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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A New Years message for you

A year ago, I was slogging through some ugly emotions. Anger simmered within. I felt stuck in a job I was unhappy in. I had been praying for God to change my situation. Yet God didn’t exactly answer my prayers the way I expected. The year ahead didn’t hold much promise. As you can see I’m not sugarcoating my thoughts today. 

I know I appreciate it when people share their raw honest emotions with me. Oh, you feel this way too? You’re struggling with the same stuff? 

Where are you in your journey right now? Are you feeling stuck in a bad situation? Are you angry and hurt? Do you look ahead at this year without a glimmer of hope?  Sit down with me today. Can I encourage you? 

You know there have been times in my life when I have let the “Twisted Sister” out. Unfortunately most of the time it happens it’s not when I am blessedly alone if you know what I mean.

I really try to appear to have it all together. But truthfully I need Jesus so badly. Many, many times He has pulled me back from a pit or even out of one. I have fallen on my face at His feet so many times and each time He lavishes His grace on me. 

I share this, because last December I threw a fit and played the martyr. Woe is me, I have it so bad!  Gloom and despair! It was ugly. I didn’t like what I was seeing in the mirror. Yet it became a turning point for me.

Do I want to turn into a bitter woman? I would certainly morph into one if I continued on this path. 

So I let go, I forgave the one who treated me unjustly. I settled in my job and found contentment. I cultivated a deeper relationship with Jesus. This did not magically happen overnight. Nothing really does. But the outcome has been worthwhile.

This year has been a surprise. In other words, God did much more than I expected or imagined. I didn’t have much hope, remember. All my fears and dreads never materialized. 

If He can do this for me, He will certainly do it for you. He will turn that situation you feel “stuck” in, into a beautiful place. He will breathe life into those dry bones and revive you. 

Dear friend, you are at a turning point just as I was. You must let go of the angst and hurt. Lean into His beating heart, allow Him to hold you close. Let Him do His great work in your life. Don’t limit Him by your circumstances, emotions, etc... You can’t limit a God who created the universe. 

This coming year I guarantee you that God will surprise. This time next year, you will look in wonder at what He did in and through you. 

Bless you my friend. Happy New Year. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Will God really dwell on earth..?"

“But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” 2 Chronicles 6:18-19

Will God really dwell on earth with humans? Not possible. Can’t happen. But the Almighty God did indeed dwell with His people Israel in the tent tabernacle and then the temple. He brought them out of slavery, fought for them, brought them into the Promised land and made them a nation.  

Will God really dwell on earth with humans? No, not possible. Can’t happen. But the astonishing truth is that He dwelt among us as a human. God Almighty, the Creator of the universe walked around in human skin.   Our God is not distant or unapproachable. He felt our pain, hurts, betrayal, and weaknesses. He has faced temptation. He experienced it all. 

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us....John 1:14
 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. Colossians 2:9 
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father.” John 14:9.  

Why would God do this? Why would He go after a wandering, straying sheep? Why does He love me so much? I will never know. He gives Himself so lavishly, does not hold back. What a beautiful mystery this is? 

Christmas is such a wondrous season. I love giving gifts to the ones I love. I want to show my appreciation and love to them. What a warm feeling that gives me. 

Multiply that by perhaps thousands and thousands. Perhaps then we can catch a glimpse of the love our Heavenly Father has by giving us His precious Son, Jesus. Immanuel, God with us. 

I hope you have a blessed Christmas my friends. 

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Monday, December 7, 2015

An Ode to a Neighbor

My neighbor died recently. We gathered in her flower garden for a memorial service. Comforting words were spoken. Tears shed, smiles and hugs shared. It was one of those moments that linger long after. 

We had just received a few inches of heavy snow. It coated the trees and garden. The setting sun caused everything to sparkle, lifting our heavy spirits. Her ashes were scattered around her precious garden. 

The garden itself is dead right now. What once was thriving and full of color and life is covered by snow. Gray stalks poke through here and there. I have many lilies and irises buried under the barren soil. Most of them given to me from my neighbor.  She had a daylily garden the size of my vegetable garden. She was always so generous. 

“Do you like this one?” “Here, let’s dig up a start.” “How about this one?” I had just started a garden of my own after I moved here. I didn’t have a lot of money to spare for flowers at that time. But I didn’t want to impose on her generosity either.

