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!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Personal Psalm

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up.
you understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it."
Psalm 139: 1-6

We've been reading through this Psalm in our morning devotions this week. I must say that Psalm 139 has to be one of my most favorite Psalms. Why? Because it is so personal! It tells me just how well my heavenly Father knows me.  If we read further, we realize that there is no place...not in heaven or hell, where God cannot find me or be with me. (verses 7-12). 

 And better yet, verses 13-16 tell me that God actually formed all of my inward parts...He covered me in my mother's womb...like a loving parent tenderly covers a newborn babe...to protect, comfort and give warmth. He covered me...with His love, His kindness, and His mercy.  And He skillfully created my frame in secret...in the "lowest parts of the earth."

Furthermore, God's very "eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed"...and He actually wrote about me in His book...He wrote about my days, my life...who I would become, what I would do, where I would go..."when as yet there were none of them."

When I read these words written so long ago by King David, I can't help but rejoice with him and agree when he writes in verses 17-18:

"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number 
than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You."

Then King David speaks out his frustrations concerning the wicked people around him in verses 19-22...and I can empathize with his righteous anger as he expresses his anguish over how these "bloodthirsty men" ..."speak against You (God) wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain."  David confesses that he actually "loathes those who rise up against You..."   and he says that he hates "them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies."

I know I often feel this way when I watch the news and see all of the horrible, terrible things that are happening around the world, even in our own nation.  There is so much hatred and wickedness directed against one another...which in effect is a result of man's hatred toward God Himself.  The Bible says in I John 4:20-21~

"If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, 
he is a liar;
for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, 
how can he love God whom he has not seen?
And this commandment we have from Him:
that he who loves God must love his brother also."

And then we come to verses 23-24 in Psalm 139, and it gets personal again.  These verses cause me to turn on the searchlight into my own heart, to be sure that I am not guilty of harboring the same kinds of hatred in my own heart that I see out there in "the world"...

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting."

This past week we have all watched in horror the terrible devastation that is taking place daily along the coastal cities of Texas and now Louisiana.  Many, many people...thousands...have been displaced from their homes due to extreme flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. My heart is breaking for these people who have no home to return to...and it will take years to recover their houses, communities and land.  But what I also see is a new spirit arising among our people...a spirit of love, of care and support, of people who may have not always agreed with each other before, coming together to lend aid and to truly care for those in such dire need. That is the true way to show that we love God...by loving one another. I pray our nation will continue to show this kind of love in the days ahead.

Lord, I pray today that You would indeed "search me, O God, and know MY heart...and see if there is any wicked way in ME...and lead me in the way everlasting."   And help me to do MY part to show Your love and to help those in great need.  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

My Kind of Day

Don't you just love Saturdays when you don't have anything particular planned, and it kind of plans itself while you sit back and enjoy the ride?  That's how this day has been.  Now, first, let me say right off the top...I know our friends in Texas have not had a good day...and they are in for a rough ride for a while...so by all means we must continue to pray for our dear friends along the Texas/LA. coast line and surrounding areas.  Been praying for a couple of days for them...and will keep on.  We have some sweet blogging friends there...and so far they seem to be okay...but let's keep them in our prayers, okay?

Now, back to my day here in "sunny Florida"...well, not so sunny here today either . Woke up this morning and it was already raining softly...making it sort of difficult to wake up and get out of that bed, let me tell you!! But eventually we climbed out and had our cups of coffee and tea

and checked our messages on facebook/email/blogs...you know the routine...just takin' it easy...

And then our sweet new daughter-in-law-to-be showed up on our doorstep bright and early! She and our son had big plans for the day to celebrate his birthday. (which is Monday). We had an impromptu family gathered around the table big breakfast of waffles, eggs, and sausage, and then they were headed over to the coast (Atlantic side) to take a little River Cruise and lunch on a beautiful paddle wheel boat.  Being the typical "mother", I was afraid they would get rained out, but they were determined to go anyway...and I'm so glad they did! The sun came out and they had a beautiful day.

