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!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sermon Notes: "I Must Tell Jesus"

Well folks, I had to skip church today due to having a bit of a sinus/cough/tummy issue today, and I really didn't want to share it with everyone else.
So the "Sermon Notes" will be my own thoughts as I sit here this morning, thinking about and praying for our church while I am unable to be there.

I am sad that I am missing singing with the choir the following song, "I Must Tell Jesus", 
but here it is, so we can all sing along...


I Must Tell Jesus


I must tell Jesus
All of my trials
I cannot bear these burdens alone
In my distress
He kindly will help me
He ever cares and loves His own
I must tell Jesus
All of my troubles
He’s a kind and compassionate friend
If I but ask Him
He will deliver
Make of my troubles
Quickly an end
I must tell Jesus
I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone
Tempted and tried I need a great savior
One who can help my burdens to bear
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus
He all my cares and sorrows will share
I must tell Jesus
I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone

Songwriters: Composer & Author Trad / Travis Cottrell / PUBLIC DOMAIN UNIDENTIFIED .
I Must Tell Jesus lyrics © WORD MUSIC, LLC


What a joy and privilege we have as God's children to take our burdens to Jesus in prayer.  
Philippians 4: 6-7 tells us:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, 
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

This is the believer's joy and great privilege, to be able to take our burdens to the Lord in prayer, and know that He will hear us and listen...and actually carry our burdens on His shoulder.  Listen to what Jesus told His disciples:

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

I wonder how many of us are needlessly carrying burdens that are too heavy for us to bear because we just either don't know how to give them over to Jesus, or, because of pride, we think we can handle it by ourselves.  Pride is one of those sins that God hates...(Proverbs 6:16-19), and also we are told that 
"Pride goes before destruction, 
and a haughty spirit before a fall." 
Proverbs 16:18

Jesus wants us to bring our burdens to Him...He not only died for our sins, but also for all these burdens that drag us down and keep us from living a victorious and abundant life.  

There is another favorite old hymn that speaks to this:

What A Friend We Have in Jesus 

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.



I pray that you have found this precious friend, Jesus Christ, and that you know you can run to Him in prayer at any time, and "In His arms He'll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there!"

Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday Foto Friends: Pamela's Victorian Cottage Fixer Upper Update

Hello Friday Foto Friends out there in "Blogland"!  So glad you could join us today for another episode of "Pamela's Victorian Cottage Fixer Upper"!  I'm sorry that it's been over a week since our last episode, (which you can visit HERE), but I've been a bit under the weather and haven't felt like working on a full blown production of this popular show for a few days...so please forgive me for keeping you in suspense!  Not a lot has been happening, but then again, a few things have been added that you might enjoy! So here we go:

One thing that has been on my mind that this sweet little mother of five girls and one little boy might need is a sewing machine!  I mean, can you imagine trying to keep up with all of the girls' dresses and the little boy's patches on his knees (because he's always praying by his bedside! Click here for pictures of the children at play)

So last week I was scrolling through some pictures online and found  this picture, which I fell in love with:(In the Garden of Faith, Hope and Love, on Facebook)

And I thought that would be a perfect sewing machine for my little mother to use in her house, so I printed the picture out and then cut out the sewing machine and glued it to the wall. And now the family also has a cat!!!


This little mother reminds me a lot of my husband's grandmother, "Nanny Martin", who had four daughters to sew for...and she also made lots and lots of quilts, which she sold to make money to put my mother in law through beauty school!!!  "Nanny Martin" looked a lot like this little lady above, with her white hair pulled up into a bun on the back of her head. My first thought about this little house and family was that it was kind of like the story of "Little Women", but the more I think about it, it's more like Nanny Martin and family, except they didn't have a little brother...Oh well...some things have to be imagined..

For more about "Nanny Martin's" story you can click HEREAnd HERE.  We may include more episodes about her life and family here in the future.

For now, I want to move on to a few more additions to the family homestead:

It seems as though every woman's dream these days is to have a "she-shed" or a garden shed of some kind...and our little family definitely needs a garden shed because they obviously will need to grow a big garden to keep everyone well fed:


The garden shed itself was originally built by my son, a.k.a. "Ben's Country Woodshop", as a gift for his grandmother, my mother in law,  "Nanny Steiner" (yes, one of the daughters of "Nanny Martin", mentioned above).  It is a bird house, but too nice to be put outside where it will get ruined. So Nanny Steiner kept it safe in her house, and when she passed on last year, this little bird house came home to live with me.
 I found this cute little farm boy and girl and some of the other accessories at the Dollar General...
 Some of the other things I already had in my "craft supplies" .  I love the little rustic table and bench above, which has a little teapot and cups set out and ready for tea time in the garden. (Do you see a doggie in the background? I think he is one of the farm dogs that helps keep the animals herded...)

Maybe it is time for another tea party!  The little boy and girl invited the sweet little fairy from the garden at the big house to join them. They are each holding a special little friend:  The little fairy is holding a baby fawn, the little girl is holding a gray squirrel, and the little boy is holding a brown squirrel. That along with the birds and butterflies should make for a lovely little tea party in the garden.


