Friday, March 27, 2009
We were overwhelmed with God's handiwork in Alaska and Yellowstone. Both trips were incredibly special times for us to share together and just be a couple again. One of our great desires is that we not wait until we retire to travel. Too many people wait and then they never get to do these things.
So here's the pupose of this post:
Where have you been that you'd recommend our going in the next year or so? Is the area of the country you live in a place we might like to visit? Would you please give me some details about where to go and what to do so I can start planning another trip. We absolutely love nature. I can take a bazillon =) photographs of God's beauty on earth. (Thank God, literally, for digital photography. My film bill was outrageous.) Kerry loves history so we've really thought about a trip back East . Maybe Virginia or Pennsylvania. But you may suggest a place we've never even thought of.
So please, give me some input. I'd be most appreciative!
Yes, I know this is Friday and not Tuesday, but I'm a little behind in getting this post done. =) Don't let it throw you...the weekend still begins tomorrow. Yea!
2 Timothy 2:16 "Avoid goddless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly."
I am a "people person". I love to talk and I love to listen to others talk. I love the sharing of lives together with others through conversation and laughter.
Just a side note, I'm also a morning person and a night person too. I drag a little around mid-afternoon though. All of my life I have woken up talking. My mom says my brother and sister would ask her at breakfast to please make me shut up. I was probably talking too much to hear them complain. After getting married I found that my husband was not a morning person either and would sit with his eyes glazed over while I rattled on about my plans for the day or something I was thinking about. Poor guy! But alas, God blessed me with one son, my youngest, who woke up happy, with a smile on his face before his eyes even opened, and was ready to greet the day. My oldest...was more like his dad, taking a little longer to get going in the mornings. They're both young adults now, so my precious husband, is blessed with my morning chatter all to himself again. =)
That was a side trip, but it loosely ties into where I'm going with this scripture. Because I do enjoy conversation so much, I have, more times than I'd like to count, regretted something that I said. No, it wasn't necessarily anything mean, unkind, or even gossip, but chatter. I would worry that something I said might be misconstrued of taken wrongly. I would worry that I'd said something that might have hinted of something I shouldn't have shared or might not have been sensative to the person's need.
Part of the definition of "chatter" from the Oxford Dictionary is, "talk quickly, incessantly, trivially, or indiscreetly" with synonyms of "rattle, and jabber". I am guilty. (All Texans don't talk slooowly)
The Word in 2 Timothy also says that this kind of talk can lead us to ungodliness. Over the years, I have learned to slow down and consider my words more carefully, MOST OF THE TIME. The more we chatter, the more easily we might say something that is harmful, with no intent of it being harmful. Chatter is careless.
All conversation is not chatter. Thank God because I love conversation. Psalm 19:14 has been a prayer that I've prayed over my life for many years,
"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." I want my words to be pleasing to my LORD and a blessing to those I have conversations with.
Psalm 19:14 references the meditation of my heart being pleasing in God's sight also, but that ventures into another subject...did I tell you I can get off on bunny trails sometimes too. =)
Have a great weekend. Enjoy God's creation. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your time in worship. Relax and have some pleasing conversations.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Kerry and I have been blessed to know Pat and Charlie Reynolds for many, many years. God led Pat and Charlie to leave the comfort and security of their West Texas life and go to Guatemala to serve Him as independent missionaries. They literally sold most of their possessions, loaded up an SUV and left Snyder, Texas and drove to Guatemala for an unknown future. Much like Abraham. Our youngest son, Adam, spent some time with them the summer after he graduated from High School and they will forever be precious to our entire family.
If you drop by to visit my blog, please click the link to their new blog. You can go to His Appointed Time Ministry Blog or to their photo in my sidebar. When get to their blog, you can also click the photo of them on their right sidebar where you will then be able to go to their ministry website and there you can read more about their fascinating story, how God has led them to minister His love to the people of Guatemala, and how you might be a part of this outstanding work for God.
Just ONE of the things God has led them to do is to open a Christian school for the Guatemalan children up to 4th grade. God led Kerry and I to sponsor one of the children several years ago. Melisa's photo is above. Please take the time to drop by and see their blog. God is doing a mighty work in Guatemala.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to
do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."
We are a nation, a people who have been richly blessed in this present world. In comparison to the rest of the world even our average income families are far wealthier than most people around the world.