So I reluctantly said yes, I would love some flowers. Again she was always so generous. Once she and her husband  labored over a deep rooted Baptisia bush to share a start. They literally had to use a pick. I stood there holding this piece of root wondering if it would grow. And they worked so hard to get it for me. Believe me, I babysitted that plant and prayed over it. It flourishes now and seems to get bigger every year. 

Yes the garden is dead now, but next spring will bring new life again. When those irises and daylilies come to life and open their pretty faces, I’ll remember my neighbor. I’m going to smile when my Baptisia bush show their sweet pea like blossoms.  

A gardener grows beautiful things and shares them freely.  When I share  my flowers with a friend, my garden grows all the more. My life is much the same. When I give freely of what God has given me, my life flourishes. 

God has done a wonderful work in you. He has planted beautiful things within you. Share those beauties with those needy ones around you. You have much to give. 

“When someone gives another person a flower, the fragrance of the flower lingers on the hands of the giver.” Unknown

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rambling Thursdays

Let me just say up front that I love football. I have since I was a kid. I’ve had many football loves through my life. Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swan, Joe Montana, Walter Payton, Payton Manning and now Andrew Luck. I am an unabashed Colt’s and Notre Dame fan. So for today’s Rambling Thursday’s blog I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the 2015 season.

*I’ll get the ugly deflategate issue out of the way first. Because I am a Colt’s fan, I don’t like the Patriots. (Sorry Pats fans, hope this doesn’t mar our friendship.) But I wish my Colts hadn’t brought this up and I really don’t care to hear about a deflated ball again. Okay, now on to the good stuff. 

*I didn’t have good feelings about Payton playing this year and my gut feelings were confirmed. It pains me to watch him struggle this year. He’s a shell of his former greatness. I hope he can retire with his head held high. It’s been such a pleasure to hear “Omaha” at the line and watch him conducting his offensive people with his hand signals. When he leaves, the NFL won’t be the same.  

*What’s with all the injuries this year? Players are dropping like flies weekly. I don’t play fantasy football, but one of my friends does and it has certainly messed with her fantasy team. My Colts haven’t been exempt. Andrew Luck has been beat up. Thankfully we have Matt Hasselback. This brings me to my next thought.

*Matt Hasselback is quite the dude. He literally rose off a hospital bed on a short week to lead the Colts to a Thursday night victory. They were pumping I.V.’s in him before the game after he was deathly sick for a couple of days. Imagine facing angry giant men wanting to tear your arms off after that! But wow, he literally has saved the Colt’s season. The man is forty years old and he looks like he’s having fun out there with all the young guys. 

*Who would have thought? Ravens only with three wins? Bengals only two losses? Panthers undefeated? Cardinals leading the division with Seahawks in second place? Vikings in first place, Green Bay slipping? It has been a topsy turvy kind of season. I hate to say this, I really do....but the Pats will probably win the Super Bowl again even with all their injuries. 

*What do you think of the color crush uniforms on Thursday nights? I think they are pretty cool, although they have messed with color blind people. I  like the retro uniforms too, except the Steelers look like bumblebees in theirs. Just saying. 

*Lets talk College. I didn’t have high hopes for my Irish. And boy it didn’t start out well. Starting quarterback out for the year. Starting running back out. Season over right? Nope, it was next man up and boy did they ever step up. They have played so well and so gutty. Notre Dame has lost seven starters this year and they just keep plugging along. They were on the verge of going to the playoffs until they lost to Stanford. My heart was broken. I’ll still get to watch them one last time this year at a major bowl. 

Hard to believe we only have a couple of months left of football. Where did it go? I’ve enjoyed watching it this year and look forward to the intensity of the upcoming playoffs. For now enjoy this vintage Jim Mora video about his thoughts on the playoffs. Go Colts and Irish! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jehovah Remembers

The smoke ascends from the incense kindled by Altar fire. It drifts into the Holy of Holies, which represents the very throne of God. Sweet fragrance fills the Temple. 

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:4

Zechariah the priest stood before the Altar of incense to intercede for God’s people. The people gather outside in the courtyard to pray. He prays for the salvation of his people. For the Messiah to come. 

Yet there is a deeper yearning within his heart. A prayer that rises up with the smoke from the Altar. He and his wife Elizabeth are childless and well along in years. Has God forgotten them, does He see the ache of their hearts? 

