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Nessie’s Nugget

Throughout my life there have been many people in my life that have walked with me on my spiritual journey. Some I did not realize were sent by God until years later. Then there are the many who came into my life for a season, just at the right moment to walk beside me. Today, I am blessed to have many who walk beside me. Nessie is one such person.
I first met Nessie around 20 yrs ago. She spoke at a woman’s retreat at my church. Through the years our paths would cross where I worked at a Christian Bookstore and other women’s retreats or luncheons. Each time the Holy Spirit flowed from Nessie’s words and we would find ourselves kissed by God.  
Last year I had the privilege to meet her again when I began volunteering with Yokefellowship Prison Ministry. Through the year she has become my spiritual mentor and good friend.
She sends us these “nuggets” of diamonds from God of encouragement. With permission she has graciously allowed me to share her diamond nugget with you. 
If you are finding yourself in a situation where you want to throw in the towel, pull the covers over your head or are just plain ole tired I encourage you today to take courage and remember Jesus has already “forged the way” for us.

NESSIE’S NUGGETS 
Blessings all,
I really can’t believe how fast time is going. As I sensed to send an encouragement to you today, I realized it has almost been a whole year since my last ‘nugget’. I must not let that happen again! “Our times are in HIS hands” and every moment indeed counts. We are to “lift up one another and continue to encourage one another as we see the ‘Day’ approaching.”
Today, I want to encourage you to ‘endure’. This little word has been coming up over and again in my own life and I am certain it has for you as well. It was a JOY to conduct a volunteer training this past week at one of my jobs for Yokefellowship Prison Ministry. Right out of the gate, I mentioned to the new trainees that ‘Endurance’ is a must for prison ministry, for there will be times they might be tempted to throw in the towel for various reasons that I won’t elaborate on right now. Anything that we do that is worthwhile will take endurance. Actually, our entire life’s journey ‘Endurance’ will be a key factor, right? Other wonderful words related to endurance, are persistence, patience, courage, fortitude, perseverance, continuance, stamina ‘to last’, guts, spunk, ‘ride it out’, and stick-to-it-ness…Wow! Sounds like a lot of work. But we can remember and take lessons from our greatest role model, Jesus, who has already forged the way for us! Whew! That takes a load off of us being that we are truly ‘yoked’ together with Him and the Holy Spirit is out front guiding us through ever circumstance of life. I encourage you today that you can do it Beloved ones with HIM by your side helping you to ‘endure’ and cheering you on all the way! Don’t Quit. Stay in the race and see it through to the end. Finish strong!
(PS: I had a test of endurance even while writing this little ‘nugget’ early this morning as the computer suddenly decided to shut down and configure right in the middle of my sentence! But, here it is …I ENDURED.)
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. Hebrews 10:36

Nessie

 

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Resolutions

I used to make resolutions every Jan 1.  When I was younger a few of my resolutions were to study harder in school and to do my chores without complaining. As I got older it changed to dieting, keeping my house cleaned, not grumbling too much or reading my bible more, along with many other goals.  And without fail by February I was back in my normal habits.

So eventually I stopped making New Year resolutions and instead decided to stay focused on God’s Word.  Without a reading plan or study guide I let the Holy Spirit guide me into the different aspects of Spiritual Discipline.

Soon a few minutes reading a 5-min devotional each morning turned into meaningful prayer time.  Eventually my prayer time was expanded and included worship and more in-depth devotions.  Now, I get up earlier just to spend quiet time with God.  The time is spent reading, listening to worship songs, praying and even coloring.

This year again I will not make any resolutions and will continue to walk confidently in faith and being content in my circumstances. Instead of diet plans and goals I choose to pray unceasingly and serve God by being the Light of Christ.

By February I know I will be struggling to get up early on a cold winter morning, instead opting to stay snuggled under the warmth of blankets.  But then an opportunity comes to worship as my alarm goes off and Pandora begins playing praise and worship songs.  What a blessing – I can stay in the warmth of the bed God has provided and worship Him in song.

When spring arrives, the warmer weather and the smell of fresh clean air will bring distractions that will tempt me to stray from my faith journey. Yet, another opportunity will come to praise God when I see the first Robin and watch the squirrels frolicking in the warm breeze. The first crocus to bloom brings hope and a new abundant life as we all rejoice winter is over and spring has arrived. The scripture from Isaiah says it beautifully, I paraphrased, “The (winter and frozen ground) shall be glad; (the bare trees) shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.” (Here is the original scripture verse – Isaiah 35:1-2a ESV)

There will be struggles, disappointments, sorrow, and hardships in the New Year.  But each new day will bring the peace of Jesus; beauty and hope; laughter and love.

