Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

As I sit here to write my last blog post of 2010, there are only a little over twelve hours remaining until 2011 officially arrives! There's no way to un-do or re-do what happened in this year so I hope that most of us don't have a lot of regrets. On the other hand, we can't live forever on memories of the good things that happened. Every day we live is a new day with new promise. "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." (Psalm 68:19)

This week I have been asking myself what one main thing I would like to do different in 2011 than I did in 2010. In my Bible study one day I was directed to read Isaiah 61: 1-3. (1)The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
(2)To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
(3)To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Verse 3 just jumped out at me! I am so prone to have a "spirit of heaviness" or what I would call "worry"! And I'm so sick of it! In 2011 I want to trade in my "spirit of heaviness" for a brand new "garment of praise"!

How about you? What's your number one goal for 2011? I'd love to know!

Happy New Year to all !

Marilyn

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Are You Creating a Godly Legacy?

Look what came in the mail the other day! My good friend Leah Adams' first published Bible study titled "From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy". Leah will be hosting an online Bible study of this new book on her blog "The Point" starting January 6, 2011. Why don't you hop on over and find out how you can join us?

I certainly want to do everything I can to leave a godly legacy myself. I want my children and grandchildren to know that I loved God. I want my life to point to HIM and not to myself. I'm sure you feel the same way!

I'm depending on God to show me more of His Word and His plans in this next year of 2011. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11

I pray you will have a Blessed & Happy New Year!

Marilyn

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is It Worth the Extra Effort?

I received part of my Christmas present from my husband a week early. I'd been thinking for a while that I'd like to try this "juicing" thing that some of my friends were doing. So when Benny gave me some Christmas money and told me to go shopping for myself, I went straight away and bought a Jack LaLanne Juicer.As soon as I took the juicer out of the box, I read all the instructions: how to take it apart; how to put it back together; best fruits and veggies for juice; fruits and veggies not to juice; etc. Then I took it apart, washed and dried all the parts and reassembled it.

The first day I only used carrots for my juice and was mildly disappointed at the somewhat bitter taste it had. The next morning I added half an apple and it was much better. The next day I added a quarter of an orange to the mix and it was really delicious! But in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Is it really worth the extra effort to drink fresh juice?" For you see, it takes me about half an hour from the time I start preparing the veggies & fruit until I get it all taken apart, cleaned, washed, dried, and put back together again.

I do believe that it most likely is worth it! Fresh is always better and more healthy. So I plan to keep up this routine as long as possible and see if I notice any improvement in the way I feel.

As an added bonus I have made a healthy carrot cake with the pulp that is left after I juice. This morning I had the carrot/apple/orange juice and a small slice of the carrot cake! Mmmmmm!

I was thinking about my spiritual life and what I need to do to keep it healthy. If fresh is better for my physical body, then fresh must surely also be better for my spirit! I don't need to depend on the spiritual truths I learned last month or last year to keep me healthy. I need to get a "fresh" helping of God in my life every day. And that will take a little extra time on my part. Is it worth the extra effort to take time to read a portion of the Bible each day and to take time to pray? Oh yes! It's worth it!

In the late 1800's William D. Longstaff wrote a song titled "Take Time to be Holy". The words are beautiful and describe how we're always blessed when we take the extra time to interact with the Lord! Here are the word of the song:

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;And run not before Him, whatever betide.In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,Each thought and each motive beneath His control.Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas!

Marilyn

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Bit More....

(Just lying on bed...not tucked in. Brown doesn't show when tucked in.)

Ever since we bought a four-inch thick memory foam mattress topper for our bed a couple of years ago, I've had trouble with the top sheet staying tucked in at the bottom. It was just too short! That's all you could say! And it drove me crazy! I can't stand to have the sheet come un-tucked at the bottom and my feet get cold!

So the other day I came up with a plan! I decided that I would sew a twelve-inch strip of cloth on the bottom of the top sheet and use that part to tuck under the mattress. The sheets are a brown stripe and I had some brown material that didn't look too bad with it....after all, I figured it would not show anyway! I opened up my trusty sewing machine and sewed and stitched and hemmed until I had the extension completed. I could hardly wait to put it on the bed and see how it would work! It looked good! Lots of sheet to pull up around my ears and it still be tucked in around my feet! But the real test would be a night's sleep under it!

It worked! It worked so well that I fixed another set of sheets the same way! Amazing what a huge difference just "a little bit more" material made in being able to get a good night's sleep! Ahhhhhh!

And you know it's like that with a lot of things. Some things just don't "feel" right to us. Maybe it's a recipe that doesn't taste quite right and needs just "a little bit more" of some ingredient. Or perhaps you need just "a little bit more" practice to get that solo down perfect. A sick child who seems fussy may need just "a little bit more" of your loving attention today. If you're trying to mend a broken relationship it could be trying "a little bit more" might make the difference. And does it seem that we've become slightly estranged from God during the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season when we really should be drawing nearer than ever to Him? Maybe "a little bit more" prayer and Bible reading can remedy that!

It only takes "a little bit more" sometimes to make a LOT of difference in things! I may not be able to go to a foreign mission field to work for God but I can give a hungry person something to eat. I can give a thirsty person a bottle of water. I can give clothes to someone who has lost everything in some disaster. I can visit someone in the hospital. And if I do these things because I love God, it's like I've done it FOR God Himself! Wow! "A little bit" can go a long way!

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25: 37-40)

I want to be found doing just "a little bit more" this Christmas season!

Merry Christmas!

Marilyn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Good Intentions

One day last week I received what WOULD have been my first Christmas card of the season. I said, "would have been" because all I received was what is in the picture. There was no Christmas card. There was no back of the envelope. There was only the front of the envelope and it was torn in two pieces. I'm not sure how even that made it to my rural mail box!

