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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Bread of Life

During the recent ice storm here everything was covered by an inch thick layer of ice. We had sleet first, which formed a thick layer of what looked like snow, and then the freezing rain on top of that. The trees, grass and plants were encased in ice.

When the rain finally stopped, I noticed them – the little birds fluttering around in the icy branches of the oak trees. There were tiny little titmouse, blue birds and I even saw some robins. The robins must have been thinking, “Boy oh boy!! We flew hundreds of miles to escape the winter blast in the north only to have it show up here. We thought it was supposed to be warm in the south!!”

We felt so sorry for them. We didn’t have any wild birdseed so we shredded slices of bread into teeny, tiny pieces and put it out on the sidewalk for them. There it was – abundant provision to tide them over until the ice melted. My husband scattered it right below the tree where I had seen them. We watched – anticipating their delight in finding the bread we had provided for them.

They never found it. I suppose they weren’t used to finding food there and never even looked. There was no way for them to get food on their own and yet they didn’t take what we had provided for them. I felt so bad.

I was thinking about that today. So often I am just like those little birds. Life goes on as usual and all is well. Then comes the storm. The landscape of my life is changed, and I need help to get through. Too often I look in all the wrong places for help. I “fly” around searching for answers when all the time the answer was right there in front of me. Does God look at my “fluttering” and think, “Child, I have provided exactly what you need. The Bread of Life is right there. You have only to take it in.”

If I don’t make a daily habit of spending time in the Word, I won’t know where to look when I am desperate for nourishment. It will sit there right in front of me – containing everything I need and I won’t see it. Help me Lord, to faithfully take in the nourishment You have provided for me.

Matthew 4:4 “…Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

  posted at 11:36 AM

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I looked up the word legacy in the dictionary this morning. One of the meanings is “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” I have been thinking about legacies since working on my Bible Study the other day. It was the story of Cain and Abel – the familiar story of envy and murder. The emphasis in the study was on Cain’s rejection of God’s offer of forgiveness and the affect it had on his descendants.

After the Lord rejected Cain’s offering He said “…Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7) Rather than accept God’s offer of forgiveness Cain decided to kill his brother.

After being confronted by God with what he had done and receiving the punishment, the Bible tells us, “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord…” The author of my Bible Study commenting on this said, “When Cain ‘went out from the presence of the Lord’, he also left any worship of the Lord or any acknowledgement of the Lord in his daily life….When we look at the names of the children born in Cain’s line, we also discover a self-seeking, self-initiated society.” (From “Praying God’s Way by Rick Shepherd) Cain left a legacy of godlessness to his future generations. One of his descendants, Lamech, was guilty of killing two people.

There was another son born to Adam and Eve, and his name was Seth. The Bible says of Seth, “And to Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26) Seth chose to follow the Lord and established a far different legacy than that of Cain. Among his descendants we find Enoch – “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) - and Noah. Seth is mentioned again in the New Testament. His name appears in the genealogy of the Son of Man in Luke 3:38. All the way from Seth to the very Son of God the wonderful legacy was handed down.

In my own family, the legacy began with my Grandmother. My Grandfather became very disillusioned with the church they were attending and just stopped attending. My Grandmother found a little church where they spoke Italian, and she felt at home. My mother and father began to attend that church after they were married, and it was there that they met a woman who shared the message of salvation with them. They were both saved and the legacy began.

It has been handed down from generation to generation. They have had the joy of seeing their great grandchildren come to know the Lord. Not every family member has chosen the same path. Some have begun well and then for one reason or another walked away. Some have rejected the legacy outright. We pray that they will find their way back. But for the most part, the family has embraced this precious legacy. It is a priceless gift from the hand of a loving Father.

It is a wonderful miracle of love, I think, that this legacy can begin no matter what our past has been. We are not all privileged to have this legacy handed down to us, but we have the amazing privilege to be the ones who establish it and then pass it on to our children and their children. Cain could have chosen forgiveness and drawn close to the Lord. How different the legacy would have been if he had. Seth made the better choice to follow the Lord, and he and his descendants were woven into God’s plan to save a lost and dying world. We’ve been given that choice as well. The wonder is, it is never too late to begin.

  posted at 12:52 PM

Thursday, January 25, 2007
One of the music ministers in our church is a young woman named Amanda. She is an extraordinary pianist, singer and song writer. She has written some of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

The desire of my heart these days has been to go deeper in prayer - to draw closer to the Lord. This song Amanda wrote has been going through my mind for days. It expresses what I am feeling so well:


We have been singing You praises.
We have been calling Your name.
We have been anxiously waiting
for You to break through and show us Your face.
Why do we just he touch the surface
of Your power and infinite love?
I don't want the hem of Your garment.
All of You will be enough.

