This Too Shall Pass

Trials and tribulations seem to clump together. Rather like a large boulder in the middle of a merrily chirping stream. The water still rushes past, swirling around that stone for a few moments before gurgling merrily along. This is the same with life. Our lives are that water, and the tests the boulder. Life will continue on at some point. We may be a little bruised and battered, but we go on.

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Please pray for our grandchildren if the thought passes through your mind. They have all been struggling with colds, although I don’t think any have had the flu. This past week, two of the sisters spent the night at the hospital due to RSV. They came home today. Now the youngest, just a little over a week old is at the hospital, and she will be there overnight for observation.

It is scary watching your child struggling with sickness. Even more so when it involves a hospital visit, or surgery. I have been there more times than I want to think about. It makes you want to snatch them away, to protect them, and take on all that they have to endure. After all, you are stronger, able to understand all that is happening. Their little bodies and minds aren’t able to take it all in. I hurt for those families that have had children diagnosed with cancer, and diseases that their little bodies have had to fight off. It takes a parent to the limits of where no parent ever wants to go.

I don’t fully understand why these kind of trials and tribulations are allowed in our lives. I really don’t want to face them. I want to be swept down that stream, gurgling merrily along as the blue sky smiles down at me.

That little stream rushes to the ocean, and is stronger in the end. So are we. And this too shall pass.

Jeremiah 29:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Peace to You

It is the second of January, 2018!

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So of course I’m going to write the obligatory post about my New Year resolutions. They wouldn’t be New Year resolutions unless they included health topics. You know the ones…diet, exercise, getting more sleep, etc.  This photo makes me think of health, and being refreshed. Can’t you just smell those oranges?

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A few years ago I was going to the gym faithfully. Every, single, day, except Sunday. I went around eleven in the morning when it wasn’t so crowded, after my morning chores were accomplished. The first of January saw an influx of new gym memberships, or at least people using them. Around March, the excitement would start to die down a bit. Just human behavior.

My list:

  • Continue the oil pulling I began back in the summer. For those of you that don’t know what this is…you put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for twenty minutes, before you eat anything in the morning. I experimented with this for about two weeks in July. I noticed whiter teeth and less plaque and tartar build-up. My mouth stayed more fresh all day, even when I did eat. This was my personal observation. Not a dentist’s recommendation or sell. I started with this once again this morning. It’s a bit disgusting at first, just getting that oily feel ignored, but after a couple days, no big deal.
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  • Stick with the Candida Diet I began the first of October. I managed very well through our anniversary, a trip to Branson, birthdays, and Thanksgiving. I even did fairly well around the Christmas festivities. New Year’s Eve…not so much. I’m feeling it now! It is very strict…no flour or sugar allowed, even fruit. But I’ve been totally amazed how much better I’ve felt. No more sore joints, and sleeping well. Sugars do cause inflammation in the body, so I’m sure this was part of the problem with my joint pain. Again, these are my own observations that I’m sharing with you, not a medical diagnosis.
  • Of course more exercise! I would love to be walking here:dunes-2191641_1920But my view will be more like this one, here in Kansas:tilted-2139864_1920
  • Start my newsletter! I’ve been wanting to tackle this for awhile now…just need the time to do it. I don’t want to start and then not follow through.
  • Finish up home projects, or at least get them more under control. I’ve been working on our kitchen, but we do need a furnace upgrade, dining room makeover, and another bathroom installed where the furnace is now. Each year I have a mental list of projects. I try not to share them with my family. It causes people to run!
  • Last, and certainly most important…keep my priorities straight. My relationship with God, my husband, my children, grandchildren, extended family, friends and co-workers. And yes, in that order. Some areas will over-lap of course, but there is a sense of order in our lives. I think that list also keeps everything else in-sync.

I wish each of you a Blessed 2018. I pray health, financial security, and great relationships for you. And when each of those areas comes under testing, and is stretched to its limit this year…because they will…I pray God’s peace for you, and the strength He gives to bear the difficult times in our lives.

Philippians 4:4-11 – King James Version

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Happy New Year!

All Hallow’s Eve

It’s October 31st, the last day of the month. For me, even as a child, I greeted this day in the hope that it would pass quickly, and the anticipation for what I think of as the holiday season. It always seemed as though the end of October signaled the beginning of winter, and a slower way of every day life.

Halloween has never been a favorite day of mine. When I was young, our family did dress up in costumes and our father walked us around the neighborhood to only those people we knew. Even in the early 1970’s. We always carved a pumpkin or two, setting it outside our door. Our maternal grandparents came over, bringing donuts and apple cider. That was never a good mix for me! You would think I would have learned after several years to go with one or the other. But not me. I had to go to bed with a tummy ache every year.