Well, I hope you have enjoyed this latest episode of Pamela's Victorian Cottage Fixer Upper.
There are still a few more things that I hope to "fix up" in the big house soon, so I will let you know when that happens.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts for us to consider from the book of Joel, chapter 2:

21.  "Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!
22.  Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
 (Yes, the deer are back in our yard! Picture taken Thursday evening as they ran away from me when I appeared in the yard, then turned back to look at me)

For the open pastures are springing up,
and the tree bears its fruit;
This young pine tree is sending out new shoots as it grows and prospers. I thought they looked unusually interesting as they reach out every which way.

The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
23.  Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you...
The former rain,
and the latter rain in the first month.
24.  The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
25.  So I will restore to you the years 
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the crawling locust,
the consuming locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

26.  You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
 (those same deer in our yard, before I accidentally scared them away...)

and praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27.  Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel;
I am the Lord your God
and there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame."

These verses were spoken from Jehovah God through the prophet Joel to His people Israel, in which deliverance was being promised to Israel if they would repent...
I believe God is also speaking to us today here in our land...if we will repent and stay faithful to God, He will not allow us, His believing children, to be put to shame.  This is also reminiscent of
II Chronicles 7:14, which says:

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

As we approach Easter, may we pray more and more for repentance in our nation, and may God forgive our sin, and heal our land.
Amen.

Now, let us go over and visit with our other Friday Foto Friends, who are gathering at Deb's Place at Breathing In Grace, and see what beautiful things they are sharing today!! Have a blessed and wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Secret Garden Chronicles-Open Our Eyes, Lord - Revisited

I originally wrote this a couple of years ago, and as I re-read it this morning I knew that it was something I needed again.  I'm not sure if I would say I've "hit a dry spot", but I haven't been quite as attentive to my writing and keeping  up with my friends' writing this week.  I think we all go through these spells when we just need to sit back and rest awhile and let God minister to us.  I've had a bit of an allergy or cold this week (most likely allergy due to pollen, dust, etc.), so I'm kind of not with it...but today we have someone coming to see our house so I have to get a move on.  We've about given up on trying to sell it...it's been almost six months with no good prospects, and we don't even have any good prospects on houses to consider moving to if ours should sell...so it's been a bit discouraging.  However, if the Lord brings us a buyer, I feel confident He will also provide a home for us to move to.  It's just the "not knowing" where, what, etc. that gives me a bit of anxiety.  So your prayers are appreciated especially today as we show our house to prospective buyers. May God's will be done in all things.  We know He's got us covered either way.

Okay, here's what I wrote on 4/5/2017.  I know many of you already read this back then, but maybe it will still bless you again today like it did me!! Have a blessed and beautiful day my friends! We are thankful for some lovely spring rain that we sorely needed! Praise God!

Original Post 4/5/2017:
Dear Friends,  I know I've been rather lax in writing here lately.  It seems as though I've hit a dry spot, and haven't been able to "tune in" to what the Lord wants to tell me.  As I sat in the garden the other afternoon, this song kept coming to my mind:

"Open Our (MY) Eyes, Lord,
We want to see Jesus.
To reach out and touch Him,
and say that we love Him.

Open our ears, Lord,
and help us to listen.
Open our eyes, Lord,
We want to see Jesus."



And as I sang this song, from a personal place..(Open MY eyes, Lord...Open MY ears, Lord),
a sense of peace and calm came over my spirit, and as I confessed to the Lord that I felt rather "out of touch" lately, He comforted me, and helped me to know that He understood...and that He wasn't really that far away...and that He'd always be right there for me, no matter what I was feeling (or not feeling).    See, the beauty of this relationship with Jesus is that we don't always have to be "feeling something", or "doing something" to please Him.  We can just "REST" in Him, in the knowledge of His love and constant care and support no matter what we are going through.

Romans 8:1 gives the believer the assurance that when we are "in Christ Jesus", there is now  "no condemnation" to those who "do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."


Romans 8:2
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free
from the law of sin and death."

Romans 8:11
"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
dwells in you,
He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

Romans 8:14-17
14.  "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, 
these are sons of God.

15.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear,
but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we 
cry out, "Abba, Father."

16.  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

17.  And if children, then heirs--heirs of God 
and joint heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him, 
that we may also be glorified together."

So, my friends, the assurance here is that if we are walking according to the Spirit of God, we belong to Him...we are His children...joint heirs with Christ...and even though we may suffer here on earth, we will one day be glorified with Christ.  

And if we read on in this chapter we come to this beautiful passage:

Romans 8:26
"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.
For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to THE WILL of GOD.
28.  And we KNOW that all things work together for good to those who love God, 
to those who are the called according to His purpose."

It is my prayer that these words will bring hope and comfort and reassurance to any today who may be feeling a 
little out of touch with the Lord. Perhaps you don't know how to pray or what to pray for in the midst of your sorrow, confusion, or time of weariness. 
God's Holy Spirit is already working on your behalf...
He's interceding for you to the Father.

