Wednesday, July 18, 2018

a full lake

"You have taken note of my journey through life, caught each of my tears in Your bottle..." Psalm 56:8 (The Voice)

The lake provided some much needed peace after a whirlwind couple of months. The tranquil beauty of contained waters reminded me of God... Maker of all things and our constant, abiding Comforter.
I could just imagine the shoreline of the lake as the outline of God's Hands... carefully holding each and every tear we've cried.  Whether tears of joy, sorry, excitement, anger, pain, delight, fright -- He has collected and knows the reason for each one.  Nothing, not even a single tear, escapes Him.

Thank You, Father, for knowing and caring for me so completely.  From You, i have no hidden joy or sorry.  You who know all, should be trusted with all i have.  Help me release any and all fears, doubts and troubles to you.   I want to rest in Your still waters of peace.

"Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:5

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,

Monday, July 16, 2018

WTLB... count

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."  James 1: 2-4 (KJV)

On the rare occasions when my husband and I entertain friends in our home, we typically provide a delectable dessert.  But not this time. 

In an effort to lose weight and lower blood pressure, our friend Carla was counting points and her husband Ben was counting carbs. We didn't want to sabotage their efforts, so after a fun board game, we offered blueberries for her and mixed nuts for him. For beverages, he selected decaf coffee and she chose Tazo Lemon Loaf hot tea (zero points but oh-so-delicious!). No one felt stuffed or guilty, and we all left the table satisfied. 

I always want my friends to know they can count on me to support their health and wellness. Likewise, I am grateful for the many ways I count on them, especially for wise counsel and prayer support.
With all these references to counting, you may have guessed that this week's Word to Live By is COUNT!  Whether you are counting your blessings, your carbs, your points, or counting on a friend or family member for support, let's make a point of counting it all joy, knowing that once we get past the challenges, we will have gained patience--with ourselves and with others. 

Most of all, we rejoice that we can always COUNT on Christ to supply strength and encouragement for conquering whatever life throws at us.


Dalene Parker, guest blogger
Words to Live By:  One Word a Week (pages 253-258)

Friday, July 13, 2018

are you packed?

"That you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

Getting ready for a long, extensive trip is exhausting and unnerving.  Let's see... shorts, shoes, shirts.  Packing consumes time... pajamas, meds, toiletries.  It requires planning... reading material, sunglasses, suntan lotion.  And no matter how many time i review my list, something always gets left at home... snacks, charger, hat.

Isn't is awesome to know the packing list for our final trip is light, simple and uncomplicated... just give me Jesus!  It requires one thing -- trusting our Father... as we confess and believe.  Our preparation time is spent in peace... just give me Jesus

With your packing complete for the golden journey, can you think of anyone who could benefit from your packing knowledge?  Share Him with someone today and lighten their load!

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Words to Live by... barter

"Give, and it wil be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 (NIV)

The "Word to Live By" this week is BARTER. My friend Mary just solved our pet problem of not being able to travel this summer by asking me to look after her dogs while she's gone.  
"Sure," I said. "Why don't we barter?  I'll take care of yours and when we need to go somewhere, you can take care of ours."  
Problem solved. Pets content. Minds at ease. Money saved. 
Bartering is a wonderful exchange system. Of course, the greatest bartering of all took place when God exchanged a clean start for my sin-wrecked heart for the blood of His Son Jesus. How can I ever thank Him for such a Gift?  The best way I know is to share Him with others so they, too, make make the barter of a lifetime.

Have a wonderful week of exchanges, giving and receiving that which you treasure.


Dalene Parker, guest blogger
Words to Live By:  One Word a Week (pages 247-252)

Friday, July 6, 2018

keep watching, more signs ahead

As our summer outings continue, so do His signs....

U TURN     "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." 
                  Psa. 34:14

MERGE      "...encourage one another and build each other up..." 
                  1 Thess. 5:11

NARROW   "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to 
BRIDGE       life.." Matt. 7:14         

RIGHT TURN  "The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in
ONLY                  them..."  Hosea 14:9

CONSTRUCTION    "... He who began a good work in you will carry it on 
AHEAD                    to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6

WATCH FOR          "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is
CHILDREN                old he will not turn from it."  Prov. 22:6
No journey is too long or difficult with God.  We can rest in Him always, because He who is faithful will lead us home safely with His mighty signs of love.  

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

let freedom ring!

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

May the bells of freedom be heard everywhere today!

For The One, and the many who died for my freedom, I humbly give thanks. What have I done to deserve such a sacrifice?  Absolutely nothing.

God, our ultimate freedom began with the sacrifice of Your Son for our salvation. You first determined us worthy to save, before we even spoke Your name.  Such a love I cannot fathom. Grace beyond measure. Mercy deeper than the universe.  I celebrate freedom and peace in You.

And to the many selfless soldiers who have and still do fight protecting my homeland, I salute.

I am thankful to be a child of God, and I am thankful to be an American. Long live the free and the brave. May His Peace reign in my heart always.

we are loved and chosen by God,

may we live like we believe it,

Monday, July 2, 2018

Words to Live By... clean

"For God is not a god of disorder but of peace--as in all the congregations of the Lord's people."  1 Cor. 14:33

I love God's sense of humor and His timing!  After four diligent days in the "dungeon" (our basement) sorting, organizing, and purging the last 20+ years of my teacher "stuff," I emerged to write this blog, not realizing until now that the "word of the week" is CLEAN!  In addition, today marks the first official day of my retirement from full-time teaching, so that's even more of a reason to CLEAN out the old and make room for the new.  Speaking of new, our puppy "Marshmallow" adds an extra opportunity for working the word CLEAN into my life and our home.  She keeps me moving trying to pick up (or prevent) her messes.
For those of you for whom CLEAN is your norm, I salute you.  But if you're like me and usually CLEAN only when company's coming or when disaster strikes, then activating this word provides a bit more of a challenge.

Of course, it helps to remember that God wants us to be orderly and at peace -- and CLEAN is a natural extension of orderliness, offering a sense of peace and welcome to all who enter.

As you CLEAN this week, may you experience a new level of contentment and rest. 


Dalene Parker, guest blogger
Words to Live By:  One Word a Week