Prayers Appreciated

My last post told about a “new to us” wood project that Anna and I were attempting. We spent most of Saturday afternoon working on it…

We even decided to branch out to some mini cinder blocks we found out in the barn…

After painting one, Anna took over the cinder block painting…

In the midst of our crafting, my husband received a phone call from his brother – a call of sad news. Their mother had just passed away. Even though a recent decline in her health had been preparing us for this day, I don’t know if one can ever be fully prepared for the finality of the initial news.

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated as we travel up to WV here in a little while.

As I thought about what we were doing when we received the news on Saturday, I couldn’t help but think of the first cinder block I had painted…

Loved. Mom loved her family. Mom was LOVED by her family. She will be missed very much. ❤️

Early Signs Of Spring

A couple weeks ago – right in the middle of these winter months – we here in NC experienced some spring-like weather. In fact, as we were in town that week for Anna’s orthodontist appointment and errands, the girls were just about ready to go home and pull out the flip-flops. I’m telling you folks, it felt like SPRING!

Now, we knew it was way too early to be thinking that spring had arrived…why, it wasn’t quite the middle of January yet. And sure enough – in spite of the balmy 70 degree temperature we had one of those days, this past week brought us back to reality with 5 1/2 inches of snow! Yes, we still have plenty of winter left – plenty of days to bundle up and brace the cold winds and maybe even see more freezing precipitation.

You know what those few unusually warm days did for us though? It put in us an eager anticipation for the next season. I guess you could say we have been smitten with just a touch of spring fever and I’m getting a little excited!

Recently, I read the following verse…

“For, lo, the winter is past…” Song of Solomon 2:11

This phrase came to my mind several times that week as it sure did FEEL like the winter was past. In our Christian life, when the Lord allows us to experience some dark, winter times of trials, I am thankful for those early signs of spring – signs that God is indeed moving…signs that, although our winter time of testing may not be completely over, it is indeed coming to an end and spring is on its way!!

This morning, if your current circumstances in life have you in the dead of winter, be encouraged – just as morning follows night, spring always, ALWAYS comes after winter!  Amen!

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

It Is No Secret What God Can Do

Just as I was posting my previous post, the following song began playing on KNVBC. How VERY FITTING for what the Lord has given this morning!!  I know I’ve posted these lyrics before but just had to post them again! May your heart be encouraged!

It Is No Secret What God Can Do

The chimes of time ring out the news
Another day is through
Someone slipped and fell
Was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength
Your courage to renew
Do not be disheartened
For I have news for you

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

There is no night for in His light
You’ll never walk alone
Always feel at home
Wherever you may roam

There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side
Just take Him at His promise
Don’t run away and hide

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

(Stuart Hamblen)

God Can!!!

This morning, my Bible reading included the following familiar verses from Jeremiah…

“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” Jeremiah 32:17

and…

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

This morning’s devotional in “Springs in the Valley” was a great follow-up to these verses:

The last quote from this devotional reminded me of “my verses”! How very thankful I am this morning for the triple reminder that GOD CAN!!

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20,21 

Snowy Day Musings – Those Ungrateful Ducks

I am enjoying our NC snow today…from my window. 😉 Although I don’t get out and “play” in it, I really love watching it fall. I love seeing it begin to cover the ground and all its dead grass, the trees and all their leafless branches – as the snow continued today, all the winter signs of death turned into a beautiful winter-wonderland. I LOVE that!

Not long after the snow began to fall this morning, Anna and I went outside to rig up a makeshift shelter for the ducks. Their little house had been sufficient up until now but I felt they would need a bigger “snow-free” area. Now, you would think Rascal, Ruffles, Dixie and Daisy would show their appreciation for all the effort we put into carrying that big ol’ piece of plywood from the barn into their coop. Right? On the contrary, our little feathered friends’ reaction was one of ruffled feathers and loud quacking followed by an attempted escape! How could they be so unthankful?! After getting the shelter set up, we stood back and watched them waddle around and around and around…in every direction but their new addition. Humph – some gratitude!

