Thursday, February 26, 2009
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matt. 6:34
Courage is fear holding on a minute longer – George S. Patton
Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. – John Wayne
Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers
Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.
Courage is responding to danger without thought of retreat.
Courage is applying the resources I have in a creative way when faced with overwhelming odds.
Courage is following difficult instructions in the face of danger.
Courage is confronting an opponent with the confidence that I will ultimately succeed.
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”
We will see what God has to say about courage and victory over fear in our upcoming series that begins this Sunday in the Abundant Life Sunday school class.
PB & J
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Well my 59Th birthday has come and gone. No big deal...even after my husband sent out a Foxes News Alert with the countdown to 60 "365,364..." etc. to friends with out me knowing it until our daughter spilled the beans (thanks Sherry :) I later told him he should have sent out a "Silver Fox News Alert" being the good sport that I am!
My husband had a very nice family birthday party planned. The only one not making it was our son who was at home sick :( I felt really loved as I am very blessed with such a wonderful family. Our 16 year old granddaughter made a beautiful and delicious birthday cake for me, we are still enjoying it! I received some lovely cards and gifts from family and friends. To top a wonderful celebration my husband spent 2 whole days with me. Yesterday we stayed in town and had lunch at the Red Lobster, walked the mall for our exercise. Then we went to Starbucks and he got a coffee and I had a frappacino. Today he took me to Roanoke for lunch at the Olive Garden and we shopped both malls. He was the only one who found a couple of good buys. As for me, I had the "curse of the gift cards" when you have the money to spend and just can't seem to find anything to buy. Oh well, I know I'll find some things sooner or later.
We just returned home a little while ago safe and sound. We are thanking the Lord for His Hand of protection as a stone hit the windshield on my husband's side, it could have been a tragic ending to a wonderful couple of days. But we are rejoicing in His goodness and remembering safety is of the LORD. Judy
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.  Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Psalm 39:4-5
For most the last 16 years we have had a big mirror clock hang over our living room fireplace. Whether you were in the kitchen, dining area or living room you could see this clock and consciously or subconsciously keep track of the time. About six years ago we moved into a different townhouse. When you move in it takes a long time to get all the things hung back up on the wall. After living here about 5 weeks we finally get around to hanging that big mirror clock back up in our living room over the fireplace. Somehow that made it feel like home again because we know what time it was. It’s amazing how much Judy and I both missed that clock during its absence from our wall reigning over our home as a constant remind of what the time was. We never realized how much we relied on it until it was gone. It had a subtle way of reminding both of us of the importance of always keeping track of the time.
Like Moses in Psalm 90, David shows his mindfulness of his brief time on earth. He asks God to help him number his days (Ps. 39:4-5), which ought to be the prayer of every believer. Wise people work to redeem the time they have (Eph. 5: 16-17).
Management expert Peter Drucker has been quoted as saying “good leaders need to regard first of all not their task, but their time.” Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves if the tasks we are involved in are worthy of the investment? We need to be reminded occasionally that time is like money, and good “spending habits” are essential. It’s just that in this case the units are minutes, not dollars.
Are you aware of how you are “spending” your time? If you don’t that’s a danger signal. On Sunday we talked about “time blocking” as a means of blocking out time you have control over and using it to fulfill your God given responsibilities. If you understand this concept you are more motivated to save small bits of time and consolidate them into a chunk of time that can be spent on something worthwhile- that’s like “found money!” It is a purposeful attempt to move a chunk of time in to eternity by investing it into the eternal bank.
If we will number our minutes and hours, “numbering our days” will be easier. How about you, do you know what time it is? When was the last time you asked God to show you what time it is? David prayed that way maybe we should too. My time is up for writing this article and I must close so I can invest time in preparing a Sunday school lesson for tomorrow. My hope is that the article and tomorrow’s lesson is an investment that will pay rich dividends in some life for the glory of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
PB & J
Friday, February 20, 2009
I have decided to go a step further and post before and after pictures of my journey through getting rid of clutter in my kitchen. My last post only showed how the cupboards looked after they were cleaned out. Today's pictures will give you an idea of how bad the "cupboard confusion" was. It was a matter of stashing stuff here, there and everywhere. I really do know how to keep a neat kitchen but at times it is just easier to be undisciplined and let things go. Pretty soon my kitchen was controlling me instead of me controlling my kitchen. How crazy is that? I can't even blame it on little kids in the home since it's just me and my husband.
