Wednesday, January 30, 2008
—Anne Bradstreet, writer and poet
I've been looking at seed catalogs to order my garden seeds, and I know I need to get it done soon, but I'm having a hard time getting motivated when my garden beds are just vague memories under the three and a half feet of snow in our back yard! I know Spring will arrive and I hope to have my seeds ready to go when it does get here. Even though gardening is a lot of work, I love fresh, organic veggies out of my garden. I always look forward to the first Robin's arrival and to the first buds that appear on the trees, sending us hope that rebirth is just around the corner.
Jesus offers us a chance to start over as well, and give us rebirth. We can ask him to forgive us and to help us out in life, and it's like we start over-it's like what happens in nature when the dead (and non-ending snow) goes away and we start to see signs of life around us everywhere we look.
As January comes to an end, I am thinking more and more about my favorite season and all the beautiful bulbs that break through the earth to give us amazing bursts of color. I think of how the grass will actually appear again and how the trees will come to life as well. Winter is good, though, because without the freezing temps in the winter, we wouldn't have those beautiful flowers in the spring! Just like in our lives, when we come through the dark times into a new season of life, and if Christ is part of that time, it gives us more to be thankful for when we make it through to the new season. We can display His beauty in our lives and be thankful that although the dark times where long and hard, and seemed like they would not end, He was there to bring us through. Many times when we look back on those times, we see how it made us stronger and how God was walking with us through the tough times never leaving us to trudge the winter of our lives alone.
As winter goes on outside, think of spring and renewal in your heart, and think of what type of seeds you are planting daily for those around you to see.
Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Galations 6:7-9 The Message
If we have faith in God's Son, we have believed what God has said. But if we don't believe what God has said about his Son, it is the same as calling God a liar. God has also said that he gave us eternal life and that this life comes to us from his Son. And so, if we have God's Son, we have this life. But if we don't have the Son, we don't have this life. 1 John 5:10-12
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Even though the storms, and endless snow, are getting old and there's absolutely no where to put the new snow when shoveling, I must say the storms could go on for awhile because I am seeing a side of people that we just don't see much anymore. We all get so busy going here and there, and doing our own thing, and not knowing those around us, even those who live right next door. However, this series of storms seems to be bringing out the good in people, the side of society that we seem to have lost in our high stress, high tech world. People are helping each other and talking to each other. Neighbors are all pitching in together to help each other out. Just tonight in our little corner of the neighborhood, we had people plowing out others, others helping to shovel out sidewalks or buried mail boxes, and others using their snow blowers to help lighten the load for those who were shoveling. We had adults out playing on the eight to ten foot mounds of snow that we all have piled in our driveways, and several kids where sledding as well. Laughter filled our neighborhood tonight, and it was a sweet sound. I heard quite a few stories today of how people are helping others around the area. The snow is deep, the wind is cold, and the roads are getting increasingly narrow, but the storms this week have helped people to remember to care for each other, to lend a helping hand, and to have fun together on 'snow days.' I know observing, and taking part in both giving and receiving help the past few days has added some warmth to my heart, and it gives me a glimpse of hope.
""The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on."" ~Julia Alvarez
Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." -- John Wesley
Monday, January 28, 2008
During the storm:
After the storm:
Saturday, January 26, 2008
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
It's a great Psalm and one that we all should keep in mind when we feel down or like we don't matter because we do matter and God knows each and every detail of who we are and made us that away for a reason!
I still was curious to what my birthday Psalm was, so I checked it out at http://www.biblegateway.com/ when I arrived home, in a couple of different translations. Mine would be Psalm 9:10:
10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. New Living Translation
9-10 God's a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you're never sorry you knocked. The Message
I looked up my husband's and that Psalm only goes to 10 verses, and I need 18, so I just read 1-8 for his. If you feel like sharing your 'birthday Psalm' please do so. I realize that although there are 150 Psalms, this won't work for everyone's birthday, so just share your favorite verse out of Psalms. I think it will bless all who read it.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things."
"Friendship happens in that special moment when someone reaches out to another, trusts, comforts, believes in another, and makes a special difference that no one else can make."
Today, I just want to give thanks for my dearest friend. God brought us together as friends around four years ago. It took both of us awhile to completely trust each other after being hurt by people in the past, but once we allowed our hearts to trust, it was amazing the blessings that God started to pour into my life. We were first both leading girls small groups at our church, then we both felt like God was telling us to ask the other to be each others spiritual accountability partner, and after much hesitation and arguing with God because I didn't know if I could trust her, I asked her and she said she had felt God laying it on her heart as well. Our friendship became a very special part of my life. Two years ago, I had to move an hour away. An hour isn't far, but the main time we saw each other was at church and youth stuff, because both our lives are so busy. We would meet for lunch, as well, and with me moving that would be more difficult. We emailed daily, and I knew when I moved that would continue, but I wouldn't get to see her as much in person. We were doing a study together, and we moved it to a weekly online time on messenger. It doesn't always revolve around a study, but it is precious time to me! I cherish and treasure this friendship. It is amazing to see how God has brought us together, and it is strange to see how he makes us go through similiar things in our lives at the same time. We have gotten used to it by now, and just laugh over what God does in our lives, and sometimes we just share a good cry together. The main thing today is I just want to say thanks to my friend for always being there with a listening ear, a caring heart, for praying for me, and for offering me advice when I need it, and even when I think I don't need it. I am blessed. The great thing about having a deep friendship with someone who shares my faith is that friendship will never end, and I thank God for this special friend and all she has done for me and been to me.
