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, February 28, 2019

Sanctuary in the Shade...


I looked out my bedroom window a few minutes ago and saw this pop of red color in the middle of the cool shade of the palmetto fronds...



And I just couldn't help but want to stand and watch this beautiful male cardinal sitting there, enjoying a peaceful sanctuary in the shade...



I was thrilled, because years ago I designated this very location to be named the "Bird Sanctuary"
And this is is a picture from way back when we first put this little bird house sanctuary in there and the first male Cardinal discovered it... (I wonder if he could be the same one? Probably not...what is the life expectancy of a Male Cardinal?  In the past seven years we have seen many come and go along with their mates and children)


In the years since the bird house has seen better days...and the local rif-raf have tried to take it over:
(see the two lizards..."Rif and Raf")

Uh-oh! I think I've been discovered....

So I backed away from the window a bit...but he's still looking right at me...
 Oh well, he flew away...maybe he'll come back later and take a bath with Bobby the Squirrel like once before... (this picture is from a few weeks ago)...

Until then...I hope you are enjoying some peace and quiet in your "sanctuary" today.  Wherever it may be...a favorite chair in the corner of your house...hopefully near a window where you can see the activity going on outside...or if weather permits, maybe a rocking chair on the front porch or a swing in the back yard...or a park bench...I hope you have a place where you can just sit a while and enjoy the "shade" and not have a care in the world...take along a good book or read your Bible...or pray for our country, our churches, our families and friends, and even for our own personal needs. And don't forget to say "Thank You, Lord" for Your blessings on me...

Here are some links to a couple of old posts written from my "sanctuary" in the shade....
Have a blessed and beautiful day my friends.

https://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-light-has-come.html

https://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-surprise-secret-garden-or-backwards.html

Oh, I wanted to say a word of thanks...both my hubby and I had routine doctor appointments this week, and we both had very good reports...better than before...so we are very thankful for this and wanted to say Thank You, Lord!!


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Simplify My Abundance

This may be in deep contrast to my "One Word" for 2019, which is "Abundance", but in my search for abundant living, I am finding that I need to "simplify" my life first.  I'm also thinking that I should have made "simplify" my "One Word", and maybe it would have spurred me on to an abundance of simplicity...or simplifying my abundance...well...whatever or whichever, I need to get moving in this direction.  


(one of my new t-shirts I got for Christmas)

As many of you know, we are trying to sell our house with the intention of "downsizing" to a smaller home.  So far we still have no takers for this big old house. And I've been rather lazy about getting started on the downsizing process.  

But spring is springing abundantly all around us, and it seems as though with that new vitality of spring, it is time for me to begin some serious spring housecleaning.


(and try not to be distracted by the sweet little white wildflowers growing like a carpet in our yard)


Or by the abundance of azaleas that are really opening up and showing their pretty faces to the sunlight in the Secret Garden (above), and the Memorial Garden (below)

My hubby actually got the cleaning bug last week and reorganized and cleaned out his side of the closet. I was so impressed...


that I had to get busy and start reorganizing and simplifying the abundance of too many things in my side of the closet.  We were both happy to take bags of clothes to the church's thrift store, as well as take bags of old t-shirts that make great rags for painting/woodworking to our woodworking son and daughter in law for their business.

Next...well, I kept smelling an unpleasant musty odor coming from under the kitchen sink.  Usually I would just hurry up and get what I needed or put back what I used and shut the door really quick.
But it was getting worse and worse, and I knew I had to address the problem if I ever want to sell this house...


So I got down on my fanny and sat on the floor and started pulling everything out from under the sink cabinets, and discovered that the floor of the cabinets under the sink was quite wet, and it was spreading to the cabinet next to the sink as well, and it was quite a wet and stinky mess under there.


So everything is out on the kitchen floor, and I cleaned the cabinet floors and put a pan under the sink to see if we can catch the leak and figure out where it is coming from.  It wasn't real obvious, but I think it is coming from the hot water faucet...so we will check again in the morning and then determine if it is something we  can fix on our own or if we need to call someone.   I'm hoping we can do it, but then again...sometimes it is simpler in the long run to call a professional...can I get a witness on that???

Yes, it is time to simplify the abundance of things and clean and organize and refresh this old house.
It may be time to simplify the abundance of things in my mind and heart and clean and organize and refresh this old house that holds me together as well.

Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, or the beginning of Lent...the 40 days leading up to Easter.  My husband has been asked to lead the Ash Wednesday service next week, as our Pastor is still not well...(Thank you for your continued prayers for him and for my hubby as well, as he will also be preaching again this Sunday).  This will be a first time for my hubby to lead an Ash Wednesday service, as we did not officially observe Ash Wednesday as such in our previous churches.  So we've been doing some reading up on the order of service and significance thereof.  One of the key sets of verses that stand out to me goes along real well with what I am experiencing in my pursuit of simplifying and cleaning up the "abundance" of too much...

Psalm 51:7-12
7.  "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8.  Make me hear joy and gladness,
that the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9.  Hide Your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10.  Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11.  Do not cast me away from Your Presence,
and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and uphold me by Your generous Spirit."


This is also a wonderful song, written and sung by Keith Green:


Thank you also for your prayers for the United Methodist Church denomination this week.  God has indeed answered our prayers, but the denomination still faces some difficult days ahead, and there may possibly be a split at some point. But we believe that God is at work and we will keep praying for those who have been hurt through this process...that they will seek God's face and find grace and forgiveness and peace.

So what about you? Are you working on any spring cleaning projects yet? I know many of you are still dealing with old man winter.  I pray that you will soon experience the joy of springtime in your home and in your heart as well...

Have a simply abundantly blessed rest of your week!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Come Out...and Be Separate...



There is a verse that has been swirling around in my head for days now...and I think the Lord wants me to share it with you.  So please bear with me.  You may not all agree with what I am going to say, but nevertheless, I believe it must be said. 

I am reading from the book of 2 Corinthians, chapter 6:11--7:1

2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 "O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.

Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

7: 1  Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."


Can you guess which verse has been swirling around in my head? Yes, you guessed it correctly if you said verse 17, especially the first part of that verse:  "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord."

This can be applied to so many issues that are dividing our nation and even our churches today. Sadly, especially our churches.  We are currently members of a very conservative, traditional, Jesus loving, Bible believing, Spirit filled United Methodist Church, and we love it.   Some of my former evangelical church friends and parishioners are probably gasping their breath because we have always served the Lord in very conservative evangelical, mission minded, Bible teaching and believing churches who probably look askance at the United Methodist Church as they think they know it to be. (But please don't judge this book by it's cover!)  And with the current news about the United Methodist Church struggle to decide whether or not to accept and ordain openly gay pastors and Bishops, it is a huge concern.  The battle is raging right now as we speak. A vote will be taken this very day to determine the future of this denomination.   As of right now, it is looking more favorable that the traditional view is going to have a majority of votes rather than the "One Church Plan", which allows for gay marriage and ordination of pastors, etc.  Here is a little video by Rob Renfroe of "Good News" Youtube videos,  that helps explain what is going on:

But let me say one thing here lest some become smug and think that this could never happen in your denomination.  It can, and it has, and most every denomination in the nation/world has had to grapple with this element and issue, regardless of whether or not your denomination is considered ultra-conservative, evangelical, or traditional.  If it hasn't already had to address this issue, it will sooner or later.  

Why?  Because of the current world view that is happening right before our very eyes that tells everyone that being "gay" is okay.  Now don't start jumping up and down and screaming at me whether or not you agree or disagree.    I've heard all the arguments and defense for and against, etc.

But what I want to ask today to all of the people out there who think that being "gay" is okay and that God even somehow endorses this lifestyle, please show me where it says that in the Bible...  

Now don't get me wrong, I believe that Jesus loves everyone...and I believe what He says in 
John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

But Jesus doesn't stop there...let's read on...

17.  "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18.  He who believes in Him is not condemned; 
but He who does not believe is condemned already, 
because he has not believed in the name of the 
only begotten Son of God.
19. And this is the condemnation,
that the light has come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light 
and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed.
21.  But he who does the truth comes to the light,
that his deeds may be clearly seen,
that they have been done in God."

Jesus did not come into the world to leave us lost in our sins.  He came so that we could be set free from our sins and have eternal life. Jesus IS the LIGHT of the world...

John 1:4-5
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not comprehend it."

John 1:6-8 tells us that John the Baptist came to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe, but John was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light...
Verse 9:
"That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10.  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him,
and the world did not know Him..."

