Sunday, August 31, 2008

What a relief

Romans 8:26-27

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

Do you ever wonder if you are praying for the right thing? I do. Well, here's the answer to the problem... the Spirit intercedes for us... makes our words in accordance with God's will. So, no matter what our weakness might be, no matter that we don't know what to pray, so no matter if they are spoken or unspoken, God hears just the right prayer.

What a relief.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Praying for popcorn

1 Corinthians 14:14-15

14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.

15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.

Lately I've been thinking about prayer quite a bit and listening to the prayers that I hear spoken in public places. Some pray so eloquently that I am taken back at the talent they have to put such wonderful words together without even thinking ahead of time what they might say. Where does this leave me? I suppose somewhere in the middle for I do not have the gift they do. Still, that is okay too because God knows and hears my heart. I know this beyond any doubt.

Last night Carley Ann and Anna Claire were starved so as soon as I put their food on the table they started taking bits. When I sat down Carley Ann looked at me and said, "MeMama, we forgot to say the blessing." I assured her God would understand and then she bowed her head and said her prayer. At the end she said, " and please let us have some popcorn tonight while we watch Barney." You guessed it, they got popcorn. :)

This morning was a crazy morning trying to get everything done we needed to do. These are wonderful days full of amazing wonders and little girl delights.

At Weight Watcher's the other night the leader told us that many times she makes a soup out of a can of diced tomatoes with Italian spices and a dolop of fat free sour cream. I haven't tried that yet, but I found a barbecue sauce recipe that I want to try. Looks good doesn't it.

Ina Garten’s Barbecue Sauce

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Makes 1 ½ quarts

1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 T. minced garlic (3 cloves)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
½ T. crushed red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan on low heat, sauté the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge.

Friday, August 29, 2008

His people

2 Chronicles 7:14
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will 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.

Aren't you glad we are His people.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Matthew 6:5

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Every time I read this passage visions of men on sidewalks speaking loudly of the coming of the Lord come to mind. On occasion I have even thought that some of them might be mentally ill. Of course I know we are not supposed to sit in judgment, but I admit I do my share of it then check myself and ask God to help me not be so judgmental. After all, there have been times I have been so empowered by the love of God that I shouted to the world too. Well, maybe not on the street corner, but with anything wonderful that happens to you, it's natural to want to share it with others so in the excitement of the moment you might seem mentally ill to someone who just didn't understand the need to share.

Still, this passage isn't talking about sharing God's love, it's talking about God wanting a personal relationship with us. This passage lets us know that those that people who make a show of being super-religious so that they can be admired by men already have their reward. What God really wants is a personal relationship with each of us. He wants to talk to us each day and have a rich communication link so He can hear our deepest prayers and give us comfort for our concerns. If the only time we pray is when we are in trouble, our relationship will be off balance. It's like going to the bank and taking out money but never putting anything back in. Sooner or later the bank is going to dry up. I'm not saying God will ever leave us, but I am saying our relationship will suffer if we don't give ourselves back.

It's a good thing to have scheduled times for prayer, but we should be prepared to meet God in private anywhere, anytime, all day long. This is truly what He wants. After all, this is why He made man in the first place.

Friends Carolyn and Jan. Jan died last year of a brain hemorrhage and I still miss her sweet spirit so much.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

All about me

Luke 12:11-12

11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Public speaking has never been my best talent. Still, if I'm pressed into doing it, I will. I remember well the day I was approached by a leadership committee to teach a Sunday school class and then a Girl's in Action group. All this was many years ago and were my first attempts at presenting God's word to any group of people. Needless to say I floundered around and made a mess half the time and really felt inadequate. Still I knew God was with me and would continue to grow me into what He needed me to be. Twenty five years later I can truthfully say I’m still growing.

If you are considering teaching or talking to someone about Jesus, just remember you don't have to be perfect and you don't have to know everything. Not one of us knows all there is to know about God but all of us have a place in His plan. I think in my first teaching attempts the students taught me more than I taught them and the same is still true with writing this blog. Each morning when I get up and open my Bible without fail some word from God falls into my lap. It might be something old that has been pressing on my heart for years or it might be something new I have never thought of or read before, but I can always count on God to talk to me, to show me the way, to teach me, to love me, to take care of me and to wait for me to finally figure out that everything is not all about me.

