Monday, September 19, 2011

Five Days Behind

Well, I am five days behind in my personal challenge.  My goal was to write a new post every day for an entire year.  Unfortunately, my computer does not know or understand anything about my personal challenge, and therefore did not cooperate.  So, I'm picking up where I left off several days ago.

I guess the most important thing to take from this is that we can make all the plans we want, but interruptions   come, and can alter our course.  How will we respond?  I must admit that usually (and this time is no exception), I don't handle the road blocks of life very well.  Whether it's illness, a cranky computer, a car breakdown, or you name it;  I usually have a fit (of some sort.)  Just being honest here.  Now, I have learned to keep most of my fits "inside".  In other words, I don't have a loud, ugly tantrum every time something goes awry.  I do, however, have some serious wrestling matches in my heart and mind.

I think it all goes back to the flesh and spirit debate.  My spirit is willing to deal with whatever God allows along my path (because after all He is my Maker, and knows what I need), but my flesh is weak, and I'll take my comfort, security, everything-to-go-just-as-I-planned, thank you very much!  Nope, not going to happen. So, I will let out a big sigh, and say I am back on course (for now) with my posting plan.  Looking back on the last five days, it's probably best that I wasn't posting anything.  I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To Listen!

Today I stumbled across an article online about a famous musician from the 70's.  He had left behind his "glitzy showbiz" life because he wanted to deal with his addiction to alcohol and fame, and make a better life for himself and his family.  He had been out of the limelight for so many years that some of his fans had assumed that he was deceased.  A filmmaker who was also a fan, found out that he was still very much alive, and still famous in a certain part of Canada.  He contacted him to discuss doing a documentary.  

Long story short, he ended up doing the documentary even though he admitted to feeling uncomfortable about it.  After all, it put him back in the middle of the addiction temptations he had left behind.  For the conclusion of the documentary, he wrote a song that he feels tells the story of his life, and he hopes that people will not miss it as it is playing during the credits.  He concluded the article with this: 
"I hope people don't applaud through the credits at the end of the movie and then miss the song. Which would actually be an amazing comment on all of this. You feel like you do your best work, and it disappears in applause? I don't want the applause; I want you to listen!"
I found those last ten words to be very thought provoking.  Any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Getting Late

It's getting late, and I really don't have much to say.  So, this is going to be one of those random posts about.... whatever happens to come to mind.  That's a scary thought.

Actually, we have finally started school out here in the Northeast!  Hurricane Irene followed by more flood-causing rain from Tropical Storm Lee, pushed the school start date all the way to September 12th!  I think even the kids were getting disappointed.  Once you get yourself psyched up about going back to school and it gets pushed back a week... well, let's just say it was causing some stress.  I'm not sure whose was more intense; the kids or mine?  : )

The girls and I started last week by doing one subject a day.  So, today was our first full day with all subjects (well almost all) on board!  There were a couple of glitches in our day that stretched it out a bit longer than I'd like.  But, we're using some new curriculum, and trying to find what will work best for us this year.  Let me just throw this out there while I'm at it.  I never really planned to homeschool my kids.  It came about after much prayer and thought.  I still don't feel adequate to the task, but am assured that I am not the only homeschooling mom that feels that way.  Plus, I do have a certified teacher in the house as back up should I really have trouble.  : )  Well, enough of my random chatting.  I must get to bed.  Morning comes early for us all!  God bless you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Miss Universe

I have to admit I used to love watching beauty pageants.  It has been a long time since I've watched one though. As I was sitting down to check my email, and write my post, I turned on the TV for background noise, and the Miss Universe pageant was on.  I watched the evening gown competition, because, well, obviously, what girl doesn't love a gorgeous dress?  (Okay, some of them were lacking... here and there).    Then they narrowed the top ten down to five finalists, who were then asked a question by one of the judges.  I decided to share this with you mainly to tell you about Miss Philippine's question and answer (for this alone, she would have my vote).

