Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just Everyday Life

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19

I so often want to have something "big" or "important" or "intriguing" to post about. But today something just sort of jumped out at me--every day is "big, important, or intriguing" in some way! Each day is a gift from God and should be appreciated as such. So I want to share a few pictures with you of my day so far.

First is my faithful, loyal, handsome canine friend Duke! He's fifteen years old now and doesn't look a day over seven or eight! ha He still likes to run and jump and play. But at the same time he likes to sleep a lot when nothing else is going on. Oh and he can't hear much anymore. Eh? I said HE CAN'T HEAR !! Poor puppy! This morning he was getting a little nap in the sunshine and I wanted to capture that picture of total relaxation. But even though his hearing is gone, he still can feel the movement when I walk across the deck and so he woke up and looked up at me.

These beautiful orange Tiger Lilies grow on the shady north side of my house. I can see them out my kitchen window. They looked so pretty and fresh this morning after the recent rains. Memories of seeing ancestors of these very flowers growing in my next-door-neighbors yard when I was just a little girl came drifting across my mind. I had dug up some of these roots or bulbs after I was married and had a house of my own. And now I have a piece of my past with me every summer.

I started the day having breakfast with my husband. He wanted biscuits & eggs so I made that for him but I had a whole wheat blueberry muffin with my egg. Ummmm. They are so good! I was in the produce department of Walmart a few days ago and they had their fresh blueberries marked down from $2.98 to $1 so could not resist buying a few and making some of these delicious honey/whole wheat muffins!

After breakfast Benny went to the garden and started gathering sweet corn. I lost count of how many 5-gallon buckets of corn he gathered. We put quite a few bags of cream style corn in the freezer along with a lot that we will just boil as corn on the cob. Left out some to cook for our supper too. I just love eating these fresh veggies!

For lunch I had a healthy, delicious tuna sandwich with a slice of fresh tomato on it. Ate it before I thought about writing this blog though. lol Take my word, it was super! But,alas, I happened to remember I had bought a couple of single slice servings of one of my favorite pies... Hershey's Chocolate Creme ! My healthy start to the day took a nosedive and I ate a piece. And it was sooooooooo good! Sigh!

And so you have seen a slice of "Just Everyday Life" for me. Perhaps not as exciting as some people's but I love the life God has given to me. I thank and praise Him for giving me a good home and a good family and wonderful Christian friends!

"Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious." Psalm 66:2

Have a great day in Him my friends !!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Red Sky at Night....

As we drove home from church last night the sky was just beautiful ! A vast canvas for our Creator God to display His awesome artistic abilities! The picture I took just does not do it justice but the colors were fantastic...shades from the palest pinks and blues (made me think of the pink & blue dresses we wore on choir tour from FBC once!) to tones of grayish silver and gold were painted in great brush-like strokes in the clouds.

My parents used to tell me this when we saw a sky like the one I saw last night: "Red at night, sailor's delight. Red in morning, sailor take warning!" Usually this holds pretty true. I always just thought it was one of those "old sayings" but several years ago I came across these verses in Matthew 16:2-3...."He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"

So I'm assuming that the little poem about the red sky actually originally came from the Bible. Then I noticed the last sentence, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?", and I began to wonder. Why is it that in our generation it's not hard for people to understand or believe in science or politics or modern inventions & technology but yet so many people reject the Bible and the teachings of Jesus? People have come so far in education but in the process have taken several giant steps backward in spirituality!

May God help us to be able to not only "discern the face of the sky" but also to be able to "discern the signs of the times"!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't Get Burned !

In the past couple of weeks I've seen people and heard about others who have gotten badly sunburned out in this hot summer sunshine. I know how it hurts because as a fair-skinned person myself who gets red after even fifteen minutes in the sun, I got "blistered" several times during my teenaged years.

Sunburn can range from just turning really red and hurting for a day or so all the way to having clear, raised blisters, being in severe pain for several days and having fever and chills. And then comes the peeling skin! Ewww. I can remember just pulling off sheets of dead skin after being sunburned! Sometimes it can even leave scars if it's bad enough.

