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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, February 27, 2007
Five Reasons I Blog
I've seen this meme on several blogs and have been thinking about it ever since. I don't believe I can come up with anything unique because this is one where we seem to share so many of the same ideas and feeelings:

Five Reasons I Blog:

1. I began because I love to write. I belonged to a writing group at my church many years ago. It was so good to get together with other people who just loved the written word. I felt so sad when it disbanded. When I discovered what a blog actually was (a year ago it was a total mystery to me), I began to pray about it. I thought it would be a way I could possibly use writing to serve the Lord. I don't think I had any idea how. It was just something I felt the Lord was giving me a little nudge to do. So I began.

2. I love to read. There is some of the best writing I've ever read on your blogs. This community of bloggers is very talented.

3. Fellowship. It is amazing how connected we have become in a very short period of time. We share so much of ourselves and as the relationships have developed we have grown to care so much about one another. I feel as though I have so many new friends.

4. I have been encouraged and challenged and have learned so much from all of you. It is wonderful to write something from your heart and then read what others think about it. Just my last post, for example, there are so many wise, insightful comments. I can't thank you enough.

5. I do it for the sheer joy of it. There are times I sit here and laugh out loud. There are other times I can hardly read the words for the tears. But it is all joy, because we truly are sisters of the heart. What unites us is our love for the Lord and the love He has given us for one another. He has taken something good and made something better than we could have imagined. He just has a way of doing that.

  posted at 8:23 PM

Monday, February 26, 2007
The Promised Land

I am very hesitant to write about my own interpretation of scripture. I worry that I may be way off base or that I will look rather foolish. However, I have had this idea rattling around my head for the past couple of days, and I thought I would take a chance and share. Please feel free to correct me if I’ve gotten this all wrong. I’m nothing if not teachable!

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament. The Israelites have blown it big time and will not be entering the Promised Land. Everyone over the age of twenty will die in the wilderness. Not a very pleasant prospect, but I noticed something this time I hadn’t noticed before. Even though they didn’t get to enter the Promised Land, they did win some battles, and they did get to keep the cities they conquered. God blessed them in spite of themselves, but they didn’t get to have the best that He had planned for them.

I got to thinking about my own life. Is it possible I missed my chance to get the best God had planned for me because of the poor choices I have made in my life? Certainly there have been victories and blessing in my life, but was there something more God had intended if only I hadn’t been so selfish and rebellious?

It was a sad thought. I mulled that over for quite some time. Then last night I read Moses farewell to the people he had led for all those years. In one place he spoke to those who had been there when the Israelites were forbidden to enter the Promised Land and condemned to wander for forty years in the wilderness. They were the ones who were under twenty years of age at that time. They had been there during that rebellious time. Perhaps they had even taken part in the complaining and the refusal to obey God and go in and take the land. However, they were being given a second chance to have all that God had planned for them right from the very beginning. The thought gave me such hope.

Perhaps it is also true for me. Perhaps it is never too late to walk into the Promised Land that God has prepared for me. I think it is possible to walk in the wilderness for all the years of my life and never reach it, but I don’t want that to happen. I want my heart to be fully His. I want to be all that He desires for me to be. I want to possess the land.
  posted at 5:31 PM

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Thankful Thursday

Iris is hosting Thankful Thursday today.

Here is my list for today:

1. I saw my first little purple wild flower the other day. I don't know the name of these little gems, but they are always the first ones I see. They also come in white. I am reminded of God's faithfulness every time I see them and know that the changing of the seasons continues, just as God promised.

2. I took my walk in my shorts and tee shirt today. It was so pleasant. Thank You Lord!!

3. I had my yearly checkup for my back this morning and everything is stable and fine. Nine years ago I had major surgery to correct the scoliosis in my back. I had been diagnosed when I was thirteen, but the curve was very minor and my parents were told nothing needed to be done. However, for some reason the curve worsened in my adults years. It had gotten very severe - 80%. I had seen several doctors, and they always said the surgery was very risky and the decision was up to me!! Of course I declined. However, when I saw Dr. Sanders he said my life was at risk if the curve continued any further. The curvature was beginning to compromise my lungs and heart. I told him I just needed someone to tell me what needed to be done. He said, "You need to have this surgery." Within a month it was done (on my 51st birthday, incidentally). It was very major, and the recovery time very lengthy, but I am so thankful I had it done. He was able to reduce the curve by more than half.

