Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Face of Jesus

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.  For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:5-7

We let self and circumstances get in our way.  Today we live with the attitude of "I want it now!"  We don't want to wait for anything or anybody.  It is then that we lose our focus.  It is then when our priorities get all screwed up.  It is then that we try to fix everything and everybody.  But when we look into the face of Jesus everything will come back into focus and He will lift us up out of the miry pit.

Helen Lemmel wrote a hymn in 1922 that says it best:

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine Decorations

With all the Christmas decorations down and packed away, and the cold wet foggy weather we have been having I needed some bright colors to pick me up.  So I decided to put the Valentine decorations up early and I'm liking them.

Happy Birthday Stephen

Twenty-three years ago our daughter Marianne brought home a remarkable young man for us to meet and he stepped right into our hearts.  You two dated for a while, engaged Christmas 1989, and we started planning a wedding for September 1990.  When God placed you in Marianne's life you became a part of our family.  You are more than a son-in-law, you are our son.  We have watched you grow and mature over these past twenty-three years into a mature and loving young man who loves his family and is not afraid to show love to all you meet.  You are a loving husband to Marianne and a loving father to Awbrey and you always put their needs before your own.  We love you son and we know that John and Joan, your Mom and Dad, are looking down from heaven and are so proud of you and the accomplishments in your life. 

God bless you today as you celebrate the life He has given you and may you be surrounded with love, joy, peace, and laughter.

Mom & Dad  

Joy of the Lord!!!

The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

What do you think of when you say the word joy?  I think happy thoughts and I want to be around happy people and their joy over flow onto to me.  What do you think of when someone refers to the joy of the Lord?  I think that Jesus will be my strength and His joy will live in my heart.  His joy and strength will get me through whatever trial comes my way.  He was always positive in everything He did and always prayed for God the Father's will in His life.  I want every person I come in contact with to see the joy of Jesus living in me, in my prayer life, in my walk and that I am an example of Christ's joy.  Here is an old hymn written by Barney Warren that speaks of that joy:

Joy Unspeakable
I have found His grace is all complete,
He supplieth ev'ry need;
While I sit and learn at Jesus' feet,
I am free, yes, free indeed.
I have found the pleasure I once craved,
It is joy and peace within;
What a wondrous blessing! I am saved
From the awful gulf of sin.
I have found that hope so bright and clear,
Living in the realm of grace;
Oh, the Savior's presence is so near,
I can see His smiling face.
I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll!
It is like a great o'erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory,
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

God's Grace

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God's grace keeps pace with whatever we face!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sonshine and Shadows

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 
James 1:17

As long as we keep our focus on the Sonshine we will not see the shadows!

Monday, January 23, 2012


We have had some rainy weather the last couple of days and it was/is rain that we very much need.  This has been a very dry winter and that is not good for the farming done around our little town of Exeter.  I love walking in the mornings as that is when the day is starting anew.  This morning the air was actually fresh as it had been cleansed by the rain.  The trees, shrubs, and grass had all been washed clean of the dust and pollen which is a really good thing for me (allergies).  The cleansed air reminded of when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  You see, the blood He shed on the cross was for you and for me. 

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 
1 John 1:7  

He took the sins of the world upon His shoulders and paid a debt He did not owe.  His blood cleansed me of all my sin and now I am a new creation in Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new. 
 2 Corinthians 5:17

Also as I was walking along this morning I noticed these 3 little evergreen bushes.  For some unknown reason this past summer the water was turned off that nourished them.  They started turning brown, losing their leaves and dying.  Now that the water is back on and they are receiving nourishment they are sprouting green leaves.

Our souls are much like these bushes and need nourishment.  When we get our priorities all mixed up and don't feed on God's Word we too start to lose our faith.  Other things start to fill our lives and can end up destroying us.  We need to be in God's Word daily feasting on His Word.  We need to be memorizing scripture so that when the things of this world are hurled at us we can draw on God's Word to help us through any situation.

 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
 Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 119:110-112

Are you feasting on God's Word?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings as an Eagle.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

God's Word tells us that we need to wait.  I don't know about you but that is a very hard thing to do.  When I want something I want it now!  We don't want to wait because waiting takes patience and that is something that a lot of us are sorely lacking in.  I know that right now in my life there are some things that I really, really want.  But realistically I know that it is not going to happen right away.  I  do know that it will happen sometime in the future but I really, really want it now.  Like I said waiting takes patience.  Sometimes what we want is not what God wants for us.  We need to seek Him in prayer and then wait for Him to speak to us.  Again patience is needed.  God will answer our prayers, our wants, and our needs and everything will fall into place with what He has planned for our lives.

Be assured that if God waits longer than you wish, it is only to make the blessing all the more precious.  Andrew Murray

So I wait!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How do we get there from here?

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16

We have a GPS system (Garmin) named "Carmen." The first time we used Carmen was on a trip to Las Vegas for a cheer competition. On the drive there we would ask, "When does Garmin say we will arrive?" Well others in the car thought we were saying "Carmen" so our GPS system became affectionately know as Carmen and we still refer to her by that name. When on a road trip Carmen sees to it that we don't get lost and keeps us on the right track.

Our lives also have a GPS system, and that system is the Bible:






We need to spend time in God's Word daily. His Word is our road map and guideline for how we are to live our lives. Sometimes during our life we take detours because we let other things take priority over living a Christ centered life. Isn't it wonderful that when this happens Christ is right there with open arms welcoming us and someday will take us home to live with our Heavenly Father.

