Monday, February 29, 2016

the library is closed...

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Isaiah 43:19

It's important to our library staff not to close at all during school hours.  With teachers and students possessing limited and random free time, we try and meet their media needs at their convenience. But not this week. This week our library is closed for normal business.  We have a new mission.
For one week the library is put on hold as we transform into a Book Store.  Our Book Fair is important in generating needed funds for new books, reading aids, and other beneficial tools in expanding the reading level and interest of our students.  While the Fair may restrict the ease of reading temporarily for some, a greater gain for all will derive from the Fair.

Are you facing a temporary detour or change in your day or life?  Has something new developed in your comfortable, established routine?  It's possible, and very likely, something good will come from it.   Give it time.  May you find gain in the change.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Friday, February 26, 2016

where were you?

"How great is God -- beyond our understanding!  
His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach."  Job 37: 26,33

Powerful winds ripped up property, trees, buildings, homes.  My heart especially went out to my hometown, Oxford, North Carolina, as i viewed massive destruction by a tornado just miles from where i grew up making mud pies and building forts with tobacco sticks. The Day's dairy farm sustained heavy structural damage, yet Day's words reflected hope not defeat, "Nobody was hurt. Didn't lose any animals. That's the main thing. The rest can be put back." 
A close look at the photo above shows the shredded silo with the cattle safely huddled under a shed.

At any time, any place, to any one, hardship can erupt with no explanation and with no warning.  The important truth for us to remember is for God there are no surprises.  Even in the midst of brokenness and despair He is working out a grander plan.  

Father, when i cry out, "Why?  Why? Why?" as with Job, i hear You thunder, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?"  And then i remember, You are still in control.  And nothing touches me without going through Your Hand... Your refining, loving Hand.

Truly life is not about getting what we think we deserve, but about growing in our relationship and our trust in God at all times.

friend, we are LOVED and chosen by God,
veneal

Thursday, February 25, 2016

here's 1 thing or 2

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!" Isaiah 43:18-19

Preparing for Dr. Seuss day at school, i am reminded of looking ahead.  God has a plan for each of us.  Oh, the places you'll go!  
friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ matter

"Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid for I am with you." Isaiah 43:4-5

Who matters to God? Each and every one of us... no matter how small.


friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ trust

"Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing." Psalm 34:10


Feed on His Word, and emptiness and fears go away.  Instead you will be filled and satisfied with His Love and Truths.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Monday, February 22, 2016

happily ever after...

"Then he said,' Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.'
Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'"  Luke 23:42-43

Where does one find happily ever after?

home with a white picket fence...
the perfect mate...
graceful feet...
adoring children...
terrific career...
2 dogs and a cat...
songbird voice...
fat bank account...
talented hands...
a castle on the hilltop...

Many things can provide happiness, but happily ever after?  Is it a fairy tale or can it really exist?

Let there be no doubt, it is real for all who believe.

Thank You, Father, for the promise of happily ever after.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Friday, February 19, 2016

the best Big Lips

"The lips of the righteous nourish many..." Proverbs 10:21


The best big lips aren't full of Botox, but of love serving many.


friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Thursday, February 18, 2016

careful, it's thick out there

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6

Weather report:  "Heavy morning this fog, beware."

Without question the report meant driving slower to work, but walking too?  As Bella and i charged out for our early morning walk, we found it necessary to reduce our pace. The milky air caused the road ahead to vanish into never-land.  The objects ahead were questionable -- was it a tree, light post or a person?  My path that's normally certain, appeared different and obscure.

Fog can fall upon us in an instant... unexpected bad news, the loss of a loved one, a disappointing test result, a broken relationship, sickness, job loss, family rebellion, dishonesty, rejection.  The fog conjures up doubt, fear, anger and confusion, distorting our vision.  Unable to distinguish between what's real or not, how can we continue?

Whether the density of the fog is like buttermilk or skim milk, we must remember God still cares, and He has a clear vision for us.  As we trust Him with all areas of our life, His Peace calms and diminishes our jitters.  In His perfect time, the Son burns away the fog surrounding us and His glory clearly shines through. 

With God the path to peace is perfectly clear... with or without fog.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ open

"and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame."  Isaiah 58:10-11

Bless someone today who isn't expecting it.