Of course, I’m being facetious concerning our ducks, but here’s a little snowy day musing – how often do we, as Christians, show our ingratitude to God for the shelter He provides for us? How often, when faced with a “winter storm”, do we let our “feathers” get all ruffled while we run around complaining? How often do we try to escape the trial He has allowed in our lives? How often do we wander around and around and around – to the phone, social media, various addictions, etc. and all the while, the Lord desires for us to run to the shelter He has provided. I’m afraid, if we were honest, we’d all have to admit being guilty from time-to-time of acting just like those ungrateful ducks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

(Vernon J. Charlesworth; Ira D. Sankey)

“For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” Psalm 61:3 

What Faith Does

You ask me why I believe like I do,
why I’m so convinced that the Bible is true.
I’m here to tell you, it’s only because
I’ve been through enough to see what faith does.

Faith sees the invisible, believes the impossible,
receives the incredible, no matter what was.
Faith moves the unmovable, proves the unprovable
for anyone willing to trust.
Believe and you’ll see what faith does.

If there’s a mountain that stands in your way;
from all you can see, it will be there to stay.
God said with the faith of a small mustard seed
that mountain will move, believe and you’ll see.

Faith sees the invisible, believes the impossible,
receives the incredible, no matter what was.
Faith moves the unmovable, proves the unprovable
for anyone willing to trust.
Believe and you’ll see what faith does.

(Donna Brooks, Marty Funderburk, Scott Wilemon)

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 

He Washed My Eyes With Tears

“To follow him with understanding, it is needful to have done business on the great waters, and weathered many an Atlantic gale.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
At the end of this post is a song I heard a bit ago and wanted to share it here. The words go right along with some thoughts I’ve had the last few days. So often, God allows afflictions in our lives to “wake us up” to our present condition. The brokenness and tears that trials produce may actually be God lovingly opening the eyes of our understanding which will in turn give us opportunity  and desire to press on to higher ground!
If the Children of Israel had been living a life of ease in Egypt, would they have desired deliverance? It was their affliction that caused them to cry out to God and thus put in motion their journey to Canaan.
“And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…” Exodus 3:7,8 
This morning, is God desiring to awaken you? Is He using affliction in your life to open your eyes to your current state? If you are lost, God desires that you be saved! If you are saved but living a defeated life, God desires for you to know the VICTORIOUS Christian life found only in complete surrender to Him! Please don’t turn FROM God! To resist the trial could mean missing out on your Canaan!
He washed my eyes with tears
That I might see,
The broken heart I had
Was good for me;
He tore it all apart
And looked inside,
He found it full of fear
And foolish pride.
He swept away the things
That made me blind,
And then I saw the clouds
Were silver-lined.
And now I understand
‘Twas best for me,
He washed my eyes with tears
That I might see.
 
He washed my eyes with tears
That I might see
The glory of Himself
Revealed to me;
I did not know that He
Had wounded hands,
I saw the blood He shed
Upon the sands.
I saw the marks of shame,
And wept and cried,
He was my substitute,
For me He died.
And now I’m glad He came
So tenderly,
And washed my eyes with tears
That I might see.
(Ira F. Stanphill)

New Things

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18,19 

Although it is a good thing to look back on past victories from time-to-time, the above verses remind us not to dwell there. God desires to give us new victories! God desires to do NEW THINGS in our lives! Continually dwelling on past victories…or past failures…can deter NEW victories that God desires to give us.

I love the beginning of a new year and. as I read these verses in Isaiah this morning, I was reminded of Anna’s latest chalkboard lettering for the beginning of 2018…

 

We are several days into 2018 now and my cleaning frenzy that I mentioned the other day continues. As I go through closets, cabinets and cupboards, I am filling up bags and boxes of things. Many of these things represent the past – past styles, past seasons, past sizes ;). These things have not been beneficial to me for years. These things are cluttering my life. These things are only taking up space. It’s time to let go of these things.

Continually living in the past will rob us of the excitement of a new year! This morning, is it time to declutter your life? Oh, you may have some past victories you need to tuck away in your cedar chest. It’s good to look back on these things – occasionally. Or, are there some past failures you just need to bag up and take to the dump? May I encourage you to invest in a box of garbage bags – today?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17