Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A young man who was in the teen group I helped lead back in the late 1970's posted this morning that someone told him he was "too religious".  It shocked me, even in today's society where religion is something that sometimes leaves a bad taste in people's mouths, I was still surprised to hear that someone felt a man "too religious"!  Especially somone like this man who always posts encouraging comments and things about his life to show how far he has come in his walk to find the abundant life he hopes for as he strives to make it to the goal set before us all as we live our lives with "eternal salvation" in mind.
I began to look in my Bible to see if I could find something that would help him feel better about the posts he makes concerning his religious attitude.  I came upon I Timothy 4 and posted verses 6-16 on his page.  I look especially to verses 8-10 which I would like to share with you today.
I Timothy 4:8-10
8:For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
9: It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.
10: For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

We as believers must speak the truth to ourselves and all we come in contact with, wherever that may be.  In these times that can be in person, by phone, and now on the internet by way of facebook, twitter, google, and even here on a blog we create.
I believe that God uses us in whatever way He wills if we truly put aside ourself and let Him guide our walk through this life. He tells us that we must tell all we meet of the way to salvation and eternal hope in our God and how His Son came to earth to give us that hope.
We must be thankful that we have the opportunity to do this without the struggles and persecution the apostles faced during the early days of the church, after Jesus left them with the responsibility to spread the Word to others, in spite of the persecution He knew they would face.
Acts 4 tells us of an example during the early days of the apostles lives after Jesus left them, and it shows their fire and spirit they had for sharing His Word with the rest of the world, in spite of what those in authority had to say to them.  Those, that some of them must have known personally in their lives "before Jesus", "before salvation", "before too religious", "before eternal salvation".  Their example shows us that we too must strive to meet that example and use our lives in whatever way God has blessed us with to spread His Word so others might have that abundant life.  His coming to earth in the form of man, gave to his Apostles and by their teachings and living examples, that abundant life; we too must share with all we meet in our everyday walk as we look ahead towards that goal where we can meet Him and have eternal life with Him.

Acts 4

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Peter and John Arrested

As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming [a]in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the [b]message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priestwas there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, [c]filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “[d]Rulers and elders of the people, if we are [e]on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, [f]as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that[g]by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—[h]by [i]this namethis man stands here before you in good health. 11 [j]He is the stone which was rejected by you, the buildersbut which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Threat and Release

13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them [k]as having been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But when they had ordered them to leave the[l]Council, they began to confer with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that anoteworthy [m]miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.17 But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” 18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all [n]in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; 22 for the man was more than forty years old on whom this [o]miracle of healing had been performed.
23 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O[p]Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
Why did the [q]Gentiles rage,
And the peoples devise futile things?
26 The kings of the earth [r]took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His [s]Christ.’
27 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy [t]servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the [u]Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. 29 And [v]now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and [w]signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy [x]servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Sharing among Believers

32 And the [y]congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them [z]claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the[aa]proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of[ab]Encouragement), 37 and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is the "day" everyone is supposed to show their "love" for their special someone.  My honey left a card, a box of chocolates, Hershey's kisses strewn all over the table and a new Keurig-K cup machine, in red no less.

For those that know me red is my all time favorite color!!!!!!!!  My kitchen is white with "RED" accents.  Meaning anytime I see something red for the kitchen I add it to my collection.  Jeff has known that now for many years and he lets me put as much red as accents as I like without complaining that you don't have room for one more red dish, red pot holder, red coffeepot, etc, etc.

You know what tho?  As much as these goodies make me smile on those "special days" when Jeff brings me presents, I like the "unspecial" days just as much or maybe even more.
Days where he writes on my mirror, shhhh, don't tell him, but even the days when he helps me remember a chore that I may forget.  I have learned so much from him on how to make the most normal, unusual, unimportant days be just as special as any holiday ever put on any calendar.  He has taught me that being there for me and me for him is the most special gift we can ever give each other.

His most favorite gift I can give him?  Homemade Spaghetti made from his grandmother's recipe.  Real sit down suppers on the table when it has grown dark and things have finally quieted down for the day.  Fresh clean smelling laundry folded and put on his dresser to put away.  (Sometimes he is the one that has washed, dried, and folded it.)  New Lego's to add to his collection.  Fun games with the grandkids.  Camping with all the gang.

