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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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Hero

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25


My husband is my hero. We have been married for almost 23 years (in December). He continues to be my greatest supporter. I am incredibly blessed by this dear man. Today he felt impressed to take our van to work. Usually he leaves it here for me to use, but he really felt like he was supposed to take it.

We keep a shield in the front window to help the vehicle to not be quite so hot. When he folded it up this morning he found two hornets, that weren’t too happy. In fact one of them stung him in the leg. He was so thankful that it had happened to him, and not to me. He was able to prevent me from getting stung. My dear, sweet husband knight – ready to fight dragons on behalf of his fair maiden, despite the size. :)

He also endeared me, by staying up in the wee hours of night yesterday to work on a page template that I needed to have today. It will be used throughout the next two years. He sacrificed his sleep to help me out. I know he didn’t get to bed until after 1AM because he emailed me the document at 1:05 AM, after working on it on his computer.

As much as my husband loves and supports me, he is but a dim reflection of how much God loves and cares about me. I am incredibly thankful for my husband. He is my best friend and I am more in love with him now then when we first married. He has stood by me in all the ups and downs that we have faced together. I wouldn’t choose anyone else to be by my side. In this roller coaster of life he is my hero.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Catching Up

Today I was at the opthalmologist for a check up to see how the pressure was doing in my eyes after some procedures I had performed in early spring. This was the first time to see if the pressure had come down, like the doctor was hoping. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. I had a field of vision test and am not sure of the results. I will return in early January to check the optic nerve. If the pressure still remains high, we'll try another eye drop to see if that makes the difference. The doctor commented that my eyes are stubborn.

One note of encouragement is that I am slowly noticing a little bit of progress with my feet healing and not being quite so painful. I still have to be very careful and watch that I don't overdo. I pray that I'll be able to stand for at least part of the patriotic cantata that we'll be singing in on September 11th. I don't want to stress my feet too much since less than a week later I'll be hopping an airplane and having to trek through the airport.

I praise God that even in the midst of uncertainties and ups and downs in our lives, the Lord is always faithfully beside us. What a blessing to have the Lord.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hungry for God's Word

"Taste and see that the LORD is good;
       blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8


We have had an abundance of activity at out bird feeders as of late. They flutter, hop, chirp, and fly as they eagerly await their turn at the sustenance that has been provided for them. Some patiently sit on the sidelines, while others push and shove their way to the food. All of them desire the same thing - a meal.

As it gets closer to fall and winter each year, there seems to be much more interest in the feeders, then other times throughout the seasons. I suppose it is the instinct that God has built into these creatures, to start bulking up and preparing for the winter ahead. I know that we go through much more bird seed during this time.

While watching my fine-feathered friends, I couldn't help but think, wonder and question whether or not I have the same attitude that these birds have. Do I eagerly desire to be in God's presence and to learn from His Word? Is God's Word something that I seek with my whole heart? Am I content to sit on the sidelines when it comes to studying God's Word or am I actively seeking out what He has for me? Some definite food for thought today! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vanishing Act by Liz Johnson

Nora James watches in horror as her father is shot in an alley. She narrowly escapes and flees the life she has always known. Nora is devastated to lose her only connection to family and is forced to live in hiding. Fear overwhelms at times, as she continues to wonder if the men who murdered her father will one day show up on her doorstop.

Changing her name to Danielle Keating and assuming a different identity and lifestyle makes it difficult for special agent Nathan Anderson to realize who she is. He becomes attracted to her, but forces himself to focus on the mission at hand - finding and protecting Nora James. Intrigue, suspense and mystery interfere with their budding relationship. Will it survive the test of time?

Vanishing Act is my first Love Inspired Suspense book that I have read from Steeple Hill Books. Although it is not the genre that I usually choose to read, I found this book interesting and fun.

Be sure to check out Liz's website:http://www.lizjohnsonbooks.com

This book was provided for review by Liz Johnson (Steeple Hill Books).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In an Instant

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

"As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him." Mark 1:16-20


I know that this first scripture refers to when Jesus returns to this earth and calls us. But I can't help but think about how it relates to the second portion of scripture too. I have been ruminating for a couple weeks now about how life can change in an instant. One occurrence in our life can shape, mold and change our future - sometimes for good, but also for bad. At other times, it may just affect us for part of our life.

