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, July 31, 2018

A Quick Check In

Wanted to check in with you all and let you know that I am still "alive and well"...just trying to get caught up from our busy weekend, and also taking care of things this week concerning my mother in law.  As of this moment, she is still hanging in there...and perhaps has had what is known as a "rally" day today...where she perked up, sat up, recognized everyone, and was totally opposite the way she has been for the past week.  She is still not eating or drinking, and we know that her time of "departure" is near, but if you saw her today you would think she'd had a total reversal of her health for the better.

Because I felt like her behavior today was so atypical from how she has been for the past week, I looked up the following information and discovered that what we were observing was most likely  what is being described in this article:   https://www.agingcare.com/articles/when-loved-ones-rally-before-death-185452.htm    Time will tell, but I guess I am preparing myself for the inevitable, and feel that it will be sooner than later. Thank you for your prayers for our family as we walk through the "valley of the shadow of death."  We know that our Great Shepherd is with us, and He truly gives us His "rod and staff" to comfort us.  (Psalm 23)

I know many of you are wondering about our big weekend trip that we just took. If you are a Facebook friend, you've already seen a few photos from our journey.  I will try not to bombard you with too much at once, but will break it up into several different posts as I can.  You can bet that my camera was kept in action all weekend long.  My cousin even said to me, "You should have plenty of pictures for several weeks of Friday Foto Friends".  I was surprised that she actually was paying attention to that...and that made me feel good to know. Thank you, cousin Becky!!!

For tonight I think I will just concentrate on some pretty scenery photos from our trip rather than family/people/or too many details.  Eventually you'll get the full scoop...probably more than you even want to know!!

 "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.

Two of my lovely nieces as we walked to the creek on the family property

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;

Toccoa Falls, Georgia

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever."
Psalm 23

Photos are from our walk in the woods at my niece's home/property in North Carolina,  as well as several photos from our journey to Toccoa Falls, Georgia.

I will be back in touch with you as I can this week.  Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers. I am so thankful for such friends....

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Friday Foto Friends - Traveling On

Well, tomorrow is Friday Foto Friends day, and I am writing tonight (Thursday) since we will be hitting the road early tomorrow morning for our trip to N.C. for a family reunion, with stops in Atlanta, GA., to visit with my brother in the hospital, and also a stop at Toccoa Falls College so our son can show his bride where he went to college. Should be a wonderful day...praying for good weather and safe driving all the way.   (I should have some good pictures to share with you next week!)
Internet Photo of Toccoa Falls

Today was a bittersweet day as we paid a visit to my mother-in-law at the nursing home. I've shared already with you her current situation, and our dilemma...(click HERE for more about that if you missed the previous post)  The decision has been made to go ahead and go on our trip, and we are just trusting and praying that "Nanny" will be fine until we get back. We know she is getting good care where she is, and we also know if God calls her "home" she will get the very BEST care ever.

This evening we took a little walk about the neighborhood and found some of our "neighbors" also out for an evening stroll:

 Here's the first youngster wandering about seemingly alone...but look over at the edge of that tree on the far right...Yes, Mama is keeping a close watch on her baby...

 Well, how de do!  The whole family is out and about...left to right: Papa ,  baby one, baby two and Mama.  Not sure where that other family is with the third fawn...you remember...the one who kept getting left behind? I hope he is somewhere safe...

 They hurried over to go hide in the woods on the next property...

 But a few minutes later they came back to this same spot,  Look how the fawns are sticking close to Papa...or is it the other way around? 

 Hmmm, I think that Papa is telling me to get lost!!!!  (Have you ever heard what kind of noise the deer makes?  I never can really hear them, but apparently the fawns and other deer know what they are saying.)

And so I end this little tale with a sweet picture of Papa and the curious fawn...hard to believe how fast they are growing...and I love how the parents, especially the Papa deer care for their young...much like our heavenly Father cares for us.

Here's a few verses to ponder as we prepare for our journey tomorrow...and as we face the unknown future concerning our mother-in-law and also my brother...as well as so many others who are also going through trials and tribulations and health crisis...

Excerpts from Psalm 34

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 were 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.
8.  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9.  Oh fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him."

15.  "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and His ears are open to their cry."

17.  "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18.  The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
and saves such as have a contrite spirit."