While they were gone hubby and I took a slow ride to the "dump", the hardware store, the local small grocery store and back home again.  I was having withdrawal because I had loaned my camera to the "kids" for their excursion today (See my camera in Rose's hands above...taking their "selfie" in a mirror on the boat)...and it is very difficult for me to go anywhere without my camera. I don't have a fancy cell phone with a decent camera...it wouldn't work around here in the woods anyway. So I hoped I wouldn't see any exciting things happening like a bear or a deer or an eagle and not have a camera in hand.  It finally got so bad that I dug out a spare camera that hadn't been used for a while because the last time I used it it didn't work so well...but I dusted it off, put in new batteries and a blank memory card, and guess what? It worked!

By this time I had decided to bake a couple of pumpkin pies! Why? Because hubby had mentioned how much he wished I would...and I had all the right ingredients...and didn't have any other plans...so why not?  The spare camera came in handy to take a picture just as they came out of the oven:

I wish our computers had a "scratch and sniff" app so you could smell just how delicious these pies smelled, with their cinnamon, ginger and clove spices mingling with the aroma of the pumpkin and baked pastry...are you drooling yet?  Who says you have to wait until Thanksgiving for pumpkin pie???? I say a rainy Saturday afternoon with nothing special to do is as good a time as any...especially when it makes so many people happy as these pies did! You can imagine how much the "kids" enjoyed these when they got back from their cruise...too full from their lunch for any supper...but just the right appetite for a piece of pie with whipped cream! A perfect ending to a perfect day!

Now it is raining again...my tummy is full and happy from eating that pie...hubby has been singing my praises for baking it...the "kids" (I call them kids, but they are both in their 40's and hardly can be called "kids"...but you know what I mean...your kids are always your kids no matter how old they get...) have been enjoying talking about their little excursion and also happily making plans for their upcoming wedding in a couple of months...and future plans to fix up their house and begin their lives together....

Yes, this has been "my kind of day"... family time...peaceful moments...joyful expectations...the kind of stuff that makes for a happy home and life...even saw this deer meander through our front yard this evening, just before the rain started to really come down again:

Kind of blurry because it was getting dark...but such a neat way to end the day...

Before the "kids" left for their little trip this morning we shared our morning devotions with them...and the Psalm that was read was Psalm 128:

"Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the very heart of your house.
Your children like olive plants all around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed 
who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you out of Zion,
and may you see the good of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children's children.
Peace by upon Israel!"

What a beautiful blessing to be read with a sweet couple about to be married...and even for us, the parents, who feel very blessed to have our children all around our table...We don't know what the future holds for us or for our "kids"...but we pray their home will be filled with peace, joy, and love...and who knows what further blessings the Lord may have in store for them? We'll just leave that up to God, Who knows all things and what is best always.

Yes, this was "my kind of day!!"
Praise the Lord!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Foto Friends: Just a Country Porch Will Do...UPDATED 8-24-2017

Hello Friday Foto Friends!  I didn't have any new pictures to share this week
Since I wrote this last night we had some "Breaking News" early this morning...PUN intended:
Around 6:30 a.m. our son was getting ready for work and heard a crashing, tearing sound at the end of our back courtyard.  You know, the area where we recently put up a brand new fence
Well, it was still kind of dark, so it was difficult to see what was going on...but after waking up my hubby, the two fearless warriors stepped out into the yard to see what was the matter. Apparently they scared the intruder away...but upon further inspection it was quite obvious that we had a bear trying to tear his way into our courtyard:

 It is not quite yet understood if this was an attempted "kidnapping" of the little girl in the garden...