So it is time to push the reset button and clean things up for peace and order.
My mind is the same way. I can discipline my mind by taking God's Word and writing a verse on an index card that is applicable to my situation and reading it when a wrong thought comes and be reminded of God's truth that sets me free and gives me the peace that passes all understanding.
I Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion,but of peace,"... I'm glad God's Word has the answer for every situation in life!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul." "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:19a&12
Life is full of the ordinary. Get up, get dressed, go to work, eat dinner, play with the kids, pray with the kids, go to bed, and get up and do it all over again. Wives and mothers could say the same. Then there are the weekends. Mow the lawn, clean the garage, take the kids to the park, go to Sunday school, go to church, take a nap, go back to church, and start the whole week over again.
Some have said to me things like this. "We have the social life of the three bears. If life is like a vapor, how come I've been in this rut for 100 years? If I wasn't so exhausted, I'd be bored to death." A song writer put it this way - "Is that all there is my friends?"
We have all been in the valley of dry bones where the mundane work of life becomes a mountain of misery. Please allow me to make application of the above verse in our effort to transform mundane to miraculous.
Tonight before bed or early tomorrow morning, take a few minutes and clarify in your mind the scriptural roles God has given you and then identify the resulting responsibilities. List them on a sheet of paper. Now clarify how long you have been at these tasks and consider how many of them you are doing faithfully day in and day out. Now ask yourself, who gave you the desire to be faithful at these mundane tasks? Of course, God did! We should all strive to grow and bear more fruit but careful examination will reveal that most are accomplishing more in the ordinary than they ever realized.
Don't make yourself sick (hope deferred), rather focus on all you accomplish each day that fulfills the purposes of God in your life (desire accomplished). As you review your list, it will be sweet to your soul (mind, will, emotion), and a tree of life to encourage you. You will find that all those mundane things were done by God's grace, for God's glory, and that your faithfulness pleases Him!
Today, the tasks you face seem ordinary, but He is a rewarder of people who demonstrate faith by being faithful day after day. As you labor today, hear with ears of faith, those words "....well done, thou good and faithful servant: Thou hast been faithful over a few (mundane) things, I will make thee ruler over many things (reward): Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:21).
Now isn't that thought sweet to your soul and a tree of life for your day? Believe it or not in the picture you'll see I am still helping a grandchild (grown one) do their school work after all these years. Mundane, yes. Is it by His grace and for His glory? Yes. Does that make it sweet? Yes. I think I will go empty the trash while you do the dishes.
PB & J
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
One of the joys of life is celebrating those defining moments with people you love and when people you love let you be part of one of their defining moments. Today “Quality Archery Designs” owned by the Dan Summers’ family had one of those moments. They had a ground breaking for their new manufacturing facility. They invited me to share in that time and lead all in attendance in a prayer of dedication to the Lord of this new facility. I counted it a high and holy privilege. Company President Dan Summers, in his dedication speech he thanked his wife, children, employees, and the county officials in attendance. But he concluded giving thanks “To the God who created the land we stand upon and the air we breath, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I appreciate the testimony of this business owner who lets “his light shine” to the glory of God for all to see. Thank you Dan!
Rumor has it that on August 8th this family will have another “Defining Moment.” That one will be even bigger and more important than the one we celebrated today!
Monday, February 16, 2009
This is Valentine’s month when we think of the romantic. That is an important and health aspect of every marriage. There is another completely different need for love and touch in a family that has nothing to do with the romantic but everything to do with healthy parenting. Jesus understood the value of appropriate and timely touch. Above are verses that deal with his touching of children. Most everyone He physically healed He also touched. Why? Because as the creator God he understood that at the core of our being we cry out to be loved and one of the best ways to communicate that love is by touch.