22.  "The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned."

Now on Friday morning you can travel on over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and see what our other Friday Foto Friends have been up to. I will check back in with you next week! Prayers for our journey are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hope In God

I have a lot on my mind right now.  Writing sometimes helps me put things in perspective...it's amazing to me how God often "speaks" to me as I write and think about my circumstances and wonder what advice God would give me...and then He leads me to passages from scripture and words of encouragement and hope...sometimes even sends pictures from His beautiful creation to calm my spirit and soothe my soul.

"As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God."
"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?"
Psalm 41:1-2

Perhaps this will be one of those days.  Here's the scoop...

1.  My older brother is in the hospital in Georgia, having just recently been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. He has to stay in the hospital for 4-5 weeks undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
My brother Russell with his lovely wife Anne, last November
at our son's wedding

2.  Our family has planned a family "reunion", now renamed just a "gathering" since we can't all be there, this coming weekend in North Carolina.  My three siblings and myself were hoping to all be together, with our spouses and as many of our children and grandchildren as possible.  Now since our oldest brother can't participate it kind of changes the whole thing...but we decided to go ahead with it anyway, with our brother's blessings.  My hubby, our son and his "bride" and I plan to travel by way of Georgia to stop and visit my brother in the hospital on the way up to N.C.
Some of our family that gathered last November for the wedding.
There are quite a few who couldn't make it, so we were hoping to have them
all together this time...

3.  However...one more difficult thing has developed.  My sweet mother in law, whom you have all seen pictures of and heard about throughout the years, and who just turned 95 this week, is in a state of decline.  She currently lives in a nursing home not far from us, and we have been informed that her heart is failing and she is definitely in the process of letting go of this life in exchange for her eternal life. No one can say for certain just how long she may linger in this state, or even if she may rally and bounce back.  We have been checking on her daily and have peace in our hearts that she is ready to meet Jesus and that we have said and done everything we can to let her know we love her.
It's just that we hate to think of leaving town and then having "Nanny" leave her earthly home at the same time...
My sweet Mother-in-law, taken this past weekend as friends and family gathered to celebrate her 95th birthday.
And so, the dilemma.  Do we go as planned, and visit loved ones who are coming from many different places to be together, and also go visit my brother who is in a very serious health crisis...
or do we stay home with the thought that this could be the time our dear one will be called to her heavenly home?

After much prayer and contemplation, and discussion with loved ones here at home and also afar, we have decided to go ahead and make the trip, knowing that our dear one here is in good hands and that God will take care of her one way or the other.  We do have family here who will take care of any arrangements should that be necessary. And we will only be gone three days.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?

"Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
for the help of His countenance."
Psalm 42:5

"The Lord will command His lovingkindness
in the daytime. 

And in the night His song shall be with me...
A prayer to the God of my life."
Psalm 42:8

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God."
Psalm 42:11

Thank you all for bearing with me through this little crisis of the heart.  I know that God is going to guide us to make the right choice no matter what...we are still able to change our current plans should that become necessary, but we feel confident that either way, our Lord is in control. And yes, I will "Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sermon Notes: "Who Me?"

Today's sermon was reminiscent of several other posts I've have written recently. (not sermon notes)  I don't think the Pastor was aware of this when he planned his message for today.  But I do think God was aware of it, and He apparently is trying to drive home a point.  Is it for me? Or maybe it is for you?  Let's check it out and see what message we each discover in today's sermon.

So here we go with today's sermon notes based on Exodus 3:1-14, entitled, "Who Me?"

In today's scripture lesson we find Moses tending the flock of sheep that belonged to Jethro, his father-in-law.  And while he was doing this rather mundane, possibly boring task, suddenly The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush! (see verse 2)
"So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed."

And in verse 4, God called to Moses from the midst of the burning bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."

5 -6:  Then God said, "Do not draw near this place.  Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."  "Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."

And in verse 6, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

Then God said to Moses,

"I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt,
and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters,
for I know their sorrows."

And as we skip down to verse 10, we see that Moses has received his call from God....God tells him that He will send him to Pharaoh to bring God's people Israel out of Egypt.
But Moses replies,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh..."

