Monday, March 31, 2008


James 5: 7-12

7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

9 Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

I like analogies. They help me relate to other things I might not understand or maybe just give me a fast track to connecting related thoughts. The same is true here with these verses. On the surface they seem disjointed but actually they are all about God, and following his instructions until the harvest.

While we wait we must obey God and continue to stand firm with the lessons we have learned just like others who have come before us. It's by doing this we realize God's compassion and mercy because we have persevered as Christians. Those that do not put their complete trust in Him, will be condemned.

Anna Claire looking for ants.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Material Wealth

James 5

1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.

2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.

3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

Reading this morning and thinking on this passage in James 5, it's once again clear that those that have monetary wealth have to be very careful to use and treat that wealth for God and how He would have money used. It's not the actual money or the treasures that are the problem. The problem lies in making money or treasures into gods. Each time I read this passage I begin to think of Truett Cathy who is the owner of Chick-fil-a. Cathy certainly is a good present day role model on how to have material wealth and still be faithful to God.

Still, reminders are always good. I'm thankful that I can read God's word this morning and be aware of using money the right way and while enjoying my earthly treasures, never putting them before God.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Making plans

James 4: 13-17

13 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money."

14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

Well, it's for sure we don't know what is going to happen tomorrow! Most of the time, even when I try to plan things, it doesn't work out the way I planned it. :)

At first glance these verses read like we shouldn't plan for tomorrow, but not planning wouldn't be a good thing either. It's not the planning that gets us into trouble, but planning without thinking to ask God what we should do. I'm guilty of this in small and big ways. We should place our future in the hands of God in humble reliance on Him because it is from God we receive everything.

This morning I am praising God and thanking Him for my life. I'm thanking Him that even when I make plans without asking Him, He still loves me and corrects me, setting me back on the right path. I'm thanking Him also for forgiving me when I don't do the things I know I should do and then do the things I shouldn't.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Fried rice is an extremely versatile dish that can be made with all kinds of meat, seafood, and vegetables. In this and other fried-rice recipes, the cooked rice must be chilled to prevent its grains from sticking.

To chill, spread the cooked rice on a jelly-roll pan; cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight

2 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
5 cups cooked Long-Grain Rice, chilled
1 pound medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs; stir-fry 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled. Add onions and ginger; stir-fry 1 minute. Add rice, shrimp, and peas; stir-fry 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add broth mixture; toss gently to coat.

6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 380(19% from fat); FAT 7.9g (sat 1.7g,mono 2.5g,poly 3.1g); PROTEIN 20.8g; CHOLESTEROL 184mg; CALCIUM 83mg; SODIUM 527mg; FIBER 1.7g; IRON 4.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 53.3g

Nina Simonds , Cooking Light, JANUARY 2001

Friday, March 28, 2008

Check your motives

James 4: 1-12

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?

2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Watching Carley Ann and Anna Claire learn the ways of life is going to be fun, but I'm sure a bumpy ride too. We all go through stages in our lives where we fight for this or that all the while thinking more about ourselves than anything else. Mothers are a little different because of our natural love to protect and nurture our children, but still even as mothers we sometimes struggle with the other areas of our lives.

There was a time in my life I would pray and pray for five minutes in the bathroom by myself without little hands tapping on the door or calling for Mommy. I also remember all the times that I did what Tom, my husband, wanted us to do but actually, in my heart, resented it. Sometimes our life mistakes are just mistakes and we can correct ourselves, but other times one small mistake becomes a stepping stone for bigger and bigger mistakes and before we know it, that mistake becomes our way of life.

James once again charges us to examine what our true motives are with the actions we take. Most of the time when we check our motives, we find out that we have left God out of the equation. We, as Christians, know that once we do that, none of our earthly problems can be solved. As long as we keep Christ at the center of who we are we will be humble before the Lord and He will lift us up.

I have to confess that verse nine troubled me a bit, because I don't think God wants us to be gloomy. But then I realized I was looking at the verse out of context. This entire chapter is a portrait of repentance. We know that repentance is an act of humble submission to God which includes our choice to resist the devil and to draw near to God. Repentance is also a commitment to moral purity both externally and internally, and a genuine remorse for our sins, so James is charging us to be really, really, serious about our actions and not just brush our misdeeds off with laughter.

