Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I took this picture when the raindrops were still dancing on the white azaleas in my front yard. The crystal clear water reminds me of the purity of our most holy God. A beautiful gift from the Lord.

My sisters and friends are like pretty flowers in my love garden!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I loved this day!

The sun is shining and the air is so warm that all I want to do is stay outside and look at the beautiful sky. I am really into skies and I have quite a collection of pictures that I have taken in different states and venues. The rising sun is one of my favorites but then so is the setting sun. Well there you have it...I like the sun too. I have also become enthralled with our canal trail that follows the Roanoke River and I have been working on a calendar with my pictures included. We'll see what comes of that. I guess I see God in His creation and I am drawn to His majestic artwork.
I loved my morning with my French Press Connection gals, Donna and Jen. We dream aloud and encourage one another to walk boldly into the destiny God has for us. Our conversations go from one bunny trail to the next and yet we stay on the same path with one another and don't seem to be bothered by retracing and refocusing....we seem to do that a lot. It would drive my husband nuts if he were included in the conversation but hey, we like it that way. It actually sharpens our minds.

Even though I received some rather annoying news today...the truck needs major repairs and the swimming pool needs to be skimmed with concrete before they put in the new liner, life is still good and I feel fortunate to have the money to fix what needs fixed. Yesterday we had to have the A/C fixed...I remember when I didn't have air conditioning but a fan and the breeze at night. It really wasn't that bad...come to think of it, it was romantic with the curtains blowing and crickets chirping. I would cuddle with my man and all was well.

It's amazing how some days go by and you think life just couldn't get any better and then other days you wonder if life will get better. There is one constant though; the love of God. I know that if I have a great day, He is there rejoicing with me. If I have a horrible day, He is there with a sympathetic ear and loving heart. The Spirit of Christ never leaves me and therefore I can experience Him in good times or bad. So my reality doesn't change because I am in in kingdom of heaven.

My Interpretations:
The sky is the limit when you don't limit God!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good Morning!

This will be a brief blog as I must get some housework done today! It's like I just can't seem to get in gear. The sun is shining so brightly and I want to go outside and work in the yard, plant some flowers, and get a tan doing it, but I have chores inside that are screaming my name. I wish my son would hear his room screaming for attention. I wake him up every morning with the same banter,

"This room is a mess and I want it cleaned up tonight before you do anything else."

Well of course he has track meets and yards to mow and homework to do, so I give him until the weekend. Then I look into my room and the bed isn't made, there are clothes to put away and the bathroom needs cleaned. WOW! I feel rather foolish. And so today I will get my house in order.

But today is my standing date lunch with my knight and so that takes a chunk out of my day. Don't get me wrong, I love my date lunch and wouldn't change it for the world, it's just that I think I would get more done if I didn't have to stop in the middle of the day to spend time with my hubby. That's the problem though, I don't get things done that need to be done and the things that could wait is what I want to do. Like read and write and learn new things about the Internet and blogging. For some reason I feel God is saying to learn what I can so I can show others how to do it. If God wants me on the computer then who am I to say no? Really now, do you believe that God wants me on the computer? I am wondering though why I have this desire to learn about Tweeter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and blogging. Is it that I have a need to connect with people or is it that I just want to write out my thoughts so I can better understand me?

The mind is a terrible thing to waste...who said that? As I get older I must actively pursue new things so my mind doesn't turn to mush. My parents are avid readers and are constantly on the go at 81 and 76. I want to be like them...I want my marriage to be like theirs and so I must forge on to open my mind and heart to new things.

I just love my mom and dad. Aren't they a happy looking couple? Married over 60 years and still in love!! That's why my knight and I got married on their anniversary....on April Fool's Day. ...because we are Fools for each other!

My Interpretation:

I don't want to waste my time on things that don't matter but I need to take time to figure out what does really matter God!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Staying Balanced!

Aren't these little birdies cute? Notice how they stand on one leg? Most of them were until I came up to take their pictures and then I must have knocked them off balance and they had to put down their other leg. I did a little research and from what I've read the scientists guess (since they can't actually talk to the birds) that it is a way to conserve energy and to warm their bodies. Something like when we are out in the cold with a short sleeve shirt on, we might take one arm out of the sleeve and hold it close to our bodies. Also, if the bird is in water, it might want to take the leg out as not to get the "prune" look. Whatever the reason it sure seems funny that they would stand on one leg when they have 2 perfectly good legs to stand on.