4. I am thankful that Dr. Sanders is cancer free. When I saw him last year for my checkup, he was undergoing chemo for hodgkins. I was afraid I wouldn't see him this year. He is doing well and looks so much better. Not only is he a skilled surgeon, he is a wonderful Christian man. He prayed for me before the lengthy surgery. I am so thankful he is doing well.

5. I am so thankful for forgiveness. That was the subject in our Bible Study this past week. How can we ever thank Jesus for what He did for us?

  posted at 1:45 PM

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
In Other Words

Laurel Wreath is hosting "In Other Words" today. Be sure to go and read all the other posts on this quote by Madame Guyon.
Not too long ago I wrote about a chorus that we sing in our church that speaks to my heart every time we sing it. One of the lines from that chorus is "Why do we just touch the surface of His power and infinite love?" I've thought about that so often lately. I long to go deeper, to know Him more - and yet so often I am just skimming the surface of all that He is.
As I read this quote, I realized the same is true as I read His word. So often it is so familiar I just skim over it. Perhaps I am looking for the answer I want to find. Or perhaps I'm just needing to get a certain amount read to cover the reading for that day. Every once in a while, though, something pierces my heart, and I stop to read it again. It begins to minister to me in a way I hadn't even thought I needed, but He knew. It becomes the sweet honey my soul was longing for.
If the bees never stopped to penetrate deep withing the flower to extract the treasure it held, it would soon become weak for lack of nourishment. It would also affect the other members of the hive. Soon all of them would suffer the same fate. So it is with me. If I don't take the time to dig deep into the word, to penetrate to the heart of what the Father is saying to me, my spirit will become weak. It will also affect those around me - the very ones I want to minister to and bless.
I am convicted that I am far too often like a busy little bee flying among an abundant source of nourishment and only skimming the surface. I need to stop my flight and penetrate deep into the word - to taste and see that the Lord is good.
  posted at 11:37 AM

Monday, February 19, 2007
Our Pastor has a wonderful gift of taking a portion of scripture and making it very understandable and practical. I just thought I would share the points from his message this past Saturday evening. They really blessed us.

“How to Get From Here to Heaven without Self-Destructing”

1. Focus on the Good
We have a choice. We can look at our circumstances and see the bad, or we can look at those same circumstances and see the good in them.

2. Think on the Good
Whatever you focus on, is what you’ll think about. Philippians 4:8

3. Talk About the Good
We speak our own destiny.

He used the story of the spies that were sent to scout out the Promised Land found in Numbers 13 and 14. The ten focused on all the bad – the people were like giants and the cities were fortified. They would never be able to take the land. However, Caleb and Joshua focused on the good: Numbers 14:8, 9 “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us – a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us’ do not fear them.”

The Children of Israel chose to focus on the bad, and in essence they spoke their own destiny. They said they would perish if they tried to take the land. They cried and complained and refused to listen to the good report. Then God said, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. Say to them ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in my hearing, so I will surely do to you.”
Numbers 14: 27, 28 And so they were condemned to wander in the wilderness and not one of them over the age of twenty would live to see the promised land.
I know there are times in life when we are faced with situations that make it nearly impossible to find anything good to focus on. I have been there too. When I asked God how I could even pray in such a situation, the answer came back, “Praise”. I did that, and there was such a sense of peace. I think praising God is also a good way to focus on the good. It takes our eyes off of our circumstances and focuses them on the One who controls all things and who loves us unconditionally. As we remember who He is and what He has promised our spirits are lifted.

  posted at 3:28 PM

Saturday, February 17, 2007
I spent the day with my Mom yesterday. Ever since my parents moved a thirty minute drive away from us, I've beeen trying to spend at least one day a week with them. Every time I talk to her, my Mom tells me how much she misses me. It was so nice just to be able to walk down the hallway of our home, tap on the door and go in and spend some time with her in their apartment in the back of our home. When they moved, I was determined I wouldn't neglect those visits, but it isn't always easy to find the time.

