Saturday, November 21, 2009

Undercover!


One of Webster's definitions for the word "undercover":

"secret missions"!


YOUR MISSION IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT ...
IS QUITE POSSIBLE...


Lately I've been thinking and experiencing the peace of being undercover. It's only a secret mission to those who do not know the Holy Spirit's supernatural power while hiding out in the arms of God.


Psalm 91:1-3

As one who dwells in the protection of the Most High,

Abides by night in the shadow of the Almighty,

I say to YHWH, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust


God is our shelter and our fortress in times of trouble! We should seek refuge there...

God has provided for us a very safe undercover spot!



Judges 9:15

...come and take refuge in my shade...


Psalm 91:4

...He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge.




Under God's wings we are safe!!

We are protected!!

We are ministered to by the Holy Spirit!!


Being sheltered in the wings of God doesn't remove whatever it is we are going through. This is a place of rest and peace in the midst of life's tribulations. The Holy Spirit will renew you while you rest under(the)cover. You will experience peace in spite of this chaotic world we live in, full of strife, grief, pain and sadness.


Run there often..I stay and relish in the Holy Spirit's comfort. Usually I'm in bed when I run to Him for cover...under my own covers...my own comforter which is delishishly silk...and warm, and inviting and snuggle-worthy. I picture myself sitting in God's lap with wings covering me up...and rest there until His work is done and I'm comforted yet again, invigorated, ready and able to live a joyful life, full of meaning and purpose, with a thankful heart for the work of the Holy Spirit.


The "secret mission" of the believer who needs to be comforted and protected is to stay...
UNDERCOVER with God.
--oOo--
I see you have decided to take this secret mission!!
You won't be sorry!



Saturday, October 17, 2009

THANKSGIVING TURKEY - Blackened Style


This was supposed to go on Facebook, but its 2211 characters long and they only give ya 420.




Due to popular demand, and extortion, plus the PROMISE of someone making cookies for a COOKIE EXCHANGE of all things, I am forced to tell about my incident with a Thanksgiving turkey 5 years ago.


So...I'm at Jeff's, little Kevin there and we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving. I've been making Thanksgiving dinners far longer than most of you have been alive which was one of the few meals that were ever successful, HOWEVER...blackened turkey was never a menu item.I prepare the turkey, the stuffing and put the extra stuffing into a dish and turned the oven on. I covered the turkey lightly on top with reynolds wrap. About 20 minutes later I begin to smell turkey..oh the aroma was lovely.


I did think wow that's pretty fast to be smelling turkey, but I've always cooked 20+ lb turkeys before. So I checked on that pup...er turkey. My goodness everything was browned up real nice! So i removed the reynolds wrap to let the breast catch up with the other parts. Soon thereafter I smell something burning! (Not unusual but kind of startled). I go back and open the oven and the whole dang turkey except the breast was black...blackened (to be culinary hip). I whipped that thing out of the oven....much chagrin.


Little voice saying, "Why is the smoke detector going off, Mimi?" Fortunately the breast was perfectly done, the extra pan of stuffing was fine (good since the stuffing INSIDE that turkey was not cooked at all). So we ate and gave thanks and a special thanks that any part of the turkey was edible. No potatoes though and no gravy.


Here's the deal which I found out later while cleaning off the stove/oven...EVIDENTLY I HAD COOKED THAT TURKEY on .......CLEAN! Don't ask me how I did that because I didn't lock that oven door like one should when cleaning an oven, but the dial deal was set to CLEAN.


So here's your recipe for a good turkey dinner. COOK ON CLEAN and your 10 lb turkey is ready in 25 minutes! I tried it later to cook a baked potato thinking it might take 2 minutes, but alas it didn't work.


THERE you brat friends of mine; it's done, it's told and NOW you can prepare for Thanksgiving AND make cookies for my cookie exchange!


P.S. The smoke detector going off was no big deal...that's just a part of my life. When I first moved to Jeff's we had that occur quite often...he would smile and say, "This is great, reminds me of growing up with you." HAHAAH I think he was the only kid who LOVED the cafeteria at college. One of his remarks about that was, "MA! They have all five food groups available at every meal AND everything is ready at once...no waiting for the baked potato an extra hour cuz you forgot to put it in the oven!" Ok I'm laughing... :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Death, Dying and Restoration

I sense and see that I write a lot about life's troubles and sadnesses. My intent is to encourage you somehow in the midst of such issues. I think that when we go through such sorrow it changes us in profound ways. I hope that because of my experiences with the death of my son, in particular, doesn't discourage you or take you down into a depression. These are life events, everyone must endure loss, challenges and difficulties == that's just life.

The Bible tells us that NOTHING touches us that God doesn't ordain. That has helped me so much over many, many years. Surely if God has allowed it in my life, He has reason and a plan in that process. I want to go through it WITH Him, and not struggle and fight it all the way. I want to accept His will for me with grace and hope.

Yesterday I was sharing Christ with a friend who, as she told me, has no faith. It was a great conversation and she now has the full gospel. It is hard for her to believe in something/ someone she cannot see. She doesn't care if that if she died last night there would be nothing more than that. She doesn't care if she isn't in heaven, because I am the only person she knows who she cares about that is a christian and since I'm not dead yet, she wouldn't have any friends in heaven anyway! (Now that was something I had never had said to me before). LOL I had to regroup for a moment.

I shared something with her that I realized would be an encouragement for those who might read my blog today. She knows about Jeff and his MS and feels so badly for me that he died. She also knows that I believe he is in heaven and will see him again.