My friend Maureen is a new grandmother. This is Holly and baby Olivia. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Will of God

1 Thessalonians 5
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Various Exhortations

12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Philipians 3:10

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

The age we live in offers us instant access to what the world is thinking and doing. At any time during the day or night the TV or radio can be turned on giving a view into the world events and it's people. In some cases this is a good thing, in others it speeds platforms that are not good for us as Christians.

How do you know the difference between what is good and what is not? Satan certainly weaves a comfortable trap that can be confused as good. The only way we can avoid his traps is to make sure we have the Holy Spirit with us in every aspect of our lives. Our goal is not to know ourselves better, but to know Jesus Christ completely. The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of our lives. We are destined to repeat the same points, the same lessons, until we put Jesus Christ first even in the smallest tasks. Self-realization won't get us there, the realization that Jesus Christ is Lord of everything will. It's not what He has done for us, but what we do for Him.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Matthew 6:25
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Worrying about things robs me of the peace that God has promised his children. I realize this and try not to worry, but still worry pops into my head. In Matthew again we read to be careful about one thing only and that is our relationship to our Lord. I smile and agree, my relationship to Jesus is much more important than material things.

Family is more important than material things too. :) Simple pleasures like chocolate milk and holding a pet and the realization that God is in control makes everything right.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Being ready

Exodus 3:4

4And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

Sometimes I feel I'm walking around in a fog with my days slipping by me, getting nothing of importance done. I feel like such a small cog in the larger wheel of God's plan. I see and read about others doing great things on the mission field and other activities and feel envious. Still, I know that God doesn't see my small efforts as being small. Everything is of the same importance to Him. When we do as God asks and are in His will for our lives, His plan works for us and for others. It's like we have talked about before, we don't know how God works, we just need to know He does. We don't always know what God's plan is for our lives either, we just need to be ready when He calls no matter how small or how larger that call might be.

Yesterday I made a table centerpiece for our Heritage Crisis Center table dinner. Women in our church have agreed to fill a table of 8 and create a centerpiece made of things to give to the center. It was fun to do something different to help in an area I had not been involved with before. If you ever have need of a table decoration like this, please take this idea. It wasn't hard to do. Just take any box and fill it making it look like a toddler bed with jars of baby food for legs. The little stuffed animals are Precious Moments animals that say the bedtime prayer. :) Too sweet. Carley Ann said I needed to get me a baby. I think not. LOL

Friday, August 22, 2008

Recurring theme

Ephesians 3-20-21

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

God is at work within us even when we are not aware. We've talked and though about this many times so I suppose you could call it a recurring theme. One of the reasons I believe it keeps coming to the surface in my life is to give me assurance that He never quits. We may have times in our lives that we are not as close to Him as we should be, but He is always there waiting for us to come to Him. Sometimes we might feel our prayers aren't getting answered, but He is always working.

12x12 oil

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Nehemiah 1: 5-11

5 Then I said:
"O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

8 "Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'

10 "They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man."
I was cupbearer to the king.

I love reading and hearing the prayers of others. So many times I feel the prayers that come out of my mouth in public don't adequately express what I have in my heart. I hold back. Why I'm not sure. That's okay because I know that God knows my heart and listens attentively to each prayer and thought I have no matter if they are spoken or unspoken. Nehemiah had a tough job being the cupbearer to the king. His job was to taste the food and wine before the king did and if Nehemiah lived, the king could then eat in peace knowing it had no poison in it.

Anyway, last night we had a birthday party after church. It was a great day and I thank God for my 61 years and look forward to what each day will bring knowing that God is with me, listens to my prayers and works in my life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What I've learned

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Today I am 61. :) I'd like to share with you some of the things I've learned through the voice of Maya Angelou.

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

"I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."

"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life."

"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."

"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."

