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 !


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!


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!


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!


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


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!