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 27, 2018

Toni's Creative Adventures: The Garden Surprise



Good Morning Friends! It's time for another of 

Every two weeks our friend Toni, also known from her other blog   http://treasuresbytoni.blogspot.com/,
comes up with these fun memes for us to create our own adventures.  If you have a bent for creativity, why not join in the fun?  Just go to 
http://toniscreativeadventures.blogspot.com/ and copy and paste the outline to your page, and fill in the blanks.  Then be sure to let Toni know you've played along.  The more the merrier!


The Garden Surprise

1.   Walking through a public garden I came across the strangest and most beautiful ancient garden gate.  It was surrounded by lush and fragrant blossoms of every hue. 
Internet Photo

And beside the gate was this marvelous stone with the following inscription:

Internet Photo



"Pause, friend, and read before you enter here.

This vine-clad wall encloses holy ground.

Herein a mellowed garden dreams away the years,
Steeped in serene sweet light and muted sound.
Herein tranquility and peace abide,
For God walks here at cool of evening-tide.
Pause, friend, and strip from out your heart
All vanity, all bitterness, all hate;
Quench, for this hour, the fever of your fears,
Then, treading softly, pass within this gate,
There, where the ancient trees wait, hushed and dim,
May you find God, and walk awhile with Him."

Pearl Hiatt, Brookgreen Gardens, SC

2.   Truly in awe of what I could see, I stopped and pondered where it might lead.

3.   Could it possibly be meant to just be admired or is it possible to actually open the gate and walk through it to find that tranquil, peaceful place?  Could there truly be such a garden, where "the ancient trees wait, hushed and dim..."
Oh how marvelous if even, "for this hour" One could "quench...the fever of my fears"...Might I actually be able to "find God, and walk awhile with Him"? 
  

What did I have to lose?  The ancient stone suggests that "herein a mellowed garden dreams away the years.."   All that I must do is "pause...and strip from out my heart all vanity, all bitterness, all hate..."  and then just tread softly, and "pass within this gate"...and perhaps I may discover the beauty of spending a "cool evening tide", walking with my Lord.

And so I entered the gate and discovered this lovely bench, where I could sit a while and rest and contemplate the beauty of this place...


And I looked to my right as I sat down and noticed this lovely chalice filled with wine, and the bread...which was broken...for me?  
I know I heard  Him say, "Yes, child, for you...This is My body which is given for you...
Take and eat." 
And then He said, 
"Likewise, take the cup...This cup is the new covenant in My blood...shed for you...
Do this in remembrance of Me."


Oh! What joy and peace filled my heart...all my burdens and fears just melted away as I sat there in His Presence in this lovely garden...such comfort as I'd never felt before surrounded and enveloped me in a velvety mantle of love. It was difficult for me to even consider having to leave.  


4.   I'm so glad I decided to visit this garden today or I never would have known such peace could exist in this world. I learned something in that garden that I could take with me and remember anytime I found myself feeling alone or fearful...just take a moment to pause and draw near to the Lord...wherever I may be...and He will be there waiting for me....just through the garden gate of my heart and soul.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Come and See!

Hello...Here it is Monday again!  I trust that you have had a pleasant weekend and that today is the beginning of a good week for you.  Since I retired, Mondays aren't so bad...I rather like them. It's a day to get back on track from the weekend and to begin anew for a brand new week. It's kind of nice to ease into the day without feeling any pressure to do this or that...but on the other hand, it is also a time to go back over the things we learned over the weekend...perhaps at church...and put into practice what we've been taught.  So, as a part of my "One Word" for 2018 RENEW or RENEWAL, I am trying to apply what I've heard or read in God's Word and to see where it leads me in this path to renewal.
This beautiful dogwood blossom reminds me of the Cross...
We almost cut down this dogwood tree because it appeared to be dying...
I'm so glad we didn't follow our assumptions...

