Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sanctifying...Every Day...

I hope your year is going by a bit slower than mine.  Wow!  We just completed the third quarter...and Spring Break begins in two days!  May I share how the Lord has been working in my life?

Women's Events

  • Earlier this month, I helped transport pastors' wives from our association to a retreat...just for them...that our association's Women's Ministry Team (love being a part of this team!) felt led to host.  No, I am not a pastor's wife...and felt I needed to excuse myself from their times of devotions and chats.  So I did.  I was so blessed, though, to hear their times of quiet...and then their outbursts of belly laughs!  Blessed my soul!
  • This past Saturday, I attended Inspire Women's Conference, hosted by the state association, and and was so blessed to mingle with 900 women!  Amazing!  My favorite session was on social media, where I learned our largest population is not China, India, nor the US...but Facebook, followed by YouTube...then China and India.  Much to ponder...on how better to reach this mission field.
  • Near future events include a local evening at a neighbor church and Women of Joy in April in Branson.  Yes!  I am excited about this, as my daughter also wants to attend, and I was able to get her a ticket!  I have also purchased us tickets to return to another Women of Joy this fall.  Speakers for April are Christine Caine, Sylvia Harney, Angela Thomas Pharr, and Chrystal Evans Hurst.  This fall's speakers are Sheila Walsh, Liz Curtis Higgs, Karen Kingsbury, and Alli Worthington.  Yay!
  • God is good! All the time!
Bible Studies
  • My Bible Study gals chose to read My Utmost for His Highest throughout the entire year...a book I read through last year...and had decided to do so again.  So glad they chose to read along also, for they are being blessed.  (The Husband has also decided to read the book!  Yay!)
  • I also felt that the Lord wanted me to read and get to know Paul this year.  I am working through Beth Moore's Paul:  90 Days on His Journey to Faith.  Not sure what I will read next about him...but he and I shall spend time together most mornings this year!
  • For Lent, I am tagging along with the Lifeway 40-Day Easter Prayer Guide.  This week's fast is from spending I have avoided Wal-Mart and Cato's...and the drive-thrus!  :)  I agree that this conscious effort to withdraw from something is a great way to draw nearer to God, which remains my utmost goal.
  • God is good!  All the time!
Our Annual Women's Conference
  • Over the last month, I have been praying and asking ladies to speak at our church's annual women's conference...two said yes...two declined...then another said yes...  God is continually teaching me to seek His Perfect Will...not mine...and I totally trust His Decisions.  I am excited...speakers are confirmed!  Let the creative side of me take over as I "play" with our theme and create flyers.  I really believe we will see a soul saved this summer during conference.  For this lady, I am already praying.
  • More about this soon.
  • God is good!  All the time!
My Prayer Request
  • For several reasons, I need to lose weight:  both for health and spiritual reasons.
  • Would you pray that I heed this still, small voice of God in this area of my life?  For, as you probably know, the more I want to, try to, the more I am tempted by the foods I enjoy the most:  sweets.  
  • Confession:  Gluttony is the thorn in my flesh.  I know that (not just for food...but books, glasses!).  I hear myself talking about others' thorns and how they just need to resist.  But what do I do?  I eat that sweet treat and do NOT say no.
  • I am praying...and this prayer request I know He will...has...answered.  
  • Thank you.
  • God is good!  All the time!
NEW Teaching Position
  • I have accepted a teaching position at a nearby school, and I know that I know this is the Lord's Perfect Will for me, and I am sooooooooo excited!  This is a prayer answered.
  • I began this school 28th...asking the Lord that my last years be as my first years.  This year has not been that, yet at the same time this new job arrived on the horizon.  God just cleared the way.  Sitting in church, on Feb. 13, I received the text that the school board had approved my hire for 2019-2020.  
  • Get this...I was hired in March for my very first job.  See that date...February...God is outdoing Himself has He answers this prayer request!  Of course, He is!
  • I am already praying for my New Mission I continue to serve Him in my current teaching position. 
  • God is good!  All the time!
This Month's Memory Verse(s)
Image result for numbers 6:24-26
  • A few months ago, I adopted my friend Amanda's monthly goal of choosing a verse on which to focus.  What a blessing!
  • For this month's verses, I (might be a bit greedy here)...have chosen Numbers 6:24-26.
  • May I leave you with these verses?
    • May He bless, make, shine, lift, and give you He graciously completes you.
  • Dear friends, God is good!  All the time!  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My One Word

Since 2011, I have participated in the MyOneWord...what a journey! 