We do not know what the New Year will bring, so let us honor and worship God our creator wherever we are, whatever our circumstances and whenever the opportunity opens before us.

Let our lives bloom in 2018 wherever God plants us.

Where is God planting to you?

2018-resolutions-e1514828174533.jpg

Pictures from google.com

One Winter Morning

There is a stillness as I look out my window.  The sound of a gentle rain on the windows breaks the early morning peace.

The neighborhood dogs are quiet, birds are silent, squirrels are still and the daily sound of automobiles rushing here and there, are motionless, creating a unique beauty of a city at rest.

Soothing.

Calming.

Peaceful.

The mountains surrounding our little valley are covered with a mist that seems to settle on everything with tenderness.

As I sip my morning tea I look out the window as day light breaks and noticed colorful leaves still on the trees that glistened in the morning mist.  Bare trees are silhouetted against a gray sky, the streetlights illuminating the droplets of rain on outstretched branches like sparkles of diamonds. The weathered wood fence and an old garage are but shadows in the misty air.

Our Creator has painted a beautiful masterpiece this morning.

Teaching us to be still in His presence.

To delight in this moment.

To prepare for the Light of the World – Jesus Christ

Secrets

Secrets
 
Is there something you have hidden away hidden in your heart?
 
We have all experienced hurts and disappointment in our lives.  We each have a secret we are ashamed of or a hurt so deep we have buried it deep behind the recesses of our minds.
 
God knows our secrets, our hurts and our shame.
 
We cannot hide anything from God.  He created us and breathed life into us.
 
He knows.  He cares.
 
God comes to us arms wide. If we let Him.
 
Isn’t that awesome?  He will not force Himself on us, but is waiting to heal our hurts and wipe away our tears of shame.  His arms outstretched, are welcoming us to His embrace.
 
God sent He sent His Son Jesus to restore us, to bring healing and erase all our shame.  All our sins, deep secrets, wrong choices, our pain and our sorrow Jesus took upon Himself at the cross.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

What Jesus has done for others – He will do for you.  When Jesus pardoned the sinner of their sins, Jesus has already pardoned us.  When Jesus has healed someone from addiction He healed the broken.  When Jesus lifts the hopeless out of depression – He lifts up the lonely .  When Jesus comforted the grieving – He comforted me.
 
Our past is an open book to our merciful God, no matter how deep we may try to bury our hurts, we will never have to walk alone. Jesus walks with us.  Even during those times you think no one cares.  Jesus cares.  God cares.  When it seems, all hope is lost – remember God sent His Son to travel with us on our journey.
 
It is no secret Jesus heals our wounds, restores our hope and seals us to His heart forever.
 
Isaiah 43:2
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Patty Beggs  Sept 2017
Picture is taken from google – unknown

Finding God In The Unexpected

As spring ends and summer begins we witness new life emerging from a winter slumber.  We expect the birds migrating back to the north and anticipate the tiny buds of tulips, crocus’ and daffodils breaking through the cold ground reaching up to the warmth of the sun.  

Most years by June 1 the sun is already blazing in all its glory while we feel the summer warm breezes on our faces. Long walks in the sunshine replace the umbrellas of a rainy spring day.  But for some reason this year, spring seemed to have carried over into the summer months.  Cold nights, more rain than sunshine kept our furnaces running. Light snow glistened on our tulips and daffodils. June did not come as gently as years passed.  It was unexpected yet God was expected as the clouds lifted and summer returned with all of His splendor.

Nature teaches us to expect the unexpected with things out of our control.

God teaches us to expect Him in all the unexpected of our lives.  

What about the unexpected in your life? 

I expected God when I heard the unexpected words, “you have breast cancer”, words that turned my life upside down.

My life consisted of biopsies, a mastectomy, every scan imaginable searching for any lingering cells followed by months of two different types of chemo, radiation followed then more scans. During that time, I gave myself into His care.  He came to me in the last place I had expected – and He was the first One I expected to hear my cry.

This disease was unexpected.  But God was expected.  I expected God in the most unlikely place – I expected God in cancer. I expected God’s promise “Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5   I gave myself into His care, trusting in Him to never leave me – God kept His promise.

Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers was unexpected, but God was expected in his prisonJoseph’s story.

Paul encountered a violent storm at sea and was shipwrecked. Everyone else panicked, except Paul. Calm and confident, Paul expected God as the waves crashed around everyone on board.  Paul shipwrecked.

It is easy to miss God altogether if you are not expecting Him.  We can expect Him in the smallest detail of our life and in the biggest challenges we face.  We can expect Him in His Word, through His Son – Jesus and in the power of His Holy Spirit.

