Easter Monday – God is alive!

 

yyeeaah

My daughter told me yesterday that this song is the ultimate Easter Song…

Enjoy the song – “God’s Not Dead” and if you have not seen the movie I highly recommend it.  It is a very powerful movie.

 

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Easter – Gods Love For Us

Religion_0046a_small_small Easter is a holiday full of mixed emotion for me.

It is a joyous event – Jesus has come to the end of His ministry as He confirms He is the Son of God promising us life with Him and God the Father. He brought healing to the lame and sick, He fed the hungry and poor and He raised the dead to life, to prepare His Disciples for His death and resurrection and to prepare us today for His return so will know and understand His power over death.

It is a heartbreaking event – Jesus has come to the end of His ministry in pain and suffering to death on the cross. Jesus the Son of God who was sinless and for 33 years had a close relationship with God our Father, there was nothing standing in-between Jesus and God, now for the first time He will find Himself separated from God as He took our sins upon Himself. Jesus became our spotless pure Lamb in the most horrific type of death.

But His ministry does not end there….

Jesus willingly went through to the cross with one purpose – to pay the price for our sins. By taking our sins upon Himself, Jesus went through a double death; first, His painful physical death on the cross and then the painful spiritual death of being separated from God.

All is not lost – Jesus has Risen! Three days after His crucifixion a group of women came to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.

That is Easter to millions of Christians all over the world, celebrating Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. What love God has for us, that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to this earth to die on the cross paying the penalty for our sins and to conquer sin once for all time, but it didn’t just stop there. He rose again to show He had conquered death for all time. He rose again so that we could have eternal life. God sees us as justified, forgiven, and holy. God sees past the imperfect people we are and sees the perfect spotless Lamb, His Son, who took our place so that we do not have to pay the ultimate price for our sins and if we accept Jesus Christ – the Son of God, and His Sacrifice, we are redeemed and will have eternal life.

Today, Easter Sunday let us remember what our Savior has done and what He went through for us,  so we can have a restored relationship and eternal life with God our Father.

Jesus Christ has RISEN today, Hallelujah!

 

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Just when I thought it was safe to leave the house ~

 Just when I thought it was safe to leave the house I was hit again with another case of the shingles.  Thankfully this last episode was not as severe and I thank my doctor for “squeezing” me in-between his other appointments so I was able to start another round of medication before the rash even started.  I did miss more work and I felt as if a mack truck had hit me.  I was down and out again for a few days.  Face it, it has indeed been a long winter of sickness for me.  So much so that my daughter said next winter she is putting me in a bubble.  Sounds good to me!

But, this will soon behind me.  Spring has finally sprung and I have my windows opened letting in plenty of fresh air.  The past week the sweet music of the birds filled my house, so although I was home sick, I was able to enjoy the sounds of spring.

Now it is back to catching up.  Not only is my housework piling up but my desk is overflowing to the point I am using a tv tray to catch the overflow.

God is never one to waste a teaching moment and these past few months He taught me patience.  And it only took 50 + yrs for me to learn!  So although soon, I will no longer see my desk, as things are piling up on my kitchen table and my dust bunnies are having little bunnies I realized those things are not as important as I would want them to be.  Patience for me came in the form of allowing Gods timing to work and not to rush my recuperation because I did not think it is happening fast enough because I wanted my routine back.  Developing patience I found that if the dishes sit on the kitchen counter or my bed is not made, the world still goes on.  Imagine that!!

Not only does the world still turn and a new day dawns, but I found my life got simpler.  Its been a long time since I have stopped long enough to not only smell the roses but to drink in my surroundings, enjoying the beauty of living within the city limits.  The way the street lamp casts its golden glow through my windows. The sound of the train as it makes it way through our little city in the evening.  And like today the cool spring breeze winding its way through all my rooms with the sounds of the neighborhood filling my home – you know the sounds; children playing, dogs barking and the sound that cars make in the distance, to name a few.

 So another lesson learned from my Heavenly Father – When I learned to accept what is, and embrace life in each present moment, my impatience turned to blessings.  So although I can’t say I embraced having shingles, I did learn to accept it for what it was and to enjoy my time resting in my comfortable surroundings. A good attitude is indeed the best medicine.

