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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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Saturday, March 31, 2007
Prayer of Thanks

I have been reading through the Psalms. Yesterday I came to Psalm 139. I think it is my very favorite - although there are so many of them that minister to me in ways I cannot even begin to describe. I like to read this particular Psalm like a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord. :

Thank You Father for knowing me so very well:

You “…know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You scrutinize my path and my lying down and art intimately acquainted with
all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue….You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.”

You created me and have a special plan for my life.

You “…formed my inward parts and wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made….
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully
Wrought in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance,
And in Your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me
When as yet there was not one of them.”

You think about me all the time – just as though I were Your only child Lord.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.”

The Psalmist ends with these words, “Search me, O God and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

I love this Psalm. When I begin to have negative thoughts about my worth, I hear what my God has to say about me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. With His own hands He knit me together in my mother’s womb. It is, as the Psalmist says, too wonderful for me. When I wonder, in the face of difficulty, if He cares, I read that His thoughts about me outnumber the sand. And when I am fearful about the future, I see that He has a marvelous plan for me that was written before I ever drew my first breath.

Thank You, Lord, for a love that overwhelms my heart. Thank You for loving me as though I were Your only child. Thank You for loving each one of us, each uniquely special one of us, as though we were Your only child. What a wonderful Father You are.

  posted at 1:14 PM

Thursday, March 29, 2007
Thinking Blogger Award - Meme

There is a Thinking Blogger Award/meme making the rounds. This is how it works. You are nominated for the Thinking Blogger Award and then you “pay it forward” by nominating five others. These are bloggers whose posts cause you to think. My new friend Linds nominated me – and I thank her so much for thinking of me in that way. She is an inspiration to me. Her faith and courage in just facing all the changes in her life over the past year are so encouraging. Her posts always bless me and give me lots to think about.

So, without further adieu, here are my nominations for the Thinking Blogger Award:

1. Cyndi whose blog is named “One Day at a Time” is a young woman whose obvious love for the Lord ministers to me in so many ways. She is full of wisdom and a quiet strength. She ministers to her family in such a selfless way and has a great heart for missions. She writes with great insight about the things the Lord is teaching her. It is obvious that she lives out her faith. She also has a wonderful sense of humor. She is a gifted writer, and I love reading her posts.

2. Laurel is another young woman whose writing inspires me. She is open and honest and shares from her heart. Her sweet spirit permeates everything she writes. I love it that her posts always point me to the Lord. She is compassionate and caring. A little “trip” through other peoples’ comments will show how much she gives of herself to others.

3. I met Dawn very early in my “blogging career”. We have much in common – both of us grandmothers; both of us in the same season of life. She is an excellent writer and storyteller. I enjoy every one of her posts – her “rambles”, as she calls them, her stories about her family and the touching story of her son’s struggle and ultimate victory.
I admire her for the way she selflessly cares for her grandchildren after working herself and the evident joy she finds in doing it. She is a wonderful friend.

4. My next nominee is Bev. She is an amazing writer. She is also in the same season of life. She is a grandmother, and there is something so special about that wonderful role. Some of her posts are so touching I find myself having difficulty reading through the blur of tears. Others have me laughing out loud. She has a great sense of humor. She is thoughtful and giving.

5. Julie’s blog is called “A Joyful Life”. Here is another very gifted writer. I find myself drawn to her posts. They are insightful and just downright funny at times. As with all the other wonderful women I’ve mentioned, it is her love for the Lord that makes her writing special. It just shines through.

It is now their turn to “pay it forward.” You have the opportunity to nominate five others for the Thinking Blogger Award. Caution: It is really difficult to narrow it down to five. There are so many others I absolutely love to read. Some of those were already nominated. I really think each and every one I read ministers to me in a special way. That’s why I spend so much time doing it!! God has given us something very unique here.

  posted at 1:41 PM

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
In Other Words
“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before…either into a creature that is in harmony with God…or into one that is in a state of war with God. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”
C.S. Lewis

I heard a sermon some time ago about “choice”. It stayed with me because the Pastor talked about the way our choices – in fact one choice – can change the whole course of our lives either for good or bad; or as C.S. Lewis said, in harmony with God or at war with God.

