Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up and F.F.F.

Poking up my head and looking around ... it's Friday and I've not ended my week well.

I like to end the week with reflecting on the good things and planning for the next.



Here's a quick rundown:

1. Saturday was a fun day of yard saling with the girls and the grands. Thank you, God, for my family and opportunities to be with them.

2. Sunday was also fun. Our lesson went very well in class and I always feel good when that happens. We had a great day in both worship services.

3. Monday was back to work but things have went pretty well being back in the office. I'm still a little behind, but hey! Job security. 

4. Wednesday was my turn to speak at mid-week services. My topic was worry and since I've much experience with it, I had a lot of good stuff to share. My post, Is It Ever Okay to Worry, contains a portion of the lesson. I'm always thankful when God helps me speak.

5. Today was the first time on my weight loss journey someone told me she noticed I was losing weight. A comment like that makes my day.

I'm looking forward to the weekend: Birthday of our oldest baby-girl on Saturday, on Sunday a Church picnic,  Monday grilling out, and at some point, a road trip to the lake is on my agenda.

And so ends another week on the Journey. Hopefully, next week's wrap-up will feature more writing and photos! (I didn't take even one photo this week.)

How did YOUR week go? I'd love to hear all about it. Leave a comment, or link up your own post at the fabulous Susanne's space, Living to Tell the Story. They are good people there.



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Is it Ever Okay to Worry?

Short answer? Not for the Christian.

Then He said to His disciples: "Therefore I tell you, don't worry about your life ... 

Don't worry - it's not a suggestion, it's a command. You can read His words in context here. They are from the most famous sermon ever, The Sermon on the Mount. Basically, He is telling us to trust Him. He knows what we need and He has our best interest at heart.


God created us to have full abundant lives.  He doesn’t want us to be consumed with thoughts of things that are not our responsibility.  Our job is to trust.  His job is to provide.

But hey! We are human. Worry wants to sneak in. What if God doesn't notice or care about what is happening in my life?


Never fear, God will do His part. We are not to be filled with pride and think we can fix everything ourselves. Instead, we are to cast all our care on him!  Both the old and new testaments tell us this:
 “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 HCSB

And

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 HCSB

Casting is not a passive word, it’s an active one.  You don’t limply hand your worry over – You vigorously sling it out there! 

The other day, a friend and I were discussing the principle of casting your care.

Cast to me is a fisherman's term. (God loves fisherman, as we know from His choosing of several fishermen to be His disciples.) A fisherman casts his rod out there – he doesn’t just plop it near his feet. Also, there is aim when a fisherman casts. He intends it to go to a certain area of the lake.

So the casting of our care takes effort, because it is so human to keep it ourselves and stew over it ... and think we are accomplishing something
We cast it upon the Lord, not just willy nilly over our backs ...
Also, when a fisherman casts, he has to LET IT GO!  I don't mean he lets go of the pole, he knows where it is, but he releases the reel to let the bait go. Now in Peter’s day, we know from the Word, that he cast nets. Throwing a net would be much more difficult and involve way more effort than a pole!

My final thought on this (for now!) is you let the bait go in hope of reaping a blessing in the form of a fish. We let the worry go and reap a blessing in answered prayer ... and in peace of mind.
When you can really believe He cares about YOU, worry won't be a problem.


~~~

What about you? Do you struggle with worry?
You might want to read my previous post on this topic:  Why Worry?


The Loft

I'm linking this post to the community at The Loft. This is a group of writers who are truly pressing in to the heart of God. This week's topic is a pot-luck - the writer can post any CHRISTIAN LIVING post of their choice. You can read their work, or join them with a post of your own, here.


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I'm also linking this post with the community at Grace and Truth. Because they are awesome.


You can find the links to visit, or link up a post of your own, at any of these great sites:



Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
 | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Dawn Klinge – Above the Waves
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |INSTAGRAM

Aimee Imbeau – A Work of Grace
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+



The Loft Serves up Pot-Luck

THEWelcome to the Loft! We are a community of Christian bloggers and we are so happy you stopped by today. Today, is Pot-Luck, and any CHRISTIAN LIVING post is acceptable.

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted. 

We will offer a month's worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. 

Here are the topics for the next month

  • May 25 ~ Pot Luck 
  • June 1 ~ Summer Vacation - where you goin'? whatcha gonna do? who you gonna take on vacay with you? 
  • June 8 ~ Things that have Shaped My Faith
  • June 15 ~ NOTE: We are taking a one week summer break. No link-up today! 


Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. and will stay live until the following Monday at 5 p.m. 

If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it it time to get to today's link-up. Our prompt today is POT LUCK. Link up a post today...ANY CHRISTIAN LIVING POST. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship
at The Loft.


       

The Loft

#TheLoft

The Loft

 Now it is time to linkup!



Monday, May 23, 2016

Daybook: 05.23.16

For Today, Monday, May 23rd



Looking out my window I see sunshine and my blooming rose bushes. I feel happy and contented.

I am thinking what a beautiful week this is going to be. I wish it would have been like this last week when I was off but God knows what is best for me.

I am thankful I have a job to come back to after a stay-cation ... and that I have another stay-cation coming up in July 1!

One of my favorite things to do with my girls is to go yard-saling. We went for the first time this year on Saturday. We all found a few treasures and had a good day just spending time together.

I am wearing white jeans, royal blue top, black cami with a white "statement" necklace.

I am creating my own art for my posts using pictures I have taken on past road trips and then editing them in PicMonkey. It's almost as much fun as writing!

I am listening to Chris Tomlin on Pandora. Love his songs,  "How Great is Our God," "I will Follow You," ... well I could go on and on.

I am hoping to do better on my steps for my FitBit this week.

I am learning to tone down the crazy - by that I mean not expect so much of myself. It's a really hard lesson, though.

In my kitchen I will be making hot-dog roll-ups and baked beans for dinner tonight. I will also slice up some strawberries to have with angel-food cake. Mondays need to be simple for me - especially my first day back from being off work.

Post Script - You might want to see this post on spiritual disciplines by my friend, Michele Morin: Beginners All our Lives.


Shared Quote 

Seen on the back of a tithe envelope: "Every Saint has a past … Every Sinner has a future!"

Seriously, I'm the bookkeeper at my churches and I really did see this written on the back of a tithe envelope when I was posting tithes. I don't know who said it but it's true.

A moment from my day





We had a gorgeous day at the lake last week. I like this pic I captured of the ducks.

Closing Notes:
I hope both you and I have a beautiful, fun-filled, amazing week filled with good thoughts, delicious food and challenging conversations. What is your plan for the week?