I told her about the day before he died. He was pasty white, yellowish, gaunt from the weight loss, out of it. (and he had been blind for quite some time). At any rate, I went into visit him that day and the hospice worker, John, was in visiting as well as Jeff's dad. Jeff would go in and out of sleep. He woke up and I said hello to him. Hi Ma! Chuck said hey Jeff...Hi dad...oh.. ma? Yes.. dad? yes.. WOW both of you in the same room!! we all laughed.

Noticing him looking at the wall, I asked him what he could see...(hospice workers tell you that when a patient is looking around and up in particular they see people who may be bringing over to the other side). He responded that he could see something on the wall but didn't know what it was. (His friends had made huge posters with photos of their life expriences with him all over them...took up the entire length of the bed)....I said its photographs of you and your pals, family and son with you. Oh that's nice he said. Then I realized that he could SEE! I went to the end of his bed and said hey jeff i'm at the end of your bed, can you see me? He looked down at me and said YEAH, MA...I CAN SEE THAT BLONDE HAIR OF YOURS! Oh my gosh, tears streamed down my face as they did on Chuck's and the hospice worker, John. YIKES...HE CAN SEE!

Eventually John and Chuck left and I sat with Jeff as he came in and out of sleep. I just talked to him while he slept and prayed over him until he woke up again. After a while I noticed that he looked 'better' somehow. I realized he wasn't so gaunt and that he had color in his face and rosy cheeks! What is going on...he can see, he looks better..wow. Then he woke up and opened his eyes...when people are blind their eyes get a hazy look because they do not move them. BOOM! I had bright green eyes looking at me; all clear. I was just amazed at this.

What is going on? My belief is that God was restoring Jeff and beginning the healing which would be completed once he was with Jesus. I can't tell you what a blessing it was for me that day to witness this. I'm smiling right now...that is how I get to remember Jeff....clear eyed and seeing, his ruddy complexion and as always his sense of humor. Thank you, Lord.

**
Another situation I told my friend about was regarding Chuck's mother, Olive. She lived with us after her stroke and came to Idaho when we moved here. This little lady had had a very hard life, full of hard work, and little joy. He was a feisty little thing who cut her own grass, was athe treasurer for the grange, went on trips with her golden 50 club, played pinochole with her 'girlfriends' of many moons. But she never wanted to hear about Jesus. Not interested, nope, nada. She was not a lady you saw smile very often, she was grim and sad looking all the years I knew her. I have only one picture of her with a smile on her face in over 35 years.

She became ill up here in Idaho...she was ready to die. She didn't want to go to the hospital or eat. She was 88 years old...and unsaved. I told Chuck he better go visit with her and tell her about Jesus one more time...so he did. And she accepted Christ. She fell asleep that night and was dead in the morning. Chuck came and got me and I went into her bedroom with him.

The lady I saw there had such a beautiful countenance I cannot even express it to you in words. She was at peace...how do you see peace? Hard to describe. This is what I saw: my mother-in-law resting with a sweet smile on her face. What joy that was to know that Jesus had restored her and brought her home and again, what a gift to SEE for me.

God is good. Like I told my friend, because of many such situations in my life over 35 years of being a Christian, no one can tell me God isn't real. I know He lives and loves me. I know I will be forever with Him and those who set their hope and faith in Him. I told her I would like to be with her forever too....it's her choice.

BE ENCOURAGED in EVERY situation...HE IS WITH YOU!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

darkness

Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him
Oswald Chambers

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The hurt I hold inside me

Two things happened today. A friend posted a YouTube video of Bebo singing "Cover Me" and I received a thank you note from my grandson Kevin for the two books I sent him for his eighth birthday.
A tear was shed for the thank you note. His mother won't let me see my grandson ... (she won't answer why) only twice since his daddy passed away in 2006. Sometimes no thank you notes for little cards with money or presents at Christmas and birthdays....so today was wonderful in that I could see his printing and know I am still called "MiMi".
It was after that that I heard the Bebo Song Cover Me and really liked it so I listened to many more and then heard "I will Lift My Eyes". What a wonderful song!
When it came to the line: The healer of the hurt I hold inside me, it got me thinking. Thinking about the hurt I do have about the situation. I can forgive her and do pray for her, but how does that hurt heal without me actually getting to be with my grandson...it seems a permanent tear to me. Of course God and I have talked about this many times. I manage to get through the day obviously, but it's there,always there. I think it hurts more because his own daddy is not in his life and feel that I could give him so much for that vacant spot...never to fill that for him, but to help him on the way. God has not allowed this for whatever reason.
Everyone has hurts; I am no different. Big hurts, little hurts...These trials and tribulations teach us great wisdom and knowledge as we surrender our egos and pride. God always has a better plan than any we can dream for ourselves!! Some things have to be removed from our lives in order to fulfill His intention for us.
So how do we move through and not let those hurts affect us negatively? The Enemy would have us ruminate and ponder and drive ourselves nuts until we lose all our peace and any effectiveness we might ever have toward serving God and loving others.
Conversely, Jesus tells us to forgive our enemies (small cap), pray, think on things that are lovely and pure, move outside ourselves and focus on the purpose and meaning to why we are here...serving others as unto the Lord, sharing the hope in Him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy! Jude 1:24
Forgiveness isn't always 'easy', far from it, but God always has a better way...and when we forgive it is we who are set free. It's not like the other person cares much anyway! God's ways are better .. we surrender to Him and He takes that and turns it to our benefit. How blessed to be set free from the repurcutions of unforgiveness such as bitterness. Have you ever been around a truly bitter person? It isn't good, nice or fun. They usually end up very much alone in terms of great friendships and have few acquaintances as well.
I want to live life to the fullest being on the path God has set for me. I want to enjoy His presence in my life. I don't want to be held back by character qualities that don't let me DANCE the life the Lord gives me each and every day.
I'm thinking one way to move through this hurt I have held inside me is to help the 8 year old sunday school class or volunteer at the 4th grade grammer school in some capacity...or just find an eight-year-old who needs a pal. God will bring it to me. I know this because as I pondered all of this the Holy Spirit placed the thoughts into my mind.
I will lift my eyes to the One whose throne is in heaven. Psalm 123:1
The LORD heard my prayer for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. Psalm 6:9
I pray you let the Holy Spirit move in your life today
and heal you free from any hurt you have in you.
Blessings

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wannabe!


