Some Thoughts to Ponder

This past December I had the privilege to attend a Deeper Still conference in Alabama.

The  speakers for this weekend conference were Beth Moore, Kay Arthur and Priscilla Shirer.

I know!!!  Wow!!!

It was an awesome weekend. A really great treat for me during this time of year. A break from the stressful life of retail.

A few days ago I decided to look over my notes from that weekend and reflect back on what I felt  the Lord was speaking to me through these three beautiful women.

Words cannot be put to paper concerning all that took place in my heart during those two days. It was such an honor to worship the Lord with over thirteen thousand women.

I think it is pretty neat how God can gather that many ladies together, in one place, to  hear one message, and each lady can receive that one  message in a different way that is applicable to her own life.

I would like to share with you some statements that I jotted down in my journal that weekend. Some of the statements and questions are from the different speakers that spoke. Others are some thoughts that  I jotted down, as I allowed my heart to be opened to hear God that weekend.

Some thoughts to ponder:

Are you ready and willing to hear from God?  If so, are you willing to obey?

You have no idea what can happen when one person is obedient.

Do we know what He really expects from us?

Do we understand what it means to follow God?

What would happen if we all did what He asked us to do?

What are you doing with your life that you shouldn’t be doing?

Do you live and order your life by instruction from the word?

Christianity is not adding Jesus to your life.  If you’re a christian – Jesus is your life!!  Not an add-on.

Christianity is a change of mind that embraces Christ.

He is going to be the Supreme ruler of this earth one day- so why is He not the Supreme ruler of our lives?

Quite a bit to ponder……………………don’t you think?

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Why are you Downhearted?

I wrote the following post in November. I had never published it. Today as I was reading over it  I felt very impressed to share it.

I can say, that the condition of my heart is very different today, than it was the day that I wrote this post..

I am so fortunate that I serve a God who restores our heart. A God of  hope.

Here is the post that I wrote in November:

Today as I was reading in I Samuel chapter 1 these words  “Why are you downhearted ?” caught my attention. This question was asked to Hannah by her husband Elkanah.

This past weekend I was  feeling  really  “downhearted”.

On Saturday afternoon I went out to eat with some of my family members.

They were laughing and talking. As I surveyed the other people in the restaurant, they were also laughing, talking and seemed to be having a good ol time enjoying one another’s company.

 I have to admit I wasn’t enjoying anything. I resented hearing all of the laughter and seeing everyone smiling.

 Why were they afforded the privilege of being so happy?  When I was feeling so “downhearted”?

 Now, I have to admit the circumstances causing my feelings were  nothing in comparison to what was causing Hannah to feel so downhearted.

In this particular passage Hannah is faced with the reality that she was unable to conceive a child. In Old Testament times if a woman could not conceive a child she was considered a failure.  It was ancient Middle Eastern custom for the wife to give one of her maid servants to her husband to bear children for her if  she could not conceive  a child.

Hannah was  married to Elkanah who was also married to Peninnah. Peninnah had children. Peninnah constantly provoked and taunted  Hannah concerning the fact that she could not bare children.  Thus, causing Hannah to have feelings of unworthiness.

According to customs Elkanah could have left his barren wife. But Elkanah loved Hannah and remained devoted to her  even in the midst of social criticism.  Elkanah tried to encourage Hannah but his kind words and actions were not enough to heal Hannah’s pain.

The symptoms for my feeling downhearted and Hannah’s were completely different. But the solution to overcome this present state of mind is the same.

Hannah had good reason to be bitter and sad.

She was constantly taunted and put down by Peninnah. Eli, the high priest did not understand her motives. Elkanah, her devoted, loving husband could not solve her problem for her.

Hannah had a choice to make.

She could strike back at the people in anger,using ugly words and continue to live with the fact that she would never have children.  She could have turned away from everyone and everything and became a bitter lost soul.

But Hannah chose to turn to the Lord and pray.

In this passage in I Samuel 1:15-16, listen to Hannah’s response to Eli,who thinks she has been drinking.

” Not so my lord,”  Hannah replied,” I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer, I have been pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Hannah was pouring out her soul to God.  She was praying out of great  anguish and  pain.

I am sure that all of us have been in a  similar situation like Hannah’s  before. Where we have felt there wasn’t a solution to the problem.  Maybe no one understands what you are going through.  Maybe we have felt that there was no one who could fix things for us.

Today you may be going through a difficult circumstance in your life. You may feel that there is nowhere to turn.

Hannah’s story is a story of hope. This story allows us to  see the faithfulness of God.

Where will you turn?

Will you choose to turn away from God? 

Or will you choose to turn to God and pour out your heart to Him?

 

 HEART VERSES

Psalm 117:2
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

 

 

 

It is Well With my Soul

Today is my oldest brother, Eddie’s sixtieth birthday.

Eddie  is not here today to celebrate his birthday with his family.  I can’t pick up the telephone and tell him happy birthday and how much I love him.

He is celebrating his sixtieth birthday in heaven. 

His death was sudden. There was no time to say goodbye.

If  I could have one more conversation with him, here are a few things that I would say to him.

Ed,

I love you!!  You are one in a million.  I am blessed to call you my brother.

I am so proud of you and your family for the way that you have been so faithful in following the Lord. You are such a godly example to me and my boys. Thank you for always encouraging Chris and Aaron. For cheering them on and telling that they could accomplish whatever they set  their minds too.

