Friday, March 28, 2008

Just thought that I would share some photos with you. They are not in the order that I wanted them to be in. I seem to be having trouble with my blog lately. I'm convinced that it's the computer (it can't be me). Some of these were taken Easter Sunday. Little "Miss Emma" kept us entertained all afternoon. The others were taken Friday. Emma insisted on "helping" Grandma do the dishes. We had quite a mess, but much fun!!! Call me "Grandma" anytime!!! It's an honor to bear that title!!! Have a great week!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ok! I'm going to jump out on a limb here and share something that has been on my mind lately. That is REST and QUIET. I already touched on REST a few days ago. Lately, it seems that God has been allowing circumstances in my life that demand the need for rest. The details are not important, but the things that I have been learning are. I am by nature a "noisy" person. I enjoy being noisy and I love having lots of noise around me. Noise means people, and I love having people around. But, since Phil and I have entered the "empty nest" era of our life, we seem to have a lot more "quiet" going on around here than "noise".

It seems, lately, that it was being impressed on me that this "quiet" is intentional. I come from a hard-working family. Some things that I heard as a child were: "Hard work never hurt anyone." "The early bird catches the worm." "Idleness is the devil's workshop." "Are you working hard...or hardly working?". Don't get me wrong, I believe in hard work. God expects us to put everything into what we are doing. He doesn't want us to do anything half-way. But do we make our "hard work" and idol? Is the appearance of "working hard" more important than what we are really doing? When we are asked, "How are you doing?" do we answer, proudly, "Busier than ever!"?

After years of "working hard" I am realizing that along with a strong work ethic (that is definately taught in the Bible) is something that some of us often miss. It's a strong rest ethic. I'm beginning to see that, maybe, the secret to a healthy soul is not to stop working hard, but along with that, take a regular "pause". I'm afraid that one of the biggest hinderences to "revival" could be our "busyness".

Now, I'm not saying that we need to set aside all of our activities and programs, that seem to be working to bring people in, but that we need to push the pause button now and then. It seems that we choose more activities to fill our "time off"; such as shopping, watching a good movie, reading a book or just "go out and doing something". There's nothing wrong with these things, but let's not forget to slow down long enough to take "spiritual inventory". "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

More than ever, we not only need a quiet place and a quiet time.....we also need a quiet heart. We need to listen. To pray. To hear. If He would speak in a "still small voice" would we be able to hear? I'm afraid that I might not. Why? I may have too much noice going on around me.

So here's the conclusion that I have come up with. Maybe it's not so much what WE seem to be doing for HIM that brings results, but what HE IS and DOES FOR US. Let's not stop "working hard" let's just remember to push the pause button on a regular basis. Turn off the noise, even for just a few hours. Spend time "listening" to God. It's time to seek Him until He comes and rains righteousness on us (Hosea 10:12).

I guess that I had better start thanking God for the quiet place (our home), the quiet time (my days off of work), and start preparing my heart to be quiet. I think I'll turn off the radio, I really don't need to watch that movie again, and do I really need to check my blog three or four times a day? Instead, I think I'll open my Bible and maybe even fast and pray more.

I don't know about you, but I have prayers that need answered. Do I really believe that He can do what He said He would? I need to work harder, but I also need to "pause" more often with a "quiet" heart, so that I can hear Him when He speaks.

How was your week?

What a week! I have the most amazing children ever! As some of you may know, Tuesday Phil and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary. Thirty years that man has put up with me! Can you believe it? Don't answer that question! Michael and Ruth Anne had invited us to their house for dinner Tuesday. We were excited and really looking forward to it. But, what we didn't know was that they had a surprise party planned. All our children (except Becky, of course, she was at college and couldn't make the trip since she was coming home on the week-end) and my father and his friend were all there. They had parked their cars where we wouldn't notice them. We had a wonderful evening and felt very special and loved. Friday, Good Friday, we had the most amazing Good Friday Service that I have ever attended. Then later, in spite of the foot of snow, we had a special time for the children (big and small). There was an Easter egg relay, followed by snacks. We had a good time. Easter Sunday was a very special day. It was the first in a very, very long time that Phil and I had ALL our children in church at once. Our oldest son hasn't been to church in quite awhile, and we were all excited and very grateful to see him walk in. And then, of course, there were 17 of us at our house for a fantastic time of eating, and fun. Our grand-daughter entertained us as usual. Well, I hope that your week was as good as mine, but I very much doubt it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm back, so listen up!

REST!! What is rest?? According to one dictionary definition it means "to be at peace or ease", "free from anxiety or distress." As you can see from the picture, Phil doesn't seem to be having much trouble with this, especialy when his grand-daughter is around. that's another story.

Phil and I spent many years in the ministry, everything seemed to be rolling along, everything going good, and then, some very unexpected things happened that changed our lives drastically. But, as I relect back on all those years, something stands out to me that has changed the way I look at our spiritual lives, and some questions form in my mind.

Were we so intent on raising our children, reaching out to those many, many people in need, filling the calendar with as many activities as possible, to really maintain our relationship with God? Instead of ministering out of the "overflow" of our walk with God, were we trying to get by on our own strengths and skills?

Ephesians 2:6----And hath raised us up together, and MADE us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Seated? In Heavenly Places? In order to be seated you have to be prepared to rest. I know that the only time I sit is when I'm resting. That's not very often. When we sit in a chair we are resting our body. So, to sit in heavenly places with Christ, we must enter into "inner peace".

Rest is freedom from worry and frustration. Now, worry and frustration happens because WE try to do what ONLY GOD can do. When we rest in Him, He promises peace. I'm trying very, very hard to learn the blessing of entering God's rest. But I have to be seated with Him. In order to do that, I have to spend "time" with Him.

I want to be used of God to reach out to those who desperately need Him, but I don't want to just be "doing" spiritual things, I want to "be" spiritual. In order to "be" spiritual I have to "know" Him. Therefore, I need to stop jumping up every few minutes and getting out of rest.

If you are struggling with ANYTHING, take a seat and rest. Your place has been there waiting for you to occupy it all along.

Now, I think I will go sit in my big, brown comfy chair and read to my grand-daughter. The laundry and dishes can wait, unless of course that "maid" comes along and does it all!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'll be back later!

Ok! Enough! I got on my blog with every intention of up-dating. I guess I got alittle distracted (who me?). I've been messing with my blog site. Having way too much fun changing everything and now it's time to get ready for work. I really do have some things that I want to share with you but it's too late to do that now. Do you like my new look or should I have just left it alone? I must go, but I'll be back later.