------ CHERRY BLOSSOMS ------ TAKE YOUR PICK ------- #1

------ CHERRY BLOSSOMS ------ TAKE YOUR PICK -------       #1

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CHOOSE: NOT TO CHOOSE!

Okay. maybe "choose not to choose" sounds like an oxymoron of sorts----but when it comes to choosing to believe all things you hear, exercise caution. Somethings are just Hogwash!
Sign above the restrooms entrance at The Perfect Pig on FL 30A---
------it's a good place to go to wash off hogwash germs.
It's common to hear sayings attributed to the Bible that are not part of God's word.

Money is the root of evil! Hogwash! Money can be used for good or evil. 
It's the love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:10) Greed and power hungry come to my mind.

God helps those who help themselves is another such bit of "hogwash."
"Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD.' " (Jeremiah 17:5)
God helps those who depend on Him and call on Him and His strength in their weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12: 9-11)

Only "real truth" is God's truth. The rest is "Hogwash." 

Therefore, I choose NOT to choose---NOT to let "HOGWASH" distort truth!


Monday, March 27, 2017

CHOOSE: TO LISTEN

Have you got your ears on?
In Disney World, LOTS of people of all ages "have their ears on." Some people even buy ears for "munching." With all that munching and the great clamor around them, they probably can only "listen to themselves."
Does the "clamor" of life keep you from truly listening to the Lord. 
How easy it is to call on Him to listen to us! Our cries for mercy and relief. (Psalm 4:1, 28:2, & 54:2)

But.....do we respond with a listening ear? More than--- "in one ear and out the other."
Listening with the intent to obey. 
May we be more like Samuel. "Speak Lord your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:10)
God speaks; man listens. (2 Samuel 7:25-28)
In Psalm 5:3, the psalmist waits expectantly to hear the from the Lord.
In the morning Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my request before you and wait expectantly.
That's what it's really like to have "your ears on" before the Lord. 
I'll take my pseudo ears with chocolate, please. Maybe each taste will sweeten the words I need to hear as I choose to listen to all, even the "hard truths," the Lord has for me.

Friday, March 24, 2017

CHOOSE: 4F

4-F, in it's military connotation, is negative---especially for those who want to serve, as did many of the young enlistees in WWII. (Hacksaw Ridge) It identifies one as physically or psychologically unfit. Not worthy. Unacceptable. Unfit to serve.
No one I know wants to be deemed unfit. 
In the spiritual realm, as a member of the household of faith, I am grateful for God's appointment into service, based on His strengths, not mine. (1 Timothy 1:12) I just need to be faithful to Him.
4-F in Christian service is a positive.
Indicators are found in Spirit-filled, Spirit-controlled life of faithful service. (George Verwer, Drops from a Leaking Tap)
  • Focus---daily on Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 12:2)
  • Forgiveness---His of me. Mine of others. (Matthew 6:12)
  • Faith shield---available 24/7. (Ephesians 6:16)
  • Fellowship---with other believers. (Hebrews 10:25)

Choosing 4-F in the Christian life is a winning situation as one faces battles each day.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

CHOOSE: LIGHT

Friend and BSF teacher, Sally J., chooses to put on the armor of God everyday!
She uses Ephesians 6:13-18 as her head-to-toe guide: helmet of salvation (guard the mind); breastplate of righteousness (cover and protect the heart);  belt of truth (buckled at the waist w/ God's truth) and feet shod with the gospel of peace. She then takes up the shield of faith (to ward off attacks) and the sword of the Spirit (word of God) as she steps out to begin the day. What a great beginning!
I had never considered "light" as part of armor unit until reading Jesus Always (2/21)
Metaphorically, light is a necessary covering to "put on." Believers receive the light at salvation. Yet, sometimes in our lives we forget to clothe ourselves with His light. The light which dispels darkness.
Darkness is prevalent in our world. It can blind us or at least dim our vision so that we no longer see clearly. How easy it is to fall into the "worldliness" that surrounds us. His light is our protection from said world. (John 17:17)
God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:7)
Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Isaiah 2:5)
I choose the One who is Life and gives light.
I choose the "Light of the World" as my armor of defense for today. (John 8:12)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CHOOSE: FRUCTIFICATION OF FAITH

Wordsmith's unite. Do they ever!
Word-A-Day Flip calendars. YouVersion verse of the day. A.Word.A.Day which comes right to your email in-box. K-Love's Encouraging Word via radio waves. 
Wannabe wordsmith's even have their own twitter accounts and URLs.

Wordsmiths choose words that are not normally in their speaking vocabulary and learn from them. Sometimes one wordsmith will challenge another.
I, a fledgling word nerd, took the challenge though I am VERY weak in the spiritual "wordsmith" community, compared to my challenger. 

"Fructification." I started with my old stand-by, my hard copy American Heritage Collegiate, 2nd edition. (a gift from my Aunt Dot Seay)

Fructification--noun, the process of fructifying. (Wow, that was "un"-enlightening.)

More research opened my eyes to a synonym of growth. In the spiritual realm, that made sense. 
Growth in grace and knowledge of truth = fruit bearing in my faith.

