Blessings in Our Lives

Blessings in Our Lives

Grandma's Special Herbs

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us“— 2 Corinthians 4:7

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of legacy. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of remembering family and the blessings we have. Taking time to remember those blessings can be the challenge. We are so busy with every day life of errands and work and school that we may miss the everyday blessings that God has provided for us. Little things done today, impact the events of tomorrow and ultimately the next generation. But what are we passing on? Are we so overwhelmed with the cares and struggles in our lives that we are missing the blessings? Are the things we are passing on things that last for a moment, a season, or eternity? Are they truly treasures? Are we taking time to unearth the blessings in our lives?

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”                                —-2 Corinthians 4:8-9channeled-whelk

Sometimes we need to hold on to our treasure as the waves crash around us.

It is only then we realize what we are holding onto, what is deep and buried just under the sand, what comes not from ourselves but from Jesus and our relationship with Him,—- is the true treasure.

Are we passing on–how to have peace amidst the stormlove when faced with adversity…. perseverance to stay the coursejoy that comes from God that gives us strength to see joy amidst the everyday struggles and routinesgrace for the moment

To take the time to count our blessings may mean digging away the sand that is keeping it hidden and allowing the waves to wash away the rough edges to make it smooth. We may not recognize the treasure for what it is. We may only see the tip or the edge. It may appear broken and insignificant, but God sees the treasure and the blessings that is beneath. If we allow Him, Jesus has the power to slowly move away the sand and wash away the dirt and reveal the hidden treasure that was there all the time. True treasures transcend our lifetime.  True treasures lay a foundation for our children to stand on and build upon. True treasures and blessings come not from us but from what Jesus has done for us and within us. The power is from Jesus and not from us.

 

 

 

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Time Out

Time Out

fantasy-football

Ever watch football? At my house we have put together a fantasy football team,  connecting my family which is stretched from coast to coast. It has sparked a whole new interest in football for me. With a house full of boys, it was bound to happen. If you have watched football, you will notice that there are times when the coaches or the players call for a time out. It is a time when the commercials are played. But mostly it is time for the players and the coaches to say we need to refocus, renew and rejuvenate. They get out of the game and mingle on the sidelines. The players then come back into the game and you can see it in their faces. They have a plan, they are focused, they are strengthened.

What would happen if they stayed on the sidelines?

In life there are times when we need to be like the players and call a time out. For me it usually involves coffee. I like to sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and drink in Jesus’ word as I read from the Bible. Sometimes, my time outs last a few days, sometimes a few months as I withdraw to the sidelines to confer with my coach. OK, God, why am I here? We are stuck in the middle of the field and the offense is strong. I am barely able to hold the the line. Tried throwing and it got intercepted. Tried passing it off and it got fumbled. What is the plan?

That is when I hear a voice telling me:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might, He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait on the Lord, will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”—– Isaiah 40:38-31

Jesus is saying, ” It is time to get back into the game.” This time with My understanding, with My strength, with My might, My power. Jesus will give you new strength, you will run and not get tired, and will walk and not become weary, but you have to get off the sidelines, the buzzer has sounded, get back into the game!!

time-out

Game Talk:

What is God telling you? What is your game plan?

Be Strong in the Lord

Be Strong in the Lord

 

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Be Strong in the Lord

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Ephesians 6:10

Have you ever played paintball? With teenage boys, it is inevitable. My son had a paintball birthday party. The place advertised, “Mom’s Play Free”, which translates “Mom’s put a target on your chest, You are Going Down!”  Moms watch out, the kids will form ‘unholy alliances’ against the mom. Why? Because  boys know what you might not know. Paintball is as much about the relationships, or alliances, as about the battle.

What kind of alliances do you have?

Relationships and spiritual battles are connected.  Have you ever noticed that the scriptures in Ephesians 6 which talk about the Armor of God and waging battle follow instructions regarding relationships? (Ephesians 6:1-9) . Relationships cause friction but our battle is not with the person.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10

“Strong” in Ephesians 6:10 is used three times:

  • Strong-v. “endynamoo” which means to be enabled, to receive strength It means that our strength is not from us, but from the God who made the heavens and the earth. The God who made us, who knows us better than anyone will empower, strengthen, enable us for the battle. He is the Commander in Chief of the battle and not us. Praise God!
  • Strength– n. “kratos” which means ‘mighty deed’, and ‘a work of power’. The word comes from vigor. Not only is God giving us the strength and invigorating us for the battle, but His deeds are powerful to accomplish all that He wants us to.
  • Might-n. “ischys” which means ‘ability’, ‘force’, ‘strength’. We may not have the ability, but God does.