Later, in John 1:29, John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan, and he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 
"Behold! The Lamb of God 
who takes away the sin of the world."

Jesus came to take away the sin of the world, through believing in Him...

Now what does this have to do with the questions above about whether or not it is okay to be gay?
I am attaching here a link to a list of Bible verses from God's Word that explain this better than I can:

Here is the list for you to look up and read as you are able:

James 4:12
Hebrews 13:1-5
John 8:7-11
Romans 1:26-28
Galatians 5:14
Jude 1:5-8
I Timothy 1:8-11
Mark 10:6-9
I Corinthians 7:2
Romans 13:8-10
I Corinthians 6:9-11
Leviticus 18:22
I Corinthians 6:17-20
Leviticus 20:13

God's Word "reveals His plan for humanity and His intentions for marriage and sexuality".  The Bible clearly teaches that homosexual acts are sinful, but the Bible also teaches us that there is hope and redemption for those who repent, or turn away from  their sins.  

In the book of John 8:1-11, Jesus is talking to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and was about to be stoned.  After He said to the people holding the stones, (verse 7) 

"He who is without sin among you, 
let him throw a stone at her first"

the people all one by one dropped their stones and walked away, being convicted by their own consciences...(for ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23)  But then in verse 10, Jesus stood up and looked at the woman and said to her:

"Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  
Has no one condemned you?"

She said, "No one, Lord. 
And Jesus said to her, 
"Neither do I condemn you; 
GO AND SIN NO MORE."

That's the part that all the gay-rights people seem to miss when they read their Bibles...Jesus didn't just say to the woman, "Neither do I condemn you," and leave her there in her sins...no, He tells her to "Go, and SIN NO MORE."    

Sadly so many today do not view homosexuality as a sin.  They believe they were born that way, and that they have no control over their sexuality.  Same with the transgender people...they want to be what they were not intended to be. (Recommended reading of Psalm 139:13-16) There are also those who say they are "bisexual".  I don't quite understand that one...it sounds like an excuse to "love the one you're with".   Which all points back to promiscuity and sexual behavior that is not in keeping with the way God intended man and woman to live and enjoy one another in the blessed relationship of marriage. 


Genesis 1:27-28
"So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 
"Be fruitful and multiply..."

Genesis 2:23-24
"And Adam said;
This is now bone of my bones
 and flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man."

"Therefore a man shall leave his 
father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh."
 
Here are some warnings  and instruction regarding attempting to change the Word of God to meet your own devices:

Deuteronomy 4:2 states:

"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

Proverbs 30:5-6
"Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."

II Timothy 3:13-17
"But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse,
deceiving and being deceived.
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of,
knowing from whom you have learned them,
and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures,
which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

God's Word is true.  Jesus said in John 17:17

"Sanctify them by Your truth.
Your Word is truth."

Now, I have a grave concern regarding those who would actually teach little children that it is okay to be "gay", or to change their gender, or any other of these abominations...you will have to answer to God for these lies.    Listen to what Jesus had to say about this:

Matthew 18:3-6
3.  "Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted 
and become as little children, 
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
4.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5.  Whoever receives one little child like this 
in My name receives Me.
6.  BUT WHOEVER CAUSES ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN ME TO SIN,
IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR HIM IF A MILLSTONE WERE HUNG AROUND HIS NECK, AND HE WERE DROWNED IN THE DEPTH OF THE SEA."

Those are pretty strong words, but this is what Jesus said, not me.
So, if you believe any part of the Bible at all, you cannot dismiss this warning.  Blind teachers who are teaching against the truth of God's Word and leading little children and young people to sin by telling them that being "gay is okay", when it clearly is NOT, is guilty of causing that child to sin.

Okay, I've said my piece. As you can tell, I must feel this pretty strongly as my writing has gotten larger and larger.  But it is a serious issue, and especially when young people are being led astray every single day by teachers and even pastors and Bible teachers and youth leaders who are teaching this false and evil doctrine as though it were the truth.  This is a very grievous act to have on one's conscience.  Sadly, those who do it think they are in the right.  May God open their eyes to the truth of what God's Word clearly teaches.