When we walk with God we will always get to our destination!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worries and Cares

Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.  1 Peter 5:7

We all say that we give our worries and concerns over to God.  But do we really?  In our day to day living things come along that either will improve or make things worse.  When things are going good we have a tendency to take things back from God saying this is such a small thing and God is busy taking care of the large things.  So we take it back and then totally mess things up big time.  When this happens we start calling on God and give it back to Him once again.

As my  nephew Brad would say; "You asked God to drive the car so you need to quit trying to drive and let God drive the car as you asked."

Are you letting God drive the car?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?  Galatians 3:5

Our God is an awesome God and He is still in the miracle business.  All we have to do is look around us and we will see His miracles everyday.  Miracles don't have to be big.  They can be something as simple as a leaf falling from a tree, a flower blooming, grass growing, and rain falling from a cloudless sky.  The other day when I was walking I could see some of God's miracles.  A tree with some green leaves, the red leaves of the Photina bush, some displaying their tiny little yellow flowers and some with buds still to open.  Even with the cold temperatures there are signs of the miracle of spring.

Bernard Berenson said it best; "Miracles happen to those who believe in them."

Do you believe?

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Beautiful Mom!!!

This morning I actually got out of the house and went for a walk.  Today is the best I have felt in several weeks and I think I am actually going survive this cold, and to be able to breathe in the fresh air felt absolutely wonderful.  As I was walking my mind kept drifting back to the past several days.  My big brother L Z was here for a short visit and the four of us, Gary, L Z, Nellie and myself,  spent some time catching up on what is happening in every ones lives.  Although the visit was short it was really great to see him.  During these days I also spent a lot of time thinking about my Mom and how much I miss her.  Twenty-eight years ago my Mom left the cares of this world behind and went home to live with our heavenly Father.  Yesterday at church we sang a hymn that Mom loved to sing, I Need Thee Every Hour.  So as I was walking this morning I thought back to yesterday morning and how much I would have loved to have my Mom sitting with me and my baby sister Nellie at church.  But then I also got to thinking that she was there with us.  Oh her physical presence wasn't there but she was because she is alive in our hearts as she always will be.  And then I had another thought and that is she no longer has to be concerned about the cares of this world as our heavenly Father is taking really good care of her.  She has her mansion and is enjoying being there with Christ and all our loved ones that have passed on.

 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14:2
Love you Momma!

Mansion Over the Hilltop

I'm satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one that's silver lined

I've got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we'll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold.

Don't think me poor or deserted or lonely
I'm not discouraged I'm heaven bound
I'm but a pilgrim in search of the city
I want a mansion, a harp and a crown

Written by Ira P. Stanphill

Monday, January 2, 2012

Time With God

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

I miss my morning walks!  These past two weeks I have not done a lot of walking.  Oh I did walk some while we were visiting our kids but it was in the mall shopping.  I miss the cool crisp freshness of the outdoor air.  I miss my time of being alone with God telling Him how I am feeling and then listening for His response.  I miss taking in all the beauty He created just for me.  I usually walk the same route each morning and I am amazed that I see something different each morning.  Maybe it is God's way of telling me to be alert as things aren't what I perceive them to be.  I still am recovering from a head cold so I will bundle up and tomorrow morning I will be out there walking and communing with God one on one.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Day

Gary and I had a nice and relaxing New Years Eve.  We spent the evening watching a little TV and playing games which is not our normal thing to do.  Usually we are at the kids place and we spend New Years Eve hanging out together, watching the ball drop in Times Square and ending the evening  with a New Years Toast.  Then on New Years Day we head out to take our annual family portrait.  (We did get our family portrait taken on Christmas Eve)  After we get all the pictures taken we are then off to Starbucks and spend the rest of the day hanging out together.  This year we couldn't do our normal New Year traditions due to circumstances beyond our control.

Gary and I finally gave up on seeing the New Year in at 10:30 and went to bed and we both woke up this morning feeling refreshed.  I'm glad to say that I am feeling much better and today I actually felt like getting dressed.  So this morning I cooked us a really good breakfast; Maple Sausage, Scrambled Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy.  Needless to say none of us were hungry for lunch.  So around 4:00 PM I headed to the kitchen to start dinner.  Being from the south, and in honor of my Mom, we had to have black eye peas with our dinner.  Our traditional New Years Day meal; Pork Loin Fillet Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans, Black Eye Peas, Hot Biscuits and Peach Crisp.  A lot of food for 3 people with lots of leftovers but I'm sure it will get eaten later this week.

Peach Crisp

I found this recipe on the back of  Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie mix and thought why not give it a try, so I did and it is absolutely delicious.  A really quick and easy dessert when unexpected guests arrive.

Peach Crisp


1 (17.5 oz) Pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
½ cup cold butter
5 cups frozen sliced peaches, thawed and drained, or 1 can (20 oz) sliced peaches, drained


1.     In a bowl, place cookie mix.  Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

2.     In ungreased 8-inch square baking dish or 2-quart round casserole, place peaches.  Sprinkle cookie mixture over peaches.

3.     Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Serve warm or cool.

Serves 8


I have also used frozen berry medley for a berry crisp and it is absolutely delicious.

Make Twenty Twelve A Year Of FROG!

This little FROG says the one word we all need to keep in mind this year and that is LOVE!  Put aside all the hurt feelings and start this New Year with LOVE and Fully Rely On God.

Frances Ridley Havergal, the great English hymn writer, used to send New Year’s cards, rather than Christmas cards. And she wrote her own verses to include in them.   A couple of these poems have become fine New Year’s hymns.  In 1874 this was the poem she sent.

Another Year is Dawning
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.

Remember life is God's gift to you.  The way you live your life is your gift to God.  Make it a fantastic one!