Posts

Showing posts from April, 2013

When 'Thank You' Just Isn't Enough

Image
Have you ever noticed that the words "Thank You" seem so inadequate.

And while there are a handful of ways to verbally say "Thank You," they just never feel like enough.

For the past few days, the Lord has heaped - bountifully and abundantly - blessings on me. One right after another after another until I'm positively giddy inside.

And yet, just saying "Thank You" doesn't seem like enough. There's got to be something more, something else, another way or another word.

I think David ran into the same problem while he was writing the Psalms. Over and over, he thanks the Lord for what He's done, what He's doing and what He's going to do. We read passage after passage with the word "Thanks."

I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. Psalm 35:18

As powerful as words can be, sometimes it's the repetition that means the most.

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we gi…

A Weekend of Staying Centered

Image
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:33, 39-43



Make this a weekend of staying centered. Look to the Savior Who hung on that center cross just for you. Focus on that cross and the price of His precious blood. Let everything else fade away as His presence becomes the very center of your weekend.

An Eye-Opening Experience

It's been years since I've had my eyes dilated at the eye doctor's office. I didn't know they'd be doing that at my appointment today, but they did.

She warned me that the sun would be blinding, and she gave me those adorable roll-up sunglasses to wear afterwards. Because, yes, I had planned to drive to the grocery store afterwards. I was every bit the fashion statement as I headed for the door to leave the office.

And today is the very first day in a long time that I've truly been blinded. As soon as I opened that door, the sunlight flooded my poor dilated eyes. I'm sure the ladies at the front desk were watching me stumble to where I thought I had parked my car.

At least the key fit, so I'm pretty sure I brought my car home.

I made it to the store, made it through the store and made it home without incident, praise the Lord. But my eyes were opened, literally and figuratively, for quite a while after that.

As soon as I got home, and got the groceries …

What's Your Perspective?

For the past few weeks, God has been leading me through a couple of different storms. They have not been easy, and there is really no end in sight for one of them. I'm absolutely certain that you've been through the same kind of situations in your own walk with the Lord.

There have been moments during this time that I have been ready to throw in the towel and call it a day. I've run the range of emotions from angry to frustrated, sad to discouraged and just plain done.

But lately, through much time in prayer and Bible study, I have found a peace that passeth all understanding. Instead of being up in arms over the situations I've been placed in, I'm becoming aware of how God is moving through every one of them. And because of this realization, He can work through me, using me as an instrument of His peace.

I can choose to look at these storms as completely hopeless and abandon ship. But while this thought have have crossed my mind several times, that's the wrong…

One of God's Lists

I don't know if you're like me or not, but I love lists. I like seeing all the information right in front of me, and I thoroughly enjoy crossing things off my lists. It's that sense of accomplishments.

There's something about a list that just sums things up for me. It's not paragraph upon chapter upon novel trying to get to the point. You look at a concise amount of information and know what you're supposed to know.

I like lists.

So when God lays out a list for me in His Word, I get all excited. There are so many lists in the Bible, and I know that the Lord knows that I love His lists best of all.

One that recently touched my heart is found in 1 Timothy. I'm sure I've read it a dozen times before, but I never really paid attention to it until now. Isn't it amazing how the Living Word works on your heart?

Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timot…

My Blue Period

Image
This weekend, I started putting a new line in our etsy shop. Apparently I'm going through my Blue Period because I couldn't get enough of these gorgeous colors.

I even found some vellum quotes that I forgot I had, which made such a different look for several of them. And spring gives such a creative boost, since you can cover things with butterflies and dragonflies to your heart's content.

Plus, the color combination reminds me of water and warmer temperatures. We could all use that right now, even though the calendar says it really is spring.
These new cards and gifts will help you celebrate spring with a touch of nature. To see the whole line, as well as many other cards and gifts, visit our etsy shop at www.stufffromtrees.etsy.com.

A Weekend of Overflowing

Image
After several days of rain, both of our ponds were at their flood point. It's been amazing to watch them rise and then flow out through the drainage pipes.

Last year, we were in such a drought that the waters receded dramatically. It was a real worry for farmers, especially, but anyone with water on their property like our ponds was concerned.

The drought is now officially broken, thanks to the rains that walloped the area. The river is completely out of its banks and more is expected to come down from lakes and streams north of us.

And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26

Make this a weekend of overflowing. God has showered us with blessings, so we should all be filled to overflowing with His goodness.

Let your joy gush over the banks so that it can be shared with others. No matter what's happening in the world around us, our hearts and lives ar…

Controlling Your Mind

Have you ever noticed how completely your mind can control you if you let it?

Here's the perfect example:I've had several people to interview for the paper this week. I was so tired and so run-down from the pace I've been trying to keep that I let my mind get away from me. My thoughts went places they didn't need to go - they wouldn't want to talk to me, they'd make me feel like I was bothering them, I wouldn't be able to get a hold of them at all. Then everyone would be upset, I wouldn't get anything done and everybody involved would be disappointed.