I am proud of you for stepping out on faith and selling your business and doing ministry in the coffee shop. I wonder how many people’s lives are going to be changed by their visit to that place.

Remember the first day you and Carolyn opened the coffee shop?  It was for family only. Remember the couple who drove up from Knoxville to get married at the little wedding chapel next door, only to find out that the chapel was closed?  But wasn’t it just so GOD that this was your first day at the coffee shop. And you just happened to be an ordained minister. You performed their ceremony and then invited them in for fellowship and refreshments.

 What an awesome way to start a ministry.

I love to see how much joy that you have found in humbly serving and giving to your church family. It is so good to cross paths with a member of your church and hear them tell how your ministry to them has made such a difference in their lives. God has truly blessed you in allowing you to see His power released on that church. Allowing lives to be changed forever.

Ed, you seem so happy. You have the most beautiful smile. You seem to be so fulfilled and content. Your life is a testament to finding the key to true happiness.  I now that you have found that the way to peace and contentment is only found in a deep relationship with the Lord. Fully committed to serving and following your Lord and Savior in true obedience.

You have set an example for all of your family. I am so proud of you and all that you stand for!!!

I love you!!!

Sarah

The song  “It is Well With my Soul” was one of Ed’s favorite songs.  And I can say that when he left this world everything was “well” with his soul.

How about you my dear friend? Is everything well with your soul?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ED!!! YOU ARE FOREVER IN  MY THOUGHTS AND CONVERSATIONS!!! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

What ever your circumstances are today-Turn your eyes to the heavens and thank Him!!!!

Missing my dad and brother today!!! 

 But thanking God for the Godly examples that they were in my life!!!

Taking time to remember the great times that our family shared with them!!! Memories are wonderful!!!!!

Take time today and look for the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a lost family member!!!

Praying that everyone will have a blessed day!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

And Happy Black Friday Shopping to all!!!!!!!

And then I guess it is okay now to say……………………………………………………………………………….

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

REMEMBER THE GREATEST GIFT EVER………………………………………………………….JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are Blessed

“You are blessed.”  These are the words that were sweetly spoken from my dear friend.

Several weeks ago I was able to connect back with one of my longtime friends. We have known each other since we were eight years old. We were best friends in high school. We have kept in touch over the years. Or maybe I should say that God has kept us in touch with each other over the years.  We just seem to come back in each others lives when we really need a close friend. 

We were able to get together and just have some girl time. We spent time catching up with what has been going on with our families. Talked about the Lord and what He was doing in our lives. We even spent time praying together.

It was a fun time just to hang out and catch up .

At one point in our conversation she just whispered the words “you are blessed”.

I don’t  remember what my response to her was.  But I do know that lately I have been thinking about her words to me that day. They have just been coming back to my heart and soul.

There are times in our lives that other people can see things that we don’t always see. Things that we  just take for granted. Maybe because the things that they see have always been there for us and we just assume it is like that for everyone.

One thing that I know that I take for granted in my life is my wonderful husband. 

I know that he loves me so much. It is not  just about him saying that he loves me ;  it is the things  that he does for me on a daily basis that shows that he loves me.

It is not about any big extravagant gift that He gives me. It is the simple things that he does for me.

Going to put gas in my car late at night.  Bringing me a snack from upstairs. Cooking a special dinner for me when I am working late. Cleaning house for me when I work on Saturday’s.  Getting up in the middle of the night to get me medicine.  The list goes on and on.

He encourages and supports me in anything that I do.

In a nutshell, he loves me more than he loves himself.  And he shows  it everyday.

I AM TRULY BLESSED !!

I LOVE YOU, BABE!!  I AM THANKING GOD FOR BLESSING MY LIFE WITH YOU!!!!

I encourage you today to stop and count your blessings!!!  Put a name to them and tell someone how much they mean to you.

Also, to my sweet  friend!!!  I am blessed to call you  friend. Love you!!!

I Threw Satan in the Drawer–Ha!! Ha!!

I started this post a few weeks ago. I titled it and set it aside.

When my son saw me writing this he was sort of taken back and said   “what is that all about?’

What “that” was all about is that for several days I was having bad days at work due to a new scheduling program my company was changing to. I just couldn’t  get it.  The more I looked at the program, the more frustrated I became. It just didn’t make sense to me.

After about three days of frustration, one day when I walked into my office, I saw the training manual for this new scheduling process laying in a chair. I politely picked it up, walked around my desk and opened an empty drawer and threw  the book (Satan) in!!  I decided that   “it”  was  not going to ruin another day for me.

Later, that day an associate from another store called me. ” How is you day going today? ”  was her first question.

My reply to her was,” I’m having a great day- because I threw Satan in the drawer this morning.”

She let out a big laugh because she knew exactly what I was talking about.  She was feeling my pain!!  She was having the same frustrations.

I can laugh at this now-but at the time it was not funny.

Today I was thinking about this in comparison to our everyday life and how we sometimes  let Satan  just really pull us down. How we just let him linger around and cause us so much needless pain. How so many time we are caught in his trap before we realize it.

In  1 Peter 5:8 we are told to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Satan is crouching at ever turn. Ready to attack and kill. 

Are your prepared for the battle that awaits you today?  Are you fully dressed ?  Have you put on your armor and properly prepared yourself  for what might be the fight of your life?

Heart Verses

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Deuteronomy 20:4
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”