Keeping with my promise to show photographs of far away places on Friday's, I'd like to take you to another blog. I can't read Spanish, but I can use the on-line translators, so that helps a bit. The name and introduction to this blog says, "ANOTHER DAILY GLANCE ---Are occasions in which the word does not reach, but histories continue, stun to us, graze to us, illuminate to us, shake to us, approach to us, makes us include/understand, damage to us, cure to us, help us to grow. And where the word does not arrive, the gesture eclipsa, nourishes, prunes, mima and asi in each snapshot is lived, dreamed, denied, opened histories for whoever and can contemplate them." The on-line translation might not be totally right. This blog makes me want to learn Spanish. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wisdom is as wisdom does

James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.

16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Today I am thankful for the wisdom found in God's word and for time to let His words soak into my heart. Wisdom is as wisdom does.

Callaway Gardens April 2007

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Speaking of tongues

James 3: 1-12

1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.

4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man,

8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.

10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

I can hear my grandmother out in the yard, "Oh Lard," she would say time and time again. Mind you, when she said "Oh Lard," she meant no disrespect but was in fact calling out to the Lord for help. This to me is the proper way to use a Southern tongue and of course, one that will stay in my mind forever. We all have role models and as children we think they can do no wrong. As adults we find out that they are just as flawed as we are, but still what they do and say tends to be a big influence on what and who we become.

This morning I again get cut to my very core with words from James. The man just doesn't know how to walk and talk softly. He tells it like it is, or rather how it is supposed to be and even uses earthly examples to help us better understand.

As I go about my day today I pray that I will be able to be mindful of my tongue and what a big influence, good and bad, it can have on others .... and me too. After all, I get crazy sometimes and talk to myself or Cocoa Puff. Talking to yourself only proves that what's on your mind comes out, so filling our minds with the right stuff is just as important as what we put in our stomachs. That's my wellness tip for today. :)

Peach Orchard just outside Woodbury, Georgia on Jones Mill Road.

Enjoy... this was yesterday coming back from Pine Mountain, Georgia. I loved finding a peach orchard with the mountains in the background. This would be a great spot to paint outside and I am sure the owners would give permission. Want to join me? I'm totally inspired! Thank you Lard!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


James 2: 14-25

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.

16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.

24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

I only have one brother and no sisters. I'm four years older than my brother and by the time he came along I was already going to kindercare in Germany and to be honest, pictures and examples that my mother has told me about tell me that I quickly established myself as little mother and set myself up to be the boss of Billy. He is a most kind and humble man and while flawed as we all are, I admire him in so many ways. However, I tell him all the time I made him what he is today since I played little mother to him for many years. My brother and I are so different, yet we have so many of the same traits, values, hopes and desires. We share a common bond built on our heritage, culture and love for each other as siblings.

When I think about Jesus and his brothers and sisters, I wonder about what their relationship might have been. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote the book of James and I am sure that he too shared a common bond built on their heritage, culture and love for each other as siblings. At the same time, James gives us direct, strong and no beating around the bush instructions on how to live as a Christians, unlike Jesus who teaches us with parables and tender words of comfort, hope and joy so many times. Of course, these words are just my thoughts on how I think these two men might have been different personality wise. I'm also aware that different religions believe different things about Jesus and his earthly family. I tend to think of our differences on terms like the man who had one natural son and one adopted. In an interview he said, "Of my two sons, I can't remember which one is adopted and which one is natural born." Thank God that when we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, we become children of God and are adopted into His family, warts and all.

In these verses this morning I'm reminded that it is not enough to have faith, but we must diligently also show our faith by the deeds we do. Matthew Henry says it this way, "The works James requires are not done apart from faith but done in faith, not done instead of faith but done because of faith. Faith is the underlying stance of Christian life; deeds are the way of life; becoming mature and complete is the goal of Christian life."

The book of James wasn't written for those that had not yet accepted Jesus as their personal savior. The book of James was written for those of us that have accepted Jesus as our personal savior to charge us to act on our faith and understand it's importance. By acting on our faith, others will see Jesus in us and also want to follow Him...which is the commandment we have been given to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded as it says in Matthew 28: 19.

Today's verses also cut to my very core. James has a way of doing that, pushing me act more on my faith so my prayer today will be that I will find ways to use my resources, time and talents to show my faith by the deeds I do.