 Or merely an attempt of a hungry bear to snatch a few paws full of bird seed and run:

Upon further investigation of our security wildlife camera we found pictures of this character hanging around the watering hole earlier this week:
So we are on high alert for the would-be kidnapper/birdseed thief...and have taken extra precautions to prevent such a terrible crime from happening again. 
(Note to birds: Bird Feeder will be removed from garden until further notice)

We now return you to your previously scheduled programming:

(Written last night 8/24/17)
So thought I'd go back in time and share one of my favorite old posts, originally written in 2013, updated again in 2015, and now brought up to date again for 2017.  As I write this it is really too hot to sit out on the porch, but hopefully fall will come early and we'll be able to enjoy this lovely place again!

How many of you would love a porch like this?????   ( Original Post 5/17/2013:)

No, this isn't a picture of my front porch..yet...but it is a picture of what I'd love to have for a front porch someday!   (copied from Pinterest)

This was our porch in the fall of 2012

This was the  porch at Christmas  2012:

Looking out from the porch in winter (we live in Florida...)  2013

And this was our porch in the spring of 2013:

And THIS is ONE of the inhabitants of our porch in spring!  Isn't he charming?

He started to show us his "colors", note the red throaty look peeping out from under his chin...He thinks we want to get cozy with him...or he may think we want to fight...

On  5/17/2013 I wrote the following with the picture below:  Someday I hope to add on to our porch to stretch it out to cover the front door and level up the floor, so it will be very similar to the porch shown at the top of the page:       

(Our porch in 2013)

When we first moved to this house in 2012, there was no porch at all: 

No Porch, no flowers or shrubs...and lots of bright, hot sun in the afternoon (western exposure)  Thank the Lord for those sycamore trees in the summertime...but they are bare all winter...
and it still gets pretty hot out there!

I wrote in May of 2013:  "So, as you can see, we HAVE made some progress in the 1 &1/2 years since we moved to our "Camp in the Woods" house in 2012.  I figure if we can add a section of porch per year, by the time we live here 5 years, we should have a porch all the way across the front!  That would be my dream porch...but I'll settle for a porch across the front door and maybe the two living room windows. It doesn't have to be fancy...just a country porch will do..."

Why am I telling you all of this?  Well, I guess I wanted to share my little "dream porch" with you.  You already heard about my little "dream cabin" that I want to build someday...

Why?  My real dream is 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. 

I suppose this isn't the first time I've told you about this front porch idea.  Click on this link for more thoughts on this topic and some pictures of some of the wildlife viewed from the front porch:  "Life Is So Much Better from a Front Porch"   

It's that time of year when life IS so much better viewed from a front porch...I find it difficult to come back inside each evening...but the porch is where I often get the inspiration I need to come back inside and write to you...so here I am!  (UPDATE: I originally wrote this in May of 2013...yes, spring, fall, and winter are the best times to sit on our front porch. Summer is just too hot...so I am looking forward to fall now as I write this in late August 2017)

I hope you will come sit on my front porch with me again sometime.  The best time of day is early in the morning when the birds are just waking up, and then in the early evening, as the sun goes down behind the trees and the birds sing their last songs of the day as they gather in their food for the night and settle back into their little nests hidden among the trees surrounding us.

Afterthoughts:  Where do YOU like to go to relax in the early mornings, evenings, or during the day if you are home?  Or, if you work, do you have a special place where you can take a mini-vacation break to rest for a few minutes away from the computer, phone and busy-ness of the day?  If you don't have such a place in your life now, look for one...create a space just for you and your mate, friends, neighbors, or you alone...a place to reflect, rest, and re-create...and listen to the sounds of God's world around you. Ahhhhh....just breathe!  (that was a "Calgon take me away" moment, created just for you and me.)
Blessings to you today....

NOW FOR THE UPDATE, 8/24/2017:

This picture of the front of our house was taken in 2015..quite a difference!

In the early months of 2015 we finally added this section of the front porch...and today I can say that my dreams of a large country porch are finally coming true!