So yesterday, my husband had work he wanted to do on the property we bought (and hope to build a new house on as soon as we sell this property - please Lord). It is about half-way between our house and my parents' home. He dropped me off and then went to do the work he wanted to do. He was going to be back in time for supper - homemade cauliflower soup (which is delicious - no matter how funny it sounds).

The minute I walk into my parents' home, I'm a little girl again. My Mom greets me as though she hasn't seen me in ages. Yesterday she put her hands up to my face and gave me a kiss and just hugged me. I can't quite put the feeling into words. I just felt so loved and welcomed.

We spent the rest of the morning just chatting; we never seem to run out of things to say. My Dad just kind of walks in and out - doing little odd jobs in his garage or playing around on his computer. After lunch I got out my quilt (that I've been working on for two years now) and Mom got out her crocheting. She is making lace edging for her sheets and pillow cases. Yup - lace edges. Her home is filled with little touches like that. My Dad makes her wonderful things. For instance, he just made her two shadow boxes out of old victorian picture frames she had. He put little shelves in them and she now has a place to display her Hummels. She has a kitchen cabinet with glass doors, and she crocheted a lace edging for the shelves. She has handmade quilts on the bed, pictures that she has embroidered, and curtains she has sewn. I love just sitting there - absorbing the atmosphere of home.

We sat in the armchairs in the livingroom doing our handwork and just talking about everything. It was a wonderful afternoon. I have come to treasure these days. My Mom has always been my best friend (next to my husband, who is my best friend in a whole different sort of way). She is the first one I call when I need someone to talk to. She always listens and gives wise advice. She is very open and honest with me too - never claiming to have it all figured out. We talk about the good times and about the mistakes we've made . We just share from the heart without fear of being judged.

I know very well how blessed I am to have both my parents still with me at this age. Honestly, I can't imagine life without them. My heart hurts for those of you who don't have your parents with you any more and miss them terribly. I am so thankful that this life is not the end. There will be a time when we will all be reunited with those who occupy such a special place in our hearts. I am so thankful for the hope of heaven. Just think, this life is only a very tiny portion of the time that is ahead of us. A time when there will be no more suffering or sorrow or separation. We are a blessed people. Thank you Lord for loving us so much You sent Your beloved Son to make a way for us to be with You and with each other forever. What a glorious thought.

  posted at 12:57 PM

Thursday, February 15, 2007
James 4:6 states “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” It is a frightening thought that the living God works to oppose the proud. I cannot think of any sort of adequate defense against such opposition. If God hates pride so much He would work in opposition to the proud, it must be something I need to guard against.
We studied humility in our Bible Study lesson last week. It was a humbling experience for all of us. In one place the author said that “…every sin is rooted in pride”. I think it would be safe to say, then, that all of us struggle with pride.
The woman who spoke on the subject yesterday said that God is so concerned with dealing with our pride He sometimes allows difficulty in our lives in order to humble us. When we are suffering, and we cry out to Him for help – and it doesn’t come, what are we to think? Is God indifferent to our pain? Doesn’t He care that we are hurting? Surely He hears and knows, and yet it seems that heaven has gone silent.
It is in these times that I must choose how I will respond. Will I become bitter and angry and turn away from a God who seems indifferent to my suffering? Or will I submit to His sovereign authority in my life? Will I surrender what I consider my rights and trust that He will be all He has promised to be? Do I love Him enough to trust Him? He has promised that He will work all things together for good to those who trust Him. He hasn’t promised to do it my way. He is seeking a humble heart that says “Lord I trust you to do the work in my life that You know is best.”
I believe my relationship to Him is of far greater importance to God than my agenda. I think it is the greatest test we face. When we ask for something that is so needful, so urgent, more important that anything we have ever asked for – and He either says no or delays to answer at all, do we love Him enough to trust Him?
There is another aspect of humility that just hit me right between the eyes. I have had the audacity to think that I’m not proud because, after all, I am always acknowledging my weaknesses. I’m the first one to admit my faults and point out that I can’t do anything right. I’m a great confessor because, heaven knows, I fail all the time.
It turns out that even that is a form of pride. If I’m honest, I must admit that I’m proud of my lack of pride. Look at me! I am humble. It is so easy to look at the people in scripture God uses to illustrate things like pride and think, “What is wrong with them? Don’t they get it?” I find I look at the children of Israel with much more sympathy as I get older. I used to think they were just ridiculously foolish. Now I think that I am so very much like them.
The farther along I get in this journey with the Lord, the more I realize how far I have to go. I get to a point where I think I’ve arrived only to find it is only a little bend in a very long road stretching out for the length of my years. I am so thankful we have a Father who loves us enough to stick with us as we walk along, sometimes stumbling, sometimes backtracking and sometimes making great strides. I am more thankful than I can ever say that I have a Savior who has already walked this road and understands the difficulties of the journey.