In the current economic situation many of us have placed too much hope in our financial savings. Every day we hear how people are losing money rapidly in the stock market. For a great number of people that money was for retirement. I know we had been looking at our different retirement funds, feeling fairly confident in a reasonably comfortable retirement. Thank God that is quite a few years off and we are still hoping for financial recovery.
Paul's words to Timothy in verses 17-19 are such a powerful reminder that we are to put our hope in God, who richly provides for us, not in our financial standings. Because we are blessed by God, not matter what our current financial status, we are to be generous with whatever we have. In this way we not only honor God and the privilege of being a Christ follower but we "lay up treasure for ourselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that we may take hold of the life THAT IS TRULY LIFE."
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Isaiah 50:4 NIV
"The Sovereign LORD has given me an
instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."
My husband says I've been blessed by God to be "a listener." He says people have always come out of the woodwork to talk to me about life issues and
sometimes just to talk. I rarely go to the grocery store without a stranger
stopping to talk to me about something from "what isle is the olive oil on?
And then continues with "my wife sent me to the grocery store and I'd better come home with the right stuff. We've been married for 53 years and she is the love of my life. We met..." I've been sitting at the doctors office when someone starts telling me about their painful memories of serving in WW II or Vietnam. Often people come to me to share their struggles and
want a word from me from the heart of God.
I don't say this in arrogance as I have too often carried the many burdens brought to me until I learned to release them to God. It just seems to be an area where God has me serve Him and I'm thankful to serve Him this way. I used to worry that I might have directed someone wrongly or that I didn't fully understand the issue, and then God gave me this Word from Isaiah 50:4. I now pray to have an instructed tongue, to know the Word from God to sustain the weary.
All to His Glory!
Friday, March 13, 2009
We've had a couple of difficult weeks in an extended family matter, but God, as is His nature, has been faithful to hold us up and faithful to show us the way through with victory on the horizon. The thing about trials and struggles that always lifts me up and even empowers me is this truth: there is a greater purpose and when we have come through them, we are stronger, our faith is rooted more firmly and we have grown more in His likeness. We may not see the purpose and we may not see the growth, but it's there if we've sought God.
I am reminded of a very precious word God gave me from His Word after a very long and difficult battle several years ago. Luke 22:31-32 where Jesus is speaking to Peter just prior to the betrayal in the Garden and before Peter denies Him. He said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I [Jesus] have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Our enemy, satan, is predicatably unpredictable. He will predictably attack us and try to pull us away or tear us down. His timing though is unpredictable. That's why Peter who knew not only the enemies tactics, but also the faithfulness of his God, could say in 1 Peter 5:8-11, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in your faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To Him be the power and glory for ever and ever. Amen." I pray God will be glorified in the way we fight the battles before us and that we will honor the sacrifice He gave for us by fighting the good fight in the strength and power of Holy Spirit.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sparkling Gems from the Greek
“Prayer for Today…
Lord, help me to see sin the way You see it so that I have no stomach for it in my life. I know that as long as I view sin [my sin] only as a mistake or a weakness, I will be tempted to tolerate it. So I ask You to teach me to see sin exactly the way You do so my desire for change will grow. Holy Spirit, help me see the truth and know the proper steps I need to take in order to make those needed changes.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!”
*"Snippets"--clips, morsels, fragments from something I've read recently...something that has ministered to me or someone else. They are meant to encourage, challenge, and cause us to ponder. They may even cause you to run to the nearest Christian bookstore and pick up a copy of the book they are snipped from.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
"Prayer has no limits, no time limits, no geographical limits. Just as surely as we can provide for our children's present and daily needs through prayer, we can also reach into their futures, laying a foundation of blessings for our children, our grandchildren, and all of our descendants."
"Our prayers are more powerful even than our presence."
"We can leave behind for our descendants a spiritual trust that can never be stolen, squandered or lost. We can leave riches that will only increase in value. We can lay up a store of imperishable wealth."
"It is beyond our imaginations what prayer can effect in the earth. When God's name and His renown are the desire of our hearts (Isaiah 26:8), our prayers for our children, grandchildren, and descendants can be the catalyst that will cause His fame to spread to all corners of the earth."
She quotes E. M. Bounds, "God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them, and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world."
Continuing with Jennifer's writings, "The answers to the prayers you pray today will be answered in the lives of our descendants at the right time. Those answers will be working in their lives as if you had just prayed them. Your prayers will put spiritual riches on deposit for them. They will have spiritual abundance from which they can make withdrawals as need arises. "
"The spiritual inheritance I will leave behind for future generations begins with my own walk with the Lord. As God is my fortress and my stronghold, part of the inheritance I leave-part of my estate-is my dwelling place."