I hope you don't mind my sharing my notes from the Sunday Sermon with you here. I know you all go to your own churches and have marvelous pastors and teachers too, but this is an exercise for me as well as for you...it helps me to remember what has been taught before I get too busy and put my notes aside or in the trash when I clean out my Bible or purse...There is too much valuable stuff here to lose. So here goes:

Scripture: Read John 1:43-51, but the key verse is #46:

"And Nathanael said to him, 
'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'
Philip said to him, 
"Come and see."
These azaleas and dogwood are blooming along a fence by an old house that has been sadly neglected...no one comes to care for them, and yet they bloom year after year...one might assume that nothing good could come out of there...but come and see...

They were speaking of Jesus here, early in His ministry when He was gathering His disciples together...in verse 43 He had just found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me."  Philip was so excited and thrilled at being called by Christ that he wanted everyone he knew to follow Him as well.  He recognized that Jesus was the One "of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."  But Nazareth was a small, dirty, unpopular little town, where no one of any good reputation had ever come from before. Nathanael assumed that anyone worth knowing could not have come from Nazareth.  

Oh! What a sad misconception! Thankfully, Jesus perceived Nathanael's thoughts and helped him reconsider his wrong assumptions before he missed out on the greatest opportunity of a lifetime...to follow Jesus Christ, the Messiah!

I wonder what wrong assumptions we have been guilty of in our lives? Perhaps many of us have been quick to judge others for other less thoughtful reasons...race, nationality, their appearance or clothes, the kind of car they drive or the side of town they came from...or perhaps we ourselves have been wrongly judged for the same reasons.  Maybe we've judged ourselves harshly because we feel inadequate, we lack self-confidence, have inferiority complexes because of whatever we've been taught, told, or experienced by the malicious assumptions of others.
We might assume that nothing good could come out of this very ugly, unusual, dead looking "tree trunk"

Sadly, we let these assumptions become our "hiding places"...they keep us from engaging with God at a deeper level.

We allow our assumptions to become limitations...they "close the possibility of growth, reconciliation, change..."  "No room for God to show up in our lives..."

We need to let God speak to our hearts...but in order to do that we need to be in a relationship with Him before we can grow and overcome these  false "assumptions".  "Our faith hinges on Jesus Christ being raised from the dead..."
These beautiful flowers (Carolina Jessamine) are growing and blooming out of that ugly trunk above...amazing, huh? 

"God loves you no matter who you are or where you're from..."

Christ in you..."God takes ordinary, fallible human beings and makes them do great things..."...Look at Moses, Paul, Peter...and many other examples throughout the Bible and history.

"Thankfully, God is not limited by our assumptions.  But we need to position ourselves to meet God"..."Come and See!"  

(Quotes are from Sunday's sermon, 2/25/2018 at First United Methodist Church, Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers)

So now, what am I going to do with this information?  May God help me to apply it to my heart...and to put away those false assumptions that may be limiting my own personal spiritual growth.  Perhaps there is something here for you today as well?  
"Come and see!!"

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Life Goes On - Updated 2/25/2018

Update:
I wrote this post originally on 3/1/2015.  Today is 2/25/2018...and it is now almost 4 years since our son passed into heaven, and today would be his 45th birthday.  Now our grandson is 18, a senior in high school and making plans for his future.  Life does go on. I know that our son Matthew would be so proud of the young man his son Noah is becoming.  Thankfully, Matthew and his wife Nicole laid a strong foundation for their son from the very beginning.  Matthew invested as much love and care and strong Christian values into Noah as he possibly could in the time he was given.   I truly believe in the teaching of Proverbs 22:6 

 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, 
he will not depart from it."

Noah is the legacy that our son Matthew left behind.  We thank the Lord every day for this dear grandson who is so much like his Dad.   He is pictured here with his grandpa, (my hubby), on the occasion of our older son's wedding this past fall. Noah served as the best man for his uncle, in the place of honor that his dad would have served had he been here.


Original Post 3/1/2015:
The week in review...not sure where this is going...trying to put life in perspective...
Our family, February 2014, celebrating Matthew's 41st birthday together.

