Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. 2 Timothy 4:3-5
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
There have been some beautiful sunsets the past few nights. I was fortunate enough to have my camera with on one of those nights as the fog started to roll in across the prairie, just as the sun was dipping behind the mountain.
The fog was setting in across the wheat field and this is exactly what the camera captured, no editing involved.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Yes, it's my dog. Don't let that face fool you, she's a hard core thief! You see, my dog loves carrots! Last year, she jumped up in my raised beds and ate half a row of carrots in no time flat. Well, this year I was determined to not let that happen again so I put a fence around my carrots a couple weeks ago so she couldn't get in them. A couple days ago, I looked out my bedroom window, which overlooks my garden, and noticed that somehow that roll of fence had been moved. I thought that was strange because neither my husband or I had been back there since I put the fence around the bed, at least not at the garden. I went out to inspect further, and noticed a couple carrot tops were on the ground, and that there were fresh dog tracks in the garden. I still have no idea how she moved the fence, but she did. Well, I took the roll of fence and strung it around that middle raised bed much better than the first time. Much to my dismay, and amazement, my dog has still figured out a way to get in this garden bed and eat the carrots. Between the fence and raised bed, it has to be at least three feet tall, probably more, and my dog will be turning 7 in a week, so she's not as spry as she used to be, or so I think. I went out to my garden yesterday to find that over half my carrots have been, once again, dug up and eaten. Like I said a year ago, we have a very tall fence around our yard, so the only one who can get in there is my dog, or a neighbor cat. I'm sure my dog would love to blame the neighbor cats, however, there are large paw prints in the freshly dug up soil and they seem to match my dogs foot. I'm pretty much stumped at this point on how to keep her out without putting up a five foot fence around the few carrots that are left. I keep trying to catch her in the bed, but she's a crafty dog and doesn't get caught. I have enclosed these mugshots just in case you see this face around your carrots so that you too do not fall victim to this innocent looking thief! Please take note, do not allow your carrots anywhere near this dog as she will inflict bodily harm upon them and they will never recover!! This public service announcement is for the benefit of all carrots out there. You have been warned!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Good News: I challenge everyone reading to share something good that has happened this week. I think the more we read positive things the more our mind will focus on positive. Our pastor talked about how stressed out everyone is right now and that we need to focus our thinking on good things, and start to destress. I agree.
I don't know about you, but I need to have some media input that is positive. Although I've stopped watching any news because I am tired of all the garbage on right now, and all the fear mongering that is going on with the media hype on a lot of issues, I still see the news headlines when I get online. I try to avoid them, as well, but sometimes they still catch my eye.
I just typed in the word good news and found a site that focus on good things. Some of the headlines are listed below. You can go check out their website at http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/, and find out there are still good things going on in this world. There is a newsletter they will send to via email for free with the top ten good news stories of the week. You do have to register to read the stories, and you can get one month free. One month of good news stories will help to get us through this crazy time we are in.
Soldier's Dog Brought to the U.S. From Iraq (Video)
Princes Harry and William Ride Motorbikes Across African for Charity
NY town bakes 6,600 cookies for troops
Hiker Rescued After One Week (Video)
New Cancer Meds Offer Real Hope (Video)
Drivers are Ecstatic as Gas Prices Drop Significantly (Video)
A Different Kind Of Healing for Vets (Video)
The New Face Of Giving
Video Games Support School Lessons and Learning
Girl with Down Syndrome Voted Homecoming Queen
Academy Uses Hip-Hop to Spur Creativity
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Are you at that place where you are worried about health, finances, relationships? I think we probably all have at least one of those stresses in our life right now. I know I do, more than one to be honest. The quote above is so true, yet I struggle to put my full faith in God that He will take care of it all. I want to be at a place where I can give it up to God, and stop taking it back, but the human nature wants control, and it's a battle to give it all to God, to lay it at His feet, and leave it there for good. I know He will take care of everything, but for some reason, I think He must need my help. For some reason, I worry, a lot. For some reason, I fail to remember that He is the God of the universe, my creator, and He knows me inside and out. He knows my needs, He knows my fears, He knows where I struggle. Even though I fail time and time again, He still loves me and picks me up and keeps helping me through life. I know Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, must have felt the same way because he wrote in Romans 7, We know that the Law is spiritual. But I am merely a human, and I have been sold as a slave to sin. In fact, I don't understand why I act the way I do. I don't do what I know is right. I do the things I hate. Although I don't do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good. So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them. I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. 20And so, if I don't do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them. The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right. With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do. What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me. So with my mind I serve the Law of God, although my selfish desires make me serve the law of sin.
Today I am going to keep reminding myself of God's love for me. I am going to try to focus on Him, not my worries. I wonder how my thoughts would be different if instead of spending time on the 'what if's' in life, I spent them thinking about God's love for me, and how He always wants what's best for me, even if it's out of my understanding at the time.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God. Psalm 43:5
Monday, October 20, 2008
Three turtles sunning themselves
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! ~Psalm 34:8
Thursday, October 16, 2008
"A mother's love is a special place where children always have a home."
Today is my mom's birthday and I want to wish her a very happy day!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The lesson for today: Always be prepared! Also, remember to take in the amazing sights that surround you and look for the beauty of God's creation because it is amazing.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
I challenge you to look at people when you are out and about and observe them. Yes, be careful, because there are some not so nice people out there and you have to be discerning, but there are also a lot of good people out there. Some are lonely and just need to know that someone in the human race still cares. It took a little over five minutes out of my day, in the midst of hundreds of people, to talk to one lonely person. I hope it brightened his day a bit, because I know it did mine.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Seems there's plenty to get overwhelmed with right now in life. The economy itself is enough to send a person to rocking in a corner, wondering what's to come. I personally am dealing with a health crisis with some spinal issues, and it's scary. My devotion this morning talked about how great people in the Bible questioned God through the hard times, some, like Job, even cried out in anger. God is always faithful to us, even if we don't understand the reason for things that take place in our lives. I have included today's devotion, so you can read it and maybe find some hope in your troubles today.
