Friday, October 24, 2014

CLEANING

Oh my goodness! If you ever hear me say I am going to clean the pantry, please do an intervention and stop me. Such a simple organize-those-cans idea can lead to ---

= a trip to the store to replace outdated spices,

= cleaning the kitchen drawers because when the pantry was cleaned there was shelf space for all those I-don't-use-often-but-do-not-want-to-throw-away things,

= cleaning the shelves because after cleaning the drawers they looked messy,

= washing the canisters, salt and pepper shakers and those measuring spoons that got put away with just a bit of spices on them (probably those outdated ones I am now going to replace) but now look dirty next to the clean shelves,

= the counter tops because when I moved the canisters I saw the flour and sugar hiding behind them,

= which then made the stove top look a bit less than sparkling

and

= drat; now I see the dust on those empty wine bottles that did look just fine before the sink was scrubbed.

HELP!!! Once started there is no end to cleaning. Each clean spot makes the next spot look dirty. Oh no! There is a cobweb……………………

CLEANING ME

All this cleaning made me think about my life. What do I need to clean?

I need to search out things that misuse my time and energy. My hubby would say I should start with those silly games on the iPad. He is probably right.

I need to throw away bad habits. Cannot think of any at this moment but I am sure my kids, grandchildren or friends would be more than happy to point out one. Or two. Or three. Why would Bill not point out my bad habits? He is smarter than that. : )

I need to restock my shelves with patience, understanding, compassion, gratitude and a listening Spirit.

I need to fill a trash bag with my temper, an unyielding spirit and the word but when I am talking to God.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

How is your life? Do you need to do a bit of cleaning?

Friday, October 17, 2014

WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT?

Sometimes the blog just seems to write itself. An idea pops in my little brain fully formed, flows from my fingers onto the keyboard and appears on the computer screen. Sometimes that just does not happen. Today is one of those days. I goggled "motivation" and up popped one site after another with quotes. Even that did not help. Until:

"Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous." Coco Chanel

Let me tell you - that did motivate me, but not in a good way. IT MADE ME MAD!! Fashion! Rejuvenate women! Look young! Then women will feel joyous! Then I thought, "Well she lived back in the dark ages and was brainwashed by society." Look young? I have earned every wrinkle! Every gray hair! Every additional pound! The part that makes me really mad is that, unlike men, women are still judged by their looks. Guess we are still being brainwashed by society.

Calm down. Look again. Maybe ---

"The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters." Audrey Hepburn

"I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don't have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?" Shailene Woodley

These made me feel sad for Ms. Hepburn and Ms. Woodley. I do enjoy life. I enjoy my life, but it is not all that matters. Most of the time I like myself, but putting your body, your soul, your capsule -- making self-love the most important thing in life would make the world revolve around you and I just don't think that is the way it works.

Getting nowhere fast, but not ready to give up, I tried again.

"Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?" Mary Manin Morrissey

Finally! Some words of wisdom. Take your foot off the brake. Let go. Release hurt, fear and old pain. These make sense. Maybe I can find one more.

"The most important thing for me is having a relationship with God. To know that the owner, the creator of the universe loves you, sent His Son to die for your sins; that's very empowering. Knowing Him and knowing that He loves me gives me encouragement and confidence to move forward." Benjamin Carson

"There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer." John Wooden

Added bonus: I found two. What great quotes by Dr. Carson and Mr. Wooden.  These do motivate me.  Have a relationship with God.  Pray.  Yup.  I like these.

Where do you find motivation?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

THE WEDDING BANQUET

Jesus responded by telling still more stories. “God’s kingdom,” he said, “is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn’t come!

“He sent out another round of servants, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!’

“They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them. The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city.

“Then he told his servants, ‘We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren’t up to it. Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.’ The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on—every place filled.     The Message Matthew 22:1-10

Our Sunday School class studied this section and it made for some interesting discussion. I put on a sign saying: Most Important Person. Then asked what they would expect when the Most Important Person invited them to a wedding banquet. Would it be hard to decide if they were coming? What would they wear? What would the banquet hall look like? What would they expect to eat?

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They quickly decided it would be elegant.

They also decided the menu would consist of hamburger, steak, asparagus, salad, lemon pie, loaded baked potato and chocolate cheesecake. Now who wouldn't want to show up for a free meal like this?

