Category Archives: personal

Abstaining

1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

How are those called by Christ’s name to witness to those who have yet to know Him?

Two things: abstaining from fleshly lusts and good works.

These instructions are given elsewhere as well.

Romans 13:14 KJV — But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Lord knew we needed more than just the command “don’t do”: put off fleshly lusts; He knew we needed a “do”: put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because without Jesus, we are simply slaves to our flesh and chained to our sin.

Scripture clearly outlines what fleshly lusts leads to, that we might recognize the danger.

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV — Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 2:16 KJV — For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Scripture also gives us many verses as to those things we should be “putting on”, the gifts of the Spirit and the works of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

God’s Word tells us that putting off the flesh and putting on Jesus Christ is a testimony to those who accuse us, to those who have yet to know Him.

It is how we shine brightly in a lost and dark world.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these practical and understandable lessons. Lord, thank You for giving both a warning and an instruction. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, that I might not deceive myself, thinking I’m fine, when the truth is I need You daily. Thank You that Your Word brings me such peace as I daily learn to walk with You. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please continue to use my life and the lives of others who love You as a testament to Your goodness, Your glory, Your holiness, Your truth. Lord, please let the world see the truth, turn to You and be healed. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

A lovely vacation

The past week Handsome (my nickname for my husband) was home on vacation.

We did something we’ve never done.

We stayed home together.

Past vacations have been a kaleidoscope of different activities, whether together or separate.

Twice my husband and I went to the UK and left the kids with Grandma.

Handsome and Jase have had many camping trips which included either hunting or fishing.

Two different years the kids and I flew to the UK.

Once, the three younger, my mom, and myself flew back East to visit her family.

Handsome and Bell went to Africa to attend a wedding a couple years ago.

But rarely do we all take vacation at the same time and never without a schedule.

God had put it on my husband’s heart to not schedule the time outside of previous commitments.

He and Jase headed south Tuesday, as our son had a quick doctor’s appointment and my husband had a dental appointment.

Handsome did inquire into our son’s desire for the vacation and Jase mentioned the coast.

We took Wednesday to drive over for the day.

The majority of our time was simply spent at home.

Yesterday afternoon, Jase and my husband went fishing at a nearby pond Handsome had recently discovered on a walk.

I had to laugh when I received the picture above.

Obviously the fish weren’t biting if the pole was still enough to become a perch.

But it was an excellent example of our week, and if it were a word it would be:

Restful.

Throughout the week, my husband commented on what a great vacation he was having.

I praise God for the gift!

His direction to my husband was perfect, His guidance was better than anything we would have come up with.

Because He knows what is best for us.

I again was struck by the beautiful things which occur when we trust in the Lord and follow His lead.

His work truly is perfect.

Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV — He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your direction and guidance. Lord, thank You that You give us rest, not just physically, but eternal rest from striving against sin and spiritual death. Your salvation brings us rest. You are just and upright. You hold truth and grant us it in Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your perfect ways. Thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness, and love. Lord, thank You for teaching us daily to trust You and not to lean our own understanding. Lord, in all my ways, I want to acknowledge You. Thank You for teaching me how to do that. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Buttons

When I was a girl, my mom sewed.

She’d learned to make her own clothes in highschool and my grandparents bought her a sewing machine for her highschool graduation gift.

I remember wearing pretty frilly dresses my mother had made.

I recall trips to the fabric store.

These were normally pretty dull, because I couldn’t understand why it took so long to look through all the bolts of fabric in the big bins.

Obviously, I had no idea what discount bins were, nor why Mom was having to search through the many different types of fabric to find the ones she wanted.

But I never got tired of looking at the rows of paper-backed buttons.

When it was time for Mom to begin her sewing project, she’d carefully gather all the needed items and if she was going to use buttons on the dress, she’d get out her big jar.

Where Mom got such a large assortment of old buttons and what happened to it later, I have no idea.

I loved the button jar!

Sometimes, she’d let me dump out some and play with them.

It was one of my favorite things to do.

It felt like a treasure hunt and fun category game rolled into one.

I could sort the buttons by size and then color, and save the really unique ones by themselves.

I always felt a little put out when it was time to scoop them all back into the jar, special ones included.

Today, I got to relive the fun of that childhood memory.

A while back I got a small plastic container with a mish-mash of buttons.

I didn’t have time to sort them into my sewing box, so they’ve sat in a drawer waiting.

I’m working on a pair of little girl backpacks for our neighbors and realized I needed some buttons.

As I dumped out the container the memories of childhood popped up.

And I enjoyed this mini sorting game, looking for the “treasure” buttons that will go on the bags.

Praise and thanksgiving followed.

“Lord, thank You for providing these buttons for this project and many others.”

“Jesus, thank You for my mom, who put in so much extra time making clothes for my sister and I.”

“Lord, thank You for the ability to make things, and the supplies I need to do it.”

“Thank You, for the memory, something I’d forgotten about my childhood that You have given me back all through a few buttons.”

James 1:17 KJV — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for today. Thank You for this mini reminder of my past and how You were with me then just as You are with me now. I love that You are timeless. Thank You for using such a tiny unimportant thing to bring me joy. Thank You for Your gifts, they are amazing. May my life bring glory to Your name. I love You. Amen.