The word ‘in’ can also be translated ‘with’. It is a preposition. Remember your grammar, a preposition links two things together.  We are to be linked or interwoven with God’s power, strength, mighty deeds, ability, force to have the healthy relationships that God intended. When we are in an alliance with God then we can  withstand and overcome the battles.

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

Was there a time when God gave you the ability to see the true battle in a relationship? With God’s wisdom, and power, how was the situation turned around?

Princess…Inside and Out…Spiritual Mamas

Princess…Inside and Out…Spiritual Mamas

Princess…..Inside and Out…..Honey, Patricia, Janet, Carol

In God we Trust….four words that bring so much controversy. It is not the world we grew up in and I am sure our parents thought the same way. Songs, videos, books that praise God’s name are viewed as offensive, but when we are in a time of need, we drop to our knees…. from which comes our strength, our hope, our joy. I know we refer to the faith of our ‘founding fathers’ as the basis for this, but it goes deeper than that. It is the very core of our being. It is the empty hole we cannot fill with anything else. Since the beginning of time man has tried to fill that void with all sorts of things from money, daring excitement and adrenaline rushes (natural or man made), sexual pleasure, or just wanting to be in the best house in the best neighborhood with the best job and the best family (the idea of a ‘perfect’ life). All these are fleeting and bring joy for a season.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

As a teenager, I learned that negative emotions can be habit forming and that joy has nothing to do with happy times or happy circumstances. Joy comes from knowing God and knowing that He is there with us always. Jesus will supply all we need physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially. As a teenager, my parents divorced and my mom and my sister and I moved to a new town. I struggled with my identity of who I was and with acceptance as most young girls do. During this time, God brought four ladies, friends of my mom, into my life, Honey, Patricia, Janet and Carol. They filled in the ‘mama’ gaps when my mom could not. What I saw in them was the power of prayer and faith in God and Jesus’ ability to fill that ‘gap’ in my life and bring true joy. Their families and children were not perfect, but their love for Jesus was. I saw a faith and determination to trust Jesus through the hard times and rejoice with Him in the good times. Their relationship with Jesus was and still is a steady anchor in their lives. I wanted that for me; a faith that expressed itself in the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus Christ. A joy that permeated to the core of my being.

Honey had ( and still does) a joy that lights up regardless. I treasure her statement, ” It is not an obstacle but an opportunity for God to overcome.”

Patricia showed me how still waters can run deep. She has integrity and showed me how to stand on principles of God and not to compromise. God has His best for you, don’t settle for anything less.

Janet, a prayer warrior (then and now), showed me where my source of strength needed to come from— the word of God, my relationship with Jesus  and prayer. Through Janet, I learned that in order to be as Psalm 1 states” tree planted by the waters that produces fruit in due season”, then I needed to take time and be open and honest with God. I needed to allow the healing blood of Jesus to forgive.Our own abilities and intellect can only go so far and will only produce temporary fixes in our lives, but Jesus’ fixes are deep and permanent.

Carol showed me that Jesus is the source of wisdom and discernment, not my own mental understanding. I watched her stop many times and pray before making a decision and it didn’t matter the size of the decision. I could tell by the look on her face that she wasn’t just pondering the situation, but was saying,”Ok God, what do you want me to do?” Wisdom, understanding and discernment come from a spiritual ear and heart tuned to hear God’s voice. In order to hear God’s voice I needed to know Him and in order to know Him  I needed to read His word.

Through these ‘spiritual mamas’ I learned to not dwell on my own short comings, failures, inadequacies and struggles, but instead to develop a love for God and to trust Him.” All things are possible to him who believes, ‘ Mark 9:23.Thank you Jesus for the praying ‘spiritual mamas’ in my life.

summer deals!

photo from www.freepik.com
photo from http://www.freepik.com

Gazebo Gallery:

Look around for the ‘spiritual mamas’ in your life. What characteristics did they impart to you?