My son's birthday was this past week...that is, my son who is in heaven...who would have been 42 years old on this birthday.  (2/25/2015) He was here with us last year for his 41st birthday...Click HERE for more about that time together  ...and then three very short months later, he was ushered into the presence of the Lord...Click HERE for that story.

A "selfie"...me with my grandson. (Feb. 2015)
Recently we were blessed to have our fifteen year old grandson here for a visit..Click HERE for THIS story... and it was indeed a breath of fresh air for us...a time of healing for our family that we all welcomed with open arms. It was as if God sent him to us as a gift...special delivery...straight from the heart of our son in heaven...to comfort us and fill the empty places in our hearts.

This morning I was reading in our devotions the story of Abraham and Isaac, in Genesis 22:1-24. I'm sure you are familiar with this passage...you know the one...where God asks Abraham to "take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering..." (verse 2).  I always found this story to be rather difficult to comprehend...how God could ask a man to sacrifice his ONLY son...and Abraham obeyed God without question.  Thankfully, once God saw that Abraham was obedient to the very point of lifting the knife to slay his son (verse 10), He stopped the whole proceedings and told Abraham not to lay his hand on the lad (verse 11)...and then God provided a substitute sacrifice...a ram caught in the thicket. (verse 13).  Read on to verse 14, where Abraham "called the name of the place "Jehovah Jireh"..meaning 'The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, 'In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided."

God goes on to tell Abraham in the subsequent verses that "because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son...blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies."  Then the next few verses list the names of the descendants of Abraham's family...and we know the rest of history.

This touched my heart today because in a very small way I can relate to Abraham in this story. No, I was not ordered to sacrifice my own son in the way that Abraham was commanded.  However, we did experience some severe testings of our faith where this child was concerned. Click HERE for more about that.  And yes, there were many times that I wondered in my heart exactly what God was doing...but He never failed us.  He always proved Himself to be "Jehovah Jireh", The Lord Will Provide.

And now?  Our life is going on.  We have truly suffered a tremendous loss with the death of our son...but God has not left us without hope or comfort. Through the gift of our grandson, I can almost hear God saying to us as He said to Abraham..."blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven..."    No, I don't expect our grandson to be the father of a great nation...but he is a gift to us from the Lord...and we are most thankful.

Why am I sharing this with you today? Perhaps you have also suffered a great loss...and possibly you are feeling bereft of hope and comfort.  Your situation may be different than mine...but I do know one thing..."Jehovah Jireh"...The Lord will provide.  He knows your need. The void in your heart may be even deeper and harder to fathom...but don't give up.  God WILL provide.

Psalm 116 is an expression of gratitude from one who was redeemed...

Verse 1:  "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live."

Verse 5-8:  "Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low and He saved me.
Return to your rest, o my soul,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
and my feet from falling."

Final thoughts from Psalm 116:

Verse 12-15
"What shall I render to the Lord 
for all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation,
and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord 
now in the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of His saints."

Even the death of our wonderful son...
"precious in the sight of the Lord..."

Yes, Lord...I do believe in You...
"Jehovah Jireh"...My Provider.
Amen.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Calm Assurance

Dear Blogging Friends:  I thought you might want to see this.  For those of you who aren't familiar with true Florida nature...here is a picture that you probably won't like much, but it is what our native creatures have to live with...

If you've been following my posts you know that I've been watching this Sand Hill Crane on her nest for several weeks now.  


Well, last evening I took my usual walk to go check on her and take some pictures.  Because she is actually pretty far away from me, it is not easy to distinguish details until I view the picture on my computer.  So when I looked at this picture this morning, I noticed something a little different from previous pictures.  If you will look closely just to the right and behind Mama Crane, you will see a jagged black line along the edge of the mud.   That jagged line becomes smoother toward its right.  That, my friends, is an alligator.  Yes, that's what I said...an alligator, lying probably not more than three feet away from Mama Crane and her nest.  I knew I heard some croaking sounds last evening when I was taking these pictures, but I could not see this from my vantage point.  But I see it now...Yikes!  And look how calm and serene Mama Crane sits, as if impending doom and danger were not lurking right beside her...
 The only scripture that came to my mind as I looked at this was the 23rd Psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

 Oh! To have such peace in the presence of our enemies! What a beautiful picture this is for us today.