In the spirit of doing a good deed, come let me pour you some tea from a tea set given to me by my Aunt Julia. She gave me the teapot and I've searched antique shops to find cups and saucers that match. The teapot is about the size of a small apple and the cup holds about two tablespoons of liquid. I love them and always think about her when I hold them in my hands. Enjoy the tea and enjoy your day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Idenity matters

James 2: 1-13

1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.

2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.

3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet,"

4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?

7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"you are doing right.

9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.

10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

11 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery,"also said, "Do not murder."If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,

13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

As I sat this morning and read the first part of James 2, I remembered a conversation I had with someone I think happened back in the 80's. The conversation topic was about signing up for a bible study on the book of James. I declined then simply because I knew James would cut me to my very core and I just didn't want to go there. To be honest, I think since the very first time I REALLY READ the book of James and took it into my heart, I've avoided reading it just because there is so much in the words that I know I still need to work out in my own heart.

I've lived on both sides of poor and rich, beautiful and not so beautiful, good and evil, so I can never say that I don't know what it feels like to be judged by outward appearance rather than inward. "Pretty is as pretty does" comes to mind, as my Aunt would say.

Learning to judge people begins small and very early like planting and growing tiny mustard seeds. When I was a child I played what I thought was a fine joke on my brother. I told him that the little black mole he had on his knee would actually begin to get bigger and bigger and one morning he would wake up and he would be all black. Months went by and I would catch him with a ruler checking to see if the mole had grown bigger. I would laugh and laugh.

My brother and I laugh about this from time to time but both of us realize jokes like this are part of our culture we are not proud of. Living and growing up as little segregated white children in the South found us learning discrimination by osmosis, judging people by their color rather than what their true identity in Christ was. It was confusing to go to church and sing "Jesus loves all the children of the world" and then come back home to reality where all the little children of the world went to separate schools, drank out of different water fountains, and went to different bathrooms.

There is so much on my heart this morning. I know through the day I'll be thinking on the verses from James I read today. This is a good thing. Today I pray that when I look at the outward appearance of others I will see beyond into their very souls and realize that it's not how they look or what they have or their status in the community but rather their position or identity in Christ that matters. At the same time I think of others, I'll be thinking of my own identity in Christ and pray that God will continue to show me ways to grow and forgive my sins when I fall short doing the things He would have me do.

Thank God that His mercy triumphs over judgment! Without that, I’d be up the creek without a paddle!

Anna Claire and Mother riding the tram at the Butterfly Center of Callaway Gardens yesterday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.

4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.

12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money,

13 telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.'

14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."

15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Jesus Rock

He is not here, but is risen (Luke 24:6)

This morning and again this afternoon my eyes just filled with tears thinking about the words that came out of Carley Ann's mouth as we were reading one of her little books about bunnies. She said, "Look Memama, that looks like a Jesus rock." When I questioned her she couldn't exactly tell me what she meant, but she said, "You know, when He was in the cave and then He woke up." Now, mind you, she is just 3.3 years old but it blessed my heart to know that she is learning the the true meaning of Easter just like she did with the true meaning of Christmas. I am so thankful for the daycare she attends and her SS class teachers. They really do such a wonderful job with the children. Both of the girls truly amaze me.

So, we talked about Jesus and how He died and how we wear our best clothes to church in His honor and we have Easter baskets of colorul eggs that help us remember the new life Jesus made possible for all of us. Of course she got really excited about the Easter basket part, so after it warmed up a bit we went outside and hid eggs and took pictures with pretty dress on.

We had such a good time and tomorrow we will celebrate Easter. What a joyous time for all of us to hold dear to our hearts, old and young.

Carley Ann getting dressed up to hunt Easter eggs.

Anna Claire used a little blush.

Well, Crocks go with everything!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Listening and doing

James 1: 19-27


19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.


19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror

24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


Matthew Henry

In this first chapter of the biblical text we have found the thrust of James's entire letter: calling upon Christians to live with moral urgency, serious holiness and unconditional obedience to the word of God. By putting the two halves of the chapter together we also establish the context for the moral earnestness of the entire letter: complete confidence in and reliance upon the grace of God. James is so earnest for moral purity in 1:19-27 because of the theology he has taught in 1:1-18. It is the thorough purity of God (never tempted, never tempting, never changing) that calls us to holiness; it is the generous giving of God (giving wisdom without finding fault, giving the crown of life, giving every good and perfect gift, giving us birth) that moves us to holiness. Furthermore, going back to the very beginning of James's message, this pursuit of holiness is not an oppressive burden but a task of joy, because of the great worth of the goal that God's grace has made possible. God has called Christians to become mature and complete, as firstfruits of all he created. This is so high a calling and so valuable an attainment that we may consider even trials along the way pure joy!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The crown of life

James 1: 12-18 NIV

12 Blessed is the man who keeps on going when times are hard. After he has come through them, he will receive a crown. The crown is life itself. God has promised it to those who love him.