As I've been writing this above, I've been listening to the music that followed the original video posted above, and now the song that is playing is Hillsong's  "At The Cross", and I just had to stop and listen and worship the Lord...it fits so beautifully here in this place, especially as we prepare our hearts for Easter. I invite you to listen and be blessed....



At The Cross

Oh Lord You've searched me
You know my way
Even when I fail You
I know You love me


Your holy presence
Surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me
I know You love me



At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now



You go before me
You shield my way
Your hand upholds me
I know You love me



At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now


You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done


You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done



And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me
I know You love me
I know You love me


At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now


Hillsong: At The Cross Song Lyrics http://lyrics-keeper.com/en/hillsong/at-the-cross.html#ixzz4dNrOEPvj

There is nothing more that I can add to this.  
Praise God!!!  
Amen!!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

the Secret Garden Chronicles - Speak, Lord, In the Stillness - Revisited

This was written a couple of years ago from the Secret Garden.  Today I am feeling a little under the weather...allergies/sore throat/tired...anyway, this message soothes my soul today, and I wanted to share it with you again.  I hope it will be a blessing to you as well.


Original Post 2/26/2017:

While sitting in the Secret Garden this afternoon, the Lord led me to discover this song in my old hymnbook.  It was not familiar to me, so I found this version on You Tube, sung by Andy Pratt. His words are the modern version, replacing the Thee's and Thy's with You and Your, etc., but the message is still so serene and comforting.  The tune is named "Quietude"....which is exactly how this feels...quiet, peaceful and as if you are in a holy place...which is where we are when we enter the Presence of The Lord...whether it be in a garden, or your prayer closet, or maybe a quiet sanctuary after the close of the services, kneeling before the altar of the Lord...  I hope you will turn on your sound and sit quietly and prayerfully sing along with this beautiful little song. You will be blessed by it, I assure you.

written by E. May Grimes

1

Speak, Lord, in the stillness,

  While I wait on Thee;

Hushed my heart to listen,

  In expectancy.




2

Speak, O blessed Master,

  In this quiet hour;

Let me see Thy face, Lord,

  Feel Thy touch of power.



3

For the words Thou speakest,

  They are life indeed;

Living bread from heaven,

  Now my spirit feed!



4

All to Thee is yielded,

  I am not my own;

Blissful, glad surrender,

  I am Thine alone.



5

Speak, Thy servant heareth,

  Be not silent, Lord;

Waits my soul upon Thee

  For the quickening word.



6

Fill me with the knowledge

  Of Thy glorious will;

All Thine own good pleasure

  In Thy child fulfill.



7

Like a watered garden,

  Full of fragrance rare,

Lingering in Thy presence,

  Knowing You are there.




I think I will close with these verses from Psalm 63

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;
(this is not in my Secret Garden, but a lovely place on the Ocklawaha River we hiked to one time, near Davenport Landing)

3.  Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You,

4. Thus will I bless you while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your Name.

5.  My soul shall be satisfied with marrow and fatness,
and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips."

Praise the Lord!

I hope you've enjoyed this time of "quietude" 
in the Secret Garden with me today. 
May it bring peace and solace to your soul.
Amen 




Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sermon Notes: "Nailed It" Children's Program!

Today our sermon was preached by the children of the church through music and a great performance!  The title of the musical program was "Nailed It", and here is a link to the promo for that particular program if you want to listen: 
I'm sorry I couldn't record the whole program, but this will give you the general idea.


Here are a few pictures of the kids performing in church this morning:


The theme of the story was that the kids were trying to build a fort, but they kind of had it all mixed up by starting at the top and working down instead of building it on a strong foundation...

The story was based on the scripture:

Matthew 7:24-27  (NIV)

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


And at some point the fort just fell right over...
 The titles of the songs were: "Nailed It",

Our wonderful director, Debby Hoadley, really works hard and does such a fantastic job with these kids.
Thank you, Debby!

 "Fortified"


"Yours for the Breaking"


And then they had to start over, after laying a strong foundation and building from the bottom up: 

"On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand..."


Wonderful truths for these kids to learn, and wonderful truths for us old folks to remember and continue to put into use in our own lives.

One of the most important things we can do in our churches is teach our children and young people from God's Word...that is where they will get a strong foundation for their lives that will help them build a strong life on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ.
All other ground is sinking sand...

Here are a few pictures I took inside our sanctuary of the many wonderful banners that are currently on the walls. These banners are changed seasonally to go with whatever particular church season we are in.










 So thankful to be a part of a church that practices what it preaches...

Our Prayer of Confession for this Lenten Sunday was:

"Gracious God, grant us the water of Your grace.
Flow through our sins and our sorrows with 
Your mercy and Your love.
Forgive us, Restore us, Renew us, and Reclaim us.
Spring forth in us, that we may move forward in faith, 
forgiven and free,
to follow Your path and proclaim Your love."
Amen.

Have a blessed and beautiful week dear friends... and make sure your life is built upon the strong foundation of Jesus Christ!