(Pictures taken in February of 2015, hence the trees are bare)

I wrote this in February, 2015: "And just a couple of hours ago, all these chairs were filled with happy people, sitting and talking and laughing and enjoying a warm, sunny February afternoon in Florida!  I neglected to take any pictures while our friends were here...but that's okay...the echos of laughter still remain in my heart and memory...and I wanted to write about it before it slipped away.  I don't think it will soon dissipate in my mind...it was such a glorious time of sweet fellowship with dear friends who have been with us throughout the years during good times and hard times....the kind of friends who love unconditionally...and bring hugs and smiles and food and willing hands to help in time of need...the very best kind of friends to have.  It was very fitting that they should be the first to celebrate our new porch with us."

Now I hope someday YOU will come and sit a spell with us too!
 Click on picture to go to Ben's Country Woodshop
Click on picture to go to "Ben's Country Woodshop", Creator of these signs

Y'all Come!

This picture was taken this evening, 8/24/17...looks a little messy right now, but just as soon as it cools down I hope to be spending a lot more time out here again.
Sure wish you'd come and sit a spell!

We could have tea time together!!

Don't worry, we'll make sure the bears aren't invited to our tea-party!!

Okay, now hop on over to Deb's front porch at Breathing In Grace and check out what our other Friday Foto Friends are sharing!  Have a blessed a glorious day! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Final Summer Reading Book Review: REVELATION!

Hello dear friends...I know you've all been waiting for the final book review in the "Adventures in the Glade" series....REVELATION.

If you've been following along HERE, then you'll know that I've been reading through all six of Martha Jane Orlando's wonderful books in her two series:Which you can learn more about HERE on her website for The Glade Series and Adventures in the Glade Series.

So now we come to the final book...and I must say right up front, I hope and pray it is NOT the final book...because this book left me wanting more!  I am excited to say that Martha has just announced in her most recent blog post "Meditations of My Heart" (link to blog here) that she is going to be taking the next few weeks to pray about and seek God's direction for writing her next episode in this series...so I  ask you to pray along with me that the Lord will indeed give Martha the guidance she needs to embark on this next project...because once you read these books you will agree with me that there is still so much more to be written!!

Now back to REVELATION! Sorry I keep getting side-tracked!  First of all, I think I neglected to say in my last review on the preceding book, REDEMPTION, that I felt like in these last two books Martha had really stepped up the story a bit with the addition of new characters woven into the story...and a grander plot that would captivate adults as well as children and teens.  There is so much more intrigue and mystery being brought to the surface...and "revelations" being revealed that I never saw coming...which calls for deeper insight and speculation into how it will all finally come to a conclusion.

REVELATION intertwines romance, past secrets revealed, wild adventure...and that despicable Cousin Ronnie still out to wreak havoc on the magical, mysterious inhabitants of The Glade and their sacred land. Our hero Davy and his family have relationships restored and past hurts healed with happy endings and new beginnings.  Everyone seems to be seeing miracles in their lives...except for one...who still needs to get things right in his heart...

Let me leave you with some final words from one of  "The Old Ones, "Racer", Davy's best squirrel friend, when asked if he could give a "phrase or one word...that would inspire them to live the abundant life...", he declared:

"It's all about love and grace!"

Yes, that seems to be the answer to all of the questions....

So friends, until next time...and I pray there will be a next time...I leave you with these thoughts to ponder.

Galatians 1:12(NKJV)

 "For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ."

P.S.  I hope you enjoyed hearing about these wonderful books...one more thing I wanted to add...I shared my copies of The Glade Series/Adventures in the Glade books with a dear friend, who was reading them with her adult daughter who had spent most of the last year in a hospital recuperating from some very serious physical issues.  My friend said that reading these books together brought such joy and hope back into her daughter's life...it was the first thing that had perked her up and gotten her interest in a very long time. Why? Probably because these little books have such profound truth and hope intertwined within a captivating, fun and magical story that one can't help but be caught up and taken to a place where our imaginations can actually bring us to a better place in our hearts and minds.  So, for this reason and so much more, I do hope our friend Martha will be able to continue this wonderful saga!