I know that You tore the curtain.
I can come boldly to You.
But sometimes I can't see the doorway,
and I am helpless to find my way through.
Even when I'm cleansed, forgiven,
You still seem just out of my reach.
You want my longing to deepen;
So you move the doorway I seek.

I want to feel the essence of Your presence all around me.
I want to feel Your breath as You speak secret things to me.
I want to feel Your might arms as You reach out to hold me.
Be the God that I can touch and see.
Father please reveal Yourself to me.

  posted at 3:01 PM

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Thank You For Being You
Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today', lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

The unexpected blessing of blogging has been the very real intertwining of our hearts. Thank you so much for your encouraging, loving, accepting comments. You have lifted my spirit. The burden is so much lighter when you know you aren't alone. You are all a gift from the Lord.

Today is my Dad's 87th birthday. My husband and I are going to my Mom and Dad's after my piano lesson this afternoon to celebrate!! As soon as my Mom heard we were coming she said we simply had to stay for supper. That 's my Mom. She is "home" - so warm and loving and welcoming. We are blessed to still have both of them in our lives.

My Dad is doing so well for his age. He is the one who got us all going on the computer. He loves the challenge of learning new things. He is able to do things with his computer I would never attempt. Of course he has run into problems while experimenting, but his attitude is "I'll just start all over again."

He is a veteran of WWII and was part of the D-Day invasion. His unit, the 29th Division, landed on Omaha beach. It is fascinating to listen to his stories. He remembers every detail as though it happend just yesterday. He never fails to say it was only by God's grace that he survivied. He didn't know the Lord as Savior then, but he looks back and sees how God's hand of protection was on him all those long three years.

He loves a good joke too. Of course his idea of a good joke can sometimes be just a tad annoying. For instance, picture all of us totally engrossed in a television program where the scarey music is rising in a crescendo, the villian is about to get the hero - and my Dad will yell and clap his hands thereby causing everyone to jump out of their skin. He thinks this is just hysterical - we, not so much. You would think by now we would be on to him, but here we are all these years later still jumping out of our skin!!

He is a hard worker. He and my Mom bought an old one hundred year plus house when I was in my early teens because my Mom just loves anything "antique" and because it was all they could afford. For five years he worked on restoring that house every evening after working all day. He did an amazing job. (If I didn't have all my pictures packed away in cardboard boxes I'd show you the house - aarrgh.)

He loves a good "discussion" and will often take the opposite side just for the sake of argument. I tend to be the proverbial apple that didn't fall far from the tree and will do the same thing. We can really get going some times. Inevitably the next day he will come and say something like "I was just trying to get you to defend your arguement. You were right." We have both mellowed over the years - you'll be relieved to know.

He has always been there for us. He is a man of faith, integrity, and love. He loves the Lord; he loves his family; and we love him dearly.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Tomorrow is my "busy" day. Bible Study begins again (halleluliah!!). Then in the afternoon we do the choir folders. Choir practice is in the evening. So I probably won't be able to even turn the computer on tomorrow. I'll be back on Thursday.

Thank you again dear hearts. You are the best.

  posted at 10:07 AM

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Sunday Afternoon

For all of you Charlotte Bronte fans: Masterpiece Theater is presenting "Jane Eyre" starting tonight (there are several episodes). I am so excited. I have seen a couple of different productions of "Jane Eyre", but according to our Sunday paper this one is supposed to be the best so far. I just love the book; I've read it three or four times. There is so much to admire in the character of Jane. I just hope they allow her Christian testimony come through. I won't watch it tonight. In case you don't live with a football fan - the playoffs begin today. The late game doesn't even start until five o'clock. I'll tape it and watch it at my leisure. I would tape it in any case. If it's good, I'll want to watch it again and again. I've watched the Jane Austen movies so often I pretty well have the dialogue memorized.