Basically, Moses is saying what probably most of us would say if God asked us to do something so unbelievable, outlandish, and possibly even dangerous:

"Who, ME?
Moses has bought into the notion that he's a "nobody"...trying to pass the buck onto someone else...he doesn't think he's qualified enough, not a good enough speaker, just a lowly shepherd over his father-in-law's flocks...

But this call from God applies to all of us... not just the clergy, or the learned, or the eloquent of speech...

I Corinthians 1:27-28 tells us:

"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, 
and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are..."

"Be all you can be..."  You are chosen for God's Army...and He asks you to be all you can be for Him.
Jesus came to:
  • Preach the gospel to the poor
  • to heal the broken-hearted
  • to proclaim liberty to the captives
  • recovery of sight to the blind
  • to set at liberty those who are oppressed
  • and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
(see Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1)

And we, as His disciples and church are expected to carry on that same mission today... and Jesus promises to be with us always, even unto the end of the age...(see Matthew 28:18-20)

God promised Moses in Exodus 3:12...

"I will certainly be with you..."

God is the God of the bush that is not consumed...

Your call may have something to do with justice, love, care of others...
If the task is incompatible with God's Word then it is not from God at all...

  • Jesus tells us in John 15:5
"Without Me you can do nothing..."

God chooses imperfect people to do His work here on earth...
  • David went out of his way to break practically all of the Ten Commandments
  • Peter was impulsive and brash...
  • Jacob stole his brother's birthright...
Leave room in the list for  your name...

God's power is made perfect in our weakness...
  • "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness..." (II Corinthians 12:9)
We aren't perfect.  
  • Is God calling you?
  • Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
  • God will be with you no matter what
We have to go...so...
  • Trust in God
When Moses got back to Mt. Horeb, God said, "I'm going to do this...", and it happened.

God is calling each of us to do something special through Him and for Him.

Make a list of people you want to touch with the gospel of Christ this week...

God is in control...
  • Lean on God...
  • Follow Him...
  • Trust Him...
  • Pray...

What do you see in this lesson that God is saying to you? And what is your response to God?
Is it, "Who, Me?"  or is it, "Here I am, Lord."

I know I am truly trying to pay attention to what God may be asking of me...and am also trying to be more willing to respond, "Here I am, Lord, send me."

Please Note : I want to repeat this disclaimer here...the notes, outline, and content included here are based upon my own personal understanding of the message that was being given.  I am not attempting to completely quote or reproduce this message or any other message I've shared previously.  Just as each person reading these notes may glean insights and thoughts that seem to directly apply to one's own situation and interpretation, my own delivery of these messages is skewed by my hearing and translation of what is being said.  Some may read my notes here and wonder if they were hearing the same message as I...and I say, God speaks to each of us as He wills...there are things He is trying to get across to each individual that may be entirely different than what the person sitting next to you in the pew is needing to hear...  That is how the Holy Spirit works! He knows what we need to hear and how to apply it to our hearts.  So it is with that understanding that I present these sermon notes to you.

Sermon Notes: FUMC Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers, 7/22/2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

Be Still and Know...

We came home from a little ride this afternoon and discovered this deer walking around our yard.

I followed to see where he had gone, and he was waiting and watching for me in the woods just beside the yard...

He had a message for me from God:

And after a week filled with some difficulties and uncertainties and even some unhappy news, this message was very much welcome...

Sometimes we need to stop right where we are and..."BE STILL...and KNOW THAT I AM GOD! "

Yes, my friends, even when we get bad news or are in the middle of difficult circumstances that seem beyond our control, stop and take a deep breath...whisper a prayer to the Lord...and know that He is there...He hears you...He sees you...and He is in control always. 

Tonight I would like to request prayer for a loved one who has received a very serious diagnosis this week and will be undergoing some intensive chemotherapy for the next four to five weeks without being able to go home from the hospital. We know that God is able to bring healing and total recovery, but it is going to be a difficult battle and strength is needed to stand strong.  Thank you for standing with us. 

Friday Foto Friends: Under Construction

This was a different kind of day for us.  (written on Thursday evening)  We had to make a little trip to the big city about two hours away...and had to travel during rush hour, which is never fun for us country bumpkins.  We were actually thankful for the TOLL roads that helped to bypass some of the worst of the traffic even if it did cost us a pretty penny...it was worth every dollar! (no such thing as 25 cent tolls anymore.)

