Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stories of Hope

Cancer Survivors luncheon! What a privilege!
A celebration of life. A celebration of hope.
Many in attendance would say, "In Christ alone, my hope is found."
Dear, sweet, friend Pam is one of those. She delivered today's "keynote" message flawlessly and from the heart. Her story of hope in the midst of a shocking journey was one all could relate to in some way, especially the cancer survivors!
There's such a fellowship of folks on the same side of the struggle---and the fellowship of those who wear the pink ribbon is unbelievably strong!
Pam's message was a reminder of all of that.
Whether a surviver of more than 30 years.....or less than a year,
each wears a smile!

Pam's goal for her story of hope was for God to receive the glory! (Revelation 4:11)

Tears "rained" and hope flowed! Goal accomplished!

Friday, August 26, 2016

RULES FOR READERS

The rule is---"No Reading While Walking!"
Now there's a hard rule to enforce! Especially when our young bibliophile, Lucy,  comes from a family full of teachers and a librarian. A librarian who loves Mr. Putter and Tabby books, especially when the title is Mr. Putter and Tabby Dance the Dance.

Monday, August 22, 2016

AUGUST 20, 2016 Embracing Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

Grieving is hard but needful. Family, friends and the household of faith coming alongside helps the process. God's word also helps.
Saturday morning before hubby and I left to drive to Kentucky for the funeral of a dear friend's mother, the verse from my morning devotional was so apropos.

In the midst of the sorrow of losing her mom, Cheryl and her family were able to rejoice because their mom (grandmother and great grandmother) was with the Lord. As the family shared about her life as a WWII widow with 2 young girls, (Cheryl and Sylvia) I was so aware that her life of hardship personified the rest of the verse. She might have struggled as a single mom getting her college education but her children were rich in their handmade clothes, fun times and good, and often funny, memories which they shared. Her legacy of diligence and determination continued through a second marriage and a son to add to this BIG family mix. The pews were filled with family---all of whom, possessing a strong faith, were celebrating Mrs. Gresham's life well-lived.

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, 
yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10)

Loss brings grief. Grief can lead to mourning and sorrow. 
But God showed me once again-----
Sorrow and joy are not mutually exclusive. 
God's Word and the August 20th celebration of Nancy Jane Terry Gresham's life proved that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

PANIC PRAYERS

Anxiety can be a real "panic prayer" inducer,
Earlier blog entries show that I have been sipping from this cuppa of anxiety far too often through the years.
11/22/10 and 6/16/13. Yet, I omitted a cuppa anxie-TEA in 2014 when I wrote 366 "tea" entries. Maybe it's because that year was a "call" to blog daily and I had to trust the One who called me! He was my "focus" and the blog entries were an overflow of that relationship. Even if anxiety was mentioned in an entry, the cuppa chosen for "focus" was NOT anxie-TEA!
So why am I seemingly back to square one---my humanity, filled too often with worry and fear.
Sadly, once again, I am one of those "fretful folks" Pastor Cole alluded to a few weeks ago, as he described living in a catastrophe culture. Daily we "panicky people" tend to live in a state of emergency. Even our news describes emergency alerts as though each viewer can do something about each event. As if there was an element of control for which we are responsible.
Globally, I am disturbed but realize my limitations. On the other hand, personally, anxious thoughts can still consume me---holding me captive, over people and health and events which I cannot control.
So what's one to do with these consuming fears and apprehensions?
REFOCUS!
PRAY---Don't panic!!
Shrink that cuppa! Lay it all at His feet.
Claim victory. (Romans 8:37)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Happy Endings!

Book reviewers tend to look at a work's beginnings more than the ending. They insist that it's those first words that draw you in---take you captive, hold you hostage, so to speak. 
Words that make you want to "hang in there" for more.
There's even a website for those "best first lines of novels." But, since it did not include, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again," (Rebecca) or "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."(A Tale of Two Cities) I don't hold much stock in their opinion.

Some readers only read books where "happy endings" are assured.
I call that unrealistic fiction.
Yet, I admit that I do prefer endings that are worth the wait, though not necessarily "happy"---and certainly NOT endings which are contrived or predictable!
I even look for a good tea for my morning cuppa---
a cuppa that makes me happy to the very end!

The "Good Book"does that. It has those first words that draw you in, words in between that teach and encourage you and an eternal ending that is a "happy ending" for all believers. 
"In the beginning, God....(Genesis 1:1) and "the dwelling of God is with men and He will live with them....The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." (Revelation 21:3 & 22:21)

It's foolishness to look for a "happy ending anywhere else!

Happy Ending, indeed!
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"47"

How does a couple "make it" for 40+ years of marriage?
Nowadays, many folks see "47" as a remarkable milestone---only 3 years from the BIG "Golden Anniversary!"