It is a beautiful sunny, warm day here today. It is so good to see the sunshine again after days of gloomy, rainy weather. We never complain about rain here because we don't get much and need every bit we can get (unless of course we have floods - which is the other extreme - drought or flood some years), but when the skies are gray for days on end it can get a bit depressing. We went for our walk this morning dressed as though it was still bitter cold. We had to shed the jackets after walking about ten minutes. The sun is delightfully warm. All the little birds are singing - happy that all that ice is gone. It's a beautiful day.

Hope the sun is shining where you are-
  posted at 2:09 PM

Saturday, January 20, 2007
Oswald Chambers on Prayer

Here are some quoted from the book "Prayer A Holy Occupation" by Oswald Chambers:

"Jesus says there are times when our heavenly Father will appear as if He were a most unnatural father, callous and indifferent. But remember, says Jesus, I have told you - 'everyone who asks receives.' When we get into spiritual confusion the usual way out is to say we have made a blunder, and we go back instead of forward. 'I don't know what to do; I am up against a stone wall.' Will you "hang in' to what Jesus said? If there is a shadow on the face of God the Father just now, remain confident that ultimately He will give His clear issue as Jesus said. It is not a question of black or white, or right or wrong, of being in communion or out of communion; but a question of God taking us by a way which in the meantime we do not understand."

"What is one issue about which God seems indifferent to me? Is my response one of faith or doubt?"

"So many of us limit our praying because we are not reckless in our confidence in God. In the eyes of those who do not know God, it is madness to trust Him, but when we pray in the Holy Spirit we begin to realize the resources of God, that He is our perfect heavenly Father, and we are His children."

"How will I pray and how will I behave today in response to the assurance of God's sovereignty?"

  posted at 1:55 PM

Friday, January 19, 2007
The Blessing of a New Look
I have a new look. Susie, wonderfully talented, creative, Susie at Bluebird Blogs designed this beautiful new blog for me. I am delighted with it. She did such a wonderful job. It suits me perfectly.

I was thinking this morning about how blessed I am to be able to do something like this. It is totally unnecessaary. It is just something I wanted - something that was a "wish". There are so many who have such great needs. In fact, we have great needs - physical needs. Yet the Lord has blessed me with something that is simply a special gift from His heart to mine.

Each time I look at the lovely design Susie created, I think of the heart of God that delights to give us lovely surprises. Surely I could have gotten along with the old design I had. It was perfectly fine. Yet He did this for me.

He does it so often. Blessing upon blessing; things I don't deserve. I look around my home and realize how very much He cares for me. I think about the "inner blessings" - the peace, the joy, the hope - and thank Him for the priceless treasure He has placed within my heart. I look at my family - my parents who we are so blessed to have in our lives, in their eighties and still doing so well; my children and my grandchildren - the love and unity we have as a family who know and love the Lord. The blessing I have received blogging - the precious people He has placed in my life and in my heart - the friendship, the sharing, the prayers, the encouragement, the laughter; giving me an outlet for my desire to write and adding so much more. I am so blessed.

Thank You Lord for loving me so much You even bless me with the little things that I desire to have. Thank You for my beautfiul new design. You are such a loving, caring Father.

  posted at 10:56 AM

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Life Without the Son

Our normal temperature for this time of year is 62 degrees. Today is the first time in the past couple of days that it has gotten above freezing. It is 34 degrees this afternoon. It has also been raining/sleeting/snowing for much of that time. Everything here is literally shut down. We don't do "cold weather events" very well here. We simply aren't equipped. The safest and best advice has been - stay home if you possibly can.

I took this picture from the local newspaper. Our yard looks pretty much the same. The grass is covered with a very thick layer of ice. There are icicles hanging from the eaves of the house. The branches of the live oaks and the cedar trees are bent beneath the weight of the ice. Several large branches snapped off under the pressure of the added burden. The sky is gray. Everything looks so bleak and frozen.

As I stood looking out the window I wondered what the Lord would teach me. So often He uses nature to teach me things - to illustrate things He wants me to understand. I thought about what would happen if the sun were shining. Everything would look sparkly and beautiful. Eventually the warmth would melt the ice and the trees would be releived of their heavy burden; the grass and plants would be visible again, and the little critters would be able to find something to eat.

