Thankful Thursday! November 16, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Laughing!

Going to the movies with LaMarr for her birthday!

Dinner with my Zumba ladies

Watching Rendon, Parker, Preston and Levi play in the alumni basketball tournament!

Whole Foods and ice cream with Gil

Ren & Park came over to eat with us after the games. & watching football with them

 

“He answered her not a word (Matt. 15:23)

He will rest in his love (Zeph. 3:17).

 

It may be a child of God is reading these words who has had some great crushing sorrow, some bitter disappointment, some heartbreaking blow from a totally unexpected quarter. You are longing for your Master’s voice bidding you, “Be of good cheer,” but only silence and a sense of mystery and misery meet you—“He answered her not a word.”

 

God’s tender heart must often ache listening to all the sad, complaining cries which arise from our weak, impatient hearts, because we do not see that for our own sakes He answers not at all or otherwise than seems best to our tear-blinded, shortsighted eyes.

 

The silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His speech and may be a sign, not of His disapproval, but of His approval and of a deep purpose of blessing for you.

 

“Why art thou cast down, O . . . soul?” Thou shalt yet praise Him, yes, even for His silence. Listen to an old and beautiful story of how one Christian dreamed that she saw three others at prayer. As they knelt the Master drew near to them.

 

As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her in tenderness and grace, with smiles full of radiant love and spoke to her in accents of purest, sweetest music.

 

Leaving her, He came to the next, but only placed His hand upon her bowed head, and gave her one look of loving approval.

 

The third woman He passed almost abruptly without stopping for a word or glance. The woman in her dream said to herself, “How greatly He must love the first one, to the second He gave His approval, but none of the special demonstrations of love He gave the first; and the third must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all and not even a passing look.

 

“I wonder what she has done, and why He made so much difference between them?” As she tried to account for the action of her Lord, He Himself stood by her and said: “O woman! how wrongly hast thou interpreted Me. The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way. She needs My love, thought, and help every moment of the day. Without it she would fail and fall.

 

“The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do.

 

“The third, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect has faith and love of the finest quality, and her I am training by quick and drastic processes for the highest and holiest service.

 

“She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so utterly, that she is independent of words or looks or any outward intimation of My approval. She is not dismayed nor discouraged by any circumstances through which I arrange that she shall pass; she trusts Me when sense and reason and every finer instinct of the natural heart would rebel—because she knows that I am working in her for eternity, and that what I do, though she knows not the explanation now, she will understand hereafter.

 

“I am silent in My love because I love beyond the power of words to express, or of human hearts to understand, and also for your sakes that you may learn to love and trust Me in Spirit-taught, spontaneous response to My love, without the spur of anything outward to call it forth.”

 

He “will do marvels” if you will learn the mystery of His silence, and praise Him, for every time He withdraws His gifts that you may better know and love the Giver. SELECTED”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday! November 9, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

Lunch with Pres and Tay!

Breakfast with my Pilates ladies

Answered prayers!

Lunch with Whitty, then visiting with Papa & Poppy

My whole family over for Sunday dinner!💜💜💜

Visiting with Karen

 

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me (Ps. 138:8).

 

There is a divine mystery in suffering, a strange and supernatural power in it, which has never been fathomed by the human reason. There never has been known great saintliness of soul which did not pass through great suffering. When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask God to deliver it from suffering, then it has wrought its blessed ministry; then patience has its perfect work; then the crucifixion begins to weave itself into a crown.

 

It is in this state of the perfection of suffering that the Holy Spirit works many marvelous things in our souls. In such a condition, our whole being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every faculty of the mind and will and heart are at last subdued; a quietness of eternity settles down into the whole being; the tongue grows still and has but few words to say; it stops asking God questions; it stops crying, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

The imagination stops building air castles, or running off on foolish lines; the reason is tame and gentle; the choices are annihilated; it has no choice in anything but the purpose of God. The affections are weaned from all creatures and all things; it is so dead that nothing can hurt it, nothing can offend it, nothing can hinder it, nothing can get in its way; for let the circumstances be what they may, it seeks only for God and His will, and it feels assured that God is making everything in the universe, good or bad, past or present, work together for its good.

