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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Friday, September 28, 2007

Still Small Voice

I just took an exhilarating walk. I had spent most of the day at the computer trying to do some writing and catch up on some blogging. In between time, I home schooled my 13 year old. Fortunately we do a light day on Fridays with school. I finally decided to take a break and enjoy the beautiful day. We have had several days of heat and humidity. The showers we had overnight ushered in a cool, breezy day with lower humidity. I had the doors and windows open all day, and the outside was calling me.

I set out for a vigorous walk and some time with the Lord. While exercising, observing the beauty of the day, I also talked with my Heavenly Father. I have been struggling some with balance lately and trying find to get everything done - or at least the things that have highest priority. I felt God prompting me to some changes in my schedule that are very doable that would allow me time to still devote time with home school each day as well as allow some time for my writing and blogging, as well as time left over for the daily chores.

I pray Lord that I will always have my heart open and attuned to your leading. Help me to make the steps necessary to have a more balanced day. Make me more like you Lord.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Letter to Millions

"After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea." Colossians 4:16

Perusing through Colossians today in my Bible reading, I noticed this verse that the apostle Paul wrote at the end of his letter to the church at Colosse. Paul's letter was written with the intention that others would read it and share it with another church as well. That got me thinking. I have written many letters through the years, often ones of encouragement. My letters have touched individuals, but they have been limited in that the only person likely to read them is the recipient.

Paul's intentions was that the believers in two churches would hear his "news". It is very likely that he had no idea of the ramifications of his obedience in writing that letter (and others throughout the New Testament). Because Paul was faithful, he has touched millions of lives down through the ages from the simple act of putting his thoughts down on paper.

I love to write, but know the likelihood of me touching millions through the words I write is pretty unlikely. But I thought too that each of us have an opportunity to touch millions through our obedience and witness for Christ. If we faithfully shine our light for people to see, others too are encouraged to shine and share the gospel, and through time it becomes far reaching. Scripture says, "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 7:2-3 You may not ever be an author that reaches the multitudes, but you can choose each day to write God's truths on the tablet of your heart so that others see Him through you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sweep Away the Dirt

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Today I finally got around to doing a job that I have been putting off for months - cleaning off the front porch. Somehow it had become an extra storeroom - trashcans, flower pots, dead flowers in pots, bows and arrows, bubble pipe, seeds that were drying out, some chairs that need fixing, etc. Those were just the big items. Then there was the accumulation of dirt, twigs, stones, grass, and leaves.

I had my sons help move the various objects to their "home". After removing all the objects I was able to see all the dirt and debris that had collected on the porch - more than I realized. I picked up the obvious trash and threw it away and then started sweeping the porch clean. When the task was completed I felt a sense of satisfaction and renewal in some way.

I was reminded of the "dirt" that can daily store up in our lives. Unkind words spoken, an attitude, responding in anger or frustration, not taking the time to listen to a child, spouse or friend... I realized how important it is to daily go to God and ask him to clean out the dirt and cobwebs that are in my heart. I pray each day Lord, that you show me the need to start fresh and pure.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Prayer Update

Just wanted to thank you for praying. The boys are on the mend. My husband still is suffering with back problems. He has problems with it about once a year, but it seems slower to heal this time than normal. Sure would appreciate your continued prayers.

Last week was a rough one with the boys sick, my husband out of commission, the toilet sprung a leak and had soaked through to the basement below, soaking the ceiling tile, dealt with a dead bird, tight finances, driving a car that in order to get out of it, you have to roll the window down to open the door from the outside.... But in the midst of a hard week, I also have tried to take time each day to praise the Lord and thank Him for His many blessings.

I have hopes that this week will be better. But even if it is not, I know that God is in control and He is never surprised by what happens in my life. I can take comfort in Him.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dead Bird

2 Corinthians 2:16To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

I had an unpleasant task to perform this morning. For the past couple months we have been regularly feeding the birds. It has been a joy to see all the varieties that God has created. But today I discovered that somehow a bird had fallen into one of our feeders and died. I had the unpleasant task of removing it. It happened to be the feeder that only has a small opening to pour feed into. I looked but was unable to find a way to take off the top of the feeder.