She was asked if she would change her religion to marry the one she loved, why, and/or why not?  This was basically her answer: (Loose translation) "No, I would not change my religion to marry the one that I love. God is the one I love first, and if someone loved me for who I am they would love my God, too!"

If everyone else in the house wasn't in bed already, I think I might have shouted, "You go girl!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011


After watching the coverage today of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, I basically find myself speechless.  It doesn't bother me, I have learned that I don't always have to say something.

However, I had challenged myself to post on my blog every day for a year (what was I thinking?).  So, I needed to get on here to say something.  I have nothing profound to share, so I will just say that I am thankful for so many things:  my family, my home, my health, my ability to hope, my relationship with Jesus that grows sweeter with the passing of time, and for the simple opportunity to "say" anything.  If you're reading, thank you.  I hope you are thankful for many things this day as well.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11

9/11 is a day that everyone remembers.  Most of us (old enough to read at that time) can probably tell anyone willing to listen; where we were, and what we were doing that fateful morning.  I was at home with two of my children.  The oldest was in Kindergarten.  Bill was at work already.  I remember wishing that we were all together.  (In hindsight, maybe this was a motivating factor in my growing desire to homeschool my kids).

I distinctly remember watching in disbelief as those towers fell; forcing myself to deal with the reality of what was happening, all the while wondering... what IS happening?  I had to tell myself, this is not special effects in a movie.   These are real lives... too many lives... devastated.

We had only been in our "new" home for a couple of months.  I was still trying to adjust to life in New York.  One of the first concerns for me was our family who live and work near "the city", and our neighbor who was a firefighter in NYC.  All of our family was fine, and it turned out that our neighbor was not on duty that day. So, he was alive, though no doubt greatly affected.  He, of course, along with any other firefighters who were not on duty were immediately called in.  This man worked tirelessly alongside so many others for months on end.  Though he did not lose his life that day, he had to leave his job a few years ago because of health issues related to that horrible event.  He is younger than I am (I'm 46).  A bit early for this young man to retire, but he had no choice.

He has a get together with friends and family every year on September 11th.  I think it is his way of honoring all those who lost their lives that day.  He is not one to talk alot about his experience, it is too hard.  Too raw. So, he spends time with the people he loves, and cherishes those moments in his quiet, unassuming way.  This year he was invited to the city for a special memorial event with other firefighters.  I was saddened to hear that he would not be allowed at the Memorial Site Dedication Ceremony (at Ground Zero), because he did not lose a family member.  ???????   I don't know, I just think that's wrong, but they didn't ask my opinion.  

Let us always remember.  Let us learn to cherish the moments we're given.  Let us continue to pray for our nation, and for our enemies.  Let us love those around us more intentionally.  Let us rejoice in each new day.   God bless you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Wonder...

If I could sit across the table from you with a cup of coffee or tea, and have a visit, I would want you to share "your story" with me.  More specifically, I would love to hear what drew you to Jesus?  Was it a song?  A sermon?  A person?  A story?  A circumstance?  A relationship?  Creation?  Art?  The quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit?  A moment, or a lifetime of various things calling you to Him?  I wonder... what you would share?

If you would be willing to share your story with me, you can either send me a message via FB (that way it is confidential), or you can leave it as a comment (by clicking on "comment" below this post), and type it there.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to hear from you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Little More Hope

A couple of days ago, I posted a couple of verses about hope, and shared the link on my FB page.  I asked friends for favorite "hope" verses, and the following is what they shared:

One of my sisters-in-law shared this verse, and though the word "hope" is not in it, it is definitely a verse to fill us with hope.
Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV)"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
A local friend, Lisa, who is a very gifted poet shared this:
"My favorite verse, and just now, I wonder if it is because of the hope.  "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE."  (Jeremiah 29:11)
My cousin, Shirley, shared this:
"At the end of Job's life he had twice what he started with.  That should give us all hope.  Whatever we go through, God knows, and is helping us."Shirley is a cancer survivor, and has served the Lord since she was a girl.  She speaks from a place of experience and relationship!
And finally, a friend from my High School youth group, Debbie, who has been in ministry for years wrote:
"Psalm 42:5, 11, and 43:5 all include this message:  "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God ."  (ESV)Anytime something appears in triplicate in the Bible (especially when it occurs in such close proximity to each other), it definitely gets my attention."
With all that is going on in the world today; chaotic weather patterns, natural disasters, economic crises, politics run amok, sinfulness, restlessness, despair, doubt, disease, and on it goes, one could easily lose hope.  However, we serve a God who warned us about all of these things.  He also told us that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  We must believe; for God is not a man that He should lie ( Numbers 23:19).  