Starting with knowledge of God and accepting Christ as the cornerstone of one's faith many Christlike virtues begin to take root. A new believer often begins studying God's word and seeking God's grace in order to grow in his faith.
Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
In my own faith walk, after I added knowledge, it was in the midst of struggles that God "ripened" my faith." Faith growth for me hurt deeply at times. 


Yet, for me, the real fructification of faith began when I chose to share my faith with others. 
Fructification of faith is, at its best, when it bears fruit in others.

Faith that was my anchor in my cancer journey gained strength as I shared it to encourage others.
Faith continues to give me strength and courage when I have no control in life's "hard places," knowing I can lean in to God's goodness in each new struggle. 

Sharing is a new branch/off shoot of choosing fructification of faith with each new struggle.


Before posting this blog entry, I opened my All to Jesus, devotional book for March 22 and read, 'The gospel....has come to you....bearing fruit...and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it.' (Colossians 1:6)

Not only was the "CO"incidence affirming, but it opened my eyes to the One who did the "choosing" for my "word" for today---certainly strengthening my faith as together He and I choose: fructification!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CHOOSE: READING ALOUD

Reading aloud might seem ordinary to some, but at our home we call it a "shared adventure."
There's nothing quite like having read the same book together to "bond" a family----whether a picture book or a novel. It's what we do!
When a grandchild "understands" his PopPop's unusual relationship with squirrels, he can take a turn and read aloud. Laughter bursts forth....! 

....there is a season for that, as well(Ecclesiastes 1:1, 4,)
It's all "part and parcel" of choosing a shared adventure, AKA "reading aloud."

Monday, March 20, 2017

CHOOSE: SINGING


Spring is officially here!
God is sovereign! 
The day is Yours, and Yours also the night; It was You who set all the boundaries of the earth; You made both summer and winter. (Psalm 74:16-17)
Regardless of the fluctuating winter to summertime temperatures, it is springtime in Memphis!

"He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting." (Psalm 104:19)
"My" Molly's azalea---almost 38 years old!
"For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come...."(Song of Solomon 2:12)

The sun is shining. The temps are rising.
How easy it is to choose "singing in the springtime!" 

Friday, March 17, 2017

CHOOSE: ENCOURAGEMENT

Blog readers continue to inspire and encourage me. 
So grateful Margie Horner chose to encourage me with this great text reminder!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact, you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
May I choose to pay forward this encouragement!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CHOOSE: TO ENCOURAGE

Where does encouragement end and self-aggrandizement begin?
Scripture reminds us the importance of doing 3 things in secret; fasting, giving and praying.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:6, KJV)
Certainly "the" closet, or war room as Priscilla Shirer states, is not just a "supply" closet. One doesn't just open the door to ask for "things" but rather to enter into the Lord's presence in order to strengthen one's relationship with Him.

My quandary yesterday was whether to tell someone "important" of my intercession on his behalf. While "lunching" with dear friend, Nancy E. downtown at The Little Tea Shop, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings, came in.
He was greeted by many folks familiar to him. I, on the other hand, was in no way familiar to him. However, I felt compelled to approach him just to say thanks for  serving in a difficult position and working hard to protect our city. (Jeremiah 29:7)
My commendation was accompanied with a hug and the statement that I pray for him every Saturday. He replied saying, "I need at least 18 thank you hugs a day and I really need and appreciate your prayers."

Did I cross the line of encouragement? I hope not. I do think one's motive is revealed by one's heart attitude. I truly have been thankful for his intervention in so many impending crisis situations. Of course, blogging about it can up the level toward self-aggrandizement so I hope readers will see it as a reminder to choose encouragement----thank those who serve us and maybe even give them a hug.
First of all, then I urge that petitions, prayers and intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. Therefore, I want men everywhere to pray.....(1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8, BSB--emphasis mine)
Then, if you choose to pray for them as well, and choose to encourage by sharing this intercession with another.....well, that's between you and God.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CHOOSE: UNWINDING

So grateful to have found my "just laugh cup" picture this morning since yesterday that very special cup shattered.  I'm still finding stray pieces. I'm not laughing yet but I am thankful to have this image reminder of a favorite mug with an oft needed message from my dear Saturday prayer warrior, Wynellen. She knows my temperament and I can trust her to pray for my needs. This week I need to "chill" a bit. Hubby says just "unlax" so that all my self-imposed strain and tension will ebb away! Easier said that done for me.
To relax and unwind.
For sure choosing to unwind after a non-stop vacation with adult kids and 7 grands has been a must. As Jim Newman reminded me, "Keeping up with folks (16 for us) at Disney is like herding squirrels."
I think I'm better at herding than I am at unwinding and resting. 
O, that I had the wings of a dove. I would fly away and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6)
Many grandma friends seem to have the same propensity---to keep on feeling responsible for all their herd. Sweet friend, Angie, who gave me the My One Word book chose "Ease" as her one word. 
Her verse is Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me....and I will give you rest."
As we are "wired" similarly, I certainly understand her choices.

Also, we both understand the need for divine intervention.  It takes His power in order for some of us to slowdown.
For the tightly wound up, it's hard to choose unwinding but it's a must, especially as we age!