Friday, February 5, 2016

F.F.F. - 02.04.06

I was thinking I had too much to do this week to work in doing a Friday's Fave Five, but I realized that's crazy talk. There is always time to reflect on blessings!

I have 5 answered prayers to share with you today - 5! And they all happened in one day ...

At our midweek service, we had a ton of prayer requests, and we faithfully shared them. Then we went on to our teaching for that week. We were studying about church membership and responsibilities of the church member. The topic was serving in the church and its outreach according to your abilities. Our discussion had just got to the point where it was mentioned that being a prayer warrior is the very most important job in the church and one we can't do without; and then God put us to the test! One of the ladies in our group got an emergence message:  Her niece, who was 25 weeks pregnant, was in labor and was being flown to St. Louis to St. John's Mercy Hospital to see if labor could be stopped.

We stopped the lesson and bombarded heaven with our prayers, begging God to have mercy and save this little one and his mama. We asked God to let baby Corbin live and let him be a testimony of God's goodness.

There were other serious needs mentioned that night as well.

And then came Thursday, Day of Miracles - at least in my mind!

1. Baby Corbin was still where he needed to be - safe in his mama's womb. Labor was stopped. Mama will have to be on bed rest but we are praising God for answered prayer.

2. Our sweet Sister Florence had been ill so long and it seemed the doctors were not sure of the problem. She had her gall bladder out Thursday and is doing so much better. The gall bladder looked like it had went bad a long time ago, doctor said;  and so, our prayers for finding the source of Florence's problems was answered.

3. Also on Thursday, surgery was being done on a lady who had a mass on her spine and was in horrific pain. There was danger of paralysis. It was said she'd have to be in ICU when the surgery was completed. Surgery went well, and she immediately was placed in a regular room, NOT ICU.

4. But that wasn't the best part:  this lady had been hurt in the past and wanted nothing to do with God but on Thursday, Day of Miracles, she accepted the Lord as her Savior.  Woo Hoo!

5. Last, but certainly not least, there was a lady who came to my office seeking help with utility bills. She was so down and discouraged and I just felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit that here was a person who was ready to have her life changed. I told the Pastor about this prompting and he asked me to set up a meeting with her and her husband. He wanted to present the gospel to them; because what good is helping with a utility bill, if you don't help them with the most pressing need in their lives - peace with God? I was able to get them to agree to come see Pastor on Thursday. Wednesday, I asked my church to pray for this lady, that I felt the Lord wanted to do something for her. Well, now I can say, I have a new sister in Christ and it was beautiful to see the joy on her face.

So, yes, to me Thursday is a Day of Miracles.

How did your week go? If you'd like to share your blessings, leave a comment, or link up a post of your own at Susanne's space, "Living to Tell the Story."






We need your stories! It gives us all hope.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thanks, Mr. Mailman!

Hey, Mr. Mailman,

I hear that today is National Thank A Mailman Day.  This is a day I can totally get behind. I love it when you bring me packages and greeting cards!  I'm not as big a fan of your bringing me bills and tax notices but I know you are just doing your job.

I mean, how amazing is it that for less than 50¢ I can get a birthday card from my family in Florida all the way to my mailbox in Illinois?

It occurs to me that I never thanked you for a very special package you brought me about 40 years ago. I don't know if you remember it. It was a small package about the size of a watch box wrapped up in brown paper (that was probably a brown paper bag cut up). It was taped with enough packaging tape that it could have been left on the doorstep of an Eskimo and it would have survived the winter. 'Member? It was heavily insured?

I remember the day I got it, how excited I was!  I quickly got my scissors and cut through all the tape and stuff and unwrapped the box to reveal ...

My boyfriend's class ring!

Yes, Mr. Mailman, I was in a long-distance relationship. I'm sure you noticed the flurry of letters sent and received since my vacation that June.

Did you notice a couple months later that a change of address had been filed at the post office for me and that my mail was going now to my grandmother's address in Illinois? And that the following winter, you had to carry cards and letters from me with a new last name in Illinois to my mama's address in Florida?

Ah, well... perhaps mailmen don't pay attention to the things they carry for the residents on their route. After all, you are retired now and hopefully are spending your time at the beach, or in your garden, hardly giving a thought to your mail-carrying days.