There is, of course, the biggest choice of all. God has set before us life or death. It is our choice to either to accept or reject the salvation He offers us. Once the choice is made to accept Jesus as Savior, the real “journey of choices” begins. There have been times in my life I wish the Lord had, upon salvation, transformed me into a little robot. Then He could program me to make wise choices and to become all He desired for me to be. However, He has chosen to leave the decision making to me. It is called free will, and it comes with great responsibility.

It is true He has not left me strictly on my own in this process. He has given me His Holy Spirit to empower me to do all that He has called me to do. The choice to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through me is mine however. I can choose to listen to the still, small voice, or I can drown it out with the voice of self. It is the ordinary choices of day to day living that bring my life into harmony with God.

The other day I was praying for some truly overwhelming needs in the lives of the people I care deeply about. I thought, “Lord, how did the words suffering, and sorrow and illness and pain come into being? They came by choice” was the reply spoken gently into my heart. Sometimes these words become a part of our daily vocabulary because of the choices we’ve made, and other times through no fault of our own. Yet at the very beginning of time, a choice was made, and the perfect life God had created was changed.

The good news is that the choice did not irrevocably change everything. God, with unfathomable love, made a way back. So it is with us. We can make choices that, on the face of it, would seem to have ruined our lives forever. We believe that there is no way back. But God……in infinite love and mercy always stands ready, with open arms, to draw us back. We need only choose to go to Him for forgiveness and restoration.

I pray daily that the Lord will give me wisdom and discernment and grace to make wise choices. I fall short so many times, but He is faithful to forgive and give me a new start if I come to Him for forgiveness. The choice is mine.

For more writings on this C.S. Lewis quote go to Christine's blog.

  posted at 11:50 AM

Sunday, March 25, 2007

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear
fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He
prunes it, that it may bear more
fruit." John 15: 1-2

Earlier this week I did some work in my flower garden. I had a new pair of pruning shears, and I was ready to do some necessary trimming. Every year the Lantana freeze and their long branches die. It is necessary to cut them off so the new branches have room to grow. The Salvia had become long and leggy and didn’t have much new growth. The same was true of the Texas Sage that grows beside the front porch.

And so I went to work. Being a girl with a very vivid imagination (something I never seem to have out grown) I pictured the plants cringing when they saw me coming with those sharp, new shears. “Oh no. Here she comes again. She’s going to cut away with abandon, and it hurts. Why can’t she just leave us alone? We’re growing perfectly fine without all that unnecessary pain. Look we even have new leaves and are putting out new branches. We’re producing. Leave us alone!!”

However, being just a bit wiser than my sweet little plants, I knew something they did not. It was the very painful cutting that was going to make them stronger and more productive. Take the Texas Sage for example. I cut it back drastically last year, and its branches grew fuller and stronger than they ever had before. It produced the most beautiful lavender blossoms all summer long. It was a delight to just look at it.

The same is true for the Lantana and Salvia. I cut them back until it looks as though there isn’t any life remaining, but before long the new growth appears. In just a matter of a few weeks they are full, luxurious plants with beautiful flowers. The pruning was, no doubt, painful – but the results were stronger, healthier, more productive plants.

Jesus told us that He is the vine, and we are the branches. The Father is the vinedresser. He does the work of making us more fruitful. He does it lovingly, knowing that it is in the very process of painful pruning that produces more fruit. Like my little plants I dread the pruning time. I wish things could just stay as they are. After all, I’m doing okay. I see fruit in my life. Why is it necessary to go through that painful process?

I have been through a time of pruning – and it is a very painful process. At the time I didn’t care a bit about bearing fruit; I just wanted it to be over. The Father, being so much wiser than this little “plant”, knew that it was necessary work. He had something so much better in mind for me than the status quo. He wanted to bring me to a place of trust so that He could grow me stronger and healthier and then use me to bear fruit for His kingdom. I am still a work in progress. I am still learning, but I have done a bit of growing too. I have learned more about my Father in this season of pruning than I could have possibly learned without it.. He is faithful; He is love; He is my peace.

