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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Treat Each Day as a Gift


EVERY DAY IS A GIFT CALENDARI got an early morning start on Saturday. It was great. I stopped by the 24 hour pharmacy at around 6am and picked up my medicine and got on the road to the grocery store. As I arrived at the grocery store I saw the wheel chair carts. The memories of the past few years came flooding back into my mind. I clearly remember shopping with those carts many times because I could not make it through the store on my own.

There was one Saturday that we got to the store and there were no wheel chair carts available and in my stubbornness I said I really didn’t need one. But before we could finish the trip I had to find a place to sit down and rest because of the pain. I remember walking back out and sitting on one of the chairs waiting for Bob to pick me up when he finished checking out.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realized something in your life had gotten better? Just all of a sudden it occurs to you that you can do what was once impossible for you. This week I rejoiced that I was able to take a regular cart and shop for my groceries without a problem. Sometimes God will use a skillful surgeon to fix an issue and get you back up and running. I thank God for those people who have dedicated their lives to helping others with physical problems.

I am thankful for the days that I struggled with pain and suffering because it allows me to see what others are going through. Though I did not enjoy the suffering, it did give me a better perspective and for that I am thankful. I don’t want to completely forget those days because they keep me humble and more empathetic toward those who are currently suffering. I am not without occasional pain but I am miles ahead of where I was last year at this time.

I listened to a sermon this morning where the preacher was talking about the fact that life is but a vapor and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. This makes me thankful for today and every day that I am allowed to live on this planet. And I will be thankful for the day when God allows me to enter into eternity with Him. I am going to strive to remember that every day is a gift, whether it is good or bad and treat it like one. Will you join me?

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Treasure the Glimpses


IMG_1944Weekends can get busy. There is always a new project to try to complete before you have to go back to work. Since our commute to and from work takes hours off each day that leaves us the weekends for projects. Our current project is building a shed in the back yard to give us some much needed storage space.

We have been working on the concept and placement for the shed for years but now with the permit in hand we are actually building it. A few weeks ago we started by trimming the tree that hung down too low to allow the shed. Then we worked on leveling the ground. Saturday we worked on pouring some concrete. Of course my jobs were less strenuous than Bob’s and as I sat and waited for my next job Bob shoveled the mix into the cement mixer. The wind was swirling around and cement dust was going everywhere so I covered my face with my gloved hands. I then separated my fingers and looked out to see if the dust had settled.

As I looked through my fingers I saw Bob working. I marveled how I could only see glimpses of him through the small opening between my fingers. Bob saw me with my hands covering my face and asked if I was playing peek-a-boo. Then it hit me. This is how some of us see God, in glimpses that are brief without the full picture.

Honestly, I cannot explain the glimpses but I can treasure them. So if you are like me and see God in glimpses I suggest that you take full advantage of those times, write them down and treasure them. There is no promise of how many times this will happen.

Elijah had one of these moments in 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NKJV):

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

I am learning to treasure the moments that God gives me because I do not know what will happen tomorrow.

James 4:14 (NKJV)

“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

I pray that each of you will have many moments to treasure in  your lives. Enjoy this week, I should be back next week with more.

 

The Beauty of Imperfection


kittypalmer

As I sit and look at a picture of myself, I see all the imperfections. There are bumps, wrinkles, gray hair, eyebrows that are thinning and a mole that has been there my whole life. I see the scar under my chin that I got when I was a toddler. There is a broken spot on my front tooth and an imperfect smile.

Now I could focus on all of these things and say that I am not desirable but I choose not to do that. The imperfect broken spot on my tooth brings back the memory of when the chip came out. The scar under my chin reminds me that my parents cared for me when I mistakenly turned the rocking chair upside down and somehow ran my chin into the edge of the rocker. They lovingly held me together and took me to the doctor.

I could look see the scar that takes up most of my little finger and remember the time that I tried to force a large piece of ice into a glass and the glass broke and cut me through to the bone. I remember my daddy putting a tourniquet on me and then while he held me Mama raced me to the hospital to be sewed back together.

The wrinkles on my face remind me of the years that have gone by to put them there. I can remember when they weren’t there at all and all the years in between. And when I smile real big I see my mother in the mirror. My wrinkles once were her wrinkles.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone in the world would look at their own imperfections and see the beauty in it instead of being upset that they are not perfect? God knows we are a work in progress and I believe that scars and imperfections help keep us humble and remind of the love that has been given to us in this life. And if we understand that we are not perfect then we might just better understand the imperfect people we are around each day.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

Living Without Hope


HOPE in darkness

How can you live without hope?

I have been pondering this question lately.  I don’t have a reference point for not having hope. As a child even when I was sick I always believed that I was well.  I remember one time when I was in eighth grade and suffering from something the doctors were puzzled about. I had to spend time in the hospital for tests, back then they made you stay in the hospital for as many days as it took to give you all the tests to figure out what was wrong. When I got out my mother was so glad that she bought me new pants. For us that was a really big thing. You only got new clothes when you totally wore the old ones out or outgrew them.

Through good and bad times I have been blessed with a faith in God. So I don’t understand those who do not believe in Him. I don’t know how to live without knowing Him. Daily I feel compassion toward those who do not know Him or have rejected Him because of what others have told them. I grieve over the many people who embrace ways to escape from the reality of this life just to survive another day. Is that really living? I say that it is not.

