Friday, August 29, 2008

~Then Sings My Soul Saturday~ Glory~

I've heard this song a few times this week. "One Day" there will be no more suffering!

Have a blessed weekend!

For more "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" posts visit Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

Thursday, August 28, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~Special Butterfly Story

Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve
p8040050 Today, I've included a the "Special Butterfly Story" which I had heard in the past and was recently reminded of it when Jan asked me to see if I could see about getting a Prayer Quilt a young friend at her church who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. Ryann has adopted The Butterfly Story as she travels this cancer journey. We all have struggles, they range from one end of the spectrum to the other. I want to embrace my struggles and be thankful that I have God to guide me through, so that I may fly!

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it had and it could go no further.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly.
(author unknown)

I think I'm finally making progress with my job, but more on that at a later time.

Thankful Thursday is hosted by Iris at
Sting My Heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Memos from God-Solitude

To find more Word-filled Wednesdays, visit 160AcreWoods


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

~Outward Appearances~

The following is a copy of James McDonald's devotion for this week:

"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself . . . It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God" (1 Corinthians 4: 3–5).

I grew up in a good church with good people. But one issue I noticed even as a young person was a constant struggle with an outward focus. Folks were obsessive about appearances. The external was put under the microscope. The outward appearances were scrutinized. You couldn't walk in the church foyer without everyone inspecting everyone else. It took me a long time to shake that in ministry.

I've felt the pressure of looking the part. In 1987, I went on the game show The $25,000 Pyramid (you can watch a clip of it at You remember how the game goes; I partnered with a celebrity in getting through a list of words. In this specific case, I had to get the celebrity to say the word revolution.

Now, if I had been brought up in the States, I would have given the clue, "In 1776 we fought a war called the American ____________." But under pressure, all I could think to give as a clue was the Beatles' song, "Revolution" (You say you want a rev-o-lution . . .). My game partner didn't get my clue, and so we moved on. At the end of that round, Dick Clark looked at me, a young pastor, and said, "You must be a real Beatles fan, huh?"

First came the authentic response--I pumped my fist in the air, implying "Yes!" But then I remembered all the people in my church who would watch the show, and I quickly changed my expression and shook my head, "Nah."

To me this is such a portrait of a person struggling to be authentic but then giving in to the immense pressure to perform for people's expectations. What an awful way to live your life. If it's wrong, it's wrong. If it's not wrong, it's not wrong. It's one or the other. But it's crucial for you and me to recognize we feel the constant pressure to measure up to people's scrutiny based on the little list of things they've labeled appropriate. When that shows up in the body of Christ, it is death to authenticity. The pressure to conform and to look the part kills sincerity, and so much of it comes from the trap of trying to please other people.

I preached a message this last weekend at our church called, "Freedom from People Pleasing," that met with huge response--a clear indication that a lot of us have lived our lives on the exhaustive treadmill of trying to please others. We need an exit ramp off this endless highway. The message is based on 1 Corinthians 4, in which Paul said, "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself . . . It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God" (vv. 3–5). Notice that Paul said, "I do not even judge myself": I can't even trust myself to assess my own sincerity, let alone you who don't know what I'm thinking or feeling.

I cannot please everyone. You can't either. The attempt on our part to keep trying leads first to a crease, then a crevice, then a canyon of distance between who we are and who we try to appear to be. Let's be done right now with people-pleasing. I dream a better dream for us than allowing petty people, majoring on silly things about which the Bible does not even explicitly speak, to control our hearts and lives. Let's not allow even our brothers and sisters in Christ who have such strong opinions to pressure us into external conformity that doesn't reflect our hearts and doesn't please or satisfy God. No doubt about it, hypocrisy has to go. It's destructive to us and despised by God.

So, what are your thoughts on this?


Friday, August 22, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~

Memo from God-Live One Day At A Time...
I'm thankful to Live One Day at a Time and Make it a Masterpiece!