"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The invitation

Philippians 1:3-6

3I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

4Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

5For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

David Brumbelow on SelahV Today asked why Baptist churches have an invitation song at the end of each sermon so people can come down to the front of the church and make their public profession of Jesus Christ, move their church affiliation letter, or have someone help them understand how to accept Jesus Christ as their savior. In response to him, this is what I wrote.

I hope I never see the day that my church doesn't have an invitation to join the church or to make a public profession of faith.

Not only does a church invitation call give the person accepting the invitation a means to profess their faith publically, it also gives all the church members a chance to see who the person is, meet them and have the opportunity to encourage them. I have never doubted the sincerity of a single person who 'walked the aisle'. It's not up for us to judge, but more than that we don't know how God is working in their lives and all the steps it took to bring that person to make the most important decision of their life. For some, it might be the first step, for others it might be a long progression of steps. The best we can do is love them and encourage them as our sisters and brothers, warts and all just as we have.

It has been a long time since I made my profession of faith but I still remember coming forward and making my decision public. Next to accepting salvation, which I did all alone talking to God in my bedroom late one night as a pre-teen, making my public profession and then being baptized were the most powerful blessings in my life. After that, the birth of my son and watching him grow and experience the same blessings of God were and are also powerful experiences that changed my life and continue to change my life daily as I grow right along with him and everyone else I meet and interact with.

An alternative to giving out an invitation would be just to put the invitation in the bulletin and have anyone fill it out and put it in the offering plate as it comes around. Then new professions of faith and new additions to the church roll could be added to the bulletin the next week. It would be a great way for church members to become just another number. Is that what we really want, or do we want our members to be a family, all members of the family of God, His children and our brothers and sisters in Christ?

“Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” Jude, second verse.

I feel God's presence in my life daily. I know He is there because long ago He began a good work in me and will continue it until the day Christ Jesus returns just like the apostle Paul said in Philippians. If you don't feel God's presence in your life I invite you to bow your head and ask Him to come into your heart making Him the Lord of your life. You will never regret it.

Red Gerbers
oil on canvas
12x12 finished yesterday

Monday, August 18, 2008


Micah 6: 8

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Each day I get up and go about my regular routine. It seldom varies except for when my granddaughters are with me on Friday nights. I find too, many times my mind goes on auto pilot when I'm driving and I catch myself thinking have I ready gone through such and such a town. A couple of times my car has turned down a street I once lived on when I actually had no reason to do that. When I do that it scares me and I wonder if I'm truly alert to everything that is around me.

I don't think God wants us to live out our lives on autopilot. Take for instance getting up and going to church each Sunday. He doesn't want us to do things because it's our routine, but because we love Him, want to worship Him and want to be with fellow believers.

Pray with me today that we won't go on autopilot with our worship times.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Eternal Pleasures

Psalm 16:11

11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

When you are young you make many mistakes. Some of these mistakes haunt you for the rest of your life and some you forget right way only to make them again and again until you finally realize what you did wrong and can correct yourself. I've always said that it's a shame that we aren't born wise in the ways of satan. Thinking further I think perhaps we wouldn't be as dependent on God if we didn’t have our struggles learning the path of life that ends with heaven.

Pray with me today thanking God that He works through our brokenness and pain, that He is Lord of all and is always holding us in His hand.

P.S. Anna Claire and Carley Ann are both well. Anna is showing her terrible 2's and Carley Ann is playing the boss. Everything is back to normal. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Isaiah 26:3

3 You will keep in perfect peace
the mind that is dependent on You,
for it is trusting in You.

Little children are so trusting. Yesterday Anna Claire didn't feel well and she needed to go to the doctor so she got to stay with me. Just holding her in my arms made her feel better. That's the same way we are when we crawl to God, trusting in Him. Just sitting with Him and knowing He will work things out makes everything feel better.

Have you ever prayed at length for some particular thing and then got your answer? You might have thought it took a long time to get that answer, but how about all the miracles God did while you were waiting.

Once, in a computer class, we learned to write statements that would make computers perform certain tasks. One very important statement was if-then. If you ask the computer to do one thing, you might have 100 difficult steps to take before the final solution is reached. All along, however, the computer is working toward a final solution with each amazing calculation it takes.