Fast forward to our teenage years. We were living in a little town called Crown Point in upstate New York. Our house was huge. A gorgeous home built by the town banker in the late 1880’s from what we were told. His name was A.J. Wyman, and he began a banking business in April, 1881 in Crown Point.  My mother loved older homes, and she has always done a fantastic job of making them look beautiful. Well, of course this was a great place to have a Halloween party for all our friends. This included a scary trip through the barn, and probably the attic of the house. This same attic was filled with bats every summer. I’m not saying a couple, I mean thick with bats. I’m pretty much terrified of them today. October 31st in upstate New York wasn’t great for bat activity. They were either gone or sleeping by that time. But none-the-less, the attic was a scary place to be with the lights off! I remember the night being fun…hands through spaghetti and that kind of stuff. Nothing like what you see today. We had refreshments, probably played games. I remember having a good turn-out. Those were the years of big celebrations for birthdays, etc. I had a couple sleep-overs in that house, inviting all the girls in my class. It was a very small school, our class of 50 being the largest at the time. Here is a picture of the house, the photo my parents used for our Christmas cards that year. It was taken on Thanksgiving Day! Yes, we had a lot of snow that winter.

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Our family didn’t talk about it with most people at the time, but that house had some strange things going on. I won’t go into all the details, but when my sister toured the house many years later as an adult, she asked the owners if they had noticed anything, and they had. The house was being used as a bed and breakfast at the time. So of course he didn’t want to advertise too much! I will tell you this little bit because it was very strange, and it involved the family pets. So it wasn’t just us humans noticing odd things! Every day, around four in the afternoon, if I recall, my brother’s bedroom would smell of fish. I don’t mean like fish cooking. It was if you were at the wharf. The cats in our house would go in and sleep on his bed, enjoying the aroma. After all, fish is a cat’s best friend. Then about an hour later, the smell would be gone…no trances remaining.

As I said earlier, Halloween was never my favorite day. It could go by with no notice from me. When I was younger, it was fun to dress up and get candy, but as I grew older, probably around my 30’s, I really began to be uncomfortable with it. I have never believed in ‘ghosts’. I do believe there are fallen angels and demons. I won’t go into a theological discussion here on whether they are the same thing or different, but only that they are real and not a good thing. My personal belief is that given an opportunity in your life as a Believer, they can and will play around. As a non-Believer, you are on extremely dangerous ground. I believe this is the ‘ghost’ activity that is spoken of, and I do believe it is very real. And that is why I am uncomfortable with dabbling in things that are borderline evil or just plain evil. In a verse that I have shared here before:

Philippians 4:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I believe that as a Christian, your life should be filled with what that verse says. I think this can be applied to our speech, our actions, the books we read, the music we listen to and the shows we watch. All things should be honoring to God. As a Believer, if you are attracted to ‘stuff’ that is not good, you should be knowing why. Why is your soul seeking those books, movies and activities that are not uplifting? I know that in my own life, those times come when I am not in fellowship with God, the times that I am not continually seeking Him. An analogy I would use is this: You fill your car with gasoline. If it is full and rich in what your vehicle needs, it runs well. If you purchase watered-down gasoline, or add something you shouldn’t, your car will chug down the road, get poor gas mileage, etc. It is the same in our Christian walk.

Personally, I will be glad when today is over. November 1st begins a long month of many birthdays in our family. It’s the month I really start thinking about fall decorating, baking and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the month when my life begins to take a slower pace, relishing of the days when the cold, winter wind blows and we are snuggled up inside. I wish the same for you.

Wednesday Verse

With another grand baby arriving in a few short weeks, these verses come to mind. We used them on the birth announcement for our fifth child. Verses 13 and 16 always cause a sense of awe when I read them. God formed us in our mother’s womb, and He knows the days He has for us. 

Psalm 139:13-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Wednesday Verse

It is autumn and the geese will be making their journey. To me it is amazing that these rather small creatures, can fly day after day for such long distances. They know where to find food, and the best places to rest their tired wings. God has designed them this way, and they are content with what they’ve been given.

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I’m not comparing our lives to that of a water fowl. But it gives you pause to think when you read this verse.

Philippians 4:12-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 

13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Wednesday Verse

So many times as Believers, we think a little bit of complacency with our Christian walk is just fine. Dabbling here and there in sin is no big deal. I know, I’ve done it myself…many times. None of us walk a perfect path in our day-to-day lives. We slip up, we make wrong decisions, we continue on in bad situations. We are human, and this will happen. The key is to get back on track as quickly as possible. ( I John 1:9) This verse in Philippians is always a check-point for me. When you apply it, it sifts out a lot of stuff that we think is okay…won’t hurt this time. Fill your life with this verse, use it as a ruler for your day-to-day walk with the Lord.