I lost one of my sweet friends and prayer partners to cancer in 2006. She had two small grandchildren and as her heart broke over not being there for those little ones, she told me, "Trina, I've come to understand that even though I will not be here for these babies, my prayers for them are eternal." A year and a half later, I read Jennifer Kennedy Dean's "Legacy of Prayer" and I was once again sad at the loss of my friend but rejoiced that those babies lives had been saturated in the prayers of a grandmother they would never know. Of course, this brings tears to my eyes once more, but we all as parents and grandparents have the charge and privilege to go before the Father faithfully for every generation that follows us. Let's get on our faces before Almighty God for these precious ones coming behind us.
You can find "Legacy of Prayer" and other works of Jennifer's at http://www.prayinglife.org/catalog/books/index.htm
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Psalm 16:7 (NASB)
"I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;
indeed, my mind instructs me in the night."
As someone who has bouts of not being able to sleep at night this scripture has meant a lot to me. For anyone who has struggled through a sleepless night, you know how the mind is assaulted. Sometimes it's assaulted with worry or fear, fretting or even planning out the next day; sometimes it's just a mangle of thoughts hitting you from all sides with no rhyme or reason. It is encouraging that I can hold to this promise that my LORD will counsel me and instruct my thoughts in the night. I don't have to succumb to the assault. Thank you Jesus!
Back to the marriage simulcast. In attending the Focus on Marriage event, I was reminded of an older couple at what was our home church of many years. Gary Chapman's book, "The Five Languages of Love", had recently been released and our church had a couples night planned focusing on this book. Each couple, individually, were asked to complete a questionnaire based on this book that would help us determine our love languages, what most spoke love to us. After we completed the questionnaire we were to join with our spouse and compare and discuss our "love language". In attendance were couples who'd been married less than a year all the way to a few couples who'd been married 60 or more years. Awesome! I looked over and one of the couples, a small almost frail couple, who'd been married 64 years were all cuddled beside each other with their sweet heads nearly touching as they discussed their "love language". My heart was so deeply touched and it has always remained a visual reminder to me that we should never, ever stop working to have the most fulfilling, glorious marriage possible. You'd think that after 64 years many couples would think they knew all there was to know about one another and having a good marriage, but this sweet couple felt their marriage, that had stood the test of time, was worth their efforts to keep it alive and fresh. This little couple have since gone home to be with their Jesus, but they left a mark on this lady before doing so.
A couple of quick thoughts from the simulcast, without much elaboration.
What I am writing will most likely not be a direct quote. I can't write fast enough during a meeting to claim it was an exact quote. =) I am going to share a few of my perceptions from what a couple of the speakers said.
Gary Thomas, who wrote, "Sacred Marriage", brought to us the premise that God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy. That could stop you dead in your romantic tracks. I don't believe he was saying God doesn't want us to be happy, but that marriage has a far more profound purpose. It is in marriage and the challenges we face within that context, that our truest flesh natures can be exposed. We are confronted with our attitudes, selfishness, weaknesses, insecurities, impatience and the list could go on forever. As we recognize these in the light of day, being our marriage, if given the "go ahead", God can begin to, as my friends Rob and Tina would say, sandpaper off those rough edges .
Another powerful thing from Mr. Thomas, was this idea...I got married "to be loved". God put me in marriage "to learn how to love".
Beth Moore also spoke at the conference. One of the things that stood out to me from her talk was that in our desire for a "great marriage" we often miss the "good in our marriage". She said we have an infatuation with idealism, causing us to overlook and miss the blessings of the "good". She also reminded us not to be passive about our marriage, fight for it when necessary.
Del Tackett spoke on creation and God's divine mark on marriage. But one thought he left with wives was that our husbands need our respect like we need their love. He pointed out, too, that we wives should not "mother" our husbands saying that it wasn't honoring or respectful to do so. My husband is not one that I could presume to "mother", but it's always a good reminder. He already had a mother and she and his dad blessed me with a wonderful man to be my love and covering.
One last thought for us wives from "Enhancing Your Marriage", a women's Bible study by Judy Rossi. A wife is essential to her husband and to all he was meant to become. Again, not as his mother, but as his help-meet and his balcony person (the person standing in the balcony of your life cheering you on-Joyce Landorf Heatherley, "Balcony People").