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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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books...So Little Time to Read What I Want to Read :)

As I conclude 2009 I have been thinking about books. I have been an avid reader since I was a little girl. Each year I keep a list of the things that I have read throughout the months. I guess I have been thinking about this lately for several reasons. I have a few days to myself where I plan to do a lot of relaxing and catching up on my reading. I also have become a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson Publisher. Just a few days ago I received my first book in the mail to review. I eagerly look forward to reading it. (Be watching as I soon will share my thoughts on it as well.)

There are probably thousands of books that I have read through the years. Today I just completed reading The Holy Bible. It is one of many times that I have read through the Bible. Each time I read God's Word I am impacted by the truths that lie within it.

I also have been thinking about other books as well. I have read many Christian fiction and nonfiction books through the years. But there has been one that has stood out among the rest. Perhaps because it was one that God used as a catalyst to radically change my relationship with my husband about eight years ago. What is the title you ask? It first came out as a paperback book entitled Motivating Your Man God's Way by Dr. Emerson & Sarah Eggerichs. Since then it has been republished under the title Love & Respect.

I have always had the desire to write and be published. I started writing when I was probably about seven years old. I wrote my first full length novel when I was in my early teen years. I have had some pieces published through the years - some poetry, and I am a regular feature columnist for a homeschool periodical. But there still is that thirst and hunger for more... to have a book published.

As I read I often find myself analyzing as well. What makes this a good or bad story? How would I change it or say it differently? Perhaps someday I will achieve my dream and have a published title. But until that time I continue to strive to do what God desires of me each day. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Year Reflections

I would like to say that this past month has been a blur, but actually this past year has been a blur as well. This year has been one with major health concerns for our family. I still am facing some myself that we don't know what will be the outcome. I continue to think of the prayer I prayed a few months ago in correlation to a verse in scripture. "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:13-15

Since I have prayed that prayer about being more solid in my faith, I have faced many different health issues. I guess I am still in process of learning this lesson though since the health issues haven't ceased. :) Isn't that typical of us...we desire to learn and be changed but don't always enjoy the process it takes to get to that new level of faith.

So with not knowing what I face in the weeks and months ahead, I still choose to place my trust and faith in the Lord. I am thankful that He knows everything about me and that He is always there for me. May I be a beacon that points others to Him as I learn to grow to be more like Him!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowy Weekend in Virginia

It's been a crazy week since I last posted. It was full with doctor appointments, and preparing to spend the weekend in Virgina. Our oldest son came home on Friday evening from Florida after being gone for over three months. Friday was a stressful day with activities and preparing to leave for the weekend. In the midst of all of the flurry my oldest son called to say that his second flight from Atlanta to Dulles was cancelled because of the coming snow storm.

He was to be traveling with his friend and roommate from college. After being on standby throughout the day, our son was able to arrive at Dulles Airport, even earlier than his original flight. Unfortunately his roommate has been stuck in Atlanta since Friday morning. We ask that you pray that he soon can make it home to be with his family as well.


I think I have mentioned before that I love snow. So it was a pleasure yesterday to watch at least 24 inches of snow descend on us here in VA. At the moment my husband and sons are shoveling out from the snow storm. We pray that we'll be able to safely make it back to PA tomorrow.

Even in the midst of some difficult days and situations I need to continue to remind myself that God is not surprised by the events that 'happen' in our our lives. With all of the stressful things that has happened this year with my husband's ski accident, I still rely on the fact that I serve a God that I can trust--even when I don't understand. I know that He has my best interest in mind--He can see the future. So today I rest in that.

I do ask you to pray for my son's roommate (and friend) and his family as they are in a 'waiting' time in their lives. May they sense God's peace in the midst of difficulties.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are You Truly Living?

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night." Luke 2:8

Yesterday was an icy day here in PA. We slid our way to church in the morning. Not too many other people attempted the roads, so services were pretty slim.

But as our Pastor gave the morning message, he pointed out something that I have overlooked in scripture up until now. The passage above doesn't just say that the shepherds were out in the field for the night, but that they were living in the fields. That caused me to pause and think.

How many of us just go through life just going through the motions? We get up, go through our daily routine, only to get up and do it again over and over and over... When was the last time that you paused and truly made a point of living? Not just stuck in the same routine, but truly seeking out what God has for you to do in this life. I encourage you as we draw closer to Christmas, to examine your life closely. Pray and ask God where He would like you to make changes. How can you truly live, verses just surviving each day?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow

Last night it snowed for the second time in less than a week. I love the beauty of the snowfall, and eagerly await it each year. Today it is very gray/white outside. I know some don't like when it is overcast outside and thrive in the sunshine. I happen to like those dreary days. I guess because they stir in me a desire to be inside, curled up with a hot drink, and reading a good book. Not that I often get to do that, especially at this time of year.

But this past Monday, found me doing that (even though the sun was shining). I had an early out-patient surgery for skin cancer. On the way home, the wound had started to seep a little bit, so my husband and I decided that it would be best if I just laid low for the day, allowing my body time to heal. So I spent most of the day resting, and curled up under blankets with a good book. My dear husband and son did all of the weekly laundry so that I wouldn't have to bend and carry things this week while I have stitches in my face. Yesterday when the bandages came off, I discovered that I have at least ten stitches. I have very little swelling and bruising, so I think it will heal nicely.

As I think about snow and am enjoying the beauty of it, I can't help but be reminded of my sins being washed away by Christ's blood that was shed for me. I now have a pure, white heart, like the snow that I see. I encourage you to remember that this winter, whenever you see the snow falling. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father who gave His all, for you.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Run....

I was reading through sections of Luke 2 this morning as part of my devotional readings. I came across the part where the angels had just left the shepherds on the hillside. They decided to go see this child that was spoken about by the angels. The Bible says that they ran to Bethlehem. Once they made a commitment, they immediately followed through with their commitment.

This reminds me of another time in scripture when a man ran. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20 This is the parable of the Prodigal Son. His father ran to him when he saw him returning in the distance.

How quick are we to respond when we feel the Lord's prompting? Do we hesitate and question, or do we run?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Joy! Joy! Joy!

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10

I have been thinking the past couple days about how many Christmas songs mention the word 'joy' in them. Even in scripture we read about our Savior's birth being a great joy for all people. As I was practicing for our church's Christmas cantata yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the depth of that joy. Jesus gave up everything, to come to this world for YOU. He came to provide a way for YOU to go to heaven, because He loves you so very much. Ephesians 3:17-19 says, "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

My prayer for you is that you will have a deep understanding of the joy that God has for you. May we also experience His joy as we prepare for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Open and Listening

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."Luke 2:13-14

I thought of this verse this morning as I was driving my son to swim practice. In the hills, outside the sleepy village of Bethlehem, were shepherds watching their sheep. Things were quiet and calm when suddenly an angel appeared, telling them about the birth of the Savior. I could perhaps see how one angel could go unnoticed by the sleeping community. But don't you wonder how all of the people slept through a great company of heavenly host, praising God?

It made me pause and think about the importance of being open to hear God's voice in my life. But in order to hear, I need to be intentionally listening for that voice as well. So as I go about this Advent season, I pray that I will be open and listening to hear what God has to say to me.