Thankful Thursday is hosted by Iris at Sting My Heart.


~WFW~ Overcome That Problem You Face~

I JOHN 5:4 NIV ~ "for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the
victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."

Yes, we do face difficulties in life, but they only give us an
opportunity to trust the Lord and overcome. Without problems we
would have nothing to overcome, and thus not be able to receive
all the blessings promised to those who do overcome.

There are seven promises given to overcomers in the second and
third chapters of Revelation. Here is the last one:

REVELATION 3:21 NIV ~ "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me
on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on
his throne."

As you face the problems of life, keep your eyes on your
destination, just as Jesus did. Walk close to God and depend on
Him. He will not fail you.

I JOHN 4:4 NIV ~ "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them,
because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in
the world."

Our problems can range from very small to very large. God will not fail us in any circumstance.

I've felt dumber than dirt the last 2+ weeks, with this new job. It has pushed me WAY OUT of my comfort zone, probably in every area. It is just plain hard to be out your comfort zone with no end in sight. I've made a couple of requests and both of these requests have been fulfilled very willingly. It seems this company genuinely wants their employees to succeed and to be happy. I'm hopeful I will be on more familiar ground in the days to come.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

~The Love Of Christ Is Beyond Comprehension~

EPHESIANS 3:18-19 NLT ~ And may you have the power to understand, as all God's
people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his
love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great
you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled
with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

How can words describe, or humans fully understand, something
that is as deep as God Himself? God's love is greater than
words have the ability to communicate. It is impossible to put
into language.

How can we explain the unexplainable? How can we know
something that is beyond the ability of human knowledge to
comprehend? We would have to be God Himself to fully
understand why He loves us the way He does. Don't expect to
ever understand it. But we can accept it. We can believe it.
We can experience it and enjoy it.

God's love for us was demonstrated in redemption. God took
our place and suffered what we deserved, so we could be
forgiven and go free. God proved that He loved us more than He
loves Himself. He did not spare Himself to help us.

God's love for us is also evident in creation. Not just in
abundant provision, but also in all the beauty He created for
our enjoyment. What a wonderful display of the loving and
giving nature of God. Not only did He make everything we need,
but He made it in abundance -- and with great variety.

Every good thing in life was created by God for you and me because of
His great love for us.

You won't find anyone that comes even close to loving you the

way that Christ does. It is hard to grasp when you really think about it.
But, isn't it awesome that someone loves us that much. He isn't like anyone else.


Friday, August 15, 2008

~Then Sings My Soul Saturday~

Have a blessed weekend!

For more "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" posts visit Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~

Ephesians 2:10 NCV ~ God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.

*Though we live in a less than perfect world, there is still so much to be thankful for!

*I'm thankful for PEACE, COMFORT AND HOPE!
*I'm thankful for blessings;
*I'm thankful for the results Jan got Monday! How awesome is our God?
*I'm thankful for all friends;
*I'm thankful for chocolate;
*I'm thankful for computers;
*I'm thankful for the rain we've gotten, along with cooler weather; and
*I'm thankful for the seasons and that fall will soon be here.
Thankful Thursday is hosted by Iris at Sting My Heart.


~WFW~Focus On God~

2 CORINTHIANS 4:18 NIV ~ "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Many people are convinced they are too bad for God to help, or they have problems that are too big for God to handle. They seem to have more faith in their inability than they do in God's ability. They seem to have more faith in the problem than they do in God. This happens when we focus on the problem, instead of looking to God who is the solution. As long as we focus on the problem and let it consume our attention, we will have faith in it to defeat us.

1 JOHN 4:4 NIV ~ ". . . the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."

We have a choice in what we focus our attention on.

The Old Testament contains an account illustrating how we must look to Jesus and His finished work on the cross, instead of looking at our problems.

NUMBERS 21:4-9 NLT ~ "Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" they
complained. "There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!" So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the
LORD will take away the snakes." So Moses prayed for the people. Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!" So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!"