 

Oh, the blessedness of being absolutely conquered! of losing our own strength, and wisdom, and plans, and desires, and being where every atom of our nature is like placid Galilee under the omnipotent feet of our Jesus. FROM SOUL FOOD

 

The great thing is to suffer without being discouraged. FENELON

 

The heart that serves, and loves, and clings,

Hears everywhere the rush of angel wings.”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

 

Thankful Thursday! November 2, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

Dear friends!  - seeing Michelle and Dustin again!🤗💜

Watching the World Series with Gil, Pres, Whitt and Tay...and laughing!!

I love it when Tay comes over!

Running into Karen and Byron in San Clemente! So sweet to run into old friends!😜  Truly!

 

 Hi y’all!   Sorry this excerpt is kinda long, but it’s such a great take on suffering!  It’s from one of my new favorite books, “66 Love Letters”    

I hope it encourages you, too! 😘

 

 “I was just watching a television report about a little girl in Jerusalem, maybe six or seven years old, who was severely hurt in a recent bombing. She’s going to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, unable to move anything below her neck and incapable of coherent speech. The family’s enormous medical expenses will be covered for a few months and then, as the announcer said, ‘Who knows what will happen to her after that, God?’  I wanted to scream; I think I wanted to scream at You. If I had the power to fix her life, to see her running around a schoolyard and laughing with her playmates, I’d use it. I’d give her back to her parents as a healthy, happy little girl. You have that power, and You do nothing. Would You really tell her brokenhearted parents to think more about worshiping You in the temple than doing all they can to make life better for their daughter? I know that part of worshiping You is taking the best possible care of family and friends, but why should they love You when You could cure their child but don’t?

“God, are You there?

“God, answer me, please. I know I’m out of line, but I don’t know how else to think.”

“My heart breaks as I watch that little girl. I created her to dance.”

“Then do something about it!”

“I have. I AM. I will.”

“God, I just don’t get it. Explain Yourself ! ”

“I owe you nothing. I give you everything. Your desire to fix things, to relieve suffering, to confront injustice, to heal wounds, to end poverty, and to generate joy is commendable. But your desire is too weak and misguided. If I were to fix all you see that is wrong and painful without first destroying evil, no one would dance at My party. No one would want to. In My plan, I must do whatever is necessary to destroy the evil within your depths, where you desire the good life more than you want Me; and I must replace that idolatrous desire with the holy yearning to know Me at any cost in the midst of your worst pain. Only then will eternal joy be possible for that little girl and for you.

“For reasons you have no capacity to understand, I must allow suffering that serves no visible purpose. What I can tell you is this. Listen well. There is an evil greater than bombs, tsunamis, and cancer. Those are natural evils. But when people live to get their own way, when they determine what is good for them and live to get it, all hell breaks loose within and between them. Greed, loveless sex, frenzied grabs for happiness with no concern for how others are impacted, more interest in making one’s point than listening to another’s, an inability to give or receive love, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival, ugly parodies of community-like courtesy without connection, laughter without love, weeping without worship—these are moral evils, savage beasts that rise out of the evil sea of willfulness, the demand in everyone’s heart to make their lives work [Galatians 5:19–21 MSG; Daniel 7:3].

“Only when you see the moral evil in the human heart will you surrender to the mystery of My plan. In this world, I am destroying moral evil in My people. In the next, I will eliminate natural evil. You are struggling to reconcile the tragedy in that little girl’s life with My love. You must trust that I permit such terrible things, natural evil that grieves My heart far more than yours, as part of the process of destroying the moral evil that offends My heart. Do not assume I am punishing that child. In ways you cannot understand, I have the power and wisdom needed to move My plan forward through the evil of bombs and the injustice of suffering.”

 

Excerpt From

66 Love Letters

Larry Crabb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/66-love-letters/id615117281?mt=11

 

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Thankful Thursday! October 26, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Tay got into nursing school!   So proud of her!!   She’s smart, hardworking and so loving!  

Coffee with Lisa☺️

Hiking with Kerri!

Visiting with my sweet parents!

Walking with Gabe & her happy little Owen in her baby frontpack.  He kicks and smiles every time I look at him!💗

 

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress (Ps. 4:1).

 

This is one of the grandest testimonies ever given by man to the moral government of God. It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suf-fering: “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement.