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude.” {unknown}

“Patience and perseverance, if we have them, overcome mountains of difficulties” {M G Gandhi}

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”

 

- Ralph Marston
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2010/04/Quotes-on-Patience.aspx?p=9#lk5IuYM

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”

 

- Ralph Marston
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2010/04/Quotes-on-Patience.aspx?p=9#lk5IuYMK2DfMKDM1.99

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The Hurrier I Go The Behinder I Get

 I have always loved this saying, “The Hurrier I Go The Behinder I Get” and these past few weeks that is exactly what I felt my life was becoming.

Things were busy as usual but going rather well.  The weather we thought was getting better, so I started some spring cleaning, attended a workshop, continued with my bible study and even had things organized to finish my yearly report due the first of April. All was looking up for March.  Then I got sick with another cold followed by a case of shingles.  And of coarse it was on the left side of my head and in my scalp.  It affected my left eye, although thankfully I am not experiencing any lasting side effects in the eye.  But since it was near the eye not only did I have trouble focusing but I could not wear my glasses, so I could not read, write, or sew.  All I could do is watch tv and sleep.  I never realized not only is singles painful but it drains you of all energy.  In the midst of this we had to get the den ready to make over into my sewing room and my old sewing room into a sitting room of sorts for my daughter.  Add all of that to daylight savings time and losing an hour and you can understand why I am behind in everything.

Now here I sit on a Sunday night after being at work for one full week and the rooms in my house switched over looking over everything that did not get done while I was under the weather.  All my best laid plans to get caught up this weekend only made me realize that the more I hurried around getting things the more I was actually getting behind.  So I made myself a cup of tea and decided to get back to writing, my therapy when things go crazy.

I am on the mend and slowly getting my energy back and my house is once again organized and I do not have stacks of books all over my den and my sewing supplies are not in three different rooms.  Our dogs actually have their couch back!

To get us off to a bright and cheery start for the week I wanted to pick a favorite song that is indeed a toe tapping knee slapping song.  “A Place In The Choir” sung by Celtic Thunder, is also a tribute to George Donaldson one of the original singers who passed away March 12, 2014.  No one could roll their “r’s” like George in many of the songs he sings. 

Enjoy the song as you start off your week and I pray that all of you have a blessed week full of love, peace and joy!

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The Seasons

Seasons 4

Beauty in white

Snow falls silently

Winter peace

Seasons 1

Spring green

Clear skies

Awakens the earth from slumber

Seasons 3_edited-1

Kites in flight

Warm ocean breeze

Summers delight

Seasons 2

Autumn Skies

Blue yet gray

Casting winter shadows

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Light Your Candle

“Where there is love there is always hope”.{unknown}

The beginning of 2013 I started to write about what Diana wrote on her blog, “talktodiana”, on December 30, 2012, Diana wrote:

“choose love over hatred…One person, one heart at a time, is all it would take.
Perhaps, like me, you will choose love…even when someone believes differently than you, when things don’t work out quite the way you planned them and it feels like the entire world is against you. Let’s start with the person nearest to us. Let’s choose love.” 
 

Then in a comment from one of my articles reminded me of what I started to write last January. Russell from russelrayphotos2  made this comment, “Why not ask your God to heal the sick, feed the hungry, house the homeless, and bring peace to the world? If there is a God, and all those billions of people were to ask for those four things, would S/he listen?”

In answer to his question, yes I do believe God listens and answers.  His answer is to show us how we can all work together to restore the peace and love that was lost with the first sin.  God is not the hatred that we see every day, God is love, He is peace, and He is the Light for our darkened world.  Remember Jesus ate with the tax collectors and not only healed but physically touched those with leprosy. We can do no less.

Instead of only asking God for these things, let us ask God how does He want us to restore the world that He entrusted us to care for. 

To begin we can share His love by lighting the candles of our hearts ~ the love that is in each of us, for the world to see.  It is through the love of God that is in each of us that will bring restoration to our hurting world.

It is the same thing when at our Christmas Eve services we each light a candle passing that light to the person next to us lighting the way for the love of Jesus to enter our hearts.  What if each of us symbolically lights a candle and as we do on Christmas Eve?  We can light the candle next to the person nearest to us by loving them – lighting the way towards hope, love and peace.