Of course, this morning I hurried to the pond to see if our Mama was still safe...and it was still a little too dark to see her clearly, but if you look closely you can see her form snuggled down on her nest...resting peacefully, but I am sure she is watching carefully should any enemy creep up on her. 


Who would think such evil was hiding in this peaceful setting?  May we realize that even when danger may be lurking in the shadows, Our God is with us...His Rod and Staff are there to comfort and protect us from all alarms.  May we rest peacefully in that wonderful knowledge and confidence. Amen.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Foto Friends: Spring Time and Thirsting for God - A Time for Renewal

What a week!  I think we are all still reeling over the passing of Billy Graham...those of us who grew up during the 50's-60's remember all of the crusades on TV throughout those years, and they would televise them every night...and everyone watched.  Only Jesus knows how many people truly gave their hearts to Him during those years of Billy Graham's ministry.  I can only imagine the excitement in heaven this week...would have loved to have been there.

This week has been rather low-key otherwise...mostly catching up from last week's busy time...birthday party for hubby, etc.  I've been resting, reading, and praying.  It seems like our prayer list for friends and loved ones keeps growing. So many going through difficult times these days. Keeps us on our knees.

But I've been enjoying the beauty of the beginnings of springtime here, so I thought I would share a few special moments and views with you for Friday Foto Friends:

This was the view on the pond early this morning when I went to check on our Sand Hill Crane mother in waiting...  she is over there, but you can't see her in this picture.


See that white lump in the middle? That is her...


This was taken this evening (Thursday)...no, she hasn't had her baby yet...and she faithfully sits day after day...I will definitely let you know when the blessed event occurs.

This tree is covered with Carolina Jessamine...it looks so pretty in the morning sunlight
 A closer look at the flowers.

Azaleas and camellias are blooming in the Secret Garden...I planted the azaleas last year and they are just starting to really bloom...


 Also the ferns that were killed by the frost/freeze are starting to come back in the Secret Garden.

This is the Memorial Garden, where I also planted some azaleas last year:


And this picture is especially for my friend Deb at Breathing in Grace, our hostess for Friday Foto Friends.  I know that Deb is particularly fond of owls, and a friend of mine gave me another little owl mug (front and center) this past week, so I decided to have a little tea time with the owlies one afternoon.  Debbie, I was definitely thinking about you when I did this. Wish you weren't so far away...wouldn't we have had fun? Thank you for being our hostess here each week.



And speaking of tea parties, earlier this month I found this lovely little February tea cup and saucer at our local flea market.  I bought it to give to a friend for her birthday, which is later  this month. However, we won't be getting together to celebrate her birthday until March 2nd, so I thought I should at least christen this cup with a little tea party while it is still February....I know she wouldn't mind my using it....and perhaps she and I will have a tea party when she does receive this gift....(I hope she isn't reading this...she'll know what she's getting for her birthday! )


So I set up this little tea time on the front porch this afternoon, however, the sun was really too bright to get very good pictures. It was also a little too hot to sit out there and drink hot tea!

So I moved the tea party to the Secret Garden, which is in the back yard, and much shadier.    I took a big risk in carrying this tray laden with china tea cups and tea pot and hot tea all around and through the house and yard...opening doors with one hand and holding the tray in the other...it's a miracle nothing was broken...and my friend's birthday gift is still intact!

By the way, the little book I was reading is entitled "Gifts from my Front Porch", "Inspirational Thoughts, Insights, & Reflections" ...no particular author, published by Popular Publishing Co.  I mention this little book because my friend who is having the birthday next week gave this little book to me for Christmas a few years ago.  I wonder if she will be reading this post...I hope not until after her birthday...I wouldn't want to spoil her surprise gift (the tea cup). Shhhh, don't tell her, okay?


After all of that activity...I should just go sit in my rocking chair and relax...
Someone needs to move those pansies first...

