Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Looking for a Bit of Shade?

Looking for a bit of shade?  Try this.

"The Lord is thy keeper:  the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand."

~Psalm 121:5

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Joplin MO Tornado

Please continue to pray for the people of Joplin, Missouri.  Last Sunday's tornado changed everything for the people of Joplin and the surrounding areas.  Many many people are volunteering and donating to help.  Thank you. 

The stories I've heard of God's protection have been amazing.  It's so good to know that He was there even in the storm.

He'll be there for you in your storm as well-- no matter what the storm is.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Joplin Missouri Tornado

Please pray for Joplin MO. It's a town about ten or fifteen miles from us. Nearly half the city of 50,000 has been wiped out by a multivortex tornado this evening. We don't know how many dead yet. We don't have tv; but, we've seen some video on-line that has left us stunned. The damage is so complete. Entire areas just flattened.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: A DARE TO LIVE FULLY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE by Ann Voskamp

This is a book not to be read, but to be experienced.  Mrs. Voskamp wrote the book in present tense as though it were happening right now.  The result was that it seemed as though I was reading her thoughts as they were happening even as I read her words.  It was not an easy to read book.  It's heavy reading.  There is a lot of heart baring and heart sharing in this book. 

The initial chapters are full of the pain of tragedy and the ways that her family's life was destroyed by the tragedy and grief.  It's very hard to read such raw pain, especially in present tense.  The pain of her childhood followed her into her marriage and her motherhood.

The journey of change begins as Mrs. Voskamp is challenged to give thanks, eucharisteo, for one thousand things, one thousand gifts.  It continues through countless offerings of thanks to God even in the suffering that she has experienced in her life and that her loved ones have suffered.  She writes of pain--emotional and physical pain and how God draws her close and heals her heart.  The book covers about a year and a half of her adult life; but, it reaches back to a time when she was a small child and tragedy struck. 

She talks of the struggles of owning a family farm, raising a large family, homeschooling, homemaking, and family crises.  God draws her closer and teaches her so much by making her aware of unnoticed gifts... the moon, the falling raindrops, the blue of her children's eyes.  All gifts.  All to be treasured but ultimately to lead us to a deeper love of the Giver of all good gifts.  Ultimately the Love of God the Father overwhelms her and she finds peace in His love and His care for her. 

As I said earlier, it was not an easy book to read; but, I found myself challenged to look for those things in my life that are gifts.  To be thankful for them.  Deeply thankful to God. 

I shared it with my step-mom.  I gave it four stars instead of five only because it was very difficult for me to read in first person yet jumping backward and forward in time.

I received this book from Zondervan free in exchange for an honest review.  My opinions are my own.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

May I suggest?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cherry Pits, Erma Bombeck, and Jehovah God

I remember a quote from Erma Bombeck.  You'll remember her from the seventies.  She said, "If life is a bowl of cherries, why am I aways in the pits?"  A lot of us can relate.  That's what made Mrs. Bombeck so popular.  She was famous for her witty way of stating the obvious.

God is famous for stating the not-so-obvious.  It is He, Jehovah God, our father, who through the Holy Spirit, inspired Paul to write, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28. 

Unfortunately, that verse does not not mean that everything that happens to us is good.  Quite the contrary.  It doesn't even mean that all things work together for good for everyone.  It means He uses whatever the circumstances are to work for those who love Him, the ones He called for His purpose. 

So, we have to trust Him even when we don't feel like it, even when we cannot see any way that He can make things good.  Trust, it all comes down to trusting Him and being patient for His perfect will and His perfect timing.

So, next time I'm pitting cherries again, I'll remember that He is Good all the time, not just when we're eating the cherry jam.

Trust and Obey for there's no other way...to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

May I suggest?

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Incomprehendable God

  Evening Prayer  by Eugene-Ernest Hillemacher (1818-1887)

I am honored to pray for the requests that you ladies have shared with me.  I consider it a privilege to join with you in petitioning our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God Our Father.  Thank you. I hope that you've each received the e-mail replies that I've sent to you.  Prayers have and will go up for you.  I hope that you will keep me posted.

For those of you who do not know what I'm talking about, I offered to pray for the ladies who entered the giveaway for 90 Days of God's Goodness.  I will gladly pray for you as well should you like to leave a request in the comments for any post.
"Father God, you are the most and the all-powerful, all-present, all-loving.  I thank you that you care about each of us individually.  We are not just a part of a mass (or mess) of humanity.  I don't understand it.  I cannot comprehend your loving eyes and caring involvement in each individual person's life.  Thank you for not only caring about each one of us individually but caring about each individual circumstance.  Because of our savior Jesus, you allow us each to come directly to you.  No priest needed, no animal sacrifices needed. It's a privilege that I don't think we fully understand or appreciate.  I bow down in my heart my God to worship and thank you and to recognize you for who you are.  "I AM," you are God, you are."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

90 Days of God's Goodness by Randy Alcorn

90 Days of God's Goodness
Daily Reflections
That Shine Light on Personal Darkness

   Who hasn't gone through seasons that seem dark, long, and lonely?  Seasons when it seems everything is going wrong.  Maybe it's a period of stressful relationships, of financial difficulties, of extended illness, of disability, or of mourning.  Maybe its a period of feeling like that God isn't really being good to you or even remembering you.  At times like this, another Bible verse quipped by a well-meaning friend isn't really what we need.  We need to know that God is Good, that God is really for us.

   Randy Alcorn addresses these issues and more.  He gives evidence, from scripture and anecdotal, that proves that God is really working all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.  His purpose- not our purpose.  His way- not our way.  We might not  understand or like what's going on; but, God is loving us through our suffering and has suffered himself.
   Mr. Alcorn's devotional is meant to be read in 90 days.  I read it in about a month in order to review it in a timely manner.  At the beginning, I was a little slow at getting into the book.  By the half way point, I felt that God was changing how I look at suffering.  That is ultimately the purpose of this book.  It is a tool that God can use to change your way of thinking.  While this was not always a book that I enjoyed reading, it was very thought provoking.  We don't have to enjoy something for it to be good for us!

   I give it four stars and recommend it to you.   You can read an excerpt by clicking on the book above.  See below to help me by rating my review.  Thanks so much.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ten Years Later... Osama bin Laden

   It seems a lifetime ago.  In fact, it has been for my youngest child.  I'll never forget the moment I heard that our country had been attacked.  It was surreal.  Watching the dreadful, horrifying videos replayed throughout the day.  The confusion, the anguish, the danger, the sacrifice, the fear, the heroism.  I remember the upsurge in patriotism.  I was proud of that.  Then, it seemed as time went on, many in our country almost seemed to turn our backs on our soldiers.  I was ashamed of that. 

   So now, we receive news that Osama bin Laden has been killed and buried at sea.  After such a long wait, it went so quickly.  Forty minutes.  Forty minutes.  Now he will face an eternity in a hell far worse than the one he was responsible for creating.  I find myself with mixed emotions.  I do not, however, believe that it's over.  He was one man.  He preached his doctrine of terror to many.  He left a legacy.
   One man...one woman...what kind of legacy will you and I leave?