Tuesday, December 20, 2011

J - O - Y!!

Our four grandchildren - Christmas '08
One of my favorite Christmas pics

Christmas is not about what we want.  
It's about what we have.
~from Josie's Gift - a favorite children's book, which I just read again~

Friday, December 9, 2011


Hope really floats this time of year!

Children hope for certain gifts under the tree.  Parents hope all the family can enjoy Christmas together. The lonely just hope for a smile, an encouraging word, a phone call. Some hope for a white Christmas, while others hope they have the means to keep their home and children warm.  Shoppers hope that the recipients of their gifts are pleased, yet those who cannot buy for others hope for a better year next year.  Cooks hope that each dish they prepare turns out just perfect.  The hungry hope for a miracle that will keep them from starving. And the list goes on and on . . . hoping, hoping, hoping.

All of these scenarios are realities, but in this Advent season we are reminded of a much greater reality.  Over 2000 years ago in an humble setting, Hope Himself was born.  Because He came, we can experience hope - no matter our circumstances.   A relationship with Him gives us hope for today . . . for all our tomorrows . . . for eternity.

I hope that each of you hears the  beautiful, life-giving whispers of Hope during this Christmas season.  And may we all share His hope with the hurting world around us.

Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone 

Whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.
~Lyrics - Whispering Hope~

Monday, December 5, 2011

Love Came

Love came down
all the way
to the muck and mire and messiness
right where we were . . .
 and forever changed history.

And He still comes
to where we are
no matter how messy
or how deep we're stuck in the muck and mire . . .
and His coming
forever changes our lives.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Circle That!

A circle
reminds me of
 days when I go round and round
and accomplish little.

A circle
reminds me of
my family
and the love we share.

A circle
reminds me of
lines that are drawn
leaving some on the outside.

A circle
reminds me of
God's love -
never-ending, all-inclusive.

You can circle that in red.
He did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Roses

Praise the Lord; praise the Lord.

Let the earth hear His voice.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord; let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,

 And give Him the glory -


~ Words to hymn written by Fanny Crosby ~
~ Roses - blooming now in my yard ~

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November Reflections

Psalm 103:1-5
Praise the LORD, my soul;    
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, these verses have come to mind several times.  I am so, so grateful for all his benefits: forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, compassion, good things . . . . . but . . . I'm not so sure I get the part about my youth being renewed like an eagle's!

And then He reminds me of so many occasions during the past two weeks when I knew those words to be true!  You see, I have been able to spend time with each of our four grandchildren, and if you're a grandparent, you know exactly what I mean!  There's just something about being with children and teens that brings out the kid in me - and you, too, I'm sure.  Inhibitions are lost -- to a safe and somewhat-sane degree -- and it's so easy to laugh, be silly, sing, play crazy games, dance, dream . . . . . And then my not-so-young body reminds me that I can't keep up with the grands for very long.  But for those priceless moments my youth is renewed like an eagles. . . and memories are made that last a lifetime, even as birthdays just keep rolling by.

And I am thankful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Resting Place

If I forget, yet God remembers.
If these hands of mine cease from their clinging,
yet the hands divine hold me so firmly
I cannot fall.
And if sometimes I am too tired to call for Him to help me,

then He reads the prayer unspoken in my heart
and lifts my care.

~Robert Browning~

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Slow Traffic Ahead!

Narrow roads, blind curves, 
Speed limit 5 mph -
Sounds like our journey through life sometimes.
We need a Guide who has gone before us.
We need Jesus.

Gentle Shepherd, come and lead us,
For we need you to help us find our way.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spectacular Beauty

The older I get, the more I am in awe of God's spectacular creation! Words don't exist to describe the beauty He has created. For a few days, John David and I enjoyed a minute part of His beautiful world, and of course, I took hundreds of pics. I'll share just a few of my favorites today.

The snow pics are in the Smoky Mountains near Clingman's Dome, the highest point in Tennessee.

North Carolina

Northern Georgia
On the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina

Near Cherokee, North Carolina
Cades Cove - Tennessee
Near Cades Cove
Roaring Forks Falls near Gatlinburg
One of my favorite photos . . . in Cades Cove after a rain.  I couldn't get my camera aimed fast enough when we drove upon this scene . . . turkeys and deer crossing the road at the same time!

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord.
Psalm 150:1

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Autumn Flower

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus~

This beautiful "flower" floated in the breeze and landed and stuck on our windshield on a rainy day this past week.  I took the pic from inside the car, but it looks as if the leaf is suspended in the air.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flower Power

First bloom of the season -
Late but worth waiting for.

A gentle reminder of a special brother
Who took the time to root clippings for us.

He's been gone from us six years now,
But today he seems near.

A lone beautiful flower facing my window
Can say so much.

Friday, October 7, 2011

All lined up -
arranged by size -
in a neat, predictable row.

Life is not like that.
Our days that we so carefully plan
are rearranged in the blink of an eye.

Knowing that, it pays to be flexible.
And it pays to remember that in life there is a constant:
Our Heavenly Father is in control and He is not affected by change.


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not; Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness;
Great is Thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
~ lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm~

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Secret Place

There is a secret place
where I'm overtaken by grace . . .

I heard these words for the first time this week as I listened to XM Enlighten radio.  Then I was so blessed as I watched this video by the Browders:

Hope it touches you, too!

Overtaken by grace . . . love those words!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Late Bloomer

Late bloomer -
no less beautiful
no less admired
  no less a rose.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The sun was sinking low in the west
as I walked the trail near the house.
Bursting through the thick growth of trees,
its rays painted their golden hues across my path.
Light transformed the ordinary 4-wheeler trail -
with its dead limbs and leaves amidst the greenery -
into a place of shining beauty.

