to go down the slide in front of all the parents and grandparents.

My little princess loved having her face painted and her hair sprayed green. It was interesting to see how they interacted with one another. Of course, they have been together for 9 months, so they should know one another pretty well. The parents on the other hand, only see each other at special events, and for me I was meeting most of them for the first time. One lady was new to the area and so we talked about living in a small town as opposed to the large city in Virgina where she was raised. A pregnant mom and her mother were also there; so three generations raised in this area were able to enjoy an afternoon together. That was nice.

My favorite new person was a young lady who was there painting flowers and animals on the faces of the children. She is here from Latvia. I hope I spelled that right. What a treat to talk to this 21 year old who is a believer of God and is here doing research on American idioms. I told her about my trip to Haiti and how seeing their poverty changed me. Her insights into the American culture and our over indulgences with food were right on target. We fix more than we can possibly eat and then we throw away good food because we don't want to eat left overs. I am so guilty of that! I hope I can meet with her again before she leaves in July.

Yep! Today was a good day. Meeting new people and enjoying my little princess.

My Interpretation:

God's people are all around us. Sometimes we may seem to be alone and wonder if we should even mention His name in conversation, but when we do in a casual way, His people take notice! When Aggie and I realized we were both Christians, our conversation became even more interesting!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Freedom Today!

Last Monday I received an email from Amy Swoope with "Freedom Today" and she asked if I would be interested in giving my testimony on their (Robin Bertam, is the co-host) TV program that will be aired in Norway, England, Africa and some places in the US. They were also interested in Spiritual Spa Ministries. I was elated to be able to share what God has done in my life! I told Amy about my Tuesday group and how we meet to encourage one another in our businesses and ministries, as we walk into the destiny God created for us from the very beginning. So they invited my friends too!

Three days later, Caroline, Donna and I went to Wake Forest for the taping and met two women who are running to keep up with God! He has opened so many avenues for them to shower people with His love, that they can't even stop to write it down in a journal; which Caroline encouraged them to do. You can go to Robin Bertram Ministries (just click on her name) to get a glimpse of who she is and what she's doing. Her niece, Amy Swoope, and husband, Ken, greeted us like we were long lost friends coming to sit for a chat about our lives.

I gotta tell you though, it was hot under the lights and they had no A/C, so we did have to blot our faces a lot, but being under HIS LIGHT while we were talking with them was amazing. I have no idea when this will be aired and I am hoping we will get a copy before it does. I wasn't nervous but very excited and so I did ramble a bit....well more than a bit, but they will splice and dice so hopefully they will have enough video to put together a segment for their show.

Robin read my testimony before the interview and then asked me about the love letters to God that I wrote years ago and about my God encounters. Then we did a brief segment on Spiritual Spa. I kept thinking what does God want me to do with all this. I am still trying to process it all. Who knows what may come of this encounter...God certainly does. Those of you who read my blog, please keep me in your prayers. I only want to do His will. Spiritual Spa Ministries has been in my heart for going on seven years and the ladies who minister with me are so godly and precious to me. Susan, Polly, Tracy, Nancy, Patti D. and Patti Y, Diane, and now Jo, Sonya and Kristy willingly pamper other ladies with the love of Christ.

We not only want to serve other ladies during the one day event but we also want to teach them how to have their own Spiritual Spa. We have had churches close to us from towns in North Carolina (Rocky Mount, Wilson, Gaston, Ahoskie, Garysburg) and a church from New Jersey! Our visitors have been from Ohio, Texas, Florida and of course, North Carolina. I can't wait to see who God calls to us next!


My Interpretation:

I am at a loss of words....God is up to something and I hope I hear Him correctly so I can obey!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Women, Take Charge!with Carolyn Castleberry (from an Word of Life! devotion)


"Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days." (Joel 2:29)
This week's devotional is adapted from Carolyn Castleberry's book Women, Take Charge of Your Money: A Biblical Path to Financial Security God can bring a number of people into your life to show you how to be victorious in the frightening area of finances. You can learn from many of them in regard to both success and failure.

But as someone to learn from, one person in particular stands out, and I love the fact that she is a woman. I hope you also discover that she is someone much like you, though she lived in an age that was less kind to females than ours, one that didn't afford them all the opportunities we have now. She juggled relationships and career and took it one step further: she became an investor, just as you can. An investor in God. An investor in her family. And an investor in business, in something that would provide financially for her family long into the future. This was her field of dreams, and my goal is to help you consider and find your own field to help provide security for your future in peace in your present.

Let's take a closer look at this remarkable woman from Proverbs 31. Love her or hate her, you have to admit she is a breath of fresh air in a long lineup of other female mug shots depicted in Proverbs. Proverbs overflows with less-than-glowing descriptions of women. There are wayward wives, prostitutes and women with smoother-than-oil lips. We find strange women, loud women, defiant women and wives who are like a continual drip on a rainy day or decay in their husband's bones. There are women whose feet never stay home, brazen-faced women and even a woman so repulsive she's likened to a gold ring in a pig's snout!

However, the book of Proverbs opens and closes with positive portraits of our gender: first, a woman personified as wisdom (Proberbs 3-4, 8-9), then in Proverbs 31, an "excellent wife" who seemingly can do no wrong. In contrast to the nagging, adulterous, mean-spirited female images in much of Proverbs, the woman in chapter 31 is God-fearing, strong, wise and immensely capable.

She puts God at the top of her priority list (v 30). She made family her next priority (vs 21, 28). She had a positive outlook (v 25). She put her creative talents to work (vs 13, 24). She was a careful investor (v 16). She was a hard worker (v 19). She was generous (v 20). She was tough (vs 15, 17, 18, 25). She reaped positive rewards (vs 11, 31).

Do you hate her yet? Many women do because her example has been thrown in the faces of ordinary women who feel they cannot possibly live up to her standards. But let's take another look.

I have decided to give this capable lady a fictional name, because referring to her only as "the Proverbs 31 woman" can seem so distant and impersonal. So I named her "Proven" -- combining the beginning of the word Proverbs and the last letters of women.

Proverbs + women = a Proven, winning plan

Clearly, Proven was very much involved in her family's financial life. She made linen garments and sold them. She considered a field and bought it. From her earnings she plants a vineyard. And remember, this resourceful lady didn't have a laptop or any other high-tech tools to work with. Proven worked with what she had the time.
Notice that the passage doesn't say her husband did all the work and gave her shopping allowance. In fact, it mentions that she plants a vineyard with her own earnings. She created both immediate and future wealth and provision for her family. Proven’s model for financial well-being can be summed up in three simple words: create, consider, and invest. She created products, she considered her field of investment, and then she actually bought it!
You can do the same thing in your life -- in God’s unique way for you.

This WeekStudy Proverbs 31 and let the Lord inspire you in new ways.
Prayer"Father, make me a woman who proves your Word and glorifies your kingdom in every way."