How do I choose a word?  I like to the think the word chooses me...or more specifically, the Lord chooses the word for me.  I wait until the word will just not leave me; every time I think ponder on this...that one word is just there.

My Words

  • 2011:  Peace
  • 2012:  Quiet
  • 2013:  Fit
  • 2014:  Smile
  • 2015:  Complete
  • 2016:  All
  • 2017:  Diligent
  • 2018:  Less
  • 2019:  Birth
What an interesting mix of words.  Out of all the words in our language, He chose these for me for specific reasons that I could even foresee.

MY WORD:  Birth

Just to clear the air...fairly certain this has nothing to do with my birthing any babies! Physically (hysterectomies...had two partials...took care of that!), age-wise (am happy to be 52!), mentally/emotionally (time is full with all my students!)...just not going to happen!  

In anticipation of 2019 and this word, how might I encounter this word?  I do plan to "birth" new projects:  quilts, paintings, flower beds.  Maybe other "new" events are to take place?  

My scriptures for this year (just could not settle on one...and neither have the word birth, but these work for me!):
John 3:6 - That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.
Philippians 1:21 - For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 
I have given birth once; therefore, from experience, while I know birth brings tremendous joy, first come the birthing pains!  Oh, my.  Thus, here I begin my prayers for wisdom and courage and diligence to endure through whatever is coming my way in 2019.

Please tell me!  Have you chosen a word?  Better yet...has a word chosen you!?

May you be blessed!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Plans for 2019

As the final minutes of 2018 pass, I sit pondering on where the Lord seems to be directing me for 2019.

Our Bible Study group has chosen Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest for our one-year study, a collection of 365 devotions.  Throughout 2018, as I read the book, I continually referenced it, acknowledging that, besides the Bible, this was the most powerful book I had ever read.  Truly.

Today, I finished my one-year read and ready to begin again in just a few short hours.  Yay!  I am looking forward to discussing the nuggets each of the ladies glean from the book.

Additionally, I feel the tug, the pull to study Paul.  I just finished reading Acts and Paul's letters and find myself wanting to get to know him better, to have more of what he had.  

For this study, I have chosen two of Beth Moore's books - 1) Paul:  90 Days on His Journey of Faith and 2) To Live Is Christ (this one I just ordered today).  Not sure that I will complete the first in 90 days...nor the second in 11 weeks!  Just going to dive in and take my time...and get to know Paul.

I have also decided to read the Bible in chronological order again this year.  I think I need this again, for I have learned much, yet I still have so much to learn about the chronology of the Bible.  This year, though, I want to watch specifically how Jesus is present on every page of the Old Testament.

Four books = my goal (so far) for 2019.  I am ready for the journeys of faith they will each take me on.

What journey do you have planned for 2019 to ever draw closer to Jesus Christ?  A verse a day?  A chapter a day?  Book by book?  Whatever the journey...just take the journey!  This is the way to draw closer to Him.  


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sweet Season

Image result for cranberry christmas cake

Here's praying you have had a blessed season!  

Related imageDuring the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, my sister-in-law Kim made this cake; neither time I tried it.  But.  I just knew my husband would like it, so yesterday, I found the recipe, baked it, and sampled a corner piece, and instantly declared this sweet treat a new family favorite.  As a matter of fact, I took the blogger's recommendation and had The Daughter pick us up several bags of cranberries to place in the freezer to use throughout the year.  Yum!

