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Showing posts from October, 2007

100 Blessings

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Duet 28:1-6 "If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God: God's blessing inside the city, God's blessing in the country; God's blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks. God's blessing on your basket and bread bowl; God's blessing in your coming in, God's blessing in your going out. 7 God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They'll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads. 8 God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he'll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you."
I was reading my giveaway book and this quote popped out at me: “A pious…

Picture Me

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Wordless Wednesday
Tiffany tagged with me the request that I share pictures of myself and share about them. (So I guess it's not really wordless - but, that's just about impossible for me anyhow...)
So, I can't find a recent picture of myself anywhere, can you believe it? My lover carving pumpkins - check! My cutie bug, Missy and little man in adorable costumes - check! Me - nowhere to be seen! I think that's because I always have the camera in MY hand. So, I asked Missy (4 yrs. old) to take a pic of me in my favorite spot doing my favorite thing :)
I'm wondering if my friend Sharon B would like to show us some pictures of what she likes to do?
I also posted words today (see below) and don't forget to sign up for my giveaway!

In the Beginning was the Word... (Sola Scriptura Part 2)

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Psalm 119:18
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem in Hebrew. This is my attempt at creating an acrostic praising God’s word in English (sorry, I don’t really know Hebrew!). Some of this is quoted directly from Psalm 119 and some of it is paraphrased.

A – Ancient words, ever true, changing me, and changing you. Your words may be ancient, but they are timeless.
B – Blessed are all those who walk according to Your Word. Blessings abound when we live within the confines of your holy expectations.
C – My soul is consumed with longing for your word. Oh Lord, may it be so! May I be consumed with desire and passion for You and Your word above all else.
D – I delight in your decrees. You are my delight and all Your words bring me great delight.
E – Turn my eyes from worthless things and let me fix my gaze upon Your lovely words. May my eyes feast upon the beauty of Your word.
F – Fulfill your promise to your servant because I fear You. You…

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Phillip Yancey

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Shannon, at Rocks in my Dryer, is hosting a huge giveaway! Isn't that exciting! I love to give something meaningful to my friends - as I shop, I always look for just the right item that fits our relationship and the individual's personality. So, if you stop by this little blog of mine, I think you might like this gift I've picked out.

This fall, I have been nourished by the wisdom of Phillip Yancey in his recent book on prayer. Our Bible study has plumbed the depths of prayer with Yancey's help in this amazing book. My personal prayer life has been challenged and I have probed the deeper questions surrounding prayer with a beloved mentor. I would love for you to enjoy this book too. I'll be giving the book away to one blessed commenter. So, leave a comment here and I'll be drawing a name next week to give away this treasure box full of well-mined jewels from God's Word and life's experiences.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the draw…

Bloggy Love

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My BFF (Bloggy Friend Forever) Denise has sent me a little love today. And some days, we all need a little love, if you know what I mean. Denise always seems to be giving me such nice gifts...maybe someday, I'll be able to reciprocate. Anyhow, it's good to have friends. They encourage us, lift us up when we are down, they cheer for us, they are there for us every step of the way and they truly care. So, when someone says I'm friendly, I take that as a sincere complement.

I think the blogging community I have found is full of friends - can't wait till we can see each other face to face and give real life hugs! Someone who is always friendly to me and who has really made me feel loved is Vicki. Go visit her if you haven't before because her writing is amazing and her heart is pure.

Sola Scriptura

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How do we determine what we believe? Upon what do we base our belief system and our code of ethics? If this is relative (as in popular thought), then there is no truth. Because truth is absolute by definition.

Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him. Paul added that we cannot know Jesus unless we have heard the good news of the gospel. And where do we hear about Jesus? The only reliable source of truth is the 66 books which are inspired by the very breath of God. They must be taken as a whole, because each prophet or man of God was moved by the Spirit to write those words. They are not the words of man, but of the living God. This is why Marin Luther said we must live by the words of God alone; that we must let God's words dictate our doctrines and theology, not man's thinking.