On second thought, I think I'll just go back inside where it is cool and write this post while it is fresh on my mind...it was 86 degrees on that porch!! And it isn't even officially spring yet!!!


A Psalm for this beautiful  (albeit, warm) day:

Psalm 63: 1-5
1.  "O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; 
My flesh longs for You
in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
2.  So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
3.  Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4.  Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5.  My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips."


I hope you will have a blessed and glorious day and time of seeking and thirsting for God each day. 
What a joyous way to find renewal for our souls!

Now let's all run over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and check out what our other Friday Foto Friends are talking about!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Examine Yourself

Some notes I took from Sunday's sermon:


The 40 Days of Lent-does not include Sundays because they are days of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ.

II Corinthians 13:5~ 
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?...unless indeed you are disqualified."

Examine yourself...what is in your heart?
Jesus did not open soup kitchens or feed the homeless, but He fed the multitude...He denied Himself and sacrificed of Himself...He fasted and prayed...and we should also spend time in "self-examination".
"Jesus isn't concerned about what we are giving up...but what is going on in our hearts"...
"Lent is a call from God to look at what is important in your life...and what are you going to do about it?"
Reflect on the suffering of Jesus in light of our own personal sinfulness...give up our sinful attitudes...
Lent is an attitude of honesty, humility, before God.
Matthew 15:8 
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, 
and honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me."

What is your heart saying to you today?
Will you stand firm on what Jesus has taught you?
Can you get excited about Jesus?
(Sermon notes from First United Methodist Church, Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers, 2/18/2018)
********
I started writing this post early this morning before I heard the news about Rev. Billy Graham's passing into heaven today.  My first thought was what a celebration must be going on in heaven today...I told my husband that I wished I could have been there to witness the excitement when Billy Graham entered heaven's gates! And do you know what my hubby told me?  He said that there will be just as much excitement in heaven on the day that I enter those gates as well...I told him I didn't think so.  Not me...my life is no comparison to Billy Graham's life. I haven't led thousands and thousands of people to Jesus over more than seventy years of faithful service to the Lord...

but the Bible says in Psalm 116:15

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints"...

We are all precious in His sight...
and when we repented of our sins and accepted Jesus as our Savior, the Bible says there was much rejoicing in heaven...

"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance."
Luke 15:7

Can you imagine how many people are in heaven today because of the faithful witness of one man, Billy Graham?  Imagine how much rejoicing there has been in heaven throughout the years when those thousands of people repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior!  So, I guess the celebration has been going on for years and years and years...and it isn't over yet.  Because of his faithful witness, that message continues on through the lives of many people who are still sharing the Gospel with others...it will go on for generation after generation. 

"Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents..."  Luke 15:10

Back to the original thought of this post:
Examine Yourself...
II Corinthians 13:5~ 
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?...unless indeed you are disqualified."

Be sure you are in the faith...have you truly repented and accepted God's free gift of salvation through faith in His Son Jesus Christ?

II Corinthians 6:2
"For He says:
In an acceptable time I have heard you,
and in the day of salvation I have helped you."  
"Behold, Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

None of us knows how long we may have on this earth. Billy Graham had almost 100 years and he lived the majority of those years serving God and winning lost souls to Christ. 

We need to examine ourselves while there is yet time and be sure of our own salvation...it's not too late to cause a little rejoicing in heaven...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Apple Blossom Time...


Good Evening Friends...

These pictures of apple blossoms really don't have anything to do with whatever I may say tonight...but I've been watching them develop throughout the past several days, and it is such a delight to see them breaking open and blossoming so beautifully that I thought I would share them with you.  These are on a little apple tree that we planted a couple of years ago in memory of our son Matthew. (Click HERE For that story)  Now that I think about it and make the connection...Matthew's birthday is coming up in a few days, February 25th...and it appears that this little tree is blossoming in honor and memory of him just in time.  The other apple tree that we planted at the same time is getting ready to bloom as well...but this one is really showing off for the first time since we planted it.  I don't know if we will ever get any apples on these trees, but the blossoms are sure sweet!!