13 When you are tempted, you shouldn't say, "God is tempting me." God can't be tempted by evil. And he doesn't tempt anyone.

14 But your own evil longings tempt you. They lead you on and drag you away.

15 When they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin. When sin has grown up, it gives birth to death.

16 My dear brothers and sisters, don't let anyone fool you.

17 Every good and perfect gift is from God. It comes down from the Father. He created the heavenly lights. He does not change like shadows that move.

18 God chose to give us new birth through the message of truth. He wanted us to be the first and best of everything he created.


12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

High and Low

James 1 5-11 KJV

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

James 1 5-11 NIV

5 If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesn't find fault.

6 But when you ask, you must believe. You must not doubt. People who doubt are like waves of the sea. The wind blows and tosses them around.

7 A man like that shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord.

8 He can't make up his mind. He can never decide what to do.

9 A believer who finds himself in a low position in life should be proud that God has given him a high position.

10 But someone who is rich should take pride in his low position. That's because he will fade away like a wild flower.

11 The sun rises. Its burning heat dries up the plants. Their blossoms fall. Their beauty is destroyed. In the same way, a rich person will fade away even as he goes about his business.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Want not

James 1: 1-4
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I'm taking a few days off writing my personal notes on my blog but I do want to share with you what I'm reading each morning and will copy and paste Matthew Henry's concise commentary available in the public domain. While I think letting God's Word speak to all of us individually is best, Henry's work has certainly helped me understand and see many things I would have skimmed over.

The excellence of heavenly wisdom, in opposition to that which is worldly.

Matthew Henry

Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God's love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it. When the work of patience is complete, it will furnish all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare. We should not pray so much for the

removal of affliction, as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who does not want wisdom to guide him under trials, both in regulating his own spirit, and in managing his affairs? Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God under a sense of our own weakness and folly. If, after all, any should say, This may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed, the promise is, To any that asketh, it shall be given. A mind that has single and

prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions. When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God. No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God. Those of low degree may

rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences, that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind. Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments. (Jam 1:12-18)

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Law

Titus 3: 1-3 KJV

1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

I accepted Jesus as my saviour as a child, so I have no recollection of being any of the sinful things that Paul talks about in verse three of Titus 3. However, as a growing Christian, I have certainly experienced sinful days, weeks and years that I am completely ashamed of. Again, all I can say is that I am glad I serve a forgiving God who loves me and though I remember my sins, He doesn't and greets me each day with new opportunities to experience His love.

I’m participating in a tag from Joni listing eight things most folks don’t know about me, so here goes…
1. I love to watch the classic movie channel or rent the movies made in the 30’s -50's. I like the plots and the actors but more than that I love, love, love to see the interiors of the homes, see the architecture, how the homes are decorated, see what art work is on the walls, what clothes they are wearing… and love, love, love the shoes!

2. I have never been able to pass up a brownie, but I don’t care for pecan pie or eat ice cream. Go figure?

3. I sometimes rock Cocoapuff like a baby and talk to her like she understands.

4. My favorite color to wear is pink. I wear mostly black pants and colorful tops with jackets.

5. My favorite candy is Maple Nut Goodies.

6. In 1988 I had a very expensive professional hair and makeup make over and went from jet-black hair to blonde. I looked like a movie star and I have kept the blond hair ever since.

7. I have at least 6 different sizes of clothes I could choose from if I went to the right closet. I keep thinking I’ll lose weight and get back to a size 10.

8. I can lay a brick walkway and designed my garden walk. My 10th grade geometry teacher, Ms. Stevens, would be so proud of me.