I heard Dr. Dobson give an illustration of this once, and I have never forgotten it. He spoke about a time when his son was just a toddler. He had a very bad ear infection, and it was necessary for the doctor to probe inside that very painful ear. That helpless little boy lay on the examining table, and the doctor asked Dr. Dobson to hold him still. As the painful process began, that precious child looked into his father’s eyes with such tearful confusion. “Why are you hurting me Daddy?” they seemed to say. There was no way to explain to such a young child that this was all being done for his good. He only knew that his father was allowing him to go through a lot of pain.

So it is with me. There are some things I will never be able to understand this side of heaven, but I have a Father who loves me and only does those things which are for my benefit. I rest in that.

  posted at 12:31 PM

Friday, March 23, 2007
Never Too Old

This is a picture of Grandma Moses. She began painting when she was 77 years old. That gives me great hope. So often we think if we don't accomplish something great by a certain age it will never happen. Or, even more discouraging, if we don't realize a dream we've cherished by a certain age it is simply too late.

I think we have seasons of our lives. In our youth we are often just too busy with the "business" of living. We don't have the time to pursue the "dream". However, the day comes when we do have the time. The nest is empty. There is more time to begin that pursuit. I thought it would be encouraging to see what some people accomplished in their later years:

Winston Churchill wrote "A History of the English-speaking Peoples" at age 82.

Goethe completed "Faust" at age 80.

At age 99 Harold Mark Foster of Owensboro, KY began learning to read.

Katherine Pelton swam the 200 meter butterfly in 3 minutes 1.14 seconds, beating
the men's world record for the 85-89 age group by over 20 seconds.

Frances Peyton Rous became the oldest Nobel Prize Laureate at age 87

At age 88 Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of
Santa Maria degli Angela

Artur Rubinstein performed one of his greatest recitals in Carnegie Hall at age

Pablo Picasso was still producing drawings and engravings at age 90.

Albert Schweitzer ran a hospital in Africa when he was 89 years old.

At age 91 Hulda Crooks climbed Mt. Whitney

Margaret Ringenburg flew around the world when she was 72.

Alice Porlock of Great Britain published her first book "Portrait of My
Victorian Youth" when she was 102 years old.

It is never too late to do the thing God has placed on your heart!

  posted at 12:19 PM

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Thankful Thursday

"Rejoice always' pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for
this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5: 16-18

I love Thankful Thursday and am grateful to Iris who hosts it every week. I believe when my heart is filled with gratitude it is easier to praise, easier to trust, and easier to
experience peace and joy.

1. I am thankful for my Bible Study group. This group of women encourages me, prays
with and for me, and enriches my life with their love and wisdom.

2. I am thankful that my husband and I can take our morning walks together. It is a
a joy to be able to share something I enjoy so much with him. It's a great time
talk and laugh together. When he was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes nearly 40
years ago, the doctor told him he would probably not live past the age of 45 ( a
rather cruel thing to say in my opinion). He will celebrate his 59th birthday in
June!! God is good. He is doing very well.

3. I am thankful for grandchildren whose eyes light up when they see you arriving for
a visit and greet you as though you were the most important people on earth.

4. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who took a tragedy and turned it into bless-
ing. Our speaker at Bible Study yesterday spoke about the tragic death of her
baby girl and how the Lord worked through that to bring about something very good
indeed. It encourages me to know that He can and will do that for each one of us.

5. I am thankful for God's abundant provision in my life. He has given me blessing
upon blessing. In my worst moments, He never turns away from me. His love and
forgiveness and lavish grace draw me back - over and over again. Thank You

I am behind on visiting and commenting. One day off, and I seem to miss so much. I'm off to visit my Mom and Dad this afternoon. Please be patient with me. I'll try to visit this evening while my hubby watches the Sweet Sixteen. It's a balancing act. I'm just not going to get those few extras hours I long for in my day, so I'm trying to squeeze it all in. I care so much about each one of you. Have a great day.

  posted at 11:11 AM

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
In Other Words

"It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church." Tim Dearborn.

