Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

This blog post is going in a little different direction today. Today would have been my mom's 92nd birthday. 
"Honor your father & mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long & that it may go well with you in the land of the Lord you God is giving you."
Deuteronomy 5:16 (NIV)

So today's post is a tribute to my mom. Though she's been gone for many years, she'll always be in my heart & i thank her for so many things. (First off, i need to interject here, that most of my pictures are packed away. This one was handy for me to scan this morning. The Lord does work in mysterious & wonderful ways. As i just did the math, i realized that mom, in this picture, was the same age as i am right now. Coincidence?  I don't think so.)

I believe that i get my creative gene from her. She was constantly sewing of knitting. Now i didn't inherit the sewing or knitting gene, but that's ok. We all have our own niche to fill. Growing up, she made so many of my clothes & clothes for my Barbie Dolls. =) And even as i sit here on the couch, i have a blue afghan over my legs & yes, it was made by Mom.

It's funny how the older we get, the more we remind ourselves of our parents. There are days that i look in the mirror & see my mom. My biggest weakness in shopping is stationery items....pens, paper, cards, etc. Every time i go to Staples, Office Max, or anyplace like that, i have to browse all the goodies & usually buy more than i intend to...or need. We also both loved to read. I came home from work one day & she had been to a yard sale & the trunk of her car was full of boxes of books. She had gotten them all for $5 - a dollar a box. We had a ball going through them. I am only sorry that i didn't discover Lillian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." books or Janet Evanovich, while she was alive, so i could have shared them with her too.

But the most important part of the legacy that Mom left me, was the love of our Lord. She made sure i went to Sunday School & learned all the stories. And as i got older & more "independent", she still got me to church whether i wanted to be there or not. And i am so thankful that she did. She instilled the extremely strong roots of faith in me. So strong that when i strayed, i was able to climb out of that lifestyle on those strong roots. I now stand tall on those roots. The roots of faith. The roots of God

Thanks Mom!
Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Use The Right Tools

As a painter, i know the importance of using the correct brush to get the look i want. And i know the importance of taking care of my tools. But no matter how clean i think i get my paint brushes, i need to evaluate those brushes & replace them sometimes. There are endless tools for endless needs. 

Mostly we all get along pretty good in life. But there are times when life gets harder & we haven't evaluated the tools we are using. Tools like self-help books, talking with friends & leaning on their support, infomercials, even time on the internet can all be helpful. Don't get me wrong, these can be very good tools! But there are two other tools that can help us even more: The Bible & prayer.

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. 
On the contrary, the have divine power to demolish strongholds." 
II Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)

As we grow in faith, we need to look for passages in God's Word that we can use as weapons in our daily lives. So, when fear, doubt, anger, lust, pride, etc. show up in our path, we'll have the correct weapons from God's arsenal to take care of the job of cleaning our path again. Because unless we practice & apply the verses to our lives, it does no good.

Is there a certain struggle that you need to find a weapon for?  Try Bible Gateway. Do a word search for that struggle - jealousy, envy, forgiveness, etc. Write down the verse that really speaks to you. Post it, or keep it somewhere that you'll read it several time a day until it's committed to memory. (Don't stop now, keep going.)

You'll always have that weapon from God's Word with you. As God will always be with you & hear your prayers 24/7. Anytime, anyplace, any reason, God & His tools are available to us. How awesome is that?!

"Take the helmet of salvation & the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Ephesians 6: 17 (NIV)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Starting Over Again

The words "Starting Over Again" can be used in countless situations. Some good - some not so good - some divinely amazing. As a "crafter", i love starting over again on a brand new project. When i get prepared to write my blog, i do it the old fashioned way by starting over again (and sometimes again & again) with a clean sheet of paper. There are times when starting over again is because of a failure of some type. ( I can't help but think of New Year's resolutions that have probably already been broken this year.)

But did you know that almost every Saint of God, in the Bible came to a low point in their life & even spiritual failure? As Christians, none of us are immune to this.

Maybe you have served the Lord with gladness & led a faithful life for years, but now find yourself in a dark place that seems like a bottomless pit. David did. David's sins were premeditated, calculated & merciless. David was guilty of murder & adultery, both punishable by death. But those who sincerely repented of their sin & renewed their trust in God, looking to him for forgiveness, often found the law set aside & were able to start over again.

Create me a pure heart, O God
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me."
Psalm 51:10-12(NIV)

You may be a Christian who has lived years without a major failure in your life. It's good to be confident in the Lord. That's what faith is all about. But as a warning, "So if you think your are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" I Corinthians 10:12(NIV) The important thing to remember, if a fall or failure does happen, God is always there to see you through it.

Personally, the best time for starting over again, is every day.

"Repent then, & turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, 
& that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." 
Acts 3:19(NIV)

"If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
John 13:17(ESV)

Monday, January 10, 2011

He Sings!

I promised you a blog post today, & it almost didn't happen. I started writing & kept going from one subject to another. And that's ok, because i have topics for later dates. But i have learned that when something sticks in my head, or in this case, a Bible verse that i keep going back to, then it's God trying to tell me something & i need to listen. So here it is.....

"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save.
He will delight in you. He will quiet you with His love.
He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save." Now that's profound in itself! But what is really amazing is that the all powerful God, who created Heaven & Earth & everything in it "will delight in you". He takes delight in little ole ME? (Well, i'm sure He doesn't all the time.) And He delights in little ole YOU! Think about that for a while; really ponder it.

And "He will quiet you with His love." Now i have experienced this more than once. Thankfully, i know the peace that passes all understanding & it is truly amazing. In Revelation 21:4, God promises "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain...." He'll quiet you & comfort you.

And if that isn't enough, "He will rejoice over you with singing". Now bear with me here. I am a hopeless romantic & i love chick flicks. And as an older hopeless romantic, i still love watching older chick flicks & musicals. Now i'm not an over the top Elvis Presley fan, but i liked his music & i still like watching his movies. I loved when he sang to the girls he was after. He would serenade them with such beautiful love songs & he girl would swoon. It was surely true love.

God's love is not surely, but most definitely the purest, truest love. He delights in us so much that it causes Him to sing. He serenades us! Zephaniah 3:17 is a great verse to commit to memory. And if anytime, you're feeling unloved, not sure of yourself, or just down, remember God loves you so much that He can't help but sing about it! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm Back...almost

To all my followers, i apologize for being absent without an explanation for the month of December. I was very sick & spent the majority of December on the couch. I am finally back to "work" this week & plan to be back to my Monday blog post schedule beginning next week on the 10th.

In the meantime, if you'd like to stop by my shop, i have a clearance sale going on. All of the Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas items are marked down to HALF PRICE. This sale will last until the items are sold or the listing expires.
I pray that you all had an awesome Christmas. And i wish you all a VERY Happy New Year!

{{{Hugs}}} & Prayers