The last pictures are photos of the garden walkwalk under construction. In the last photo you can see the garden house before I had it closed in so I could use it as my art studio. Thank God you can use your right brain to figure geometric problems out. Otherwise I'd be up the creek!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Before time

1 Corinthians 2: 1-5
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

One afternoon last week I got into a conversation with someone about a passage in the Bible and it's interpretation and who we look to as our spiritual leaders. I love to talk about and study God's word and enjoy listening to others about what they are studying and what they have learned or believe. This particular passage wasn't really a difficult passage but rather just a jumping off point for discussion..."In the beginning was the Word..." John 1:1 from there we jumped to Titus 1:2 "faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,". We were talking about God existing before time existed and what we thought timelessness would be like. :)

In the end we both agreed that the most important thing is not what different theological masters say but rather who is in charge of us all. Our faith should not rely on the wisdom of men, but rather in the power of God. That's why none of us have to have all the answers and none of us are in charge. God has all the answers and He is in charge... Thank God.

A bit of trivia:

This is the famous bridge that Monet had constructed. His color choice for painting the bridge is maintained even today. I think he chose this exact green color so it would stand out from all the other natural greens of his water lily pond.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bless the LORD

Psalm 103 KJV
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

I love the Psalms and can just get caught up reading them. They bless my soul. I think this is why so many times I turn to the Psalms first before going on to other passages to think about and study. I also love David and the message he has left behind to help the rest of us understand how to love God and how much God loves us. David certainly messed up many times but God loved David and even said David was after His own heart.

As a mother and grandmother I can certainly related to loving someone so much that you feel they have captured your heart and all the things they do you totally forgive and forget because you love them so much. It only takes Anna Claire or Carley Ann one time to hold their arms out to me and I'm mush. I think God feels this way too. David cries out to God, holds his arms out, and God is mush. I'm so thankful that God loves us this much too and we can cry out and hold our arms out to Him anytime. He is as close as the air we breath! Bless the LORD oh my soul and everything that is within me. It is so true that what we send out we will receive many times over. We bless Him; He blesses us. It just can't get any better than that. :)

The girls are still asleep but I'm thinking of crawling back into bed with them so I can watch them wake up. Today is going to be a stormy day, so the weather channel says. Last night they had a tornado in Atlanta but my house is over 100 miles south so we only had high winds. I've had someone working in my yard this week and I hope I don't have tons of limbs down to mess up what they worked so hard on this week. We'll see when the sun comes up.

Yesterday I showed some pictures of my trip to Giverny, France. This was a trip of a lifetime for me as I have always loved the art of Claude Monet and the history of the impressionism movement. The light in France seems so much brighter... strange, huh. Over the next few days I'll put up some more photos and explain myself better. Hope you have a great day.

Green Jello Salad

1 pkg. lemon/lime Jello
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese cut in small pieces
1 lb. can crushed pineapple
1 cup small marshmallos
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 pt. whipped topping

Dissolve Jello in 1 cup hot water. Add 1 cup juice from pineapple. Mix cream cheese, pineapple, marshmallows and nuts and put into Jello liquid. Put into mold or dish and chill until set. Use the whipped topping on top before serving.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Deuteronomy 31: 8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Moses was old and needed to turn the leadership of Israel to Joshua, so he did. It must have been a difficult task for Moses to realize he would need to do this as he listened to God tell him what to do. He must have been disappointed too that he would not get to go to into the promised land with all the other Israelites. I would have been. Goodness gracious last year I didn't get to attend a workshop I wanted to go to and I was crushed. However, my week ended up being a good week to be at home because there were important things that came up needing attention and if I had been at the workshop I would have had to come home anyway... and I would have lost my workshop fees.

Some might say it was just coincidence that I ended up not going to the workshop, but I sincerely believe God was in control and worked it out for my best benefit. This happens to me a lot. Just like running late and hopping in the car only to find out that I had a flat tire, which keep me off the road and later I heard about a bad accident I might have been involved in had I been on that road. When something bad happens to me I always stop and remind myself that God is in control. He wants the best for me and he wants the best for you. I'm glad I don't have God's job. :)

Today I'll be showing pictures from my trip to Giverny, France, but I'll wait until sick little Carley wakes from her nap. Well, actually she is not so sick that she can't make a mess in the blue room. Maybe I can get a few pictures up before she wakes. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Philippians 2:5-11 (King James Version)

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I sometimes wish that there was a button to press that could instantly make me have the mindset of Christ and I would do no wrong. Thinking about this made me think of how as a painter I try to copy what I see before me. The trick to painting what you see correctly is simple observation. You make a mark on your canvas and then all other marks are put down in relationship to that first mark. If you first mark is wrong, then all others will be off and it will be harder for you to correct. Sometimes starting over is best and sometimes it helps to read the manual... how to paint 101.