I'm a wannabe..no, not a wallaby!!!
Thinkin' that if I really wanna be a writer, I should put my pen to paper. If I wanna be an artist, I should begin to draw.
Wonderin' why I don't.
Hopin' I will ... and soon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Words to Live By - Jeff Cadle



Today would have been Jeff's 44th birthday. I'm posting something I found in his computer shortly before he passed away.
A friend on Facebook sent it to me as a reminder...sweet of you Jennie. Thanks.

WORDS TO LIVE BY

My goal is to find the middle road - in work, home and social life.

I will pay attention to my level of stress and strive to take deep breaths and center myself.


I will develop the ability to recover from setbacks and validate my self-worthin areas of true relaxation.

I will continue to notice when I am disappearing and remind myself of thecomforts of my home, family and friends.

I will balance my needs for alone time and time with others.

Live your dreams.

Take time to smell the flowers.

Remember you are only visiting.

Be good to your fellow humans (and animals too).

Be there for your family and friends.Be above pettiness.Live below your means.

Be prepared for the inevitable rainy day.

No excuses! Take responsibility for your own life.

Be honest and loyal.

Don't take everything so seriously (especially yourself)

Have some fun!




Grow things!

Enjoy nature and be aware of the simple pleasures of life.

There is more to life than success, work and money.

There are many more important non-material considerations.

Use your own noggin.

Trust your instincts.

Think before you act.

A guilty conscience is not worth the effort. Just don't do it!

You reap what you sow, but sometimes your crops will die.

Try to find the good in people and understand the bad.

Look upon everyone you meet as a holy person (for they are).

For every rule there exists a valid exception. Use rules properly. Many rules are stupid.

Plow a field.

-J. Cadle

I have papers he wrote prayers to the Lord upon as well...he was a tender man who lived the above. But those are sacred and I'll just keep those to myself. The originals are in a box for his son when he is old enough to need them.
(After I saved this I checked and noticed on my blog page the SNIPPET for the day...love it.)
He was a delight!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tears of Transition


And God shall wipe away all tears of their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away.
Revelation 21:4
That's Niagara Falls in the photo...a bucketload of water to be sure. If broken down into teardrops that have spilled from my eyes over the past several years, I'm pretty sure I could match it head on in volume.
Dealing with family issues, a divorce, caregiving for my son with MS to his death in June of 2006, financial difficulties unlike any others in my life, remodeling his home and selling it just last month has brought an incredible amount of stress to the forefront. I admit it has been difficult, but share again with you all the incredible depth of comfort I have received from Jesus in the process. He IS my strength when I am weak. (And, oh am I weak). He IS my Comforter. He IS my all in all.

You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle.You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
Isn't that an incredible verse!!!! Our God cares for us in ways we cannot even fathom. He is so far out of any box we can try to put around him with our limited minds. Yet, He has our backs! What a relief. What a joy. I have had many tears leaving Jeff's home with all our memories made there with his little son,Kevin. Memories of Jeff in his backyard that he took so much pleasure in...especially his downtime resting in his hammock. Memories of struggles trying to find our way in this disease together. Memories of his brave and humorous approach to life. Our conversations were full of deep meaning and MUCH laughter....all very tender to me right now. I take these with me, my great treasures ... memories of my son and my time with him in his last years.
Sassy Lass has been in transition for quite some time. I've landed in Hayden Lake ID from Northern California now. I'll be staying with my brother and his family for awhile and it is so gracious of them to let me do so. It's so beautiful here...I can't believe I left here seven-and-a-half years ago to go take care of Jeff. Full circle!
None of us knows what lies ahead...I suppose we could really say that we are all in transition. We may make our plans and try to pave the way, but God has gone before us and He will have His way. May His will be done in my life as I continue to transition with Him. I am so grateful for His presence within me.
--oOo--

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

True Worth




From PSALMS NOW...Brandt/Corita




Man's struggle for significance


apart from God's will and purpose is in vain.




Man builds homes and institutions,


he acquires property and possessions;


he crowds the cities with the clutter


of questionable achievements;


he fills the better part of every day


with self-centered activities;


he pushes and prods in an anxiety-ridden quest


for some ephemeral treasure;


he strives incessantly to get to the top.




And all the while worth and value are within him


or very close to him.


They are precious gifts of God


that come in some measure to all men.




There are visible evidences of a man's worth;


the children he begets,


the beloved mate that brings him joy,


the ability to supply his own and


his family's needs through is daily labors.




But even beyond this and long before this,


a man's true worth was established


by God Himself.




Psalms 127-128

Friday, April 10, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday



Happy Easter Everyone!



For God so loved the world, that He sent his one and only

Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish

but have everlasting life!
HE IS RISEN!


Marie hosts Friendship Friday
You'll enjoy her posting today!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shoes...and the death of four sons.

I have been going to write this particular blog all week, but never could find the words. Tonight I think the words have found me. Bear with me as I struggle to dovetail my love of men's shoes and the death of four sons.