Open hearts open new beginnings. And healing happens.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

best school day ever!

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

Close your eyes and imagine this...
It's Friday -- Valentine's Day celebrations are slated with sweet parties in all classrooms, fifth grade students are honoring their Grandparents with personal letters and a luncheon.  Excitement, giggles and love fill the air... and then the unthinkable happens... it starts snowing!!!

First it's a flake or two sauntering in the air, then a dazzling flurry and soon a full-blown blizzard.  We watch tiny, delicate flakes transform into biscuit-sized flakes dancing gracefully through the winter sky.   All are mesmerized and thrilled.


Word spreads to the teachers, "we will remain in school," since weather experts predict the snow will fall for just 2 hours.  With a temperature increase, school dismissal will be safer at the regular time.  So what's a teacher to do???  Take the students out and enjoy this rare, spectacular beautiful event! A day of teaching is already under siege with a pending major sugar attack, making it the perfect time to relax and give in to some snowy fun.


Reminiscing over this unexpected snowy scenario, it feels like an incredible dream.  But this dream really did come true making beautiful memories for everyone and producing much fun and laughter to small and big kids.

Thank You, Father, for Your precious love and sweet surprises.  Oh, how You delight us! You rejoice over us with singing... and sometimes with snow.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Sunday, February 14, 2016

you're the one...

You, My child, are the cherished love of My life!  I wrote this Valentine with just you in mind.

My dear sweet (your name),

Rejoice! For I have made this day for you!  (Psalm 118:24)

You have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  I chose you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in My sight.  (Ephesians 1:4)

Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Since I am for you, who can be against you?  (Romans 8:31)

Who or what shall separate you for My love?  Shall trouble or hardship? No, never!  (Romans 8:35)

I will tend to you like a shepherd does his flock.  I will gather you in my arms and carry you close to My heart. (Isaiah 40:11)

When you are tired and weary, come to Me, and I will give you rest.  (Matthew 11:28)

Whatever yoke you are under, I will free you from it.  I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.  You are mine, and I am Your God.  (Exodus 6:6-7)

I will keep you from all harm and watch over your life always (Psalm 121:7-8)

It is My prayer that you may grasp how wide and long and high and deep My love is for you.  (Ephesians 3:17-19)

always on your side and for you,
Dad

Need more affirmations regarding His love for you? Just pull out His Book. It's a love letter written just for you

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Friday, February 12, 2016

loves me, loves me not...

Does He really love me??
YES!!! keep counting the ways...


(your name), My dearly loved Child,   (Ephesians 5:1)

You have been fearfully and wonderfully made by Me.   (Psalm 139:14)
Nothing and no one will separate you from My love! ... neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation!   (Romans 8:35 39)
I will meet all your needs.  (Philippians 4:19)
I will fulfill My purpose for you with an unending love.   (Psalm 138:8)
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you... carry you... and rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4)
I will never forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.  (Isaiah 49:15-16)
As I watch over you, I will not sleep nor slumber.  (Psalm 121:4)
 
Live with the confidence of knowing who you are and whose you are... My Child.  (1 Peter 2:9)
Keeping looking up, My Child, I am here for you always.  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

forever your Dad

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wild about you!!



Come bask in the love of the One who loves you best. Face it, God is wild about you! If He had a coffee mug, your name would be all over it.

Dear (your name),

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so I rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5)

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.(Jeremiah 31:3)

I will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

I have chosen you to be my treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6)

Do not be afraid, for I will fight for you. (Deuteronomy 3:22)

I will rescue you because I delight in you. (Psalm 18:19)

You are the apple of my eye. (Psalm 17:8)

Forever your heavenly Dad

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

love is in the air!

love letter #1... Be Mine


Some things in life are worth repeating and rereading, like love letters. I've carried these around for  years and never, never plan to part from them. I'm pulling them out of my treasure chest (Bible) to remember, rediscover and reflect on the greatest love of all and to share with you.  No matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing, YOU ARE GREATLY LOVED!  May we always remember Whose we are and Who loved us first. Read and believe His blessings for you  -- His beloved Valentine.