"The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorit…

Wait Upon the Lord

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Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster
This song has been running over and over in my mind reinforcing this powerful Scripture related to patience - waiting upon the Lord, our Everlasting God. Listen and read on...


We spent some time on Saturday filling in our planter in the front yard with several different perennials. The earth was moist from a week’s worth of rainfall and the bulbs landed softly in their cozy dirt homes. We covered them with a blanket of more dirt and left them there with a sense of satisfaction and anticipation.

The next morning my little man wanted to go see the flowers. Where are they? He wondered. How do I explain a waiting period of 6 months to a child whose life is only 5 times that increment?

The flowers are babies and they are hibernating until winter is over; then they will slowly poke their heads through their beds into the sunlight world and we will enjoy their colorful beauty. I know, I don’t want to wait until spring to see them again either, but the…

Look Ma! No Teeth!

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For a week a tooth has been noticeably loose – and my cutie bug has enjoyed wiggling it here and there, asking, “Can you promise me that it will come out today Mom?”

Saturday morning, tooth number two looked grey and ready to be evacuated from that mouth. So Dad got his tools ready and began to extract the tooth promptly. Floss tied around the tooth…slipped right off. Big Daddy fingers…slipped off. Some tissue wrapped around Daddy fingers…slipped off. Slippery little thing, that tooth. So, Daddy pulled out the big boys – the pliers. Little bug’s eyes got big but she did not flinch – she was as excited as Dad to see the tooth removed. Huge pliers…slipped off.

After a half an hour of effort, we gave up and decided that God would have to remove that tooth in His own time. At bedtime, Mom helped Cutie bug brush her teeth – maybe a few rigorous brushes would help break that stubborn tooth free. And lo and behold – a tooth popped out, but not tooth number two (the grey one). No…

Fall Fashions for Your Heart (How do I look? part 2)

It's time to put away the shorts and t-shirts and get out the mittens and hats. I'm going to have to lock up the sandals since little Missy doesn't understand why she can't wear them when there is frost on the grass. There are a few items I'm reluctant to put away too. I love my capris, but it's just too cold for them these days.

So, I'm wondering, are there some items that we've been wearing on our hearts that need to be put away too? Some heart clothing that needs to be undated or thrown away? Have we been wearing bitterness, pride, or jealousy down there? If we ask the designer of our hearts, "How do I look?" what would He say? If it's time for a heart makeover, let's go clothes shopping first!

Colossians 3:12-17 gives us some other clothing that our heart should be wearing. What kind of character makeover does your heart need? Let’s begin with dressing our inner person with beauty and work our way outward.
Compassion- ten…

How do I look?

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Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition


“How do I look?” should not just address the question of my external appearance. Is the expression on my face beautiful? Are my behaviors becoming? Is the beauty of my character shining through?

Grace, charm, delicacy, elegance… These are some of the words that depict beauty. In the Bible, beauty is used to describe the good news of peace, good tidings, and salvation. God is beautiful because of His holiness. (To me that says that beauty is something that is set apart for noble purposes.) God bestowed beauty upon His children by showering them with love and salvation. He crowns the meek (humble) with salvation. When we realize that His rescue in our lives makes us beautiful, we can shine!

In Isaiah 61:3, there is a promise that God will replace our ashes with beauty. It is a poignant picture of a woman in mourning, sitting in the ashes of a ruined life and her rescue and restoration to beauty. I think this is why Extreme Makeover: Home Edit…

Happiness is….

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Bright yellow fireman rubber boots and an abundance of mud puddles!

Hearing mother say, “Why don’t you jump in some puddles today.”

Skipping, jumping, sloshing through each one slowly, deliberately and soaking up all the pleasure.

Praying for Peace

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She was once a sweet sleeping peaceful baby swaddled in the soft comfort of home-stitched blankets. Peace enveloped her as her mother cooed over her cradle and sang sweet songs of love to her. But, now. Now, life is so much more complicated. Sin has entered in and the once peaceful baby is a woman tormented by bad decisions and an unseen enemy. The mother looks at the hurting woman and wishes for peace… Prayers are offered daily for babies grown up and for mothers whose hearts are broken. The pain is great, the burden is heavy and despair lurks around the corner. So, we persist in seeking our God, banging on His door, begging Him for answers and seeking peace.