Along with a couple's commitment to the Lord and each other, there are lots of sweet, endearing answers to sustaining marriages but....beyond all those, it helps when "hubby" agrees to a "white table cloth" restaurant for lunch so "wifey" can attend her summer Bible Study that night. 

It's really dear when "he" orders "sweet tea" chicken, which his spouse wants to try so "she" can order a different "special" which she also wants to try. A "special" which included "her" favorite dessert---creme brûlée!!!


HAPPY 47TH ANNIVERSARY, "my" man! 

We'll have "anniversary" steak this weekend, that is, if you're willing to grill it!!


Friday, August 5, 2016

Dragonfly Lore

Dragonflies---so many analogies. Lore---the knowledge passed from generation to generation by "word of mouth."The lore varies from culture to culture and as all lore can begin to take on a life of its own.
Hubby's pic of a dragonfly and its iridescent wings
as it seeks night time sustenance from our  hummingbird feeder!  
I love it that it is "light" that changes those iridescent wings of the dragonfly. Spiritually  symbolic, it's also "light" in our own lives which changes us as we know the One who is the Light! (2 Corinthians 4:6 & John 8:12)

The life of this beautiful insect symbolizes, in other ways, more truth from scripture.
With a life span of just a "matter of months," it is a great reminder of the brevity of life. This reminder, for me, says, "celebrate life's moments." Make the most of the days you have."

Our time on earth is transient. (Psalm 39:4) Certainly folks in their 7th decade understand that their are more yesterdays in their life than tomorrows.

None of us know the exact number of our days. (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12a)

There is a virtue of living in the moment. There is inspiration as we see others (or a dragonfly) capturing life with the grace of a dancer.

Lore or not, the dragonfly reminders of life's brevity, say "Celebrate Moments!"

This entry is not meant to pour out a cuppa morbid-TEA, but rather to serve others with God's cuppa TEA-ruth---allowing us all to embrace His words, from Psalm 90:12, as we live with wisdom the days He gives us.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DANCE TO THE MUSIC

Working on acceptance while waiting, I've been discovering the importance of "celebrating moments. "There's a world of activity. A life worth celebrating.

The Lord Himself seems to invite me, this Dancing Granny, to get up and move.
Turn off the TV. Turn off the laptop.
Put down the book. Silence the phone.

Dance to the music. The music that's been playing since the beginning of time!

Feel it in the rhythm of the wind. Hear it in the rain on the roof. See it in the sunrise. 
Know it! Move to it. Sing a-long. The Lord puts new songs in our mouths. (Psalm 40:3)

We all dance every day to the "tune of life" but the most important choice is our partner!
Always choose Him!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Calmness of Soul


“The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life." 
Remember all these Warren Wiersbe gems:
  • Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.
  • Never doubt in the darkness what God has told you in the light.” 
  • God doesn't bless us just to make us happy; He blesses us to make us a blessing.
What are you waiting for, believer?
Make the most of your moments and trust the Lord to take care of your future.
That's the answer to calmness of soul for today.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Profundi-TEA

Profundi-TEA--I'm steeping a big cuppa to share the deep (for me) insight which the Lord has shown me to aid my knowledge of John !5:1-17.
Irish Breakfast is a good strong black tea---perfect to jog "profound" thoughts!
THOTS as I have dubbed it---Trusting Him On This Subject!

This past week in response to a valid question asked by BSF friend, Jackie, I shared with her how John 15 had changed my "spiritual" life. Then, she asked me how many verses were in the book of John.  I realized that I had not a clue.

So, last Wednesday, I opened my Bible to the book of John (27 verses, by the way) and realized it was not the entire chapter that had so impacted my "first" journey into Bible study. It was the "abiding" passage in the first 17 verses which the Lord used to draw me unto Himself.

As I returned to the passage, I began to use the "precept" method of inductive Bible Study re-introduced to me by Marilyn LeBlanc in our "Summer Refreshment " study of the book of Esther.
I began to look for key words.

As I meditated (and counted # of times certain words were used) I found abide (11) love (9) & bear fruit (7) Arranging  them in descending numerical order put them in alphabetical order----which spells alb.

Alb---a white linen robe worn by a priest at mass.

For the first time in 40 years, when I was first introduced to this passage by Bible teacher Kay Arthur, I saw those words becoming my personal "alb" as the white robe (Psalm 51:7) of His righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) of "my high priest" (Hebrews 4:14) covered me as I worshipped!

I'm not sure the "steeping" is complete in my cuppa profundi-TEA as there still seems to be a few thoughts "brewing" in my head. But....I decided to pour out what I've learned so far. (before I forget it) 
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