Please let me offer a practical suggestion. At least once every day you initiate a call to each of your children into your arms for a hug and the words “I love you.” I can remember telling my children they could ask me for a hug anytime and I would stop what I was doing and would love to give them a hug. I was tested many times. To this day most times I’m with my children, who are grown, I still give them a hug and tell them “I love you.” You can ask them, they still likeit! You know what? I miss getting the hugs and affirmation from my own parents since they have gone home to be with the Lord. Both Judy and I work at taking each of our grandchildren into our arms and individually tell them how much we love them and what a precious gifts they are to us from the Lord.
Have you hugged your kids today? Have you invited them up onto your lap for a cuddle? Have you told them you love them and they are precious to you? Go ahead, do it, they need it and you’ll be surprised to find out you needed it too!
PB & J
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Have you ever considered the power hidden inside your choices? Do you realize God has given us the power to choose? These choices come daily. Often they are disguised as little unimportant choices, but the power released after making them is often life altering.
When I review my life I see the power for good or evil in my choices. I suppose we all have made choices we later regretted. It seems that how I handle daily little choices prepare me for how I handle the more difficult choices that life presents.
Choosing to spend time this morning in the Word and prayer vs. choosing a little extra sleep. (Pr. 6: 9-11, Pr. 20:13)
Choosing to live debt free vs. being a debtor to my desires. (Prov. 22:4; Romans 13:8)
Choosing to give monies to Gods work vs. choosing to spend it on myself. (Col. 3:1&2, Mk. 12:42-44)
Choosing to set aside a specific time each week to share the gospel vs. choosing to fill my schedule with other less important commitments. (II Cor. 5: 10&11)
Much of God's Word records the power in the choices of men who have gone before us. Consider the eventual consequences of each of these choices:
· Moses chose rather to suffer affliction (Heb. 11:25)
· David chose not to go forth to battle (II Sam. 11: 1-4)
· Daniel chose to pray as before times (Daniel 6: 10&11)
· Jonah chose to flee God's calling (Jonah 1:3)
· Joshua chose to serve and lead (Joshua 24:15)
· Samson chose to tell Delilah (Judges 16: 16-20)
None of us can turn the clock back and undo past wrong choices. Thank God for His mercy or we would all be consumed by those choices. We do, however, have the power to choose today in such a way that there need be no future regrets.
Why not stop for a moment and consider:
What will my choices be today?
Why am I making this choice?
Is this choice align with Scripture?
Is this what Jesus would choose?
Will I be content with the results of this choice?
Do I realize not making a decision is a choice?
Lord, Help me to live out this day mindful of your will and your ways. Give me the vision to see by faith the results of choosing to believe and obey your Word even in the most difficult of situations. Help me Lord to make the right choices in all my decisions today.
In Jesus Name
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Redeeming The Time Helps
1. Divert Daily: Time alone with God
2. Withdraw Weekly: Time away from the normal stresses of life (day off)
3. Abandon At Least Annually: Extended time away from the normal stresses of life (vacation)
4. Communicate Continually: In a meaningful way about your plans for the day/week.
5. Visualization is Realization: Keep you commitments, plans, goals, in front of you and those they involve.
6. Resolve Conflicts – “In the day you hear of it” – Immediately. (Don’t hide, cover, delay- problems NEVER go away they only get bigger!