I know there will be many who disagree with what I've written. I am turning off comments on this post because I want it to be something that we each read and think about and pray about, but I don't want to set up a forum for those who what to spread more hatred and lies.   I do not hate those who say they are "gay", and neither does God hate the person.  But Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins.  Homosexuality and other such aberrations of human sexuality is sinful behavior. It is not a birthright. Christ loves all sinners, but He gave His life on the cross so that we would be set free from the bondage of our sins. 

Back to my original verse:

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord."

Lord, I pray that "The words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14
Amen

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sermon Notes: When The People Come Together To Pray

First of all, let me thank you for praying for our church this past week. (See here and here).  Your prayers were very important to us, and I believe God heard and is answering.  It has been a very difficult week in many ways for our little congregation, beginning last Sunday with the illness of our pastor (who is still recuperating at home), and then one of our key couples in the church had a car accident last Sunday night...thankfully not seriously injured but enough to keep our pianist from being able to play the piano for a while. Several others in the church had battles with illness and personal heartaches, and then most sadly, a very special man passed away very unexpectedly from a heart attack while at work.   Needless to say, all of this caused much sorrow and concern for our flock, and a feeling that we were actually being subject to a kind of attack from the enemy of God's people.   My husband was preparing his sermon in the midst of all of this...and felt led of the Lord to change his message at the last moment to bring about encouragement and hope for a sorrowing and bewildered group.  Here is what God impressed on his heart to share:

We read from Acts 12:5-12

The two key verses were:

Verse 5:  "Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church."

Verse 12:  "So, when he (Peter) had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying."

There's a lot of activity between those two verses...Peter had been locked in prison by King Herod, with four squads of soldiers to keep him there. (see verses 1-4)

While Peter was kept in prison, the people of the church were in constant prayer for him. Peter was bound with two chains between two soldiers, while the guards were keeping watch over the prison door. (see verse 6)

But God had other plans for Peter!  If you read verses 7-11, you will see that God sent an angel of the Lord to rescue Peter.  Peter wasn't sure if he was dreaming or if this was for real, but followed the angel and did just as he was told to do. Once they were safely beyond the first and second guard posts, the iron gate that led to the city opened of it's own accord (verse 10), and Peter and the angel went out and down the street...and then the angel departed from him.

Verse 11 says that "when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."

Once Peter arrived at the door of his friends, he knocked (verses 13-17),  and they were astonished that he was actually there in the flesh.  They had been inside praying for him, and God delivered him right to their doorstep! They couldn't believe their eyes!  But God had indeed performed a miracle that day.

Now here are some key points for us:

  • Great things happen when the people of God come together to pray.
  • Every time the church is persecuted...it grows stronger...in faith and in number
  • When people are alone and feel afraid, and they go to God...God's people come together and the devil has to back off
  • We are here to serve God together...through our prayers, our giving, communion, helping one another and lifting up the hurting and wounded and sorrowing.

When Jesus would travel from village to village, the people would get all excited because they knew that Jesus would bring change...good changes...

Jesus would:
  • heal
  • help
  • encourage
  • strengthen
Blind Bartimaeus was a good example of this...(see Mark 10:46-52).  When Jesus came to Jericho, a great multitude followed him, and Blind Bartimaeus sat by the side of the road begging.  When he heard that Jesus was coming he began to cry out and call on Jesus to have mercy on him.  Many people warned him to be quiet, but he cried all the more, and Jesus heard him, and called him to Himself...and He healed him right then and there.  Blind Bartimaeus was no longer blind...and he followed Jesus on the road from then on.  

People followed Jesus because no man had ever spoken like Him.  He came to rescue us from our sins and give us an everlasting relationship with God.

Back to the story of Peter...when he came to the door and knocked, a young girl named Rhoda answered and saw him and ran and told the others that Peter was there.  Even though they were praying for him to be rescued, they didn't believe it when it actually happened. They thought it must be his angel. (Acts 12:15)   But when they opened the door and saw Peter standing there, they were astonished.  God had actually answered their prayers!

This story has been given to us so that we would have confidence that what we pray for is heard by God.  He hears our prayers, and He is ready and willing to answer us. He may have already dispatched His angels to come to our aid even while we are still on our knees.  Do we have the faith to believe God?