Obviously, I got myself all worked up and anxious over something that hadn't even happened yet.

And it never did.

I called all those people, had lovely interviews and was able to put all the words in the right places and meet all my deadlines.

But then, even after all those positive moments, my mind wandered away again. Did you put the right address in that article, are you sure you spelled that name c…

My Not-So-Little Green Plant

Image
 I love spring. I love everything turning green again and all the plants coming back to life. It's an exciting time to be in Iowa - soon the farmers will start planting and see God's miracle of the soil one more time.

 In a small way, I've been seeing this miracle myself through the plant on my window sill. I bought four small plants when we first moved here a year and a half ago, and this is the only one that survived. Yes, it is entirely my fault.

But it has grown and thrived regardless of what I've done or not done. It's been an amazing plant, reaching toward the window to soak up more sunshine.

And now, this spring, it has finally bloomed! I never realized that it wasn't just a green plant. How wonderful the miracles of all God's creation. And how wonderful to enjoy these tiny white flowers every day.

10 Things To Do Before Bed

Normally we think about organization as something you spend a lot of time - during the day - doing just to keep up. You tackle a closet, conquer the filing or take everything out of the kitchen and put it all back in.

In all honesty, though, I just like getting up in the morning to a clean, organized house. It really bugs me to find a sink full of dishes I should have put in the dish washer last night. Or puppy toys trailed all the way down the hall. Or craft supplies all over the table.

A clear space clears my head space, which is a must, right?

What if organizing was a simple as 10 little things you do every night before bed?

1. Put together lunches and snacks for the next day.
2. Make sure all of the dishes are out of the sink.
3. Clear off the kitchen counters.
4. Gather everything you need for tomorrow's errands. (Books to return, bills to mail, checkbook)
5. Put toys (child or pet) all in one place.
6. Pull out your Bible study materials for the next day's reading.
7. Pu…

Congratulations! It's A Boy!

Image
 This is Barn Kitty. Kitty has grown abundantly over the winter months. You'll see the difference immediately if you remember my first post about our being adopted by this stray.

Last week, Kitty was very sick. Usually there are pitiful mews coming from the deck at all hours of the day and night. When it was silent for several hours, I went to investigate.

Kitty was down under the deck and took quite a bit of convincing to come out. This let me know that something was wrong.
I called Danny out and just held Kitty on my lap for a while. This is very rare because I am incredibly allergic to cats. But you can't help it when something so little looks so pitiful.

Danny came over and put his hand on Kitty's chest to see if the heartbeat was unusual. It wasn't, but his next comment blew me out of the water.

"You realize your cat's a boy, right?"

Um...no. We've been saying "her" from the beginning. I don't normally flip over strange cats before…

This Light Affliction

What's weighing you down today? What burdens are you under that have you sinking down into the ground?

We're all facing circumstances in our lives that press us down and make us a little loopy. I know you know exactly what I'm talking about. Maybe it's that one little thing that frustrates you. That one thing that would make you elated to be rid of.

Paul knew all about those afflictions. He, of all people, could relate to the people, things and events that so easily bring us down and steal our joy.

But here's how he described those circumstances:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Paul had his trials, just like we have ours. He knew what it was like to be hated, busy, tired, hungry and rea…

A Weekend of Redeeming the Time

Image
Did you ever have one of those weeks that lasted forever while you were in the middle of it ... and then suddenly it's gone? It's the weekend and I have no idea where the time has gone.

Are there things you wish you'd done this week that you didn't? Anything you'd like to do this weekend that you just didn't have time for over the past few days?

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

Make this a weekend of redeeming the time. We have no idea what tomorrow may bring - only God knows that. So fill this weekend with wonderful, lovely, godly things that will bring honor and glory to God while filling your life with joy.

Whatever that may be, make it special.

30 Verses on Faith

I could sit here and expound for days about my faith, your faith, the church's faith and the world's lack of faith. I could, but I won't. Wouldn't you rather read, in His own Word, what God says about faith?

There are 30 days in the month of April, so here are 30 verses about faith. Read one a day. read them all every day. Read a few a week. read the verse itself, then the verses around it to put it in context. Just read them and let His Word soak in. There are over 200 verses in the Bible about faith, so this is just a sampling of what the Lord Himself says.

1. Deuteronomy 32:30
2. Habakkuk 2:4
3. Matthew 8:10
4. Matthew 9:22
5. Matthew 17:20
6. Mark 10:52
7. Mark 11:22
8. Luke 8:25
9. Luke 17:5
10. Luke 22:32
11. Acts 3:16
12. Acts 6:8
13. Acts 14:22
14. Romans 1:8
15. Romans 3:25
16. Romans 5:1
17. 1 Corinthians 2:5
18. 1 Corinthians 15:14
19. Galatians 2:16
20. Galatians 3:25
21. Ephesians 2:8
22. Ephesians 6:23
23. Philippians 1:25
24. 1 Thessalonians 1:8
25. 1 T…