Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Purr-fect Therapy"


Anyone who lives with cats totally understands this picture which says it all...cats rule, and we'll readily give up our comfort for the sake of our feline children.

There's nothing like the peaceful feeling they bring as they curl up with us, motors running, completely content as we snuggle together.

There have been times when I've tossed and turned, unable to sleep until one of my kitties comes to visit me late in the night, lulling me to sleep with their sweet singing purrs and the feel of their soft fur.

Yes, I am a cat lover to the extreme and make no apologies for it.  They are sweet and delightful gifts from God who have often spoken to my troubled soul, soothing, comforting and helping, I believe, by God's hands to help slow down my racing thoughts as the Lord ushers in His peace.

Thank You, Lord, for all of Your awesome and most precious creatures!  Nothing is wasted with You.

(A page from my inspirational scrapbook)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"As a Child"


The Lord has appeared of old to me, 
saying: “Yes, I have loved you with
an everlasting love;
therefore with
lovingkindness I have drawn you. 
Jeremiah 31:3 

When I saw this picture I just knew there was something the Lord wanted to speak through it.  Though the Lord was speaking some personal things to me, ultimately it was His perfect love I knew He wanted to express through the message of the gift of Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ that He offers to all.

As we are entering the Christmas season I am ever mindful of the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate.  There is nothing and will never be anything greater than the gift of God's love and His redeeming power through Christ.

There is no gift, no amount of money or anything that this life may have to offer that could equal His immeasurable love to save our dying souls as God the Father offered up His Son to pay the price for all sin.

My heart and my life belong to Him and I am forever grateful that He looked upon me and offered me redemption and a life set free in Him and that the same is offered to every man, woman and child.

My prayer is that all around the world we would hear and respond to the voice of His Holy Spirit who draws us by God's everlasting love to become the new creation in Christ Jesus He longs for us to be and that we would live our lives fresh and anew for Him.

Thank You, Heavenly Father!  May Christ truly be the center of it all, not just at Christmastime but every day of our life.

Come unto God the Father
In purity and without guile
Receive the Kingdom of Heaven
Innocent as a child.
Know the love of Jesus
Feel His warm embrace
Live a life of freedom
Victory by His grace.
Each day approach in newness
In Jesus Christ, rejoice
Garments of praise to cover
Raise holy hands and voice.
Feast on the word He's given
Let a heart be formed
That God Himself is shaping
In all that are reborn.
Trusting Him more fully
With every passing day
Grown up, His disciple
All sin washed away.
By blood that is all-sufficient
Shed by One Who paid the price
The sinless, spotless, Lamb of God
Clothed in brilliant light.
Throughout your days He'll hold you
Never to let go
For He is true and faithful
And longs for you to know
The mysteries of Heaven
The promises that await
The perfect plan He has for those
Who take His hand by faith.
Let the joy of His salvation
Permeate your life
Filling every corner
Immersed in Jesus Christ.
Scripture Meditation:
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:3 - Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 
Matthew 18:2-3 - Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,  and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

(A page from my inspirational scrapbook)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"In Everything Give Thanks"

As we're winding down the month of November and the year I'm reflecting on all the many things for which I am grateful to God.  And though we have just ended the holiday of Thanksgiving, my prayer is that the Lord would open our eyes, that not only for a day or a month out of the year would we be thankful, but every day to purpose in our hearts to seek out, find and acknowledge the multitude of blessings that the Lord so graciously provides.

The Lord's mercies are new every morning and His compassions they fail not.  Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me, and reason enough to sing Your praises every day!

Link to the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI_3KqWQ6OA

(A page from my  inspirational scrapbook)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"No Worries"

This is a page from my inspirational scrapbook that I continue to work on.  After I create enough pages I'll have them bound into a book.  What a fun and great way to meditate on the precious promises of God and other encouraging thoughts.  

(Click on the picture for a full-sized view)

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Sleeping on the Stairs"

Here's my silly little Lucy Lu who decided to sleep on the stairs since that's where the sun was shining in.  I took this picture as I was preparing to leave for work one morning and felt so bad that I had to close the door and take away her prime sleeping spot.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Partakers of Holiness"


Life is quite often a challenge.  Much of the time we don’t know what may be around the bend.  The things that have taken place over the past several months, along with just all of the every day daily stuff, at times have seemed nothing short of overwhelming.  My patience some days has been stretched beyond measure and my faith has been tried once again during difficult times in a battle that has seemed unending and where everything seems to be going wrong.

It’s in times like these that I find myself wanting to withdrawal.  But what I’m really sensing is God’s call to come aside to be alone with Him, to be transformed more into His image; to understand His perfect will and to be more fully equipped for the destiny that He has planned and that He is unfolding in and through my life.

He reminds me I’m not alone but that the same sufferings are experienced by others.  It may be a little different with each one of us, but don’t we all go through our own “stuff”?  

In the book of Hebrews, 12:1-13 it talks about the chastening of the Lord…OUCH!  It doesn’t feel good as we’re going through and honestly sometimes we feel confused, discouraged, depressed, maybe angry or lost and wonder where God has gone; it just doesn’t seem to make sense.  But He’s bringing us into the place of holiness as He strengthens our faith and teaches us to let go of the things that bog us down and to turn from the sin and compromise that traps us and causes us to take our eyes off of Him.   The Lord is teaching us to endure and move forward in Christ, no matter what.  