Because of these difficult things that have happened this past week, we felt led to spend some extra time as a body of believers praying, inviting people to come to the altar to pray on their knees, or to pray right there in the pews. The Spirit of God was very strongly present in our midst today. He was there in our prayers, in our time of worship and praise, our singing, and definitely in the hearts of the people.  When the people of God come together to pray, the devil can't hang around. He has to go.  May we stand strong in the days to come as there are still some difficult hurdles ahead for our church, our Pastor, and our denomination as a whole.  We are praying for God's Holy Spirit to be in total control and power against the fiery darts of the enemy.  Thank you for standing with us in prayer.
May Jesus Christ be glorified in His Church!

One of the hymns we sang today was "Change My Heart Oh God", and this is certainly my prayer.


So, what happens when the people come together to pray?  God hears and answers...so have faith and be prepared for Jesus to come bring about good changes!!

Sunday Morning Prayer and Praise

Psalm 61:1- 5, 8

1.  "Hear my cry, O God;

Attend to my prayer.

2.  From the end of the earth I will cry to You,


When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Red Shouldered Hawks


 3.  For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.

4.  I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
 I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
Sand Hill Cranes in flight


 5.  For You, O God, have heard my vows;
You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

8.  So I will sing praise to Your name forever,
that I may daily perform my vows."

Eastern Towhee


Psalm 62:1-2
"Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
2.  He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved."

This is the reflection of a TV-Antenna/Tower,  reflected on the water with the bright sun shining on it.
It was very brilliantly lit up. Really caught my attention, and made me think about these verses.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe."
Proverbs 18:10

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Neighborhood Blessings...Updated with Recipe

One of the joys of living in this neighborhood has been getting to know some of our special neighbors throughout the years.  We've been blessed to have good neighbors...something that doesn't always happen in a lot of neighborhoods throughout the land. So I consider them a blessing from the Lord.  I'm sorry that some of our neighbors are only here for part of the year, being "snowbirds" from up north...and I'm also sorry that we really didn't get acquainted until the last three years or so, mainly since I retired and have more time to get out and meet people.

So tonight we had a neighborhood get together here...Lasagna night!!! I made the lasagna, and the neighbors brought the salad, dessert, and garlic bread.  Works for me!! It was all so good...

Here's our friends Joy and Dee, and Joy is showing off her delicious "pizza pie dessert", with fruit and a cream cheese filling on top of a sugar cookie "pizza".  She said this was in keeping with the Italian food theme for the evening...


Here I am with Joy, still admiring that "pizza pie dessert" before we dared to cut it up and serve it...It was almost too pretty to eat!

It sure was good...and a refreshing dessert after a heavy main course...

Speaking of  which...Here's the second pan of lasagna...the first pan was empty...I'm surprised there was any left at all...but everyone was being "polite" and saving room for dessert...

And this salad was delicious too...complete with radishes, pecans, craisins, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and seems like something else...sunflower seeds I think...It was scrumptious! Oh, and homemade ranch dressing!!

Here's the guys, waiting for their dessert while we were busy taking pictures of it...

It was great to sit around the table and swap "fish stories"...(some of these guys are fishermen) and other interesting tales from our lives.  Always a blessing to have good food and fellowship with great people.


My centerpiece was pretty simple...just put a few little pots of "violas" (miniature pansies) on the table, and then our neighbor who likes to surprise us with little gifts from wherever he keeps finding things brought these gorgeous crystal candlesticks. He says he found them at the dump...someone had left them there....They are absolutely stunning!
 Don't you agree?  I never know what this sweet neighbor will come up with next...we already have bunnies in the garden, a little bear with a fish behind his back, a few other fun things...always a surprise to discover.
I know when and IF we ever sell this house and move away we will miss these dear ones...and I pray that God will send someone here to our house who will enjoy and appreciate the blessing of these wonderful people.  I also pray for whoever our new neighbors will be in our new neighborhood. May the Lord already be working on that ahead of time...maybe that's why it is taking so long...They need a lot of preparation to have US move into their neighborhood! LOL

Here are a few proverbs that stand out to me tonight:


"Through wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches."
Proverbs 24:3-4

"Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend,
nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby
than a brother far away..."
Proverbs 27:10

"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
to turn one away from the snares of death."
Proverbs 14:26-27


"Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established."

"A man's heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."
Proverbs 16:3,9

That's all folks!! 
Have a blessed weekend!!