Dear (your name),


Do you not know?  Have you not heard?   (Isaiah 40:21)

I will never take my love away from you.  (1 Chronicles 17:13)

To you, I will be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.    (Psalm 103:8)

I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)

Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you... do not be afraid, for I am with you.  (Isaiah 43:4 5)

I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.   (Isaiah 42:1)

I will quiet you with My love. I will rejoice over you with singing.   (Zephaniah 3:17)

And remember, dear Child of Mine,

My love endures forever.   (2 Chronicles 20:21)


 Dad

What a Love!  What a God!  What a Father!
Yes, Love is in the air for each and every one of us!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

a Mighty Word ~ onward

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

Disappoints, heartaches, mistakes, wrongs... none of us are immune from them.  As excruciating and painful as they are, we aren't to stay in the darkness of them.

With our eyes on God, we can move forward in faith, strength, and peace.  Trust His Light and Love to bring beauty out of all things in His time.

Thank You, Father.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Monday, February 8, 2016

and the winner...

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

 

In football, no matter how well prepared or good a team is the outcome of the game is not a given.  You win some, you lose some.

 

But with Jesus Christ by your side you are a winner for Life!  And in the end, that is all that really matters.

 

Still smiling, and still pounding.

 

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

veneal

 


Saturday, February 6, 2016

keep pounding...

"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus... Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules... 

if we endure, we will also reign with Him." 2 Timothy 2:3, 5, 12

Got a job to do?
keep pounding

Got a relationship to restore?
keep pounding

Got a mistake to fix?
keep pounding

Got a weakness to eliminate?
keep pounding

Got a wound to heal?
keep pounding

Got a habit to change?
keep pounding

A fear to overcome?
keep pounding

Got a loss to fill?
keep pounding

Got a strength to grow?
keep pounding

Got a tear to repair?
keep pounding

It's Super Bowl weekend.  I love how the Carolina Panthers are reminding us to keep pounding... not just on the field, but in our life.

Thank You, Father, for the Power to get the job done.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Friday, February 5, 2016

ready to score?

"God doesn't want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible." 2 Timothy 1:7 MSG

Max Lucado, he speaks my language -- simple, logical sense. In one of his books he shares the formula in finding your perfect career.  In short, tapping into your talents, skills and gifts from God when coupled with your passion in life, lands you in your sweet spot.  Sadly, many have taken a seat on a stinking sour pickle instead.  Miserable in a job they detest, not only is the company they're working for being cheated, but so is the person and God.  There is little joy, growth or glory. All would gain from a change.

But oh, the joys of filling that magical formula, resulting with a career in the sweet spot. Cam Newton appears to be living in such a spot.  He's a talented quarterback, having a blast! I will admit his antics on the field at one time annoyed me -- skipping, laughing, joking.  I thought he's not serious enough, you know, having too much fun... just loving his job too much.  Loving his job too much? Is that possible? And how can anyone not love the smile on the little faces receiving a football from him?
Lucado says, "Success is not defined by position or pay scale but by this: doing the most what you do the best." 

Are you doing the most of what you do the best?  Then, do a happy dance; you've scored! Celebrate, and let His glory shine!

"He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

friend, we are loved and chosen by God, 
veneal

Thursday, February 4, 2016

caught!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6


Situations, circumstances, events can throw an unexpected and unwanted 
wrench in our day.  And i can assure you of this, i don't want to be like a deer caught in the headlights -- frozen in blind fear.

Life would be almost impossible, IF we didn’t keep our focus on God and KNOW He is in control of ALL things.   

TRUST HIM, we must. No matter what.

God uses absolutely everything to His glory… the good, the bad and the ugly.  May we keep praising Him in ALL things.  His Light is not blinding, but calming.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

STOP!

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

I was...
and He is.

Thank You, Father.


S.T.O.P. -- Still Trusting Our Provider

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Mighty Word ~ enough



"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I AM HELPED." 
Psalm 28:7


When we think we don't have enough, we need only to remember He is always enough ~ always.

Friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Remember this...

The Lord says...
"'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
 For I am the Lord your God, yo
ur Savior...'" Isaiah 43:1-3



We are not promised a trouble-free life, but we are promised to never be alone during our trials, hardships and disappointments.  Thank You, Father.  When we are weak, we are strong because of You.

Friend, we are loved and chosen by God,
veneal