  What a blessing and gift to honor our son for his birthday! Thank You, Lord.

I do have something else on my mind tonight that I've had swirling around all day, and perhaps it is time to just let it out and unburden myself...

When I woke up this morning I was faced with several disturbing messages from different friends in various parts of the country. The first message was from someone who "unfriended" me on Facebook because we had a difference of opinion on a subject.  At first I was a bit angry and frustrated, but the more I thought about it I realized that there was more to this than met the eye. There was a deeper need and hurt there, and instead of overreacting, God led me to pray for this person.  Long story short, my instincts in this were correct...and God is working behind the scenes. The other messages were similar to each other in that they were from friends who have each been suffering from the loss of a spouse for several years, and dealing with the overwhelming process of managing a house and other issues alone is taking its toll on their minds, hearts, and spirit. Again, I am incapable of meeting their needs, but what I can do is pray, and hopefully encourage them to look to the ONE Who can help them.



This morning I had to examine my own heart and seek the Lord's face and wisdom...because I felt inadequate to respond in the way my friends were perhaps hoping or needing at the moment.  I am not prone to depression, and I will admit it is difficult for me to totally relate and understand those who are suffering so deeply. I do understand grief, having lost my son four years ago after his four year battle with cancer, and also after the deaths of both of my parents within five years of each other.  But I've not felt the pain of being so alone. I am blessed to still have my spouse of almost 49 years by my side. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to come home to an empty house and an empty bed.  That would be horrible and I don't know how I would react. I pray it will be a long, long time before that happens...and perhaps it never will...I could be the one who goes first. But that is God's business...

The verses that we read in our devotions this morning brought comfort to me in these moments of anxiety and concern for my friends...and I pray they will bring comfort to anyone out there in need of solace at this moment:

Psalm 34:4-7
4.  "I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5.  They looked to Him and were radiant,
and their faces where not ashamed.
6.  This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7.  The angel of the Lord encamps all around 
those who fear Him, and delivers them."


Isaiah 55:10-11
10.  "For as the rain comes down, 
and the snow from heaven,
and do not return there,
but water the earth,
and make it bring forth and bud,

that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater.
11.  So shall My word be that goes forth
from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
but it shall accomplish what I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing for which 
I sent it."

After re-reading what I wrote at the beginning of this post, I decided that the apple blossoms do have everything to do with what I had to say to you tonight. I love how God puts these things together, don't you?  I also hope that this post won't be confusing or burdensome to anyone.  It was a kind of therapy for me to work through a lot of feelings that were troubling me today.

The final verses of Isaiah 55 seem to fit here:

"12.  For you shall go out with joy, 
and be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills shall break forth 
into singing before you,
A wild Redbud Tree is blooming in the neighborhood
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

And the Dogwood trees are starting to bloom as well...

13.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
and it shall be to the Lord for a name,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

Thank you, dear friends, for bearing with me in this post tonight. Thank you also for your prayers for those who are suffering from depression, anxieties and fears. I know there are many who are...perhaps even some of you. May the Lord bring comfort to you tonight and give you the peace that only He can give.
Amen.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Another Week! This Post Is Not What I Thought it would be...

Hello everyone in blogland!  I seem to have gotten off course for a few days and haven't been reading your posts nor writing my own.  It was a busy and beautiful weekend.  I think I mentioned last week that we would be celebrating my hubby's 70th birthday this past weekend...and so we did.  There were about 26 people scheduled to come for lunch on Saturday...we provided the main course/meat, and everyone brought side dishes...which is a big help to me.  As it turned out, several had to cancel due to health issues or other conflicts, but we still ended up with about 21, which is truly maxing out our table/seating space without having to send people outside or on the floor. LOL.  It was a great time, great food, and much joy and laughter.  Hubby was very honored and humbled by their presence.

Here's hubby blowing out his candles...just the number 7-0, not 70 candles.  He was grateful for that!