There have been times when I felt as if I was standing on one leg trying to keep my balance. I think I forgot I had two legs and all I needed to do was put my other leg down. Simple but....? I have been practicing yoga lately and standing on one leg isn't as easy as it used to be. I start out ok and then one little move to the right or left, I start teetering and then it's all over. If I concentrate on one unmovable point on the wall I am able to stand for a considerable amount of time. The key is concentration. Focusing on one spot that does not change or sway back and forth. When I look at the source of my focus I cannot allow myself to look anywhere else.

That's how it is with my whole being (spiritually, physically and emotionally). I must stay focused on one thing. That one thing is my faith in God. God is unchangeable and I want my faith to be also.

In order for me to keep my focus on God I have to read the Bible as a personal love letter written to tell me how much I am loved by Him,

study the Bible as a history book of how God works in and through people and as a manual for living so I will obtain the abundant life,

and then teach the Bible to my children, grandchildren or someone, anyone, so that, together we will complete Christ's joy by loving, living and giving to the next generation.

As long as I keep my focus on Him and not sway to the right or the left, I can keep my balance and the abundant life flows from within me. But as soon as I decide that I am too busy to read the Bible, too lazy to study the Bible, then I become too lethargic to teach anyone anything. I know the birds can stand on one leg for four hours and then they have to switch it up. Well, for me I don't want to only stand for 4 hours and go back and forth on my legs. I want to stand on two legs balanced at all times and forever; but I know that often I want to do something different or my own way, s0 I pull up a leg and teeter and totter and fall down.

My Interpretation:

God created us to have good balance. I am not a bird but a real chick, and I need to stand firm on two legs, focused on Him and walking on the right path.

Monday, April 20, 2009

After a night with Advil, Icy Hot and heating pads, and most importantly prayer, I woke up with some discomfort but not enough to keep me off the beach. Through my pain I was able to get a wonderful glimpse of how my son will be an attentive and loving husband. God is in control and maybe that is why I went through this hiccup in our vacation.

Once we got on the beach T stayed with me while my knight went on a run. Almost as quickly as he ran a storm brewed in the sky. I took pictures and stood there in total awe of how the sky changed from beautiful blue to wild and gray. You could see the clouds roll over and over. I could hear my hubby yelling for me to stop taking pictures and take cover just in case it would start lightning. But I was just so caught up in the wind as it brushed against my face and blew my hair around that I really didn't think about the danger. I guess that's why storm trackers get so excited as they put themselves in harm's way just to take pictures or videos. It was a rush.

We got back to the hotel with only a few drops of rain on us but it was really blowing and raining when we got to our room. I opened the patio door and we listened to the rain hit the metal hand railing and watched the flags blow. It reminded me of the song...Rain drops keep falling on my head, just like the guy whose feet are to big for his bed, nothing seems to fit, oh' I'm never gonna
stop the world by complaining.... I forget the rest of the words. But I do know that complaining doesn't stop the problem and right now nothing seems to fit. (As far as my feet, they aren't too big for the bed.) Watch this video of the storm coming in.

There have been times in my life when the sky was blue and things were going well and then all of a sudden a storm brewed and dark clouds rolled in. I felt like there was nothing I could do but watch with mixed emotions. I was caught up in the storm for whatever reason and couldn't see the true danger. The excitement of being in something bigger than myself held my attention too long and then I got rained on!

After years of wallowing in the mud, Jesus changed my life and turned my storms into beautiful sunny days filled with His Light. Now the Holy Spirit of Living Water reigns down on me!

The next morning the sky was again a beautiful blue with fluffy white clouds that looked like cotton balls. The beach was peppered with shells and cabana's and those who came for the beach and sun were happy as larks.

My Life Interpretation:

God is in our storms and in our peaceful times. He is sovereign and in control of all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Treasure Island

I am sitting on the balcony looking over the sandy beach and beautiful Gulf of Mexico. The air is so warm and the gentle breeze is helping me to relax. We, my husband and son, had a wonderful drive Sunday after Easter service on our way to Florida. The two guys sat up front while I read and I could hear their banter about baseball and basketball and when we stopped for the night, my son was real quick to get on the Internet and learn more about the Tampa Rays (Pro Baseball team) who we are going to see tonight. Well, I am hoping to join them.

