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Archive for October, 2008

by Charles R Swindoll

Read 2 Corinthians 12:2–10

I need to underscore a foundational fact: God’s goal is not to make sure you’re happy. No matter how hard it is for you to believe this, it’s time to do so. Life is not about your being comfortable and happy and successful and pain free. It’s about becoming the man or woman God has called you to be. Unfortunately, we will rarely hear that message proclaimed today. All the more reason for me to say it again: Life is not about you! It’s about God.

How can I say that with assurance? Because of Paul’s response: “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (vv. 9–10). That’s it! He got it too. And he went with it for the rest of his days.

When you and I boast of our strengths, we get the credit, and we keep going under our own head of steam. But when we boast in what He is doing in the midst of our brokenness, inability, and inadequacy, Christ comes to the front. His strength comes to our rescue. He is honored.

Don’t miss that point. The very things we dread and run from in our lives are precisely what brought contentment to Paul. Look at the list: I am content when I lose. I am content when I am weak. I am content with insults. I am content when I’m slandered. I am content in distresses. I am content with persecutions. I am content with difficulties and pressures that are so tight I can hardly turn around. Why? “Because when I am weak then I’m strong.”  Knowing that brought the apostle, ablaze with the flaming oracles of heaven, to his knees. What a way to live your life—content in everything—knowing that divine strength comes when human weakness is evident.

That’s what gave the man of grace true grit. It will do the same for us.

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Don’t Look Back….

Today’s ramblings…………………………………………..

Sometimes I look back and what do I see? Mistakes, “the whys”, “if onlys”, wrong choices, consequences, and just down right sins. The moment that this happens usually generates discouragement, a sense of failure, bitterness, guilt, anger and resentment to name just a few! But we live today….we have already lived yesterday and cannot change a thing about that! We haven’t lived tomorrow as yet…so what is the worry there! Today is the day! Hopefully, we have learned from the past mistakes and it seems as though God gives us another day…another fresh day to start over again! That is so exciting to me! But I never used to be this excited to get up to a new day. I think that’s what age does to you. You….through life’s trials…..learn to appreciate the things you most often take for granted. I also think that when you have no hope….that little spark inside you created by our Heavenly Father……you aren’t satisfied with today so you start looking back in your life, searching for that hope you thought you had. If you would have had it, it would have still been with you today! Hope isn’t seen …it isn’t felt or heard…..the hope I am talking about is the hope we have in Jesus Christ….His salvation. Right now if we don’t have this hope, our world is sure looking gloomy. But when we know the Hope that’s in us, we know Who is in control…and Who is ultimately in control of the outcome of this election we are all facing. So it’s useless to look back and lament. Go forward with the knowledge that you aren’t alone in this race! As Paul from Philippians 3:13-14 said, “..but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

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This morning I am in a day-dreamy state………………….and I’ve been transported to the streets of France….as you can see, I love everything french!

In my own work shop……

And in my dreams!!! A french market….a french village….. lavender fields in Provence…..lavender for sale.

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My Fern Collection

Lady Fern – This one I will have to bring indoors before winter.

I don’t know the name of this fern, but it’s been in this pot in my garden all summer. It’s so pretty. I will try to bring it in the house too.

This is called an Arboretum Fern…I think! It’s a perennial.

This is a perennial fern…a Maidenhair and my very favorite!!

I am not sure of the botanical name of this fern, but it’s also a perennial..it looks like a “table fern”.

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No, these two weren’t part of our group, but there were 8 of us….3 cellists, 5 violinists….all adults, some beginners, but most had experience…..and 2 were even teachers. It was just wonderful playing with them!!! Even though I haven’t played long, I tried my best to stay up with everyone. We played some hymns, Christmas music and played a piece by Handel called “Air”.  We meet once a month, but I wished we could get together more! There are plans to play some Christmas music somewhere in Hickory during the Holidays…plus at the end of the school year, we plan to have a concert!!! Wow.

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