My husband has a type of grabber tool - don't know the official name of it. So I stood on tiptoe, trying to see how I was going to fish the bird out of there. It took several failed attempts. I prayed, "Please help me Lord." As I was able to draw the bird closer to the top, the stench of death filled my nostrils. I almost lost my resolve and was tempted to let someone else in the family "deal with it." But I persevered.

As I carried the bird to the compost pile I was reminded of the stench of my own sins -- when I choose to respond poorly to my husband or teenagers, when I choose to eat "just one more cookie", or I choose to spend time with God later. Numerous choices throughout the day can either be the smell of death or the fragrance of life.

Lord, help me to choose the fragrance of life in my daily walk with you. May others smell me before I come - a sweet fragrance and not the odor of death. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Prayer Request

Just wanted to ask for prayer for my husband. He threw his back out a week ago and then re- injured it on Sunday and still hasn't been doing the greatest. One son has a cold and the other seems to be starting with one too. My mind is focused on the need for sleep..... How comforting to know that we are part of God's family and that others can be praying. Thanks for your prayers in advance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Keeping Your Head Above the Water

Ever feel so swamped with your "To Do" list that you are treading water and just barely keeping your head above the water? That has been my life lately. My husband has been out from work for almost a week now with back problems, and my youngest son started with a cold and fever yesterday. Being nursemaid is not a strong point for me, so I am struggling to be pleasant while serving. With two out of commission my "To Do" list has been put on hold and I feel like I am getting further behind. But I am reassured that God is not surprised with where I am and that I am not able to get much completed. I pray that I will respond sweetly to my son and husband and learn from God what it is that I need to focus on each day and just trust Him with the rest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Applesauce Days

Last evening I made my first homemade applesauce of the season. It seems hard to believe that we are at that time of year already. Here in Pennsylvania we have been having pretty warm temperatures. Next week Fall starts. My eldest son gathered apples that had fallen on the ground before he and his brother mowed the lawn. It was enough to make applesauce, so last night you would have found me standing in my kitchen peeling apples. Then taking a quick break to walk with my youngest son while he did some popcorn selling for Boy Scouts. After my oldest son finished up work on a college paper, he joined us so he could also sell popcorn. I returned home to catch up with a few emails and peel some more apples. By the time the boys were in bed I finally got the apples to the stoves. Shortly afterward, the aroma of homemade applesauce filled our home.

I love the sight, smells and sounds of this season. The cool crisp air smells different. It is a time of homemade applesauce and apple pie. Soon we will have leaves crunching under our feet as we walk. It also usually is a time that I start burning candles again. I also start listening to Christmas music. In fact there is some playing right now. I happen to love the Christmas season so I always start enjoying the music early. We still have a strand of Christmas lights hanging in our dining room. From time to time when I'm feeling blue, my kids will plug those in and surprise me.

What a blessing to have the seasons change and to have new things to anticipate. God truly has blessed us. Why don't you whisper a prayer of thanks to your Heavenly Father after reading this.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Chocolate Indulgences

This week I was scheduled for my yearly physical (woman) exam at the doctor. Not my favorite thing to do - okay probably one of my least favorite things to do. After it was over I decided to stop by the local K-Mart just for a few minutes before returning home. While there I found a few items - a pair of shoes for myself that were on sale and a shirt for each of my boys that was 50% off the clearance price. Then as I was in line I happened to peruse the candy while waiting for the customer in front of me to finish up with the cashier. I noticed a new candy bar from Hershey and it was on sale for only 49 cents - so I indulged. I figured it was my reward for being faithful with going to my exam. Now it was not something I needed, just wanted. A reward for being faithful. God promises to reward us if we are faithful to Him.
Let's see... next month I have my mammogram to do...... :)