I was pretty sure it had at one time contained a card of some kind so sent an email to the person that sent it and asked. She said, "Yes", that it had been a Christmas card and she was very disappointed that it had not made it through the postal system in one piece!

I could not help but think that sometimes my "good intentions" end up sort of like that. I mean to send someone a get-well card. I mean to call and encourage a friend. I mean to bake a cake and take to someone in need. I mean to pray for that lost neighbor. I mean to do more Bible study. You get the picture! Sometimes I think my intentions start out "whole"...just as this Christmas card did. My intentions might bring a smile to someone's face...just as this missing Christmas card surely would have done had it gotten to me!

How many times do I mean to do something and it just never gets done? Or maybe it only gets half-way done? I need to seriously look at my good intentions and try to turn them into good actions instead!

Is there someone that would love a visit from you? Or a plate of homemade cookies? Or just a Christmas card from an old friend? This year, try to make the extra effort to really get the finished product.....whatever that may be....where it belongs instead of only having those "good intentions". That's what I'm going to try to do too! "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works:" Titus 2: 7a

Marilyn

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Smoke On the Hill

(That's not a cloud in the sky....only the smoke coming from our chimney this morning!)

It's a very cold December day here in Mississippi! The fire in our Ashley wood heater is keeping the house toasty warm though. I love the smell of wood smoke. As I looked out this morning, I saw the smoke from our chimney drifting up through the crystal clear blue sky. And I thought of prayer! Prayers that I have prayed and prayers that have been prayed for me.

In Revelation 8:4 the Scripture says: "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. " I love the picture that verse paints! In my mind I can just see our prayers drifting up to the throne of God as a plume of smoke. What a great treasure we have in being able to talk to God..."face to face"....through prayer! Do we take advantage of this treasure?? Not nearly enough I'm pretty sure!

So, how about sending up a "smoke signal" to the Lord today with a prayer. Of thanks. Of request. Of love. Of intercession. Or just whatever is on your heart. He's interested and waiting to get that first "whiff" of your prayer ascending up today!

God bless you my friends!

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There Came a Great Spider, Who Sat Down Beside Her...


Who remembers this nursery rhyme….“Little Miss Muffet, she sat on a tuffet; Eating her curds and whey; There came a great spider, who sat down beside her, and frightened Miss Muffet away.” ? I do so wish that I had, like Miss Muffet, SEEN the spider who sat down beside me and had been frightened away! HOWEVER, I did not see him and evidently I sat on him and got two bites on the back of both thighs! Grrrrrr!

It happened on a Thursday night. I did not see a spider but did see the saucer sized rash/whelps that appeared several hours after I felt just a little burning sensation on my legs. Thinking it was just some kind of reaction to using a different laundry detergent, I tried putting anti-itch medicine on my legs over the weekend but was miserable. The rash was red and raw and "weeping"...and spreading! I could not stand to sit for very long at a time so had to miss Sunday night church services.

First thing on Monday morning I called my doctor’s office to see if they could work me in. Yes! Be there at 10:15 ! When my doctor came in and asked what my problem was I began to tell her I thought I must have had an allergic reaction to the detergent. Then she looked at my legs and said with a gasp…”Oh honey! Those are spider bites!!!” I was in shock! That had not even entered my mind! She started naming off all the things she wanted to give me…..antibiotics by mouth, antibiotic ointment, steroid crème, Benadryl, and a Tetanus shot!

Well, it was a pretty uncomfortable week but God has been good and I’m almost healed up I think. I still have two very large pink blotchs that itch some on both legs but it’s SO much better than it was last week that I can’t complain!

Several people told me they were surprised that I got bitten by a spider IN MY HOME ! Well, I have 2 explanations. 1)I guess I'm not getting rid of spider webs in all the corners like some of my friends must do. And 2) spiders can be ANYWHERE, as documented in Proverbs 30:28 which says, "The spider taketh hold with her hands, and IS IN kings' palaces." So I guess it happens to the best of us sometimes. lol


As I said, in contrast to Little Miss Muffet, I never saw the spider but I did see the results of the spider being there! Sometimes we’re like Miss Muffet….sin is blatant and easy to see and we are frightened by it and so steer clear of it and the harm it will bring. But sometimes we’re like I was and don’t see the danger that is right in the chair with us! Sin may sneak up on us and we are bitten and suffering the consequences before we know what happened!

I guarantee you that I have been very diligent in trying to get down every spider’s web I have seen in the past week and a half. I have taken pictures down and dusted behind them. I have pulled out furniture and dusted and mopped. I scan the shower before I get in. I LOOK before I sit down. I’m counting on that old saying of Ben Franklin’s… “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

And so it is with sin. We should always be on the lookout for it. Sometimes it’s out in the open. But all too often it hides in corners. In dark places. Or in places where you least expect it. Don’t let it sneak up on you!

Many thanks to all of you who have been praying for me! May God bless you and I hope that every one who is reading this has a wonderful Thanksgiving !


Marilyn

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Happened to Thanksgiving?

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100: 4-5(KJV)

A few nights ago I was watching the local news when the news anchor made a statement that made me both mad and sad. He remarked that although many people still had jack-o-lantern pumpkins sitting on their front porches, the department stores already had their decorations out for “our next holiday”. Well, I knew very well that he was talking about Christmas but that is not our next holiday. What happened to Thanksgiving?…the oldest, purest, truly American holiday we celebrate? And, please!…..don’t call it “Turkey Day” either! It’s true what the news anchor said….the stores are all getting ready for the Christmas rush. Why is that? Why do people decorate for Halloween and Christmas but almost totally ignore Thanksgiving?