“I do not see how you could bear so much sorrow.”
Hannah responded, “I did not bear it. The Lord bore it for me.”
The lady agreed, “We must take our troubles to the Lord.”
“Yes, but we must do more than that: we must leave them there. Most people take their burdens to Him, but they bring them away with them again, and a…

Grandma

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A crown of white graces her head and 80 years line her face. She is mother to my mother, great-grandmother to my children and has been my loving grandmother for 36 years. She gives freely of all she has and lives on "enough" and no more. Her days are spent sharing talents with others, sharing service for friends, praying with anyone who asks...Her mouth is filled with praises to God and any open ear will hear about Jesus' love. She remembers the days when extravagances such as toys were scarce and she knows about contentment. She isn't afraid to tell you what she thinks because underneath her strong exterior, she has a tender heart toward all.

Not many 80 year old women will board a plane alone and fly across the country to see her great grandkids, but nothing stops my grandma. As long as she's alive, she'll be totally ALIVE.

Thank you Lord for a grandma who loves You first and foremost and also loves me and my family.


For more thanksgiving today, visit Iri…

Wordfilled Wednesday

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Image shared with permission from SisterLisa.
For more wordfilled Wednesdays, visit the 160 acre woods.

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

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"Gentleness is part of being feminine - part of being a woman, and God made us distinctly different from men on purpose!"
~ Melanie Chitwood ~

A mother’s soft touch on a fevered brow, a wife’s sweet kisses and caresses given in love, a friend’s kind hand upon a shoulder….gentleness. A listening ear when we are down, acceptance instead of condemnation, patience and forgiveness for clumsy mistakes….gentleness. Words of comfort for the troubled, words of hope for the beaten down, silence for the weary…gentleness.

The 21st century woman knows little of gentleness because it is not valued as a character trait. If you want to get ahead in this world, you will show your strength as a woman, and never portray anything that appears weak. Our very definition of womanhood has changed with the times and it has become quite confusing for women to know how to be feminine. Femininity is wrapped up in this simple word: gentleness.

Gentleness is not the opposite of strength. Being a ge…

Mommy Bloggers

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Charlie Gibson said tonight on the ABC news that there are over 14,000 mommy bloggers out there. This recent fad of Mommy blogging has become newsworthy. It's interesting though isn't it? Women around the world are communicating the way women used to connect in a community. The web has provided a new source of relationships for those who might otherwise feel isolated in their small world.

I am glad to be a part of this growing community and glad to have found new friends who live miles away. I wonder, however, how many Mommy blogs offer eternal hope for those in the midst of the challenges of motherhood? My prayer is that my home here online would be a place for community and hope in the small details of life and in the huge wide world. What an exciting privilege.

Addendum: Funny, after I wrote this, Denise passed on the community blogger award. I hope that I have fostered a sense of community here as some of these other ladies have:


Iris
Vicki
Shannon
Lori

These gals know how to ma…

On the Horizon

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I’m rushing about the house, throwing toys in a box, vacuuming up cheerios that litter the floor, checking on the roast in the oven, wiping smudges off of tables and counters, and then quickly looking in the mirror to wipe the sweat off my brow and freshen up a bit. Daddy just called and he’s coming home early. I haven’t been paying attention to my jobs around the home so I’m rushing to get them done before he comes in the door – not out of duty, mind you, but out of love. I’m sewing that button on his pants quickly because I want him to know that I care about what concerns him, but why didn’t I do it earlier in the day? He could be here any minute now…

Look into the distance far enough and you will see it – dark thundering clouds, laden with promise – the promise that the end is near. Imminence is the knowledge that our Heavenly Daddy could walk through the door at any minute. Would we be ready? Are we procrastinating some things He’s asked us to do? Are our lives a little mes…

Carnival of Beauty

Today is the carnival of beauty. You can read my entry on joy here.

What does "saved" mean?