You see, as soon as we got into our room at Treasure Bay Hotel and Marina, I bent over to pick up my bag and....the most terrible pain went up my back and down my leg. I went to the floor and thought for sure I would pass out. My son said I turned white then green...could have been a reflection from the green bedspread. All I know is it hurt. After a night of applying Icy Hot and heating pads, I was able to walk this morning to the bathroom, make a cup of coffee (that always makes me feel better) and get out my computer so I could write (almost as good as coffee) and so God heard our prayers. I have sent emails to some of my prayer warriors for help! If I didn't send you an email it isn't because you aren't a prayer warrior, it's just I can't think very well right now.

I noticed a young woman running down the street and I thought of how blessed we are when we have good health. I certainly have taken that for granted. Yesterday we waited too long to eat lunch and it was really hard for my hubby who is diabetic. Another disease that even though it can be controlled, it changes your whole lifestyle and those around you. My son and I were ok with eating a late lunch but we could tell it was affecting my knight. Right now I would love to be able to sit here without the pain in my lower back, and yet I am so fortunate that I can be sitting here at all. So many deal with chronic pain and never complain. Forgive me Lord.

I took the pictures with my webcam since I don't have the cords to hook up my Canon. It's 8:00 am and overcast but it is still so enjoyable. The guys are still sleeping and I think I will try to walk around and maybe work this muscle loose. They went to a place last night called Bubba Gump's (I think) and said it was a place I would like. So I want to make their joy complete by being able to shop today! Ha!Ha!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mary and the risen Lord!

I was preparing for Sunday School class and read the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary about John 20. It sounded as a wonderful poem of Christ's love and our response in faith. I read it over and over, taking in every word and meditating on the meaning. The words in blue spoke to me the very most. I hope you enjoy reading this commentary but first read the Scriptures.

John 20

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"
3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
16Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary John 20: 1-10 If Christ gave his life a ransom, and had not taken it again, it would not have appeared that his giving it was accepted as satisfaction. It was a great trial to Mary, that the body was gone. Weak believers often make that the matter of complaint, which is really just ground of hope, and matter of joy. It is well when those more honoured than others with the privileges of disciples, are more active than others in the duty of disciples; more willing to take pains, and run hazards, in a good work. We must do our best, and neither envy those who can do better, nor despise those who do as well as they can, though they come behind. The disciple whom Jesus loved in a special manner, and who therefore in a special manner loved Jesus, was foremost. The love of Christ will make us to abound in every duty more than any thing else. He that was behind was Peter, who had denied Christ. A sense of guilt hinders us in the service of God. As yet the disciples knew not the Scripture; they Christ must rise again from the dead.

Verses 11-18 We are likely to seek and find, when we seek with affection, and seek in tears. But many believers complain of the clouds and darkness they are under, which are methods of grace for humbling their souls, mortifying their sins, and endearing Christ to them. A sight of angels and their smiles, will not suffice, without a sight of Jesus, and God's smiles in him. None know, but those who have tasted it, the sorrows of a deserted soul, which has had comfortable evidences of the love of God in Christ, and hopes of heaven, but has now lost them, and walks in darkness; such a wounded spirit who can bear? Christ, in manifesting himself to those that seek him, often outdoes their expectations. See how Mary's heart was in earnest to find Jesus. Christ's way of making himself known to his people is by his word; his word applied to their souls, speaking to them in particular. It might be read, Is it my Master? See with what pleasure those who love Jesus speak of his authority over them. He forbids her to expect that his bodily presence look further, than the present state of things. Observe the relation to God, from union with Christ. We, partaking of a Divine nature, Christ's Father is our Father; and he, partaking of the human nature, our God is his God. Christ's ascension into heaven, there to plead for us, is likewise an unspeakable comfort. Let them not think this earth is to be their home and rest; their eye and aim, and earnest desires, must be upon another world, and this ever upon their hearts, I ascend, therefore I must seek the things which are above. And let those who know the word of Christ, endeavour that others should get good from their knowledge.

Verses 19-25 This was the first day of the week, and this day is afterwards often mentioned by the sacred writers; for it was evidently set apart as the Christian sabbath, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. The disciples had shut the doors for fear of the Jews; and when they had no such expectation, Jesus himself came and stood in the midst of them, having miraculously, though silently, opened the doors. It is a comfort to Christ's disciples, when their assemblies can only be held in private, that no doors can shut out Christ's presence. When He manifests his love to believers by the comforts of his Spirit, he assures them that because he lives, they shall live also. A sight of Christ will gladden the heart of a disciple at any time; and the more we see of Jesus, the more we shall rejoice. He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, thus showing that their spiritual life, as well as all their ability for their work, would be derived from him, and depended upon him.