7. Evaluate – Adjust – Communicate / Evaluate – Adjust – Communicate
8. Inspect what you Expect: (accountability to your goals)
All of this plus a lesson from James 4:13-17 on Sunday morning in the Abundant Life Class
PB & J
Friday, February 13, 2009
For the last couple of days we have been experiencing high gusts of wind. We never lost power but you always have that in the back of your mind. But one thing did happen that could have been very dangerous. We live in a group of town homes and each of us homeowners have our own individual driveway/parking spots. We have wooden lampposts that illuminate our little street. Well, this morning when I looked out the front window the lamppost next to our car had fallen down on our neighbor's driveway. Fortunately neither of their cars were there. If the lamppost had fallen toward our side our car would have been a victim. Or maybe someone could have been out there and gotten hurt. I am reminded once again that safety is of the Lord.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Lord answered our prayers about the results of Trey's recent MRI to detect any problem concerning any optic nerve damage and they said there was nothing to get worried about. So we are breathing easier. Yippeeee! "Thank you Dear Lord"
Monday, February 9, 2009
Last week our youngest grandson, Trey, who is 8 years old had an MRI because he has had black spots in his vision for some time now. His parents have had him checked out by medical personal but no one has been able to explain why he has the spots. An MRI was ordered for peace of mind to rule out any possibilities they haven't discovered in prior exams. Our prayer is that the MRI will not show any existing optical damage. Trey has an interest in medical things so when he has to go to the doctor for anything he is pretty much at ease as was the case with the MRI. His mother has labeled him "a professional patient". After his procedure his mom took him and me to IHOP. He had fun with his smiley pancake. Hope it will make you smile as well. Actually, it kind of resembles someone in our family :)
If you would like to become a follower of Trey's blog and also read his own account of the MRI click on to : Treysstuff8.blogspot.com
Saturday, February 7, 2009
God stepped into my life in 1976 bringing salvation. Along with His salvation came a new nature and a changed mind. That new nature has produced new desires. The new desires are almost opposite of the old dreams. When the grace of God changes a person he is changed forever! Praise His holy name!
Well, 2004 came and went and I’m not closing in on retirement. Just two more months and I turn 60. Rather than sitting on my back porch watching birds fly by and living a life of leisure I’m working harder than ever to make the most of these “senior years” and rejoicing in God’s goodness for opportunity, health and strength to stay the course He has marked out for me.
God has changed my mind about what really matters and as a result I’m not thinking about slowing down, I’m thinking about speeding up. I’m not thinking about how I can do less, I’m thinking about how I can be more productive. I’m not thinking about how I can rest, I’m thinking about responsibility, associated goals and a schedule which is the out flow of a commitment to the prize set before me.
When I come to the end I don’t want to have wasted my life on vanity. I don’t want to have spent my life on “second best” pursuits. That is one reason why I am teaching the current series in the Abundant Life Sunday school class. This Sunday we will look at Ephesians 5:15-17 and see three (3) steps for Redeeming time in 2009. Class begins at 9:15 – please come and join us for this study.
PB & J
Thursday, February 5, 2009
We have always loved to laugh together as a family. The Lord has given us a lot of material to do so. Whenever we gather together as one big family Scott or Sherry will bring up some funny thing that happened years ago and then each of us spring board on that to other humorous memories. Soon we'll all be roaring. As the years pass these memories mellow and get richer and funnier. There is just something about laughter that makes you feel better and takes the stress away for awhile. It's just plain healthy to laugh. It's never right to laugh to hurt any one's feelings. It is the crazy everyday happenings in a family that can be harmless to laugh at. Things that together you can laugh about.
My husband has always been able to make me and our kids laugh. Like the time he wore a bunny mask while driving. Embarrassing? Yes, but funny and harmless. Well, there was one time that could have been harmful when I really tried to be helpful by putting Velcro strips on the bottom of his slippers because they were excessively slippery slippers ( try saying that three times fast:) He found himself being attached to throw rugs. Well, it was kind of funny!
On a grocery shopping trip when Scott and Sherry were young my very full shopping cart tipped over as Scott decided to hitch a ride on the back. It was a terrible mess and was not funny at the time but today we can look back and have a good laugh.
Adrian Rodgers once said we can give our children three things: life, love, and laughter. Laughter costs nothing, happens in a flash and lasts a life time. A good laugh is sunshine in the home. Be fair, be firm, be fun!
How about you dad and mom, are you fun? Do you create moments when as a family you laugh? How about life's more trying moments, (like the shopping cart) can you look back turn a tear of sorrow into a tear of laughter? Can you laugh at yourself? Do you need to lighten up a bit? Remember a merry heart doeth good like a medicine and goes a long way in bonding a family together. Make joyful lifetime memories with your children by having many good laughs!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Solomon eventually did narrow his focus, but it took him a life time of empty pursuits before he got it right. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes he finally determined what really mattered. How about you? Have you figured out what is your priorities should be for this year? What will be the basis for your decisions this year in the use of your time, talent, and treasures?