But, just in case, I wanted to say thank you. You were a part of that long-ago romance that is still going on today.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt # 5. February 4th is National Thank A Mailman Day. What did your mail carrier deliver that you would like to thank them for?

Did the mailman ever bring YOU something you were waiting for expectantly? Leave a comment or consider linking up a post of your own to Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.

My favorite photo of us


I've also written this post in honor of our 40th wedding anniversary this Saturday, February 6.  I can't imagine my spending my life with anyone else!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

We are Family

I love my family. We are definitely not normal, but each member is unique and special and so lovable!

Families are God's idea. The first group created was the family unit and God liked it so much He told mankind to be fruitful and multiply. It's been said that every new baby is God's sign that the world should go on. I think there is an element of truth in that thought. 

He also has a heart for those families who are incomplete. Widows and orphans are promised His protection and He won't stand for anyone mistreating them. He says in His word that He will set the solitary in families* so I don't believe it is His will for anyone to travel this journey totally alone.

One of the ways that people are included in families is by becoming members of the church. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we become joint-heirs with Christ.** We are sons and daughters which makes us brothers and sisters.

When the early church began, fellowship with one another was very important to them.*** In fact, they ate together every day!

As many of you know, I'm a church ministry assistant and, of course, I'm a big believer of everyone having a home church.

Why should you go to church? Well, it's God's idea**** for one thing, but also, because you need community with the saints. Fellowship with like-minded brothers and sisters is often the closest thing to family here on earth that many can find. In fact, sometimes we can become closer to our Christian brothers and sisters than to blood relatives just because of time spent together and having the same interests.


"... so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another." Romans 12:5 NKJV

Ironically, the same week we at The Loft are writing about family, we at my small fellowship of saints, are studying church membership.

I love how the Word describes us as being part of the body - members of one another. In my opinion, that makes us related. We're related by blood - His blood - and we are all on a journey to become more like our big brother, Jesus. 

Now, when part of my body hurts, like when I've had an eczema flare-up on my hands, I can hardly think about anything except how my hands hurt. I will wish my skin to be like normal and think about how good life is when I don't hurt. 

Should I not be as concerned when part of my church body is hurting? Can life be carefree and happy for me when I know they are going through a struggle?

Likewise, when one of my brothers or sisters has something good happen, I should be celebrating big time.