I'm thinking a greater Light - 
The Light of the World -
whose golden rays of love
burst through the darkness and the deadness
and the ordinary-ness of our lives,
bringing beauty
and lighting our paths.

The Creator of Light Himself
bringing light into my life!
It's an incredible gift!
It's a life-giving gift
that just keeps 

Lord, help me never take your light for granted.
Help me to walk in it and live in it. I realize it's my choice.
I can't think of a better place to be -
close to You,
basking in the warmth of your love.
 But your light is not to be kept to myself,
  so help me to share it in our world 
that seems to be growing darker and darker.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Perspective makes all the difference . . . 

and often needs a reality check.

With eternity's values in view, Lord;
With eternity's values in view -
May I do each day's work for Jesus
With eternity's values in view.
~Lyrics by Al Smith~

(Click on pic to enlarge.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just a drop . . .

Just a drop  . . . 
brings beauty
reflects the sun's light.

Just a drop of love and kindness . . .
brings sunshine
reflects the Son's light.

Just a drop . . . 
a smile
a pat on the back
"Can I help you?"
a note
a call
a prayer
a hand to hold
a shoulder to lean on -
just little things
that mean so much.

Maybe a drop or two
of His blood would have been enough.
But He gave all.
He gave every drop
 for me
for you.

Show me, Lord, where I need to sprinkle your love.  
Open my eyes to the opportunities and needs around me.
Help me to "drip Jesus."

Note:  One pastor I know, Pastor M. Perkins, closes his written messages with those words:  Drip Jesus - thus the quotation marks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Always faithful . . .

(click on pic to enlarge)

Though the lake level is extremely low,
and the heat and drought have broken records day after day,
the sun in all its glory rises and sets
day in and day out.
Always faithful, it never fails.

Above the slowly receding lake,
the sun in all its splendor shines,
adding breath-taking beauty to an otherwise depressing sight.
I can focus on the dead trees rising out of the lake,
or I can enjoy the majesty of the sunset.

No matter how low we may feel
or how scorching the situations that threaten to shrivel our souls,
the Son shines
in all His glory
day in and day out.
Always faithful, He never fails.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
~Lyrics by Helen Lemmel and Ken Bible~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inside Job

I thought it was dead.  
Completely destroyed by the record-breaking heat and drought.
That's what I thought.
That's the way it looked.

But who am I to judge any of God's creations -
   a bush . . . circumstances . . . a person?

He is the master of "inside jobs" -
creating hope and newness,
giving life,
even when we can't see it.
Even when we've given up.

He is not willing that any perish.
That's what I think.
That's what I know.

In His time, in His time;
He makes all things beautiful 
In His time.
~Lyrics by Diane Ball~

Monday, September 12, 2011

Share the Trail

(Click on pic to enlarge.)

Share the trail.
Walk slowly.
Stop along the way.

Enjoy the scenery.
Learn from each other.
Savor the moments.

Trails diverge.
Time moves on.
 Memories last a lifetime.

(Pic - John David and grandson Aiden 9-10-11)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her 
And guide her
Through the night
With the light
From above.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

God's words to Moses in Exodus 3:7-8: 
I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them . . .

He still sees 
and hears 
and is concerned
about His people

He still comes down to rescue.


In 1714, Isaac Watts penned these timeless words:
O, God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blessed Assurance

Unlike the dandelion, which is at the mercy of the wind, the committed Christian finds purpose and stability and security in God's unique plan for his/her life.  God is in the details, and His all-seeing eyes and His infinite wisdom leave nothing to chance.  Winds, both the cooling breezes and the stormy gales are part of life, but even they obey His voice.  He rules the universe, but He's also concerned about the "little" things in my life!  That's blessed assurance!

The following prayer/praise written by Ruth Meyers in her book 31 Days of Praise is one that I return to again and again:
I praise You for Your sovereignty over the details.  With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental, and no experience is wasted.  You hold in Your power my breath of life and all my destiny.  And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others looking on.  Thank you that I can move into the future nondefensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age . . . and through all eternity.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rest . . .

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Mt. 11:28 KJV)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Can't Touch This!

Time can tarnish
chip away

But Time cannot
The Truth.

The truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise ye the the Lord.
Psalm 117:2

"His truth is marching on . . . "

Friday, August 26, 2011

There Is a Fountain

Remember the old hymn "There Is a Fountain"? It was written in the 1700's by William Cowper, who suffered from deep depression and was institutionalized in an asylum. There he found Christ while reading his Bible, and in spite of his emotional and mental turmoil - and maybe because of it - he wrote literature with amazing insight. He is still known as one of England's greatest poets. "There Is a Fountain" is based on Zechariah 13:1: On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David . . . to cleanse them from sin and impurity. (NIV)

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stain.

These words written so many years ago are still true . . . for the fountain never runs dry! And that's amazing good news!

(Info on William Cowper is from the book The Complete Book of Hymns by William J. and Ardythe Peterson, and I snapped the photo of the unique fountain in Basin Park, Eureka Springs, AR.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Room Available

Plenty of room in the family . . .

Room for the young and the old . . .

Plenty of happiness . . .

Plenty of love . . .

Plenty of room in the fold.

There's room at the cross for you;
There's room at the cross for you.
Though millions have come,
There's still room for one.
Yes, there's room at the cross for you.
~Ira Stanphill - Room at the Cross lyrics~
~Gaither - Plenty of Room lyrics~

For whosoever shall do the will of God,
the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
Mark 3:35