Racer is waving "bye" for now!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Wonders in the Heavens

Total solar eclipse from St. Louis, Aug. 21, 2017. (John Sonderman via Flickr
via the Washington Post

So, the total solar eclipse has come and gone...and it was a spectacular sight for those who were in the path and didn't have a cloudy day!  We weren't in the direct path in Florida, and we also had complete cloud coverage totally eclipsing the eclipse! But that didn't stop the sky from getting dark,  and the Sand Hill Cranes started their early morning squawking that they usually do when they are waking up in the morning, dogs started barking, and the crickets started chirping.  I saw some night swallows fly over and all of our little solar outdoor lights came on.  It all felt pretty surreal for a few minutes.

Here I am trying to watch the eclipse:

 And here is what I saw:

It even started to rain so I had to go inside a few times.

This is what I read in my Bible this morning prior to the eclipse:

30.  "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31.  The SUN shall be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
32.  And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Joel 2:30-32

The introductory title given in my "New Scofield Study Bible" says that this is describing "The Future Deliverance in the Coming Day of the Lord" and also "The signs preceding the day of the Lord".  

There had been some speculation that this total solar eclipse today could have some spiritual significance...and could even be a sign of the return of the Lord.  It is now several hours since the event took place, and I have not heard of any significant activities that would lead me to believe that this was that signal...however, if one is paying attention to all of the news from around the world in the recent weeks and months, a thoughtful believer might consider that the Lord's return could in fact be imminent.  The signs of the times are certainly becoming more and more apparent every day.  I know that no man knows that day and hour...Jesus said:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, 
not even the angels in heaven,
but My Father only."
Matthew 24:36

But He goes on to say in verses 42-44:

"Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour 
your Lord is coming.
But know this, that if the master of the house 
had known what hour the thief would come,
he would have watched and not allowed 
his house to be broken into.
Therefore, you also be ready, 
for the Son of Man is
coming at an hour you do not expect."

So for me, all of this hype and hoopla over the eclipse was fun and phenomenal, but it also caused me to pause and consider that the Lord's return could be soon...and I want to be ready.  I pray that all of those of my household and friends and loved ones near and far will also be ready.  We fuss and fume over all the crazy stuff that is happening in our country...people on all sides of the spectrum have voiced their opinions out the wazoo...and we want to fight for our rights and for the rights of the downtrodden (or those who think they are downtrodden because they don't like certain things politically or economically) and families are taking up sides and drawing lines in the sand...
and when that day comes when the Lord returns for His chosen bride...what will all these things matter?  I'm not saying they aren't valid issues...but I am saying that there is one thing more important that needs to be settled first...

If the Lord were to suddenly appear in the sky to take us home to glory...would we all be ready to go?  Or would there be some like those Jesus spoke about in the days of Noah:

"But as the days of Noah were,
so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
for as in the days before the flood, 
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, 
until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and did not know until the flood came and took them all away...
so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
Matthew 24:37-39

My prayer today is that I am ready to meet my Savior face to face at any moment...and that all of my loved ones and friends are also ready.  There is nothing more important than being sure of our place in heaven...and there is only one way to get there! How do we know if we are ready? 
  • By confessing that we are sinners with no hope of saving ourselves, 
  • repenting of our sins and 
  • accepting the free gift of salvation that is in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  
Today could have been a sign that His return is very near.
Don't put it off until it is too late. 
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What If We All Did This?

I was thinking this exact same thing this morning. Trying to think of ways that people could help teach skills to the jobless, homeless, and people who feel they are not being given a chance to have a voice in this world. 