  posted at 3:23 PM

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I won’t be here tomorrow to wish you Happy Valentine’s Day – so I am sending out my wishes today. Here’s to all my wonderful “Bloggy Friends”.

How Do I Love Thee?

How to I love Thee – Let me count the ways:

I love thee because thou makest my heart glad with amusing stories.

I love thee because thou liftith my spirit when I am in the depths of sorrow.

I love thee because thou hast walked beside me and prayed for me when I was in need of help.

I love thee because thou didst help me when I stood wringing my hands in utter confusion over how to post pictures and put things in my side bar.

I love thee because thou didst share recipes that delight the palate.

I love thee because thou hast inspired me to get my curtains washed.

I love thee because thou hast read the writings of my heart.

I love thee because we share a faith that knits our hearts together in love.

I think sometimes we use the word “love” a bit too easily. We love so many things from chocolate to our children. I thought carefully before I used it today. I didn’t want to be casual (although I did make a feeble attempt at a bit of humor). I decided to use it because I have come to feel a love for you that is real. It is a sisterly love, a love that cares about you and your families, a love that is compelled to pray for you when you have shared your needs, a love that draws me to check on you as often as I can. I believe we have become sisters of the heart. So Happy Valentine’s Day dear sisters!! Thank you for all you have come to mean to me.

  posted at 11:14 AM

Sunday, February 11, 2007
Father's Love Letter
As we approach Valentines' Day - the day we express out love for each other - I thought I would share a love letter from the Father to us, His children.

My Child

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32Love, Your Dad.

You can find this, with the audio, on the website www.fathersloveletter.com
It was written by Barry Adams.
I hope it blesses your heart.
  posted at 10:38 AM

Thursday, February 08, 2007
Thankful Thursday

I love visiting Kathleen Marie's beautiful blog. Today she has invited us to link there and do a Thankful Thursday post.

These are the things that come to mind today:

1. I am thankful for family. For my husband who always puts me first, my parents who have given us such love and the example of a Godly life, and my children and grandchildren who bring so much joy.

2. I am thankful for the friends God has placed in my life. It is so good to be able to just be myself and know they love me - warts and all.

3. I am thankful for music. It enriches my life.

4. I am thankful for the beauty of creation. God is a master artist and His works are magnificent.

5. I am thankful for good books.

6. I am thankful for my home and the memories it holds.

7. I am thankful for a childhood that was happy and carefree. I realize more and more how very blessed I was to grow up in a home filled with love and warmth and Christian values. It is something I never take for granted.

8. I am thankful that the Lord is in even the small things. I believe He prompted me to begin writing a blog, and it has been so much more than I ever imagined. I thought I would do a bit of writing. I had no idea it would bring so much into my life.

9. I am thankful for God's faithful provision in our lives. We have everything we need - and so much more.

10. I am thankful for laughter. There was a time I thought joy was gone forever, but by God's grace laughter fills our home again.

11. I am so thankful that God chose me before the creation of the world. I can hardly take it in, but it is true. He chose each one of us to be His children. He has given us the promise of eternity with Him. He has lavished us with His unconditional love. He is our perfect Father.