 I want to wrap this up with one more hope verse, and then it's off to bed for me! 
Hebrews 10:23-24 says," Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
God bless you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Random Thoughts

I was actually going to write more about hope this evening, but I'm waiting for permission from a few friends to share some of their thoughts on hope. 

As I wait, I still am trying to keep up with my personal challenge to post everyday for a year, so I decided to share some random thoughts.

 1.  What is a random thought anyway?    Well, for my intent here, random means:  proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason,or pattern: the random selection of numbers.  (Or in this case thoughts.)

 2.  I find it difficult to pick one color as my favorite.

 3. I really miss good Mexican food.  

 4.  One of the most fattening meals that I enjoy, I can only get in Bartlesville, Oklahoma at a little Steak House called, Murphy's.  It is a Jr. Hot Cheeseburger with gravy over all.  I know it just sounds fattening doesn't it?  

 5.  I enjoy watching old movies.

 6.  Music makes me happy, well, usually!  I guess it has made me sad at times, too!

 7.  I have two brothers.  I didn't grow up with a sister, but now I have eight sisters-in-law.  How cool is that?

 8.  Caregiving for both of my parents, then having to make the decision to put them in long-term care facilities was without a doubt, hands down, the most difficult thing I've had to do so far in this life.

 9.  I am curious about end time events.  So, even though eschatology is intimidating to me, I find it very fascinating.  

10. It's getting late, so I'm going to bed.

This is random, and actually, pointless.  We'll get back to "hope" tomorrow.  I hope.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Still Pondering Hope

For some reason, hope has been on my mind for quite some time.  The word, the idea, the subject has permeated my life in one way or another in recent months.  Honestly, I think it's because I have been in need of some.  When I typed it into the search bar on Bible Study Tools, it brought up a list of 180 Scriptures.  Yep, I read them all.  Some of them are very familiar, some not so familiar.  Because I need to keep this short,  I just want to share a couple of them here.  


Isaiah 40:31 "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Not so familiar:

Isaiah 49:23 "Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed."

This is what Baker's Evangelical Dictionary says about hope:  "To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something in someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future."

As I look at the last part of that definition, and look back at the two previous mentioned verses, I can't help but notice that those who hope in the Lord will... soar like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint, and they will not be disappointed.  That's all sounding pretty beneficial to me.

Curious.  Do you have a favorite verse about hope?

Monday, September 5, 2011

More on Hope

"Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope..."  (Zech. 9:12)

This is the verse I talked about yesterday.  I just want to add something very important to the discussion.  Even though I truly believe that "my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness," living in hope is not an easy thing.  As a matter of fact, I think it is easier to be a prisoner of so many lesser things than to be a prisoner of hope.  

Here's why:  John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Even though, through God's mercy we have new birth into a living hope, there is still this pesky thief about.  One of the many things he will try to steal, kill, or destroy is our hope.  So, it is war then.  

Keeping it short tonight, let me just close with this.  It is definitely exciting to be a prisoner of hope, but it is not necessarily the "easy" road to walk.  The beauty is, we have a Fortress, and we never have to walk the path of hope alone.  I'm so thankful.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Prisoners of Hope

Today, I want to share with you a verse from the Old Testament that has planted itself in my heart.  It is one of those verses that God has used to get my attention!   Zechariah 9:12 says,
"Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you."
When I first read this verse, it was those first eight words that captured me.  "Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope..."  