Whatever you are facing – expect God.  He is with you.

Patty Beggs  July 2017
Picture unknown source

Harrison

2016 HarrisonMany of us have pets or as we lovingly call them our fur babies! 

Over the years we have had many doxies and one beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog mix or fur babies as we call them – each one with their own unique personality.  And just like our children, we worry over them when they are sick; we feed them, protect and love them.  And in return they give us unconditional love and companionship.  There is nothing better than getting puppy hugs at the end of a long day.   

Last week we noticed one of our “babies”, Harrison would not go down the yard on his usual walking the perimeter routine. Then when he came inside he clung to us, his little paws hugging our necks and not letting go while his little body trembled as if something scared the life out of him.  We did find a hole where they were digging so most likely whatever critter they were after was not happy with them.  Later that night we noticed Harrison’s nose was swollen, so fearing he was bitten we took him to the vet.  We found out he had two abscess teeth.  The vet told us that the critter they were flushing out could have swatted at his nose as he was digging causing his tooth to dislodge and causing the nose to swell enabling us to notice the abscess sooner.  She also did say he could have fallen or hit his nose and that we will never know, other than whatever happened although giving us cause for alarm, was a good thing because it allowed us to take him to the vet sooner. 

If left untreated I hate to think of the consequences. 

He is home now after surgery where they also removed other teeth that was starting to show problems.  He is recuperating and enjoying the extra attention we are giving him.   

I saw how God had His touch on Harrison.  Some may say it was a coincidence that the “critter” did something to Harrison.  But I can tell you years of  flushing out critters (and bringing some home to us) they have always managed to have the upper hand – or paw. So I am thanking God for the critter or the accident that caused the chain of events that led us to take him to the vet now.   

I know Harrison’s time here on earth is limited.  But I am thankful to God for allowing us to watch over him a bit longer. 

God created all the animals, birds and sea life before He even created man.  God brought every one of His animals to Adam to name them. God declared His ownership over animals when He said: “For every animal among the trees is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10-11 NLV). He then entrusted them into Adam’s care, and today God entrusts them to our care. “A righteous man regards the life of his animal.” Proverbs 12:10 

I am thankful God entrusted to us the care of His doxies and one special Bernese Mountain Dog.  I am also thankful that our God is a compassionate and loving God who encourages us to pray over our beloved pets, or the creatures of the forests and even the birds at our bird feeders knowing He will watch over them.   

Everything God has created is perfect even to smallest ant.  And everything God created has a purpose, including each one of us.  

 “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”   Revelation 5:13 

We will even worship our Creator together.

Harrison with his brother Silver
Harrison with his brother Silver

 

Save

Save

Connected Through Prayer

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Good news to report!

My latest CT scan showed no increase in the lung nodules since September.  The liver mass, he said was almost nonexistent on the MRI so explained that the PET scan must have picked up something as the liver was active meaning it was functioning the way it should. The enlarged (active) lymph nodes tell them my body is fighting an infection most likely the root cause of the nodules and my persistent cough. The diagnoses are the lung nodules are the results of my severe bronchial infection from 4 yrs ago and from recurrent bronchial infections since then. The protocol is to be rechecked with another CT scan for the next 6 months for two years.

I now have to be very careful come flu and cold season because even the slightest cold can trigger the infection/irritation in the bronchial airway.  Which I do all I can now, take my daily vitamins, get my yearly vaccines, stay away from people who are coughing and even have begun to wipe off grocery store carts before using them.  Other than putting me in a bubble I don’t know what else to do.  😉

It has been months of up and downs.  Your daily blogs have been a constant in my life – something I looked forward to each day enjoying your pictures, poems and stories with my morning cuppa.  I have prayed with some of you, cried with others and rejoiced during your happy moments.

Your prayers have encouraged and strengthened me both physically and spiritually. It is through our prayers for each other that we are connected through Jesus Christ.

“Even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.”Romans 12:5

“… In Christ’s Body we’re all connected to each other.” Ephesians 4:25 a

I am thankful that I am connected to you through the body of Jesus, our Lord.  May the power of prayer always keep us connected to each other and especially connected to God.

In closing I would like to share a golden nugget of wisdom with you from a dear friend whenever I feel as if my life spinning out of control:

Life is hectic and there is never a dull moment. Some days are better than others.  We can all use an extra hour or two or three or more each day to accomplish what needs to be done.  But at the end of the day – let us take a moment to be still, leaving all of the stress and endless tasks behind us and spend time just “being” with God.

Unexpected Path

Isaiah 43_2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

In February when I posted about writing again I had good intentions to get back into my routine.  But like the old saying, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” (Robert Burns), my life has taken on a new twist and I find myself in the midst of a new storm.