Weed the garden? Work in the shop? Is that the best they could do? And to beat and kill the messenger! Why didn't they just say no? But why didn't they want to go?

This is a parable and we had to dig deeper.

God is the King. Jesus is the Son. The wedding banquet celebrates the marriage between Jesus and the church (us). We are the "B" list of guests.

The next question was: How do you feel knowing you are only at the table because someone else refused to come?

The answer: THRILLED!! EXCITED!! GRATEFUL!! The class was all smiles to know they were invited to the wedding banquet and not by a human "most important person" but they were INVITED BY GOD!!

We do not know when the banquet will be, but we are ready. We do not want to miss this one. We do not know what we will wear. We trust that the proper attire will be provided. We decided that we have no idea how it will look? We did decide what we will fill our plates with.

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Joy. Glory. Patience. Forgiveness. Peace. Hope. Grace. Oneness. Eternal life. Helping Spirit.

We know we will be in the presence of God and Jesus.

We know we will see the fulfillment of God's Word.

But why didn't they want to go? Why would anyone weed the garden, work in the shop and even beat and kill the messenger instead of going to this wedding banquet. Why?

Why? Because they did not realize the importance of the invitation. They thought they would only be eating hamburgers. Or steak. Or chocolate cheesecake. No big deal. Just another banquet.

But why didn't they want to go? Why? Because they did not realize the importance of the invitation. Do you?

Friday, October 03, 2014

BALANCING THE CHECKBOOK

Do not know about you, but I want my checkbook to balance.

If the amount is off by a "3", I know to check my adding to see if I hit the wrong number on the adding machine. Yes, I still have one and I use it. If the amount is divisible by "9", I know I have transposed figures. These two mistakes are usually pretty quick and easy to find. It is that silly penny I hate!

I will look for a penny. Knowing it must be there somewhere; I will compare the bank statement to the checkbook. I will add and re-add each column. Then, when that elusive penny is found, the world goes back into alignment. A smile comes back to my face. All is right for another month.

A LOST COIN

Jesus is speaking: "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin. In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10

Now that is a woman who would balance her checkbook.

NEWS FLASH!

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’      Luke 15:3-6

Are you ready? This is important! Pay attention!!

Are you sitting down? Are you all ears? This IS REALLY important! Paying attention now?  Ready?

WE ARE THE SHEEP!

JESUS IS THE SHEPHERD!

WHEN ONE OF US GETS LOST, JESUS COMES LOOKING FOR US!

Told you it was really important!

Friday, September 26, 2014

REFLECTION

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This is my favorite picture taken on our 2006 trip to Alaska. We were traveling on my type of road. Bill calls them "How do you find these roads?" and I call them "There is no one coming in either direction!" So quiet and peaceful! (You did get the there was no one else on the road, didn't you?) Beautiful! The water was so still the reflection was perfect.

Exactly what is a reflection? The noun means:

~~ the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected

~~ an image; representation; counterpart

~~ the return of light, heat, sound, etc., after striking a surface

This got me to thinking. What would my reflection look like?

This is pretty easy to answer. There would be a face with gray hair, eyes looking out through glasses and --- but the Bible says:

As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man. Proverbs 27:19

What if my heart was reflected onto the water instead of my face? Would the image be different?

Would I only see myself? My thoughts? My actions? My feelings? That reflection would be self-centered wouldn't it?

Would I see the influence of others? Their thoughts? Their actions? Their feelings? That would not be a true reflection of who I am. It would be a reflection of how others want me to be.

OR would I see the reflection of the Lord's glory as 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us:

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Wow! I sure hope it would be the reflection of the Lord's glory. That is so much better than a gray haired, self-centered, trying to please others woman that might be looking back at me.

Unveiled face -- Lord, tear away anything that covers my face which will stop Your Glory from shining through.

Transformed into His likeness -- Transform me Lord. Change my attitude, my desires, my goals into Your attitude, Your desires, Your goals.

Ever-increasing glory -- Lord, let my Spirit, the Holy Spirit you placed inside of me, ever increase until my reflection is only of YOU.

I have an amazing idea! Look into the lake with me.

Unveil your face.