When deadly snakes are everywhere, biting people on every side, it would be extremely difficult to look up and focus your attention on a pole instead of looking down at the ground where the snakes were. But that is exactly what God instructed the people of Israel to do, and all who did were healed and lived.

Some might wonder why a snake was put on the pole, which was a type of Jesus being hung on the cross. It was because Jesus took our sins on Himself when He hung on the cross. The Bible says that He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us. And on the cross, that old serpent the devil, was defeated and de-fanged!

So, no matter how urgent the problem biting at your heels may seem, God's answer for you is to look up and focus on God's provision. Have faith in God!

God is bigger than any problem you face and can deliver you from any situation, no matter how bad it is.

JOHN 10:29 NIV ~ My Father . . . is greater than all . . .

Instead of thinking of how bad you are, focus on how good God is. His goodness is more than enough to overcome your badness. Instead of looking at what you lack, look at all God has. And remember He is your Father and loves you.

The devil tries to get us to focus on ourselves and our shortcomings, instead of focusing on Jesus and His ability to carry us through to victory.

Whenever the focus is pointing to us, instead of to God, you can be assured the devil has some involvement in those thoughts.

As long as you are focusing on yourself, you are not focusing on God. You have to make the choice.

Where is your focus? I will focus my attention on God instead of on myself and my problems.

To find more Word-filled Wednesdays, visit 160AcreWoods


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

~Understanding God's Word~

Have you ever totally misunderstood God's Word?

When He said, "Love one another,"
did you think He meant for you to tolerate sin?

When He said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged,"
did you think He meant for you not to take a stand against unrighteous behavior?

When He said, "In all things God works for the good,"
did you think He meant every story would have a happy ending?

When He said, "I will surely bless you,"
did you think He meant that He would make you healthy, wealthy, happy, and problem free?

Isn't it amazing how we can misinterpret what He says? Taken from "Why" by Anne Graham Lotz.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

We all have the opportunity to 'One day' have a happy ending to our life. We will be PROBLEM FREE. But, for now, we may not always have a happy ending, we may have health problems, we may not be wealthy or always happy, and we are sure to encounter problems. In the end, it will all be worth it, if we choose Christ!

On a lighter note, we are thrilled with Jan's latest test results. Our hearts are lighter. I would ask you to continue to pray for Jan and our cousin, along with our family. We know God will provide for all our needs. He will help us in each and every circumstance. It is our hearts desire, that they both are healed on this earth of cancer.

I got a call late last night about Joyce. They are running an MRI today because they do not think the chemo is working, and in fact it may be spreading. This is very hard for the family to hear. We've been there and it is extremely difficult. Please pray for Joyce and her family. Pray that if this is not the treatment she needs to be on, they will find the correct treatment or dose of treatment. But, pray for her salvation. This has been a difficult journey for her so far, not only physically, but mentally.

Thanks for all your prayers.


Monday, August 11, 2008

~Jan's August Testing Results~

We just recently heard from Jan regarding her testing to see how the new treatment is working. Of the 2 areas of concern, the one area which Dr. Gilbert was "concerned about" when she started this treatment shows that there is no blood flow to the tumor, and the other area just shows scar tissue.

Jan's oncologist is very pleased with these results. The chemo is doing what it should be doing. They will return in September for their nexted scheduled testing.

Jan talked with her oncologist about returning to work on a part-time basis and he has given her the okay. Jan and I talked Friday and she doesn't have the headaches anymore, so this is very good as well. And, also, they are going to start tapering her off the steroids.

Thank you for joining us in praying for Jan. We are thrilled to have good results, along with the fact that she feels good and that she can start back to work which she has wanted to do for some time, as she has been quite bored.

Please continue to pray that this treatment will kill all the cancer cells, but also leave the good cells alone; pray for Jan as she starts back to work, that this will agree with her, but also that she will be mindful of her limits.

Lamentations 3: 22-23 ~ "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Deuterotomy 7:9 ~ "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands."