I think that the main reason may be that so many people have become self-sufficient to the extent that they believe they have made themselves what they are and don’t owe any thanks to anyone. More and more people are forgetting that everything they have ultimately has been given to them by a loving God. (“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1: 17)

We have such a high standard of living in our country that many people have never had to do without the basic necessities and therefore are not grateful for the things they have. Even many of the ones who do live in poverty believe that someone “owes” them a better life and may not be grateful for the things they do have. (“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” II Timothy 3: 2 )

God has been gradually pushed farther and farther in the background in the past twenty-five years or so and now this great day that was set aside to give thanks to God for all He has done for us is reduced to nothing more than parades, football games and “Turkey Day”. (“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100: 3)

As Christians, let us truly give thanks as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year and remember that all our blessings are because of the wonderful mercies and love of our Lord. We don’t want our children and grandchildren to ask us some day…”Can you tell me the story of how you used to have a Thanksgiving Day?”

Let’s keep the day alive!“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100: 5

May each of you have a blessed time of giving thanks this year is my prayer!

Marilyn

(I've posted this in years past so you may have read it already....but it is SO much the feeling of my heart this Thanksgiving season!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Recycling My Wardrobe

I've been doing some sewing. Last year about this time I bought the striped material you see in the picture to make a skirt to match the maroon blouse. And I'm JUST NOW making it! Can you say S.L.O.W.?? I'll blame it on age! ha

The outfit needed something gold at the top to balance it out I thought. I tried a gold necklace but that didn't seem right. A scarf was what I wanted. I looked at all my scarves but none of them were the right color or else they were some kind of print that would never match a striped skirt. The ivory scarf (above)with the metallic gold stripes was the "kind" of scarf I wanted for this outfit, but the wrong color. It was too light!

Then I had a bright idea! Why not recycle it and make it the color I needed? Sooooo....I decided to do it the old fashioned way! I got a pan of water, a large teabag, and some turmeric spice and prepared my homemade dye. A little brown from the tea, a little yellow from the turmeric and I should have just about the color I was looking for!

After the mixture came to a boil, I put the ivory scarf in and let it "steep" for about three minutes.

Then out came the new golden colored (recycled) scarf!

I need to press the wrinkles out but am safisfied with the color I have now! (What do you think?) I feel like a pioneer woman almost with my naturally colored scarf! ha

While looking for a verse with "yellow" in it to use here today, I came across this one in Psalm 68:13 "Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold."

This verse always reminds me that it doesn' matter where we come from....whether we have been cast aside to lie "among the pots" or even what some would call the garbage heap....that when Jesus comes into our lives we are changed completely and forever to be as beautiful in spirit as though we had wings of silver and feathers of yellow gold! I will be reminded of this as I wear my "new" scarf this fall !

Marilyn

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Beholder, Beware!

Psalm 65:11-13 Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.

I love this view of the pasture. We don't even have a fence around it anymore since we don't have cows or a horse now. I took the picture late one afternoon trying to capture the golden glow of all the Ragweed that was blooming but the evening shadows cover some of the "glow". I don't know if ragweed grows in your part of the country or not but around here it's the culprit that's causing a lot of allergy problems for lots of people right now! Looks can be so deceiving! And isn't that the truth for so many other things? Satan will mask sin with all sorts of beautiful things that tempt our flesh. It's a bit like what a fisherman does to the fish--he dangles a beautifully colored, eye-catching lure on the end of a line and the fish thinks he's getting something he really wants....that is, until he realizes he's swallowed the hook!

As I looked closer at the ragweed blooms, I saw a bumblebee and a huge red wasp sucking up the nectar. Just looking at these stinging insects and remembering the pain and agony I have had from them in the past is enough to give me the shivers! I took the picture and got away from them as fast as I could! That's what we should do when we realize what Satan is trying to offer us! It may look pretty. It may feel good. It may smell nice. But if Satan is offering it....it's poison! Turn and run from it as fast as you can before it can get it's stinger into you!

I have this last word of caution: Beholder....Beware! Make sure what looks beautiful does not have some hidden hook or stinger in it before you partake of it!

God bless!

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Praise Ye the LORD

"Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow,...Praise Him, all creatures here below.....Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.......Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost...Amen."


As a young girl I always loved when we sang the "Doxology" at our church. There was just something special about singing all those "praise" words!
This morning I was looking in the latter part of the book of Psalms and noticed how many of them began with the words "Praise ye the LORD."

Psalm 147: 1 "Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely." This verse tells us that it's good for us to sing praises to God. It will actually make us feel better! And it even makes us look better (comely)!


Psalm 148: 1-5 "Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created." Not only should we as human beings praise the LORD, but creation itself praises Him!

Psalm 149: 1 "Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints." When we sing and praise the LORD together as a congregation in our churches we are giving honor unto God!

Psalm 150: 1-6 "Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."


And that's just what we should do today! Praise the LORD! For all that He has done for us. He made us. He gave us a beautiful world to live in. He saved us and gave us eternal life. What a wonderful God we serve! Praise ye the LORD!

Marilyn

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Signs of Fall

Fall has arrived softly this year in north Mississippi. We've had a really hot summer and in fact it's still warm this week. Seems like it should be around the first part of August instead of the middle of October! We're beginning to have some leaves turning pretty colors now. I love the fall colors but it always makes me a little sad cause I know the leaves will then soon turn loose and fall off leaving the bare trees. That I don't like!

Last week it felt like fall. Early morning low temps in the thirties and highs for the days in the seventies. Back to summer for the last few days though . Broke a record with a high of 91 yesterday!

Along our country road the wildflowers and weeds are blooming profusely.

There especially seems to be an abundance of ragweed this year! I am pretty sure that's what is making a lot of people sick. I know it's affected me!

All in all, it reminds me of the wonderful creativeness of our God. He knows how to change things up with the seasons so that we always have something new to look forward to.