I have a thing about men's shoes. It's my father's fault. When teaching me the fine art of finding a good man he said that you must first look at their fingernails to make sure they are clean and then look at their shoes. You can tell a lot about a person if you observe their shoes. Are they shined? Do they have run down heels or are they perfect? Are they in good taste, and all that. So from then on I was stuck always observing men's shoes..and fingernails. You know how people in elevators always look down...I was busy checking out the men's shoes!


I went to a memorial this past week for a young father of three children. I sat with my friends, Norma and Duane who lost their son Troy four years ago to cancer, leaving behind two daughters. Our son Jeff died three years ago this June, leaving one son. Two rows behind us sat Todd and Trina who lost their college age son Matthew two years ago. Now in the front row last Saturday sat Mr. & Mrs. Nunes, who lost their son, John, to leukemia just a week prior. All of these sons died between the ages of 19 and 49. We parents are left to deal with the grief and lean heavily upon Jesus to help us through the journey.




We get these darling little babies without shoes.So precious!!!Please note Jeff's no-frills bedding!! Again, quite different from today's trendy-themed-nurseries...but that's another blog!



It didn't seem like long before they were ready to walk outside and need their first pair of good shoes. This used to be HUGE in my era (eons ago).. they have to be GOOD sturdy, hard-soled shoes. Often their grandmothers bought them because they were pretty expensive. We suffered many an injury when stomped on accidentally by our sons in these hard soled shoes too!!






Then it was time for a pair of tennis shoes for casual wear.Cute, arent they! I tell you the truth, I don't know that I was prepared to be a mother at age 22. In my day you got married and had some children. There wasn't much more thought about it either. So at age 22 Jeff entered my life. He was a fussy little guy who kept me on the move with his bad moods and antics from the get go! One night when he was over a year old, I was picking up the living room. He finally had gone to sleep. His little pair of tennis shoes similar to the ones above were sitting on the coffee table.



They gave me pause (probably the first pause I had in regard to having a child). I picked up the shoes and held them in my hand just thinking about how cute they were, the cutiepie who wore them and I was overcome with emotion as to the responsibility I had now rearing this boy of mine. Still today when I see a little pair of tennis shoes I remember that night. My eyes were opened along with my mind and my heart all at the same time just because of one tiny pair of tennis shoes.



In no time at all the boys wanted guns, cowboy hats and cowboy boots!



After that, shoewear stayed about the same for many years...tennis shoes. Who doesn't remember their first pair of nice Nikes!



When you consider it, men really do need a lot of pairs of shoes.


It was a shock to me as a mother to find out that when my son started playing sports, a different pair of shoes was needed for each sport. His father explained to me that not just any shoe would do. They had to be sport specific!!! I was miffed about the cost for so many pairs of shoes for one young man! First he played baseball...

then basketball


then golf

and tennis (WENT THROUGH MANY PAIRS OF REAL TENNIS SHOES ON THAT SPORT)!!!!!





First dress loafer...
beach wear




...job interview...and getting married shoes...



and back to bare feet whenever possible!!


-ooOoo-

We are all created by God as unique human beings
so no one can really fill the shoes of these men for their families.
Each had faith in Jesus and are with Him today for all eternity.
It is good to remember and thank God
for His Word which reminds us in Psalm 68:5 that
God is a Father to the Fatherless.
I take great comfort in that for the children of our sons.
May they wear their shoes in the same humble ways of their
own fathers, caring for others along the way and
living active and meaningful lives.
I was no more prepared to lose my son when he was 41 as I was to welcome him when I was 22.
I thank God for leaving the Comforter. I know Him well.
Hug your children tightly.

--ooOoo-

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Aroma ~*~ Fragrance


Aren't these pretty!
~*~

Right out of the garden. I just love Spring. I love Fall too, but Spring is full of vibrant and multi-colored flowers that just make me smile. Today I saw the freecias had popped up and had flowered. I just had to bring some inside. They fit nicely in a small drinking glass. I set them on the window sill in the kitchen and it just perked everything up. Pretty soon I realized a wonderful fragrance was wafting throughout that area of the house.
I brought them into my office so I could really enjoy looking at them and their aroma! (Who cares that I seem to have some allergies; sometimes it's just worth the price you pay). I always look closely at flowers. Their patterns and intricacies really are worth dwelling upon. Flowers to me are just one evidence of a God who is a great Creator. The flowers burst forth each Spring testifying of His incredible glory.
As I sat and relished them all afternoon, I was reminded that there was a bible verse that refers to us and our aroma or fragrance. So I looked it up:

"For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ unto God,
among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2:15)
an expanded version states it this way:

14 But thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession.
14b Now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume.
15 Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is
perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing.
16 To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom.
But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.
So as the flower's fragrance is evidence of God's creation, let us go forth and live our lives in a fresh, loving,joyful and vital way that testifies of God's true mercy and grace as we share the love of Christ with others.
Let us rejoice!
~*~

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Prayer

So many people lately in need of prayer within the circle of friends I know. It breaks my heart for what some are going through. Believers, challenged in great ways that will test their faith. I know they will stand firm in Him, come through to the other side in peace and victory. Sometimes all we can offer is the standard phrase, "I will be praying for you." or "I wish I could do more, but all I can do is pray."

When reading the verses below we are reminded of the power of prayer given from on high. He cares for us. He wants us to come to Him in our need as well as the needs of others..in all things.

All we can do is pray? Thats really quite something. It's far reaching. It's better than a card. It's better than a phone call. It's our privilege to take some time to really care for those we love by praying for them as they struggle against cancer, job loss, financial needs, taking a strong stand for Jesus and the Truth, emotional needs, children, parents, a soldier, a president, a neighbor.