With all the information about sunburn and cancer we've had access to for the past several years, we really have no excuse to let ourselves get in that predicament now. (Unless of course some kind of unexpected emergency comes up and we have to be out in the sun longer than expected.) And it's strange but most of the time we don't even realize we're burning until it's TOO LATE !! I've thought about other burns you can get: from a hot object or fire, a carpet burn, a chemical burn, etc. All of these hurt when they burn you. You realize it and get away from it before it can damage you any more than it already has. Not so with sunburn. We are usually enjoying a ball game, a walk, swimming, or some other enjoyable outside activity while the sun is silently beating down on our unprotected skin burning us unawares. The best prevention for sunburn is awareness....when you know you will be outside for an extended period of time this summer---wear sunscreen!

You may be wondering how I'm going to tie some kind of spiritual truth in with this. So this is what I've been thinking: Sunburn is kind of like sin. Just like sunburn happens while we're out having fun and not really feeling the burning rays of the sun, sin happens while we're out having fun and not yet feeling it's destruction. But just will. Remember, the Bible says there is "pleasure in sin for a season". (Hebrews 11:25) Yes, there is pleasure in sin. But only for a season. Just as sunburn is "seasonal", sin has it's "season" also. And after all the fun is over there is a price to pay. Sometimes it may come with minimum pain. But sometimes the pain, the suffering, the grief, the regret is so agonizing that you may feel it will never go away. And sometimes there will be scars in your life from sin that never do go away! The best prevention for sin? SONscreen !! That's right! When you become a Christian, Jesus Christ...God's SON...lives in you and through the Holy Spirit helps you do right when you are tempted to sin. He protects us. (1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.)

After the pain and peeling of the sunburn is gone , all we have left is the new pink tender skin that has taken its place. God has made our bodies so wonderfully that they have marvelous powers of renewal. (Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.) And in like manner, after the pain and grief of our willful sinfulness has turned to repentance and deliverance, God will cause our spirits to renew as we nourish our minds in Truth...the Bible.
(John 17: 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.)

So my advice for us all during these scorching summer days ahead is twofold:

1...Wear Sunscreen!

2...Have SONscreen !

May God bless you!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"In My Opinion....."

I remember years ago hearing my former pastor Dr. David Shepherd saying something like, “Opinions are like armpits: everybody’s got ‘um and sometimes they stink!” And I’ve found that’s pretty much the truth. Ha

We all have our opinions on just about everything don’t we? Sometimes they’re based on fact—sometimes on fiction. If you’re in any kind of leadership position…and we all are whether we realize it or not…you need to be especially careful that the advice you give to others is based on TRUTH and not just an opinion you have developed.

It’s a scary thing to be an influence in somebody’s life! Maybe you think you’re not influencing anyone. But if you’re a friend, a sister, a brother, a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, a teacher, a preacher or….well, you just fill in the blank…then you ARE influencing somebody whether you realize it or not. And therein could lie a problem. I’ve noticed in the past few days some situations where people in highly respected positions are giving out their own “opinions” very freely but these opinions are based on nothing more than pure preference.

As much as I wish it was not so, I have been guilty of doing the same thing at times. I have had opinions based on my own preferences or on some false information I had been given. That is so scary to me! I never want to lead someone down the wrong road in life because I’ve given them rotten advice! And we should especially be careful how we influence the young folks in our lives! Jesus had something to say about that in Luke 17:2 “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

Last Monday was my birthday and one of the most touching birthday wishes I received was from a “girl” that was my next-door-neighbor when I was growing up. (She’s a few years younger than me) She sent me a note that said this: “You once gave me a poster that said, "You have touched me, I have grown." I would like to return that to you. You have touched me, I have grown. Thank you for being my friend for over 50 years.” She is sweet to think so highly of me after all this time and it was a great gift to receive this note. But I also know there are people out there that I may have not left such a “sweet taste in their mouths” and for that I am sorry. I truly want to be a good influence on the people around me. But I know that” in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18) And that’s the key. To know that within our flesh dwells “no good thing” and that if we do anything for good it will have to be God working through us. I want to study the Scriptures more so that I can offer sound Biblical influence to those I come in contact. My “opinions” are not good enough. In stark contrast, God’s Truth will never fail !

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” John 2:28