“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
Psalm 6:9 (NIV)
Have you ever grown frustrated with God over situations in your life? Have you gone to Him and poured out those feelings in prayer?
If so, you’ll be able to relate to the prophet Habakkuk, who lived roughly 600 years before Christ. His book of the Bible begins with this complaint: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save me. Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?” (Hab.1:2-3, NIV).
God answered Habakkuk by telling him to be patient and to watch, that He will do amazing things and usher in justice – but only in His timing.
Passionate, honest, gut-level prayers have been recorded through out the Bible. Habakkuk wasn’t the only one to complain. Moses, Gideon, and Elijah all questioned God. Job even cursed the day God made him and said, “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 10:1, NIV).
In his anguish, Job accused God of afflicting people for no reason (Job 9:17), overwhelming them with misery (Job 9:18), and not caring about injustice (Job 9:22, 24). Job even wondered if maybe God was laughing at the pain of the innocent (Job 9:22). None of these accusations are accurate – far from it – but we can sometimes feel that way in times of severe suffering or testing. God knows our deepest thoughts and feelings, so it’s futile to think we can hide them from Him. Better to come clean with how we really feel, get it off our chest in prayer, and hopefully clear the way to hear and receive God’s reply or comfort.
I’ve complained to God in the past for allowing my loved ones to die or fall deep into sin, for allowing valuable things to be stolen from me, for allowing my reputation to be unfairly tarnished, for allowing physical suffering in my body, or for not allowing what I felt I deserved. My goal is to be a woman of faith who can take such things in stride with Him. But when I’m losing that stride, I’ve found the best thing I can do is honestly take these feelings to God where they can be traded for His perspective and His comforting assurance.
Though God does not always change my circumstances the way I want Him to, He can and does change my perspective on those circumstances – enabling me to endure them.
God listens when we complain about injustice. He understands when we feel shortchanged or opposed. Read through the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and you’ll be reminded of just how much Jesus can relate to undeserved opposition!
Be honest before God in prayer today. While maintaining a holy respect for Him and thanksgiving for His saving grace, pour out the good, the bad and the ugly of your feelings. As Habakkuk, Job and others discovered, God can handle our intense emotions and questions. He may not explains Himself fully to us – perhaps because we can’t fully understand – but He will flood us with His love when we come humbly and honestly before Him and pour out our heart.
Dear Lord, it is often hard for me to deal graciously with the difficult situations in my life. Help me to see them through Your eyes. Help me to endure, with grace, all that You allow into my life. Fill me with Your peace and love today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Read through one of the New Testament gospel books that records Jesus’ life, noticing all the times and ways that He was opposed, or let down by those around Him. Notice also how He responded.
Are you angry with God over what He’s allowed to happen to you, or a loved one?
Have you taken those feelings to Him honestly in prayer and asked for His perspective and comfort?
Are you willing to settle for the comfort of God in your situation, or are you only interested in having God change your situation to suit you?
Psalm 86:6, “Listen closely to my prayer, O LORD; hear my urgent cry.” (NLT)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
How do you do with balance in your life? I have improved over the past two months, but it's still a struggle. Our pastor talks about balance as putting God first, spouse second, family third, job, ministry, & hobbies/activities after that. I think most of America has their values, their balance out of whack. If we did have things more together, things wouldn't be so chaotic in life. We would have time to take a walk and enjoy the change of seasons, we would have time to sit and talk to each other, and we definitely would know right from wrong and rely on God to help us through this life, not trudge through thinking money is the answer. In the Spring and early Summer, I had my priorities way out of place and was going, going, going, and not being. I wasn't spending quality time with God, my husband, or anyone for that matter. But, at camp, I had some moments that slowed me down and helped me to focus and I saw how out of balance my life truly was. As I swallowed my pride, I decided I needed to step down from some of the things I was involved in, the things that took all my time. I must say, I'm still working on proper balance, but I've taken one step closer to to leveling out the teeter totter of life. It's not easy, but it sure is nice to spend more time at home with my husband.
"Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?" Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22:36-40 The Message
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Today, I wear pink. I wear pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Today I wear pink in honor and memory of my friend, Jenny. She has been on my mind a lot lately, and I really miss her words of encouragement, her love of life, and her inspiration. I went to her blog the other night, Mangy Moose, and just revisited some of her postings. I smiled and cried, as I thought of her. She lives on in so many hearts, and through her beautiful little girl, Grace.
Today I wear pink in honor of an aunt and three cousins who beat this terrible disease.
Today I wear pink, praying and hoping that my nieces generation will not have to live with the fear of breast cancer, because someone found a way to cure it.
Today I wear pink, and throughout the month I will wear pink, to honor all those who have been affected by breast cancer.
Today I wear pink as a reminder to get a mammogram. I wear it as a reminder do self exams. I wear it as a reminder to be educated and know the risk factors and the early signs. If you need a mammogram, GO GET ONE! I just got one in June and was in and out of there in less than an hour. Take a friend, your sister, your daughter, your mom with you and get checked! Many states offer free or reduced rate mammograms, so not being able to afford one is not an excuse. Early detection can save you.
Need more info?
In honor of Jenny, Celebrate Life was created. The money goes to help support North Idaho patients at Celebrate Life, P.O. Box 420, Ponderay, ID 83852. From the donations, a variety of needs are provided through the Bonner General Hospital outpatient clinic, Hospice and the Kootenai Cancer Center at Bonner General.