Fear NOT!


boat

I never dreamed that the phrases Follow Me and Fear Not would be what I gleaned from reading the Gospels for #Lentchallenge. In the book of Luke we see Jesus asking fishermen to do what fishermen never do, fish in the day. Fishing happens when it is dark and the fish are at the surface of the water. The fishermen did what he asked them to do, and they caught a lot of fish, in fact two boats full.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10b

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:11

I was going to a Bible study by Andy Stanley called Follow as I was reading through the Gospels. On week 3 he told us that not being afraid when bad things happen is one of the best benefits of following Jesus. Fear NOT! These are strong words, but so needed in my heart.

When I was finishing the Book of John I noticed that when Jesus returned from the dead he also sent his disciples out to fish in daylight once again. He started his ministry with them having to trust Him and before He was resurrected, He asked them to trust Him once more.

 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:6 NIV

One of the first passages of Scripture I learned was John 16:33.NIV

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

By following Jesus he assures us we are going to be okay, no matter what this world throws in our path. Two phrases have transformed my heart!  Two phrases I will never forget:

Fear NOT!

Come follow me!

 

 

 

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Fear NOT!


boat

I never dreamed that the phrases Follow Me and Fear Not would be what I gleaned from reading the Gospels for #Lentchallenge. In the book of Luke we see Jesus asking fishermen to do what fishermen never do, fish in the day. Fishing happens when it is dark and the fish are at the surface of the water. The fishermen did what he asked them to do, and they caught a lot of fish, in fact two boats full.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10b

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:11

I was going to a Bible study by Andy Stanley called Follow as I was reading through the Gospels. On week 3 he told us that not being afraid when bad things happen is one of the best benefits of following Jesus. Fear NOT! These are strong words, but so needed in my heart.

When I was finishing the Book of John I noticed that when Jesus returned from the dead he also sent his disciples out to fish in daylight once again. He started his ministry with them having to trust Him and before He was resurrected, He asked them to trust Him once more.

 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:6 NIV

One of the first passages of Scripture I learned was John 16:33.NIV

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

By following Jesus he assures us we are going to be okay, no matter what this world throws in our path. Two phrases have transformed my heart!  Two phrases I will never forget:

Fear NOT!

Come follow me!

Hold on to what is good


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I am in a Beth Moore Bible study on Thessalonians.  It’s a great study so when I read these words they peaked my interest, since I am studying these books of the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NIV

 Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good,  reject every kind of evil.

The words HOLD ON TO WHAT IS GOOD, might as well have been on fire.  They touched my heart and mind.  I realized I needed to apply this concept, to literally hold on to good, with my heart, my mind, my hands, with clenched teeth, by whatever means necessary!  If I hold on to good, I can’t hold on to bad, it is just that simple.  I won’t be able to complain, grumble, worry, or just be plain old ugly. I am still processing this concept, so bear with me if you don’t see application as quickly as you think it should happen.  I anticipate bad so much of my life.  I always expect the outcome to be less than I wanted.  I am a “glass half empty”, married to a “glass half full” husband, with a “glass completely full” God.  I am a slow learner, spoiled rotten, rebellious woman. But with God’s help, I hope to seek and expect good more!   I want to trust Him.  I want to rejoice and thank Him for all He is doing and continues to do.  I want it to soak into my pores and become a part of my being from top to bottom.  How do you hold on to good?  Please share your thoughts with me.  I look forward to your ideas! Maybe we can challenge each other to do this more!

Volume tuning


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I read this statement this morning on a random blog:

Healing is a capacity to feel both JOY and Sorrow.

For the longest time I joked that my “crier” was broken.  I felt things, but as if the volume was turned down, turned down too much. In recent months my volume has been adjusting.  Moving into a more level position.  Simple steps helped.  I stopped watching a little morning TV.  I chose to just sit on my deck and watch the birds, sip my tea, number my blessings and pray in my day.  The next step was writing down the Scripture treasures I found in those quiet moments.  I put them in a small flip style notebook.  I would review them over and over and over again.  The funny thing is quiet reset my volume faster than loud ever could.  I sought out quiet.  When I designed cards, I didn’t turn on the TV or music, I worked in silence.

crafting

I numbered the joys.  I looked for beauty each day and recorded them.  Not always on paper, but always in my heart and mind.