Then I thought how much like my life this is. Without the Son my life is stark and cold and bleak. There is no real warmth or beauty. I am bend low beneath the burden of sin and guilt - sometimes I am even broken. There is no sparkle or color; everything is gray and dull.

When Jesus comes there is light, and life, and warmth. Wherever He shines the light of His love hidden rainbows are brought to life - sparkling and radiant. The burden of sin and guilt is lifted, and there is freedom and new life. The cold, barren landscape is changed by the warmth and light of His presence.

I am so thankful that He lives in my heart. I am so thankful that He is my light and my salvation. He brings joy and hope and peace. He brings new life.

  posted at 2:18 PM

Saturday, January 13, 2007
40th Wedding Anniversary

Tomorrow is our 40th wedding anniversary. Forty years!! I looked at my still very youthful looking husband yesterday and said, "Forty years - we must be getting old." "Nah," he replied "we started young." Yes we did. However, forty years is a long time, and we are getting a bit gray around the edges (well he is; I have no idea how gray my hair is any more. Judging by the roots - a lot grayer than he is.)

We celebrated last evening with a dinner at Outback. Having been married as long as we have, I knew he didn't want to miss the football playoffs, so I suggested we go out on friday instead of sunday. It was a great dinner.

We aren't going to have a big celebration or take a wonderful trip. We have so much invested in this move we hope to make, we just can't do anything spectacular right now. If the house and property haven't sold by this summer, we'll take a trip then. We said not even any presents, but he walked in the door a little while ago with a dozen beautiful roses.

He was my first real love, and I love him still - deeper, better. We've been through some very difficult times. We did a lot of growing up in the early years, and we are still learning. The adjustment to him being home full-time was a major one for both of us, but we've settled into a peaceful routine. Life isn't perfect, but life is good.

He still makes me laugh - just the way he did when he carried my books home from high school. After all these years, communication is as easy as a certain look. He is my hero. I have seen him deal with the very worst life can throw at us with faith and grace. His giving heart just amazes me, and his servant's heart blesses everyone he knows.

I am thankful Lord. You have blessed us with priceless treasures - our three children, our wonderful daughters-in-law, our seven precious grandchildren. You have never forsaken us and always helped us. You have made our love and our life together something very special. Without You I don't think we would have made it through those terrible times. Only by Your grace.

Blessings y'all,
  posted at 1:36 PM

Thursday, January 11, 2007
An Afternoon Chat
It is a gloomy day here in South Texas. It isn’t cold, but they are predicting a cold front by Sunday evening. I just made a big pot of escarole soup. Even though it isn’t cold, I thought it was gloomy enough to make soup seem like a good idea. While it simmers, I thought we could chat for a bit.

I am so glad to see we aren’t the only ones who don’t watch “24”. We don’t have cable, and the television programming lately has been just increasingly awful. We watch some of the reality shows and a couple of game shows. If there is some sort of sporting event on we watch that. I say “we”. My husband watches, and I read. I heard so much about “24” I thought it might be a show we would enjoy and look forward to week after week. Now I’m not so sure. I think I’ll tape it and then give it a try. Thanks so much for commenting on it. It isn’t exactly one of life’s deep questions.

For those of you who thought you might like to read the book I did for the meme, it is the fourth in a series. The first book is “Maisie Dobbs”. The only thing I don’t really like about them is the use of meditation and far Eastern practices. I do like the time period, and the story – line is good. The heroine, Maise, is a little servant girl in a great English manor house. The mistress notices her voracious appetite for learning and takes her under her wing. Her tutor is a man who includes those practices as part of her education when she is older. She uses them in her detective work. That’s probably more information than you ever wanted.

Our Pastor is taking us through the Bible in a year. His sermons each week are based on the scripture reading for that particular week. I’ve read through the Bible before, but this is a great way to do it. Of course, he has to “talk fast” and pull out one main thought. He spoke about Abraham last weekend and how obedient he was.