12. I am thankful that nothing can come into my life that does not pass through the hands of my Father first. I am thankful I can trust Him.


P.S. I always worry when I link to things that I will somehow get it wrong and hurt someone's feelings. I believe the original link for this is at Sting My Heart . I'm sorry I got it mixed up. I am trying to get all this right :)
  posted at 2:52 PM

Monday, February 05, 2007
Is It A Girl Thing?
My heart is hurting for my friend. She is in a very difficult situation. Before I tell you about the situation, let me tell you a bit about her.

Our families went to the same church when our children were younger. I didn't know her well then - just enough to say hi to. We both left that church at around the same time. Our children were all grown and not living at home any more. We went to different churches, and I didn't see her for quite a while.

Then several years ago, she and her husband built a house just down the streeet and around the corner from us. In those days I used to walk alone. I loved that little bit of time to myself. One day she called saying she had seen me walking and wondered if she could walk with me. My first thought was a selfish one (no big surprise there), "I don't want to have to share the one time I have alone with someone else." However, I may be selfish, but I can't bear to hurt anyone else's feelings so I said, "Sure".

It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. She is a sweet, Godly woman. We have much in common and there were no awkward silences on our walk. We just chatted the whole time. I soon realized I could tell her anything that was on my heart, and the confidence was safe with her. Her encouragement and wisdom blessed me time and time again. She was the first person I knew who lived out the command to pray without ceasing. She often would tell me about her conversations with the Lord. It would go something like this, " I just said now Lord you've got to help me with this....." I began to follow her example, and it changed my prayer life.

We walked together for a few years and then family finances made it necessary for her to go back to work. She had worked all her life and was thoroughly enjoying being at home, but she did it without complaint. She got a job in the office of the Christian School just up the street from both our houses. Walking alone wasn't nearly the joy it used to be.

My husband walks with me now, and I enjoy his company (but there is considerably less chatting). On saturdays my friend and her husband walk with us. A few weeks ago she shared something that had been going on at work (the guys walk way ahead of us - and make wise remarks about walking faster and talking less). She's been there several years now, and all the women that worked there when she first started have left for one reason or another. There are several younger women working there now. My friend isn't ancient, but she is much older than these women. I don't know if it is intentional, but they have just systematically shut her out.

For example, a few weeks ago they all decided to join Weight Watchers. My friend didn't know anything about it until she saw them all hudddled together talking about it and "weighing in". They were very pointedly leaving her out. That's pretty much how it has been for her.

Her computer skills aren't what she would like them to be, but she is a quick learner. However, when she asks them for help they give her a curt explanation and walk away. She has asked them to please write it down so she won't have to bother them, but they don't seem to want to do that. She is such a hard worker. She's the first one there in the morning and the last to leave. When something needs to be done after work, she's the one who stays. I feel so badly for her.

She shared this with me with great reluctance. She never talks about anyone. She just asked me to pray. She feels that she isn't competant to do the job any more. And more than anything it hurts her to feel as though she is unliked. Her husband retired a year or so ago, and I think she may quit. She doesn't earn a huge salary, but it allows them to do some traveling and buy the extras they sometimes need. She really doesn't want to work more than a couple more years, but it just doesn't seem right that she should be made to feel she has to quit.

While we were talking about it I couldn't help but think that sometimes we girls just don't seem to grow up It felt as though we were back in high school with the popular girls excluding the one that didn't quite measure up to their standards. Is it just a girl thing? I know boys can leave other boys out, but I'm not sure they're quite as cruel as we girls can sometimes be. We seem to go our of our way to form little cliques. We are liable to take perverse pleasure in someone else's mistakes and talk endlessly about them. I try hard not to act that way now that I'm "grown up", but I have to admit I wonder if we don't carry over a lot of that behavior into our adult lives.

I haven't worked very much in my lifetime. However, when we were first married I worked in a large office. My first supervisor was a woman who just drove everyone crazy. She was constantly breathing down our necks to get the work done. She was nit-picky and mean. Then I changed positions within the office and my supervisor was a man. What a difference!! His attitude was - here's your work - do it. It just seems like guys are a lot more straightforward about most things. It's pretty much "what you see is what you get".

