This is just a blog about my thoughts, my family, my everyday life. Because I am a Christian and have ups and downs like everyone else, I hope it will encourage others to either turn to Christ for the first time, or lean on Him when times are rough. Often life is just random and funny. I started this blog after many years of writing to my church about our vacations. They began to encourage me to blog and finally I am. Thanks for reading.

"Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!" Nahum 1:15

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. John Piper

Friday, September 29, 2017

Write It In Pencil

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Calendars.  My daily routines change too much to write in ink, but still I do - in all colors.  What is the verse about man making his plans, but the Lord directs his steps?  Time and again I find myself slapping a sticker over what never happens or gets moved to a different block on my wall. Some weeks look like chicken scratches, with arrows crossing over to changed dates along with attempts to add another reminder to an already full day. I've given up on beauty and order. 
Maybe things on the calendar should just be written in pencil, especially those items we think we should do or else.....  Or else what? The sky will fall in?  Are we afraid we will not be invited next time if we don't respond this time?  And what if that next invite doesn't come?
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How many times do we make our agendas based on the wrong things?  The older I get, the less it happens, but still it happens - especially in cases where guilt or self-inflicted pressure are involved.
God knows exactly what each of us needs to be doing. He may present us with a circumstance in which we are the only answer to a dilemma. It will be obvious to us when it occurs and no matter how difficult it is, the pleasure we will receive from answering a need will be abundantly more rewarding than anything we might have written on our calendars. Big "happies" come and go. Their memories are soon forgotten, but people seldom forget the kindnesses done to them and for them...especially in a crisis.
Life is too short, ladies.  Make it count in the right direction.  Seek to spend your energy and time on worthwhile ventures. Fall and the holidays are knocking at the door..  If you are not careful, you will miss this present moment, this opportunity called "now" because you are checking those squares on the wall and thinking about tomorrow.
What if, instead of taking advantage of every outing offered, you looked first at your present surroundings?  Are you needed more at home?  Did you leave things undone that are your responsibilities?  Are you running out the door to escape something far better?  'Me time' is a phrase used a bit too often and it isn't biblical at all if the truth be told.  Choose your activities wisely and write them in you can erase what doesn't matter for today. 'Now' happens to us all.  Don't miss it.                 
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Change in the Tide

It has been awhile since I have blogged anything. The most I could manage to pen is a grocery list or a sermon note or a reminder to do the same things I do each week....with little if any variation.
Life kept happening on the outside, but it had stopped inside me. Repeated behaviors kept me on track - predictably executing my next move which resulted in little satisfaction at the end of the day. Simply put, I was stuck.
God doesn't ever do things for just one reason. He has a way of using the same event in the lives of thousands, orchestrating it all for a thousand different purposes and all for His glory alone.
Catastrophe broke through the thick wall that surrounded me and held me in apathy: Harvey hit Texas. It was as if our television knew no other stations existed but the local ones, the weather channel, and the national all were focused and stayed on our coastline. I waited for wind that never really came to our area. The waters rose up into our yard, only to recede again with time and never coming even close to our doors.
We soon learned that we were an island, unable to leave town for quite some time. The reality of what was happening could only be viewed on the screen.  Horror struck so many with the loss of loved ones and homes, cars and belongings. Some were being rescued by helicopters from rooftops, others by boats floating right over unseen streets and curbs and landscapes. Others were less fortunate and not rescued at all.
Refuges and shelters soon sprung up all over town - filled beyond capacity in some areas. Days went by. I texted with friends I could not reach whose homes were flooded.  Little has changed in some areas even now and many, many will be displaced for months to come.
But God.  I love those words. God did not look away.  He saw it all and His people were stirred. Love grew from Harvey. Groups of people held hands and prayed on tv and the newsmen did not turn their cameras away. Churches from all over arrived to minister to and care for the helpless. God was at work. Gifts of all kinds poured in without reservation.
It is easy to feel a kind of survivor's guilt. It may not have hit our home, but it did hit our hearts. With each sad story I encountered, came a positive outlook on what lies ahead - many keeping faith in the Lord Jesus.
Writing this brings a kind of closure for me - a closure to apathy, to the nightmares, and to my failure to wholeheartedly grasp each moment of this life I have been given. I am fully Christ's to use as He wishes. I had just lost my focus for a little while.
We opened our church to gather things and deliver them to surrounding shelters.

Our friends, the Johnsons were flooded and had to put all in storage.

Friends - the Swain home. 

Diane with a smile on her face.

Our friends, the Falkenstines also took on water.

Friendswood area

The Greens' home was less than a year old.

Jeremy Fleming saving some piglets out of the barn. Other animals did not survive.

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