I remember when I was taking care of Jeff and emotionally struggling in big ways from time to time. All through the years, I knew I had a band of friends who prayed for me daily, or throughout the day and I tell you the truth...I could feel it, sense it, wear it and be blessed in my spirit. I was uplifted and able to float above the daily concerns and cares to a place that was very peaceful.

Today, will you take a moment to pray for my friends Gemma and John, people I have known for over 25 years now. They were both diagnosed with two different types of leukemia in the same week. John has three pre-and teen children, Gemma has grandkids who count on her. Both are Christ followers and are solid in their faith. I appreciate you taking the time to lift them up to our Heavenly Father. Thanks.

~oOo~

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:5-8).



"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Therefore, I desire that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
1Ti 2:8
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16
Pray for one another, that you may be healed. Jam 5.16b
~oOo~

Monday, March 23, 2009

I never run out of things to share, but ...

...sometimes I love to share things from others.. not often, but today is a day that began with a devotion I now receive every morning. It resonated within my spirit and I just had to share with you. It was written by my friend, Larry, who I know from Christian Chat. Be blessed.


Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matt. 5: 4
Mourn, to grieve, have sorrow. There is much in this life to cause mourning, in our own state and in those around us. God gives us two options when it comes to sorrow. We can let it eat us up and cause bitterness or we can come to Him and be comforted.

The Bible speaks of two types of sorrow. One is referred to as godly sorrow and leads us down a productive, corrective path. The other is called worldly sorrow, which leads only to bitterness, anger, self-pity, etc. But we have to also know there are times when we are simply at a moment of overwhelming grief and sorrow. This is when God moves the strongest in His comfort.
When we mourn it shows our hearts have not become callous and insensitive. When God finds a good heart, not one stony, or full of weeds, or apathetic, He finds productive ground to which to bring about the bearing of good fruit. And our Father, who is full of mercy and compassion, will give us comfort and joy.


Father, blessed be Your most holy Name, truly You are full of compassion and tender mercies. Our hearts are full of gratitude and thanksgiving for Your abundant grace. We think of all the times we have experienced Your comforting, during times so difficult we thought we could not survive them. Yet You did far beyond what we expected You to do. This give us peace, and joy, knowing by experience Your words are true, Your promises to be trusted. May Jesus be exalted and praised! Amen and amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!


In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins at 7:44 a.m. ET on

Friday, March 20, 2009—the vernal equinox, or spring equinox

If the sun were just a tiny point of light and Earth had no atmosphere, then day and night would each be exactly 12 hours long on a spring equinox day. But to begin with, as seen from Earth, the sun is nearly as large as a little fingertip held at arm's length, or half a degree wide. Sunrise is defined as the moment the top edge of the sun appears to peek over the horizon. Sunset is when the very last bit of the sun appears to dip below the horizon.
The vernal equinox, however, occurs when the center of the sun crosses the Equator. Plus, Earth's atmosphere bends the sunlight when it's close to the horizon, so the golden orb appears a little higher in the sky than it really is.
As a result, the sun appears to be above the horizon a few minutes earlier than it really is.

Therefore, on the vernal equinox day, the daylight hours are actually longer than the length of time between when the sun crosses the horizon at dawn and when the sun crosses the horizon at sunset.

Summer Solstice Facts, for When "the Sun Stands Still"

"Those factors all combine to make the day of the equinox not the day when we have 12 hours of light and darkness," Chester said. Vernal Equinox Special Nonetheless The length of day and night may not be equal on the vernal equinox, but that doesn't make the first day of spring any less special. The fall and spring equinoxes, for starters, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west, according to Alan MacRobert, a senior editor with Sky & Telescope magazine. The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

On the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight. A person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, but it would signal the start of six months of darkness.

Pope Shuffles Vernal Equinox
Another equinox oddity: A rule of the calendar keeps spring almost always arriving on March 20 or 21—but sometimes on the 19th—MacRobert said. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian calendar, which most of the world now observes, to account for an equinox inconvenience. If the he hadn't established the new calendar, every 128 years the equinox would have come a full calendar day earlier—eventually putting Easter in chilly midwinter
.
"It begins with the fact that there is not an exact number of days in a year," MacRobert said.
Before the pope's intervention, the Romans and much of the European world marked time on the Julian calendar.
Instituted by Julius Caesar, the old calendar counted exactly 365.25 days per year, averaged over a four-year cycle. Every four years a leap day helped keep things on track.

It turns out, however, that there are 365.24219 days in an astronomical "tropical" year—defined as the time it takes the sun, as seen from Earth, to make one complete circuit of the sky. Using the Julian calendar, the spring and fall equinoxes and the seasons were arriving 11 minutes earlier each year. By 1500 the vernal equinox had fallen back to March 11.

To fix the problem, the pope decreed that most century years (such as 1700, 1800, and 1900) would not be leap years. But century years divisible by 400, like 2000, would be leap years. Under the Gregorian calendar, the year is 365.2425 days long. "That gets close enough to the true fraction that the seasons don't drift," MacRobert said.
With an average duration of 365.2425 days, Gregorian years are now only 27 seconds longer than the length of the tropical year—an error which will allow the gain of one day over a period of about 3,200 years.
Nowadays, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory's Chester, equinoxes migrate through a period that occurs about six hours later from calendar year to calendar year, due to the leap year cycle.
The system resets every leap year, slipping a little bit backward until a non-leap century year leap nudges the equinoxes forward in time once again.
Hope you enjoyed my beautiful blossoms...what a joy to look outside and take in Spring here in Santa Rosa!
Sorry for the blue underlined sections ... Have no idea why it did that. But I thought the information was pretty interesting so I wanted to share it with you.
Thanks to National Geographic
and the Lord of Creation!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Are you willing...