 

And have not you and I a thousand times felt this to be true? It is written of Joseph in the dungeon that “the iron entered into his soul.” We all feel that what Joseph needed for his soul was just the iron. He had seen only the glitter of the gold. He had been rejoicing in youthful dreams; and dreaming hardens the heart. He who sheds tears over a romance will not be most apt to help reality; real sorrow will be too unpoetic for him. We need the iron to enlarge our nature. The gold is but a vision; the iron is an experience. The chain which unites me to humanity must be an iron chain. That touch of nature which makes the world akin is not joy, but sorrow; gold is partial, but iron is universal.

My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering. Joseph’s dungeon is the road to Joseph’s throne. Thou canst not lift the iron load of thy brother if the iron hath not entered into thee. It is thy limit that is thine enlargement. It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfillment of thy dreams of glory. Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams. Say not that the shades of the prison-house have fettered thee; thy fetters are wings—wings of flight into the bosom of humanity. The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe. God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow’s chain. GEORGE MATHESON

 

If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he never would have been Egypt’s governor. The iron chain about his feet ushered in the golden chain about his neck. SELECTED”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday!

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Scholarship offer!🎉

Ren and Lex coming over for dinner

Sitting at the table talking with Parker

My friend, Linda K makes me smile!  I aspire to be a good listener and gentle encourager like her  

Carrot zucchini bread!!

 

“Not much earth”. Matthew 13:5

“Shallow! It would seem from the teaching of this parable that we have something to do with the soil. The fruitful seed fell into “good and honest hearts.” I suppose the shallow people are the soil without much earth—those who have no real purpose, are moved by a tender appeal, a good sermon, a pathetic melody, and at first it looks as if they would amount to something; but not much earth—no depth, no deep, honest purpose, no earnest desire to know duty in order to do it. Let us look after the soil of our hearts.

 

When a Roman soldier was told by his guide that if he insisted on taking a certain journey it would probably be fatal, he answered, “It is necessary for me to go; it is not necessary for me to live.”

 

This was depth. When we are convicted something like that we shall come to something. The shallow nature lives in its impulses, its impressions, its intuitions, its instincts, and very largely its surroundings. The profound character looks beyond all these and moves steadily on, sailing past all storms and clouds into the clear sunshine which is always on the other side, and waiting for the afterwards which always brings the reversion of sorrow, seeming defeat and failure.

 

When God has deepened us, then He can give us His deeper truths, His profoundest secrets, and His mightier trusts. Lord, lead me into the depths of Thy life and save me from a shallow experience!

 

On to broader fields of holy vision;

On to loftier heights of faith and love;

Onward, upward, apprehending wholly,

All for which He calls thee from above.

 

A. B. SIMPSON”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday! October 12, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Vacation with girlfriends!

Safe travels and Your protection of my precious family while I’m away (not that it’s any different when I’m close!😜)

Walking and beautiful weather!

Gil picking us up at the airport - he’s so patient!  And he makes me laugh!!!

Lots of laughter!!  Lori and Brenda are so funny!


“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1).

 

The question often comes, “Why didn’t He help me sooner?” It is not His order. He must first adjust you to the trouble and cause you to learn your lesson from it. His promise is, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.” He must be with you in the trouble first all day and all night. Then He will take you out of it. This will not come till you have stopped being restless and fretful about it and become calm and quiet. Then He will say, “It is enough.”

 

God uses trouble to teach His children precious lessons. They are intended to educate us. When their good work is done, a glorious recompense will come to us through them. There is a sweet joy and a real value in them. He does not regard them as difficulties but as opportunities. SELECTED

 

Not always OUT of our troublous times,

And the struggles fierce and grim,

But IN—deeper IN—to our sure rest,

The place of our peace, in Him.

 

ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT

 

We once heard a simple old colored man say something that we have never forgotten: “When God tests you, it is a good time for you to test Him by putting His promises to the proof, and claiming from Him just as much as your trials have rendered necessary.”

 

There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is to simply try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of divine grace. Thus even the adversary becomes an auxiliary, and the things that seem to be against us turn out to be for the furtherance of our way. Surely, this is to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. A. B. SIMPSON”

 

Excerpt From: L. B. E. Cowman. “Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert.” ZONDERVAN. iBooks.

 

 

 

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Thankful Thursday! October 5, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

They knew how to make shopping with mom fun!😜❤️

Whitty’s last year of high school fall basketball. Two games and lunch at Wahoo’s after!🎉

My sweet son called to share a great sale on pastured eggs and to see how many I wanted him to get me!   So thoughtful!  Warms my heart!💜

Dinner, movie and watching football with my hubby.  I’m so thankful to have him!!