Every word of Christ which is received in the heart by faith, comes accompanied by this Divine breathing; and without this there is neither light nor life. Nothing is seen, known, discerned, or felt of God, but through this.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More pictures of our schoolhouse get-a-way!

Some of you asked me for some pictures of the inside of the schoolhouse where my husband and I spent a romantic weekend. are a few of them. For those of you that haven't read the blog about our weekend, just scroll down the page!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Extraordinary Women Conference

Well the seven of us were off to High Point for the EW Conference and we were expecting a good time...and we got what we expected! What was really neat (that was a new phrase for our youngest member) is that a young-at-heart woman in her 80's and a young lady in her 20's joined us who are from early 40's to late 50's and we all had fun! It is amazing how we can be different ages, from various backgrounds, married, divorced or widowed, with children or no children and yet have one common thread that is so strong it holds us together as friends. The cord of hope is Jesus. Even though some have walked with Jesus for over 50 years and some only a couple of years, our salvation is the same....Jesus has no favorites!

The message of the conference was to keep your Christian walk REAL. For we are FREE TO BE REAL! Why do we have the tendency to want people to look at us like we have it all together? I guess we think that if people see Christians falling to temptations and tripping over trials, they will think that Jesus isn't real or powerful enough to help us. But what they don't realize is that life happens to all of us and if it weren't for Jesus we would go through life without the hope of a better life...eternal life! So when we go through trials ...just like everyone else in the world...and keep our focus on Christ, we are assured that the living God is watching over us and using our suffering to strengthen us for future attempts on our lives from the devil or our own bad choices. The Holy Spirit imparts wisdom to us as we read the Word of God and when we act upon that wisdom in obedience, we find the abundant life!

Our young friend has known about Jesus all her life and now she is getting to know Him personally as she starts on her journey. May I be able to be real and share my stories with her, in order that she can see Jesus is still in the restoration business!

My Interpretation:

When we aren't real with each other then how can those that don't know Christ believe he is real? Jesus set us to be real!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Romantic Get-a-way!

We arrived early at the Bed and Breakfast in Orange, Virginia. It is an old mansion on an Italian Plantation. You feel as if you are going to a castle where you will be the princess and the prince will take you in his arms and carry you to the most romantic room. Well it would have been that way except I thought we would want our privacy and so I chose the old schoolhouse. The inn keeper opened the door to our intimate house for the next two days and I noticed my husband was looking...looking for what? The TV! It just happened to be March Madness and there was no TV which I thought would drive him mad. He remained cool and collected but as soon as the inn keeper left he had a few insights to share with me.

Not that he wanted to spend very much time in front of the television set but he did want to watch just one game that happened to begin at 9:00 PM. In order for him to watch UNC play we had to go to the 'mansion' which the inn keepers were fine to indulge us this one favor. Everyone else went to bed ...I guess the whole romantic get-a-way got to them, and at half time doors were being locked and lights turned off. Our signal that it was time for us to go back to the schoolhouse. Fortunately the game was a blowout and we didn't need to watch the second half.

It was very quiet and serene in our small quarters. We watched the flames dance in the fireplace as we listened to Frank Sinatra crooning out love songs, ate strawberries covered in chocolate and held each other tight. Life and love is good when celebrating your 26th wedding anniversary. When we have gone away to other places that had a TV, we rarely turned it on. We prefer reading and looking out over the ocean, so please don't think we are attached to games and such more than spending quiet time alone. But not having the option forced us to think about how we do like to sit in front of the wide screen and be entertained. Not a good thing...but not necessarily a bad thing either. Sometimes we just need to stop thinking about everything going on in our lives and watch others run up and down the court chasing a round ball. A mindless task to me, but not so for my husband who would like to do the same.

Our favorite time over the weekend was visiting a church and singing to the top of our lungs praises to God. We weren't expected to do anything but rejoice with our fellow believers giving honor and glory to the King! It refreshed our souls and brought us into His presence. God spoke to us individually and as a couple and we thank Him for giving us each other wrapped in His love. Oh' it is so good to feel loved!
My Interpretations:
Mindless is good, romance is better, but praising God is the best!