Our very down-to-earth, practical Pastor is fond of saying, “If Jesus didn’t want you to share the gospel with others, He would have taken you to heaven the minute you were saved.” The truth of that pierces my heart. So often life with its daily responsibilities, its joys and sorrows, so consumes my thoughts and my energies, I give little thought to spreading the gospel. It is enough just to get through the day. I am so centered on self and the people God has placed in my life I scarcely remember to pray for those who have never heard the sweet story of redeeming love. I believe that my mission field is truly right here in my own home and neighborhood, however there are so many others who ought to have a place in my heart.

Years ago, when our boys were in their teens, they went on a mission trip with my husband into Mexico. The group from our church was going to build a little home for a family there. When they arrived at the little village, they were stunned to find the family was living in a cardboard shanty. It was a young couple with an infant. While the men and boys got to work on the building, the girls rounded up the children in the neighborhood and sang and told Bible stories and handed out candy. In two days’ time there was a little two room house in the place where the shanty had been. It was painted, there were curtains at the window, and my husband (the electrician) had even wired the little home. They all gathered around the gleaming, new little home, joined hands and sang and prayed. Even the biggest, strongest men had tears running down their cheeks. It was an experience none of them will ever forget.

It is a miraculous thing – this giving of one’s self. It always comes back with a greater measure of blessing than we can possibly imagine. We aren’t able to go on mission trips because of my husband’s medical condition, but we can still participate in missions. My husband’s heart is so big. He gives sacrificially month after month. We sponsor a little boy through World Vision and are able to help his family in a very real and tangible way. And we pray. I began a short time ago, to pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for the cause of the gospel. Claiming the name of Christ in some places comes with a high price. I want them to know I love them and am praying for them. Those who go to minister and to bring the precious word need my prayers as well.

I believe it is true that "...the God of missions has a Church." Without missions there would not even be a church. Jesus commissioned us all to go – and we are His church. It doesn’t matter what name we put in front of it – we, believers, are the church. We are to go, whether we never leave our own town or travel thousands of miles from home, and bring the good news.

Laurel is hosting In Other Words today. Go there to read more.

  posted at 2:20 PM

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Thankful Thursday

"always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ to God, even the Father." Ephesians 5:20

1. I am thankful for an unchanging God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the firm foundation I build my life on - secure in the knowledge that He never changes. The coming of spring, the regular changing of the seasons, reminds me of His continued faithfulness and steadfast character.

2. I'm thankful for the rain. We've been praying for rain. Everything was so dry and lifeless. The Lord sent the rain - in abundance - and everything has come to life.

3. I'm thankful for the colors of spring: the blue of the Bluebonnets, the purple of the Mountain Laurel, the green of new grass and tender leaves, the brilliant blue of a cloudless spring sky, the varied colors of the wild flowers beginning to show their sweet little faces. I'm thankful too for the sweet fragrance in the air. Ahh spring!!

4. I'm thankful we are going to be able to go visit the kids and grandkids in Houston after all. I'm so excited.

5. I'm thankful for my grandchildren:

For S. - growing into a young woman right before our eyes. She is so quiet and
sweet. She is artistic and bright. She was the very first grandchild - a miracle
from the hand of a loving Father.

For J. - the first boy. He is athletic, musical (a talented drummer), and has
such a tender heart. He gives the best hugs!

For L. - a beautiful, quiet little girl she is so very bright. She has the most
beautiful blue eyes. She loves to write stories and read. She is a deep thinker.

For J. - a little boy in perpetual motion. He is full of laughter and energy.
Sometimes shy - but once he warms up....

For G - the baby. We call her the little Princess. She loves pretty dresses
glittery shoes and lots of jewelry. She is a sweet little bundle.