Though the poem is one I wrote several weeks ago it wasn't until recently as I continued to reflect on some additional Scripture, that the Lord helped me to hear and understand more clearly.  And so, I ask Him to forgive me in every place I have sinned against Him and have compromised, and to set my feet on solid ground.  I thank Him for His release to me in some areas and His continued work in each one of us to perfect and mature.  I'm grateful for the healing that He brings into our lives as we wait on Him, enabling us to walk the straight path He has placed before us and into the higher call of God in Christ Jesus.

  I have learned I’m not immune
From challenges I must face
That cause me to look upward
To gaze upon a face
That loves me beyond measure
That will not let me go
Who speaks to me so sweetly
All of me He knows.
Tenderly God holds me
I will not fall apart
For the Living Word, it echoes
Deep within my heart
A reassuring sound
Reminding me I’m safe
In the arms of Christ, my Savior
No one from me can take.
The promises He’s made me
I trust that they are sure
For His word will stand forever
I’ve walked through the Door.
He steadies me when all seems shaken
So I will not be moved
The temporal is as nothing
But the eternal God has proved
That even in desert places
He is my steady stream
Watering a soul that’s thirsty
In one He’s called redeemed.
His blood is all-sufficient
Coursing through my veins
My confidence is in Christ alone
Who gave me life and saved.
One day I will see Him
But until then I will serve
Willingly, my Master
And pray the lessons learned
Will glorify Christ Jesus
Lifting up the Name
That is above all others
And ushers in His change.
He takes a heart, imperfect
And makes holiness arise
Asking, Father, teach me,
To follow where You guide.
Help me to maintain my focus
Fill my mouth to sing Your praise
Give me grace and Your momentum
This life to You to raise.
Every day, surrendered
Father, fully Yours
To only make Your choices
Where weak, made strong, transformed.
Abiding in Your presence
Set this heart ablaze
Shed light where I've been darkened
Give faith where I’m afraid.
And I lift up my brothers and sisters
Who have troubles of their own
Draw each nearer to Your heart
Make Your presence known.
I remember those around me
Going through difficult times
Hold each one together
Help them, Your heart to find.
Give to each one clarity
Fill them with Your hope
The kind that is enduring
To do more than just to cope. 
But an overcoming spirit
Within them to arise
For the Living Word has spoken
Bringing new life to revive.
Come and touch the lame, Lord
One word from God to heal
All that has been stolen
I pray, restore and reveal
The will of God, most perfect
Stable upon Your path
In the destiny You've chosen
Your hand to firmly grasp.
Held by a grace You have given
The despondent, I ask fill with Your joy
Yielded, bowed before You
Spoiled, every enemy ploy.
I declare Your victory
To those in such great need
The truth of God perfecting
That establishes, strengthens and frees.
Here we are, alive but a sacrifice
Those whom You have proved
I pray You find acceptable
This worship You are due.
We cannot do it alone, Lord
We don't have what it takes
But truth to us You've spoken
And so I know a way You'll make.
 
Scripture Meditation:
1 Peter 5:8-11 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.   Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.
Hebrews 12:1-13 - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.   And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:  “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”   If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.  Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?  For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.   Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Romans 12:1-2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.   And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Do it Yourself"


Now, I know you all thought I was a natural red-head (ha, ha!), but I've been going to the hairdressers just about every four weeks for more than thirty years for a haircut and to cover up my beautiful, born with, blond hair, turned mousey light brown. 

But, for the first time in my life, this month I colored my hair and saved $40.00 by doing it myself...YIPPEE! 

Another bonus, later in the month I'm getting a FREE hair cut!  J.C. Penney is offering free haircuts through October to breast cancer survivors; another $40.00 saved.  Lets hope they do a good job.  

So, what do you think about that?!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Simplify"

...aspire to lead a quiet life,
and work with your own hands...
1 Thessalonians 4:11

Here's a scrapbook page I just finished entitled, "Simplify".  This is something I'm still learning with the Lord's help.  And thanks, my brother, Steve, for reminding me of that little word that I know the Lord has been speaking to me for at least 10 years or so.

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Inspiration"


God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do. 
Ephesians 2:10

I'll not compare myself with others
But let my life give God my praise
To each one, His gifts He's given
So back to Him I'll raise
All to me He's given
Asking Him to touch
What He has placed within my hands
And turn it into much.
Take your creativity
And see what God can do
The dreams He's stored inside your heart
He gave them to pursue.
So others then may see them
But so too, the hand of Christ
That mightily works in you
Let your love bring light.
Cause a heart to wonder
To ponder far and wide
Let the colors of a Savior
Stroke and perhaps revive.
Taking inspiration
Allowing it to form
Into a message from the One
That molds what He has born.


(Artwork by, Karla Dornacher, http://www.karladornacher.com/ 
Scrapbook design by, Terry)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"What Do You See?