Last November I went to my doctor for a pain in my left side that turned into months of doctor appointments and tests, with a break until March when more tests found other issues.   I think I have had all scans known to mankind since this ordeal began.  The ironic thing is my initial concern of the pain is gone.  The problem (without going into much detail) is each test is inconclusive but then they find something new so more tests are ordered to get a clearer picture – and results again are inconclusive. I have felt like a human pincushion and Guinea pig! 

I am thankful to God – so far all cancer tests (blood markers and MRI) show no signs of metastatic disease from my breast cancer.  So the question remains – what is going on?

Six months later and they are still unsure. 

I have them all stumped –  I have no symptoms, no other pain (other than the pain in my side that went away), I feel pretty good other than another fight with a virus, and my appetite is normal.  The peace of God has enveloped me as I wait and has given me super human strength for patience – if you know me you would know it is indeed God’s strength and not my own. Let’s just say when God was passing out patience I got tired of waiting in line and so went on to the next of God’s gifts!

So, here I sit in limbo. 

Looking back during those months when I took my break, God was at work with preparing me for this season of waiting. So, instead of dread I feel an expectation of how God’s glory will be revealed. 

God has reminded me I am at that age now when things will begin to fall apart, sort of like an old car, when one part goes they all go.  I just need to go into the repair shop (hospital labs and doctor’s offices) for tune ups and repairs.

And, so, life goes on. 

In between work, dr appointments and to do lists (yes I am still doing them!) I have plans to get back into my writing. I have even etched out a time frame to sit at my desk with a cup of tea, dogs at my feet and soft music playing as I type away all the stories and inspirational thoughts flowing through my mind during the day.

My best laid plans often go awry as reality sets in –

 After working all day, there are the daily things that need done around the house and then time to unwind.  Any writing gets put on the back burner as I jot down some thoughts for future posts.  So you know, the dogs are on their sofas or chair – yes they have their own furniture and are gracious enough to allow us to sit with them on occasion – the only time they lay at our feet is when we are eating as they wait patiently for their treat.

We do not know what our future holds but we can face each new day with all the joys along with the uncertainties and trials knowing God is already there, preparing us for the unexpected and for helping us through our daily routines.

If your life’s journey is taking you on an unexpected path remember God is with you.  God may be walking along side you or most likely carrying you but be encouraged – all of your needs are already set before God.

Our life may be full of uncertainties – but – God is always certain and sure.

Season of Rest

Season of Rest

When I took my break I did not know what to expect. There were plenty of things that have been neglected and needed done. In my mind I became June Cleaver and Mrs. Brady (forgetting Mrs. Brady had a maid). Not only would my life be all figured out but my home would be organized and clean.

It did not take me long to recognize how busy my life had become. My life was filled with many empty activities to keep me busy and to quiet the many thoughts going through my mind. I found out that it only silenced the voice of God.

The busier I became the more I organized my to-do list, my calendar and my time. It did not take long to discover that it was more time-consuming than it was helpful.

What was causing chaos in my life had to be removed. I had to de-clutter my life along with de-cluttering my never-ending lists.

There you have it, I am a list writer. I have a list for everything. I love buying new calendars because I can create new lists. I download free apps of lists and organization tools. But with all the writing of lists to structure my life I found out I was actually creating disorder. I was being over organized so much so, that my lists were the only things that were organized.

During this season of rest I became still, longing to feel my Lord’s presence and to hear His voice.

God was already there waiting for me let go of the busyness and the never-ending lists to return to Him. He displayed His presence in glorious sunrises and sunsets, and in the winter birds’ songs of joy at the start of the day. His voice was heard in the stillness of the morning and in the solitude of the evenings.

I am once again aware of God’s Presence.

I have finally become a Mary in a Martha world – sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Through each season of my life Jesus was there, is there and will always be there. This season of rest Jesus cleared a path for me to see clearly that God, our Father will always bring organization out of our chaos.

I rediscovered:

God is always with us regardless if our lives are chaotic or well-ordered.

Jesus points the way for us when we have lost our way to free us so we can worship God in every season of our lives.

Each season will bring us closer to an everlasting life with God the Father, Jesus His Son and His Holy Spirit.

There will be times when a season takes us to a place of rest – to our mountain. A place where we will worship God, offering Him our praises, and glorifying His Name in everything we do.

We do not need a to-do list for worship.

 

“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things” Isaiah 25:1
“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things”        Isaiah 25:1
Mount-Zion
“Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Sunrise picture by Patty Beggs}
{Praise picture and Mt Zion compliments of Google search}