For L. - quiet and shy, she loves to read and listen to stories on CD's. She
loves music and plays the tamboureen in church for her Dad.

For H. - a curly-haired little pixie. She is a bit shy at first, but before long
she finds her way onto your lap for hugs and snuggles. She isn't afraid of
anything. We sometimes hold our breath as she tackels something new and daring.

I look at each of them and cannot believe these precious children are the children of my children. The time has gone so quickly. I am so thankful for each one of them and for the amazing job my sons and theirs wives are doing raising them. I look at my sons carrying their children in their arms and wonder where the little boys went. God is so very good. I am so blessed.

For more grateful hearts go to Iris's at Sting My Heart.


  posted at 10:18 AM

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
In This Skin

The lighting in the restroom of our church is not kind; rather it is a very harsh sort of lighting. Whenever I look in the mirror of that restroom it is a bit of a shock. Who is that older woman looking so bewilderedly back at me? Surely she isn’t the same woman I see in the gentler lighting of my mirror at home. I have never been one to fuss a lot over my looks. Perhaps it is because I don’t consider myself particularly beautiful. I’m just me, and my face has become so familiar I don’t really see it any more. However, that face looking back at me in the church restroom mirror gives me pause. I’m getting older. There are just no two ways about it.

I don’t know how I ever came up with the notion that of course everyone ages – with the exception of me. I never thought of myself as getting wrinkled or less agile. I never imagined my hands with prominent veins or arthritic joints. I didn’t think I would lose the fight with gravity and watch my body change. It was a silly notion of course. Every one of us will age, and we will all experience its affects on our bodies. I just somehow thought I would be different.

I had never been concerned with age until I hit my late forties. That was when I became a grandmother for the first time, and I saw myself through the eyes of my granddaughter. The sagging skin on my neck began to bother me. I suddenly became very aware of how I had changed. I think I even envied those Hollywood stars who I knew very well were my age or older but looked years younger. How much would plastic surgery actually cost?

Then I turned fifty, it was somehow liberating. “It’s all right,” I thought. “I’m getting older, and I really don’t mind. I am just going to be me, and I don’t care who I impress.” I began to feel comfortable in my (albeit aging) skin. I didn’t continually look in the mirror to see if anything else had fallen or wrinkled up. I just relaxed.

Now I am sixty. I am content. I sometimes wish I were more limber or could sleep better, but life is very sweet. I have learned to cherish each day. I want to live each day well – with no regrets. Material things have become very unimportant. I still like pretty things and a nice home, but I don’t place too high a value on them. I am learning to live more open-handedly – to give up trying to control everything and everyone around me. I am learning to trust the Lord.

So many of the things I took for granted in my youth are now like precious gems in my life. Because I was saved as a child I didn’t value the gift of salvation as I should have in my young adult life. I held the gift far too loosely. These days I can hardly keep the tears from flowing when I begin to give thanks to God for the precious blessings He has so abundantly poured into my life.

I tend to be less judgmental in my “advanced years”. I often ask the Lord to let me see others through His eyes, and I find my heart filled with compassion and mercy. The rhythm of my days has slowed. It is a lovely time of life. I get to spend my days with the man God has given me to love. I have discovered that marriage is hard work, but it is worth it. These days it is so much easier (but I am still learning). We have children and grandchildren who bring us indescribable joy.

I don’t know what the next decade holds for me. However, I know that the Lord already knows all about it. He has promised to be with me. He has promised to help me. I am putting my life in His hands. Psalm 139 has been a lifeline for me in recent years. I particularly love verse 16:
“Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”
He has written the story of my life. The thought overwhelms me. My life is safe in His hands.

This post is part of a new writing project called Woman to Woman. For more writings on this subject go to Morning Glory's beautiful blog. She and Lei are hosting this for us.

  posted at 5:21 PM

Monday, March 12, 2007

I saw my first Bluebonnets today!!! That makes it officially spring for me. I was concerned they wouldn't show up this year because it has been so dry, but there they were along the side of the road looking as beautiful and perky as ever. My favorite wildflower is the pale pink Evening Primrose. When they mingle with the Bluebonnets, it is a truly magical sight.