"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

We are family on the journey toward Home together. It's good to have traveling companions.

~~~


For further study:

*       Psalm 68:5-7
**     Romans 8:16-18
***    Acts 2:41-43
****  Hebrews 10:25

The Loft

I'm linking this post at The Loft, a community of Christian Bloggers. Today, we are talking family. Share about yours!  You can link up here.



Grace&Truth-300x300

I'm also linking this post to the community of Christian Bloggers at Grace and Truth. You can link up your own post on the topic of Christian Living at any of the blogs listed below:


Grace&Truth-Hosts2-2

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



Family ... at The Loft

The Loft
Welcome to The Loft! 

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


  • February 3 ~ Family 
  •  February 10 ~ Love 
  •  February 17 ~ Contentment 
  •  February 24 ~ Pot Luck - Any post, any topic! 

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 topic is Family. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.     

#TheLoft

The Loft
 

Now it is time to linkup!



   
   

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What We Learned In January

What We Learned in January



Here are some things I learned in January to NOT do:

1. Don't take a vacation week between Christmas and New Year's. It just makes the rest of the month too tough on me to catch up.

2. Don't schedule family pics in January. It's too cold for outdoor pics and the twins (and some of the adults) are likely to have runny noses and swollen eyes.

3. I've been doing my "Holiday Letter" for over 11 years. (It's called Holiday Letter because I might get it to you in time for Christmas ... or it might be New Year's before I mail them out.) This year, I didn't do the letter at all and I really missed doing it. I thought it would be one less thing to worry about but I learned I love the tradition of doing them. So, for next year, don't NOT do a Holiday Letter.

Some January "to-do's":

4. Brain Dumps:  I found it is useful to create a Brain Dump list, writing down every task that comes to mind. Then each day, when making out my to-do list, I consult the Brain Dump and see if there is anything there that could be done that day. Brain Dumps help because I don't have to carry around so many details on my mind. Once put on the Brain Dump list, I can forget about it.



5. I participated in scripture writing following the schedule found at www.swtblessings.com. I really enjoyed doing this exercise and found it helped to put more scripture in my "think tank" to meditate upon.



Some thoughts that occurred to me while writing out these scriptures:



Romans 12:1-8 - 'Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches in his teaching; the one who exhorts in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads , with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness" - it does no good to have gifts if you don't use them. Notice, too, that almost everything that needs to be done in the church can fall under these items. I especially love the part that says "the one who leads, with zeal." Too often, leadership is looked at as a burden but leaders should be passionate about leading those the Lord has brought their way.



Romans 12:9-16 "Outdo one another in showing honor." This is food for thought .. how can I edify others more?



Psalm 37:1-6 ... "dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness." Psalm 37 has long been a favorite of mine - especially verse 4, but I never noticed the last part of v. 3 before in the ESV:  befriend faithfulness. Maybe it is just resonating with me because working with the church I hear so much, "I'm going somewhere else because they don't have such and such a program," or "I'm not getting fed." How about staying where you are and pitching in and helping make successful those programs and teachings you say you need? The King James version of this same passage says to feed on His faithfulness. If you are ingesting His faithfulness, you are bound to become more faithful yourself ....



In the passage of scripture marked Psalm 37:7-11, I found two phrases that spoke to me:  ".,. those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land." What? Wait?  And also, "... the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace." I can sure use more peace; so now I'm even more motivated to work on a gentle humble spirit.



As I wrote in my post about the recent flood waters, I've learned that if the Holy Spirit prompts you, you can actually rebuke natural elements and stand on His promises. The awesome thing is, even if God decides you need to walk through disasters, He applies Romans 8:28 and makes good come out of even tragedy.




What about you? How did January treat you?



Want to read more of what bloggers learned in January?  You can visit Emily's blog to read other posts or link up your own post about what you learned this past month..

Saturday, January 30, 2016

F.F.F. - 01.29.16

Can you believe it? January is almost over! It's a good thing I stop each week (well, nearly each week!) to reflect on the blessings that have come my way on the Journey.

You can always find at least 5 highlights if you look for them.

1. This gorgeous sunset my husband and I saw on our way to church last Sunday night. And speaking of being on our way to church, I'm thankful my hubby is well enough to go with me to evening services. Not too many moons ago, it was rare that he was able to go.




2. Monday was my birthday and I had a wonderful day. We actually celebrated two different days - Sunday dinner out with the fam and then my thoughtful friends presented me with a cake on Monday after business meeting. (Yeah, the meeting fell on my birthday but it ended up being all good.) Some kind friends sent flowers to the office for my birthday. I am blessed!




3. These monkeys brightened my week:





They are so funny!

4. On Wednesday I wrote a post about savoring - both food and the scriptures. I promised you guys a couple weeks back to share a list of my favorite soups, so I included my favorite links to soup recipes. You can find them at the bottom of my Savoring post. Enjoy!

5. Quote of the week:

"Not called to full-time ministry? You're called to full-time Christianity!" (Read Romans 12:1) Rev. Kim Ferguson


And so ends another week on the Journey. How did YOUR week go? I'd love to know! Leave a comment or link up your own post to Susanne's space at Living to Tell the Story.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Who's in Charge?

I don't miss the plastic slipcovers though ...
I was so impatient to be an adult as a child! I remember thinking about how my own home would look like and how I would decorate it. The kind of clothes I would wear, the car I'd drive, how many children I would have, what my life's work would be - those things occupied most of my daydreaming.

It's funny, but the only thing that turned out like I dreamed was the number of children I would have. I always wanted 3 girls and that is exactly what the Lord sent me.

What I didn't dream about back in those days were the things no kid has any concept about in grown-up life: bills, maintenance, insurance, taxes and how challenging it is to make a marriage work and raise children!

Too bad I wasted so much time dreaming about the future instead of enjoying the wonderful care-free existence of my childhood.

Looking back, I think the thing I miss most about living at home with my parents is that they were in charge ... and I was not!

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt #5. Write about you miss most about living at home with your parents.  You can link up your own post at Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.

What about you? What do you miss most about childhood?