~~~~


The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler. You can join in by linking at her site, The Simple Woman.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up and F.F.F

Whoosh! Did you hear the sound of that week flying by? It was a stay-cation week for me, so of course, it felt like it didn't last very long.

I feel some things finally gelled in my mind this week and we will get to those later, but first, a Friday's tradition must be done. On Fridays for, oh I don't know, like 269 WEEKS, I've been counting the highlights of my week. That is 1,345 blessings I wrote down. How many blessings got away from me?  An un-counted blessing is a sad thing. Let's not let that happen!




You can count, and share, yours too. You can link-up how God showed up in your life at the site of our lovely hostess, Susanne, runs at Living to Tell the Story. You will enjoy this community.

1.Time with these two: lots of fun time this week with Brody and Baylee. Our daughter had to work almost each day of the week so we had them every day. Lots of snuggles, singing, book-reading and tired bones (for me) at the end of every day. Here they are looking out of the window and watching PaPa work on the car.






They look so big!

2. Time at the Lake - we only had one day to go, unless we get to squeeze in a short trip Saturday afternoon, but we had a good time and saw some lovely scenery. We smelled some awesome honeysuckle, too. It was everywhere!












I got in 10,575 steps that day. I've only managed to do 10,000 steps twice ... and both times were at a lake. Don't you think that means I need to go more often?

3. Time with the FitBit paying off. As of today, 12 lbs. lost! Slow but sure wins the race - that's my mantra right now.

4. Time to think. So important. I don't get near enough time to think. Do you? Probably what I should say, I don't make enough time for quiet and reflection. And when I do get time, it's "verra verra" difficult
 to actually make my mind be quiet.

5. Time to worship - this Sunday was an awesome time for meeting with God. Yes, we had a good lesson and good preaching, but the altar time was the capstone to a good day, or dare I say, a good week.

In my Daybook post, I said I was going to wrap-up my weird week with some things I've observed:


  • My week was weird because it was almost totally unproductive and I don't like that. I did get one major project 95% done but I'm not used to not having a big long list of things to show for my time.
  • I know it sounds crazy, but I cannot accomplish anything if I don't look my best. During my stay-cation, I tried to go some days without makeup and styling my hair but I found I feel miserable "slouching around." The truth is I have to be "ready for business," to accomplish anything worthwhile. My best thoughts come when I look my best. Perhaps other writers can relate?
  • Long to-do lists not only don't work, they paralyze me. This was quite the shocker, because my readers know I adore to-do lists. Halfway through my week, when I realized how lousy things were going in the accomplishment department, I remembered something Linda Stoll said in my Daybook comments. She followed Josh Becker's advice in only having 3 things on a to-do list at a time. It freed her up. (I'm definitely going to have to check out Josh Becker.) So, each day I put down 4 things (I'm a rebel) and it went better.
  • I have unrealistic expectations. This should not be a surprise to me, but I have it brought home to me quite often nonetheless.

I've got more observations to share, but as my Pastor says, they need to "marinate" in my mind and spirit a little more. Maybe they will be ready by the time I do my What I Learned in May post.