A tender memory

Maybe it’s just the season of life I’m in.

Possibly, it’s because I’ve been feeling poorly.

Whatever the reason, I was struck by a memory today that brought tears to my eyes.

I had driven Hubby to work, because I needed to get my allergy shots.

I’m still cleaning out closets and going through things, but I already had three bags full and decided to drop them off after my appointment.

As I lifted one, I’d done weeks before and been forgotten in the closet, my eye caught the fabric through the stretched plastic bag.

I put the bag back down and just stared.

It was like I’d stepped back into the past and saw in my memory the little boy that was so excited about me buying it.

He had a special stuffed frog, and he liked the fact that this fabric had frogs too.

His frog was named Sean-the-Frog.

I have no idea why, I just clearly remember him saying, “His name is Sean-the-Frog.”

I think he had his own way of naming things.

This frog had been a last minute purchase at an airport gift shop, because we were flying to the UK and I realized he needed a pillow.

After we came back from our trip the pillow lived on his bed.

Which prompted my purchase of the fabric.

I’d planned on making him a blanket.

Unfortunately, I never did.

But I’ve hung on to the fabric.

When cleaning out a chest weeks ago, I figured I’d just give it away, that little boy is now 16 and no longer has bright green bedding nor does Sean-the-Frog live in his room.

He’s been moved to “the cave”, a small closet under the stairs we keep all kinds of toys in for visiting children.

But I went to town and donated our stuff after getting my shots and the fabric stayed behind.

Because I want to fulfill my promise to our son and make it a blanket.

Who knows, maybe he will want it again in the future.

If not, I’ll have it ready to bless whoever God puts on my heart.

I’m certain, the Lord has a plan for this frog fabric.

Until then, I can enjoy the memory of our little boy which it ignites.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV — To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for today. Thank You for the memory of our son and the ability to look backwards at all the things You have done in his life. Lord, I am touched by how You work through even the smallest things and I thank you for them. Lord, You know all our seasons. You hold every detail in your hands. Your ways are perfect and Your Word is life. Thank You. May our lives bring You glory and our hearts find joy in humble service to You and those You place in our lives. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

God’s blessings

While sitting at my desk this morning in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the change.

As renters, the back garden was a mowed yard with trees, their full branches of apples nearly touching the ground, and everywhere else was weeds.

Not a single flower or decorative plant was in the beds.

I remember feeling rather down about it.

We moved in the middle of September and my health was not going to allow me to do any yard work.

But I praised God for a yard and the lawn being mowed and the over grown apple trees.

(Anne baked us some pies!)

The following spring, one history will remember, was an interesting combination.

Despite the circumstances, the weeds were cleared away and we planted some seeds.

We were blessed to add some veggies.

It was a time of adjustment and the yard was definitely an “in progress” project.

Today, it’s much more of a garden.

There’s still things that need to be done and weeds are always trying to take back what they lost, but as I prayed I realized just how much God has blessed us with in the yard.

It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what, God is still working.

His blessings are around us every day and all I have to do is take the time to notice.

Because I want to live with a grateful heart, I never want to miss a blessing before me.

I want to sing praises to my God and share of His generous works each day.

Because in the little bits of life’s blessings we can find the truths of God’s love, faithfulness, goodness, and grace which will carry us through the big things.

Romans 1:20 KJV — “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;…”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for creation which points us to You, the Creator. Lord, please continue to help me live a life of thankfulness to You each day. Please continue to hone and mold my heart into Your likeness, that others might see You and come to know You. Lord, I am weak and unable, but it is in my weakness You are strong. Please help me not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in You and Your Word for every part of my life. Thank You for Your incredible blessings. Thank You for Your goodness and truth! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

I thought I’d share pictures from the garden with you this morning as an added testimony of God’s blessings.

May you too see the blessings that surround you, dear reader. ❤️

John 3:16

John 3:16 NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I was a little girl when I memorized this verse.

I had already accepted Jesus as my Savior and was excited to learn about Him.

I remember wanting to have something to quote to others.

I went to public school and found this verse my favorite answer to the question, “Why should I believe in God?”.

But it wasn’t until I was an adult, that I realized these words, so beautifully and succinctly capturing the truth of salvation, were spoken by Jesus.

How precious it is to me today to think Jesus Himself gave me these words to share about Him!

The only thing I would change about all of this is: adding John 3:17.

Together they really give a clearer picture of what Jesus wants us to know.

John 3:16-17NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

What life-changing truth!

What a clear picture of God’s love!

How blessed we are to have these words spoken by the Savior of the world.

If you have yet to memorize these words, I’d encourage you to do so, for the truth of eternity here is too good to simply read, it’s worth making it a memory.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Your truth astounds me and the preciousness of Your sacrifice has only grown in my heart over the years. You have brought me through so much and I praise Your holy name for it all. Great is Your faithfulness and greatly are You to be praised. Please continue to breath life into my heart and mind through Your scripture and Your Holy Spirit that my life might reflect You more and more each day. Thank You for Your love and salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Thank you

Thank you, WordPress, for the opportunity to blog. These past eight years have been incredible.

