Monday, July 22, 2013

Springs in the Valley


One of the simple country pleasures that fascinates me is a spring of water that bubbles from the ground - like this one in the family pasture.  The water is cool and clear and as you can see, the growth around it is lush and green.  When we visited this spot recently, we couldn't see the source because of fallen limbs, but I do know the ultimate source.  According to Psalm 104:10, He sends the springs into the valleys that run along the hills.  A perfect, fitting scripture for this beautiful spot in the woods where John David played as a boy. 

I am so thankful that God sends "springs of living water" into the valley times in our lives.  This year has been filled with much sickness and the death of my father-in-law and my oldest brother.  Several friends have also passed on since the beginning of 2013.  But in the midst of it all, God has made His presence very real.  He has not failed us!  He will not fail us!  He is our Source of life and strength!

Good things have happened, too!  We have enjoyed wonderful times with our grandchildren, taken a few short road trips, and enjoyed some restful days. Family and friends add joy to our lives, and we realize just how blessed we are.  So many - some of you bloggers - are carrying much heavier loads. Life has its ebbs and flows, but we remember Who is in charge.  "Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand.  But I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand." And I know that His grip is better and more secure than mine!

I have not blogged much at all recently, but I am not leaving blogging behind permanently.   So at any time I may pop in again!  Have a blessed summer!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

He Walks Among Us


 
I did not plan this picture; in fact, I had forgotten that Daniel, a local pastor, faithfully carries the Cross up and down the streets of our town on Good Friday. So, I was abruptly taken aback for an instant when he suddenly came into our view as we stopped at an intersection yesterday.  I like the way the pic turned out. Can you think of a more symbolic icon of American culture than McDonalds? And notice the American flag. 
 
I am reminded that Jesus walks among us - faithfully . . . oh, so faithfully. To those of us who have accepted Him as our Saviour, He says, "Stay close to me . . . listen to Me . . . trust Me . . . obey Me . . . share Me." And to those who do not yet know Him, He pleads, "Come unto me . . . I will give you rest . . . invite me in . . . repent . . . find life."
 
I can't think of a better time to draw closer to Him, the One who carried our sins all the way to Calvary!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Connected



Aren't you thankful
that pouring rain
and stormy days
don't cause disconnects
and lost signals
between us
and our Heavenly Father?



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Even There . . .




If I arise on the wings of the dawn
If I settle on the far side of the sea
Even there Your hand will guide me
Your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:9-10

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reaching Up


I was struck by the intense emotions portrayed in this unique sculpture in Galveston, TX, along the beautiful Seawall. In 1900 more than 6000 residents of Galveston Island were killed in the great storm that swept across the island. This beautiful piece honors those who lost their lives and those who began work the next day to rebuild Galveston.

I am reminded that we still need to reach up when storms come into our lives.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

 

Love my "new" birdfeeder . . . and the birds do, too!!

Note to my blogger friends: Are any of you having trouble with Blogger? I am very frustrated! I am not able to change the format on some elements of my blog . . . such as fonts and color on my blog title. Any suggestions? I'd like to resume blogging but not until I can make everything work again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

At the Car Wash


It really is true: you can find beauty if you look for it! 
And you can prove it if you keep your camera handy! 
I took these pics inside the car wash a few days ago and love the colors and textures.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Balance


Lord, help me live a balanced life . . . 
seeking first your kingdom . . . 
 keeping the main thing the main thing . . . 
 enjoying the blessings I have . . . 
reaching out to others . . . 
 clinging to your truth.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Love Never Grows Old

(My father-in-law Evon and his sister Ruby) 

He just turned 93; 
She is a century old. 
So much history between them -
So many memories they hold. 

 Though their bodies are ailing 
And their steps have slowed, 
The love so evident between them 
Has not grown weak or cold. 

The bond between brother and sister 
Is not built on shifting sand. 
Love is the strong cord that binds; 
All obstacles it does withstand.  

Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. 
It keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails.
 ~I Cor. 13:4-8~

------------------------------
Added note:
I am once again amazed at how God works!  I published the above post, returned to my blog, looked across to the sidebar and read these words from "Bible Verse for the Day" (and I'm putting them here because they will change tomorrow):
 “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” 
(Isaiah 46:4)  listen to chapter  (Read by Max McLean. Provided by The Listener's Audio Bible.)

HIS LOVE NEVER EVER GROWS OLD!!
 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


No matter how you look at it, 
He is an awesome Creator . . . 
Lover of Beauty . . . 
and His glory shows up everywhere! 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Emily's Joy



Sixteen-year-old granddaughter Emily and her family live near the Gulf Coast and have been pounded with rains and winds. Thankfully, they are safe! Yesterday she posted these words on her Facebook:  

Joy (noun)- Dancing and spinning and giggling like a three-year old in the middle of a hurricane, barefoot and sopping wet, with rain pouring down and floodwater up to the scar in the middle of your shin, while your brother and sister are splashing and running and jumping and laughing around you... and realizing you haven't smiled this widely and this long in days. :) ♥

And as I smiled, I thought:  I think there is a sermon or song or two, an analogy, a lesson in those lines!

I think the song has already been written!  Thanks, Deron, for bringing it to my attention again this week:
   And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm


Em's definition is a wonderful symbolic picture of dancing in the rain . . . in the storms of life.  And we all have them in varying sizes,
intensities and durations.

I'm reminded that:
 a "dancing-in-the-middle-of-a-hurricane" attitude is a choice
you have to risk getting wet
some will shake their heads at your attitude and actions
having a family "celebrate" with you always helps
you may be reminded of previous storms as the water sloshes 
around your "scars"
"scars are a sign of healing"
feelings of joy run deep and don't depend on weather forecasts and surrounding floodwaters
joy splashes onto others

I also know that I must not be critical of those who have not yet been able to "praise You in this storm."  I'm certainly not the poster child for this kind of faith, but I'm leaning and learning!

I'm thankful that "I know the Master of the winds.  I know the Maker of the rain." And by way, Em knows Him, too - in a very real way!
In spite of anything and everything swirling around me,
I know that He is in control.
And that's where my joy comes from!

Thanks, Emily, for a priceless reminder! 



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Climbing


Life's journey is filled with. . . 
Mountains, hills, and valleys, 
On-the-edge roads, winding curves. 

A traveler experiences . . . 
Moments of exhilaration, 
Awe, fear, surprise. 

The trip affords . . . 
Views of where we've been, 
Glimpses of where we are going. 

A Guide is available . . . 
Who IS the Way, 
Who never leaves our sides. 

We can be assured that . . . 
We will reach our destination, 
The Mountaintop will be worth it all! 


(Note:  I took this pic as we drove Bear Tooth Highway, which led us out of Yellowstone and into beautiful South Dakota.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Faithful



An awesome sight . . . an amazing example of "being on time"! 
But I can think of One whose infinite faithfulness cannot be surpassed . . .
One who is always on time . . . 
One who will never fail us! 

I'm glad I know Him and He knows me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm Back!



We followed our son's black Suburban over 4000 miles through 12 states!  It was the best of times!  I took this pic as we were leaving "our home" near Jackson, Wyoming, with our hearts full of gratitude for God's blessings and presence as we enjoyed His incredibly awesome creation.  I'll be sharing more of my photos in the days ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd like to share something I read this morning that spoke to me.  It's too good not to share!

A Different Kind of Fast

by Aletha Hinthorn on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 11:28am ·

The Hebrew word "fast" means to cover the mouth.  In fact, a fast of words is one of the fasts in Isaiah 58. Isaiah 58:9b lists not pointing fingers in judgment and not speaking malicious words as conditions of great blessings.