And so ends another week on the Journey. I'm interested in YOU - how did your week go? Please share - I'd love to know!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lessons from Mother



My mother had to do the bulk of the parenting when I was growing up. Dad was the disciplinarian and seemed larger-than-life to me, but he was not home much.

Much of who I am I learned by observing my mom's example.


I don't really remember her saying I should do any certain thing or act any certain way. She taught us by living it out in front of us.

For instance, we were brought up to go to church every Sunday. Our first Sunday at church was the first Sunday we were home from the hospital. She took us no matter where we lived, even if she had to take us by herself. You had to be sick enough to have a temperature to stay home. I learned to be faithful to the house of God by watching her faithfulness.

We always wore our best on Sundays. We, meaning me, always had to wear those sponge-roller thingies in my hair all Saturday night to have curly hair for church Sundays. (Usually the rollers on one side of my head would fall out so my style was always lopsided.)

We had church clothes, school clothes and play clothes. When you got home from church or school you immediately changed into play clothes.

She wouldn't allow you to say "cuss" words. She would wash your mouth out with soap! (I wish parents did this nowadays, but unfortunately, they are the ones who teach those words to their kids by their example.) I learned to speak nicely by listening to her speech.

We didn't have big birthday parties or expensive gifts when we were kids but you always received something and she would make you a birthday cake and let you pick out the menu for the meal that night.

Speaking of meals, that brings me to one of the biggest influences Mom had on me that I continue with my family even now:

We ate at the Family Table, every night. We all sat at the table and ate together and talked every night of our lives. There was no eating in front of the TV. I learned the importance of prioritizing family time by her priorities.


Of course, in the interest of truthfulness in blogging, the television was on when my dad was there. Because, the News was ON and we must listen, so that cut down on the talking. But once Walter Cronkite signed off, dad was always ready to visit and tell stories and sometimes I'd be sitting at that table listening for an hour or more.

Because there is nothing I like better than stories. I just wish I had written them down!


Mama’s Losin’ It


Today's post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt # 3. Share a lesson you learned from your Mother that still sticks with you to this day. You can check out some amazing content on this and other prompts at Kat Bouska's blog, Mama's Losin' It.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Best Gift

Not too long ago, our Adult Class topic was spiritual gifts and the question was asked, "What is the most important gift?"

The short answer, of course, is the one needed at the time.  Our lesson's conclusion was the gift that edified the church and brought understanding was the most important.

All of the gifts are super important and needful and some are surprised to find out there are more than the 9 gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. Perhaps you might think you don't have a spiritual gift at all. Let's examine all the gifts and see if you possess gifting in an area you might not realize.


Apostles
Prophets
Evangelists 
Pastors 
Teachers

Prophecy
Service
Teaching
Encouraging
Giving
Leading
Showing Mercy

Message of Wisdom
Message of Knowledge
Faith
Gifts of Healings
Working of Miracles
Prophecy
Discerning of Spirits
Speaking in Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues

The first listing of gifts from Ephesians 4 shows God's gifts to the church. We'd be lost without pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. Let's be sure to treat those who fill those offices like the gift they are to us.

Maybe because I can see some of these giftings in myself, but the list from Romans 12 is my favorite. Maybe you haven't thought of encouraging and being merciful and generous as gifts before but they certainly are. Think how bleak the church would be without them! Do you see the one called "service"? I seem to recall Jesus saying the greatest would be the one who served the most ...

The third list is the most famous of all lists (and the one to stir up the most controversy!).  To cover these in depth in one post would be to do them an injustice. As I stated before, the most important gift is the one needed at the time. If great faith was needed in a situation, a faith beyond what I could stir up in myself, then I can rely on God and the Holy Spirit to supply that faith. I just need to be a willing vessel.

Paul says earnestly seek the best gift.and ends the passage saying he will show us a more excellent way, then immediately goes into the Love chapter (1 Corinthians 13). The truth is you can be the most gifted soul on the planet but if you don't use your gifts in love, it's all for nothing.

I'd like to repeat that last statement. If you don't use your gifts in love, it's all for nothing.

Pray to be gifted, but first choose to love. Everything will fall into place.

~~~

Have you noticed spiritual gifts in your life? Is there a particular gift you pray to receive? 


The Loft


I find it interesting that immediately following Pentecost Sunday, when the church received presence of the Holy Spirit, our leader of The Loft community chose Spiritual Gifts as our topic! Good choice, Leah! There should be some interesting reading available today on this topic. Go here to see all the links to some great writing.

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I'm also linking this post to the community at Grace and Truth this week. You can find a plethora of thought-provoking and challenging posts there! You can link up at any of these awesome bloggers' websites:

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
 | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER|G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST |G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ |STUMBLEUPON

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Dawn Klinge – Above the Waves
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |INSTAGRAM

Aimee Imbeau – A Work of Grace
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST |G+