Even to your old age, I am He, 
and even to gray hairs I will carry you!   
I have made, and I will bear; even  
I will carry, and will deliver you. 
Isaiah 46:4

To all the old ones who touch my
life so deeply - I see the beautiful you.

What do you see
Is it just the outside
The wrinkles and wheelchair
My feeble body and mind?
But I am formed in God’s image
He knows every hair
He’s numbered each strand
And He calls me fair.
I had hopes, I had dreams
I worked hard with my hands
I loved and raised children
I danced to the band
To the rhythms of life
Some melodies were sweet
While others were sharp
But I trusted the beat.
For I knew God was playing
His instrument well
Guiding every movement
A life lived to tell
Of a Father who has been faithful
And will be until the end
So I’ll continue to dance
Though it may seem like pretend.
But the Lord has my heart
And helps me to see
Even as He sees
A beautiful me.
I may appear as a shadow
But it’s the one that God's cast
As His face has shown upon me
From the first till the last.
One day I’ll rise up
No longer frail
And move to the music
My Jesus to hail.
He’ll welcome me home
Where He’s dried all my tears
My joy made complete
As a choir I hear.
To know at last I’m in His presence
Singing songs of His praise
Where I will dwell with Him forever
For endless of days.
So, hear beyond the babble
To hear a heart full of life
That lives on into eternity
In one who trusts Christ.


Friday, September 21, 2012

"Do Not Withhold Good"

A good man is concerned 
for the welfare of his animal. 
Proverbs 12:10

I saw them, as it were
On the side of the road
Abandoned, lost and lonely
Hungry, scared, without a home.
Many said, 'It's just an animal'
Ignored, they passed them by
Paws shivered in the darkness
God's creatures soon would die.
But there came a Good Samaritan
Who wrapped him in his coat
Warming him in loving arms
He slept and then awoke.
He met the eyes of his master
The one who took him in
A friend who saw his value
Who would care for him and always defend.
They formed a bond that could not be broken
The master learned so much
From the little one with the cold, wet nose
Both changed the day they touched.
They call it second chances
I call it hearts revived
When freely love is given
And pals walk side by side.
They call it chance encounters
It's not that at all
I believe in divine appointments
To help a friend who calls.
The thing that seems so ordinary
This is what is real
Reaching out to the lowly
To lend the hand that heals.
I pray that we would see them
Realizing their great worth
These treasures sent from Heaven
Every evil intent reversed.
That they may live their lives well cared for
Never again to fear
For a good man concerned for the welfare
Of an animal, that day came near.

As I was inspired to write this poem, it was the story of the Good Samaritan from the book of Luke in the New Testament that first came to mind. The Lord was impressing upon me how much He wants us to be filled with His kindness, mercy and compassion, reaching out wherever there is a need and where it is in our power to do good for He created and cares for all. Though this poem was written about animals I certainly couldn't help but think of the daily opportunities given to us to make a positive difference in the lives of those all around us. I pray that we would allow the gentle, caring hand of God to work through us each day to help alleviate suffering and encourage a heart as we share the love of Christ everywhere we go.
Scripture Meditation:
Proverbs 3:27-28 - Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.  Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,”  when you have it with you.
Luke 10:25-37 - And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”  So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Please consider opening up your heart and home to the precious homeless furry, feathered and scaly friends so much in need and/or giving however you are able.  Visit your local shelter or take in that stray to see how you can make a life changing difference.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Run Away, Run Away!"


Some days I just want to run away.  Probably more days than I'd care to admit.  I  sort of feel a bit like Jonah I suppose.  God gives me something to do and I feel like I can't measure up to the task for so many reasons.  I want to board a ship and sail away to some far off land where nobody can find me.  Or, perhaps at times I feel a little like Moses when the Lord told him to go to Pharaoh and speak.  Like Moses, I say, "Who me, Lord, I can't speak.  Can't you send somebody else?"  I think of Jeremiah who was afraid of what others might think and who felt so inexperienced and unqualified for the work the Lord had called him to. 

Even the great apostle, Paul, knew weakness in his flesh and said, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."  
(1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

Words from Scripture echo in my mind, that God uses the weak and the foolish to confound the wise, and, He will give me what I need in the hour I need to speak and that if I open my mouth He will fill it.

I still battle with fear at times and struggle with my many inadequacies.  But I continue to press into the Lord who causes me to overcome that I may accomplish His purposes as I rely on His grace and faithfulness to give me whatever I need to do His will.

Timothy struggled with fear, timidity and feelings of inadequacy as well.  But God did not give him, or you, or me a spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.  I pray that we would continually stir up the giftings the Lord has placed within us and step out in faith, even when we're afraid, to do the "greater" works that He has promised.  For now is the time!

Scripture Meditation:
Jonah 1:1-3 - Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,  “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”  But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 3:1-3 -  Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,  “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”  So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.
Exodus 4:10-13 - Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”  So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LordNow therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”  But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”
Jeremiah 1:4-10 - Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”   Then said I: “Ah, Lord God!  Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”  But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.  See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 - For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are calledBut God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Matthew 10:19-20 - ...For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
Psalm 81:10 - ... open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 -  Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
John 14:12 -  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to 
My Father. "