As a Christian, I am thankful that God allows us to start over if we make a mistake. Sometimes our first marks are wrong and the canvas just needs to be cleaned so we can begin anew. In John 1:9 we read "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." I'm really thankful we can be forgiven.

I'm thankful that God has given us the living example of Jesus Christ to copy. I'm thankful for the Bible, our instruction manual.

I'm thankful for a new life canvas today.

It's going to be a very thankful Thursday!

Ms. Beverly, Anna Claire and Carley Ann's teacher
We love you Ms. Beverly and are so very thankful for you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wholly Filled

Ephesians 3:14-21 KJV

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Don't you just love Paul. This guy is wholly filled so much so that you can almost see it dripping off of him. When he writes to the Ephesians in these verses he really gets wound up. It's almost like he's on a mission.....duh. :)

When I read Paul I am so encouraged. I've mentioned before that I enjoy reading the Bible in the King James version, but reading other versions certainly gives me help with understanding some passages or words that I might struggle with. This particular passage gives me no doubt as to what Paul's message to us is. He wants us to experience the same thing he has experienced and can't wait for us to understand.

Imagine what our day would be like if we woke each morning and became totally filled to the top with God anew. We would be like containers walking around with Him everywhere we went. Our walk would be different, our talk would be different, our thoughts would be different, our actions would be different and our emotions would be different.

My prayers for today is that we all might be wholly filled with God and enjoy His presence in our lives. I pray we might be well feeling His love and power in our lives and we might drip with His spirit everywhere our feet might take us today.

Be well friends.

Mom Terri and Anna Claire who was not feeling so well

Wellness tip:
We make a choice everyday if we are going to be happy no matter what or if we are going to dwell in the misery that might be attacking us at the moment. Chose to be happy and watch those miserable enemies run away! You can laugh at them or you can let them defeat you. It's your choice. Every thought we have either builds us up or pulls us down. Dwell on the positive and you will be positive.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


John 15: 16 KJV
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

The last couple of days has found me hitting the warm salt water trying to get rid of this insane tickle I have in my throat. It's so annoying especially early in the mornings.

I wanted to show you one of my treasures today so it being another salt shaker is very appropriate. This pair belonged to my mother and she passed it on to me. Yes, you are right, it's tupperware from the Jetson era. :) I love them and use them everyday.

Today's word from God has special meaning to me as I think on what fruit He is talking about. We know that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. It makes good sense to me that God has chosen us to produce these fruits and by doing so others will see Him in us and want to follow Him as well. Others have said that the fruit He talks about is salvation, or bringing people to salvation, but I believe that salvation is God's job and we are just His instruments. Anyway, this verse gives all of us a lot to think about today and is a treasure too.

Monday, March 10, 2008


John 10: 27 King James Version

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

It's Spring and the flowering quince is making the side yard sing. :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Ephesians 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Yesterday it snowed and the girls got to catch a few snowflakes. I know you can't see them... but they did and were thrilled. :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Psalms 86: 11-13

11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Beth Moore's Texas Sheet Cake

Grease a sheet cake pan.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar

Bring to a boil:
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
4 tbsp. cocoa

Pour over dry mixture and mix in:
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes.

1 stick butter
4 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp. milk

Add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 box of powdered sugar to acheive desired consistency (Beth prefers close to 1 box) and 1 cup pecans. Spread on cake while it's hot.

Friday, March 7, 2008


1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Lake Blueridge in the North Georgia Mountains
August 2003, 18x24 Pastel

As a landscape painter, I've had the pleasure of going to places and painting what I see. It's amazing what you can see if you just stop long enough to really look. It takes stilling your spirit and getting into what I call 'the zone'.

We all get so busy doing things that we don't take time to stop and see what is actually before us. It's the same thing with our spiritual lives too. I think this is why revisiting passages we have read many times before always gives us something new to think on. By going back and taking a second look we find we missed something or something new is revealed.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Matthew 6:1-4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

How to Give
1 "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 So whenever you give to the poor, don't sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They've got their reward!

