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!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Foto Friends ...Special Week!

Here it is Thursday night, and I am sitting here kind of tired and not thinking about tomorrow, when all of a sudden I remember tomorrow is Friday Foto Friends!  You won't see this until tomorrow is today, but know that when you read this I was doing this last night. Are you confused? I am! LOL.

That's okay. This week was my birthday, but I can't believe I don't have any birthday pictures to show you. We really haven't "celebrated" it in style this week,  (although I did go to lunch with our son and daughter in law on my birthday to Perkins, and had a orange/cranberry muffin for dessert as my birthday treat, so I guess that was a special celebration in style!) and we hope to go out to lunch on Saturday with my sister and brother in law and then come back here for apple pie, which either my sister will bake, or she will buy at Costco...it all depends on her energy and time...let's face it! We are all getting older and sometimes we just can't do everything we used to do!  Apple pie is a tradition started by my mother for my birthday, and my sister Doris has continued it since our mother passed away in 2006.   This is a picture from my birthday party in 2013, where my sister baked TWO apple pies, and my sister in law brought a beautiful Princess Cinderella cake too! Wow! Now that was special!!!! And you can see that I was very happy... (click on the link above for more about that party)

Speaking of getting older, I was cleaning out a dresser drawer (actually looking at things IN the drawer...didn't do much cleaning out!), and I found a little box of baby congratulation cards that were sent to my parents when I was born! Can you imagine that my mother saved them all? I was amazed. Well, I won't share them all with you, but thought of this one, as it is from my maternal grandparents and is a special treasure...(and you remember last week I shared pictures of my grandmother with you)  So here you go:]

On the back of the card my Grandpa Tedlie had written a little note....I hope you can read it...

And then my Grandma had written a little note inside,  Here is page 1 &3
And here is page 2:

I love their handwriting, don't you?  And they were so happy that my parents had another little girl, making our family "perfect"...2 boys and 2 girls.

And here is a picture of the party I had for my 8th birthday:
That is the first birthday party I can ever remember with friends. After that I didn't have many more big parties...maybe just a few girlfriends over. We didn't do big parties back then like they do today. I was very happy to have a cake and my special friends over. Not sure what all we did for games, etc., but we look happy. I am the third from the right.  I see a gumdrop tree to the far right, and a string of suckers on the far left, so I'm sure this group was pretty wound up before the party was over! LOL!

For other pictures from this week, I really didn't get out and take many. However, my dear friend Sharon, whom many of you have heard about and have been praying for...(Click HERE for an earlier post about her), was taken to the hospital via ambulance on Tuesday because she was having much difficulty breathing. It turns out that she apparently has pneumonia, but they have her on strong antibiotics and she seems to be fighting back and doing well, and hopes to go home in a day or two.Click HERE for a CaringBridge post regarding her current condition I went to visit Sharon at the hospital, and no, I didn't take a picture of her, but I stepped into the chapel of the hospital on my way out to pray for her, and took these pictures:

Beautiful stained glass window with the dove of peace.
 I love this picture of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane...He was praying for you and me!

And this sign is in the lobby of the hospital as you come in the front doors:
Our hospital has recently been purchased by the Seventh Day Adventist Hospitals, and I love that Christ is honored and "expected" to be a part of the healing process here.  That is an added comfort.

These are some of the interesting painted horses that you will find all over the city of Ocala:

They are standing just outside the hospital, and I had to stop and visit with them for a minute.

I know many of you already saw ( on Facebook)  these cute young deer who were following us down the road as we took our evening walk the other day:

They were a part of the much larger family that had been dining on our front lawn:

It was such fun to watch them.

Well, dear friends, it is now my bedtime (Thursday night, remember?) and this "Old Gal" is feeling her "OLD" age this week. So I think I'll mosey off to bed, and will get up and finish posting this in the morning (which is when you will be reading it...)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Give thanks for your loved ones and friends...I know I do. We  just should not take them for granted...life is short...

Now let us step over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and check out what our other friends are seeing and doing!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sermon Notes "Living in the Presence of God"

I received this card yesterday from a dear person at church.
It blessed my heart so much, I wanted to share it with you.
It speaks volumes to me today as I ponder 
"the whispers of my heart"...and place my trust in the Lord, Who will direct my paths in accordance with His divine plan and will. I believe that with my whole heart...and now I just need to be patient and wait on Him to reveal His plan and see how it coincides with the "whispers" of my heart.