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Blue jay squawking at me to put out another suet block, humming birds dive bombing each other, and rain, this summer we had some rain!  It smells good and refreshes me like little else can.  I try to drop my worries like they are hot potatoes, quickly before they get too blown up out of proportion.  The why the “crier” was broken and the volume was too low is not the issue, the issue is restoration and bridge building, and joy showers!  It’s moving forward, slowly on purpose, drinking it all in with JOY, PEACE, GRACE, and HOPE!  I don’t have a reset button, but I am feeling reset, and I didn’t do much, He did!  Thank you Lord for being with me each day and directing my path.

me

 

A circle of protection


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I struggle with spending quality and quantity time with God each day.  I am easily distracted and any excuse will cause me to stop and do something else.  Not proud of that but just being honest.  In the past few weeks, I have made a pact to sit down with my breakfast right after I feed the Yorkies and spend time with Him.  It has worked well and I have treasured this time with Him, but I have had an issue I couldn’t fix.  While I was praying I would loose focus and think of everything under the sun.  It was frustrating, because I have some huge things I am praying for and I really wanted to focus on them!  The Lord took me to Psalm 34 the other morning and an awesome verse jumped out and gave me hope!

God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray.  Psalm 34:7 MSG

Just thinking about this thought, of my prayer time with Him being so important to Him that He would send someone down to my little table in my breakfast nook to keep me safe and help me spend time with Him really transformed my prayer time.  I guess I am a real simple woman, but the simplest things are often the most valuable things to me.  So I hope this little lesson will be of value to you too.  A circle of protection each time you pray, nothing can get thru it to harm your time with HIM! Yes!

Deadheading Zinnias


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Summer has taken a toll on our flowers.  It has been super hot and we are in the middle of a long hard drought.  In an attempt, hopefully not futile, to help my poor zinnias, I deadheaded the flowers that had gone to seed.  I hope the little plants will send out more flowers since all the old ones have been pruned.  It was not the funnest job I have done in a while.  It is hot even early in the morning and not any cooler in the evening.   The thoughts of spiders and snakes also galloped through my mind, just saying, not very fun!  So I grabbed a huge iced tea and stuck my ear buds in and cranked up some great tunes to drown out the dripping sweat and spider thoughts.  It worked and I worked and I finished the job and my zinnias smiled and waved appreciation as I splashed water all over them.  Pruning is not fun, but necessary.  I know because God has been working on me lately too.  Just like the zinnias I need some serious help.  I like the flowers am saying thanks!  I feel better Lord when you cut off the parts of me that aren’t productive or necessary. My heart rejoices that you love me enough to tend to my garden.  I am joyful in your love and encouragement, Lord!  Help me to wait for the prayer requests that are so high on my heart.  Help me to rest and soak up all this lovely water you are pouring out on me.  Your answers are always worth the pruning and the wait!

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Wave upon Wave


waves

John 1:16 NASB

For His fullness we have all received GRACE upon GRACE.

Lately I have been flooded with wave upon wave of Grace, wave upon wave of Peace and wave upon wave of unconditional love!

Isaiah 30:19 MSG

Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace.  The moment He hears He’ll answer. 

For three years I prayed a prayer.    God answered that request on Easter Sunday.  I had been looking down the road for a person I love to return to my arms.  Every day for three years I stood and waited.  On Easter Sunday, Jesus took my hand and He and I  went to embrace and welcome her home.  His timing was perfect and Easter was a perfect day for redemption and pure joy to flow in my heart once again.  I see his hand in my prayer journals over the past few years.  All the Scripture I held in my heart and wrote in my notebooks all pointed to Grace, Peace, and unconditional love.  If you have been praying for a need, keep reading the Bible.  Write down the verses that He gives you.  Don’t loose heart.  Keep looking, your answer is coming.  Until it comes, accept His Grace that will wash over you, wave upon wave!