In this most holy moment in God’s most holy meeting place, he hears from Almighty God. Ironically the name Zechariah means “Jehovah remembers.” 

Truly He does. Jehovah told Solomon when the Temple was dedicated, “Now My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”  2 Chronicles 8:15. 

Beloved, He is attentive to your prayers. He is aware of your heart’s desires. He sees the ache of your heart.  He has not forgotten you. He did not forget Zechariah. 

An angel appears at Zechariah’s side and tells him that his prayers have been heard. His wife Elizabeth will bear a son, which is joyful enough, but intertwined is another answered prayer. His son John “will make ready a people prepared for the Lord”, i.e. the anticipated Messiah. 

Your prayers are powerful and they are heard. The Altar of incense is a powerful visual of prayer. Every morning and evening the Priest burned the incense. He would intercede for the people. Once a year on the day of atonement, he applied the blood to the horns of the Altar, signifying the power of the blood in prayer. 

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Consider this about your prayers: We have the grace of the Spirit who helps us when we know not how to pray, Jesus who intercedes for us, and His precious blood which makes our prayers powerful. Add to this His promises which are “yea and amen in Christ.” 

Let me encourage you today to keep praying. Your prayers ascend into the very throne of God. Your Heavenly Father is attentive to your prayers. 

“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!" The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Psalm 116:1-7

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rambling Thursdays

There’s nothing like pop in a bottle. Yes pop. We call it pop here in Indiana. You may call it soda, soda pop, cola, or just pop. Regardless what you may call it, it’s much better in a cold bottle. You can’t convince me otherwise. Back when I was a kid we drank all of our pop out of a bottle. I remember the pop machines that sold glass bottles. Yes, they did have pop machines like this, and yes I just aged myself. 

Slowly over the years the bottle seemed to go sadly away. But here of late the pop bottle is making a giant comeback. And I am positively giddy about it. Stores are selling them.  A farm store near us offers plenty of fizzy delights. Indianapolis has a cute store called Rocket Fizz  The motherlode of pop stores  is in Arcadia Oklahoma on Route 66. We stopped there on our vacation. Called simply POPS it is an awesome store for pop lovers. I found this cute one here:

We walked around the store, dumbstruck at the rows of beautiful bottles. Of course we walked out with some to enjoy on the road. Anyway, I thought for today’s Rambling Thursday episode I would expand on my favorites:

*Cheerwine. Dr. Pepper on steroids is how I would describe it. A great cherry fizzy drink. 

*Faygo Rock N’ Rye. Another cherry pop, but with a Vanilla flavor mixed in. One of my favorites. 

*Mason’s root beer. My favorite root beer. It’s hard to find though. We were so desperate one time that we actually ordered a case. It has a old keg style flavor. 

*Dad’s root beer. Another great root beer. Comparable to Mason’s. Dad’s also has a great cream soda. 

*Nehi grape or orange. Just like drinking a popsicle. 

*Triple XXX Root beer. Comparable to Dad’s. Not as good as Mason’s though.  

*IBC root beer. My local store sells IBC and I always grab a bottle when I’m there. Their cream soda is very good. 

*B&K root beer. I’ll make an exception here. It has to be in a mug at the drive in, with a hot dog thrown in. Need I say anymore? 

As you can see from my list I love root beer. I guess you can call me a root beer snob. I’ve tried many kinds and these are my favorites. 

What are your favorites? 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Numbers Game

Numbers influence my life greatly. More than I like really. A simple number can make us depressed or make us feel good. It can change our perspective. Think about it...

I’ve been blogging for about an year and a half now. I’ve loved it and enjoy meeting new friends. But I went through a period of time where I was obsessed with my blog stats. I read blogs and listened to pod casts advising me how to improve those numbers. 

I worked hard at it, believe me. It took a lot of my time. It felt good to see the views go up and I was sad when the response wasn’t what I expected. In the middle of the summer I decided enough was enough! This was ridiculous. I was being pulled here and there, taunted by numbers. My life was full and busy enough. 

I went back to the beginning when I typed out my first blog, when I didn’t have a clue about blog stats. Just share my heart, what God gave me and let it minister to whoever reads it. He will lead the readers to me. And so I’ve had this approach with my blogging for a few months now. I feel so much more freer. I’m not overly concerned about numbers now. 