It’s funny – well amazing really – how the Lord will emphasize something in scripture. A truth He really wants to plant deep in your heart. When I read the portion of Genesis where the Lord talked to Abraham about the covenant He would make with him, I was struck by Abraham’s instant obedience. The Lord told Abraham his part of the covenant was to be circumcised and to circumcise all the males of his household. In Genesis 17:23 it says “ Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.” Abraham was totally obedient. Just as he had been when God told him to move his family from Haran to the land that He would show him. He didn’t wait to see if perhaps he had heard the Lord correctly or to poll the people in his family or to pray more about it. He did exactly what the Lord told him to do – immediately.

It was the same when God told him to sacrifice his beloved son, his only son, as a burnt offering. Genesis 22: 3 tells us “…Abraham rose early in the morning…” He left the next morning in complete obedience to do what the Lord had asked him to do. Our Pastor pointed out that Abraham didn’t do any of the incredible things someone like Moses or Elijah did. What we see most clearly about him is his absolute obedience whenever the Lord asked him to do something.
When I think of how I equivocate when the Lord puts something on my heart He wants me to do – and it isn’t something I’m particularly comfortable with – I feel so convicted. I tend to overanalyze and discuss and question until I hardly know what to do at all. Too often I end up doing nothing – or do it dragging my heels and complaining. As I think about it, I realize there is always blessing that follows my obedience. I can’t help but wonder if the blessing would have been more had I obeyed without question the way Abraham did.

I am so thankful for the people who come to life through the pages of scripture. They are so real. Abraham certainly had his failings, but God blessed him in such a special way. I can learn so much by studying their lives. I am so thankful for the Word.

  posted at 4:25 PM

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
A Fun Book Meme And A Question About "24"
I just recently discovered Cyndi's blog. I feel so blessed that I did. Her writing always inspires me and causes me to think. She has tagged me for a book meme (I feel so special when someone tags me - thanks Cyndi.).

Here are the directions:
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2 .Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence.
3. Post the text of the following three sentences on your blog.
4. Name the author and book title.
5. Tag three people to do the same.

I have my current book right here by the computer (I read while I wait for my very slooow dailup to take me from blog to blog.). It is "Messenger of Truth" by Jacqueline Winspear.

The fourth, fifth and sixth sentences on page 123 are:
"Maisie debated the most appropriate time to arrive for the party, which, according to the invitation, started at seven, with a light supper to be served at nine. She didn't want to be the first to arrive, but neither did she want to enter late and miss someone with whom it would behoove her to engage in conversation.
It was not possible to travel at more than a crawl along the Embankment, so dense was the ochre smog that enveloped busess, horses and carts and pedestrians alike - not that there were many of the latter out on a murky Sunday night."

It's a mystery set in England just after WWI. My kind of book!!

I don't know who to tag because I think everyone has already done this. However, if you haven't and would like to - consider yourself tagged. Let me know if you do it. I love to read about new books.

On a totally different subject: Is it possible to begin watching this season of "24" without ever having watched it before? I know; I know. We must be the only ones in the free world who haven't watched it. Please forgive us - we're trying to correct that grave error. We watched one episode last season, and my husband didn't like it. He is such a realist; he has a hard time getting into these kinds of shows. But I am beginning to feel as though I am missing out on something terribly important. So....can I start now - or will I be totally lost? Just thought I'd confess my terrible omisssion and try to get with the program.

  posted at 8:11 PM

Sunday, January 07, 2007
Blessed Be Your Name
It is always amazing to me the way the Lord meets us right at our point of deepest need. Last night one of the songs we sang as a choir for our Saturday night service was Blessed Be Your Name. It spoke to our hearts in a way that only the Lord can do. After the disappointment of losing the deal on the house, this song said all that we wanted to say.

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name.

And blessed be Your name
When I'm found in the dessert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name.

And blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name.

And blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say.

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name.

You give and take away.
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name.

We choose to bless His name in the good times and bad; in our joys and sorrows; in our triumphs and disappointments – because He is so good.

  posted at 11:36 AM

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I have been so focused on prayer the past few days. I decided to do a search and find some quotes on prayer. I thought I would share a few:

"Prayer lays hold of God's plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit's prayer."
E.isabeth Elliot

"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused."

"Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other's hearts in prayer."
Charles Finney

"Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation and for me the most important part is listening to God's replies."
Frank C. Laubach

"Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural."
Oswald Chambers

" The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing;but it is the chief thing. The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time to pray."
S. D. Gordon

"God's way of answering the Christian's prayer for more patience, experience, hope, and love often is to put him into the furnace of affliction."
Richard Cecil

"If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master's presense. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in our Lord's presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour will be very well employed."
St. Francis de Sales

"To have God speak to the heart is a majestic experience, an experience that people may miss if they monopolize the conversation and never pause to hear God's responses."
Charles Stanley

"God's voice is still and quiet and easily buried under an avalanche of clamour."
Charles Stanley

"Don't pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees."
Corrie ten Boom

"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our widom, but trembles when we pray."
Samuel Chadwick.

I hope those bless you as they do me. Before I tuck things away for the day, there is a special prayer request I think we all need to know about. Kelli is very much in need of our prayers. Please visit her and let her know you are praying for her.

  posted at 1:17 PM

Friday, January 05, 2007
The Answer - For Now - Is No
I got a call from our Real Estate Agent a little while ago. The people who were going to buy our property have decided they don't want to buy after all. They say it has gotten too complicated for them, and they just don't think they want to go ahead right now.

So...we are right back where we started - except I have most of our things in cardboard boxes. My husband is, at this moment, meeting with our builder to pick a site for the new house on our property. I'll have to give him the disappointing news when he gets home.

Thank you all so very much for praying for us. I can't tell you how it lifts my spirit to see all of your comments and know that you are lifting us in prayer. We are so blessed. We really are. We have everything we need. God has been so faithful to us. This was just a dream. I wanted it more for my husband than for myself. He has had a very difficult two years - one blow after another. He is an inspiration to me. He has not wavered in his faith for a moment. His strength and faith are such an encouragement to me. He is my hero.

Of course, we will continue to try to sell. I believe that God has a better plan for us. We will get through the disappointment today and look to see where He will take us. I have learned (and it hasn't been an easy lesson for me - I am sometimes very stubborn and rebellious) there is very little I have control over. I simply must trust Him. The alternative is bitterness and anger and distance from the One who is the answer to everything I will ever need.

Thank you with all my heart for your prayers and words of encouragement. You are fast becoming like sisters to me - sisters of the heart.

With love and gratitude,
  posted at 3:13 PM

Thursday, January 04, 2007
A Few Thoughts Before Bedtime
It is very late (for me very late is any time past ten o'clock these days - am I getting old or what?), but I just wanted to chat for a few minutes.

Tomorrow is the "big day". We should know whether our prospective buyers are going to sign the contract or not. We have done everything we know to do. Our agent has presented our findings about the "water issue" and other things they had questions about. I think of that verse in the Bible that says when you have done everything you can do - then stand back and watch the Lord work. Well - that's where we are. Thank you for all your prayers. I have felt so uplifted knowing you are praying for us. I'm trusting God to do what is best for us.

When I think about praying for BIG things, I am reminded of the daily miracles the Lord works on my behalf and the answers to prayer. I pray daily for my family's safety and protection. They drive countless miles every day for work or errands - and every day they have remained safe. I cannot know the number of times He has stepped between them and possible danger. He is so faithful.

My younger son lives in an area that floods when we get one of those storms that dumps several inches of rain in a very short amount of time. They keep promising they are going to start the work to correct the drainage problem - but they are very slow about keeping that promise. Every time we get a bad storm I begin to pray for them (they were flooded once when they first bought the house). And every time God has kept them safe. The water came very close once, but it didn't get into the house.

Every member of our immediate family (except the 4 year old and the 2 year old) have asked Jesus into their hearts. What an amazing answer to prayer.

They all have good homes and good jobs - we have never gone hungry. In fact, we all have more than we need.

God is so faithful, and He is so good. How can I do less than trust Him completely?


P.S. On a totally different note - is anyone else having trouble leaving comments on blogs that have typepad? My little microsoft flag just waves and waves and my comments never get posted. It may be because I have dialup - and it is just being impossibly slow. Just wondering...
  posted at 10:13 PM

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
My New Year's Goal
I have been giving Laurel’s question to us a lot of thought over the last several days. I am at an age where I want to be careful about the things I want to do. I have made so many promises, so many commitments, and so many vows to “do better this time” only to fail to follow through with any kind of consistency over and over again. I have asked for forgiveness for the same old sins so often I become ashamed to pray. I don’t want to do that any more. The answer isn’t to stop setting goals or making commitments to growth and change. I know I need to do those things. The answer, for me, is to be very careful about the promises I make – especially to the Lord.

