What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'll Be Back All Too Soon

I'm on a little vacation...but I haven't gone anywhere. I am here at home...surrounded by those who are dearest to me...my precious family.  My son and his family have come home for a visit, and we are all gathering together to celebrate.  There is much I want to say about this...but it will have to wait for now. I am still in the middle of the celebration. Every moment counts and I don't want to miss one second of laughter, joy, and just being together.  So pardon me while I cherish the treasure of my family. I'll be back all too soon.

Be Back All Too Soon.

Friday, February 7, 2014

RJD: Milestones and Prayers

Well, here it is again friends: Random Journal Day!  The day when several of us bloggers and journalists "bare all" and let you peek into our innermost thoughts and ramblings from the past...hopefully for your edification and/or laugh or cry for the day.  Our hostess with the mostest is "my friend Dawn over at "Enthusiastically Dawn".  When you are finished here, pop on over to her site and check out what all our friends have to say today.

So, here I am, with open journal and staring at Dawn's blog site for inspiration (and instructions, since she just moved her blog to this new address a very short time ago, and this is our first Random Journal Day linkup at the new site).   

As I was perusing through my old journals, looking for something appropriate to share with you, I came across this clipping, which I believe my mother sent to me since we had a 14-year-old boy at the time. (1991).  I find this intriguing today, because I now have a 14-year-old grandson, who will be coming for a visit in just about a week!  I read through this, looking for pearls of wisdom to share with him when he comes, and although this is all good stuff, I'm not sure how he will relate to it.  But I found something that I thought was pertinent and interesting enough to share here today.  I don't know who Bruce Barton was, and I notice that the copyright of this particular column is 1954, so I doubt that he is still around, judging by the looks of his picture, but I like what he said in the last column, last paragraph:

After he stated in the previous paragraph that he tends "to be a little old-fashioned in respect to education,"  he went on to say:  "And especially I favor concentration on the effective use of English.  For it, as my gifted friend has emphasized, is the tool by which we make our friends, conduct our business and influence the minds of others.  Good talkers and good writers have, through the ages, sat in the seats of the mighty."

Well, I certainly would love to share that with my very astute grandson when he comes. He is already a gifted talker...started talking around age one and hasn't stopped yet...and very eloquently, I might add. And if he could master the art of the "effective use of English", both in the spoken and written word, I do expect he would have opportunities to sit "in the seats of the mighty."

Now, back to my journal from March 23, 1991, at 10:26 p.m., where I found this clipping enclosed.  I was apparently very concerned about our own 14 year old son at the time.  He was having difficulties in school both academically and emotionally.  After listing some of the difficulties that I won't share here I went on to say,
"Well, Lord, we commit ____ into your hands.  He desires to be baptized next Sunday on Easter.  We pray this step will be a milestone in his life that will bring confidence and encouragement to him."  

I had previously written that our whole family seemed to be struggling "under a load of stress and anxiety that can't really be described." I said, "I keep trying to understand it myself, but it's more of an invisible thing that keeps us down.  Tiredness, depression, illness, anxiety, all keep batting away at our family.  We pray the Lord will rebuke Satan and place a tall hedge around us that will protect us from these onslaughts."  I wrote,


Yes, our 14 yr. old son DID get baptized that Easter Sunday, which was a time of rejoicing for us. And then
my next entries about a month later told the story of our 18-yr-old son being diagnosed with a brain tumor, and having to have major surgery. Our family was definitely going through a lot of testing at that time. But I am here to say today that God was there with us every day... He did guide us and protect us, even in the midst of the sorrows, trials, and difficulties. It was a time of growing and strengthening, and learning to trust in God completely.  There were amazing miracles that happened through all of that...which I will share with you at another time.

By the way, our 14 year old grandson, who is coming to visit next week (with his parents),  is the son of our son who had the brain tumor...and even though that son is going through another physical trial at this present time (cancer), God is still with us...and He is still able to deliver us!

Daniel 3:17 says:  "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from your Majesty's hand."