What about you? Are there numbers that taunt and pull you down? What about the dreaded scale? Yea, those numbers. I’ve lost about 30 lbs in the past year. I still step on the scale once every week to track my progress. I read somewhere that we should actually weigh ourselves everyday. 

I think that is a little much don’t you? Maybe you think once a week is too much? Well, I reason within myself these compelling thoughts: 

I put on a pound this week? Well, I guess I’ll cut back on the cupcakes. I’ll eat less of this and more healthy options. Doing ok? Well then I’ll have that bowl of ice cream. Like my reasoning? Hey anything to justify eating something sweet, just sayin! 

But seriously, I know that this is an issue that can be a struggle. This is a number that stirs up those ugly thoughts of how you look and feel about yourself. 

At our company health fair, we are measured as part of our health profile. Nothing like the nurse pulling out the measuring tape for your hips and waist to make your heart palpitate. 

How do you measure your worth? By your jean size? Your age? Your blog stats? Facebook friends and likes? Is this your guideline? 

May I tell you today beloved that none of these things contribute a lick to your worth? I struggle with insecurity at times just like you. If I get caught up in numbers, I can throw myself in a pit real quick. 

How do I measure my worth? Where is my plumb line when I’m off kilter? My worth, my life is built on the Cornerstone. “A tested stone, a precious Cornerstone for a sure foundation.” Jesus. 

My jean size, weight, stats, wage, etc... is an unstable foundation. All these numbers will change, sometimes day to day. Am I going to place my worth on sand? 

His love for me is steadfast regardless of my measurements, stats, likes, friends and age. In fact He numbers my steps and my hair. How’s that for numbers? 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rambling Thursday

It would be a long ten + hours to reach my next destination on day two of my road trip. Yet it was an enjoyable drive through the hilly prairies of Nebraska. The wide open spaces are stark, but beautiful even to an Indiana girl who loves her trees. 

I stayed with my Son and Daughter-in-law at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. He works here as a Park Ranger. Agate is north of Scotts Bluff about 40 minutes. It sits in the Niobrara river valley. There is a mix of mammal fossils, Indian artifacts and great views. Great visitor’s center and nice trails. Bring your binoculars as there is great bird watching. 

The next day we visited Scotts Bluff National Monument
It is a beautiful place. The bluffs are the main attraction here, but also of importance is the Oregon trail that went right by here. You can still see the furrow left by the wagons. 

You can drive to the top of the bluffs going through two tunnels on the way. On the top, trails lead to beautiful lookout points. If you prefer, shuttles will take you up. 
There are a few trails. One comes down off the bluffs and winds through a tunnel. But for lack of time, we didn’t get to do this. 

There is a nice Visitor’s Center with a nice gift shop. 

Our next day’s adventure was at Rocky Mountain National Park. It truly was an adventure. None of us ever been, so we were quite excited. And wow, I can truly say it was way beyond our expectations. 

We were staying two days. I rented a cabin from Airbnb. And let me just say here that this was spot on! Best decision I made for our stay. 

Our first day we drove down the Old Fall River road. This is a gravel road through the valley with sharp switchbacks, steep climbs and amazing views of the mountains. I was driving my Buick Lucerne, so I read plenty of reviews to make sure I wasn’t endangering my car. The reviews were encouraging, but I still entered the narrow gravel road a little uneasy at what was ahead. You see, there is no turning around once you enter.

My fears were in vain, as I had no trouble. Only once did I scrape bottom around a switchback. There were plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the views. A lovely waterfall was close by the road at one pull-off. Another place we wandered down in a meadow and enjoyed a walk beside a creek. 

The climb out of the valley was something else. It all opens up and you are on top of the mountain. What amazing, drop dead views we laid our eyes on. The road ends at the Alpine Visitor’s Center. It literally sits at the top of the mountain. There’s a cafe also. 

Absolutely, go down the Old Fall River road. You’ll not regret it. 

We continued down the west side of the park and stopped for a picnic. Here was a trail that led to a lake and beyond a lovely meadow. It was a great hike to end our day. 

On day two we stopped at the Grand Lake Visitor’s center. Our cabin was near Grand lake. There are two lakes located here and both are sparkling blue with the mountains encircling them. There are hiking trails here, but we lacked time to explore. The visitor’s centers (There are four) have plenty of guide books and trail maps to assist you. The Rangers are helpful to answer questions.

On our way back up north we stopped at the Colorado river valley and hiked a trail that led to a historic ranch. The river is the size of a creek here. 