Having said that, I really do know exactly what the Lord would have me do. It turns out I didn’t have to think very hard about it at all. There is something the Lord has most definitely called me to do that I have been struggling with for more years than I care to count. It is so basic, so fundamental to my relationship with Him – and yet I have such a hard time doing it. It is prayer.

Time after time I have committed to a consistent prayer life. I do well for a while and then I fail. I suppose sometimes it is just day-to-day living that gets in the way. Some days there just isn’t time. Some days I am just too emotionally spent. Whatever the excuse – it isn’t right. And I know that.

When the Lord is speaking to me about something, He is so patient. He seems to allow me to continue in my rebellious, disobedient way – always drawing me back with grace and forgiveness and love. Over time circumstances seem to join with the still small voice to strengthen the call. Every place I turn lately, the subject of prayer is “staring me in the face”. Just recently for instance – our new study for our Women’s Bible Study beginning in January is “Prayer”; I just read a devotional by Beth Moore – the subject was prayer. At this point I think the Lord is asking whether it is necessary to hit me over the head with it.

It isn’t. I know He is calling me to prayer. Beth Moore said something that just went straight to my heart. “If we primarily approach prayer as a discipline, no wonder it feels like a beating! To the human psyche, discipline means pain. Don’t misunderstand me. Prayer is a spiritual discipline but if that’s our primary motivation, we’ll eventually either become prayerless (we’ll give up) or proud (arrogant because we didn’t)….Think about it. How much good is a “should” mentality toward a long-term, life-giving, Spirit-living relationship with God?...Something about a “should” motivation alone arouses the compulsive or rebellious part of us that resists keeping the rules and acting like a grown-up. What if our motivation moved from “I ought to” to “I get to”? What if prayer became the way we answer a divine invitation to adventure?” I think she nailed me!!!

I don’t want it to be an “I should” any more. I want to look forward to spending time with the Father who loves me so very much. There has been a longing in my heart in recent years to know Him more and to see the miraculous – to see His glory. I know He is drawing me, and yet I withhold myself from Him. The very thing I desire, I keep myself from doing.

I’m tired of the kind of prayer that seems to just become rote. I’m tired of looking at it as some duty that I must perform. I want to see it for what it truly is. I “get to” spend time with the One who created all things; with the great I Am of Old Testament times, with the One who created me and chose me before the foundation of the world; the One who is my Father and loves me more than I can possibly understand; the One who knows me better than I know myself; the One who performs miracles. What an awesome privilege.

That is my goal for this year – and for the rest of my life. Prayer – real, life-changing prayer. I’ve been doing better, but I know I have just scratched the surface. Something happens in my spirit when I call His name. Why do I not call to Him more often? With His help, and by His grace, I’m going to.

  posted at 3:55 PM

Monday, January 01, 2007
New Mercies
It is the beginning of another new year. I am so thankful for new beginnings. It is wonderful to have a new year, unmarked by failure or tragedy or sickness or any of a number of difficult things, stretching out bright and clean and new before me. Like everyone else, I want to make this year better. I want so much to do everything right. I want to face whatever God allows in my life with grace and faith. I want to grow and change and be all He created me to be.

It doesn't take long, however, for the first marks to appear in my pristene new year. I seem to stumble so easily and so often. Then discouragement sets in, and before I know it I've given up. I have a tendency to be harder on myself than anyone else. I can wallow in regret - revisiting old sins and failures again and again. It isn't a very good method for growth and change.

However, I am learning to grab ahold of the mercy God extends to me - allowing me to make a fresh beginning each and every time I stumble. I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. He knows me; He knows my frame - how weak I truly am. And He is there to offer healing and forgiveness and strength and grace. It is only as I let Him wash away the marks of my past mistakes that I can grow and become new.

I am looking foward to the new year - to taking it one day at a time. I will accept the love and mercy and forgiveness He so tenderly offers and give Him my life and my heart to do with as He will. I know He loves me - and I trust Him with all that is most precious to me. He has promised He will never leave me or forsake me. He has said He has a good plan for me and for those I love so dearly. Thank You, Father, for mercy that makes everything new.

  posted at 12:28 PM