That really doesn't have anything to do with the sermon notes from yesterday's service, and yet, in a way it does.  The title of the sermon was "Living in the Presence of God"...and that is where I am, whether I realize it or not...I am always living in His Presence...and that is where I want to be.

The message was taken from Luke 21:1-4

1.  "And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,
2.  and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.
3.  So he said, 'Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;
4.  for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.'"

Jesus liked to watch people.  In this passage Jesus was watching those who were rich in material goods giving their gifts to the temple...and then He watched as a poor widow came along and put in her two mites, which was a pittance compared to what the others were giving. 

But Jesus was excited as He saw what she gave.  It is almost like He said, "Wow! She gave ALL that she had!"  He knew that because she was a widow, to give her two mites was a great sacrifice. But she gave it willingly and with joy in her heart.  Why?  Because she had learned to trust in God and God alone for all her needs. She didn't have a husband any longer to provide for her. 

This widow was a  "near perfect model" of one who depends solely on God. She had spiritual wealth that most people don't have.  She knew the secret that many are still yearning to learn...
  • My love of Christ Jesus defines who I am...not my clothes, things, home, wealth
  • My identity is based on a true relationship with God
  • "The last shall be first and the first shall be last
What is it that defines YOU? (Me?) Is it job, status, looks, car, house, how rich or poor?
Are you consumed with the desire to keep up with others...If so, you will never find peace and true happiness in this world.

We are created to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ...restored to God through Christ.

We often fall for the delusion that because we have money in the bank we think we are safe...
But only when we rely on Christ are we truly safe and happy.

God is our strength and identity and security...
The Apostle Paul said (2 Corinthians 12:9-11) that "when I am weak then I am strong".  Because he had a relationship with God through Christ.

The widow was the "richest person" in the temple that day....She gave ALL that she had.

  • Have WE given Jesus ALL that we have?
  • Is our identity shaped by our walk with Christ?
  • Are we free from the pull of this world?
When the widow gave all that she had, she was free.

We closed the service with the song "Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated Lord to Thee"

Here is a group gathered around a piano singing this song...it says it is the "Keaton Reunion". I don't know who that is, but I love this song and the way they sang it together. What a blessing. Won't you sing it with us?

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

This is my prayer today and every day.  As I listen to the "whispers of my heart", I know that as I live in the presence of God, I want my life to always be "Consecrated, Lord to Thee".  I pray that when the day comes that I am like that "poor widow" described in Luke 21, may I be willing and pleased to give my only two mites for the Lord's service and kingdom.  Amen.

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 from FUMC, Interlachen, FL, Pastor A.C. Myers, 9/23/2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Foto Friends Oh, Deer Me!

Welcome to Friday Foto Friends...the time when we gather together to share our favorite photos from the week.  I wasn't too sure what I was going to share this week, and then on Thursday morning I took an early walk about the neighborhood, and God provided plenty for me to share with you.

We'll start with this deer playing peek-a-boo with me. He wasn't really as close as this makes it appear, but I believe this is the closest encounter I've had with the deer in quite a while:

See what I mean?  I thought he was going to walk right up to me and say good morning! Yes, I did say good morning to him (or her?)  After giving me a good looking over, she bounded into the woods to join the rest of the family...

Except for this one that was still across the road...

And this one that came down the road a ways to see what was going on...

Kind of looks like she's dancing and prancing for me...maybe this is "Prancer" or "Dancer"...perhaps they are getting in practice for you know what that is coming up in about 95 days?

So, after those deer disappeared into the woods, I walked around to the other side of where they were, and noticed these lovely morning sun rays shining through the trees...I just had to pause and breathe in the morning air, and give thanks to the Lord for another beautiful day to be alive...

And then I turned around and looked into the woods, and what did I see staring back at me?
Another deer playing "peek-a-boo"...

As she started to move on, I noticed a lot of movement coming along behind her...

And so I stood there and watched quietly...

And they just kept coming...that third one in the row is the BUCK...He stood and stared at me for quite a while. I couldn't get a very good picture because he was behind the bushes, but even though he is still a young buck, he is definitely the buck of this family, and he shook his head back and forth as if to say to me, "Back off...this is MY family!!"
 I believe he is still standing back in the shadows in this picture below, waiting for all the family to move on to safety before he brought up the rear...

