He’s Always Been Faithful

Cover of "Conversations"

Cover of Conversations

A friend, and former co-worker gave me a Sara Groves, Conversations, CD several years ago. At the time I had never heard of Sara Groves, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Little did I know that her music would have such a profound and lasting effect on me.

At the time I was going through a difficult season of life, and nearly wore out the CD listening to her songs, words that pierced my heart…

Faith.

Being faithful.

Knowing that I can, and should, rest in the knowledge that God is not in the business of failure…or disappointment. His ways are always right and good…even if I can’t always see it at the time.

For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear, but My kindness shall not leave you. My promise of peace for you will never be broken, says the Lord Who has mercy upon you.   Isaiah 54:10

Faith is believing even when I can’t see.

Trusting in the Unseen.

Faith is sometimes doubting, but still knowing.

Faith is resting…in the arms that carry me.
He’s Always Been Faithful Sara Groves

Lyrics www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/sara_groves/

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me…

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I’m in need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I’m in need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I’m in need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me

Hear her sing….

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Feathering The Nest

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

Okay people….I know it is only August 30th. I also know that regardless of the ACTUAL beginning day of Fall on the calendar, I consider Labor Day the time to begin decorating. The night temperature actually got down to 57 degrees here. This means that Fall is right around the corner. It had better be! After a long, hot summer, I am more than ready for the days ahead.

I’m ready to pull out blankets and fluff pillows.

Get out all my apple spice, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie scented candles.

I will begin dreaming of pumpkins and gourds.

Warm sweaters.

Cozy socks.

Cool days and chilly nights.

Harvest moon.

The sound of tractors as they move through the fields.

Corn shocks put up the old fashioned way by the Amish.

Meandering drives through back country roads.

Apple butter.

Bonfires.

The smell of wood smoke.

Walks through the woods.

Leaves in fiery shades of orange, red, and yellow.

Football games.

Hot chocolate or mocha lattes.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

 

Sometimes Thanks Is Not Easy

candle

Image by jamingray via Flickr

Most Mondays I blog about thanks, along with other bloggers, over at A Holy Experience. Many of my blogs are happy thanks.

Eucharisteo….to be grateful.

Sometimes… I don’t feel grateful.

I should.

But, I don’t.

I’m working on it.

Hard work.

It is what Ann Voskamp, in her book One Thousand Gifts, says……is “hard eucharisteo”.

I’ve not had any terrible things happen to me lately. I am thankful for that. I know that life will throw me another curve ball someday—and I pray that I am ready for it.

God has always been faithful…and He will be again.

He is my anchor in all of life’s unpredictability.

I am thankful, grateful, in awe of, a God that is strong.

That is powerful. Whose grip on me is firm.

So, today I thank for the hard stuff…….

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*I am thankful for doctors and their skills. Physicians that care for those I love… Even when it hurts.

*I am thankful for family members that love each other through good and bad, and they feel my love for them even when I can’t see them regularly.

*I’m so very grateful to be able to send love across the miles, when I can’t be there in person.

*I’m thankful for sticky floors that I have to clean, even when I didn’t make the mess.

*I’m thankful for a vehicle to get me from one place to another, even if it isn’t new.

*I’m thankful for times when I am weary, times when  God’s strength and power, alone, are shown.

*I’m grateful that I don’t have to have all the answers, all the understanding of the “why?”.

*I’m glad for having the opportunity to make choices…even when I choose poorly.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you… Isaiah 43:2  NIV

I am thankful, that in darkness, even a small light can help people see.

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Prepare For The Worst, Hope For The Best

Hurricane Irene

Image by janthepea via Flickr

For the past several days all I’ve heard about is hurricane Irene. I have the track of the storm memorized. I’m watching for who is being forced to evacuate. Now, homeland security is even involved. Of course, I am a weather geek extraordinaire so all this talk doesn’t bother me. I’m sure all I will hear between now and Monday is the latest news on the fast approaching hurricane Irene. I will get to see reporters standing in 100+ mph winds, hanging on to telephone poles so as not to be blown down the street or blown out to sea. I will get glimpses of 20 foot waves crashing onto the shore and the reporters, in their bright yellow rain slickers, running for their lives.This sort of stuff is the life blood of a bonafide weather watcher. I’m telling you what, between the earthquake earlier this week and now the hurricane. Be still my heart!

What is the deal with people surfing in the choppy waters? Hello! Riptides, people! North Carolina life guards are pulling these nuts out of the water.  Some people really make me wonder….wonder if they are all together there, you know, mentally.

The news anchors make it sound like NYC is either going to be under water or caught in hurricane force winds so strong that they will bust out every window in the city. Not that the news media ever exaggerates anything. Just sayin’.

I am in Ohio, so I don’t have to prepare for the upcoming “end of days” hurricane. I do hope all my  east coast family and friends are hunkered down with supplies this weekend. Be safe…and for cryin’ out loud, don’t go stand outside when the storm hits, with a microphone in your hand.