I have been thinking about my husband's ski accident, and how his life has been changed and different ever since he fell on the ski slopes almost 18 months ago. There still isn't a day that goes by, that he doesn't experience residual affects. At this point it is unclear whether or not he will ever be fully healed and back to 'normal.'

I also remember an event in my growing up years that only took a few minutes to occur, but I still carry the influence of it. I know that it has deep roots that have affected me in many ways, not always for the best.

But then I read in scripture how some ordinary man responded to the call of the Master. They answered when Jesus invited, little realizing how drastically it would change their lives forever, as well as the world as they knew it. In an instant their lives were radically transformed. Are you willing to answer the Master's call and be changed?

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Sound that Always Brings a Smile to My Face

I have been sitting here working on the computer for quite some time now. It's been a beautiful day, so I have had the windows open. As I have been writing, there has been a constant flurry of activity and chirping at the bird feeder that is just outside our kitchen window. Sparrows and other birds are eagerly awaiting their turn at the feeder.

I can't think of any other sound I hear that instantly brings a smile to my lips and joy to my heart, other than hearing the birds. I especially take pleasure in hearing cardinals. They are my favorite bird. What a joy this afternoon to hear the birds.

Three Year Anniversary!!

Just wanted to add a quick note. Yesterday it has been three years since I have started this blog! What a fun journey it has been. I enjoy sharing my thoughts, as well as things that God is teaching me.

First Day

Today my youngest son and I started our first official day of homeschool for the year. I have just begun my fifteenth year in this adventure. In fact, I only have two more years before this journey is complete. It seems hard to believe!

I was amazed that before lunch time, we had completed a full day of school, I had gone for groceries and had all the laundry washed. I felt like I did some major accomplishments this morning!

So what's next on the agenda for the day? I hope to get a little bit of writing accomplished on my novel, before my husband arrives home. I also hope to get back into more regular blog posts. The past three weeks have been a blur. Then my husband, son and I plan to spend a quiet evening enjoying pizza and a movie. I praise God for days to just kick back and relax in the evening!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Whole New World

I just set up a Facebook account this afternoon/evening. I don't know that I know enough about it - probably just enough to be dangerous! :) I can see why people could spend hours on it. I was on for a while, just trying to figure things out. I opted to set up an account as part of my writing career.

I can't help but wonder if people join Facebook and other such organizations, because they have a desire to connect with someone. It makes me realize that God designed us for relationship and fellowship with each other. At times we use other things or people to substitue what we are really seeking in God. I'm not crticizing. I just realize that we need to be careful. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coming and Going

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

Ever have one of those days when you feel like you are coming and going at the same time? That's how things have seemed to be ever since we returned back home after being away for a few days. Today was spent trying to get caught up with laundry and weeding my way through 300+ emails that came in over the weekend. Then I also needed to take my son to the doctor and run errands and get medicine.

Our son has either strep throat or mono. The doctor was convinced that he had strep throat because his tonsils look pretty bad. The test came back negative, but the doctor  feels it may have been to early to test accurately. There also is the possibility for mono.

Tonight I am feeling pretty weary and possibly that I am catching something as well. Unfortunately my son drank out of my water bottle on the way home Sunday evening, which means I may get whatever he has. But I rest in the fact that even when things are crazy and I'm feeling tired, weary and worn out, that God still gives us strength. I praise God that He doesn't get weary in watching over us. He loves and cares about us. I choose to rest in that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

When Plans Change

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10

Today was to be the start of my son's 11th grade homeschool year. But plans changed this morning when my youngest son woke up with a fever, chills, aches, and extremely sore throat. The day progressed with him not improving at all, but seeming to get worse. It's looking very likely that we will need to make a doctor appointment for him in the morning.

