Friday, June 12, 2015

It's Friday...and It's All About Family!!

Family....a small word that holds a host of meaning.  Family is where we came from, who we have joined to in marriage, who we have brought forth.  It's our past, it's in the present and will continue in the future for many generations. 
We cannot choose the family we were born into. But, God in His infinite grace and wisdom, placed each of us exactly where we needed to be.  While there is no 'perfect' family, many of our characteristics, qualities and habits come from the experiences - good and bad from our family life.
This week, I've thought a lot about family.  The anniversary of my father's death was this week. I reflected on some ways his life and choices weren't always the best and many of them brought heartache and pain to our family. But in the midst of sorrow, the memory of his love and his words of wisdom ring in my heart clearly today. The love of family holds stronger than mistakes.  Every year, my brother, no matter where he is calls me on that day.  We remember and cherish the shared love of our dad.
A surprise phone call led to a family lunch with two of my favourite aunts.  Both of them are in their 80s, and we don't see each other nearly enough.  All through my childhood, these aunts have been a huge part of my life.  We celebrated the joys of everyday life and when hard times came, they stayed right alongside us, offering their love and whatever was needed to get through the crisis.  That is just what family does!
So as Friday is here, may it be all about family!  May we seek to appreciate, love and serve one another.  Love can cover up a world of differences, mistakes and bad feelings.  Family is forever and the effort we make to build each other up, will last for many generations to come!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Bible Studay

This is the first week of summer vacation for school children.  Being a part time employee offers much flexibility for my schedule. So far this week, we have enjoyed sleeping in a little later and a few days of rest and staying at home.
Summer's slower pace is a nice change, the greatest for me is relaxing our morning routine some!  But, we don't want to fall into too much rest, relaxation and doing nothing!  We need to adept the routine some, keep our priorities in check and seek out opportunities to grow.
Love God Greatly is a woman's ministry that offers Online Bible Studies through the year.  Having participated in several of the studies, I am always challenged and encouraged by them.  A new summer Bible Study will begin next Monday. Here is the description...
The greatness of God’s Word is the theme of Psalm 119. Woven throughout this longest chapter of the Bible are beautiful character qualities of Scripture, reminding us that God’s Word is sufficient, truthful, pure, authoritative, and unchanging. But when we look beyond the words on the page to the living Word – God himself – we see how his character is reflected in this chapter as well.The study of Psalm 119 gives us a glimpse into the beauty, importance, and usefulness of Scripture, prompting us to walk away more in love with God and his Word, more aware of our sin, and more in awe of our great Savior and his sacrifice on our behalf.

This study can be done alone or with a group.  All materials are free to download once you register.  If you are looking for a fun, summer, spiritual growth, enroll today!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In Thy Sight

I just about lost explosion of sarcasm, attitude and anger simmered up quickly.   It wasn't an earth shattering event, just a few teenagers, hanging out, finding some shade on a sweltering hot afternoon.  The issue was, that they were taking up the entire sidewalk as hubby and I were on our walk. The closer we got to them, the more apparent it was that they were not going to move.  They saw us coming up the sidewalk (designed for walkers!!) and simply sat there with no inclination of moving to let us pass.  

Sweet hubby, in his wisdom, sensing my ire rising said, "Just pass to the right".  I did, but not before looking and expressing some emotional gestures (waving hands to move)  to them while making a comment about the sidewalk....very mature for Christian women in her 40's huh???   While finishing my walk and simmering down, I reflected, why do I let things like that bother me?  But most importantly, why do I respond like I do.  Does that represent a Christlike attitude?  They didn't see the goodness of Christ in my actions!

One the powerful things about God's Word is that it goes deep.  Beyond examples of faith, comfort in hard times, strength to carry on, God's Word is sharp.  It can cleanly divide those attitudes of the flesh that rise up from the grace that God has poured in our hearts to pour into the lives of others.

Following my little attitude episode, I thought this verse prefect for today...

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." Psalms 19:20

What a power filled dividing line for all my words, thoughts and attitudes.  May God find them acceptable.  Is there anything greater than that?

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Just Love Weddings!!

Weddings are happy events! A place to get a first hand view of love, hope for a new life joined together and a promise and commitment in front of God, family and friends.  Even as a 'mature' married couple, I always leave a wedding inspired to love more, serve more and be a better wife!

Wedding fervor has hit our family and circle of friends.Our oldest son got married last year along with a few of his closest friends.  What a joy it has been watching these boys who grew up together celebrate and take part in each other's weddings.  My mama's heart cried tears of joy at each wedding, so happy for the new life they are beginning.

My picture taking fanaticism has dimmed some, boys still are not overly interested or see the importance of cherishing the moment with a photo.  BUT....I pulled the mama card out at this last wedding and rounded my bunch out for a few pictures!

My handsome groom of 25 years!!

My 2 oldest sons and daughter in law were part of the wedding party...I just happened to match, so they let me blend in!!

Getting the youngest in on the photo action!!

Yes, I love weddings and getting some photos to help cherish the joy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Hope Is Crooked

Pretty words, positive words, powerful words...those are the things I am purposely putting around my home as decoration.  In the place where my family and I relax, renew and get real, reminders of faith, hope and love help restore my peace!

This is the top of my refrigerator.  I added a piece of greenery and adjusted the plaques.  I stepped down to look at a distance....

and while walking back, spoke to myself..."my hope is crooked."  Simply meaning to adjust the middle plaque. After the words were spoken out loud,  that stirring of the Lord began working in my heart.  

What would that hope is crooked?  I reflected on one of my all time favorite Scriptures, which happens to be all about HOPE!  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

"As you trust in Him".  God is to be the source and focus of my hope because He is "THE GOD OF HOPE"!  When things don't go according to plan, when circumstances and solutions fall out of my hands, He is hope. Nothing is impossible with God, He is bigger than anything we face.  

It has been said that the object of our focus impacts what we trust and put faith in.  If I focus on situations, circumstance, trials of life, they magnify and grow larger and threaten to consume.  But, focusing on the God of Hope, fills a heart to overflowing with joy and peace by His power. 

Although there are many times when my hope can  be a little off center or crooked.  But God's Word is able to pull my around and get my focus back!