I like to think that prayer is like taking those steps to a solution. It feels good to know that we can trust in God knowing He listens and takes action with each prayer we send. Answers might not be instant, He may need to take many steps to work things out, but all the while important and miraculous things are taking place.

Pray with me today that in the waiting for an answer to prayer we will be keenly aware of God working in our lives giving us what we need for the present and working out our future.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Greater love

3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance,

4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.

I've yet to find one person who did not have some burden they were carrying, some hurt, some pain, some struggle to deal with on a daily basis. Death, natural disasters, violence, and other painful events happen every day leaving people crushed beneath the weight.

Rising above our broken and imperfect bodies has only one solution and that solution is God. God works in ways we don't understand. His ways and thoughts are not ours. It is for sure He is always working for our good and, get this, He is also working for the good of our enemies. It's beyond my understanding how He can do this, but I know He does. He loves us all and wants the best for all of us. He wants all of us to come to Him. We are His creation and His love for us is greater than the love we have for our children. How is that possible? We serve an amazing God.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


1 Corinthians 1: 4-9

4I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—

6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.

7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Cason Blakely at the beach

Cason has been back and forth to the hospital since I last mentioned him, but I wanted to tell you that the money has been raised for his kidney transplant and now they are waiting for testing of a suitable donor. Barry Ellerbee has his liver transplant and is doing much better.

We live in such a wonderful age where transplants can be done to save lives. I praise God today for giving minds that can learn new technologies and for creating hands that have such skill to do them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dying by degrees

Genesis 1: 11-13

11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

I’ve been cleaning out my studio, getting paintings framed, hanging work on the wall, and more or less trying to get the studio better organized. I had found that I just kept stacking up work in the storage closet and it was just getting too full. In years past I put them in a basket and sat out in the gardens at Callaway with them while I paint and sold them on the spot, but since I’ve struggled so with my knee, I had to quit doing that. After taking almost 18 months off, I’m ready to get back out, but still wondering if I need to pick up that heavy basket. Maybe a better solution would be to leave them in the car and just carry photographs. Then if someone showed interest in the basket items I could tell them I have more in the car and let them thumb through the photos. I don’t have a clue if that would actually work, but I think I might try and see this next April.

This morning’s passage really talked to me about what an exact plan God had in His creation of man, and all the things it would take to support His creation. When I think about man being made in the image of God I am awed. He called both male and female Man, so I suppose that is where we get the word human. Man must have been a spectacular creature and it’s heartbreaking to finally understand that sin destroyed that and made Adam and Eve die by degrees outside the beautiful garden God had made for them. Their off springs wouldn’t be the beautiful “man” God had created but mere sinful mortals.

Matthew Henry commentary says it like this: Adam was made in the image of God; but when fallen he begat a son in his own image, sinful and defiled, frail, wretched, and mortal, like himself. Not only a man like himself, consisting of body and soul, but a sinner like himself. This was the reverse of that Divine likeness in which Adam was made; having lost it, he could not convey it to his seed. Adam lived, in all, 930 years; and then died, according to the sentence passed upon him…to dust thou shalt return. Though he did not die in the day he ate forbidden fruit, yet in that very day he became mortal. Then he began to die; his whole life after was but a reprieve, a forfeited, condemned life; it was a wasting, dying life. Man's life is but dying by degrees. (Ge 5:6-20)

Also speaking to my heart this morning is how vital it is that we follow God’s plan. All of man kind would be living a different life had it not been for that first sin and the sin seed that was passed on to Adam and Eve’s children and passed on to us even today. That’s why we are so weak and it is so necessary to listen to God, receive His instruction and do as He asks.

I thank God for my life, for the blessings He brings into my life each day realizing more and more each day how unworthy I am. Still through all that unworthiness, I feel as sense of being loved and happiness beyond anything I can compare. He wants the very best for all of us and will work everything out for our good no matter what problems we might face.