3 But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Many years ago during Christmas season I baked cookies to give as gifts to all my friends and relatives. I was careful to decorate them so special and they were works of art for sure. I wish I had taken pictures of them, but I didn't. Anyway, I decided that the people who pick up my trash would be the recipients of some of my art cookies, so I carefully packaged them and put them on the counter waiting for the morning to come so I could run out and put them where they could find them since the next day was trash day.

The next morning I walked to the trash bins and put my beautifully wrapped Christmas cookie sacks on a log that was close to the trash bins. I was sure there would be no mistaking that these packages marked with tags that said ‘THANK YOU, have a merry Christmas’ were gifts so I went back into the house and listened for the sound of the trash trucks so I could rush to the window and see them get their gifts. I waited and waited and as the day unfolded and the afternoon arrived, I realized the trash trucks were not coming.

Brent, my son, came by and when he noticed that I kept going to the kitchen and looking out the window, he was curious as to what was distracting me from paying attention to what he had come to talk with me about. When I told him he said, “Mom, don’t you know? The trash pick-up schedule has been changed for the holidays and there is no pick up today.”

Since I had given all the cookies away, he was glad there was no trash pick up. The cookies would be all his! We walked together to the trash bins and picked up the cookie sacks and quickly put them back down. The sacks were covered with ants. We both had a laugh and every year since then Brent always asks me if I’m going to bake cookies for the trash people. No one else understands why we laugh.

Today I am thankful for lessons learned. Ants like cookies. Ants work year round.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One Breath - One Step

Philippans 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I'm a wellness dropout. I know what I'm supposed to do, but I find it so easy to make the wrong food choices and easy to skip exercise or do the other things I know will make me stronger. I'm not sure why I don't have wellness discipline, but I don't at this time in my life. When I was younger I could just think about dropping five pounds and it would be done!

In the passage quoted from Philippians, Paul tells the faltering Philippian sisters and brothers that the future does not lie in embracing the past. Now I know that Paul wasn't speaking to my wellness, but his words certainly have wellness application for me. It doesn't matter what has happened in the past. I need to forget that and press on to reach my goals. Simple huh.

Each breath we take has a beginning and an end. Once the breath is gone we forget about it and take a new breath. Doing breathing exercises creates awareness of how the breath comes in and goes out, but still it's an automatic function. Breath can cease, however.

The thing for me to remember is that my entire life journey ultimately consists of the one breath and one step I am taking at this very moment. Until I go to heaven, there is always only one breath and one step of the moment, so I need only to concentrate on that one breath-one step and make the best choice I can.

Today I am praying that each breath and step I take will be good choices and that I will be able to forget the mistakes of the past and press on.

Hope your day is a good day. I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me today! Be well friends.

Wellness tip:

Sore Throat Tea
Mix together a clove bud, which is antiseptic and fights infection, with 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger (or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger) and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon — the latter two because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

Infuse the tea in 2 cups boiling water, and for every cup, stir in 2 teaspoons soothing and sweet raw honey. Sip throughout the day until your throat settles down.

The Expert: Paul S. Anderson, ND From ABC Good Morning America

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Philippians 4:4-8

4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Walkways or pathways are a recurring theme in many of my paintings. Many landscape artists play with this kind of composition because it's a good way to show perspective. In the art world, perspective is everything. This morning, thinking about perspective and pathways I'm thinking about beginnings, midpoints and ends and realizing that in life too, perspective is everything.

Today for my Tuesday Treasure I wanted to show you one of my earlier pastel paintings. The perspective is off. At the time I painted this I was concerned about my perspective, but still I made mistakes. Probably, even today, if I had the opportunity to go back to paint this scene again, I'd make mistakes. Life is like this too. We will always make mistakes. The thing is not to dwell on the mistakes so much we overlook the successful parts or the learning along the way... and of course keep our focus on the ultimate end.

My mind is rambling over so much this morning. It's a good thing that we have fellow Christians to inspire us to keep our Christian perspective correct. I love this song. I bet you do too.

'Trust and Obey'
(John H. Sammis & Daniel B. Towner)

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies, But His smile quickly drives it away; Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear, Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, But our toil He doth richly repay; Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, But is blessed if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love Until all on the altar we lay; For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows, Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet. Or we’ll walk by His side in the way. What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spirit Seeds

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14

What does it mean to be led by the Holy Spirit to do this or that? I have to be honest and say that many times I think I’m being led by the Holy Spirit when, in fact, it’s really just me. I get myself in a mess and then I backtrack to see what or where I went wrong. I don’t think this is the way it’s supposed to happen. If I were truly led by the Holy Spirit, then I wouldn’t have to backtrack, would I?