I can't wait until thursday to say thank you to the Lord for the rain. We measured 3 1/2 inches in the rain gauge this morning. It drizzled most of the day, but after dark the storms came with tornado, hail and flash flood warnings interrupting our sunday evening television viewing. Thankfully we didn't experience any of those. They are predicting more rain over the next couple of days. We do need it, but I'm praying it will come gently. I always worry about flooding. My son and DIL's home is always in danger when we get too much rain too fast. The city has promised to fix the drainage problem "any minute now".

I just realized I used that word again - "worry". I never used to think of myself as a worrier until I began to listen to my own words. So strike that word from the above paragraph. I'll be praying for manageable amounts of rain. I always do, and God faithfully answers my prayer. Why do I worry?

Well, I have a pile of laundry to take care of and various other household chores crying out for attention. I just wanted to share the Bluebonnets with you. Spring really is on the way everyone. I'll share a bit of mine with you until it arrives.

  posted at 3:23 PM

Sunday, March 11, 2007
Sunday Afternoon Chat

It’s a gloomy morning. The sky is heavy with the promise of rain. We’ve been praying for rain. Everything here is so dry. I imagine all the trees and flowers longing for a refreshing drink. They are bravely putting out new growth, but they need a bit of nourishment. The weather forecast is for possible thunder storms over the next three days. That would be wonderful.

This coming week is Spring Break week for all the schools in our area. That means no piano lesson Tuesday afternoon, no Bible Study Wednesday morning, no work on music folders Wednesday afternoon and no choir practice Wednesday night. We have a week off! We had thought we would go visit the kids and grandkids in Houston, but they are homeschoolers and aren’t “observing” Spring Break. They’ve missed too many days already this year and can’t take any more days off right now. So…we will leave that for next month when we go to baby-sit for a couple of days while my son and daughter-in-law go on a trip.

Our younger son is taking my husband to an NBA game this Tuesday night. They are so excited. His boss gave him his season’s tickets to use. That means they will be right up close to all the action. My husband hasn’t been to a game in years and is really looking forward to this one. Although we live near a very large city, there’s a small town “feel” here that we just love. The basketball team is much like our high school team. We know the players, and we are all HUGE fans. I even have a tee shirt with my favorite player’s name and number across the back.

It is time for me (actually past time) to get outdoors and do some gardening-type stuff. It’s time to weed and feed. I just love flowers, but I’m not much of a gardener. I seem to be lacking the green thumb necessary to grow lush, beautiful plants. In fact, I’ve been known to kill plants previously thought “unkillable”. The truth of the matter is I’m too lazy to be a good gardener. I don’t want to take the necessary time to study “how to”. I just want to put the plant in the ground, water when necessary, feed occasionally and then stand back and watch beautiful blooms appear. I believe it requires a bit more work than that. I’ve found a few plants that cooperate with my system – and I’ve settled for those. However, even they are in need of a little “t.l.c.” after battling through the winter months.

It is also time to hang out the hummingbird feeder. I’m sure the little guys will be here shortly looking for their sickeningly sweet liquid food. I thoroughly enjoy watching them. Our feeder has several little “stations” – allowing for more than one hummingbird at a time to have a little drink. However, the word “share” doesn’t seem to be in their little vocabulary. If more than one approaches the feeder at the same time, they take after each other like miniature dive bombers. It is amazing to watch. I’ve often thought it’s a good thing they’re as tiny as they are. We could all be in big trouble if they were the size of a blue jay!!

My Mom and Dad have invited us to come over for dinner one night next week. That’s always a treat. My Mom’s gift is definitely hospitality (among others), and we feel like honored guests whenever we go there. She firmly believes in using all the lovely things she has acquired over the 61 years of her married life. The good china and silver are on the table which is covered with a “real” tablecloth and cloth napkins. The food is delicious, and the time spent together precious. I’m looking forward to it.