There have been many times in my life that I was a prisoner to something; sin, unforgiveness, doubt, failure, rejection, anger, depression.  But hope?  I don't recall ever considering myself a prisoner of hope.  But, if I am going to be a prisoner of something, let it be hope!  

Researching the verse a little, I read this in Matthew Henry's Commentary:

"...The Jews that had returned out of captivity into their own land were yet, in effect, but prisoners (We are servants this day, Neh. 9:36 ), yet prisoners of hope, or expectation, for God had given them a little reviving in their bondage,Ezra. 9:8Ezra. 9:9). Those that yet continued in Babylon, detained by their affairs there, yet lived in hope some time or other to see their own land again. Now both these are directed to turn their eyes upon the Messiah, set before them in the promise as their strong-hold, to shelter themselves in him, and stay themselves upon him, for the perfecting of the mercy which by his grace, and for his sake, was so gloriously begun..."

The Jews at that time were awaiting the Messiah.  We live on the other side of His coming.  The beautiful reality is I am a prisoner of hope!  He is my fortress!  Check this out:

I Peter 1:3-5 says,
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."
Because of God's great mercy, we can have new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  While you're reading, feast your eyes on what's to come... "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for us...!"  

Let me leave you with a question.  What are you a prisoner of?  Join me in my Fortress, there is plenty of room, and plenty of hope!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In Need of Inspiration! Day 3 of My Challenge

How sad is it that this is day three of the challenge I presented myself, and I already need inspiration?  The ridiculous thing is, my mind is constantly going, and I think, "I'll put this on my blog."  Only, the minute I sit down to type, I'm dumbfounded, and can't remember a thing I wanted to say.  It's in there.  I know it is.  I just can't seem to get it out.  Part of the problem is I want so much to say something of value, that will help, or encourage someone.  I don't want my words to be empty and meaningless.  That's when my enemy creeps in and adds extra thoughts to my head like, "You don't have anything meaningful to say.  No one cares for your opinion.  You are a nobody, an utter failure...."  That familiar tape begins to play in my head, and far too often, I simply agree, and quit.  

So, if for no other reason than not to give into the enemy, I'm writing... every day... for a year.  What am I, nuts?  Yes.  I need some inspiration.  I'll be praying for that, and I'm welcome to suggestions.  For now I just want to close with a Scripture:

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day Two of My Challenge: It's About My Man!

It's day two of my personal challenge to write a post every day for a year!  I almost didn't make it, because of internet troubles, but here I am.  I have decided to dedicate today's post to my sweet husband.  There are so many great things I could tell you about him, but today it is about how good he is with our kids.  This afternoon found him pitching a tent with his three princesses, so they could spend the night camping in the backyard!

I know.  Cute, aren't they?  These girls are very blessed to have a dad that loves them, and enjoys spending time with them.  Here's a couple more pics...

Ready for the night out back!  Well, almost.... blankets and pillows to follow.  We like to camp in comfort!  To make it special, he started a fire, and they have roasted marshmallows, and made a s'more or two.  

I'm sitting here at the computer listening to the happy chatter of three very blessed daughters with their dad, who loves them so.  I am grateful.  Day two of my challenge complete, I'm going to go sit by the campfire.  Goodnight, and God bless.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Challenge to Myself

I am challenging myself to blog for 365 days in a row!  Yep, no skipping weeks at a time or even days at a time. I'm going to write something every day for a year.  This would probably be easier to track if I started on January 1st, but why wait 'til then?.  It is, after all, a challenge!  Here's what put this idea in motion....

Last night we had a family movie night, and watched, "Pistol:  The Birth of a Legend".  There was a quote that stood out to me because it connected with my "dreamer" heart.  Pete Maravich's father told him,   "When you dream anything is possible.... "A dream is nothing more than a big challenge you place on yourself."  So, it sparked in me this idea that I need to challenge myself with something (nothing big mind you).  School starts soon, and that will keep me busy enough.  Homeschooling my three girls presents certain challenges, but this is more on a personal level.  Without going into all the reasons why (thus boring you tears), I am excited to begin this challenge!

Just for fun, here's a clip from the movie:  Enjoy!