P.S. Here is the recipe for the Fruit Pizza:

Here is the recipe for the cream cheese filling:
1 8oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar or Splenda
Mix with mixer until smooth and creamy. (She also added a dollop of cool whip to the mixture because she didn't think it looked creamy enough. It was good!)
Spread the cream cheese mixture on the completely cooled cookie crust.  (The cookie crust was made with a tube of sugar cookie dough, baked on the pizza pan).
Place the sliced pieces of fruit on...(she used strawberries, kiwi, and red grapes. You could add blueberries, bananas or other fruit if so desired)
Heat 1/2 cup of clear apple jelly...let it cool just a little, and then brush it over all the fruit for a glaze.   Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  

It was really good, and a light dessert after a heavy dish like lasagna..
Yum!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Foto Friends-Some Habits are Hard to Break!

Good Morning Everyone! It is Friday, and even though we no longer have a link-up for our Friday Foto Friends,  some habits are hard to break! When I think of Friday, I think of sharing "fotos" with my Friends!  I hope that many of our other blogging Friday Foto Friends will continue this "habit" as well!  We can still visit each other and enjoy what you've captured on your camera throughout the week.  Visitors are always welcome to join in! Just let us know when you do!!

So, I've been waiting all week for my azaleas to start opening up in the Secret Garden!  Finally, this morning they are beginning to put on a lovely display of color.  It's a little early still to get a good bright picture, but I couldn't wait any longer.   I am particularly happy about this because I planted most of these last year, and was really looking forward to seeing how they would do this year...and then we put the house up for sale and I was afraid we would be moved away before they got to bloom...boy was I wrong!  After four months on the market, here we still sit...so...I guess the Lord wanted me to see the azaleas bloom!! 


I know you are probably saying, "What azaleas?"  Yes, they are still a bit sparse in their blossoms, but they are starting, and this picture really doesn't do it justice.

This pretty little reddish pink is all alone on it's bush, but it is so pretty. I wish I had more of this color!

Along the path into the Secret Garden:

Another lovely, cool morning to be in the Secret Garden with the Lord...

Aren't they sweet? 

This is in our Memorial Garden, where I also planted some azaleas last year.  For those of you who are new here, this garden area was created in loving memory of our son Matthew, who passed away on May 25, 2014, after a four year battle with cancer. He was 41 years old.  His birthday is coming up on February 25th, so he's very much on my heart and mind right now...well, actually, he's always in my heart...but we know where he is and we look forward to a grand reunion one day.

Our next door neighbor, who likes to surprise us with little "gifts" at our back fence, left these bunnies at the gate one day...

They looked so real, I was startled to think there was a whole family of bunnies sitting there...

But once I realized they were not going to hop away, I moved them into the 
Memorial Garden, where they could keep Mr. Froggy company.  They all hop around together now and have a good old time. Mr. Froggy looks pretty proud of his new friends, don't you think?


I know, this is a weed...but it is a pretty weed, and it is growing in a flower pot!  This lovely little flower opens up during the day on the wild shamrocks.  I love it. I think it brings me good "luck"...but I don't believe in luck...so it brings me good blessings as I enjoy it's sweetness.

And in another pot is a smaller wild shamrock growing, and it has a this delicate little yellow flower! How amazing is that?  Sometimes it is better just to let the weeds grow...and you will be blessed!

Now here is a perfect blessing for our day... this Pink Perfection Camellia is blooming again!!

All these little blessings just help to make our day so much brighter.  I think of these flowers like I think of you, my friends.  I was having a bad day yesterday over on "Facebook", and was ready to call it quits.  But so many of you and others jumped in and encouraged me and helped me to see that our worth here and there is so much more valuable than what the "world" may think.  We do have a purpose in being here... and my purpose is to share the love of the Lord with you in what ever way He leads each day.... as so many of you do the same.  It could be a verse from scripture, or a photograph of God's beautiful creation...or even some kind of humorous cartoon to give us a laugh on a gloomy day.  We are all His ambassadors of love to a fallen world, and that is going to be even more necessary as the days go by.

So thank you, dear friends, who came to my rescue yesterday when I was feeling a little down.  You know who you are.  I thank you, and I thank the Lord for the wonderful friends we have made here in blogland in particular.  You are a blessing to me, and I pray that in some small way, God may use me to be a blessing to you.  Thank you.

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, 
and the pleasantness of a friend 
springs from their heartfelt advice."
Proverbs 27:9 NIV