God is so good. He showers us with blessings. I pray you will all have a blessed week.
  posted at 10:30 AM

Friday, March 09, 2007
Hallowed Be Thy Name
The third commandment God gave to the Children of Israel was “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain…” (Exodus 20: 7). We talked about this in our Bible Study this week. It is a part of our study on prayer. The author, Rick Shepherd, was using the Lord’s Prayer as an example of how we are to pray. We were discussing the portion of the prayer which says “Hallowed be Thy name” and all that those words imply.

We usually associate the taking of God’s name in vain with profanity or mockery. We talked about how upsetting it is to hear the Lord’s name used so casually. One of the ladies said she isn’t sure exactly how to respond when she hears a stranger doing it. Do we tell them we are offended or just ignore it? We went on to discuss different ways to handle it. Sometimes it’s friends, co-workers, or family members who are speaking in that way- often without even realizing it. In that case it may be easier just to gently say we would prefer they not use that language.

The discussion went on for a little while. Then I mentioned what had really spoken to me as I read through the study. Mr. Shepherd said, “To take His name in vain is to treat Him as nothing or as worthless, to ignore Him or His word. That would also mean not trusting Him for who He truly is, not listening attentively to His Word, not seeking Him in prayer, and therefore living a life that fails to depend on Him.”

How often have I been guilty of those very things? It is easy to point the finger at someone who blatantly uses God’s name in vain. It is quite another for me to examine my own heart and see if I am doing the very same thing. What of the times when I put off prayer or reading my Bible because there are other things that I either need or want to do? What of the times I have walked off and gone my own way? What about trust? Do I really trust Him – with everything and everyone in my life? When the difficult times come and there is no answer to the “Whys” of my hurting heart – do I trust Him? Do I really believe He is who His names say He is? If I don’t, I am not hallowing His name.

It isn’t always pleasant, but I love it when the Lord speaks a word directly into my heart. I want to be obedient to Him in more than just the outward things. I want the very hidden things of my heart to honor Him as well. I’m so thankful that this Christian life is a process. Little by little, step by step, He guides us along the way. If I am ever foolish enough to think I’ve finally arrived, He gently leads me around another curve in the road, and I find there is something more.

I want to recommend a very touching post to you. Bev writes so beautifully, and her writing today will just bless you beyond measure.
As you pray today, think of Dawn and Susie. They would certainly appreciate our prayers.

  posted at 12:23 PM

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Thankful Thursday

It is Thursday. I’ve been looking forward to writing my “Thankful Thursday” post. It is good for me to look back at my week and see the ways God has been so faithfully working in my life. These are some of the things I’m thankful for this week:

1. I’m thankful for my little granddaughter L. We celebrated her eighth birthday this past Friday. She is a sweet, bright bundle of energy. She is so thrilled with learning to read. She spends lots of time with her books. She is also a huge fan of the Odyssey programs produced by Focus on the Family. They don’t have a television in their home, so they listen to CDs instead. Mostly she loves doing anything her Daddy is doing. They are very close, and it touches my heart in a way I can’t really explain when I see my boy with his little girl. I am so thankful for the blessing of this sweet girl in my life.

2. I am thankful for the ministry the Lord has given my younger son and his wife. They were sent out from their church a couple of years ago to plant a church in a town about thirty minutes from us. Their ministry is mostly to those who are in the poorer areas of the town. The needs of some of these people are overwhelming at times. My son also works full time. So they are both stretched very thin. They recently had a young couple come to their church who are recovering drug addicts – looking for help. They have three children who have been taken from them and put in foster care. They didn’t even have a place to live. My son and daughter-in-love took them into their home. They had to put the two girls into a bedroom together because they don’t have a spare bedroom. We met the couple the other night. They have asked the Lord into their hearts, and they are doing so well. They’re both working and will soon be able to afford to get a place of their own. The Child Protective Services say they have never seen them doing so well. My heart is overwhelmed at the sacrificial love our kids have shown to these two needy souls. I thank God for His grace in their lives.