And then they moved over into another area, and kind of corralled themselves there for a few minutes while the young ones caught up to their mamas...

You can see the youngsters here...one is still nursing, and the other is very curious about me...
I believe I counted over seven or eight deer in total in this group...it was quite a fascinating experience.  I've been watching this family all summer long, but have never seen them ALL together like this before. Wish I could have gotten better pictures, but they just kept moving and camouflaging themselves in the woods.  I didn't dare get any closer, or that buck may have bucked me out of the way!!

Then I noticed this lovely pond, which is the area where the deer were headed.  I waited for a few more minutes, but they stayed hidden, waiting for me to leave...so I decided I'd better move on so they could get on with their daily routine.

It looks like fall leaves are starting to show here...and they are here and there. I love the golden hues of fall in the morning sunshine. Now if we just had the cooler temperatures to go along with this I could be in "hog's heaven"...or maybe I should say "deer heaven!"

Some thoughts from God's Word for today:

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 life 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."

An Afterthought:
For my less woodsy friends who may not always appreciate just pictures of more DEER, (Oh, dear, I can hear you saying...what next?)
Last Saturday I found this delightful little plate at the flea market, and couldn't resist it as a little early birthday present to myself. (next week) It came already equipped with the little wire hanger thingy, so all I had to do was find a suitable spot to hang it and voila!

I probably need to clean that rust off that wire thingy...hmmm, didn't see that before, but anyway, you can see here that it is entitled "Coaching Scenes" made in England by Johnson Bros., The Ironstone Coach Office!

maybe you can read the details a little better here:

I know it looks lost on this wall, but wanted you to see where it now resides:

right under the picture of the beautiful large wicker chair with a lady's hat, next to a tea table ...ready and waiting for your visit, "mi' lady", so hop on that coach and come on over!
The Teapot is ready and waiting...

Now let us hop on a coach and trot over to visit our other Friday Foto Friends who are waiting patiently for us at Deb's place at Breathing in Grace. 

May your day be blessed with the joy of seeking and finding the Lord in places where you might not have expected!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tea Time Trivia and Blessings

It is no secret that I love tea.  I love all the stuff that goes with tea...teapots, teacups, tea cozies,

I even have a teatime calendar (thanks to my sister giving it to me every year for Christmas!)
 And lots of books about tea and teatime...
and many tea cups and tea pots

I also have Tea Tins to hold tea...

Added note: I should have mentioned in my original post that this lovely little red Lipton Tea tin with the pretty lady on the front is a recent "gift", from the estate of my husband's cousin Janice, who recently passed away.  I will think of Janice every time I take a tea bag from this delightful tin.

Yes, I have a small collection of Lipton Tea tins. I have some others too, but Lipton is my favorite.
Obviously this one is a bit old and worse for the wear, but that's probably why I keep it...

 Here is one of the several devotional books that I've been given over the years...Emilie Barnes is one of my favorite authors about things pertaining to tea...but in this book she goes to a different level...

 "Fill My Cup, Lord..."  (one of my favorite hymns too!)
Yes, Lord...

 But, Oh! My cup is chipped and cracked, and not in perfect condition...much like my life and my body...How can I serve You?

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength...but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."  
Isaiah 40:29, 31

"And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Yes, even when our strength is small and frail, and our "cup" is chipped and worn, Christ comes to fill our "cups" with His strength, His love, and His peace.  

To quote Emilie Barnes:

"Whatever your circumstances, you, too, 
can hold up your cup and it will be filled.
If your cup is polished and dry, 
hold it out for the Lord's plentiful pouring.
If your cup is full of the old and the unsatisfying,
hold it up for the Lord's cleansing.
If your cup is cracked and broken, hold it up anyway,
for the Lord's resources are plentiful and can keep even leaky cups replenished.
Come to Him as you are, cup in hand, 
and hold it up to receive His blessings.
And then you will say, as I have said over and over again in wonder and amazement...
"Surely...my cup runneth over."
Emilie Barnes
Fill My Cup, Lord...with the Peace of Your Presence
Copyright 1996 by Harvest House Publishers

It's Tea Time somewhere
So put on the tea kettle
and pour a cup of 
tea for you and me!
I'll be right over!