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Good noise

Golden Hour 005

Sometimes I need to stop!……just stop the noise in my life! It’s almost a craving. My body, my whole being is crying out for it. Have you felt that way? But……there is one “noise” that isn’t really the noise I am talking about. It’s called music. But not just any music. It’s the music of God’s word which is a balm to my soul. His music cries out to my soul.

“Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10

Where can I be still? In a world of confusion, suffering and sin, it is almost impossible to be still unless you make a secret space for your heart to connect with God on a regular basis.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” ~Matthew 6:6

What will come out of this time spent with God? I find myself being completely renewed. My heart is brimming with His grace and I now know what it means when I read from His word, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” ~James 4:8

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?…… ” Matthew 5:43-48

We’ve heard these two words, “unconditional love” so often in the pulpit, read it in books, talked about it, pondered it but we as Christians still really don’t understand the full meaning from God’s point of view.

What is it anyway? How do I love unconditionally? We’ve heard the story of the prodigal son and how the father took him back after he went crazy with a rebellious life and was accepted unconditionally by his father. That certainly sounds like unconditional love to me. Unconditional means “not limited by conditions; absolute”. Another way to look at it, “If you start acting nice to me, I will love you and only then will I love you.” No, that is NOT unconditional….there are things I have to DO or SAY to get your love. I think that the father in the prodigal son loved his son even when the son was away living it up. I think he may have been going down to the road every morning, looking for his son to come back…and one day when the father finally saw him trudging up the road toward him, maybe even almost crawling, I think, he went absolutely wild with love for his son and he showed it too!! But his other son sure didn’t. He didn’t understand that unconditional love. To him, he had done everything right and felt his father should give HIM a party, not his brother!

We are so like that. We think we have to earn God’s love and we sure act that way….filling our days with “good works” being motivated by the fact we believe that God will certainly bless us and definitely have a place for us in heaven. What should be our motivation? God’s grace +His mercy = loving us  “while we were yet sinners”, that should be our motivation to live the life that glorifies Him.

Once we grasp the grace and mercy God has freely bestowed on us, only then can we give out love when it isn’t deserved. I will tell you it isn’t easy, and if you try to do it on your own, you won’t be able to ….but love as Christ loves us…..

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”

Our Job is to Obey

by Charles R Swindoll

Let all who take refuge in You be glad,
let them ever sing for joy.
Psalm 5:11

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As you walk the path of trust, you will experience situations that simply defy explanation. When you look back, after the fact, you could never have figured out a better plan. At the time it seemed strange, mysterious . . . even illogical. 

Let me assure you, that’s God working. Things will happen that seem to be totally contradictory, but these are God’s arrangements. 

It was a wonderful day when I finally realized I don’t have to explain or defend the will of God. My job is simply to obey it.

It is a waste of time trying to unscrew the inscrutable workings of God. You’ll never be able to do it. That’s simply the way God works.

He honors faith and obedience. He will honor your faith if you will trust Him in a walk of obedience.

And when you trust Him completely, you will enjoy inner quietness and security. You will have a secure confidence that you are walking in His will.

You will be surrounded by His peace.

Welcoming 2013 with Joy

It has been 8 months since I have posted anything to my blog. And 8 months ago we had a joyful happening in our family and that was the birth of our 10th grandchild….our precious granddaughter, Keira!  What a joy she has been! I hadn’t remembered how much a baby can add to a person’s life …but then I’m thinking  it is our 10 grandchildren that add that joy….but as I think more about it, it definitely is family, my three daughters and their families,  that adds joy!! We don’t have the joy having all of our children and grandchildren around us, but when we do see them, our joy is ignited again! Family cannot be replaced with anything or anyone else. There is nothing like having family loving you just the way you are. And my children and grandchildren fit the bill for handing out unconditional love. God has certainly blessed us in 2o12 and will again in 2013 as we look forward to another year to share His love and demonstrate our trust in Him. After all, none of us know what this year holds for us, but we can know that God has us in His Hands….and that…… I am so thankful for!

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Keira and her big brother, Ezra

Keira was born April 10th at 11am in the morning, weighed 7lb and 7oz and as you can see has lots of dark hair and is just adorable! Everyone is doing fine and we are all just thrilled! We thank God for His grace and mercy! Ezra is a happy big brother!!

A Prayer ~ Anonymous

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older, and will some day be old.

Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details – give me wings to get to the point.

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience.

But seal my lips on my own aches and pains – they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by!

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonally sweet: I do not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil!

Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all – but Thous knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end!

I used to be a huge collector of stuff….ducks, bowls, doilys, baskets (still do some)….but since getting older, if I do collect,  it isn’t all over the house…but in little areas…click the picture to see better.

This shadow box is actually a printers drawer...there were such tiny spaces to fill and whenever I found a little something I would buy it. They are mostly filled with people and there is barely any empty spaces, but I really enjoy looking at my collection.

This is not a printers drawer but just a regular shadow box. Many of these little things I have had a long time.....it's hanging in my bedroom.

Now some would say this isn't a collection, but I disagree...it's a collection of sedums and succulents that I just love. I just planted these so we'll see how they do.

These are an egg basket collection. The one in the lower right row is one that I made years ago.

My Fiesta Ware collection that we use every day. I am basically finished collecting but if they come out with a new color, like lavender, that would be awesome!

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