Be transformed.

Allow your heart to reflect the Lord's glory.

Give your Spirit the space it needs to grow with ever-increasing glory.

Look again. What do you see now?

Friday, September 19, 2014

OLD FRIEND

I graduated in 1964 and finally went to a reunion. MY 50 YEAR REUNION!! Does that make me old? Of course it does! Unless, that is, you just went to your 75th reunion, then I am just a young thing. I was amazed at how old everyone had gotten. Everyone except me. All that gray hair. Or no hair. Wrinkles sprinkled on cheeks and brows. Some have converted feed really well. (You have to have fed livestock to get that.)

Oh! My hair is gray. I call it character, but my face of character has been created by well-deserved wrinkles. And I have converted feed better than some. Is that how they all saw me?

One of the rewards of going was discovering a classmate/friend lived only 40 miles away. At the reunion, we promised to get together. Get together we did. We started talking at 5:00 PM, at a local restaurant, continued talking at our home where we allowed Bill to enter the conversation on a limited basis and finally said goodbye at 8:30 PM. Hard to condense 50 years into three and half hours. The conversation will be continued.

NOTE: Any former classmates reading this can be assured we only discussed good memories. Gossip waits till the next time!

A VERY LONG TIME

Has it been a long time since you visited with God? Have you had a heart to heart conversation with him? To you it might seem like a really long time, but God is eternal

In the beginning God -- Geneses 1:1

David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Chronicles 29:10

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

AND during this eternity, God is patiently waiting for you.

Maybe you have tried to hide from God.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:1-5

        Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:7

You cannot hide!

Maybe you have stayed away from God because you thought He would no longer recognize you with gray hair or pink hair or no hair. Or because of your sins.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Luke 12:7

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23

Why did I miss going to all the other reunions? I could make excuses, but that is what they would be -- excuses.

Why do you miss going to God? You could make excuses, but that is what they will be -- excuses.

Friday, September 12, 2014

PINTEREST

"Did you see what she posted on Facebook?"   "What about that tweet?"   "She reads what?"   "Did you know that the NSA is reading your emails and checking your phone calls?"
Everyone knows what we are doing these days. We are very open with our pictures, our comments, our lives. BUT do we stop and think what all this says about us? The Bible tells us that we influence others.
1 TIMOTHY 4 (instructions to Timothy): 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
PHILIPPIANS 3: 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.
If someone checked my Pinterest boards, what would they find out about me?
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THEY WOULD FIND OUT I LIKE COLOR.
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THEY WOULD FIGURE OUT I AM THINKING ABOUT A 50TH ANNIVERSARY.
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THEY WOULD LEARN MY FAVORITE FLOWER IS THE WHITE ROSE AND THAT I STILL HAVE ALL MY MARBLES.
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THEY WOULD DISCOVER I HAVE A STRANGE SENSE OF HUMOR.
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When I see this, I want to add the caption: "Do you think the big guy knows we did it?"
NUMBERS WOULD SHOW THIS HAS BEEN REPINED 165 TIMES AND LIKED 22 TIMES.
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And God said, “I am here.  Do you want to talk now?”
QUICKLY IT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD THAT I AM ON A JOURNEY.
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This long path, in the fog, reminds me of my life journey. I have to trust God that He knows where my path leads. (Because left to myself, I would be absolutely lost in the woods.)
THERE WOULD BE NO QUESTION AS TO WHAT I HOLD ONTO.
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The nativity is so sweet to look at. It held the Baby Jesus. The image of the New Jerusalem is a vision we hold in front of us.  But the Cross. Oh how we do not want to look at the Cross.  Not only should we look at the Cross, we should take ahold of it and hold on securely.
------------------------------------------------------ I picked these pins because they make me look like a really good person. Am I that careful with my Facebook posts? My words? My actions? My deeds? My life? PHILIPPIANS 4: 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. The Bible tells us that we influence others. How do you influence others? And me? Like I said, I picked these pins to make me seem like a great influence. Truth is, more often than I want to admit, I would be an absolutely horrible, miserable, lousy influence on those around me. THE ONLY HOPE I HAVE IS TO KEEP THE LOVE OF GOD BEFORE ME AND KEEP DOING MY BEST TO FOLLOW.