Thank you, Reader, for your time, encouragement, and support. God has used you to encourage me to keep going, continue writing, and to joyfully look for opportunity in each day.

Thank you, Handsome, for your love, your words, your diligence both in our marriage and in life. You have given me so much, I pray I can give back. I love you deeply, darling.

Thank you, Children, who are no longer small, but always precious, for allowing me to share with the world about you and your lives. You inspire me.

Thank You, Jesus, how great You are! What a joy it is to know You. What a privilege it is to walk with You daily. You are the reason I am able to do anything. These past eight years all belong to You. If there has been anything useful, anything good, anything encouraging, I know it is because of You.

Lord, may You be glorified through this.

May my life always be surrendered completely to You.

Thank You, Jesus, for eight years of blogging.

Psalm 63:4 NKJV — Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

The past two days

I’ve been in bed.

My health dictated a complete rest.

When I got up this morning and went out to water the garden, I was surprised.

It’s only been two days, but the garden has grown in that time.

I went back in the house to retrieve a bowl.

I was so thankful to pick green beans, peas, zucchini, kale, and lettuce.

This little plot is a far cry from our garden in the country, but I’m so thankful for it.

Whether it’s little or much our family is blessed to enjoy fresh vegetables.

And I’m so grateful for our son, who faithfully cares for the garden when I’m unable to.

He also took very good care of me.

He’s learning how to cook and made pizza from scratch yesterday, crust and all, without me.

It’s beautiful to see how God has used these two days to grow both the garden and our family.

What joy comes from resting in the Lord and His provision no matter what is occurring.

It brings to mind:

Psalm 41:1-3NKJV — To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

Psalm 55:22 NKJV — Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

The Lord is good and He is worthy of our love, our trust, and our praise.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for providing for us. Thank You for the garden and the joy we glean from it. Thank You for our son, who cared for it and me these past days. Lord, thank You for sustaining me, no matter the circumstance. Lord, You are so faithful. My heart can safely trust in You for Your ways are perfect and Your truth is life. Thank You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Building material

1 Corinthians 3:11-12 NKJV — For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,…

For the follower of Christ Jesus, our foundation is laid in His salvation.

The beginning of each life in Christ is this beautiful gift of mercy and grace.

From there the follower has a choice.

How will they live each day?

What building materials shall they choose for themselves, because their lives are the structure which stands upon the foundation of Christ.

What kind of monument will be built?

Is it costly, chiseled stone, set painstakingly one upon another?

Or is it quick and cheap, a mere temporary thing, awaiting a future date when those items will be replaced with more lasting materials?

Possibly it’s something in-between…

1 Corinthians 3:13 NKJV — each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

No one knows their day, when their life here will give way to eternity with Jesus, but when it comes, the structural value of their time on this Earth will be obvious.

1 Corinthians 3:14 NKJV — If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

1 Corinthians 3:15 NKJV — If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

It’s not about salvation, for that foundation is secure.

Instead it’s about a testament, a witness, a life which points others to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:16 NKJV — Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

It’s about God’s chosen message of salvation being lived out daily.

It’s about lives built upon the Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

It’s about living for someone far more valuable than ourselves: Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for giving us all we need to build monuments to You each day. Lord, please continue to help me learn through Your Word how to live daily for You. Lord, please continue to show me when I make a mistake, when I sin, that I might repent and return. Lord, I do not want to be careless or hurried about the life I live and build for You. Please help me to be purposeful and wise, building with valuable materials such as love, grace, peace, hope, and faith. Lord, I want my life to bring You glory and to be a testament to Your goodness. Please let others be encouraged, edified, and touched with Your Gospel each day. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

From yesterday…

I was struck by the combination.

Her profile especially reminded me of her mom.

Her lighthearted jokes reminded me of her dad.

And her words reminded me of my childhood.

Because we were little girls together.

This beautiful woman and her charming family sitting in our living room were visiting us and time seemed confused.

Within the combination of all the old things, new relationships and new connections were springing.

The clock moved too quickly and our visit came to and end.

We prayed together.

The joy and love remained, a gift of true friendship and encouragement.

I look forward to keeping in touch.

Only God can bring the kind of love that spans time and many miles.

Only in Christ’s body of believers do we find enduring and uplifting fellowship, such that your faith is strengthen and your desire to “run the race” is fueled.

My heart is so thankful to God for so many wonderful people.

And this week, I’m extra blessed by His gift of reconnecting me and my family with her and hers.

Proverbs 17:17 KJV — A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, it is through You that any of us are faithful. It is through Your love, that we love others. Thank You! How incredibly blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life. Thank You for each and every one. Thank You for my childhood friend and her family. Thank You that You have renewed our relationship and blessed us with a visit. Lord, thank You for my husband, our children and grandchildren. Lord, thank You for my friends and family, our neighbors and those who You bring across our path for just a season. Lord, thank You for all the people You use in our lives. Please continue to reach them daily. Please continue to help me love them all as You do. Lord, I want to live in such a way that they know how precious they are. Thank You, for Your faithfulness and love. I love You, Jesus. Amen.