In addition to the rush hour traffic, there was construction going on all around us.  I finally decided to start taking some pictures because it was so "interesting".  You may not think it is as interesting as I do, but again, consider that most of the time I live where the only road construction we see is the occasional road grader going down our dirt road, filling in the potholes in the dirt and leveling off the bumps...which only lasts until the next rain storm and then it starts all over again...

For those of you who live in big cities this will be no big deal...but just bear with me...(speaking of bears:  I think I've already shown you this one, but just thought I throw this in here since he appears to be laughing at us...)

Okay, back to the exciting photos from the city:

Oh wait...let me throw in a recent cloud picture first...you've heard the saying "I'll believe that when pigs fly?"   Well, the other morning I looked up in the sky and thought for sure I could see a pig flying by:
Can you see him? He has a little wing just above his back, right behind his little piggy face...Well, it did look like a pig flying when I first noticed it, but by the time I got out my phone and found the camera, it had changed a little...but it sure made me think that I may have to remember all those things I said I'd do or believe when pigs fly... LOL

Okay, back to the construction...I promise, no more delays:

On this one I mostly was noticing the fountains and the palm trees...but you can see the beginnings of the construction in the distance.
 Big Cranes everywhere...

 I'm glad we are headed the direction we are because the traffic looks worse on the other side...but at least the sign says "Dinner is Done"...not sure what it is, but it is done...
 More cranes in the distance. The clouds are fun too.
 New highways being built over top of old ones...

Better watch out for the crazy curves ahead in the road...

 I feel rather sorry for the people living in those apartment buildings in the middle of all these roads going all around them.  Can you imagine trying to sleep with all this noise???
 Again, just another picture of cranes against the clouds...

 I imagine this will look like a spaghetti junction when it is all connected
 I am so thankful I don't have to drive in this every day.  I'll take my dirt roads and woods any day...

Ah, do you see it? In the middle of all the chaos of these roads and construction and clouds, there is a huge cross...reminding us that Jesus is here in the midst...watching over the construction workers, the travelers, and giving us a moment to pause and give thanks for His peace and love and protection.

What a wonderful reminder that "Jesus Is The Answer" for this old world today...

How many of you remember Andre' Crouch singing "Jesus Is The Answer" ?

Written and performed by Andre' Crouch


Jesus is the answer, for the world today,
Above Him there's no other,
Jesus is the way.3x

Verse One:
If you have some questions
In the corners of your mind,
Traces of discouragement,
The peace you cannot find,
Reflections of your past,
Seem to face you everyday,
But this one thing I do know,
That Jesus is the way.

Jesus is the answer, for the world today,
Above Him there's no other,
Jesus is the way.3x

Verse Two:
I know you've got mountains,
That you think you cannot climb,
I know your skies are dark,
You think the sun won't shine,
But in case you don't know,
That the word of God is true,
Everything he's promised,
He will do it for you.

Jesus is the Answer, for the world today,
Above Him there's no other,
Jesus is the way.3x
Instrumental break

Jesus is the Way(The Truth and the Light)5x

So, No matter where you are, or no matter what the noise and strife is around you...never forget that Jesus is there with you...He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Philippians 4:6-7  (ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

After our excursion into the big city it was so nice to come back home to our country road and this...

"Country Roads, lead me home, to the place where I belong..." 
 This little deer just let me follow him all the way down the road. He was in no hurry to get anywhere...
 Hmmm, is he trying to tell me something? 
"Country Roads, lead me home..."
I love how he just stood there and posed for me...absolutely in no hurry...
 So I let him ramble on down the road and I turned around and headed back to my home...and look who I found sitting in the middle of the road?

 Must be "Thumper"...
And this must be the end of my journey for today...

I will leave you with these wonderful thoughts:

Isaiah 41:10-13  (ESV)

Fear not, for I am with you;

    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Behold, all who are incensed against you

    shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
    shall be as nothing and shall perish.
You shall seek those who contend with you,
    but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
    shall be as nothing at all.
For I, the Lord your God,
    hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
    I am the one who helps you.”

Praise God!!!! This gives me such peace in the midst of the chaos of life...How about you?

Okay...back to Friday Foto Friends...Let's ride on over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and see what our other friends are sharing.
Friday Foto Friends