There will always be times of fear and doubt and times when things are really dark, but in those times we should always remember that we have HOPE as long as we believe in God and what Jesus did for us on that cross. Jesus did not come to the world to become a celebrity. He came to make a way where there seemed to be no way for salvation. He came to bring forgiveness because He knew the nature of man. He came to give us HOPE for an eternal life with Him and the Father.

It is much easier to live rather than just surviving another day when in the midst of the darkness you can see a light that directs you. If we could see what God sees we would be able to understand everything, however God does not show us everything so we have to trust in what He has given us and believe in the promise of our future with Him.

Join me in asking God for His perspective and to show His light in the midst of any darkness. Our world is full of darkness but we are called to be the light. My prayer this week is that we will provide the light to the world that is too dark for comfort.  I will be back next week with more.

The Gift


GiftBoxWhat do I want to give? If you are like me and you know that there is a birthday coming up, deciding on a present to bestow is a big issue, especially if the birthday is for your child or grandchild. Today while contemplating this issue I realized that my mind usually goes to “What can I buy this person that will be meaningful?” But maybe the real thought process should be what can I give this person that will be meaningful and helpful in their life?

Buying something brand new seems to be the thing to do because there are so many things to buy out there. However isn’t it much more appropriate and heartfelt to give from what you have? Wouldn’t it be a better gift to share your love for that person expressed in a unique way. For example, if you are artistic then give something artistic, if you are crafty then give something crafty. If you are a writer then put pen to paper and share a story. Or maybe pass on a family heirloom to the next generation.

Buying something is much easier, but who ever said we should always do the easy things in life. I believe that giving something that truly comes from you makes the gift all the more personal and memorable. And if the recipient does not understand at the time, I am sure down the road they will understand and get the message.

God sent Jesus into this world to share the biggest gift that had ever been given. Many of the people He came to share it with rejected His message, but that did not stop Him. He continued on because He knew that someday everyone would have the chance to accept this gift of eternal life with God. Jesus sacrificed all that He had to share Good news and after He left this world His disciples continued on. For over 2000 years the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been shared. Many lives have been saved by its saving grace and mercy.

The greatest gift of all is forgiveness of sins and eternal life through Jesus. Christians should consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to share this gift with the world.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Be encouraged this week to continue sharing the Gospel because you never know when someone will be ready to accept their salvation.  Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Invitations


Isaiah 55

I remember when I was just starting this intense walk with God. Our wash machine stopped working and I had to use the local Laundromat to clean our clothes. Laundromats are interesting places; you never know who you will see or what kind of conversation you will find yourself in. I decided that the Laundromat time would be a great time to dig a little deeper into reading the Bible so I took it with me. As I sat and waited on my laundry a lady that I worked with on occasion came into the place.

She noticed that I was reading the bible and that struck up a conversation. She had been divorced and said that her church would not really allow her to participate because of the divorce. She said she knew that the church taught her that divorce was wrong but she could not avoid it. She asked me my thoughts. I explained to her about salvation and how God can and will forgive us of our sins. I explained how God doesn’t condemn people who seek His forgiveness. She was stunned to hear that God would really forgive because her church did not seem willing or able to forgive her.

She was very interested in this and asked what she could do. I then led her in a salvation prayer. When she left the Laundromat she not only had clean clothes but she also had a clean heart. She did not know that God would meet her there and invite her to receive forgiveness, but He did. I went home with clean clothes and a smile on my face having witnessed someone receiving the Good News that God forgives.

I share this today to encourage all of us that we never know when we might receive an invitation or when we might be called to invite someone else into their relationship with God. So be on the lookout and take every opportunity to share His love.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Family Time


family time 2 pictureI believe family relationships are very important to a healthy life. A few weeks ago my husband and I traveled over three hundred miles one way to see our son, Matt in a play. He never really showed an interest in acting in his childhood but has recently become involved in a community theater thanks to his wife Heather. I had traveled to see him play young Scrooge in a Christmas Carol last year since I was close by taking care of my sister after surgery. I really enjoyed that experience. But this time he had a leading role playing Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a Steve Martin play.

My daughter and her family also made the trip. We were all very impressed with his acting abilities and the whole cast did an awesome job. Matt even got a great review on his performance. They also added their own twists to the play making it into a bit of a musical. Then they did a version of karaoke at the end. It was great. I love live theater and seeing one of my children acting was a plus. Matt even did good with his singing.

And if that wasn’t enough live entertainment my daughter Jacquie took me to see “Beautiful” a musical about the life of Carol King. It was amazing. I got to see the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, what a beautiful place. I got my exercise in climbing many flights of marble stairs that day.  We could have taken the elevator but it was much more interesting to walk the stairs. I never realized that Carol King wrote so many songs. Then we got to have mother daughter time and ended up walking around downtown Fort Worth for a while. It was a great time.

And if that wasn’t enough family time Saturday I got to watch my grandson Jack play soccer, and score a couple of goals. I also got to sit near “Iron Man” Rex. Superheroes love soccer games. When that was over we walked around the fire department event that was going on adjacent to the soccer fields. We learned about fire trucks, the jaws of life, and how to break a car window to rescue someone. We also got free food from In and Out burger. Jack and Rex got their pictures taken with the Chick-fil-a cow, dressed up as a fire fighter. The boys got to sit in a swat truck and see bomb squad robots. It was lots of fun.

I don’t think that we can ever have too much family time. I am so appreciative of all the time that I have with my family. Really we never know how much time God will let us have on this earth, so it is important to take advantage of all the time he gives us.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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