Once we passed the Alpine Visitor’s center we continued down the Trail Ridge road. Now remember, I was a little nervous about the gravel road. Well this road was on steroids compared to that! This is the highest road in the US. We’re above 10,000 feet, no guardrails, just sheer cliffs. 

My Son is afraid of heights and was starting to freak out. It creeped me out too. I tried to keep my eyes on a road that just seemed not to be wide enough. We rallied though and enjoyed the views at the pull offs. We hiked the Alpine trail up to 12,000 feet and was blown away at the mountain top panoramas. 

As you can surely tell, I loved this park. It would be at the top of my must see, I have to go back list. Two days isn’t enough. We didn’t have time to explore the east side of the park. I highly recommend going. You will not regret it. Be forewarned will feel the altitude. It kicked my butt. I was gasping for air a few times. 

I will never forget this road trip. I’ll be thinking about it all winter. There are links at the bottom for other places you can visit in the Nebraska Panhandle area. 

Get out there and explore! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Balm of Gilead

It was a familiar place of pain. He has scars from other scrapes. But this had to be especially painful. He’s on the run once again as a fugitive. This time from his own son, Absolom who took the throne from him.

While David ran for his life, he ran into Shemei who was from Saul’s family. David’s old nemesis. He rubbed salt in the raw wound, cursing him, and adding insult to injury threw stones and dirt. David had every right to strike back at this man, and was encouraged to do so, yet he spared his life and rode on. 

Yet David never forgot what Shemei did. While on his deathbed, he warns his son Solomon about Shemei. 

I wouldn’t forget either. While I have to forgive like Jesus forgave me, I certainly wouldn’t share a cup of coffee with them. I wouldn’t get all chummy. 

Scripture says that David was exhausted. Who wouldn’t be after that assault? He was already low in spirit and to have someone pile on like that would be more than I could take. 

This is just like our enemy the devil. His tactics aren’t much different. When we give in to temptation, fail miserably, or feeling vulnerable, it’s painful enough isn’t it? But then he inflicts curses, condemnations, throws dirt and stones. He piles on. 

But watch what happens with David:

Barzillai from Gilead meets David and opens his arms and welcomes him. Feeds him, provides supplies for the journey and encourages him. This had to refresh and uplift David so much. Because of Barzillai, he was able to continue on. 

Jeremiah 8:22 asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”

After this life and our enemy has buffeted our souls, we are left weary and downtrodden. You and I have a Balm of Gilead. Jesus; Who is acquainted with our weakness and felt our pain. 

He is “the God of all comfort”, “He comforts all who mourn”, “He comforts us in all our troubles.” 

Beloved are you hurting and broken at this very moment? Are you weary and disheartened? Oh, there is a Balm for your wounds. A Balm to soothe your pain. To heal and restore you. He speaks gracious and kinds words to your battered spirit:

“I have upheld you since you were conceived, and carried you since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He. I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:3-4

Beloved, I pray that you feel His sweet presence and hear those gracious words. 

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rambling Thursdays

I took a rather lengthy road trip lately. All by myself. Previously the longest trip I’ve ever drove was four hours. So I was excited but a little nervous. The destination was the Western panhandle of Nebraska to see my son. He works as a Park Ranger at Agate National Historic Site. 

It would be a two day trip. Approximately eighteen hours. First decision: Music on the I Pod? Radio? Silence? I went with none of these. I discovered pod casts recently and listen regularly to Sophie Hudson’s “The Big Boo cast” and love it. So I subscribed to some and my listening pleasure has been enhanced. Here are some that I recommend:

*The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. Kind of like talking with your best friend. She brings a guest and they discuss all kinds of girl stuff. Their conversations will encourage and bring a laugh. 

*Amateur Traveler. If you love travel, you will love this podcast. Wonderful, insightful information about destinations here in the U.S. or overseas. 

*Real Simple. Have you read the magazine? Different topics are covered. Relational, housework, work issues, and my personal favorite: Things Cooks Know. The only problem, is that I get hungry listening. 

*This American Life. This is a weekly public radio show. I just love it. The stories are so fascinating. It draws you in. Kind of like a 60 minutes, only miles better. Try it. 

*The influence Podcast: Interviews with inspiring women. Very encouraging. It never ceases to speak to my heart. 