  • Teach them how to pick up a hammer to build homes for the homeless, 
  • pick up a pen to write positive, helpful articles on how to work their way out of poverty and loss, 
  • pick up a shovel, hoe and rake to plant seeds of kindness, gardens of hope, and reap crops of happiness and health to share with their neighbors or hungry community. 
  • Pick up a book and teach a child to read and write, 
  • clean out a closet and provide clothes for the naked and those standing in the cold. 
  • Bake a loaf of bread or some cookies and share it with a lonely person who just needs a friend to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. 
  • Be the change that others need...not by standing around carrying signs and screaming or tearing down old, rusty statues that have no power to hurt or hinder our progress unless we allow them to...
  • but be the change that helps our brother and sister find some hope for a new path in life. 
  • Reach across the aisle and shake hands with your neighbor and do something positive to help make your community and world a better place for all of the human race. 
Just a thought that I believe the Lord placed in my heart as I contemplated this today....what do YOU think? ~ Blessings...

O Woman, Great Is Your Faith!

"Then Jesus answered and said to her,
'O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be to you as you desire.'
And her daughter was healed from that very hour."
Matthew 15:28

I want to be like that woman!! To have the kind of faith that is not afraid to approach Jesus even when others may try to drive me away or discourage me as I pursue Him with my hopes, fears, dreams, pleas for healing, forgiveness, comfort and strength...  

In this particular woman's case, she was pleading for healing for her daughter who was demon-possessed.  (See Matthew 15: 21-28 for the whole story.)  She was a gentile, a woman of Canaan, and not one of the flock of Israel.  Jesus' disciples advised Him to send her away because she was making a spectacle of herself and becoming a nuisance with her crying out and pleading for her daughter to be healed.  But Jesus instead responded to the woman with a little test of her faith...He said in verse 24:

"I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
 (This little squirrel was watching us from a wall not far from our table while we ate our anniversary lunch at a local restaurant this past week)

But she came and worshiped Him, and pleaded with Him to help her.  He tested her faith a little more by saying this:

26.  "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." 

Now, I'll admit that I've never particularly liked this response or completely understood Jesus comparing this woman to the "little dogs".  But he was making an analogy that she understood, and she did not take it as a personal offense.  She replied,

27.  "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." 

Then is when Jesus acknowledged her great faith and responded with such love and grace and POWER...

28.  "O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be to you as you desire." 

And the Bible says that her daughter was healed from that very hour!

I want to be that woman! I want to have such great faith in the face of obstacles, insecurities, fear, anxiety, hopelessness!  I realize that God is not going to always give me exactly what I am asking for here on earth because He knows what is best for me and for those for whom I may be asking. I've had to acknowledge the fact that God sees the bigger picture...that eternal picture that I cannot yet see with my earthly human eyes...and that sometimes the thing that I am asking for may not be in my best interest.  But GOD!  And I could stop right there.  But GOD always answers my prayers...sometimes with responses that I may not realize or recognize until I reach heaven's gates...and always with answers that are eternally wonderful and perfectly right and good.  I want to be able to approach Him fearlessly as well as humbly, knowing that He will never turn me away regardless of my human condition. I want to have that kind of faith that can accept whatever God gives with grace, thankfulness, and peace.

Lord, help me to have this kind of faith today.  Faith that does not give up in the face of obstacles or greater tests of my faith. Faith that persists even when it appears You may be saying, "No, or Not yet."  Faith that recognizes Your everlasting love and mercy in the midst of the seas of doubt and fear. Thank You, Lord, for Your great love and kindness to this "little dog".  Amen.

This little "dog" (squirrel) was finally bold enough to go searching for crumbs under our table .
I'm sorry to say I wasn't as kind as Jesus was to the lady in this passage today. I didn't feed the squirrel because it appeared he would have jumped right into our laps if we would have...but there were plenty of crumbs available...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Choose You This Day

I just posted this on my facebook page, and wanted to put it here so it won't get "lost in the shuffle".  I am certain it will illicit some negative responses...but perhaps it will also inspire some positive thoughts as well. That is my prayer.  Please pray for our nation and our President and leaders. I feel greatly burdened to do this today.