Philippians 4:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Wednesday Verse

This is another verse that I used often when our children were small. It was the first verse I had them memorize. And with all the verses our children memorized, I tried to do the same. My memory skills were never great, and they have become worse as I grow older, but I tried. If nothing else, having five children learn them, helped to put them into my mind and recall them when I needed to.

I will make an exception to the statement I made about trying to memorize all the verses they were learning. By the time our children were in AWANA, they were learning them so quickly and so many, that I kind of gave up! Even after working with AWANA children for almost 15 years, hearing them recite the same verses over and over, I still did not have them completely memorized. But I did generally know where they were to be found in the Bible, and the general idea of the verse. At least enough for me to look them up and get them into context! Someday, if I am ever without my Bible, I pray those bits and pieces come together.

Psalm 56:3 King James Version (KJV)

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

And here it is again:

Psalm 56:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[a]When I am afraid,
[b]I will put my trust in You.

Whenever possible, I had our children memorize a verse in the King James Version. I think it has a certain flow to it, and it is beautiful. I would use the New American Standard Bible to clarify if they were stumbling over a certain word. Which is why I like to include both on here.

The picture above and below made me think of this verse. You follow that boardwalk for the first time. You don’t know where it’s going, or what you’re going to find along the way. Our lives are rather like that much of the time. So, you head out, and when the path becomes twisting and dark, and you become afraid, you put your trust in Him. He will lead you through.

fall-1432252_1920Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Wednesday Verse

When our children were small, this verse was one that I included in their memorization. It was a great one for me to think on too. So, I printed it out in a lovely font, and I framed it. There is a copy in our hallway, and one in our dining room.

These two places seemed appropriate. School work was done in the dining room, and of course our meals took place there. Any bickering was usually stopped with a finger-point to the verse and a recitation of it by any child, or all. The copy in the hallway is passed by me at the beginning and end of each day, and I always need reminding of it.

Ephesians 4:31-32 King James Version (KJV)

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I think our nation needs reminding of this as well. Insults are being flung, minds are focusing on items that are of little or no value. We’ve already been forgiven. Let’s extend that to others.

Wednesday Verse

Wednesday, that day of the week that you look toward on Monday. That day you reach, starting to drag a bit, and wondering how you’re going to make it through two more days of school, work, or parenting until you have help on the weekend.

For all those reasons I stated above, I believe that mid-week church services were held to help encourage Believers to forge ahead. I haven’t researched this, and I don’t really know when mid-week services became popular, or the proper thing to do. Paul speaks of having services every day. That probably wouldn’t fit into many of our schedules. So, daily devotions are another option.

I would like to share a verse each Wednesday. One that God has led me to, or seems appropriate for the day. Just a bit of encouragement to get through the rest of the week.

Philippians 4:13 King James Version (KJV)

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

When our children memorized this one, it was like a blank check to them. And rightly so. Children take things literally, and accept with an innocence that we lose as we grow older. But this verse doesn’t give you super powers, or a new house, car, better-paying job, or make you popular on social media.

It is saying, that with Christ, you are strong. You can face those battles of financial struggles, raising children, cancer, loss of a job, etc. He gives you the ability to do what you need to do…and I’ve witnessed this in my own life over and over. To be with Christ, you need to be in His Word, praying without ceasing, having Him the center of your world. Rather like learning the words to a new song you heard on the radio, and you love it. Your mind keeps straying to it. Or a new boyfriend/girlfriend. Your thoughts are filled with that person. And you feel as though you can move mountains.

Philippians 4:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 I can do all things [a]through Him who strengthens me.

It’s Wednesday, and you can do it!

 

 

A Balm to the Soul

I have always been amazed that whenever I go to the Bible, God leads me to be where I should be reading. It is not always what I want to hear or apply to my life. Some of it is written for a certain people in a different time period, but applications can be made. This is what I turned to this morning, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

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Psalm 111:1-10:

1)Praise ye the Lord, I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. 2)The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all of them that have pleasure therein. 3)His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.  4)He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. 5)He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. 6)He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. 7)The works of his hands are verity and judgement: all his commandments are sure. 8)They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. 9)He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. 10)The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Scripture copied from the authorized King James Version of the Bible.)

Wow! My Christian walk has been a little shaky over the past few weeks. When you have been through a battle, and injured, you have to heal. Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. That takes time. You start out with small, shaky, baby steps, but you keep walking, and you stay on the path. God will lead and direct, he will provide light and shelter when you need it.

I encourage you to read the above passage again and again. I used the King James Version today because that is what I use in my writing. I think it is a beautiful translation, one that I had our children memorize in. It flows and sounds very pretty. For everyday reading, I usually use my New American Standard, a little easier to understand at times. But I think the above is pretty clear.

Christmas is drawing near. It is very easy to ‘get off the path’ and put our minds on other ‘things’. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle and all the ‘things’ we ‘should’ do. Please remember that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. Keep him FIRST in all your activities and thoughts of the day. It will not return void!