I won't share all the family pictures...they are on my facebook page if you are a "friend".  However, I was happy that my cousin from Ohio and her husband were passing through the area, and they came for the day.  Here is a picture of my sister Doris, my cousin Becky, me, and my niece Debbie...all "Mursch" family relatives:   
Becky is my Dad's  older sister Marion's daughter, and we grew up living about ten miles apart. We spent a lot of time together as children, playing games, Barbies and just getting into normal mischief whenever we could. 

Here is a picture of my 10th birthday party, and my cousin Becky is 2nd from the left and I am next to her in the middle. This is the year I got my Barbie doll from my grandparents...and Becky also got one that year, so from then on we played Barbies every chance we got. We made wonderful houses for them out of scraps of paneling for walls, and used boxes, plastic dish detergent bottles,toothpaste tube lids (for cups), scraps of fabric, and great imaginations to create very interesting houses that lasted for years and years. I gave mine to my niece Debbie (see above, last on right), when she was five, after she begged me over and over "Please, please may I have your Barbie house, Aunt Pam?"  I fixed it up, refurbished the worn furniture, and even gave her my beloved Barbie doll for her 5th birthday.  Later on in adulthood she gave the doll back to me because I told her it might be valuable since it was one of the first ones made. I'm keeping it safe in my china closet, and have stated that she will get it back in my will...  and she reminded me of this promise at our party Saturday! It really isn't that valuable because she was much loved and worn...not in mint condition by any stretch of the imagination. But valuable in lots of happy childhood memories for two different generations!

Below is my Barbie as she looks today:  She is wearing an evening gown that was made by my Aunt Ruthie, my dad's youngest sister.  I used to spend a week or two with her every summer, and she made several outfits for my Barbie doll. I wish I still had them.  Sadly, my Aunt Ruthie died from early onset Alzheimer's Disease at a fairly young age.  Even more sadly, all three of her children have since each succumbed to the same disease as adults. They were all younger than I am.  Very unusual and sad. No one else in our family has shown any signs of this early onset disease, thank the Lord.  However, the children of my cousins are being closely monitored.


Well, this post certainly has gone down a different trail than I thought! I really didn't have any particular plan in mind when I started writing...just decided to let it go wherever my thoughts wandered...(that could be dangerous!)

Another reason I didn't do much writing and/or reading of blogs this past weekend, besides totally resting after church Sunday afternoon and still resting today from the exhaustion of such a big party...I was engrossed in reading a very fun and wonderful little book:

That list is the list of all the books I checked out last week. I think I'll be doing a lot of reading in the days ahead.

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"...by Mary Ann Shaffer.  If you haven't heard of this book, you might want to check it out at your local library (or order it online)...no, it isn't Christian fiction or inspirational in that sense...but it IS inspirational in that it is historical fiction, written about the lives of people (fictional...but they could have been real...) on Guernsey Island during the German Occupation of WWII.   The reason I wanted to read this book is that someone posted the trailer for the movie that is coming out later this year based on this book...and it has my new favorite British Actress Lily James as the star (from Downton Abbey and Cinderella (2015)).  Actually there are several other cast members from Downton Abbey in this movie as well, so for you Downton Abbey fans, you may want to watch for this movie.   Here is link to the trailer:



The book was excellent...I think you will all enjoy it. It is good, clean, and keeps you reading and smiling as well as feeling the emotions and heartaches of the individual characters...you will wish you could be there with them...I hated to see the book come to an end, and I will definitely be watching for the movie when it comes to the US later this year.  


So, what else is new? Hmmm...not much that I can think of at the moment.  The Sand Hill Crane that I showed you on Friday is still sitting on her nest. I think she may have a baby already, but then again I'm not sure. Here is a picture I took this morning. Tell me what you think. I thought it was a baby "colt" next to her (that is what they call them) , but on second thought, the baby colts are usually more tan than grey in color....so now I'm not so sure:

I'll keep watching and let you know what develops.

Okay folks, that's all for now.

Here's the verse for today:


"Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me;
for You are the God of my salvation.
On YOU I wait all the day"
Psalm 25:4-5 

Have a blessed and wonderful week!!