Sometimes I think the Lord just wants to know our willingness to be obedient to His Word. All the while we know what He has left us in His Love Letter is for our good, but we have so much pride and rebellion, we rationalize just how we can bypass such instruction.


Over the years I have had quite a few experiences where I was convicted to 'do the right thing' - hard as it was because of certain circumstances. I buck and brawl, fret, whine and try to determine different outcomes...none good, of course. Why me? Why not someone else? Why now; it's so not good timing for me. Me, me, me, me. The Lord just doesn't stop the conviction either, it seems to get more pressing. My spirit isn't still and content...it works inside me to finally know what I knew from the onset of the conviction...."Yes, Lord. I will."


One example which may seem silly to you but really hit home to me in this vein was when I worked as the church secretary. For the couples retreat I put couples together into the cabins etc. People would request to be with friends they already had; most of it was easy work. But there was always one couple that no one wanted to room with. She was difficult..and she really was. Eventually everyone said they didn't want to be with this person. Usually there were four couples to a cabin...sometimes three.


So you see what's coming? Yep. "Karen, you can have these people in a cabin with you." NO NO NO not ME Please NOT ME!!! I want to be with MY friends not some difficult woman and her poor husband. PLEASE NO. Yea, we did the drill, pleading, begging, promising..and the same result...ahem missy! YOU. Bending, crying, seeing my selfish self for what I can be...okay,Lord, okay. Whew. Done deal. I cant say I had peace LOL, but was fine with it in the end. THEN guess what... they ended up not going because of something that I cannot even remember today. God just wanted to know if I was willing to follow His ways.


To obey is better than sacrifice

1 Samuel 15:1-23


Funniest thing is that I truly think six times out of ten, He then doesn't require the action from me at all. Evidently He just wants to know if I will bend my knee, die to self and move through the 'right' thing. Some things seem silly, some are HUGE to me. In retrospect in 35 years of having the Lord deal with my heart one would THINK that I'd get with the plan and just bend quickly. HA! You'd think I'd learn. Evidently I am still being shown how stubborn I can be, how much I do not want to put myself out there unless its really comfortable, and how selfish that really is.


Obedience is following instructions.
Obedience is submitting to authority.
Obedience is the humbling of pride.
Obedience is the response of love.


I want to share this weeks experience so you see how it works with the Lord and me. Don't think this is easy to do either, but some little conviction thing is resonating in me that I should share, so I will lest we have to go through yet another week while I fight with Him about doing so.



You all know my house has been for sale since January 3. You all know I've had to lower the price by $70,000 since then ...finally get an offer. It's a lawyer and then after his name on the contract it says.. "OR ASSIGNEE". I thot how interesting, he must be buying the house for someone else. Then it hit me! Wouldn't it just be like my son's ex-wife to want back in here now that it's all fixed up. Kind of like getting the last laugh on my son.


Boy did that kick in a lot of emotions...things like anger, annoyance, judging, bitterness, stubbornness and more. I told the Realtor the situation and said I want to know who is buying the house because I will not sell it to her. Gave him her name and her parent's names. I was vehement about this. So it was written into the contract that within five days of acceptance the name of buyer would be given to me.


There was a counter offer, another counter to that and then yet another one until finally I signed the last one. In the meantime of course the Holy Spirit was working on my attitude. I 'reasoned' with Him that sure, if she had tried to buy it before all this money was put into the remodel, that would have been fine with me. My grandson would live in the house he started out in, attend the best grammar and middle schools in Santa Rosa. BUT, no Lord,not now. Nope, nada. Aint gonna happen. Oh really? What about that little Kevin. What would be the best thing for him, not you and your bad attitudes and judgments? What about that? What about your stubborness, bitterness, anger? What about that? He called my bluff and reminded me that even if she had tried to buy it before the remodel, I would still have had the same bad attitudes. I would have said the same thing. Of course, He is right.


The heart starts to melt under such a conviction. The tears come, the sadness at my own behaviors and rebel-type ways. After 35 years of following Christ, how can I still have all this in me? Ashamed, I repent. Called to a higher place, I feel peace. I want Kevin to have his house back if she is the 'assignee.' I want Kevin to go to a good school and live in a very safe neighborhood if she is the 'assignee' on the contract.


I called my best friend and shared. Totally affirmed it to me. When the Realtor came that day I told him, I don't really care anymore if it is her, God and I were doing business this morning - of course I got tears in my eyes - and his filled. He said that morning he was taking his usual early morning walk in the vineyards by his home and was praying about the house and it came to him that he needed to share with me about forgiveness in this matter regarding her. We both just sat there with tears coming down our faces. I said I was glad God dealt with me alone first LOL. Another Christian affirming the work God had done in my spirit that morning.


Obedience is greater than sacrifice, but I often see it the same way. Obedience to God's ways is often quite sacrificial. We sacrifice our pride, our rebellion, our bitterness, our sin. Dying to self seems like a huge sacrifice at the time. Only later do we realize the wisdom of God's ways and conviction into these little or large crevices in our heart. Yet another heart surgery is performed. Yet another miracle of the supernatural way God works thorugh the Holy Spirit. Healing occurs. Peace at last..lifted UP by Him.


Keith Green wrote a song: To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice ~ It really says it all.

FIRST SONG ON PLAY LIST IS THIS ONE

To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return
Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words

Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed
To obey is better than sacrifice

I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights
Cause if you can't come to Me every day
Then don't bother coming at allLa,la,la etc.
To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire
Not your prayers of ice
And I'm coming quickly
To give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Know what I love?

I love fellowshipping with believers!

That's what I love.

I believe we were created to do so for many reasons.

God always knows best, doesn't He!


