Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Are You Wandering?

While sitting on the beach a group of monks walked past me. It reminded me of life's wandering and searching. The quest to quench a deep seeded thirst for truth. A life journey to fill an empty space. I remember all the things I'd try to fill my emptiness with before I truly accepted JESUS into my heart and life. Some things would temporarily cover the hole for a short time, but slowly, I knew deep within, I was missing something truly important in my life. Eventually, sadness and longing for more crept into my every day routine; something meaningful, healing, restoring. I wandered in search of the next thing to plug the hole, only to find the same end result. 

One day, after a dark, despair filled night, I decided to go back to church and take my whole family with me. I'd tried everything else and realized that it was time to give JESUS a try. My approach was different in that I chose to make it more than a Sunday sermon affair. I decided if I was really going to seek HIM, I needed to get into GOD'S Word and read it for myself...daily. How can you get to know someone without doing your part to get closer?  As I made a commitment to read the Bible ten minutes a day every morning, something began to happen, the truth of GOD'S words began to heal the hole in my heart. It began to heal the hurt in my soul. It began to heal my thoughts, changing my attitude, reminding me that I was loved and made for a purpose. 

I'm thankful JESUS CHRIST found me in my wandering. I'm thankful HE pulled me close. 

Friends, if you're in the wandering stage of life and still feel emptiness at your very core, I want to challenge you to seek JESUS. Don't take my word for it or anyone else's, go straight to The LORD in prayer. Ask HIM to reveal HIMSELF to you. Open up the Holy Bible and read GOD'S Words, love letters written specifically for you and I. A guide to true healing in every single area. GOD created an open place in each of our hearts that only HE can fill. 
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."~John 14:6

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Does GOD Have A Plan Even In Difficult Circumstances?

It was an amazing day at church where a new friend, Ben, whom Anthony and I met while he was in the hospital joined us, along with his neighbor Tina. It was their first time ever going to church and it just so happened to be Baptism week! They were able to witness tons of people giving their lives to CHRIST, accepting the freedom our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST brings. It was an incredible day of joy and celebration! 

After church we gathered together to visit, took some pictures and introduced them to some of my amazing friends/church family, who unbeknownst to them have been praying for them. I'm so thankful for the Power of Prayer and the Blessing of The LORD'S answers. I'm thankful for the opportunity JESUS places in front of us no matter where we are or what is going on, as the reminder that I met these amazing people during a difficult time, (Anthony's long hospital stay/ordeal). You see friends, GOD has a plan even during trials, a bigger picture. Join me in praying that we see people, situations and opportunity to pray for others wherever The LORD has placed us in the moment. You and I were made for more than we so often settle for. I pray we see people through the Eyes of CHRIST, allowing HIM to help us reach out to people in need. In JESUS' Name, Amen. 

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."~John 13:7

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Keep Praying...GOD is Moving!

You know that thing you've been praying about? Keep praying...GOD is moving! It's true. It happened to me just the other night. Now before you go and think that I was praying some kind of super, bolder than most, faith as big as a mountain kind of prayer...I wasn't. My prayers were mustard seed size prayers. And here's how it went down:
You remember my story the other day about my new friend, Ben, whom Anthony and I met while he was in the hospital? He came to church last Sunday and brought his friend/neighbor, Tina, with him. Well I invited Tina to our Wednesday night Women's Bible study, because c'mon...we are stocked full of some of the most awesome, kind, loving and caring women who love JESUS. 
Well I never heard anything else from Ben or Tina during the week. So on the way to Bible Study I told my friend, Tricia, to join me in continuing to pray for them. I said, in my mustard seed size faith request, "Well, I haven't heard from my new friends, maybe GOD just wanted us to plant a seed in their hearts and HE will have someone else water it. Let's keep praying that JESUS moves in their lives and hearts wherever that may be."

So here's where it gets good! We headed into church and right in the middle of singing, I heard someone call my name. As I turned around one of the leaders had Tina with her and said she'd looking for me! Seriously GOD? You answered my small little prayers in such a big and mighty way! Oh and there just so happened to be only 4 of us sitting in a row with 5 chairs...one spot perfectly waiting, open and available for Tina to join us. 

I'm so thankful for answered prayers! I'm thankful that even small, mustard seed size prayers are answered mightily! Friends, keep persevering in prayer...you never know when that "empty chair" will be filled. 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”~Matthew 17:20

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

A Day of Firsts

Today is a big day of *1st's* for our family, and this heart is overflowing with thankfulness! So because you are all my friends, I have to share it with you. First, it's our "Gotcha Day"! Yes...it's been *1* whole year since lil Josh became our *official* son. Although we considered him our son the day he came home with us four years ago when The LORD put him in our hearts to love even before we had met him. How amazing are GOD'S Mighty and Life changing plans? HE works Miracles each and every day. 
HE changes everything. 
Second, it's our granddaughter, Ava Grace's *1* year Birthday party celebration today! This bundle of spunk and giggles has brought such joy to our hearts. GOD's Abundance continues to pour down into our lives, filling us with more love than our hearts can almost bear. 
And third, it's Elijah's very *1st* NCAA college playoff game, and SBU's *1st* ever invitation to a playoff. When The LORD opened the door for my boy to receive a free education and continue to play the sport HE'S gifted him in, my heart leaped. But then as we often do, I started to question, "LORD, do YOU really have to send him so far?" No sooner had the thought escaped than I realized...GOD has a plan, HE sees the bigger picture and HE is *always* for us.