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My daughter and I were studying her verses for AWANA and I wondered if she really understood the meanings of these complicated words she had to memorize. Like righteous. She can’t even spell it, but she can memorize it. Or everlasting destruction. That’s a little overwhelming for a 6 year old to figure out! So, I asked her if she knew what "saved" meant and she gave me the sweetest answer straight from her heart.




It’s like if I were climbing the big maple tree in the front yard and I went up way too high and Daddy was raking leaves underneath me. And if I fell, he would catch me.

That’s right. That’s what saved means. Straight from the heart of a child to my simple understanding...Your Daddy is waiting to catch you whenever you fall – waiting to save you.

Now THAT’S something to be thankful for!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, REJOICE!



For more thanksgiving today, visit Iris.

I’ve got the…Joy…Joy…Joy…Joy….Where?

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Down in my heart…down in my heart…to stay!

But, I’m not so very happy….I’m not so very happy…so what’s the matter with me?

Where is that joy? I remember something about it being down in my heart. Well, I guess we ought to go check down there. Want to come with me? Follow me down the stairs here to the door…squeak…haven’t been in here in a while, you’ll have to excuse the cobwebs and mess. Hmmm…I can’t see in here – it’s pretty dark, could you hand me a light? Oh my, I can’t get past all these piles of things, we’ll have to move a few things to see if we can find that joy anywhere. Here, will you hang onto this pride, so I can shift this box of…what is this? Wow – suppressed dreams – I forgot all about those! Haven’t got time for that though, what’s this right next to it? A bunch of tapes – oh yeah, those tapes of all my mistakes and sins…got to keep those around. Something stinks back here…Oh, I don’t know if I can take the smell…Oh where, oh where are you joy?

Eek, somethin…

You Lift Me Up...

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Denise, probably the sweetest blogger in the world, blessed me yesterday by saying that "I" lift "her" up. I'm pretty sure she got that backwards though because she's the one who lifts me up with her sweet comments daily. I accept as a gift from a friend because I need to be lifted up daily. Thank you Denise.

Which Mountain?

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Jesus took his inner circle (James, John and Peter) up to the mountain, but they had no idea what they were about to experience up there. Before their eyes, the human form of God was transformed into all of His glory - blinding radiance shone and they were in complete awe (Matthew 17:1-5). Jesus was joined by Moses and Elijah in this most amazing mountaintop experience. The disciples were swept away by the experience of God's glory and the revelation of Jesus' part in Israel's history. They were enlightened and overjoyed by God's presence to the point of assuming this was the peak of Jesus' life. Peter saw Jesus in all His glory and he wanted to stay there in that place forever and he suggested that they build shelters so this glorious moment could last forever.

But it was not meant to be. The apex of Jesus' ministry was not on that mount; it was on another mountain altogether - Calvary. He could not conquer sin and death if He remained on the mount of transfig…

An Open Book

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Mother Teresa said, “We are all pencils in the hand of God.” This is an inspiration to me as a writer and as a minister of reconciliation. If I am a willing instrument in His hand, He will write a story that is worth reading. Mother Teresa’s life story exemplified this willingness to surrender to the will of the Father as she lived a life of service with a smile on her lips. Shortly after she moved on from this world, her diaries were opened and the inner life of this woman of God was revealed. Some were shocked to see that a saintly woman would have doubts and fears.

Does this new information change our view of Mother Teresa? In one sense, these discoveries are heartening news because it shows that doubts and fear are not foreign in the life of a disciple of Christ. It is encouraging and comforting to know that Mother Teresa followed God despite inner struggles and her life shows how to be faithful while at the same time being honest with God about life’s questions. Opening t…

I love....

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“Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.” ~ Psalm 30:4 (ESV)I love sunsets and sunrises. I love the smell of bread in the oven. I love cinnamon. I love hot mint tea. I love worship music which brings me right to the throne room of heaven. I love lazy days at the lake. I love fried fish and veggies fresh from the garden. I love sitting in the sunshine. I love cheese (on just about anything!) I love having coffee with a friend. I love those moments when the Holy Spirit makes His presence so obvious. I love the cleansing feeling of a good cry. I love my morning coffee. I love the silence of the house before dawn. I love the crackle of a fire. I love cozy homemade quilts. I love to snuggle in a corner and read a good book. I love it when Scripture comes alive and jumps off the page at me. I love Jesus. I love my friends.