Acts 14:17Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Marilyn

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pass the Salt Please

Salt! It's sort of one of those things that sometimes you can't live with or you can't live without! Now that I have trouble with high blood pressure, I try to watch my salt intake. I know that I eat too much salt when I eat at restaurants but here at home we've cut way back on it. And I can tell you that it sure doesn't make me feel like a good cook any more! Food just tastes better with salt in it to me! Jesus said about Christians in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5: 13..."Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Just as food needs a little salt to bring out the flavor, so this world needs the witness of Christians to show them the "flavor" of Christ.

Although too much salt is bad for us there are some other good things salt does. It can be used to keep food from spoiling. My husband's father used to salt down pork to keep it all winter in the smoke house. It can also be used for medicinal purposes. The past couple of days I've had a sore tongue. Had my dentist look at it today and he said it was probably something I ate that irritated it. So I'm rinsing my mouth with salt water several times a day to heal it up.

I need to be careful to not put too much salt into my body but at the same time I need to be careful that I stay salty spiritually so that I can be a witness here in the world that I live in.

"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4: 6

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Everyday Chore

It's an everyday chore....sweeping my floors! Where we live we have lots and lots of sand. It seems it doesn't matter what kind of mat's at the door or how long we stand there and wipe our shoes....we always end up with sand in the floor. And there's nothing worse to walk across with bare feet than a gritty, sandy floor! Well, unless it's a sticky floor! :)


I'm trying to finish a Bible study on the family to teach to my Sunday morning ladies class. To tell the truth, it's hard getting it all together. I know the family is something that God holds dear to His heart and something that Satan hates. So I'm thinking the latter may have something to do with the problems I'm having getting it done!

In Ephesians 4: 24-27 the Bible talks about husbands and wives...the core unit of any family. "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."


Let the wife be subject to her husband. Let the husband love his wife. So that what ? So that the church ...of which every saved person is a part...should be holy and without blemish. Or you might say, "Without any gritty sand on it!"
My husband and I have been married for 37 years. We love each other. We're happy we have been married this long. But sometimes we fuss. (Can anybody identify?)Sometimes I don't want to be subject to him!

Verse 26 said, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Every day I have to be cleaned up spiritually. Not to be saved over and over again but to get out the everyday grit that accumulates just from living! And how can I get cleaned up? By the "washing of water by the WORD"! By letting God's Word wash over my soul one more time. Maybe "chore" would not be a good choice of words for this daily cleansing spiritually but sometimes it does have to purposefully done. Just as I purposefully sweep the sand from my floors into the dust pan and then into the trash can.


May God bless you as you go about all your "Everyday Chores"!


Marilyn

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Picked, Processed, and Preserved

(Pear tree in our front yard)

We seem to have another bumper crop of pears this year! Just look at them hanging on the tree in our yard! I hope I can find a lot of people to share them with! My husband PICKED a five-gallon bucket full yesterday morning for me so I could can some pear halves.

It usually takes me more than an hour to peel five gallons of pears. They are tough skinned and hard to cut into quarters. Sometimes it makes a blister on my right hand where I hold the knife. Why do I go to so much trouble? Because we love the taste of the finished product so much!

After all the pears are peeled and cut up, I put them in a dish pan with some water and sugar and cook for a few minutes. Then it's time to put them in the clean, hot canning jars. I'd already inspected the jars to make sure there were no cracks or nicks in the rim which would keep them from sealing. After filling the jars with the pears and the hot sugar water then I must take a clean wet dish cloth and wash the sticky excess off the top before putting the lids on.

When the lids were screwed on tight, I put the jars in the pressure cooker and PROCESSED them for 8 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure. (As you can see by the condition of my pressure cooker, I've been doing this for many years!) Then removed from heat and let cool.

This morning I took the finished product from the cooker. Seven more quarts of pears that have been PRESERVED so that we can eat them later this winter ...long after all the other pears have fallen off the tree and rotted!

There are so many spiritual parallels that I could make from my day's work yesterday but I'll mention just a few. We are "picked" in several ways. First, we are chosen, or picked, by God. John 15: 16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

Fruit needs to be to a certain stage of ripeness before we pick it. It sometimes doesn't taste as well or even preserve as well if it is picked "green". Our spirit has to come to a kind of "ripeness" also before we can be saved. It's called conviction. We must be drawn to God before we can accept Him. John 6: 44a says, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:"

After we have been picked, then we must be "processed". This process is what the Bible calls salvation. It's available to anyone...young or old, educated or illiterate, rich or poor. Romans 10: 9..."That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

When God saves us, He also seals or "preserves" us! Ephesians 1: 13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," No one or no thing can take us from the Hand of God once we have been sealed by salvation. God has preserved Christians for all time.....at salvation we are given eternal life (Romans 6: 23) How much more preserved could we be than for eternity?

My pray for you today is that you have been Picked...Processed...and Preserved!

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don't Look Back !


"We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:" Numbers 11: 5

Are you ever guilty of "looking back" at where God brought you from? The Israelites did! God had brought them from a horrible life of slavery and poverty and was carrying them into the Promised Land....a land which He told them was flowing with milk and honey.

In Numbers 11 the people started complaining. Verse 1 says this complaining displeased the Lord. I'm sure my complaining in my own modern day still displeases Him just as much! In verses 4 & 5 the people began to weep and tell Moses how they longed for the meat and the fruits and vegetables they had back in Egypt.


How quickly we forget! They surely didn't miss the slavery and cruelty they had been subject to in Egypt. But that's just like the devil. He clouds our vision and warps our memory. They didn't want that old "manna" that God was feeding them with each and every day. We as humans are so prone to acting just like this aren't we! God gives us all we need: a good Christian home, a godly church family, food on the table and a roof above our heads, and we complain! God help us!

Help us Lord to not look back. Help us to not compare what we have to what the world has. God says in Proverbs 8: 19, "My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver."

Don't look back. What God has in store ahead for us is more wonderful than we can ever imagine!

God bless!