I suppose I'm making a huge generalization here, and you are welcome to correct me if you think I'm wrong. I guess I'm just feeling angry on behalf of my friend. I remember all too well the times it has happened to me, and it hurts.

So that's what I've been thinking about today and praying about. I pray those women will realize what they are doing. I hope it's just that they aren't aware of how it is hurting her and not that they just don't care.

  posted at 3:18 PM

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Tea and Converation (or coffee or diet coke)
I thought I would invite you in for a cup of tea (or coffee or diet coke) and a bit of conversation.
It is a beautiful day. The sky is brilliant blue, and there isn’t a cloud as far as the eye can see. The temperature is just right. I went for our walk dressed in sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt and was too warm. I just love days like this. They are days to savor – much as I did those last warm days of fall when we lived in upstate New York. All too soon our days will go from warm to hot. Some years we don’t get much spring; it’s just a quick hop from winter to summer. Then if we don’t get out early for our walk we must wait until evening. The late mornings and afternoons are just too hot. So a day like today is to be enjoyed and stored up for those “too hot” days that will be here very soon.

We had our first Bible Study last Wednesday. We attend a very large church (our pastor said recently that it was the fifth fastest growing church in the United States), and there are probably two hundred women in this study on prayer. We divide into small groups of about ten for the first part of the morning to discuss our week’s lesson. I have been with the same group of ladies for two years now. Usually our Bible Study leader only keeps a group together for one year. The idea is to get us to meet and know other women. However, we sort of whined enough that she let us stay together one more year. It is a special group. We are all around the same age – all of us (except one) with grandchildren. We have grown so very close over the past year and a half. We are comfortable sharing the deepest concerns of our hearts. We have prayed each other through some difficult times. It was so good to get back together after the long break for the holidays. This is going to be a good study.

My piano teacher is the church pianist. This week marked her fiftieth year in ministry. She began playing the piano for her church when she was thirteen years old. We surprised her with a little get together before choir practice Wednesday evening. We had taken up a collection from the choir and orchestra members to raise enough money for her to get her kitchen retiled. It’s something she’s wanted to do for a while now. She was so delighted.

She is an amazing musician. She married a man who was also a musician. Together they were part of the PTL ministry – back in the day before all the scandal. She played piano live and on the air!!! I love to just sit and listen to her play.

She is also a very compassionate, encouraging, loving, giving person. The day we received some bad news concerning a medical diagnosis I had my piano lesson. I walked into the room and said, “This has been the most difficult week of my life.” She just opened her arms and drew me into a comforting hug. We spent that lesson time with her listening to my heart and encouraging me. She told me about the year she lost her husband, daughter and mother – all of them in that short space of time. Her husband first, from cancer – and then her daughter and her mother. I will never forget her saying that she would love to have them back with her again, but she wouldn’t trade the wonderful relationship she now has with the Lord that was born of that difficult time. I just looked at her in amazement. I know that she was right. It is during these times that we draw close to the Lord in a way that we simply don’t when everything is going along smoothly. I wish that wasn’t true, but it is.

She is truly a gift in my life. I wish I were a more brilliant student. But when I was feeling discouraged about my progress just last week she once again encouraged me. I left feeling like I really had made progress and would continue to do so.

Yesterday was my parents’ 61st wedding anniversary!! They celebrated by going out to dinner and just spending the day shopping together. They are truly an inspiration to us. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them really argue. Oh – they have their little disagreements to be sure, but I have never seen them remain angry at one another. They are an example of love and commitment. We are so blessed.

I finished the afghan I was knitting for my daughter. Now I really must get back to my quilt. I set it aside for a few months, but I want to try to finish it sometime in the next year!! It is quite a project. I think the next one I make will be smaller. This one is a king size, and it is hard to maneuver it is so big. I get all tangled up in it when I try to turn it to quilt the other side. That is so “me” – always biting off more than I can chew.