3. I’m thankful this same son was able to sell his car. He fixed up an older car and needed to sell the one they had. It was getting down to the wire – the insurance would have to be renewed if it didn’t sell, and they didn’t have the extra money for that. We prayed; it sold. We are so thankful.

4. My husband had another good checkup. All his “numbers” look good. Thank You Lord.

5. We had a twenty-four year old woman speak at our Bible Study yesterday. She works in missions. I was so impressed with her obvious love of the Lord and her passion for the lost. She is wise beyond her years. It blesses my heart to know young people like her. We see so much of what is wrong with our young people on television. The media would have us believe that they are all so very far from the Lord. It gives me such hope and joy to know that there are so many who are not. Just reading the blogs of the young women in our blogging community refreshes my soul. They love the Lord and their families. I am so thankful for them.

“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders.
I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High”
Psalm 9: 1,2

I'm also very thankful to Iris at Sting My Heart for hosting Thankful Thursday. She is a sweet blessing.

  posted at 1:33 PM

Tuesday, March 06, 2007
In Other Words
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible
than to be alive without breathing.”
Martin Luther

I live in a part of the country where spring comes early. I eagerly await the day I can open all the windows of my house and have the fresh breath of spring blow through all the rooms. Our summers are long and hot, and once they arrive everything is shut up and the air conditioner begins its unending job of keeping us comfortably cool. The winters are cold enough that during that season too everything is tightly shut. I sometimes long for fresh air. The house seems so closed in – the air old and stale.

So it is in my life. I must candidly confess that I have struggled with prayer. For some reason I had looked on it as one of those “must do” things, and my rebellious heart found too many reasons to put it off – too busy, too tired, too difficult – and then too guilty because I didn’t pray and knew that I should.

When I finally saw prayer as it should be seen – as a conversation with the One who loves me more than I can ever comprehend – it became so much easier. Now it is simply talking to Him – and listening, wanting to know all the things He wants me to learn. When I get down on my knees and begin to talk to Him – it is as though the fresh breath of His Spirit flows in and through my soul. All the old, stale air is blown away, and I can breathe in the freshness of mercy and grace.

I can exist in a house with the windows all shut tight, never getting any fresh air. Eventually I will waste away. I can live a life without prayer, but it will be a poor, miserable sort of life. My relationship with the Lord will wither and die without the fresh breath of His Spirit pouring into my soul. I need fresh air to live; I need prayer for LIFE.

For more writings on this quote go to Sting My Heart.

  posted at 12:38 PM

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Thankful Thursday

Psalm 100: 4-5 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations."
I'm so thankful that Iris gives us this forum to express our thanks. There is something about giving thanks to the Lord that blesses the heart of the one doing it. It is good to remind ourselves of the blessings with which the Lord so liberally showers our lives.
1. I am thankful for answered prayer. Thank you Lord for keeping our loved ones safe as they traveled this week. Thank you for the many times Your hand of protection has kept us from harm we were not even aware of.
2. Thank you for the leaders you have raised up to minister to the various needs of people all over the world. I think of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse and countless others who faithfully do what you have called them to do. Thank you for their devotion and integrity and the witness they are for Your kindgom.
3. Thank you for sunshine and fresh breezes. You have given us so many things to delight our hearts and make life joyful.
4. Thank you for abundantly supplying all our needs. You have promised to care for us, and You do it so faithfully.
5. Thank you for all the new things going on in our bloggy community. I am so thankful that it all centers around You. What a joy and a blessing.
You must check out the new internet cafe. I am so excited about it. With God's help, I'm going to put the button in my side bar. He knows my weaknesses - and He knows I need help with anything new on my blog. :) I'm thankful He cares about even the smallest of things in my life. He is a tender-hearted Father.
I apologize for the fact that I don't have space between my paragraphs. I actually put space between my paragraphs, but blogger refuses to show them. This is the second time this has happened. I go back and edit - and shazam - it stays exactly the same way. I know it's difficult to read when it all runs together the way it is. Sigh.....I just can't get it to cooperate.
  posted at 1:39 PM