I was out for a while this evening with my Bible study ladies for an evening of fun and fellowship. When I returned home my son was already in bed, but hadn't fallen asleep yet because he was burning up with fever and having difficuly swallowing because of the pain. I felt bad because I forgot that earlier in the evening he had wanted me to read some scriptures to him. While I was gone my husband read to him before our son went to bed.

My son has been reading through the book of James in his devotional time. Each day he picks out a verse that is meaningful to him and writes it down and puts it in his pocket as a reminder of what God has taught him. Today he was feeling too lousy to do his devotions on his own, so my husband helped him out. So when I got home, even though he was feeling awful, he asked me to write this verse down on a slip of paper and put it with his Dad's things so he'll see it in the morning before he goes to work.

Our day turned out different then we had planned for it to go, but I am reminded that our plans are not always what God plans are. But through it all, I pray that we will desire to follow his way. In the midst of struggles and sickness may we still choose to look to the Lord.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Miracles

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Yesterday we left on vacation to head down to Maryland for a mini-retreat and time away. We had about two and a half hours of travel time. On the route we were taking, part of the highway snaked through the mountains. It was in one of these mountain areas that we had a truck pull right in front of our vehicle.

It was one of those close calls. If my husband hadn’t braked hard, we would have been in the back end of the truck. There was not sufficient room for the truck driver to get over, but he still pulled into our lane.

I’ve been thinking about the what ifs. What if my husband hadn’t braked as hard as he did? What if there had been a car behind us or beside us? If any of those things were changed at all, we would have been in perhaps a deadly accident.

Our ‘near miss’ made me more aware of the things we often take for granted. I realize that it wasn’t a coincidence that we weren’t in an accident yesterday. I know that God was watching out for us. I also realize that it doesn’t mean that we will always be protected or have things go our way. God often allows bad things into our lives as well as the good things.

But I am extremely thankful for God’s provision yesterday. I know it was a miracle that we weren’t in an accident. I pray that I am sensitive to seeing God work in my life. May I always live a life that exemplifies Him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Away for a Few Days

I'm going to be away for a few days for a mini vacaction. I am hoping to get some writing time in while we are gone, since I haven't had the opportunity to work on my book writing the past week and a half. I am looking forward to having some time alone with the Lord as I seek His wisdom and insight for direction this fall. I hope to post again early next week.

The Ministry of Prayer

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16b

I was struck by a statement that a dear friend of mine made this evening. I had written to her, asking her to pray for me. I was in need of God's help to finish a writing assignment before we leave for a mini vacation tomorrow afternoon. I knew my time was limited and I needed help with creativity and clear thinking. So I sent a quick email to my friend asking her to pray for me. She responded immediately that she stopped what she was doing and prayed. What usually takes me a while to complete, came together in less than an hour's time.

So back to the email this evening. Here is what my friend said. "I wish people would share requests more often & be willing to share after the "crisis/request" has passed and how God works in it. I think sharing this info is encouraging to the prayer warrier as it is to the person who is prayed for." Her statement made me realize the importance of sharing our requests - to let others know when we are struggling. When we seek help through other's praying, it allows them the opportunity to be used of God. We both get blessed in the process.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Love Being Home

"The fear of the LORD leads to life:
       Then one rests content, untouched by trouble." Proverbs 19:23 


I always have been a person who enjoys being home. I also love time alone. I can always find something to do, or rest in having nothing to do. In other words, I am rarely, if ever bored. I love the life that God has given me. I so appreciate my husband supporting my being home all of these past years to raise our family. We are within two years of completing that time of actively raising our children, before they will likely both be out of the nest.

I find after several days of running, I am always ready to be home. (Actually I'm content to be home most all of the time, with very little running!) We had an enjoyable time away over the weekend visiting my in-laws in Virginia. Yesterday I had planned on being home and unwinding from our trip. Our plans were changed when my son continued to have issues with his finger over the weekend. Last week he had smashed his finger in the door and had been having pain in it ever since. It continued to worsen while we were away, so we knew it needed some attention when we got home.

Yesterday we were able to schedule a doctor appointment in the afternoon. They punctured his fingernail in two spots, to relieve the pressure. We also went for x-rays to make sure that he hadn't fractured or cracked any of the bones in his finger. It made for a long day, but thankfully he is feeling quite a bit better now. 