I can't help but think that while people in our country are going around tearing down monuments that are over 100 years old, and fighting with each other over their right to destroy artifacts from the history of our nation and express their freedom of speech regardless of how crazy and unfounded it may be...while we are destroying each other from within, and forgetting that we are supposed to be "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all..." there is a much bigger and more ominous enemy sitting on the outside of our country, watching, waiting, and preparing to strike when we least expect it. The enemies of our free way of life are sharpening their swords, testing their missiles, building their weapons of destruction, and they laugh at us as we fight each other over old, moldy, tarnished, statues and monuments...and as we rehash old battles long over and done with that we should have learned something from...those enemies are watching us as a lion stalks her prey...and while we are much distracted with our fights over rights and speeches and crazy ideologies...the Lion will cease to just watch and will pounce with fury and terror upon us and devour us...and we won't even know what hit us until it is too late.
Remember 9-11? I know I won't forget it... and I pray that our nation will wake up and realize that there is a much bigger picture going on that we can't see...but our President, our military, and many others who are awake and aware of this mortal enemy are trying their best to be prepared and protect us...and we are kicking against them like a furious two year old child having a temper tantrum...we can't see the danger we are in because we are too focused on our own little petty struggles and fights for our rights...all I can say is, wake up, America! Stop your infighting and crazy squabbles and realize the real danger we are in before it is too late.
We need to stand together against terrorists, evil, and hatred from every side. Our enemy is NOT our President or those elected to serve and protect us. Our enemy should not be our neighbors and family members and people across the aisle politically. Our enemy is much bigger...and it hates our freedom to live in such a marvelous country...and it wants to destroy us.
Of course, there is an even bigger enemy...Satan himself...who is behind all of this terror and hatred...and that is where the real battle is. I am reminded of Joshua, as he reviewed the history of Israel from the time of Moses when God rescued the Israelites from their enemies and captors in Egypt...and then the people wanted to go back to Egypt and wanted to turn against Jehovah God who had saved them...and Joshua said to them in the book of Joshua 24:14-15

"Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
People, if we are going to survive as a nation, we have to stand united. Recognize who/what the true enemy is...and put away all your little 'gods' and idols and battles over past history...and stand strong to fight the real enemies of our land...and to give our children and grandchildren the chance to live an even better life than we've had.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the DEVIL walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
I Peter 5:6-9

Friday Foto Friends - Praise The Lord!

Earlier this week I shared some gorgeous sunrise pictures displaying the glory and majesty of God. And now tonight (Thursday night) God displayed another magnificent view of the setting of the sun. I was so thrilled to be able to take a quick joy-ride with my oldest son to capture some pictures to share with you!  Come along with me as we hurtled down the road in his Dodge Ram pickup truck at an almost break-neck speed to catch these scenes before they slipped away into the horizon never to be seen exactly the same again...why? Because God's majesty is displayed anew and fresh every day and evening...never the same...because He is always creating new wonders for us to enjoy! And you don't want to miss it, right?  Praise the Lord!

Psalm 113
1.  "Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
Praise the name of the Lord!

 2.  Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore!

3.  From the rising of the sun to its going down
The Lord's Name is to be praised.

 4.  The Lord is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.

 5.  Who is like the Lord our God,
Who dwells on high,
6.  Who humbles Himself to behold
the things that are in the earth?

 7.  He raises the poor out of the dust,
and lifts the needy out of the ash heap,

Note the Osprey Nest high in the top of that Pine Tree!

 8.  That He may seat him with princes--
with the princes of His people.

 9.  He grants the barren woman a home,
Like a joyful mother of children.


I hope you enjoyed this little ride with me.  It was thrilling to witness the changing of the colors of the sky as the sun slipped further and further down. Our God IS an awesome God!!

Now let's ride over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and see what our friends are posting today for Friday Foto Friends!
I pray your day is filled with the joy and wonder of God's majesty and glory...no matter where you are..there is always something to demonstrate His glory if we just look for it!!