"Are we going to be friends forever? Asked Piglet. Even longer, Pooh answered."
"Everyone hears what you say. Friends listen to what you say. Best friends listen to what you don't say."
Monday, January 21, 2008
I would post a picture, but my hubby didn't take one after delivery. He is, however, proud to have delivered into this world yet another kidney stone! We have to find someway to control the population with him because he is bringing too many of these into the world, and we need to do something about it!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Psalm 39:7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
The drive home was interesting. We had received two to four new inches of snow, depending on the area. There were many wrecks along the interstate. We took the back road the last part of the way home, and we encountered a good, old fashioned blizzard. The wind was whipping across the prairie, as the snow came down in heavy blankets, making visibility almost zero. The roads were starting to drift shut, and I'm sure this morning many are drifted shut. As I look down our street, I see some areas where there is just a covering of snow, and other areas that have three to four foot drifts. The sun is now trying to peak out, but the wind is still blowing and it's quite cold! It looks like a good day to stay inside, curl up in a warm blanket, and watch some football and see if my team moves onto the Super Bowl.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I tried enjoy the fact that the fog had pretty much lifted, and the sky was blue with the sun shining! I also enjoyed snapping few pictures on my way home of the beautiful crystallized trees and scenery.
Once I arrived home, I immediately got on the internet to check out details of the shooting. It seems that no one was killed, but several shots were fired. I believe the stand off started before anyone arrived at work, so everyone was safe, to which I breathed a prayer of thanks. It still sends chills up my spine, though, to think that a shoot off went on in my church parking lot.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I heard this song last night, and loved it because it's how I feel about life. I am here for a reason, not just to wander aimlessly. I have a purpose that God put me on this earth for and I need to fulfill it. Do you know the purpose God has for you? The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren is a great book and can help you see what you are here for, so if you don't have it, I highly recommend it. Are you living for something worthwhile, or are you just going through the motions? Don't waste your life. Grab on to it and live it to the fullest!
here on the surface
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
"Carry laughter with you wherever you go." ~Hugh Sidey
"A cheerful heart is good medicine." ~Proverbs 17:22
Monday, January 14, 2008
Jesus said in John 14:27 "I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Hebrews 12:1 says "So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us."
It goes on to say "2We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne! 3So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won't get discouraged and give up."
I noticed a couple things. First, we have to realize what is slowing us down, hindering us from growing in our walk with God. What sin is it that we don't want to let go of, that puts a wall between our faith and Jesus Christ? We have to identify that and throw it aside, not to pick it up again, so we can run the race that is ahead of us.
Second, we have to keep our eyes focused on Him to make our faith stronger, and we have to keep our minds on Him as well. In other words, in what we do and think, and are, we need to have Christ at the center of it all. It goes on to talk about discipline and how God only disciplines those he loves as a parent disciplines their children.
We are also challenged to not get stuck in the 'why's' of life, to not have a pity party for ourselves, to move out of our bitterness, and to trust in God to the end. It's a great passage and I encourage you to read the entire chapter for yourself and let me know what challenge or encouragement you found as you read through it.
The passage ends with this encouragement for the believer: 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
New year's day was spent in Sandpoint. We took a drive up Schweitzer ski mountain, and were stunned at all the new development! I never get tired of the amazing views of Lake Pend Oreille, the valley, and the mountains from Schweitzer, whether it is summer or winter! God's amazing majesty is showcased in this area! We also played on the snowmobile a bit at my sister's house. It was a lot of fun! I took a corner too fast and dumped my husband and myself in a large snowbank. Later, I took both nieces for a much slower ride just as dusk was approaching. We had a good day.
The past two days my mother-in-law has been here, and last night my brother-in-law and his son spent the night, as well as a deaf dog named Frog, to save a little time on the way to the airport at 5 am this morning. This is a picture of Frog, along with my nieces and their brother.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Your Own Genesis Week
by Jon Walker
“God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.” (Psalm 51:10 MSG)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)
God spoke the world into existence, and he spoke you into your mother’s womb. Even now, he can speak into the chaos of your life to bring it shape and form.
This is a Genesis event (Psalm 51:10 MSG) – where God speaks into the void and the darkness of your life, creating a fresh start for you.
God can create something from nothing. He can take a heart that is broken, impure, or failed and with it create a heart that is whole, pure, and purposeful. God loves you and wants to pour his grace into your life. He wants to see you pure, and he wants to see you succeed – so much so that he takes an active role in creating your new heart and bringing order to the chaos of your life.
Your job is to submit to his sovereignty, humble yourself before him, and ask for his help.
Lord, speak a Genesis moment into our hearts, speak a Genesis moment into our lives, speak a Genesis moment into the circumstances we now face. We acknowledge that “everything we have – right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start – comes from God by way of Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:30 MSG).
Renew in us a steadfast spirit (Psalms 51:10 NIV), no longer chaotic or moved by events, circumstances, or feelings. “That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God” (Colossians 3:5 MSG).
Give us a life shaped by you and your spirit flowing through us like living water.
What does this mean?
Where you see chaos – let God speak into your life, creating a new God-generated life. Pray, “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life” (Psalm 51:10 MSG).
Steadfast spirit – How would your life be different if you were led and powered by a steadfast spirit? Pray, O God, “renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10 NIV).
Shaped by Christ – Fit “every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 MSG).
·Where? – Where do you need a Genesis-event spoken into your life?