Joel Osteen’s introduction in a companion journal of his book ‘Your best life now’ says this: “Happy, successful, fulfilled individuals understand that the future begins with what happens today. They make the most of the present moment and build their future one day at a time.”
The only thing I would add to that is … one day at a time, putting God first and in obedience to Him.

oil, 2006
Azalea Garden at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Jeremiah 33: 3

3 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'

Yesterday I woke with another headache and another this morning. I have no idea what's up with that because I have never had headaches in the morning, or at least one's I can remember. I suppose it's just another adjustment to my aging body. :) Then it might be sinus or just one of those things. I took Benadryl yesterday which I should not have done because it just knocks me out and I ended up going back to bed and saying there until after lunch. Maybe I needed more rest. I don't know.

Today I have lots of things to catch up on and a Jerusalem team meeting at the church, then lunch with the team. Last night I went to see Mamma Mia with a bunch of girlfriends. Some of them brought their husbands and then afterwards I heard one of the men say the movie was certainly a "chick-flick". I totally agree and totally enjoyed the movie. Of course, I'm a sucker for a love story anytime and love a musical. Deep inside I know I'm a dance queen. :)

This morning with my prayer time I was thinking about Mildred Corley who died yesterday. I knew her when she was young just maybe 10 years older than me. She was a wonderful Christian woman who served the Lord faithfully and she will be missed. I'm also thinking about Patsy Jo Clay who is taking care of her sick mother. I'm thinking about my own mother who is 20 years older than I am. It seems that the older I get the younger she seems. In January she will be 81.

This mornings verse tickled me when I read it because I'm always using the internet search engines to look up things I don't know. It's a good reminder to remember to always go to Him for answers. He can answer things questions that aren't "searchable". :)

Monday, August 11, 2008


Proverbs 20:24 TLB

Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to undertsand everything that happens along the way?

Praying today for Dee who has bone cancer, for Barry Ellerbee who just had a liver transplant, and for Cason Blakely who is waiting for a kidney transplant and for all those that need a special touch from God today. Through a special program called CODA, the Blakely family has raised over 30 thousand to help pay for the transplant. They are looking for suitable donors now.

Anna Claire is learning to pose like Carly Does. They look so sweet posing out in front of their home yesterday after church.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wisdom and growing

Proverbs 4 (NIV)

1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house,
still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,
"Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;
they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man's whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

Wisdom. I suppose wisdom is what we all pray for in all circumstances but sometimes I think we think we are wiser than we really are, especially when we are young. Some of the stupid mistakes I made I certainly wish I could go back and change, but even by making those stupid mistakes I did get wiser. Well, maybe not wiser, but certainly learned that I can’t rely on my own judgment without first taking my problem or question to God. Even now I tend to forget and plow into making some decision that proves to be the worst decision I could have made and then remember I left God out of the equation.

Painting is like that too. You can’t just pick up paint with a brush and expect to create a perfect painting. You need to study, observe, and think first. After you paint what feels like a million paintings you begin to understand what the paint will do and what it will not do. Then paintings seem to flow off your brush and you develop your own style much like developing your writing hand, your penmanship. I’m still waiting for that to happen to me. The learning curve seems so long but still I enjoy the journey.

Once I painted with a group where we looked out over sand dunes across from some barrier islands. The challenge was to paint a canvas in an hour or less and then move over a few feet and paint another canvas. Most of us painted three during the day and I have to tell you it was really a learning experience for me that I won’t forget quickly especially fighting the bugs, sun, sand and wind. Still God gave us a glorious day and fond memories of friendship and for that I am thankful. I’m thankful too for the lessons He teaches me each day as I study His word, keep them in my heart, and learn to go to Him with everything.

I’ve shared these with you before, but here they are again… and now you know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Good gifts

Luke 11:13

13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Carley Ann got to spend yesterday with me because she had a bad cough but I think it was because Anna Claire had spent three days with me this week and she was feeling a bit left out.

We went on a mission to find sewing cards. You know, the kind that little girls and boys love to play with sewing the yarn around and around the pictures printed out on heavy cardboard. Search as we might we didn’t find any but we decided that we could make some another day.