Sylvia Gunter remembers the first time God led her to fast for 40 days of all negative, complaining, critical, and judgmental words. She wrote in a recent devotional, "About two weeks into my fast, I was treated haughtily at a store. As I left the store, I said to myself, 'I'll just take my business elsewhere. That is the second time she has had an attitude with me.'

"Immediately I heard in my spirit, 'No, you are the one with the attitude.' I wanted to fall to my knees on the sidewalk, crying out, 'I am so sick of me!' I know how Isaiah felt when he told God, 'Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips' (Isa. 6:5). O God, take a coal from the altar and purge this wicked heart of mine. God showed me that He was dealing with a root of pride (Isa. 57:15, 1 Peter 5:5-6). I was puffed up, with no sense of my own spiritual need.

"I struggled for a while in this fast of words in what felt like hand-to-hand warfare, but God softened and sweetened my heart. After that season, I felt like a dog in a yard with an invisible electric fence. Every time I opened my mouth to say anything critical, I would get a zap from my loving Father. I reviewed my prayer notebook and was amazed at how many Scriptural insights God gave me during that time. God was being faithful to reveal more of Himself.

"Ask God if He is leading you to do a forty-day fast of critical, judgmental, negative, complaining, gossiping words.  You may be amazed what God will do through it."

Thank You, Jesus, for helping us guard our thoughts so that our words also please You.

"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Manna Miracles



It's not too often that I see a hummer's tongue . . . and I love it when I get a "miraculous" shot like this one! Well . . . OK, it's not really a miracle; that may be carrying it a little too far!

I wonder, though, how many miracles we miss . . . or take for granted . . . or call a "coincidence." I'm reading a book by Mark Batterson entitled The Circle Maker, which I highly recommend. He writes about the Israelites complaining about one miracle, the manna from heaven, while asking for another - meat. He reminds readers not to be too critical, however, for we do the same thing!  

There are miracles all around us all the time, yet it's so easy to find something to complain about in the midst of those miracles. The simple act of reading involves millions of impulses firing across billions of synapses. While you are reading, your heart goes about its business circulating five quarts of blood through a hundred thousand miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries. And it's amazing you can even concentrate, given the fact that you're on a planet that is traveling 67,000miles per hour through space while spinning around its axis at a speed of 1,000 miles per hour. But we take those manna miracles, the miracles that happen day in, day out, for granted.

I'm glad God is patient with us just as He was with the Israelites, but I don't want to take His patience lightly.  How much richer our lives would be if we could just see - really see - the miracles around us daily. . . and if we could learn to be content with His just-enough-for-today blessings. 

I mentioned the rarity of seeing a hummingbird's sliver of a tongue.  I certainly don't want God to say, "I rarely hear Glenda being thankful for the blessings I lavish on her."  

Lord, give me eyes wide open to your manna miracles . . . and a thankful, content heart.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Praise Him!



From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the LORD'S name is to be praised.
~Psalm 113:3~

So many reasons to Praise His Name.  Among them:
His Power
His Plan
His Promises
His Protection
His Presence
His Peace

I sing praises to Your name, O Lord,
Praises to Your name, O Lord.
For Your name is great and greatly to be praised.
~Lyrics by Terry MacAlmon~


Note:  After posting this, I looked across the page to my Bible Verse of the Day, and here's what I read (I'm adding it here because the verse will change tomorrow):

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

I love it when God coordinates things :)




Monday, July 9, 2012

Barnabas


 Just look at that sweet face!
Meet Barnabas . . . our newest family member . . . a small, furry bundle
of life and energy!  He came to us recently during some difficult days, and his name fits him so well.  He just has a way of getting one's mind off cares and concerns!  I am reminded that our creative God uses the unexpected to bring encouragement into our lives!  These words from an old song come
 to my mind:

My Jesus knows just what I need . . . 
He satisfies and every need supplies.
Yes, He knows just what I need.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hometown



Patriotism is like charity; it begins at home.
 ~J. Henry~