I love to dance (when no one is looking). I love soft inspirational music. I love toe tapping, beat throbbing mu…

Grace and Joy Raining Down

It poured here yesterday all day long and I stayed inside most of the day. My heart was a bit cloudy in the morning too - I was grumpy with the kids and struggling to get moving on my kitchen piled with dirty dishes. But right in the middle of it all, the Lord rained down joy and grace upon my soul.

*I was blessed to read all of the "In other words" posts yesterday - such amazing women with testimonies of Christ in the middle of their tragedies.

*I was overwhelmed by the gift from Denise.

*I had the immense pleasure of sending that gift on to several deserving women. This brought me the GREATEST joy of the day - what fun to bless someone's socks off or bless her all the way down to her toes or to cause a writer to be "speechless!" I was all grins for the rest of the day. Giving truly is more blessed than receiving!

*My husband ALWAYS makes me smile!

*My Girls Night Out friends and I had a blast doing a service project last night - dressing up in lime gree…

Keeping it real...

Yesterday, in the midst of being overwhelmed with the grace of receiving an award, I read an email from my husband that kept it all in perspective. I fell off my chair laughing at his satire. If I ever start to think a little too highly of myself, I know who will help me keep it REAL. More on authenticity later this week...

oh my beutiful heather, thank you so much for your eloquent work. you make my heart blush with tears of apple blossoms. the words you speak are like dew drops in the morning, glistening in the sun waiting to be inhaled by those in need of quenching. You took my parched soul and sprinkled wonderfully refreshing words that filled my day with love. love that can only be summarized as magical. i can only hope to be like you one day. a day that will glow in the incandescent light of the moon. peace to you and many blessings as you follow your creators path in all its wonderful glory.

Lord, don't ever let me hide behind my writing but instead let me be o…

I'm honored....

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My new sweet friend Denise has just tagged me (me?) with this lovely award. The Mathetes award is for those whose purpose is to grow disciples. What a true honor as my vision is discipleship. Thanks Denise! I have grown in my own personal discipleship through the following blogs: Laurel Wreath, Sharon, Elisa, the gals at Laced with Grace, and Vicki. Thanks to each of you for inspiring me to continue on this sometimes difficult journey.

Focus (In “Other” Words…)

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"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in HIS wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, by the light of His glory and grace."

~ Helen Limmel ~


2 Corinthians 4:18 “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.”

Kids squealing in the background, cars puttering by, an off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday,” smells of charcoal and squeaky swings cannot crowd out the silent beauty of the lone duck gliding across a kaleidoscope lake of rose and azure hues. The effect of the clouds and sunset reflected there is like tie-die.

Is this peace amidst the chaos? No one else seems to notice God’s artwork on display. They are too busy with life. How many times have I passed by God’s majesty in a hurry to keep up the pace of a hectic life?
Beauty satisfies and fills me in an unexpected way. Even the little squirrel munching on a dropped cracker captures my attention. As I relax, I hear t…

Really, Truly, Completely

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“Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1
God’s intimate knowledge of every hidden part of my soul overwhelms me. He has searched in the darkest places and seen inside the locked messy closets of my heart. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows my every thought – those that I ought to act upon but don’t and even the thoughts that make me blush.

He knows I’m not perfect – He’s well aware of that fact. So, why do I keep trying to pretend like I have it all together? I can’t hide my imperfections from Him – that sweater doesn’t cover up the flaws and the makeup won’t help either. So, I’m done with pretending and I’m ready to be REAL.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart…” Psalm 139:23
Jesus wants us to come to Him “Just as we are.” He expects us to bring to Him our brokenness, our humanity and our failures. When you think about it, that’s all I really have to give Him anyway – my praises, my works are pitiful offerings but He is pleased with my brokenness.

Psalm…