We got a little letter from our grandson in Houston the other day. It is such fun when they write. It was just a friendly little letter to say hi and tell us what he’d been doing. We will take a trip to see them soon. Oh how I wish they still lived around the corner from us.

We had someone come to look at the property yesterday. They didn’t like the location and were gone almost before we knew they were here. They wanted to have a little restaurant with a bar. We have a school just up the street from us – so that wouldn’t work. I have a feeling it was going to be more bar than restaurant. We aren’t feeling too bad about missing out on that one!! We will just wait until the Lord sends us the right one.

Well – time for some lunch. I hear noises coming from the kitchen. Have a blessed Sunday – and GO COLTS!!!


  posted at 12:35 PM

Friday, February 02, 2007
Appointments With God
In our bathroom is a little step stool my husband made for the kids when they were little. Now that they are grown and in homes of their own that little blue and white stool has become my book shelf. There it sits – within easy reach with little booklets and magazines stacked on its little back. I can’t bear to sit still even for a few minutes without something to read.

The other day the title of one of the booklets caught my eye. “Keeping Our Appointments with God”. I had read it quite some time ago, but for some reason that title just sparked something in my heart. The name of God seemed, in my mind’s eye, to be a foot tall and in dark bold print. I have the opportunity to keep an appointment with God. I have all sorts of appointments written in the little squares of our calendar – dentist, doctor, meetings, hair, the pest control guy, to name a few – and I am very conscientious about keeping them. The time is written in too – so I will never be late if I can possibly help it.

I thought about my appointments with God. Do I even have a definite time? Am I as concerned about keeping that appointment as I am, say, my dental cleaning? It isn’t that the other appointments aren’t important; they are. The people involved are important as well. They deserve my consideration. And what of God?

We have been studying what it means to “Call upon the Lord” in our Bible Study. When I call His name – I am tapping into all that His name means. All that He is and can do is available to me. It is so immense; it is hard to take it all in. The great God, who spoke the world into being is there waiting for me to keep my appointment with Him. The mighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bends down to listen to my prayer. He waits with open arms for me to rest in Him. He longs to speak to my heart. How is it I don’t fully realize the miraculous privilege that is mine?

I decided to remind myself of what some of the names of the Lord are and what they mean for me as His child:

Elohim - Powerful God Genesis 1:1

Adonai - Lord Genesis 15:2

El Elyon - God Most High Genesis 14:19,20

El Shaddai - Almighty God Genesis 17:1

Yahweh - Israel's Covenantal God Exodus 3:14

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Provides Genesis 22:14

Jehovah Rophe - The Lord Heals Exodus 15:26

Jehovah Nissi - The Lord is My Banner Exodus 17:15,16

Jehovah Mekadesh - The Lord Who Sanctifies You Leviticus 20:8

Jehovah Shalom - The Lord is Peace Judges 6:24

Jehovah Tsidkenu - The Lord is Our Righteousness Jeremiah 23:6

Jehovah Rohi - The Lord is My Shepherd Psalm 23:1

Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is There Ezekiel 48:35

This is the One who calls us to come.

  posted at 4:06 PM

Thursday, February 01, 2007
The Hurriedder I Go, The Behinder I Get!!
This is just a quick little post by way of apology for not getting to read all of your posts these past couple of days. I haven't been home much - and I've been trying hard to keep up. I haven't even had time to write a proper post. I just can't seem to find my balance here. I want so much to have time to visit every one of you, but if I stay in here much longer my husband is going to send out a search party. I wish someone would make up an easy-to-follow formula for "Blogging While Not Neglecting All the Other Stuff I'm Supposed to Get Done." I just haven't been managing well lately. I actually lay in bed at night trying to figure out how I can write, read all your posts, and still not spend hours in front of the computer.j

So...all that to say I'm sorry if I haven't commented in a couple of days. I'll try to visit tomorrow. Of course there's ironing, Bible Study, piano practice, paying bills, going to the bank, and the other usual householdy "stuff". I believe I've mentioned this particular dilemma before. You'd think I'd have a workable plan by now. Nope - still struggling. The story of my life.

Must run.

  posted at 7:52 PM