We did find eighty something Mrs. H walking up and down in the Walmart parking lot trying to find her car. I remember her well as my counselor in high school and then later as a member of our arts council. She is a precious lady with many talents. It was extremely hot outside and I had seen her walk up and down two very long lanes with no luck finding her car. As soon as Carley and I were buckled in, we drove to Mrs. H. and asked her to get in the car. She gratefully opened the passenger side door and got in. We drove up three other lanes before she found her car.

Loosing your car in a large parking lot is scary in the best conditions but given Mrs. H’s age and the heat outside, it was a downright crisis that needed extra help to solve. We are like that too and like Mrs. H. sometimes just don’t realize what danger we are in. God knows, however, and is faithful to protect us and give us what we need each day even when we are not aware of his blessings. God weaves people and circumstances in and out of our lives, working our lives for our best all the time. I’m thankful for that, thankful I’m His child and thankful Mrs. H. is okay this morning.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Plow under, start over

Hosea 10: 12
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the LORD,
until he comes
and showers righteousness on you.

This Spring I had BIG plans to plant tomatoes, cucumbers and maybe even a few running beans in a little square beside my studio. I had someone that could help me until grass cutting season began and I was excited about the possibility. I was still having problems with my leg, knee, hip, and tailbone pain so I knew I had to work carefully. Brent came by and offered the suggestion that I brick the walk around the square like I had done the lower square in front of the studio. I agreed it would look better so we ordered bricks. Well, the bricks are still sitting waiting to by laid, the tomatoes, cucumbers and beans didn't get planted and I'm now growing a nice crop of tall weeds instead.

It's so true that what we sow we will reap. Sometimes we sow and the harvest is immediate and other times the harvest takes years to mature. There is never a harvest without a time of sowing.

There is also a time that you just need to plow under and start over what you have sown. God's grace is like that. He gives us a second chance to sow the right kind of seeds when before we sowed seeds that caused us harm.

Today I'm asking God to help me plow under some seeds and allow me to start over. Forgiveness feels good. Next week when I step on the scales at Weight Watchers I'll reap the harvest of good seeds firmly planted. Terri just called and said Carley Ann doesn't feel well and needs to stay with me for a little bit this morning. Looks like MeMamma is back in business. :) I'll need to be really careful not to eat all the food she leaves on her plate. That’s a big challenge for me, especially when the food is so yummy. Well, that's my excuse for this past weeks weight gain and I'm sticking to it. :)

Blackberries in a white bowl
Oil on canvas - 2000
found while cleaning out studio

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Remembering VBS

Luke 6: 37-38

37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

We really had a fun time this year in VBS. I forgot to share pictures and even though it seem like it was only yesterday, VBS has been over almost two months! Now it's on to the new school year and getting everything set up for that kind of schedule. Anna is back at day-care today and the house is too quiet. This mornings schedule got off to a rocky start because my computer wouldn't start! Now that the computer is working I feel a bit out of sync to being to write my thoughts from this morning’s study because it just doesn't feel right. I'm rushed to get everything in as my normal schedule permits.

Now I ask myself what does this morning’s study have to do with remembering VBS, my computer not working, and schedules that gets changed? I guess it's all about learning to go with the flow. We don't always know what will happen to us each day, week or year and it does seem to me that the days fly by and run into each other but still learning to take a deep breath and enjoy what God give us and we give to Him is vital.

This week I had planned to finish some paintings that I had started and to continue my study of color, but when Anna got sick that all changed. I have to admit, getting to spend three days with her was really wonderful and we did have a good time even if she didn't feel so well. I do so treasure my time with them and all my family. Actually, I don't think I'll ever forget the past three days. Memories of caring for my own son when he was sick came back and gave me the opportunity to be thankful that I'm a mom and now a grandmother with such an important commission from God.

We never know what blessings God has in store for us each day. All we need do is open our hearts to whatever blessings they are and go with the flow. All His blessing are good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Spa day

1 Thessalonians 5:

11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Anna's spots looked so much better yesterday so we decided it was time for a spa day, a day of comfort.