Today I am relishing in the fact that I'm able to be home. I did have to run a few errands around lunch time, but that is it. The rest of my hours will be at home catching up with things, as well as working on my writing assignment. I am so thankful that God has called me to be home.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Power of Prayer

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16b

I'm thankful for the power of prayer that I witness in my life and those around me. I am especially thankful for friends that come alongside me to uplift, encourage and pray for me when I'm in the midst of difficult situations. It can be a real blessing to have someone that has walked the pathway ahead of you, reach back and encourage you to keep going. They know and understand the pain, frustration and sorrow you may be going through, and are able to tell you that things will get better.

There have been many times in my life when I have felt and witnessed this loving support and care. I pray that I am able to do that for others as well. Today I am thankful for friends and dear sisters in the Lord that love and support me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ground Hog Diaries

Yesterday we saw our first sighting of a ground hog that was in our driveway. Today we have had at least two times where he has been of our front porch. My sons have seen him under one of our pine trees and I saw him under the bushes up front. My guys were eager to pull out a pellet and BB gun, to try and discourage him from taking up residence here. Although I think it's a lost cause. We aren't positive, but feel he has made a home in the rock garden at the side of our house.

Now there are some critters that I don't mind. I love watching the birds that have been coming to my feeders. Yesterday we had a juvenile cardinal. He reminded me of the one we had a few years ago that we saw grow up from baby to adult. This one was likely a male. It was still at the stage that you couldn't tell for sure, because his feathers were still muted colors with just hints of red. Even the beak was dark and hadn't turned orange yet.

I'm not too fond of squirrels in my yard because they eat up all the bird food that I put in the feeders. I'm not too crazy about cats either, since they kill the birds that I love to watch. Having a ground hog that close to the house makes me a bit nervous. I do like seeing chipmunks.

All right, this is perhaps a dramatic analogy. But I kept thinking of this verse in 1 Peter 5:8 which says the following. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I know this ground hog isn't the devil :) and he isn't looking to devour us. But I am reminded of how quickly sin can enter our life and heart and hinder our relationship with the Lord. Just like this ground hog has suddenly appeared on our property and has seemed to taken up residence, so we can be drawn away if we aren't careful.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Keeps Passing

I have been a bit more sporadic with my posts as of late. Sorry for that. Life has gotten pretty busy. I guess life has a tendency to do that from time to time! :) Our next two weeks are crazy with two mini-trips to VA and MD, preparing for starting homeschool on August 16th, a writing assignment, book review blogging, and our oldest son is preparing for a move and start of a new job. I don't anticipate much writing time. I look forward to getting things back to a routine and schedule once we return home. Then it's a matter of trying to figure out how to balance everything that I want to do.

I am thankful that God gives me strength enough for whatever I face today. I need to remind myself to not get overwhelmed with what's ahead, but instead take one day at a time. What things are you thankful for?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Broad Shoulders

"Cast your cares on the LORD
       and he will sustain you;
       he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 

I had the pleasure of having breakfast with a friend this morning. I have been incredibly blessed by having lots of times to meet with various friends throughout these summer months. My friend in Georgia calls me a social butterfly. I laugh, because that is so uncharacteristic of my shy self. 

As my friend and I spent time together eating and sharing our hearts, I was struck by some things. Often we each have a burden that we bear in our hearts. Sometimes it is too private to share with someone. It may be a hurt or pain that we are trying to work through. Perhaps we don't share because we may feel like nobody else will understand or relate to us. It may be something that you can only share with the Lord. I believe that ultimately we are to always bring our concerns and cares to God. Only He knows how best to address those issues.
But I wonder if sometimes we deprive ourselves by not sharing with others. Often we discover that they have gone through something very similar and can give us words of wisdom or a shoulder to cry on, or the encouragement of knowing they are praying for us. I feel that is what calls us to do as Christians, to be an uplift and help to each other. Sometimes we can get so downtrodden that we need somebody else to come alongside us and help us walk for a while. Is there someone that you know that needs your help today?