You know it's been a while since I had attended church. Stuck up here in Santa Rosa caring for my son until his passing made me not want to find a new church. I would contemplate it, decide to go to one I knew was right up my alley no more than one mile away, and then determine I was just too emotional, spent, and raw to engage myself with church. Probably needed it more then than ever!


I was down in the East Bay area from Saturday to Wednesday afternoon last week and went to church with my friend, Patti Cadreau. She attends New Life in Alamo. New Life Church - Alamo, California From the moment I stepped into the sanctuary/auditorium I felt at home. It wasn't that people rushed me to be friendly, quite the opposite although the greeters at the doors out front were great. But the feeling, the sense of the Lord in that place was very evident to my spirit. That sense was confirmed during the worship songs, communion and the message. Boy does this pastor have a heart for people and God.


We do ourselves a disservice as well as the local community when we do not fellowship inside the church building with the Church. (we the people). Two hands/hearts are better than one and a team of people can do wonders. Yes, use your sphere of influence to share the love of Christ one-on-one, and at the same time reach out and reach in at church. I was challenged by the message and plan to move on that for the next 21 days (part of the challenge). This would not have occurred had I just been at home singing praises to the Lord.


I can't wait to go back on Easter Sunday to New Life, but in the meantime, I'll be attending the local church no more than a mile away.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Orient Express


Adventure on the Orient Express... Blog style!
~*~
All Aboard! Everyone is invited!

*
The Orient Express is boarding in Paris on Monday, March 9th, and you are invited!
Our host is beauty Muse Swings.
*
"You are invited to post your part of the journey on the 9th! What would you take, what would you wear, what adventures would you have on board? Who would you travel with, where would you stop for sightseeing and activities? Will there be drama...suspense.......a (horrors!) a murder to solve???? Will we be derailed by an avalanche? Will mysterious people board at our many stops? Will jewels disappear? What will you order from the exotic menu? You decide!"
*
Visit her blog and I dare you not to want to come! I always love a party!! Leave a message at Muse's link above so we can all visit one another that day. I'll be visiting Chachaneed in a private car near the lounge.... join us for a game of cards and a glass or two of champagne! Hope to see you there ...
~*~

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daffodils and Limes

Isn't this the cutest little garden plaque?!!
My pal, Cathy, made this special garden tile for me a couple of years ago. She made it in the Mary Engelbreit type art which she knows I adore. She's a talented lady.




Not much has popped up in the garden yet, but I just wanted to show you the pretty daffodils that have and one huge lime, which is the size of a big lemon and looks like one too, but it truly is a lime!



The dwarf lemon, lime and tangerine trees were transferred from their wine barrel tubs and right into the dirt at the side of the house.



They seem to love it there and are flourishing. Two tart tangerines and two huge limes (trying to fake me out disguised as lemons). But I know the lemon tree was the tallest of all three trees and its still the tallest and has so many buds on it I will hopefully get a few before I move.


That's really it today..sharing what has come up in the garden.


Enjoy these...they are such a bright yellow and so cheerful I think. I had to cut one and bring it into the house so I could see it 24/7.


Can you even imagine the Garden of Eden?
Me either.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The School of Suffering


THE SCHOOL OF SUFFERING


"Are we learning love in the school of suffering?

Are our hearts being mellowed and deepened by the summer heat of trial until the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance-is ripening for the harvest of His coming, and our sufferings are easily borne for His sake?

This is the school of love, and the lessons make Him unutterably more dear to our hearts and us to His. In this way only can we learn with Him the heavenly charity which suffers long, and is kind. We see that the very first and the very last features of the face of love, as delineated in Paul's portrait of it (1 Corinthians 13), are marks of pain and patient suffering-suffers long, endureth all things.

So let us learn in the school of love to suffer, to be kind and to endure all things. Surely it will not be hard to love through every circumstance when it is the heart of Jesus within us that will love and continue to love to the very end.



I want the love that suffers and is kind, That envies not nor vaunts its pride of fame. Is not puffed up, does not discourteous act, Is not provoked, nor seeks its own to claim. "--A.B. Simpson

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Birthday Thoughts

It's a few minutes past midnight
so technically yesterday 2/24 was my birthday.


I was thinking about my upcoming birthday the night before last. Thoughts included how I feel like I'm very young in spirit but betrayed by my true age. I reflected on the things I had done and hadn't done over my many years..the joys and disappointments -- my journey thus far and the future ahead.



Knowing I would be alone on my birthday, I could have taken the woe-is-me attitude, but determined that was not to be the case. I have so much to be grateful for that to complain about being alone would be a slap in the face for all God brings to my life.



So I awoke on my big birthday morning happy to be alive! Thank you Lord for another day, one you created for me.

Today is the day that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

OK, Lord - I WILL!

I plopped a nice pork roast in the crock pot and enjoyed that wonderful aroma all day long!! I knew I had a couple of small red potatos which would be done in a fast couple of minutes in the microwave when it came time to eat my birthday dinner. It was all so easy and quite tasty if I do say so myself. (You'll just have to take my word for it.) ;)

I had two phone calls wishing me Happy Birtday before 10 am. I am so blessed to have family and friends who care for me and make time for me. I had two more calls by 2 pm. Tons of well wishes on Facebook, in emails and snail mail has been arriving since Saturday from people who want me to know they care about me and wish me many blessings in the days ahead. I am so blessed in my relationships.

I was very aware of the Lord's goodness to me throughout the day. I am grateful His hand is on my life. He brought to mind some scripture that really changed my life around about five years into my walk with Him.

"I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

marvelous are your works, and my soul knows very well."