This cake represents one of My Intentions (not resolutions...just a goal I "intend" to attempt to keep for 2019)...try new recipes!  I have become my mother, baking and making the old tried-and-true recipes, ones for which I do not even need a recipe, for I have made them so many times that they are committed to memory!

I am already looking forward to taking this sweet treat with me to my ladies' Bible fellowships.  Just that good...and what better way to bond even closer with brothers and sisters in Christ...than around a "new" recipe!

What new recipes have you attempted lately?  Please share!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Day 1: 25 Days of Kindness

Peer Leigh Keller challenged friends/peers to this 25 Days of Kindness.  Yes, I accepted the challenge.

Need more info?

Check out the Facebook page where this explanation resides:  We are a group of families who do acts of kindness for others from December 1-25. The purpose is not only to spread joy in the holiday season, but also to teach our children - and remind ourselves - that the season is not about STUFF.

You might consider purchasing these 25 cards with 25 ideas.  Cute.  Organized.

Another idea...focus on Advent...Advent Acts of, they have links to several years of ideas.  Interesting.

Enjoy Pinterest?  Then check out these cool calendars!  Life made easy!

I would like to be this together, but, alas, I am not.  These next three weeks will be so busy, with many deadlines, grades, grades, grades...yes, and just a few more papers to grade.

Therefore, this method chose me:  my prayer is that the Lord plant in my path a person upon whom I may display an act of kindness.
  1. Along with my Beta Club, we sang Christmas carols at two of our local nursing homes.  This always blesses me so.  Especially one lady.  She sang every word of "Joy to the World."  When I suggested she sing a solo, I saw the hope.  I then suggested we sing together.  And we did.  One day, I will meet that lady in Heaven, and she and I will sing "Joy to Heaven."  That song has not been written, but she and I will sing it. Yes, we will!
  2. Between caroling events, I played piano for a couple in our church who chose today to marry.  God blessed me with this gift to play the piano, and, when asked, I use it for Him.  Or...He uses the gift to His Glory.
Already I am learning...that these acts of kindness are really just a blessing for me, for we simply cannot outgive God.

Would love to hear about your act of kindness!  Please share!

October Arrives!

This continues what my husband calls the "ber"....or burrrrrrr...months.  :)

This also continues my selecting a verse on which to focus for a month.  Thanks to my friend Amanda I began this last month...she posts on the first day of each month a verse to which the Lord has directed her...and then listens as the Lord speaks to her throughout the month.  Powerful.

Last month's verse John 15:16.  So needed.

This month's verse will be Psalm 46:10:  "Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  (ESV)

I remember this verse being on a sign that hung across the front of the church.  For most of my years, I thought this was a message to be to mind my manners in church!  Maybe it, for this journey is not about me.  This journey is about my being still and allowing God to use this vessel for His Will.  Notice the pronouns? the I Am.  All about him.

All about Him.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November's Verse: A Few Directives for Me

My verse of the month for November is Luke 6:27-28.  Why?
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Shall we break down the verse?

Am I listening? 
Love your enemies. 
Do good to those who hate you. 
Bless those who curse you. 
Pray for those who mistreat you.

Listen.  Love.  Do.  Bless.  Pray.

A bit of background:  At the beginning of the school year, I unintentionally offended a peer.  Privately, I apologized to this person.  Then, I apologized to the group (without mentioning any names.)  But.  I was not forgiven.

When I read this scripture, I chose this one with the above situation in mind.  Not that this is a poor, poor me scenario.  This is not about my obtaining forgiveness.  This is about this peer seeing Jesus Christ alive in me.

This is about my learning to listen. choosing to love, doing good, blessing others, and praying especially for those who are hurting.

This is about allowing Jesus to use this vessel...somehow, some time, in some way.
Am I listening? 
Love your enemies. 
Do good to those who hate you. 
Bless those who curse you. 
Pray for those who mistreat you.
Yes, I am listening.