God’s faithful protection and ever watchful eye!

 

 

    There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.

    The Shrouding of His Friendship (see Luke 11:5–8). Jesus gave the illustration here of a man who appears not to care for his friend. He was saying, in effect, that is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember—He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?

    The Shadow on His Fatherhood (see Luke 11:11–13). Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father—as if He were callous and indifferent—but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.

    The Strangeness of His Faithfulness (see Luke 18:1–8). “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will He find the kind of faith that counts on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.”

 

Excerpt From

My Utmost for His Highest

Oswald Chambers

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/my-utmost-for-his-highest/id401622889?mt=11

 

Thankful Thursday! September 28, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for:

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Sweet Tay and her heart that wants to know Jesus more!! 

Getting to be a part of baptizing this godly young woman! 

Preston watching a funny movie with us!;0)  

Ice cream with Gil

Sunday family dinner!   I love having the kids over!

Pictures hung on the wall of my new gym! 

 

“May God Himself wrap you up in His new mercies this day!

Where you’ve known angst, may He give you awe-inspiring wonder.

Where you’ve known heartbreak, may He bring healing, deliverance, and a supernatural breakthrough.

May He help you blow the dust off your dreams and lift them up as a possibility once again. With God all things are possible. May you learn to pray from that beautiful truth.

Be lifted up today. He’s got you!

 

 

For no word from God

will ever fail.

LUKE 1:37”

 

Excerpt From: Larson, Susie. “Blessings for the Morning.” Baker Publishing Group. iBooks.

 

Thankful Thursday! September 21, 2017

Thank you, Lord for:

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A wonderful wife for my son!💗

A beautiful wedding!!! All my sons standing side by side. So blessed! 

Dancing with my dear Rendon!  A touching, blessed moment for me!   He's such a sweetheart!

So many of our dear family and friends to celebrate with us!!   Such a great night!

Gil went to the car to get my high tops for me, so I could be more comfortable for dancing all night💃🏻.  He's such a gentleman!🤗

 

Have you ever been on a trip or had an event that was so fabulous you didn't want it to end?   The feelings and enjoyment you got from being with people you love or doing something so exciting made you wish you could stay in those moments?  Or that lightness you feel when you forget all about your cares and really live in a fantastic moment?

Me too!    This weekend was one of those for me!

As we were driving back down the mountain, I was reminiscing about how much I enjoyed the weekend: leaving behind my normal life responsibilities and worries and being with my family and friends, as we celebrated my son and new daughter's wedding,   What a great feeling that was!  

I was thinking that as great as that experiences was, it does not even compare with Heaven!!   Experiences like this are tiny glimpses of what Heaven with Jesus is going to be like!! AND,...it won't ever end!!

Isaiah 63:5 "...as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." 

Wow!   God rejoices over us!!    As beautiful as the wedding and their passion for each other was, again, it doesn't compare to God's great love for us!!    

We certainly have something to look forward to!

 Revelation 21:3-7. "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children."

 

Have you accepted God's gift to you?  It cost Him His life, but it's His free gift to you who receive it!    

Thankful Thursday! September 14, 2017

 Thank you, Lord!

Visiting with Gabrielle and watching little Owen!

Rendon stopping by

Gil listening to mom/son songs with me and helping me pick one.

Listening to Whitty

Watching football with Gil and the boys

Chatting with Tay and Lex in the kitchen☺️

 

“One Choice Away

 

We’re all one choice away from heading in the right direction. One choice away from falling from the course that is good and true. One choice away from hardening our layers of harshness, anger, disappointment, sorrow, false happiness, withdrawal, food, addiction. . . . The list is endless. We’re also one choice away from removing those layers bit by bit and easing their tight hold on us.

We decide our direction, one choice at a time.

Think about it: at any point in your life’s journey, you’re one choice away from heading in the right direction. Throughout our day we’re offered choices—look for them; they are there. And every time we choose, we can decide to head the right direction, peeling back one of those layers a little bit more to reveal our real selves. Or we can decide to recede into the layers and shield ourselves away from authentic relationships with our loved ones and, most importantly, with God. . . .

[We’re] one choice away from heading in the right direction.

SANDI PATTY

Layers”

 

Excerpt From: Nelson, Thomas. “Joy for the Journey: Morning and Evening.” Thomas Nelson, 2014-02-01. iBooks.

 

 

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Thankful Thursday! September 7, 2017

Thank you, Lord for: 

Our dear sweet Quinny (aka: Preston Quinn 😉). He's such a sweetheart and becoming a fine young man!   ...as of Saturday he's no longer a -teen!  Where did the time go!   I love you, Pres! 

Parker coming over...he has such a beautiful smile💗

Standing next to Pres in church...hearing him sing:)

Watching football together

Helping Whitty with his college app essay

Windows open at night again!!

Rendon reading to me all the sweet (and hilarious) letters that Pres and Whitt wrote to him while he was in Iowa.💞💞

 

"THE EXPLANATION FOR OUR DIFFICULTIES

 

“. . . that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us . . . .”

JOHN 17:21

 

  If you are going through a time of isolation, seemingly all alone, read John 17. It will explain exactly why you are where you are—because Jesus has prayed that you “may be one” with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or do you have some other goal for your life? Since you became a disciple, you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

  God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. Yet there is one prayer which God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus— “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (17:22). Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

  God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and faultfinding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him—because Jesus prayed, “. . . that they all may be one . . .”

 

Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.” Discovery House Publishers. iBooks.

 

 

Thankful Thursday!

Thank you, Lord, for:

Sitting at the table with Rendon eating breakfast 😊I love talking to him!

Park helped Whitty fix his side mirror.

Getting a great hair cut!

Making face cream

So happy to have Park walk in!   Coffee with Parker and chatting with him! 

Practicing new Zumba songs

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

MATTHEW 6:33

 

    When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “Seek first the kingdom of God . . .” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.

    “. . . do not worry about your life . . .” (6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed—no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.

It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.”

 

Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.” Discovery House Publishers. iBooks.

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Thankful Thursday!

Thank you, Lord, for:

My dear daughter-in-law (to-be)!   She's an a wonderful fiancé and she's going to be a fabulous wife!!!  Happy (early) birthday, sweet!🎉😘

The way my sons love each other!  They're always there for one another!

Laughter!!!  Laughing so hard my cheeks hurt!    

Tears!   Tears are cleansing.  

Lunch with Tay and Lex! 

The way you bring to light what's wrong and what needs to be changed so you can do something in us that's better than we ever imagined!

 

"For He wounds, but He also binds up;  He injures, but His hands also heal." (Job 5:18). 

The ministry of a great sorrow

As we pass beneath the hills which have been shaken by the earthquake and torn by convulsion, we find that periods of perfect repose succeed those of destruction. The pools of calm water lie clear beneath their fallen rocks, the water lilies gleam, and the reeds whisper among the shadows; the village rises again over the forgotten graves, and its church tower, white through the storm twilight, proclaims a renewed appeal to His protection in whose hand are all the corners of the earth, and the strength of the hills is his also.” RUSKIN

 

God ploughed one day with an earthquake,

And drove His furrows deep!

The huddling plains upstarted,

The hills were all aleap!

 

But that is the mountains’ secret,

Age-hidden in their breast;

“God’s peace is everlasting,”

Are the dream-words of their rest.

 

He made them the haunts of beauty,

The home elect of His grace;

He spreadeth His mornings upon them,

His sunsets light their face.

 

His winds bring messages to them—

Wild storm-news from the main;

They sing it down the valleys

In the love-song of the rain.

 

They are nurseries for young rivers,

Nests for His flying cloud,

Homesteads for new-born races,

Masterful, free, and proud.

 

The people of tired cities

Come up to their shrines and pray;

God freshens again within them,

As He passes by all day.

 

And lo, I have caught their secret!

The beauty deeper than all!

This faith—that life’s hard moments,

When the jarring sorrows befall,

 

Are but God ploughing His mountains;

And those mountains yet shall be

The source of His grace and freshness,

And His peace everlasting to me.

 

WILLIAM C. GANNETT”

 

Excerpt From: L. B. E. Cowman. “Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert.” ZONDERVAN. iBooks.

 

Thankful Thursday! August 17, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

My "back up dancers"🤗 

My "back up dancers"🤗 

The beautiful ladies in my classes!

The adorable kiddos from the Boys & Girls Club who come out and dance during Aqua Zumba!!!  They're the highlight!!!🤗 

Dry heat!!

New patio furniture... well, new to us!☺️

Coffee Bean with Tamara and Danique

 

“When it comes to contentment, God must be our aim. Whether it’s wayward thoughts, bad-mouthing our circumstances, or comparing ourselves with others whose lot in life is easier, the battle involves more than eschewing evil; it involves pursuing God. Hebrews 11:25 says,

It was by faith that Moses…chose to share ill-treatment with God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought that it was better to suffer for the promised Christ than to own all the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking forward to the great reward that God would give him. (LIVING BIBLE)

I am still learning this. What my body can’t have, my mind will shift into overdrive to deliver. But fantasies only frustrate. I must fight to stay satisfied with God, and so I glut myself on the promises of Christ. Dr. John Piper has written superbly on this subject in The Pleasures of God.

We must swallow up the little flicker of [earthly] pleasure in the conflagration of holy satisfaction. When we make a covenant with our eyes, as Job did, our aim is not merely to avoid something erotic, but to gain something excellent…We “do not yield to the offer of sandwich meat when we can smell the steak sizzling on the grill.5

In the quest for contentment, we should not give up so easily and get detoured by earthly pleasures when there is the promise of maximum, full-forced joy in the Lord. After all, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures evermore” (Psalm 16:11 KJV). Contentment has the upper hand in your heart when you are satiated in Christ.”

 

Excerpt From: Joni Eareckson Tada. “When God Weeps.” Zondervan. iBooks.

 

Thankful Thursday! August 10, 2017

 Thank you, Lord for:

My dear sweet Rendon!  28 years with this precious life!  He's been with me well over half my life!   He is truly one of my favorite people of all time :).  He initiated me as a mom, made my job such a pleasure (once he got to be about 5.  Haha) and he's been a fabulous brother!!  He is the dearest treasure!!

My Ren and Lex are moving back to Santa Clarita (for a bit at least☺️)

Ren and Whitt sharing their birthday celebration-- always blowing out candles together!

Lunch with Whitty, Lex and Tay!

Lexi hanging out here and visiting. I love her company!

 

"MEET ME IN MORNING STILLNESS , while the earth is fresh with the dew of My Presence. Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. Sing love songs to My holy Name. As you give yourself to Me, My Spirit swells within you till you are flooded with divine Presence. The world’s way of pursuing riches is grasping and hoarding. You attain My riches by letting go and giving. The more you give yourself to Me and My ways, the more I fill you with inexpressible, heavenly Joy.

'Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.'  PSALM 29 : 2 (NKJV)

'Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.'  1 PETER 1 : 8"

Excerpt from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

Thankful Thursday! August 3, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Our dear Whitt, our baby☺️!  18 years old today!

Vegas with Gil and Whitt

Watching Whitty play basketball

Texting with Ren & Pres during the games

Lunch and Menche's with Tay and Sienna

 

 

“When they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushments . . . and they were smitten (2 Chron. 20:22).

 

Oh, that we could reason less about our troubles, and sing and praise K more! There are thousands of things that we wear as shackles which we might use as instruments with music in them, if we only knew how.

 

Those men that ponder, and meditate, and weigh the affairs of life, and study the mysterious developments of God’s providence, and wonder why they should be burdened and thwarted and hampered—how different and how much more joyful would be their lives, if, instead of forever indulging in self-revolving and inward thinking, they would take their experiences, day by day, and lift them up, and praise God for them.

 

We can sing our cares away easier than we can reason them away. Sing in the morning. The birds are the earliest to sing, and birds are more without care than anything else that I know of.

 

Sing at evening. Singing is the last thing that robins do. When they have done their daily work; when they have flown their last flight, and picked up their last morsel of food then on a topmost twig, they sing one song of praise.

 

Oh, that we might sing morning and evening, and let song touch song all the way through. SELECTED

 

Don’t let the song go out of your life

Though it chance sometimes to flow

In a minor strain; it will blend again

With the major tone you know.

 

What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,

And hide for a time the sun,

The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,

If you let the melody run.

 

Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Though the voice may have lost its trill,

Though the tremulous note may die in your throat,

Let it sing in your spirit still.

 

Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Let it ring in the soul while here;

And when you go hence, ’twill follow you thence,

And live on in another sphere.”

 

Excerpt From: L. B. E. Cowman. “Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert.” ZONDERVAN. iBooks.

 

Thankful Thursday! July 27, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Watching Whitty play basketball!

The South!

Summer thunderstorms!

Vacation with Gil

Iced tea in The South! 😋

“And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered (Joel 2:32).

Why do not I call on His name? Why do I run to this neighbor and that when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down and devise schemes and invent plans? Why not at once roll myself and my burden upon the Lord?

 

Straightforward is the best runner—why do not I run at once to the living God? In vain shall I look for deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; for here I have His royal shall to make it sure.

 

I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word “Whosoever” is a very wide and comprehensive one. Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God. I will therefore follow the leading of the text, and at once call upon the glorious Lord who has made so large a promise.

 

My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant, not His solicitor. I call upon Him, and He will deliver. C. H. SPURGEON”

 

Excerpt From: L. B. E. Cowman. “Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert.” ZONDERVAN. iBooks.

 

Thankful Thursday! July 20, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Lexi's bridal shower -- and pin-the-tie-on-the-fiance' game!😳  haha!

Clean bathrooms!!!

2 clients this morning!

Long peaceful drive

Gil shopped for me and got us ice cream!😃

Picking pears off my tree

YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS. If I am truly your Master, you will desire to please Me above all others. If pleasing people is your goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh taskmasters when you give them this power over you.

If I am the Master of your life, I will also be your First Love. Your serving Me is rooted and grounded in My vast, unconditional Love for you. The lower you bow down before Me, the higher I lift you up into intimate relationship with Me. The Joy of living in My Presence outshines all other pleasures. I want you to reflect My joyous Light by living in increasing intimacy with Me.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  MATTHEW 6 : 24

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."  REVELATION 2 : 4

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love. . . . ".  EPHESIANS 3 : 16 –17

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."  PSALM 16 : 11

Excerpt from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

Thankful Thursday! July 13, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

A nice 4th of July!!   Dear friends and family!

A/c in my gym

Gil fixing the washer.

Pres laughing as Lily chases the laser -- "chases" is an understatement!!  She sprints after it!😂😂

Lunch with Whitty

COME TO ME for all that you need. Come into My Presence with thanksgiving, for thankfulness opens the door to My treasures. When you are thankful, you affirm the central truth that I am Good. I am Light, in whom there is no darkness at all. The assurance that I am entirely Good meets your basic need for security. Your life is not subject to the whims of a sin-stained deity.

Relax in the knowledge that the One who controls your life is totally trustworthy. Come to Me with confident expectation. There is nothing you need that I cannot provide.

'Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song'. PSALM 95 : 2

'This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all'. 1 JOHN 1 : 5

Excerpt from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

Thankful Thursday! June 29,2017

Give thanks to the Lord for all things:

Lots of extra classes last week!

"Glory" concert!  Such a fun afternoon and evening! 

$1 drinks at Coffee Bean!

Coffee Bean and the mall with Tay and little Kennedy

Subbing at YogaWorks

Camarillo outlets with Tay & Lex!  What a treat to be with these great girls!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

ROMANS 8:35

 

    God does not keep His child immune from trouble; He promises, “I will be with him in trouble . . .” (Psalm 91:15). It doesn’t matter how real or intense the adversities may be; nothing can ever separate him from his relationship to God. “In all these things we are more than conquerors . . .” (Romans 8:37). Paul was not referring here to imaginary things, but to things that are dangerously real. And he said we are “super-victors” in the midst of them, not because of our own ingenuity, nor because of our courage, but because none of them affects our essential relationship with God in Jesus Christ. I feel sorry for the Christian who doesn’t have something in the circumstances of his life that he wishes were not there.

    “Shall tribulation . . . ?” Tribulation is never a grand, highly welcomed event; but whatever it may be—whether exhausting, irritating, or simply causing some weakness—it is not able to “separate us from the love of Christ.” Never allow tribulations or the “cares of this world” to separate you from remembering that God loves you (Matthew 13:22).

    “Shall . . . distress . . . ?” Can God’s love continue to hold fast, even when everyone and everything around us seems to be saying that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?

    “Shall . . . famine . . . ?” Can we not only believe in the love of God but also be “more than conquerors,” even while we are being starved?

    Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver, having deceived even Paul, or else some extraordinary thing happens to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against him. Logic is silenced in the face of each of “

these things which come against him. Only one thing can account for it—the love of God in Christ Jesus . “Out of the wreck I rise” every time.”

 

Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.” Discovery House Publishers. iBooks.