We can write about it, express it in photographs or art or even by simply doing a good deed.  We can pass it on so that by the end of 2014 everyone will experience God’s Love as we pave the road to peace.

Let us all share God’s love in practical ways.  It can be something so easy as walking a cart back to the store for someone who is elderly or has a small child.  It can be as simple as a smile to a weary store clerk or waitress.  How many of us can buy an extra can of food when we go grocery shopping for our local food banks?  Instead of buying that extra cup of coffee at a gourmet coffee shop put that money in a jar and at the end of the month donate to a local charity.  Small?  Yes, but if we all do our part you will be amazed to see how fast it multiplies to care for those in need.  I leave little pass it on cards when I tip my waitress, something cheery to hopefully bring a smile to a weary soul.  I have begun to put them in the bills I pay every month as well.  There are many opportunities to pass the light that is in our hearts to someone else.

It has to start somewhere, let it start with you by lighting the candle of your heart and choosing love instead of hatred.  Let us all light our candles and pass it along to light someone’s life.

Today February 12, 2014 I light my candle, passing the love of God to the next person I meet.

 peace-banner-bloggers4peace

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Ancient Words

{photographer unknown}

{photographer unknown}

These past few weeks have been very productive and busy.  Now that it is winding down again I will once again return to my writing. I enjoy everything I do but at times as we all know we get overwhelmed with too much to do, that we have to let something go or we would melt down.  Sometimes we have to cut it out of our lives and thankfully in my case I just needed to put my writing off to the side until I finished the first of part of the project I am working on.  

In the mean time here is another favorite song to get you started for the week ahead. 

The song is titled, “Ancient Words” by Micheal W. Smith. It is an “homage to the Written Word of God. It’s God’s love-letter to his children”  I pray that you also find strength and courage in the ancient words of God that are full of life and hope in the week ahead.

Ancient Words ~

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Words of Life, words of Hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home

Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Holy words of our Faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart

Chorus
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart

Songwriters
FREEMAN, RONNIE C. JR. / WOOD, TONY W.
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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The Pursuit of God

Pursuit of GodThe Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer                                                 1948

This book came highly recommended by several friends.  Although I knew who A.W. Tozer was I never read his books, I am not sure why other than I thought his writing might be dry and out of date.

What finally got my attention was the subtitle, “The Human Thirst for the Divine” and the first chapter “Following Hard After God”.  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I found a new passion for God.  The more I read the more I wanted to learn.  The more I find answers the more I want to seek after God’s Truth.  When I read in chapter 1, “…in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.” that I knew it was time to pursue God and to be led to a closer relationship with God.

It is not a large book only 121 pages, that said, it took me a longer to read than I thought, not because it was dry and out of date, it was because the book revealed to me a longing that I thought I had lost. Reading this book helped me to rediscover the passion I had when I first gave my life to God. I had found myself re-reading parts of the book, highlighting passages and writing notes.

On the back cover it says, “The Pursuit of God will draw you into a deep, abiding relationship with the One who ‘nourishes the soul’. …and exposes the roadblocks that keep us from fully knowing God, reveals our responsibility of the pursuit, and ultimately leads us into the very presence of God Himself.”  If your soul needs some nourishment, like mine did or if there are roadblocks in your life that are keeping you from a deeper relationship with God, then I recommend this book. 

If you have already read the book share your comments with us.

“As we begin to focus upon God, the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the Word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23).  It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart.  A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and  hear and inwardly feel God, who is our life and our all.  There will be seen the constant shinning of “the True Light, which light every man who comes into the world” (John 1:9).  More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All, and His presence the glory and wonder of our lives.” 

“The voice of God is a friendly Voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.”

 {quotes from The Pursuit of God}

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Writing Exercise – “Titles”

Last week my writing exercise was to develop an idea from a story title. It was a bit more difficult than I thought to come up with a story idea based on 4 words.  Not only did it get the creative juices flowing for this exercise but also for the writing projects I am having difficulty getting off the ground.  This was a fun challenge that was also beneficial in helping me get rid of my writers block.