Friends, Join me today in counting The LORD'S Abundance in your life...you may have overlooked it. Stop and take a more thorough review and then jump on the Thankful Train...share your abundance. 

"God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."~2 Corinthians 9:8

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I Lost My Puppy!

"Oh no, where is he?" I'd just gotten home from church and my pup, who was supposed to be asleep in his play pen area (a long, tall, rectangular metal enclosure) was no where to be found! I called my oldest son to see if he took him. He said, "No". I frantically searched the house, calling his name, "Apollos, Apollos!" Exasperated, I stood in the middle of the living room thinking, "How can someone completely lose a puppy?" Then I heard a...thump, thump, thump, coming from the direction of the stairs. I ran over as he peaked his freckled little white nose around the corner. A sigh of relief escaped as I rushed over to pick him up. My little man learned how to climb up the cage to the top and tumble over the edge to freedom! I put him back in and hid to watch his escape method. Needless to say, I quickly headed back to the pet store to exchange the play pen for a crate. I'm thankful my pup is safe and didn't get into anything harmful while roaming free. 

Friends, have you ever gone outside the safe boundaries The LORD has placed around your life? I have. It was a slow, downward spiral into a disastrous mess. I didn't even realize I'd wandered too far until my life was crumbling around me. The people I love most in the world were hurt, disappointed and deeply affected by my choices to run from The LORD and HIS Loving Wisdom and Guidance. I hid for a long time in my shame. I didn't want to come out into the Light. I felt I didn't deserve to have a good life. But sitting in my hiding spot only compounded the problem, keeping me from receiving JESUS' Redeeming, Forgiveness, Love and Healing. A Healing not only for me but for my loved ones who were hurt the most by my bad choices. 

I'm thankful for this reminder of running, hiding and being found. I'm thankful for the Healing and Restoration JESUS has brought into my life and my family's. I'm thankful that in and through HIM *all* things are made new! HE is the Seeker of the lost, and broken, calling them out of darkness and into HIS Marvelous Light.
 
"He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake."~Psalm 23:3

"because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."~Romans 8:2

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Who Is The President Of the United States?

The hubby and I walked over to vote around 4:45. I was worried the lines would be long after seeing news reports. I'm happy to say we walked right in and straight to a polling booth...no waiting at all!

This election has been difficult. There's been such a division in our country as the candidates have appeared less than promising. But I'm still thankful for the freedom to vote. I'm thankful that as Americans, "we the people" are still able to choose who we want to lead our nation. Friends, as we await the final outcome, may we be filled with this truth...*GOD* is still Sovereign over it all. I'm so grateful for this reminder. I pray that as our next President is chosen, we will set aside all differences and come together as "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

"Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all."~1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you thankful for?

Monday, October 17, 2016

When You Begin To Fall...

I made it up, over and around. It was low tide just like the local report said. I could've simply headed down the street for a normal beach shot, but an adventurous view was tugging at my heart. 

I sat basking in the warm glow of the setting sun. My tripod strategically placed in the middle of the fluorescent-green moss filled pools, as the sun dipped low beyond the horizon. I carefully climbed my way up a slick ledge above a break in the cliff to capture water shooting through and splashing high. 

I always push myself to areas that may be a bit treacherous attempting to achieve that perfect shot. After a short time, a rogue wave barreled up and over the entire area below. I immediately realized I'd waited a bit too long and my escape route was closing fast. I quickly scanned the ocean to see if another wave was coming. I had but a moment to get down and across the tide pools to safety. I wedged my left foot in a nook and attempted to place my right foot on an area to climb down. I hadn't accounted for the slickness of that particular spot, unaware the wave had reached that high. My foot slid down the ledge, my body following, my leg scraping on the way down, as I pummeled into the sharp, jagged pool below. My knee must've taken the blunt force. It was throbbing and I could barely walk, along with my shin, ankle and foot being pretty sliced up. But I was still in danger, so I forced myself up and hobbled to safety. 

I know, I know...what was I thinking? 
I don't know! 
I sometimes just charge forward and then find myself in deep water. 

Sin is like that, it can be enticing, attractive, misleading in its hidden danger. But when you go to those places you know you're not supposed to, you're bound to fall. 

I'm thankful I was able to walk to safety. I'm thankful I don't appear to have broken anything (pray for my knee-we'll see tomorrow). 

Friends, join me in remembering the next time temptation comes to pray before you act on it. Ask for The LORD's guidance, direction and strength to stay on the right path so you don't lose your secure footing and fall.  

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."~Colossians 2:6-7

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?