In the Abundant Life Sunday school class we will be looking at “Redeeming the Time in 2009.” This series will help us to evaluate our priorities and narrow our focus so we don’t make the same mistake Solomon did. When we come to the end of 2009 we want to have a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and satisfaction all to the glory of God. Let’s not waste this year in futility, rather, let’s focus like a laser on building for eternity. In chapter 1 Solomon wrote, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” But by the end of this great book he wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” When 2009 is history will you and I look back and say it was all vanity or will we glory in His grace that allowed us to the sent treasures ahead that wait us at the Bema Seat? It’s my prayer that this study will help you set godly goals that flow out of your God given roles and then are scheduled into prioritized tasks to help you “redeem the time!”
PB & J
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. Psalms 57:1
In Psalm 57 we see David is distressed and needs to be rescued from the enemy. He is desperate for God's mercy as he climbs a Judean mountain looking for a cave to hide in from his adversary. As he ascends the rugged trails up the mountain path his heart cries out to the Lord for help.
Have you ever felt that way where you needed God’s mercy in a desperate way? Suddenly you were facing A “Mountain climb for your life” that was not of your choosing and if God doesn’t intervene beyond the “natural” you have no way to make it to the top and almost certainly will fall to your death? This is why Fanny Crosby Hymn is so precious to many.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand.
It seems like I have gone through several of those climbs in recent years. As I reflect back I realize that is all part of the sanctification process. The Lord is teaching me through these climbing experiences not to look at how high the mountain is or how rugged the trail is to the top. All we really know is that it is too big a climb for us to make. Everyone loves the view from the top of a mountain but few actually “want” to make the climb. If you focus upon the mountain and think about the treacherous trail you are on and the many dangers of such a climb, fear will set in and faith will flee. But if by FAITH you will take your eyes off the mountain and look to the Creator of that mountain, focusing upon Him then your fear would subside and the possibility of excited anticipation may even fill my soul. We see Him as we focus ourselves upon the scriptures. As you begin to consider the Lord’s plan we will realize He has a mountain climbing manual (Bible) and He designed the climb. It’s not the size of the mountain in front of us that matters. It’s the size of our God and His faithfulness. It’s not our inability that matters rather it is remaining faithful to His Word as we climb. Are you facing a climb? Sooner or later we all face unexpected mountain climbs and we find ourselves clinging to the side of a mountain wondering how this happened! The scripture is clear in that we must focus upon God as His attributes not focus upon our inabilities which are real. Keep your heart fixed upon Him (Ps. 57:7). I use to think that the best part of the whole process was the view from the top when you finally made it there but through the years I have learned differently. Actually the best part of the climb is the total surrender and dependence upon Him that draws you to a new level of closeness to Christ. It’s nice to sing His praises from the mountain top but it bring Him even more glory when you praise Him all the way up the mountain (Ps. 57:8-11). Where is your focus today? The mountain or the Creator?
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.
PB & J
Monday, February 2, 2009
Yesterday was a very busy Sunday for us. We first went to Sunday School taught by my husband (Abundant Life Class). He started a new series on Redeem the Time in 2009---Today's Decisions Matter! He is my favorite teacher and does such a wonderful job teaching God's Word :) Next was our morning worship service and then home for a quick lunch. From there we went to the LaHaye Ice Skating Center for our granddaughter Lacey's 11th Birthday party. It was a fun party as we watched her open her gifts. Soon the kid's started skating. There was one BIG kid out there who was really fun to watch, her Dad! Scott seemed to enjoy reviving his ice skating skills. It's probably only been,umm.....maybe 20 years. Once he felt comfortable on the ice he actually did a circle, a manly one of course. I can only imagine how sore he must be feeling today. We truly did enjoy the performance,though! Next we went home spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, the real treadmill. Soon it was time for the evening service. Ashley and I had the 2 and 3 year old class to teach. We had 4 little cuties. Then... to Donn and Sherry's for some SuperBowl food and fun. It was a great day spent with special people we love. Tired but Blessed... Not a bad combination.