Psalm 139:14

In Hebrew the word fearfully means with great reverence. The word wonderfully means unique, set apart, uniquely marvelous. I am a unique and individually made creation of the Most High and Holy One. What more esteem does a person ever need than the knowledge of the love and care of God Himself! He set me free with that knowledge. Free to be the me that He made..the one that would follow Him all of her days.

Jeremiah 29:13 assures me..."For I know the thoughts (purposes) that I plan for you. Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give me a future and a hope."

So I get ready to go to bed in a few minutes having had a wonderful blessed day, cared for by my family, friends and the Lord God Almighty feeling like the masterpiece He created and rejoicing in the days He has planned for me. Peaceful and content am I on this birthday in the year of our Lord 2009.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

I've been Tagged







I have been tagged by my friend in real life and fellow blogger Chachaneen (real name Janeen) I've yet to do one of these and wondered two things: I dont think my photos are in folders and I dont know four people to tag once I find the picture!!! I figured well I'll just do the 4th picture in the one big boy folder I do have LOL...and that is what I have done. Then I will tag two bloggers I am friends with.


Okay tagging


and Cathy @ Cocoroos Corner




Here's how it works: The instruction is to go into my photo collection, take the fourth folder and the fourth picture in that folder and explain it. Then tag four more bloggers to do the same.



So here is the picture...



Now the directions said to explain the picture. This is an area on Hwy 1 on the Pacific Coast of California north of Bodega Bay. (Famous for Hitchcock's BIRDS movie) Its at the Goat Rock area. You drive from the windy road out another windy road and down to the Rock. Then you can walk down further to the beach area with sand and surf.


A friend and I went out there on June 9, 2007. That was the one-year anniversary of the death of my son, Jeff. He loved the ocean so much being the fine surfer he was. The purpose of the trip was to scatter his ashes in this place. I had had them for a year...I planned on doing this at the one-year date. I was fine all day, we ate lunch at Lucas Wharf and proceeded up to Goat Rock. My friend got out of the vehicle first and I opened my door and then just kind of was overwhelmed by emotion of what I was going to do. I processed it and it took about 15 minutes for me to actually move forward by getting out and climbing the rocks. His ashes were scattered into the ocean he loved...the task was accomplished. Tears were shed, prayers said. It was a really solemn sacred kind of time. I'm glad I didn't have to do it alone and especially happy it was done with someone I treasure.


I keep a bit of his ashes in a beautiful starfish made especially for that purpose. I have it in my bedroom where I see it everyday and remember such a fine son as he. God bless him.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Facebook..yes, again!

Well, what can I say? I've been on Facebook and love it. I don't know how to pull out of that addiction quite yet. I've played numerous games raising money for the Rain Forest, cancer research, blankets for the homeless and catching up with old friends. It's perfect for wasting time...sucks you right in! They have many applications and one of them is MyFarm! Yes, a cyber farm!!! I love mine! I got carried away and planted tons of strawberries, got horses, cows, chickens and tons of orchards...oh then I had to spend my time harvesting my crops, replanting them etc. I uploaded a bigger farm to hold it all...then it just got worse...It's all I could do to keep up, so with $100,000 in cyber money on my farm, nice house, chicken coops, barns and a wood chopper...I decided to not grow crops...I am committed to letting the soil regain all the nutrients it needs for the suggested (somewhere I read this) seven (7) years. Now all I have to do is check the trees to make sure I pick the fruit. Nice life of a farmer..waiting for the Stimulus package to set in and pay me for NOT growing strawberries.

One suggestion today on Facebook was from my pal Lori who had an A-List deal...you go to google and type in your name and then 'needs', ie, Karen needs. Then a list will pop up (or someone's with the same name) ...a list of hilarious stuff...Here's mine...with my own observations in caps....

Karen Needs to Grow Up! NEVER
Karen Needs a New Job. YES I DO
Karen Needs A Lobotomy. WHO IS SURPRISED BY THIS? NOT ME
Karen needs to learn how to compliment her workers. I HAVE NO WORKERS
Karen needs to have full carbohydrate. stores, and be well hydrated. I NEED STORES?
Karen needs additional time for laundry and changing bed linen. I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME
Karen needs care and supervision twenty-fours hours a day NO KIDDING!!!
Karen needs to learn how to speak up for herself! I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO DO THIS
Karen needs money to buy the roller skates she desperatelywants. I'D RATHER HAVE TAP SHOES
Karen needs a hairstyle that requires minimal styling. I DO ALREADY
Karen needs a rest. NO I DO NOT. ALL I DO IS REST
Karen needs to use the bathroom. USUALLY TRUE, I drink 100 oz of water a day!
Karen needs to tell her mom straight out to stop prying. ERR SHE STOPPED years ago
Karen needs the money for the mentoring pizza. NOW I WANT A PiZZA
Karen needs to get out of Clayborne quickly. DONT KNOW WHERE THE HECK CLAYBORNE IS
Karen needs someone to hold chimpy still while she rearranges his kneecaps. DID YOU SEE THE NEWS OF THAT BIG CHIMP AND WHAT HE DID? YIKES
Karen needs a break. FROM FACEBOOK obviously....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vintage Friendship Postcard Friday

Marie @ Cpaphil Vintage Postcards hosts Friendship Fridays. Here's one I found that made me just smile. Winkie, winkie. Kiss me!!

IS THIS CUTE OR WHAT?


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bryan Waller, Clarksville, TN

My pal, Sheila from chat shared some music with me last night. Bryan is a relative of hers and leads worship at thier church. Was I blessed as I listened to his music...I know you will be as well. May the Lord continue to give this man of God a heart for Him that reflects that in all his music and very life.


Bryan Waller Indieheaven Discover The Future of Music Independent Christ


Shared with permission from Bryan