~Give Attention To My Words~

Here is a portion of one of the devotions that I get."

PROVERBS 4:20-22 NKJ ~ "My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh."

"Giving attention to God's Word is not as easy as it once was. Today we have a multitude of distractions. Busyness seems to be a disease shared by everyone. We all have more than we can do.

Yet . . .

God doesn't change. His Word doesn't change. It still says the same thing it did a thousand years ago -- and it will still say the same thing a thousand years from now.

"Give attention to my words...."

We are confronted with a choice. What is most important? To what shall we give our limited time? God, or....?

God makes promises no one else does -- or can. He created, so He knows how things work.

Life. Life in its fullness. Life as God intended it to be. And health. Isn't that what everyone would like? That is the written guarantee offered by God to the human race -- for paying attention to what He has said."

It does seem that in today's time, we are running nonstop and we have more things that need to be accomplished each day than is humanly possible.
I choose to pay attention to God's Word. I choose life and health. I choose God.

I will update with Jan's results. She had her testing and is currently in with her doctor.


Friday, August 8, 2008

~Then Sings My Soul Saturday~

It has been a rather frustrating week. But, I'm hopeful with the recent changes (tonight) with my job, it will be taken care of.

Jan is scheduled to return to MD Anderson for testing Monday. I would ask you join us in praying we are blessed with good results. She has been feeling good on the new treatment and so this is a plus. She has enough hair that now that she feels comfortable that we doesn't have to wear a wig/hat. She got it cut yesterday and it looks GREAT! Her hair used to be straight as a board, but now she has a bit of curl. I copied her picture she had put on her blog. Doesn't she look fabulous?

For more "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" posts visit Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

~Thankful Thursday~Hope~

Iris has chosen Hope to be the topic for this Thankful Thursday! Do you have HOPE? Psalm 42:11 (NCV), "Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him, my Savior and my God."

In my Bible, there are Life Lessons with my scriptures. Under Observation, "Seek God even in time of discouragement, and he will provide hope."

And, then under Inspiration, it says, "What do you need most today? Do you need just a word of hope? That's what we all need. And that's what the Word of God does that nothing and no one else can. The Word of God says there is no hopeless situation or hopeless illness. Having a Savior in Christ means that the hopeless have hope, the dead have life, and the abandoned have Good News.

Our hope is the anchor for the soul. "Where's your hope?" Jesus asks. It is the confident hope of the return of Christ." (From The Inspirational Bible, "Hope.")

Psalm 16:9-11 ~ "So I rejoice and am glad. Even my body has hope, because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot. You will teach me how to live a holy life. Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.
Lamentations 3:21-24 ~ "But I have hope when I think of this: The Lord's love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; Lord, your loyalty is great. I say to myself, "The Lord is mine, so I hope in him."
Romans 5:2 ~ "who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God's grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God's glory."
Ephesians 1:18 ~ "I pray also that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which he has called us and that you will know how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised his holy people."
Colossians 1:5 ~ "You have this faith and love because of your hope, and what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You learned about this hope when you heard the message about the truth, the Good News."

So, this Thankful Thursday, I'm thankful for a Savior who gives me HOPE! I'm thankful He is always NEAR. I'm thankful He will guide me, each step of the way. What are you thankful for today?

Would you continue to pray for this unspoken prayer request that I asked you to pray about last week; and Jan returns for testing next week. She was supposed to have gone this week, but because of the tropical storm, her appointment was cancelled. I ask that you join us as we pray this treatment is working.

Thankful Thursday is hosted by Iris at
Sting My Heart.


~WFW~ Strength & Portion~

Psalms 73:26

Psalm 73:26 ~ My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 84:2 ~ My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Psalm 18:1 ~ I love you, O Lord, my strength.
Deuteronomy 32:9 ~ For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.