Marilyn

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Coverup


A couple of months ago we did some remodeling in our living room. The couch we had for about three years was still good but it was SO heavy! I could not move it to clean behind it and it was too low to the floor to clean under it! There were recliners in each end but they weren't really comfortable. Sooooo...we found someone who needed a couch and gave it to them. Then I started looking for a small love seat and small recliner to put in the same space that the couch had been in. We are extremely limited with space so I had to make it fit or do without!

I found a dark brown fabric/leather love seat that Benny was o.k. with. He is the one who sits there. I picked out a small beige recliner for myself. If Benny had liked recliners we would have just gone with two of those. The combo seemed to just fit....both the room and our individual tastes.

But then we began to notice that ANY little piece of lint or grass that got in the house somehow made it's way to that brown love seat! I tried lint rollers, lint brushes...you name it. A good brushing with a plain hand towel proved to be the best cleaner. Not wanting to have to deal with that every day, I decided to get a COVERUP for the love seat. I could not find anything that I liked in the stores so bought a pattern in Walmart and just made one. It's pretty cool. Now I can just take it off, throw in the washer, dry it and put it back on. And if company comes, I can take it off and the loveseat is already all nice and clean!

We had a missionary from Brazil, Bro. Mike Ring, visit our church recently. He had with him a sheepskin from Brazil which he used in an illustration. He said that he tells the Brazilian people the story of two mama sheep and two baby sheep. A disaster happened and one mama sheep died and the baby of the other mama sheep died. The little lamb was too young to eat grass so the shepherd knew that it would die if it didn't have milk to drink. He took the surviving lamb to the mama sheep who had lost her own lamb hoping she would adopt the orphan. But after smelling of him, she pushed him away. Now the little lamb had no hope. He was going to die. But the shepherd had an idea. He went and found the body of the little dead lamb and took the wool from his back. Then he draped the wool over the head and back of the little orphan lamb and took it back to the mama sheep. This time when she smelled of it, it smelled just like her baby and she let him nurse with no more problems. The baby lamb had been adopted because of the "COVERUP" the shepherd had placed on his back!

Bro. Ring then likened that to what happens to us when we get saved. Before salvation we "smell" like the world to God. He won't feed and nourish us and give us life. That is until we turn from the world and turn to Jesus Christ and accept His gift of eternal life. At that point Christ gives us a COVERUP... His own righteousness. Then when God "smells" of us, we smell just like His Son Jesus Christ and He takes us into His eternal family. Not because of anything we have done, but because of all that Jesus Christ did for us!

I'm so glad Jesus Christ has covered my sins and given me eternal life!

"Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." Romans 4: 7

Who do you smell like? The world? Or Jesus? Your eternity depends on your answer!

Marilyn


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"For the Bible Tells Me So"

(Me teaching my ladies Sunday School class)

How many of you other ladies teach a Sunday school class or a Bible study class? If you do, then you know how much work goes into it! I've been teaching the Ladies Class at our Baptist church for the past five years. We don't use a Sunday school quarterly so I get the lessons from various and sundry places. I have used outlines from Bible studies I have been involved in. I've used ideas from other places. I've gotten lesson ideas from Christian websites. But in all these things there's one thing that I always make sure of....Am I teaching what the BIBLE says and not just what myself or some other teacher says? That is so very important!

We must keep our teaching in line with the Word of God for it to have power and purpose! My words might help someone for a time being through some kind of passing trouble. But God's Word is the only Word that can help anyone for eternity! God's Word was alive back in the very beginning. These verses from John 1 say it so well: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."

If you want to ensure that you have a good Bible class, make sure you teach the Bible....not some theory of man! God's Word will not come back void but you will see your students grow and thrive! Acts 12:24 says "But the word of God grew and multiplied." And the same can happen in your class!

On the same note, if you are not a teacher but a student, make sure your teacher teaches the Word. You will not grow in the Lord otherwise!

Happy Teaching...or learning...whichever the case may be!

Marilyn

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not on my list.....

Yesterday I had a list a mile long of "things to do". You've probably made lists like that yourself. Call here. Call there. Make appointment. Cancel appointment. Fix this. Fix that. And on and on the list goes. One thing on my list yesterday was to clean off the kitchen table. Yes....I have to put that on my list if it gets done! ha As I looked at the things on the table I toyed with the idea of throwing out the very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl. For some reason they had gotten very ripe very quickly. Then the idea came to me that I could make some Banana Nut Bread with the bananas!

I have a gas stove and through this hot, hot summer have been trying to use the oven as little as possible since it heats up the kitchen so. I wondered if perhaps I might be able to make the Banana Bread in the microwave. Soooo.....I came in here to my trusty computer and typed in "recipe microwave banana nut bread" and soon I was looking at an array of recipes. This was NOT on my list for the day. But it was an addition that needed to be done.

The recipe was simple. And I didn't even have to grease and flour a pan. It called for lining the dish with waxed paper.

Pop in the microwave and cook for eight minutes on high. Yes! I did say only eight minutes! I was a little skeptical but it really turned out better than the last banana bread I baked in my traditional oven! Just turn it out on a plate and peel the waxed paper off the bottom.

I could not resist having a hot piece with butter melted on top! Yummy! So if you're going through your day with a "list"....don't limit yourself to just that. You might have to leave off something else that can wait until tomorrow. The bananas couldn't wait! :)

Here is a link to the recipe I used if you would like to try this easy summer dish: Banana Nut Bread

John 6: 35 "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

Eat heartily my friend! Both this good bread and of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ!

Marilyn

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

O To Grace.....

Yesterday morning I woke up with the first phrase of the last verse of the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" on my mind. The phrase that says, "O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be!" Got me to thinking about how great a debt I owe to Grace.....daily! It's not just a once in a lifetime thing, grace. Oh, I know that saving grace is, but "grace, grace, marvelous grace" is a daily thing.

Another song I like puts it like this..."There's no other word for grace but amazing!" How very true! When I look at where I would be but for grace it's a scary sight!

But back to the song that was on my heart early yesterday morning. First verse: "Come Thou Fount of every blessing".... James 1: 17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Every blessing we receive comes from the Fountain of God's Grace.

"Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;" I hate to have to try and play a musical instrument that is out of tune! My heart in it's natural state doesn't want to sing in tune with grace. So the Master must give my heart a tuning so that I can tell of His grace in a key that others will want to listen to!

"Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise:" Praise songs! The grace and mercy that we have received from our Lord and Saviour call for praise from our lips. The loudest praising we do should be about our Lord and what He has done for us!

"Lord, let me be found singing 'songs of loudest praise' about Your grace with a heart that is fully in tune with You."

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Red Door


Recently we did some remodeling and painted the outside of our home. We picked out a tan for the house and dark brown for the trim. I wanted the doors red! I never realized how many different colors of red there are though! I wanted a warm red that would compliment the browns but I did NOT want any orangey-red colored door! I finally settled on a color called "Claret" which looked great on the paint chip! The door was a dark green to start with. When I put the first streak of red paint on the green door the color screamed orange to me! It just made me sick! I thought about taking it back to Lowe's and getting them re-adjust the tint. But instead I just kept on painting. The more green I covered with the red the less and less it looked orange. When the first coat was on I was still not sure if I could live with it. After the first coat dried, I came back and started painting again. And, lo and behold, now I could see the true "Claret" that I had picked out in Lowe's paint department! I just love my red doors! They make me smile every time I look at them!

Sunday night our Pastor's sermon was taken from Revelation 3: 20..."Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The door in this verse refers to the heart of man. If you draw a heart or see a heart on Valentine's Day, what color is it usually? Red! So let's just imagine for a minute that the door to our heart is a beautiful "Claret" red!

Revelation 3: 20 reminds us that Christ knocks on the hearts of mankind but He doesn't open the door. He waits to be invited in. Pastor also brought out that Jesus Christ doesn't just knock at our heart's door but He calls out to us even though after all He has done for us He could just sit back and wait for us to make the first move! But, no, He comes knocking on our heart's door calling us to let Him come in. For you see, we have to open the door to our heart! But if we do, He promises to come in and fellowship with us!

When a friend comes knocking on my freshly painted red front door, I will ask them to come in and fellowship with me.

If Jesus comes knocking at the red door of your heart, will you ask Him to come in and fellowship with you? I hope so!

Psalm 84: 10 "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."

Marilyn

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Am Reading.....

Reading. One of my most favorite pleasures. Something I used to do in every spare moment! So what's happened to my reading time? Seems I don't get as much done as I want to any more! It's so much easier for me to read from the computer monitor nowadays since I don't have to bend my head down as when reading a book. Looking down and reading gives me a neck and/or headache. But books are my friends and I don't intend to ever totally stop reading if at all possible!

This summer my friend Evelyn and I enrolled in the summer Bible study at Beth Moore's LPM blog. The study Beth picked for the ladies to do was "Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy" by Kelly Minter. Last Tuesday was the last day for the study. BUT, sadly, I am still not done with it! Can you say S.L.O.W.??? So, firstly, I have been reading my Bible and the Ruth Bible study.

For my birthday my friend Terri gave me Beth's newest book "So Long Insecurity". Oh my goodness! Has Beth been a fly on my wall for a few years now? She has me pegged in no uncertain terms! I am learning so much about myself in this book. My goal is to let the Lord help me to have a new security in HIM !

In May of this year I purchased Elaine Olsen's book "Peace for the Journey". It's written as a devotional/Bible study type of book and needs to be savoured and not devoured in just "one gulp"! I have used some of Elaine's words of wisdom in the ladies Sunday school class I teach.

And last but not least is a small book that had a large impact on me when I read it. I was shopping at a Flea Market one day a few weeks ago and on the floor near the check-out register was a rather large cardboard box with a sign that read "Free Religious Books: Take One". And so I did ! It was called "Will You Still Be My Daughter?" (although I'm not sure I would classify this book as "religious") I would very much recommend this book to all mothers and daughters. Especially mothers of daughters who are beginning to search for their own independence. One of the 'reviews' on the Amazon site says this book "is actually a parable about an acorn that falls from a beautiful, strong oak. The oak loves her daughter and wants to protect her from pain and disappointment. However, as in real life, we can only hope that our children will have the strength (roots) to persevere."

That's my reading list at the present. And of course all the many precious Christian ladies blogs that I try to read once or twice a week. What are y'all reading right now? I'd love for you to leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks!

Marilyn

Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting Enough Water?

Here in north MS we are under an "Excessive Heat Warning" for the next few days. Scary! The NWS says "THE HOTTEST AIR OF THE SUMMER WILL SPREAD INTO THE MIDSOUTH OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THE HOT TEMPERATURES IN COMBINATION WITH HIGH HUMIDITY WILL RESULT IN A PROLONGED AND DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE. HEAT INDEX READINGS WILL PEAK AT LEVELS BETWEEN 110 AND 117 DEGREES ACROSS ALL OF THE MIDSOUTH. OVERNIGHT LOWS WILL FAIL TO DROP BELOW 80 DEGREES IN SOME LOCATIONS. They caution us to make sure we stay hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids this week. The best thing is to drink plenty of water.

I am not very good at drinking lots of water. It's not that I dislike water but I just forget to drink it! But I'm going to try very hard this week to drink more water than usual just as a precaution.

I have one plant that lives in my house now. It's a vine that Sharon, my Pastor's wife, gave me for my birthday probably seven or eight years ago. This vine has set the record for the longest living plant to ever belong to me! When someone gives me a plant my husband always says, "Poor thing...it doesn't know it will die soon!" ha Sad but that's about the truth! I just do not have a green thumb. Back to my little vine though. Last week I noticed that it was lying flat down on the soil in it's pot. Limp. And pale. I wasn't sure when I had given it a drink of water last but evidently it had been too long! I gave it a big glass of water that day and the next and waited to see what happened. Amazingly enough it revived! This is not the first time this amazing thing has happened! It's the most robust plant I've ever had or else it would not still be with me. Now you can hardly tell it almost starved to death. All its leaves are green and healthy looking again except for just one or two which were probably beyond hope!

Water....H2O.... is absolutely necessary for physical life. But what about spiritual life? In John 4: 13-14 Jesus is talking to the Woman at the Well who has drawn up some water for Him to drink. Here's what He tells her: "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Water that comes from a well will sustain our physical life but in a few minutes or hours we will be thirsty again. The water of everlasting life through Jesus Christ will keep on quenching our spiritual thirst forever!

Another thing we use water for is for cleaning. I would hate to have to go without water for washing dishes, mopping floors, washing my hands or taking a shower! I remember when our son John was in Iraq in the Marine Corps and had to go for days and weeks without water to bathe in. How it made this mother's heart ache. And so it is with our spiritual lives also. We need to wash our spirits often with the reading of God's Word. Ephesians 5: 26 says: "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"

Be careful these hot summer days to get enough water!

Both in your body and in your spirit.

Marilyn

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daddy's Cup

July 22, 2010, would have been my Daddy's 99th birthday. He so wanted to make it to 100 but soon after his 96th birthday he was transported by angels from his hospital bed into his eternal heavenly home forever to be with his Saviour.

I dreamed about him last night. I was at his house but he wasn't home. Not sure why but I dream about him or something connected with him often. It sort of comes in waves. I will dream those dreams maybe three or four nights out of a week and then not dream about it anymore for several weeks.

As I often do, this morning I drank my coffee out of Daddy's cup. When me and my step sisters were cleaning out Dad and Trudy's house after Trudy passed away last winter I finally took Daddy's cup home with me one day. We had left much of the kitchen items sitting on some tables so that any of the family that wanted to could pick out what they wanted. The weather was so cold and there was only the one heater in the house and us girls had been freezing trying to get the house cleaned out so it could be sold. After several weeks no one still had picked up Daddy's cup with the fish on it. I had given it to him several years ago for either Father's Day or his birthday so decided I would just take it home with me to drink my coffee from. I was pretty sure that would please him! And so I did and so I have!

I am like my Daddy in some ways but different in many others. He loved to fish! That's why I gave him the fishing cup. I hate fishing! He liked his coffee strong and black. I like mine with plenty of cream. He drank Folgers. I drink Maxwell House. He wanted the "real deal" (caffeine) I drink decaf. I'll never forget an incident several years ago. It was my sister Leola's birthday and I went by and picked up Dad and Trudy and we headed down to see her. I had baked a cake and bought ice cream for us to have when we got there. When we got ten or fifteen miles from her house I called to see if she would like to fix a pot of coffee for us to have with the cake. She told me to ask Daddy if he wanted her to make decaf since it was the middle of the afternoon. His reply from the back seat was very forceful...."Tell her I'd just as soon have a cup of ditch water as decaf coffee!" So that settled that! He had his coffee that afternoon with his daughters just like he liked it....strong, black, and with caffeine!

The Bible verse on Daddy's cup is from Proverbs 27: 19 and says: "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man."
Just as when we look in water we see our face reflected, so can we see the reflection of another's heart when we get to know them. My Daddy had a good heart. Not physically for the heart that beat in his chest was not very strong in his last days. But spiritually his heart was solid as a rock. I'm glad I got to know him!

Good reflections of a good man. Happy Birthday Daddy!

Marilyn

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tea --For One

I've never been much of a hot tea drinker. Well, except for hot herbal teas in the wintertime when fighting off a cold. I've always viewed the regular cup of hot tea as something the British do. I admit I was a little intrigued by the whole "afternoon tea" bit though when I used to read Emilie Loring novels novels years ago. But believe it or not, I've just polished off my third cup of hot Lipton tea completed only by a little dash of milk. And I really liked it!

Last week I read somewhere that tea is really very, very good for us. Health wise I mean. It has less caffeine than coffee and somehow it effects the body in a different way also. It's high in anti-oxidants and lots of other good things that I can't at the moment remember!

I'm not much into acronyms but did make one today with the word TEA. (Notice I picked a nice short word! lol)

Tarry -- " to linger, to stay". The Holy Spirit has been nudging me lately to Tarry longer in the Word. To come to God more often and stay longer than I've been staying.

Employ -- "to use, to apply". I'm also realizing that I need to more often employ the things that I read in the Scriptures. What good does it do me to read the Word and then not do it? Not much!

Attain -- "to achieve, to accomplish, to reach". I'm really thinking that if I "Tarry" and "Employ" that it will be easier for me to Attain a closer walk with God. And that's something I want.

I'm liking my TEA today! Join me in a cuppa???

"He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul; he that keepeth understanding shall find good." Proverbs 19: 8

Marilyn

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Last Sunday morning I used a variation of the devotion "The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee" for the lesson in our ladies Sunday school class. I don't golf so instead substituted "juggling balls". (O.K......I don't juggle either but did have these on hand.......and I omitted the coffee)


Here is a recap of the "original" story that I took this object lesson from:

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes'. The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life." "The golf balls are the important things - your God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full." "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car." "The sand is everything else - the small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you." "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." "Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented...The professor smiled.'I'm glad you asked'.It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'


As I prepared for this lesson I was reminded of a verse of Scripture that sums it all up...Matthew 6: 33…”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

If we'll seek Jesus Christ first, then we don't have to "sweat the small stuff" because He will take care of everything else!


Marilyn

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Holding On or Being Held?

This morning I took the lightweight dog leash off the hook and called our dog Blackie to come and walk with me. He doesn't really like to be on the leash and if he spies it he sometimes won't come to me. I thought I'd be smart this morning and carry out the doggie treats to coax him into a walking mood. My other dog, fourteen-year-old Duke was ready for both a walk and a doggie treat. Although he weighs about thirty pounds and Blackie is probably twice that, Duke still thinks he's top dog around here! He's walked with me for so many years he doesn't need a leash but Blackie...now that's a different story! He will walk but he will spend most of his time out in the woods doing his own thing, hence the leash as I am trying to teach him to stay with me out walking.

The doggie treats did the trick. He came and took one from me but immediately ran away. Duke wanted treats too so I gave him a couple just for being such a loyal friend all these many years! Oh and also just because I like to spoil him! ha I had the leash ready in one hand and a treat ready in the other when Blackie came back. Made him wait for the treat while I hooked the leash on his new red collar. As I have done for years when walking my dogs, I took the leash, put my hand through the loop and they wrapped the rest around my hand to get the desired length. Then I gave Blackie the treat but instead of gobbling it down, he left half of it hanging from his mouth. Bad move! Duke decided he wanted Blackie's treat along with his own and proceeded to take it from Blackie's mouth!

I guess you can imagine what happened next....DOG FIGHT! A little barking, a little growling and a big black dog running FAST away from a little white dog with very sharp teeth! And guess what? He was moving FAST away from me and the leash at the same time! He moved so fast that I didn't know what happened except that the leash was no longer wound around my hand and that my hand was hurting really bad! The loop in the leash was thankfully large enough that my hand had slipped through when he ran. Had it not, I would most likely have been thrown to the ground and dragged! As it was, it just scrapped and slightly bruised my hand and wrist.

Benny was outside and saw the whole thing. After looking at my hand and determining that it was going to be all right, he then proceeded to fuss at me for the way I'd been holding the leash wrapped around my hand. His exact quote was, "NEVER tie yourself to something bigger than you are!" Hmmm. Good idea! What he meant was, if you are not big enough to totally control something, don't attach yourself to it!

I started thinking about the things we hold on to. Some good. Some bad. A lot of things bigger than we are. Do you worry about things that you really have no control over? Have you begun to experiment with things you know God hates? Are the things you read and the shows you watch on TV not the wholesome things you were taught to respect? Then you're holding on to something bigger than yourself and may get hurt! Satan may just take off running and leave you dragging behind on the end of his leash!

On the other hand, think about the opposite of holding on which would be, being held! When my kids were little and they got hurt or didn't feel well they wanted to be held in my lap. At the end of a long day when they were tired, they wanted to be held. It is a form of comfort and security that we really never outgrow. A big hug from my husband or a friend when I'm feeling down or tired makes such a difference!

What a blessing that we don't have to worry about holding on to God to get comfort and security from Him. Why don't we have to hold on? Because HE is holding on to us! And His grip never slips! He will never pull us in the wrong direction either! I'm so thankful my salvation is sealed and secured by His Holy Spirit!

Ephesians 1:13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"

In His Grip.......Marilyn

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hidden Treasures

(Newest treasure: Gail Pittman storage tin)

Do any of you like treasure hunts? Finding hidden treasures? I do! It may be in a corner of my closet or up in the attic that I find something I had stored and forgotten about. Or it could be something I come across at a yard sale or thrift store. Yesterday I found one of those little "hidden treasures" at our local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

I had taken several things to donate to the thrift store yesterday so took that in the back door. Had a little extra time...which I usually don't...and decided to go in the front and look around. I found several "treasures": the movie "Gone With the Wind", a next-to-new pair of tiny white leather baby tennis shoes (which I will give to a friend or someone at Sav-A-Life) and a metal tin by Mississippi artist Gail Pittman. I spent a whopping sum of $3 and a few cents! These things someone else didn't want in their homes anymore just made my day!

I was thinking about some of the "hidden treasures" I have found in people that have come into my life. Once a week my husband and I visit the church van route. (He drives the van on Sundays) We just go by and knock on their doors and remind them that the van will be around early Sunday morning. If they're not home, we leave a flier telling what will be going on at church that week. (This weekend we'll be having a cookout after the morning service to celebrate the 4th of July)


Some of our families live in some pretty bad conditions. Some because of poverty. Some because of sin. Some have stable family lives. Some are bounced from "pillar to post" every week. Some of the families we have gotten to know well. Some have stayed strangers...of their own choice.

But all these precious people are treasures. They are hidden to many because lots of folks don't want to go inside a house trailer to visit when there are hundreds of roaches crawling on the doors, the floors, and the furniture. Or because sometimes the smell of the open garbage can beside the front door is so bad it makes you gag. Or because the baby who comes to the door with their mama has a runny nose and matted eyes and a very smelly diaper. So many things that keep these treasures hidden.

I have to admit that it's even sometimes hard for me. But God has given us so many glimpses into the lives of these "treasures" of His. He died for these people. They need to know that! We try to tell them. Some of them have learned to trust Him. Some of them already know Him. We've had several adult ladies start riding the van faithfully in the last couple of months. One of these ladies and her husband are raising about eight of their grandchildren! She has been such a blessing as we visit in her home each week.


I thought about Jesus as he "must needs go through Samaria" and how he witnessed to the woman at the well there. She was not living right. But she didn't know Jesus. There are so many people who are just like her. Will we be like Jesus' disciples who "marvelled that he talked with the woman" or will we be like Jesus and purposely reach out to those who others sometimes ignore? I hope that we can search out "hidden treasures" all around us so that we can tell them about Jesus...the One Who can give them all they've ever needed and more! As Jesus said to the woman at the well..."But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. " (John 4: 14)

Happy Treasure Hunting!

Marilyn

~Note~ I do not mean to imply that every one of our families live in horrid conditions. Some of the homes are very well kept and clean. Just wanted to clear that up!