Passion With Purpose

All the world's a stage

Image by Pedro Moura Pinheiro via Flickr

At Faith Barista we are jamming on this question:

What is a passion or interest you’d like to nurture and grow?

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I decided to broach this topic by just typing. I didn’t want to over analyze it. I was anxious to see what I came up with….just free flowing thought. By doing this I might get a better overall picture of my passions and interests…the things that I need to concentrate on growing. The great thing about this blog topic? And in reading what each person has to say? These blog posts will show a beautiful collage of God‘s creativity. He made each of us unique…and knows us each intimately. His passion is to be glorified…and His interest is each of us.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27 NIV

My first reaction to this blog topic question would be, teaching. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a deep seated passion to teach, help, assist the special needs population. I had already decided my college major as a 16 year old. I knew what I wanted to do. I made it my goal to prepare for this career in any way possible. You can read about that, here. I’ve spent the last couple of decades (plus some) working with this community. It is a part of who I am.

Another passion of mine is writing. This desire to write goes back even further then the previous one I have mentioned. As a young child I would write in my journals. I would fill the blank pages of my fabric covered book with poetry. I’d write stories, verses and thoughts in my school girl swirly penmanship. When I was still in elementary school I gathered information and “produced” a handwritten family newsletter, which I then distributed to my many relatives. I’ve been blogging for the past 5 years. I’ve found out how much I love the communication available through social media. I also long to, one day, finish a book that has been written and rewritten in my mind a million times. Books and reading are definitely a passion of mine…and if I could write a book of my own, it would be like icing on the cake.

I’ve enjoyed drama and performing for as long as I can remember. I started out life as a camera ham. My family would often tease that if a camera was anywhere in sight, I would pose and smile. I would play “Spy” with my cousin during family get togethers. He and I would covertly crawl behind couches, hide in closets with the door cracked so we could hear, and quietly sit under dining room tables. The goal was to retrieve any interesting conversation and report back to base. Some might say this was eavesdropping on the adults. My cousin and I considered this valuable information, and not getting caught behind “enemy lines” was exhilarating.  Yep, I was an 8 year old spy. As a teen I was in drama and skits at church, and lyric theatre in college. Everything from speeches to monologues, plays, skits and musicals…I love being on stage and drawing the audience into the performance. It is fun!

Lastly, I have to say that I very much enjoy decorating. God has given me an appreciation for aesthetics. Colors, textures, and light make me happy.  I delight in pouring over design and decorating books. I revel in repurposed objects. I could spend an entire day in a junk store, or roaming the aisles of a flea market. My mind is always going…what can I use that for? Painting is fun, and rearranging furniture is a perk. Even though I would not consider myself a great photographer, there is something wonderful about getting just the right light around the clouds, seeing  afternoon sun against the side of a bright red barn, or catching the smile of a child. Pictures tell stories and I love to “read” them.

Finally, there is traveling. I have a large collection of travel books. Most people who know me realize that I have “a thing” for the late Charles Kuralt. To me, he had the best job in the world….winding around the back roads of America. Talking with people, listening to their stories. I would have loved to meet him and ask him if he enjoyed finding out what was “up around the bend”. I don’t need to jet set around the world. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, flying isn’t the best way to travel. True, it gets one to the destination faster and being up above the clouds is awe inspiring but, it isn’t conducive to visiting. Give me back country roads, driving with no “apparent destination”, mom and pop shops, home made ice cream, and a cold sweet tea. Let me hear and see history through the stories of those that have been there. Now that, my friend, is my idea of a good time.

Teaching.

Writing.

Reading.

Performing.

Decorating.

Traveling.

These are my passions. My interests. They are what make me, me.

Like the saying goes……  “These are God’s gifts to me, what I do with them is my gift to God.”

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What are your passions and interests?
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Are You Freed By Forgiveness?

splash

Today at A Holy Experience, we continue to discuss forgiveness…..not an easy subject for me. I considered just skipping this post today, but changed my mind. There might be someone out there that needs to hear what I have to say.

As one who loves to write and who has made it a life long habit to put my thoughts into words, I would like to share this excerpt from one of my many journals.

These words echo back to me, from a journal that I kept for an entire year after my first husband died. A decade ago, but I remember writing this as if it were yesterday. The last page of the journal, and it frees me as much today as it did back then.

” November 21, 2001

…… I choose this day to forgive you for lying to me.

I forgive you for hurting me. You were wrong in doing that.

There was no excuse for your behavior, but it is in the past and I am going on.

I choose to learn from the past.

I choose to put my future totally in the Lord’s hands.

I choose not to be bitter and hardened by my experiences.

I will live my life and be content….

I forgive you even now.”

Forgiving is freeing.

It is liberating.

And it is necessary.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

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Are you freed by forgiveness?