God doesn’t drive or force us to do things. He leads us by nudging our hearts. I think of them like Spirit Seeds. After the nudging begins we have to be careful to listen for His direction. Even after we realize that God is asking us to do this or that and we follow His direction, we still have to be careful to keep SELF out of His plan. That’s hard to do. Self, or ego, is a powerful entity to overcome.

Sometimes I catch myself doing something so humanly stupid I have to laugh. Last week working at the food pantry I caught myself getting puffed up with righteousness. I asked if I could pray with a few folks that came and then was quite surprised that one man wanted to pray with me…or was it for me? I think … for me. I have so much to learn and understand. This man’s stomach was empty, not his soul. Not that there is anything wrong with feeding both… it’s just me being puffy that was wrong.

It’s a very good thing I have a Shepherd who has a strong rod and staff. I understand the shepherd and sheep part and am totally happy to be a sheep. The difference between a rod and a staff is for another days thinking.

Carley Ann and another steel magnolia in the making, Grace.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

These are powerful words and I know they have something deep to tell me. On the surface I understand how knowing the truth, or as some say,” get to the bottom of things", would get rid of doubt, fear, anxiety or other negative human conditions I often find myself experiencing. Knowing the truth about something helps me understand it's orgin. If I have all the facts I can make better decisions.

The problem is, I think I don't always want to face the truth because it is painful or too hard to deal with. Sometimes it shows me that I am at fault or that I need to change either my thinking or my way of doing something. I've been on the edge of this for quite sometime now dealing with health issues. Why is it that even though I know the truth I continue to reject it or not do the right thing? I think it's about surrender. If and when I am able to surrender to the truth I know, I will be free.

I know I'm looking at this verse in the intellectual or philosophical sense. I think I've often quoted this passage without really thinking about its context too. I bet the Jews listened and understood Jesus intellectually too, or maybe even politically. Again Jesus uses objects or ideas we CAN understand to help us understand deeper things.

Jesus is the Truth. Listening and following what He tells us does set us free. Free not from sin but free to choose the truth over sin. This verse gives us the plan of salvation in a nutshell. :) That's my thinking this morning. I know these words will be in my heart and mind today as I dig deeper.

Callaway Gardens April 2007

Hope your day is a good day friends.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Callaway Gardens - March 2007

John 8:1-8

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

When I woke this morning and brought my coffee into my sitting room, my Bible fell to this passage. Although I have read it many times and heard many speak on this passage one thing struck me this morning and that is the part where Jesus was making marks in the sand. I suppose it's because I too make marks when I'm thinking or listening, especially if I'm on the phone. The marks I make don't mean anything, they are just doodles. Those marks, however, do serve a purpose for me...otherwise I wouldn't do them. I think they are a means to create space between what is happening and what I might need to do next. Maybe doodling is just visual thinking.

While all the other folks were shouting and running around gathering up stones, Jesus was quiet, thinking first before He spoke or acted. Doodling probably allowed Him thinking and waiting time. I think this is a big lesson for me to learn. Sometimes I need to stop and think before I speak or act. I also think I need to learn that a quick answer to a problem is not always in my best interest. I'll remember this the next time I think I'm not getting an answer to a prayer in the time I think it should take. Maybe God is just listening and doodling giving me space and time to see myself and what I am asking or doing in the interim.

Yesterday afternoon I experienced what I think was another reaction to the medication I'm taking for a weird rash I have across my belly. Since I was dizzy and didn't feel well, I didn't keep the girls and I miss them this morning. I'm feeling better but not up to par or up to keeping up with two energetic girls. Perhaps today is a doodle day.

Maxine's Squash Casserole - A favorite of mine

2 lbs yellow crook neck squash, cooked and drained
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 small jar pimento diced
1 medium onion chopped
1 package herb dressing mix
2 tablespoons butter

Mix all except dressing mix. Line casserole dish with half of the dry herb dressing mix. Add squash mixture and top with remaining herb dressing mix. Cook at 325 for 30 minutes or until top is light brown.

Again, this is not a low fat/low calorie recipe.

Word of the day.