*Grantland Podcast: I love football. Bill Barnwell and Robert Mays host this podcast and discuss all things NFL. One is a Bears fan and the other is a Giants fan. They always have great things to say. Sometimes they will bring other people in for a interview. 

The miles went by fast, (especially when the speed limit is 70), as I listened. 

My first stop was in Iowa at West Branch. I visited the Herbert Hoover Historical Site, and got my NPS Passbook stamped. It was much nicer than I expected. The house where he was born is there, plus other original buildings. His presidential library is there also. 

It is located right off I-80 and is worth a visit. 

Next stop was Winterset Iowa. It is John Wayne’s birthplace. A musuem just opened in the Spring and the house where he was born is there. Winterset is off of I-80 about 20 miles. Winterset has a quaint downtown encircling a beautiful Courthouse.  Within the Courthouse circle is the Northside Cafe

I ate there first. Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep ate here in a scene from “Bridges of Madison County”. I had a open faced beef manhattan and apple crisp. Fully satisfied now, I visited the museum. 

I love John Wayne and have so many of his movies. I recognized many articles from the displays. Clothes, a saddle, hats and even his personal car. It was so cool to see stuff that he actually wore from the movies. I was impressed.

They have a gift shop filled with all things John Wayne. You can sit in a miniature theater to watch a film of his life. Around the block is his birthplace, which is a small four room house. 

I stayed the night here in Winterset. I could have ventured out to see the Bridges of Madison county, all within easy driving distance. But I was road weary and ready to turn in. 

The next day would be a long one, as I would be driving the length of Nebraska and then up to the Northwestern corner. My next Rambling Thursday blog, I’ll share what we visited the three days I spent. 

What’s the best road trip you have been on?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Word for You

I shared about changes, new opportunities that have come in my life recently. God continues to surprise me. He’s good about that isn’t He? 

Saturday was my last Ladies meeting as a leader. I had to step down because of new responsibilities that will take more of my time and energy. I’m sad to leave, mostly because I will miss the closeness of our group. 

But God, (I love this phrase), blessed me this week unexpectedly when my neighbor ambled over and invited me to a Bible study. It totally took me by surprise. I said yes of course. 

I really didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I’ve never been a part of a Bible study full of strangers so to speak. Well, it was lovely. The women were a bit older than I, but there were a few my age. They were hungry for God and to learn from His Word. I loved my time with them and can’t wait for next week.

I received a confirmation there. I have been contemplating doing something for my last meeting with my ladies. I remember in Junior High School when a Life Skills teacher had each of us write something nice about a fellow classmate on a paper that had her name on top. I still have mine in a box. It meant the world to read gracious words written about me when I was a insecure mess of a teenager. 

The ladies at my Bible study shared how at a retreat they did the same thing and it was such a blessing to every woman. I knew then that I had to do this. 

It was a blessing to my ladies and to me. Gracious words shared filled our hearts. On those days when I’m feeling low, wretched, and out of sorts, I will open up this paper and read their kind words. These words will reaffirm that I am special and loved. I need to hear that now and then, don’t you? There is a powerful verse about words in Proverbs 18:21

“The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.”

The power of life and death...Wow! There are so many words we hear from day to day. Some not so good. Harassing messages from our past rise up ugly heads and hiss in our ears. Messages from the media that tell us we aren’t enough, we aren’t pretty enough, aren’t skinny enough, not talented enough, etc... Perhaps someone told you one time you were stupid, ugly, that you’d never amount to anything. 

These words have the power of death. If we listen and allow them to penetrate our hearts, they will certainly bring death to our spirits. 

But gracious words bring life to my spirit. The words I read on my paper are beautiful words. They tell me I am loved, I have made an impact, I am special. 

If God wrote on a paper with your name on top, what would He write? How does He feel about you? He’s already told you in His Word. 

He would write, “You are my daughter, my child. I have given you life, freedom, joy and peace. I have made you a new creature. I have transformed you. I have done my work in you and prepared you for good works. Now rest in Me. Know I am enough. I fill your emptiness. I make you sparkle. Now share what I have given you. Be the confident woman I made you to be. I love you my child. I held nothing back for you. I’ve lavished my grace upon you. I am with you and in you. You can do all things because of me.”

His Word has the power of life in it. Are you feeling wretched, low and out of sorts? Open His Word and read His thoughts for you. The Word will transform your mind, it is powerful. It is the Truth.