Let me know what you think ~ I value your comments and suggestions.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

{artist unknown}
“The Heiresses of Hope”
 
Meet Anna, Marianna, Joanna, and Deanna Bradbury. When their parents were tragically killed in a boating accident in the summer of 1894 they became the richest and quirkiest citizens of Hope, Maine.  Throwing off their restraints and laying aside the conventional ways of Victorian society they set the Maine Coast on its heels.
 
Anna ~ who is always the one to do the right thing, finds romance in the most unlikely places.
 
Joanna ~ the writer with her head in the clouds writes stories on the eccentricities of the people from Hope, Maine
 
Marianna ~ who threw away her corsets and skirts and now wears trousers, rides around town on her bicycle making house calls as a midwife to bring in the next generation.
 
Deanna ~ one of the early suffragette’s speaks out for the rights for women and becoming the voice of those less fortunate.
 
Where will life take them? What joys and heartaches are in store for these 4 spirited young women? Join them as they find adventure, intrigue and romance in the coastal village of Hope, Maine.
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Rediscovering Joy

Sunrise over Halifax

Sunrise over Halifax

This Christmas was difficult.  The first Christmas without Tom. My faith has been able to get me through all the other “firsts” of living without him.  Until this Christmas season. We have always enjoyed all the festivities and family gatherings of Christmas. Tom would light up the house with strings of color lights and we would tease him that our house was looking like the Griswold home in the Christmas Vacation movie!  But it was the Advent season that brought us to a deeper relationship with Jesus.  The songs of His birth and the special Advent devotionals led us to the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of a baby that is our Savior and Lord, making Christmas a very special day for us.
 
This year I knew we would still celebrate our Lords birth even knowing it would be difficult. Spending time with my children made my Christmas complete and we knew Tom was with us.  We said good-bye to some old traditions and started a few new ones. Without Tom to share this season, there was no more joy.  Or so I thought.
 
A few days before Christmas I read this verse in my devotional, “This day is holy to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” {Nehemiah 8:10}  When I read that my first thought was, “Where can I find that joy again?”
 
God answered on December 22 when our church held our Christmas Cantata.  The children’s choir sang and their voices sang loudly and joyously.  Singing loudly and joyously, all of them reflected God’s light.  That glimmer of light started to shine again for me.  When they were finished one child clapped and gave a happy shout, “yea!”.  The grief in my heart was soon replaced with the joy that came from the voices of children singing.  
 
God was not finished with me yet.  Our church holds two Christmas Eve services, the Family Service at 5:00 pm which offers child care and an early night for excited children and the 7:30 pm Candlelight Service for the rest of us.  Normally we do not see children at the 7:30 service but this year we were blessed with a few little ones.  As the service began, one child starting fussing, not to be out done, the second child joined in.  Then they started to babble – you know the sounds, the cute baby sounds that make everyone smile!  Sadly I cannot remember in detail what our pastor told us but from what I remember he told us that through these children we were blessed to experience what the shepherds saw all those years ago – a little baby crying. Those children reminded me that Jesus did come as a baby; He cried, He giggled and He cooed.  And like the Shepherds we were given an amazing gift on Christmas Eve, a chance to experience Jesus as a baby. Throughout the service these little ones made their presence known and with each little cry or giggle they  reflected God’s light that was beginning to shine brighter and brighter in my life once again.  
 
January 5 was Epiphany Sunday, our first hymn was “We Three Kings” and one young child sang joyously and loudly – his voice ringing out above the choir.  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard – a child singing, making a joyful noise unto our Lord.
 
Joy had returned through the blessed children.
 
Each day I am rediscovering joy in my life.  Over Christmas is it was the children in our church.  A few days ago it was the crazy antics of our dogs.  Last night is was our bible study leaders meeting.  It was the sound of rain falling on my windows on a Saturday morning.  I found it today with new shoots on a spring plant that I have been taken care of all winter. Each day I discover joy seeing Tom in my children and knowing through them he will live on.  
 
The psalmist wrote, “This is the day The Lord has made.  We will be glad and rejoice in it.” {Psalm 118:24}  
 
If you are also going through a difficult time and the darkness has stolen your joy – Make the choice to rediscover the joy that is in each day and be blessed with all that is good, in Jesus Christ.

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