12And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

13And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

16Rejoice evermore.

17Pray without ceasing.

18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19Quench not the Spirit.

20Despise not prophesyings.

21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

25Brethren, pray for us.

26Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

27I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ain t no mountain high enough

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In 1967 Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell releases the original version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and was a top twenty hit. I remember that well because at that time I was in high school and was very much in love with my future husband.

There is so much security in knowing that you can always depend on someone and that the feeling is mutual. Two years later I was married and both of us working hard to build our lives together. Life was good and all was well with the world so far as we were concerned. Together I think we both decided not to go to church even though both of us had been raised knowing Jesus and had been baptized the same day in the same church as children. Still, all along we talked about going. There was this little heart-string pull. It's the kind of pull that lets you know that God is always around no matter what. Years later when they put my baby in my arms I knew without any doubt God had given me such a special gift and special mission. My son would be raised in church, so we returned to His house for the guidance we needed, but more than that we returned be cause of those heart-string pulls.

The verses in Romans reminds me that God's love is always around us and we can always count on Him. Even if we think God is not around, He is. He has left us the Holy Spirit to guide us. I think of Him like heart-strings living within me and no matter what kind of mountain I might have to struggle over, nothing will keep me from His love.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hold me

Psalm 119:41

41 Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD—
Your salvation according to Your word.

Anna doesn't feel well this morning. Actually she hasn't felt well all weekend. Terri will bring her to me this morning. All she really wants is to be held and I can do that. :)

We as Christians are like that sometimes too. Sometimes we just need to be held. He does this and not because it's a rule, but because He loves us. We should do the same, spend time in His word not because we think it's a rule we have to follow, being Christian and all that, but because we want to. Our motivations to spend time in talking to Him should be just because we love Him.

My prayer for you today is that you will be filled with God's love and you will feel His arms around you with each step you take.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Be brave, be strong

1 Corinthians 16:13

13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

I woke this morning with another headache. I know it's sinus and I know what to do, so I head for the medicine basket. Finding the right one, I pop a pill and drink some tea along with a few animal crackers left over from play yesterday.

I hesitate to pray thinking that God might ask me to do something. I want to go back to bed. Then I remember He loves me and wants the best for me. He wouldn't ask me to do something while I have a headache, and if He does He would give me all the power I need to accomplish whatever it is that He wants me to do. So, I open my bible and we begin our talk. Maybe that's all that is needed today... just to talk with Him, be still and listen and be comforted by the presence of His power.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mercy, peace and love

Jude vs.25

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

I have a new Bible, yes, it's King James again, but the newer version called the open bible with all these wonderful study aids added in. The pages stick together and the binding is tight. There are no marks, no bent corners, no scuffed up cover to say it has ever been opened. I still have it in the box it came in and when I take it out, I'm careful to preserve my new treasure as it was coming from the store. I know it won't last long because I know my nature. I'll be in a hurry one day and in hast I'll bend a corner, I'll forget and my pen will jot a note on the side. I'll put little asterisks out to the side of something I want to read again on a day my head is clearer. Still, it's nice to have new things. As wonderful as the Internet is with all the translations available, I still want something to hold in my hands that I can bookmark and find when I need it.

I love the doxology Jude gives us in this one chapter book. The study aid says it's one of the greatest doxologies written in the Bible. I can see why. It’s such a comfort to see the words written down proclaiming God’s dominion and power now and forever. Jude wrote this book as encouragement to his fellow believers to continue in faith and not be tricked by false teaching. They speak to us today encouraging us to do the same.

Yesterday I hung my newly named paintings on my bedroom wall. I played with the arrangement a bit and knocked a few holes in the wall. It felt good to have something new to look at and the special names of the art to remember. Some things we just keep in our hearts and no one knows what they truly mean except us. Todays thanks goes out to Diane, Debbie, Maureen, Joni, Annette, Kimberly, Karen, Savannah, SelahV, Ruth, Angie, Sandra, Barbara and Kirstein for your special prayers, emails and friendship. "Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you." Jude verse 2

Word of the day.