It is good to look back at our journals from the past and remember where we were and what we were going through at the time...and then to review those days through the eyes of present knowledge and KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the GOD WE SERVE NOT ONLY IS ABLE TO DELIVER US, BUT HE HAS ALREADY DELIVERED US FROM MANY "FIERY FURNACES" IN THIS LIFE...AND HE DOES NOT CHANGE. HE IS STILL ABLE TO DELIVER YOU FROM WHATEVER TRIAL COMES YOUR WAY AS WELL.  SO DON'T EVER LOSE HEART!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Beware of the Little Foxes

"Catch us the foxes, 
The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes."
Song of Solomon 2:15

 Just what ARE the "little foxes that spoil the vines"?

 Little words that cut deep...sarcastic remarks that aren't really  funny and tend to undermine and cause feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and lack of confidence...

Little fears that create instability, jealousy, wariness...

 Little seeds of doubt planted by the enemy of our souls that take root and drive us away from the truth...

Little disruptions to our peace, quiet, calmness of heart... 

Little thoughts that seep into our minds and take up residence in our hearts...

Yes, Beware of the Little Foxes that creep up on us when we least expect them

and take up residence...

and steal away our joy.

Most of all...be careful not to become a "little fox" in someone else's life...
Let us watch what we say and what we do
Lest we spoil another's vine
and steal away their joy.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; 
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
I John 4:7

These "little foxes" were "captured" on my night cam in my front yard. They look 
pretty harmless...but we must never forget just how sly and devious a "little fox" can be, and be careful not to let them take up residence in our homes. (hearts).

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Why Wait for Dreams to Come True?

Click on this link to a previous story about my "dream cabin"    and then please come back here to finish this story.  No, I don't have the 'dream cabin' yet.  But the dream is still there in my heart, perhaps even more so than before.

And possibly in some ways we are actually getting closer to the reality of what this "dream cabin" was intended to do even without the cabin. It just may be that the cabin isn't really the important instrument necessary to practice the kind of hospitality we long to provide for those in need of some encouragement, fellowship, friendship, or comfort.  Maybe it isn't even the "country porch" that I desire that is required      "to have the kind of place where people love to sit a spell and visit...you know what I mean...a rocking chair and a swing on the porch...just sit back, relax, watch the birds, bears, and lizards...and ENJOY being together...like the good old days."  
Signs created by Ben's Country Woodshop
 I think what I am coming to realize is that it doesn't take a special building, porch, or even the perfect location to create a place where people can feel loved, cherished, nourished, comforted, encouraged, and appreciated.  What it takes is opening our doors and welcoming people in, regardless of what our house looks like, or whether or not we live in the woods, or by a lake, or in the city or in an apartment building. What it takes is to have open hearts and open homes...and the desire to put aside our own problems and inadequacies and be present in the lives of others who may be searching, lonely, or broken-hearted.  To open our doors when someone knocks who may be hungry, thirsty, or a stranger in need of someone to care. (See Matthew 25:35-46)  

To remember what it says in Hebrews 13:1-2 ~ 

"Let brotherly love continue.  Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

And in Romans 12:10-13: 

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer,
distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality."

I guess what I am trying to say is "Why Wait for Dreams to Come True" to practice hospitality, encouragement, and brotherly love? Isn't that something we should be doing all the time anyway? After all, why should I expect God to make all my dreams come true when I'm not even doing the things I say I will do once my dreams do come true? I need to live in the present...and practice those things that I know are right and good and acceptable to God now, "which is your reasonable service..."  (Romans 12:1)   I have not been promised tomorrow anyway...so I'd best be proving what is "that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" today.  (Romans 12:2)

No, I haven't given up on the dream to one day have the kind of place I have described before, but I'm not going to wait for my dream to come true to be doing what I know I ought to be doing anyway.  All I ask is that the Lord give me discernment to know when He is sending people my way, and that He will help me to be available in mind, spirit, and heart...and to be present to the need that is presented. Sometimes I'm a bit blind and preoccupied with my own problems and I may miss the blessing of being there for someone else. I don't want to miss God's blessing because I am waiting for everything to be in order and perfect before I will open my heart to help someone else. I don't want to wait for dreams to come true...I want to be a part of the living dream that is already happening if I'd just open my eyes.

How about you? What dreams are you waiting on to come true? Could it be that the dream is already a reality, but perhaps not exactly the way you thought it should be?  Ask God to open your eyes to see what He wants you to see right now. You may be surprised to see that your dreams are not that far from reality too! 

Have a blessed night my friend, and "sweet dreams."