 

Learning the Hard Way


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Sixty-two should be old enough to learn lessons quickly, but sadly I find myself in a constant do over with each trial or difficulty I face.  As many times as the Lord has had to rescue me, you would think I would remember His lessons.  But sadly, I am a slow learner, a C- student at best.  Spent the past week taking care of my 83 year old mother.  She can be a challenge when she is well, but ill, she is as I like to call her, a “pain in the brain”.  I love her dearly, but she is not any easy patient.  She came close to dying on Sunday.  I was a wreck.  As many times as God has been faithful, you would think I would have the worry part done and buried.  No, no I did not!  I fretted and couldn’t eat or sleep.  When I walked into the hospital room the next day, I expected to see her in a coma, but instead she was sitting up, drinking a cup of water, looking like she hadn’t just had a heart attack and a massive infection raging through her body.  Sunday her fever was 104.7 and Monday it was 98.8.  Sigh!   This isn’t the first time God has helped me with taking care of her.  This is the fourth hospital stay just in the past year.  We had three more before that.  She is wonder woman but God is the wonderful Savior!  I want to tell Him I am sorry for not trusting Him more, and for not just leaning into His arm that could have held me up.  That is why tonight I have a fresh new look on my blog.  A spring theme as it were.  A new beginning to try not to have to learn the hard way any more, or at least not as often!   Spring and it’s promise of fresh starts is upon us.  I know I am happy to see flowers and birds and a chance to be closer to the Lord who is so good to me, all the time!

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Road runners! Meep meep!


*Note, Zeke is a 7 lb Yorkie!  Libby is his 5lb. sister! I wrote this account some time ago, but wanted to repost it.  Enjoy and blessings!

A while back  Jim saw a road runner in the green belt that caught a lizard.  He told me about it.  We have seen a road runner a few times in our neighborhood.  We were  amazed at how big they are.  In the afternoon Jim was out front with just Zeke, our boy Yorkie, hand watering a few plants. Libby, Zeke’s sister was in the side yard looking for lizards, her favorite pastime!   Jim was chatting with our neighbor.  I was in my crafting room and when I glanced out the window I saw our neighbor acting like a herding dog, trying to keep Libby in our yard, but I didn’t see Jim and Zeke.  I opened the door and had Libby come inside and asked our neighbor what was up.  He said Zeke spotted the road runner and just took off.  Just like the Coyote and the Road runner in the cartoons I used to watch as a kid.  He was trying to keep Libby from running after Jim. For the record, our dogs are trained to stay in the yard even without a leash.  They don’t try to run away or into the street, until the road runner! I was concerned that Zeke might get hurt by a car or even pecked by the bird.  I’m sure road runners are not fond of dogs chasing them.  Anyway, a few minutes later I saw Jim holding Zeke and walking home.  Jim jokingly said, “Hey Sal, whatever you do, don’t tell my wife that Zeke chased a roadrunner all over the neighborhood.  She would only worry and fret!”  Ha ha, very funny Jim!  It made me think of the times my Heavenly Father has watched me do foolish things, like chasing road runners.  Thankfully, like Jim he comes and rescues me and brings me home safely.  I asked Jim if he fussed at Zeke, and he said no, he was only having fun.  That’s what dads say! I scolded Zeke and told him to get in the house.  That’s what moms say! He just came inside, got a big drink and curled up on his mat and went to sleep.  He was probably dreaming of chasing roadrunners, but in his dream, he caught it!  Go Zeke go!

When God Comes Tapping!


kinglet

I go to a church with an awesome pastor who gives us advice and tips to live the life we should.  He often says when you see a flower or a bird, remember that God loves you, and just as He cares for the birds and flowers, He will also care for you.  I come from a family of avid bird watchers.  I try to learn all the names of the birds that come to our home.  We have lived all over the world and in many states, so I have seen a number of birds.  Imagine my delight when a bird that looks like this photo tapped on my window while I was on my exercise bike.  Jim grabbed the bird book and I grabbed my I-pad.  We had never seen a bird like this and his bright red Mohawk was distinctive and unusual.  Jim found him first.  He was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet.  He would NOT stop tapping on our window, even when I went outside and tried three times to shoo him away!  I think God sent Him to remind me of His unfailing care and love for me.  I really needed that reminder that morning.  If you are struggling and having a hard time, look for birds and flowers to encourage your heart.  It sure encouraged mine when God came tapping at my window!  He wouldn’t stop until I got the message!

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 “Look at the lilies! They don’t toil and spin, and yet Solomon in all his glory was not robed as well as they are.  And if God provides clothing for the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose that he will provide clothing for you, you doubters?  And don’t worry about food—what to eat and drink; don’t worry at all that God will provide it for you. All mankind scratches for its daily bread, but your heavenly Father knows your needs.  He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Luke 12:27-31 NLT

Here is a Youtube of this marvelous bird.  Watch for the red Mohawk to pop up!