Those quiet few minutes as you settle in to bed after you turn out the light, where it is quiet and dark and all you hear is your loved one's breath going in and out with maybe a yawn or too to break the silence.  Both of us at one time or another will sigh and say, "Best part of the day."  Even now with no kids at home and it much less noisy around here we both cherish the time of day when we finally put aside all other distractions and relax with our thoughts.  Maybe to share a prayer before falling asleep or maybe just lying close listening to each other breath.  Just being there together is another of my most cherished things.  He spent so much time away during his active duty years that it is nice to know he is lying there beside me almost every night now.

Don't get me wrong, there were times during those younger years that we were both ready for him to deploy, or go out of town, for you nonmilitary folks.  Sometimes we all need a break from each other to more appreciate what we have when we come back together.  But for the most part, we are settled in to our routine and both appreciate that small things are sometimes just as, if not, more important in a relationship than all the big presents can ever be.

When my boys were little and running around outside playing I remember those special moments when one would run in with a flower/weed and give it to me and say "this is for you mama" with a big proud smile and love in his eyes.  Sometimes one of them would bring home some little trinket from school or Bible class he had made for me to show he loved me.  The phone call from one of those boys turned men now can make my day brighter more than anything any of them have ever bought me.  Remember to smile and hug and praise your child/spouse for those little things that they feel the urge or need to express love for you and give it right back at them when you feel that need.

Sprinkle a few "kisses" around not only today, but everyday in your relationships and see how far the happiness will grow and come right back at you full force.

Take the time today and everyday in your marriage relationship as well as your relationships with anyone important in your life to make sure you remember the small things that make that other person happy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Holding On To My Anchor

My inlaws passed away last year.  They died 2 months apart.  They had been together 56 years.  She had a stroke in 2005 and was still able to get around but was never her former self again.  The love he showed for her in the next 7 years was remarkable to say the least.  He put aside his life and did his best to make hers as comfortable and secure as he possibly could.
Watching him as he cared for her and tried to make her life as normal as possible was truly inspiring.  He continued to do activities that he was already involved in but as the years passed you could tell he was slowing down too.  He never left her for more than a few hours at a time unless he had to be hospitalized himself.
He made her daily routine a ritual that she could repeat each morning and her days as enjoyable as he could. The daily routine of playing a Rummy game to 500 became the highlight of her day.  He came to hate rummy but he always agreed it was time when she asked if he would play a hand or two with her.  You see, she could no longer read and since she was a journalist in their small hometown newspaper,  she became sadder and sadder that she could no longer do her favorite things.  So he helped her replace those favorite things with her daily dose of rummy.
We spent more time with them in the last 7 years, trying to go visit twice a year and he so looked forward to someone else taking a turn at the daily rummy games.  But you could tell he was always right there to ease the way when she got confused or frustrated.
He was her anchor you see and she clung to him with both hands.  He kept things stable for her when she was inside the storm that was her confusion and fear.  He kept her safe and secure in the love he had for her and she never doubted him or his love.
Spending this last year with them and then her after he passed away in Dec. 2012 has been an eye opener for me in evaluating my life and my future and what I want from it.  It has been hard at times to sit and realize that I am on the last 3rd of my life and going into the "golden" years can be a scary thing.  I look ahead to what may come and wonder if I will be as content as they both were to live in the now. I spend each day doing what secures me to this live.  Making the most of each day has become something I am stewing with.  I am not doing such a good job of feeling like each day has accomplished as much as I should accomplish.  Then I remember that Paul tells us to be content.
Phil. 4:11  Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am.
I have fibromyalgia and some days with my pain and fatigue, I do absolutely nothing.  The next day I allow myself to wallow in my guilt that I am so much slower than I used to be.  Then I remember where I have been and all I have gone through and especially, where I am going and I am renewed.  I know my future and what it holds.
Phil. 4:12-13
12:I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
13: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
So this too shall be overcome.  My pain, fatigue and guilt, my insecurities on how I live each day and what the future holds in my "golden" years it all will be ok.  I will take one day at a time and try to make a difference in just one person's life and in so doing make my life more content.  I will walk the path I have chosen and let God lead me in whatever task He needs me to accomplish.
For God is my anchor and I will cling to Him with both hands.  I will let Him lead me where I need to go and prayerfully I will be the kind of wife, the kind of mother, and the kind of grannie love that I need to be.  My daily prayer is that I will be the example I need to be and the anchor I can be for my husband, my children, and my grandchildren.  I know no better legacy to leave than the one that helps them all to be better in this life.  Better Christians, better spouses, better parents, better brothers, better sisters......... just Him.
.For all of us can do ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS US!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


After the normal frustration that comes with trying anything new, Jeff helped me create a blog!  I'm very excited to learn about blogging, and to see what I can discover about me through this shared introspection!