To find more Word-filled Wednesdays, visit 160AcreWoods

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

~Out of the Ashes~

At church our current topic series has been "Movies that Move." I would like to share with you what our Pastor shared with us this last Sunday. With all the pain and suffering in the world at this time, I hope this speaks to you, as it did me:

"We all experience suffering, pain, loss, and grief. These experiences always take us to a crossroads."

1. We live on a broken planet.

In Romans 8:20, 21 (NLT): "Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay."

2. What do you do when things go bad? Two choices: (1) You move on. (2) You stop loving.

In Philippians 3:13b, 14 (NLT): "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."

3. It's easy to rally to a vision, but very difficult to carry it out.

In Numbers 11:20 (NLT): "For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

4. Victory is ultimately certain for the faithful.

A. You receive strength for today.
In Isaiah 40:31 (NLT): "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

B. You will receive eternal life somday.
In John 3:16 (KJV): "....that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There were excerpts from the movie "Out of the Ashes" that we saw.

I'm so grateful that our time here on earth is "just the journey." When the time is right, we have a home waiting for us where there will be no more pain, sickness, problems, NOTHING BAD WILL EVER HAPPEN THERE. We will get to see our family and loved ones again. But, most importantly, we will get to see Jesus and live with Him in Heaven for eternity. I can't even begin to imagine how wonderful it will be.

Life here on earth seems to become more difficult as time goes by. As the verses above point out, we have choices. I'm going to press on. In Isaiah 40:31, I've highlighted 3 words, "trust and new strength. This is available to us daily.

Have a great week and I hope you will press on, trust and you will be given new strength, daily, if you will ask.

Monday, August 4, 2008

~Thank You! Melanie & Laurie Ann~ I Humbled & Honored~

Two weeks ago I received two awards in one day! I'm very late in properly thanking Melanie and Laurie Ann and for passing these along for others to enjoy!

The first award is the "Kind Blogger Award." This award is from Melanie at The Fruits of the Spirit.

Later the same day, I got the "Brilliante Weblog Award " from Laurie Ann at A Magnolia's Heart Beats.
Thank you Melanie and Laurie Ann for the gift of these awards. You've blessed me so much over the last few months. If you've never visited Melanie or Laurie Ann, please do so. They are both gems. You will come away being blessed.

Now, there aren't any specific rules for passing these along, so I'm going to bless some bloggers with 2 awards each on the same day! This is a very hard decision because I don't want to leave anyone out.

I've chosen each of these ladies for different reasons. Please visit their blogs, either to check them out or congratulate them.

Natalie at Married to the Preacher
Lana at
Right Here...Right Now
Lisa at
Blessed With Grace
Amy Deanne at
The 160 Acre Woods
Iris at
Sting My Heart

Pass it on, friends, and be blessed...

Friday, August 1, 2008

~Then Sings My Soul Saturday~ Here With Me~ Mercy Me~

If You Have A Need, Plant A Seed
LUKE 6:38 NKJ ~"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be
measured back to you."

The natural response to having a need is to focus on getting instead of giving. And to hang on tightly to what we have.

But God does not bless selfishness. He is a giver, and desires for us to become like Him. So, God's Word tells us to give.

God is trying to raise us to a higher level of thinking, where we trust in His faithful provision, and act in line with that faith by blessing others.

PROVERBS 11:24 NET ~"One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy, but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty."

It requires faith to give when you don't have enough to meet your own needs. But remember that faith pleases God, and nothing is too hard for God.

Faith acts on God's Word. Fear hesitates.

To help us understand how giving can enrich us, instead of impoverishing us, Scripture pictures a farmer planting seed for a harvest.

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6,10 NLT ~"Remember this--a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you."

Plant whatever seed God has given you, and God will give the increase through a harvest of blessing, and your needs will be met.

GALATIANS 6:7 CEV ~"You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant."

You are never without seed. Anything of value can be a seed. Your time is valuable, so if nothing else, you can give time to pray for others as a seed.

For more "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" posts visit Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders