Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bread



What is something that you think you must have everyday?  Is it coffee to begin your day?  Is it exercise that you must get that run in?  Is it a diet coke? (hmmmm.) We all have something that we desire daily, but in truth we don't have to have it.

Jesus is something we all need and we desire, but some of us may not realize that is what we are lacking in our life.  Jesus in John 8 referred to himself as "I am the bread of life..."  People in the ancient days would not have survived long without bread and they all knew this and Jesus knew the reference when He referred to himself in this manner.  Bread was baked daily in long ago days and it was mostly round looking like rolls or buns.  People had it in there homes, but it was used in worship as well.  People knew they needed bread.

We all need Jesus.  We walk through life trying to fill up on stuff.  Our stuff just looks different for each of us and it is quite a list I am sure, but truthfully all we need is Jesus.  

Ponder about Jesus today and Him being all we need to survive this world and look forward to eternity with Him.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Friday, October 20, 2017

Peace and beauty




A few weeks ago, I text Linda about a road trip.  Are you ready to take more photos?  Yes, when and where?  

Well, the day was here yesterday and it was just what my soul needed.

Peace and Quiet!

Absolutely stunning beauty in the waters out of Karnack, Texas.  The Cypress trees were beyond words and then the birds that just touched my soul.



God truly is amazing and one is reminded when you surround yourself in His Creation.  Whether it is in the bayous, the mountains, the birds, ourselves creation truly reminds us who God truly is...
I don't know about you with all the loud noise of this world I need days surrounded with Him!  Reminders that He truly is in this world and in charge!  I return home refreshed and renewed in Him and I can handle the ugly noises of this world.

When we first stepped in the boat this was my view and immediately it was as if God touched my shoulder and reminded me that Deb, I've got you and I've got this world.  Relax in me and it was truly amazing.
I leave you today with this verse from Psalm 122:8
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you."

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Light



Saturday sitting in the little rock chapel the thought crossed my little brain that "wow the light shining through looks like all of us."  We all bring different lights into this dark world.  We bring our own stories, we bring our own backgrounds, we bring ourselves and we are all unique and we are all wonderfully made by Our Lord.  Yet each of us are given the choice whether we allow our light to shine for Jesus in this dark world.

The chapel light was provided by nature.  Shining through the beautiful windows or through the open front door.  I felt so close to the Lord surrounded only by nature and this little chapel in the woods.  It was a beautiful moment and a wonderful reminder about allowing our lights to shine. 

I picked up something to read this morning and once again this thought came through my brain. Darkness and Light.  Sadness and being mean seem to rule this world.  I can't hardly watch any news anymore, because all of it wants to bring someone down.  Whichever side you lean towards it doesn't matter it is the same.  To bring someone down and enjoy watching them fall.  Why?  The devil is busy at work that is why!  Realize it folks and don't let the devil win.

Be the hope.  Be the sunshine in someones dark room.  Be the person you know in your heart that you are suppose to be.  Remember God's promises and not the hateful words that ring on all sides of this world.

Listen to these words found in Isaiah 60: 19-20
The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.

One day our world will shine brightly with God's glory lighting everything and everyone.  Believe it, cling to this truth!  Treasure small moments with the LORD in little chapels while we know in our hearts He is the Light and He is the answer to all that is wrong in this world.  He holds our hands and helps us through the wrongs, so grab His hand and allow His Light to shine along the pathway of life.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Night Lights



Friday nights have a whole new meaning to them with Blake playing football for Evangel.  I always looked forward to the weekends just like most of us do, but now it's a whole new ballgame!

Seriously, it's fun, it's nerve wracking, it's family time, it's a moment in time that is quickly passing right by.  Blake is special.  He is quite the athlete, but I'm not talking about that at the moment.  He is unique.  He treasures his family, his friends, and his faith.  His heart is huge and this is what makes him special.  

In our world today too many younger people don't realize what matters, but most of the time Blake does.  Oh, he definitely is true to form with teenager moments, but overall he gets it.  

I am a proud aunt that screams every time he moves almost.  (maybe I'm not that bad, but...) I might be.  I treasure these times because of Blake, but also my dad.  We go to every ballgame together and we join my sister and the rest of her crew to pull Blake through each game.  Yes, we believe it takes each one of us to help him through especially when those big guys from opposing defenses are heading his way.  

I know Blake is looking at a bright future with or without sports, because I know God definitely has plans for Blake.  But not just Blake, for each of us.  Even at 57, I know God still has plans for me.  Am I following His desires?  Am I following His promptings?  Am I ignoring Him?  What about you?

I claim the words found in Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

God's plans don't always look like our plans, but His plan is always better!

Claim God's Words and know His plan is the right way.

Well, it's Friday and I can't wait for the lights to turn on, the screaming to start, the referee whistles, the cheerleaders calling the cheers, Blake throwing a pass, the defense causing a fumble, but most of all another Friday night spent with family.  I hope you have a wonderful family too!  Also, say an extra prayer for all the players to be safe and healthy at the end of the games.

Sweet blessings,
Deb


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Who?



Beautiful creation, isn't it?  A little of fall mixing in with a little tad of winter beginning to arrive.  It was a gorgeous day spent with wonderful friends just amazed with God's creativity with every turn in the road or even the turn of our head.  Stunning is one word that would describe the view that every turn of our eyes took in.

You know what else is stunning?  God shows up and shares when we open up His Words.  I love Isaiah 40 because it is a wonderful reminder of who He truly is and He reminds us with His questions and then His answers.  He is beyond my little brain, but that brings me great comfort.  Yes, comfort because it is about believing His words of Who He is and just accepting it.  We are told that we must become like little children to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.  What do children do so well they trust, they believe and they just accept the gift.

Isaiah 40 is such a beautiful chapter.  The chapter is comfort for each and every one of us.  Do you need comfort with all the fires in California?  Do you need comfort after the Doctor visit?  Do you need comfort after the wild man in Las Vegas?  Only God provides comfort and this beautiful chapter will give it to you with wonderful reminders of Him.

One of my favorite parts begins in verse 25 ~
"To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens; Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

And again in verse 29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow 
tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD 
will renew their strength!

Yes, did you see it?  All will stumble and fall, but hose who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  Do you know that in the milky way there is over 100 billion stars?  God calls each one by name!  

God cares and He will comfort and renew, but we must believe His words to find Him.  Look to Him after all no one else or anything compares to Him.

To close remember these last words of this chapter in Isaiah ~
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Claim these verses today and keep your eyes firmly on Him!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Saturday, September 30, 2017

He took him outside




I love when God shows up!  Picking up the new Beth Moore study entitled The Quest a few weeks ago and slowly working through it.  I am taking my time, because I want to get the fullness of it all.  After all, a quest takes a little time and relationships take even more.  I want to fill up with Jesus and grow and grow and grow.

Anyway, this morning Beth took me to Genesis 15 to study.  Wow, God showed up with something I had not ever caught before when Abraham is talking with God inside a tent and in verse 4 God said these words ~ He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars...What caught my attention is that God took him outside.  Did God take him by the hand?  Did he lead him out?  I don't know how it took place, but they went outside at God's instruction.  Imagine, they were inside a tent so Abraham's view was not what it would be outside.  God widen Abraham's vision just like He widened my eyes and soothed my soul by providing hope in Him!

Colorado is this to me.  God lead me to Colorado kicking and screaming.  Seriously, I fought Kenny over purchasing this wonderful gift.  We didn't need it and it was a bone of contention with me.  I didn't even go with him to buy it.  I was so against it.  Well, you know how God works through the strangest things.  He opened up my vision and my faith through His Mighty Creation.  I feel just like Abraham must have felt when he was taken outside the walls of the tent.  I was taken outside my safe comforts of the world I knew and lead to this beautiful creation that God shows up and truly shows me every time HOW MIGHTY AND BIG HE IS...this place is a gift because of God.  He widens my believing ability through His Works in creation and people.  

I never cease to be amazed at God when He leads me outside of whatever comfort zone I might be inside of...God lead Abraham outside and we are told Abram believed the Lord.  Do we believe the Lord?  I believe more every time I allow God to take my hand and take me outside of whatever tent I have around myself.

I dream the little photo above and it is my attempt to show the many colors and stars that God paints in the sky.  It is also my stepping outside of my tent and allowing God to grow me.  He is taking down walls that I put up or I build everyday and I just want to shout I believe!  I believe! 
It is my prayer that you believe and go outside with Him too!


Sweet blessings,

P.S.  I love this new study by Beth Moore and Lifeway.  I bought it on my own and was not given anything to recommend it.  Just sharing my thoughts.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Keep trying!


Remember, the old saying "If at first you don't succeed try, try, try again?  I do.

Early in the summer I found out the zoo in Albuquerque had two polar bears.  I have always loved polar bears and it became my mission to see these polar bears.  I drug my mom and my aunt to the zoo in 90 degree weather to see polar bears.  Yes, I did and well they were in a refrigerator ( so to speak) they didn't come out in hot weather!  Seriously, polar bears in that heat?  What was I thinking?  I wasn't...all I could see was polar bear pictures.  I love polar bears.

I don't know why they have always fascinated me.  The size of their paws.  The far away place they take up residence.  The uniqueness of them.  All of it intrigued me.

Well, I wasn't giving up and it became a goal.  Well, last week it became a reality.  Linda and Valine even googled other zoo that housed polar bears.  They were ready with necessary information of where we could make a trip to, if we were not successful.  They really wanted to help me see these beautiful animals.  These women were filled with information if disappointment came my way to provide hope!

We saw them.  Yes, we did!  


Seriously, beautiful critters.  The bear posed for photos!  I am not kidding. The bear came right in front of me and laid across that rock.  Giving me a perfectly beautiful view of the paws on this creature.  Absolutely stunning.  Words really fall short and I was just like all the other little kids around that wall....excited that I was living part of my dream.  The dream to see a polar bear.

Well, I was just fascinated and filled with God's wonder.  Yes, God showed up.  He showed up in His creativity with creating each and every one of the amazing animals that we were gifted with sharing a moment with at the zoo.


Absolutely I will show you my beauty!



Even a baby giraffe came out.  Born in June and we got the opportunity to take photos.


Yes, blonde headed lady I will show you my teeth.  I think it is best you move along!


Come on lady.  Not another photo!

So many unique, special animals that we got to take photos of, but most of all celebrate the joy of creation.  God shows up big time all day, everyday, but do we notice?  Share your moments that God shows up in your journey.  God showing up provides hope and wonder that are more than any words that you or I are able to offer.  God showing up in special ways touches our souls!  So share your moments with others.

God showed up in the zoo and through my friends that were willing to figure out where our next road trip was to provide me the chance to see a polar bear and the animals themselves!

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie


Thursday, September 28, 2017

A new adventure



I am always ready for an adventure!  I truly feel that right now I am suppose to travel and share God's beautiful creation with others.  He shows up and shows me new and exciting things at the same time opening my eyes to who He truly is...our life is truly about Him!  Did you see that?  Our life is about Him and where we are in relationship with Him, where we place Him in our life, and/or if we have Him in our life, and are we following His instructions with others.

God is taking me on the grandest adventure and I love it!  Is it always fun? Some of the time and quite honestly a little truth here it is tiring at times.  I get tired driving and searching, but at the same time all I can say is Wow what a trip!

I got back home on Friday last week to get ready for a ball game that night.  Saturday I was up to go to the cotton fields to take pictures and I wanted to stay in bed...Yet, I truly am not exaggerating when I say that I feel lead to go to discover and to listen.  God shows up, but do I?  Ask yourself the question.  Are you feeling God calling you to go?  Don't miss it.  Go and see what He is going to share with you.  Truly it is an adventure.

I want to show you some photos from a little town in New Mexico called Tucumcari.  It was an amazing little town.  We were riding along looking for something else to see when Linda Perkins read about this little town and discovered some art painted on various buildings throughout the town.  So we got off the interstate to explore.  Valine, Linda, and myself with cameras in hand ready to discover whatever we found and these are just a few of the wonderful sights.


We discovered that the old television show Rawhide was filmed here and that meant Clint Eastwood had been to Tucumcari!

Sometimes, it pays to get off the Interstates and follow the old routes.  I mean who hasn't heard of Route 66?  Well this is one of the old towns along this famous route.


Beautiful flowers were found near where Clint stayed!


The art of the walls was fabulous.  True talent just found along the old buildings in this little town or inside of old hotels.  Joy found exploring for the next one.
   We even found James Dean along the way.  Also, Elvis, but I liked this one of James Dean better.

Truly, it was an adventure!  Shared with friends while we laughed, while we missed turns, while we searched.  Don't miss out on fun and discovery.

All of this to share my new found joy of discovering the unexpected along the adventure.  Also, to encourage you whether it is a mile or two down the road or thousands of miles don't miss this journey.  Don't miss what God wants you to find!  He wants you to take His hand and discover joy along the way.

Remember in Genesis 12 when God called Abram?  He told Abram to leave everything he knew and to go.  These are the words found in Genesis 12 ~
"Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you...."

Imagine it.  God told Abram to leave all that he knew, all that he understood, and all that he had and to go.  Talk about faith that each of us need to grasp and understand.  Abram was blessed beyond measure because he believed God and His promises.  Are we missing out on an adventure, because we just don't have enough faith?  Don't miss out!  Believe, take God's hand and go where He calls you.  It may be just a few steps or it may be around the world, but God provides always!

All of these photos are photos that I took along Route 66.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie


Friday, September 15, 2017

Ask, Seek, Knock



Okay,you don't need to notice that I am beginning to have more age spots!  Yes, it happens to all of us and we need to wear them well.  We earn each and every one, so forget about it.  No worries about age spots or other aging fun facts.

Seriously, the verse that I have really been pondering this week is from Matthew 7:7 and this is it:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
So, let me ask you what do you think?  Is it easy to knock on that door?  

When we were children we had this down pretty well.  We played a lot of hide and seek, we asked tons of questions and then we got older and we didn't do either of these as much.  We aren't aging gracefully or playfully.  Children have it right.  Remember the scripture about we must become like little children?  Why are we afraid to knock and ask God?  Is it fear that He knows more what we need and He may answer it a whole different way than we expect?

I think I have hit another age thing...where asking is more.  More relationship!  More to this journey than I ever dreamed!  More of Him! and even a little bit better me...and I think that is because it is less of me and more of Him.  When we are brave enough to go deeper with Him, it adds more to every aspect of our journey.

So today's challenge is Ask, Seek, and Knock!  

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Thursday, September 14, 2017

More Light



Don't you love this unusual flower that I spotted in Jefferson?  I did and I also loved the light that was hitting the flower.  Spotlighted by the Sun to shine.

God is so good!  He provided the Light that each of us need through His Son, but also daily with the Sun here in this world.  Surround yourself with Light and make the most of each and every day by allowing His light to shine through you.

It is my prayer that you each have a wonderful day shining!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A donkey for Jesus - Book Review on An Asian Harvest by Paul Hattaway



God uses willing people to serve.  Paul Hattaway shares his amazing story in this wonderful book ~ "An Asian Harvest".  I started reading this book one afternoon and could not put it down until the following evening.  It inspired and provided hope through Paul's journey of being a donkey for Jesus.  I have so many turned down pages, so that I remember some of the stories about God showing up and providing.  Providing things that only God could or would provide.

I love to read and those of you that know me, know this about me.  I love this book!  I love it because it shares what God is doing yes it is Paul's story, but Paul points to Jesus the whole time.  Paul smuggled Bibles into China and other parts of the world.  He ate "green flies" on an Indonesian island because he remembered the Lord's clear instructions found in Luke 10: "Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you".  He shares about realizing their host prepared their best food and they were the first people perhaps sharing about Jesus, so they thanked God for the food and tried to be happy eating flies!  Imagine it! Or a python that decides to share your home...what? Yes, it happened.

I think even more than these were the stories of going through security with their Bibles.    How God would distract the checkers was amazing.  Even a time when the man realized through the screen he had Bibles in his bag, but when he checked the bag he found clothes.  Paul hastily grabbed clothes that day that weren't his by mistake.  So the man opened it to find a bunch of women's items.  Yes, bras, high heels and such.  He was disgusted with Paul and just motioned him through.  God definitely has a sense of humor.  Imagine Paul and all his friends laughing at how God provided for them to get through without any problem.

I don't want to spoil this book for any of you, but it is my prayer and hope that you will order it today!  You will not regret reading Paul's story and how he allowed God to use him sharing the Bible with those that are unable to get it.  Here is America we perhaps take our Bible for granted.  We are allowed to have however many we want in our homes.  Paul realizes the importance of God's Word and how we must read it all and share all of it with every one.  He shared a story about Thomas Jefferson I had never heard before about a Bible that is displayed at the Smithsonian that Jefferson took a pair of scissors and cut out all the parts he didn't like.  He even removed parts about miracles.  Jefferson didn't believe in miracles.  Where did he find hope one wonders?  Anyway, Paul shares that we all try at times (perhaps) to choose verses that make us feel good, while ignoring the rest and that we can't do this.  

Paul and his ministry have provided millions of Bibles to the people of China.  Paul was 16 when he heard a man share his story and he felt called to be a Bible carrier.  I thank Paul for sharing his amazing story and you will too!

Order this book today from your favorite bookstore.  Amazon. com or wherever you like to buy your books.  I was given this book by Kregel Publications to give my honest feelings on this in the form of a book review and quite honestly it was some of the best use of my time ever reading a book!  God used this book to touch my heart to help send more Bibles to those around the world that aren't blessed to have 10 or more laying around their home.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie Covington


Monday, September 11, 2017

Light



Doesn't sunshine or lights just make you feel better?  I know that I am one of those people that feel so much better with sunshine.  Winter is difficult for me I crave sunshine.  

I think the reason is that I crave Jesus.  I want more and more of Jesus and these words that Jesus spoke in John 8 just speak to who He is...
"I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of live."

Jesus is light!  

Keep you eyes on Jesus.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

P.S. Check out the blog tomorrow because I am going to share about an amazing book that I could not put down.  I read this book constantly until I finished it.  It is about a man that truly served Jesus in the most amazing, dangerous way.  You don't want to miss me sharing this book with all of you readers.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Waters, Fires, Sickness, Loss...Never Alone



Once again we are arriving to a weekend where a storm is approaching our country.  Our family, our friends, and strangers are awaiting a storm they know is coming.  I don't have any words of wisdom only words that brought me comfort when I lost my home to fire.  Words that provided hope and God did during this time that I experienced loss. 

Isaiah 43: 2-3
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I
am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I don't know about a flood, but I do a fire.  God showed up big time in my life when fire came to my home on that Tuesday morning years back.  He held my hand, when I looked through lost stuff and He brought the memory back to my mind fresh and new.  He held me up, when I longed for home.  He provided the rainbow, when I needed reminding He was with me.  He provided a friend, when I needed a hug.  He provided all.

I will never quit sharing how He gave me just what I needed at the exact moment, before I even knew I needed it.  He showed up and He loved me and provided only what He is able to give. 

My heartaches for the people that know the storm is coming, but it also aches for those that don't realize a storm is coming. Many don't get advance notice before a loved one passes, the phone call with an unexpected diagnosis, the loss of a job, whatever storm shows up, but God is with all of us in the expected and in the unexpected.  It is my prayer that each of us know where to look to provide the peace that only He is able to offer.

He doesn't take away the pain, but He helps to comfort.  He provides the hope for the future and He never ever leaves us! 

So, it is my prayer that when you face the storm these words will provide the comfort that you so desire.

Hebrews 13: 5-6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can human beings do to me?"

Claim His promise.  He will never ever leave you!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Walkways





I loved this fun walkway.  The colors, fun, green ivy, and the iron all things that I love and it made you want to enter.  It was intriguing.

Walkways in life don't always represent fun, intriguing choices, but we are called to walk through the walkway.  We are called to serve, to be helping hands, to be a neighbor and sometimes it is a little bit out of our comfort zones.

Today, help someone you meet walk through perhaps a difficult zone for them.  Be a friend, be a helper, serve someone. 

Remember the words that Jesus shared in John 15 ~
My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.

Let's be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Be brave step outside your comfort zone.  Take the fun walkway or the walkway that is a little scary.  In the end, you will be blessed.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Shade






I love the song "I Can Only Imagine" and I think of it often during good days and bad.  Recently, the storms of this world have been difficult on everyone.  In some shape or form they touch everyone of us.  The tears flow.  The heartaches are real.  Our world is hurting, so it helps when you put your mind towards heaven and Jesus!  Yes, looking up even in the hard times makes our perspective change.

Another storm is bearing down on our country and already hitting others as I type these words.  Fear is surrounding the unknown of yet another storm for those that we love.  God brought these beautiful words to my mind this morning and I pray and hope they help you face whatever storm might be in your path today.

Isaiah 25:4
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift all that are facing a storm whether it is Irma, a illness, a loss of job or home, a relationship or something else Lord, please let the hurting seek refuge with You.  Please let their eyes be turned to you and your loving arms of comfort and peace.  I pray for strength to face the storms of this life and know in their hearts that You provide refuge for each of us.  We love You Lord and know that indeed You are Lord of all.  Amen

Friends, seek the shade with the Lord!  

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hope found in the old stuff!


Yesterday, I read the devotion from Ann Spangler's new book and I left for my adventure.  I drove the roads over to Jefferson looking for critters and neat sights.  Arriving, I wanted to find my perfect parking spot, so that walking around Jefferson would be central to bringing any must have finds back to my car.  I found one right in the middle of everything!


I began the stroll through this quaint little town.  Snapping pictures here and there, stopping to visit with fellow explorers and of course, shopping for must have items.  

I didn't find many must have's.  I wondered the aisles looking at things that someone once treasured.  I wondered about the people that came before me and how their things ended up in a little store in Jefferson to hopefully become someone else's treasure.  Times change.  Things change.  Lamps don't look the same as they use to!  Neither do shoes, hats, doors...the list goes on and on, but these were treasured by someone at some point.  I thought a lot about how they ended up on the store shelf.  Life and stuff changes constantly.

I was reminded throughout the day about Jesus is with us always!  He is still the same as when these folks were enjoying the light provided by the lamps and Him and He is right now!  I had a perk in my step thinking and pondering on He is never changing just like the words found in Malachi 3:6 ~ "I am the LORD, and I do not change."

Jesus is with us and God never changes!  Now that is where you find encouragement and hope!  Trust it and believe it!

Blessings,





Monday, September 4, 2017

God is with us!




I took this photo late one evening in Oklahoma when the sun was setting!  It reminds me that God is with me.  I always see God in nature and I am trying to spend as much time as possible in nature sharing with The Lord.  The older you get the more time you have to spend special moments with The Lord, but oh how I regret not doing this earlier in my life.  Yet, I know that God's timing is perfect.  
I went to Lifeway the other day and picked up a new devotional and I started it this morning.  I already love it.  It is praying the names of Jesus by Ann Spangler and it already touched my heart.  Today, she started with a wonderful reminder and then ask the most encouragement that one could offer.  Ann Spangler thank you for this wonderful reminder that I intend to practice from this day forward.
Ann begins with the name Immanuel.  It means that "God is with us."  Ann shared that Matthew begins with this teaching in chapter 1 and it ends with these words in Matthew 28:20 
and these are Jesus words written in red.  
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew begins and ends with reminding us that Jesus is always with us.  Ann took it further with a question of how would our life be different if we began and ended each day with the firm belief that God is with you?  Wow, powerful.  Encouragement, Affirmation, Trusting, Believing, and Claiming powerful words and we need to claim them.

On this Monday, I want to encourage all of you that indeed Jesus is with us!  Always and forever and let's provide hope with reminding each other of this wonderful TRUTH!

Well, I am off to my next adventure a day in Jefferson, Texas.  Exploring and discovering God's creation and a few creations from humans.  Imagine it!
Have a wonderful day!  Sweet blessings,.

Monday, August 28, 2017

You are much more valuable than they...



Devastation is all we see.  Daily it is a new one somewhere around the world, this past weekend it hit much closer to home in Houston.  I have friends and family struggling not sure what is going to happen next and words just simply fall short.

Yet, we all ask what can we do?  We encourage.  We pray.  We donate.  And again I say, we PRAY.  All of us are able to lift the leaders, the first responders, the people of Houston and surrounding areas up to God.  So let's hit our knees and say our prayers and do our part.  It is big part of recovery to know others of lifting you in prayer.  You feel them and you need them.

When I went through my fire God showed up in Mighty ways, so those of you walking this path of loss look to Him.  Keep your eyes on Him.  He will get you through...nothing else will get you through.  Others can help, but He will get you through.  He showed up in some of the most awe inspiring ways for me and He will for each of you, so look for Him.  Talk to Him.  Ask Him and keep your eyes firmly on Him and in His Words.

I sat with my brother yesterday watching the news constantly and the hanging to every word and every text, every phone call were obvious.  Nothing anyone said helped, so I just prayed quietly to the LORD to give Hal and Stacy the answers as they await the unknown of home.  

Grieve if you are one of the folks pushed so rudely out of your home.  Grieve for the things and the physical spot you called home, but know in your heart that God is with you and helping you to take each step forward to a new beginning...

During my time of loss of my home from fire I clung to 2 verses that got me through that terrible time and I hope they bring comfort to some of you struggling now...

Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?

any my life verse from Joshua 1:9 -
Have I not command you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

It is my hope that this encourages and those of you suffering realize that we see you!  We are praying for you and we are trying to help in some small way to help heal your pain.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wonderful Book - Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson




Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson
How to Find Freedom, Purpose, and Joy

I must admit the reason I wanted to sign up to review this book was the title.  It captured my attention and intrigued me!  After all, who doesn't need to find freedom? Purpose? and Joy? Or to make mundane moments sacred?  After all, ordinary happens every moment of every day, so to make them sacred - well it sounded fabulous!

Sign me up was my first response and I wasn't disappointed.  I found it helpful and very honest.  Kari challenged me at the same time helping me with every page always pointing towards God.  God is the center of this book and He should be at the center of our life in order to find the 3 things that Kari mentioned in the title.

I immediately looked at the words Sacred and Mundane before I went into the book.  Sacred meaning devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose and mundane meaning ordinary, common, unimaginative.  On days I find myself in the ordinary I find I ask a lot of questions.  Such as: Do you feel like you do the same thing every day?  What is my purpose?  Is it really you God?  Why do I doubt you God?  Do you ever ask these type of questions?  Well, this book is for you too.  Kari, shows us that God is with us in the ordinary and to never forget this fact.  God works in the everyday ordinary situations as well as the mountain top experiences and He will transform us, if we allow it to happen.  God finds us right where we are in the ordinary!

I give this book 5 stars and I was given a complimentary copy from the publisher for my independent and honest review.

I hope you order it today from your favorite book outlet or purchase it at the store of your choice.  It is worth the time and it took Kari many years to write this book.  She took her time to share her life stories and lessons that she learned in ordinary moments.  It is a small book, but filled with deep thoughts.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sweet Communion



Over the past two weeks, I have had such wonderful moments with special people in my life!  I traveled over 2000 miles with my mom and my aunt.  We laughed, we talked, we were quiet, we were together and it was memorable. 

Yesterday, I traveled with my parents to Ida United Methodist Church to share worship with a long time family friend that was in the pulpit to share his gifts with all that were there.  It was a small group of people, but it was special.  Brother Jerry lost his wife not long ago and this was a special time for him.  He was back in his home town with his friends, his supporters, his people to worship Jesus and remind us what that looks like in our life.

He reminded us that Jesus came here like each of us.  Human and what that meant to him and he encouraged us each to figure out what that meant to us by being in His Word.  He shared that Jesus was tempted and He won and we can too!  It was special and then we came to communion time.  Brother Jerry had helpers because he is still recovering from knee surgery and he came behind them to give each of us an individual blessing meant for just us.

  It was so special to hear Bro. Jerry to give such a sweet word over my daddy and then my mom.  I love these two more than words are able to express and I love Brother Jerry, so I was just about to come undone with emotion and he came to me.  A sweet man that came into my life when I was in high school and is still such a special part of it.  A man that is honest that he is flawed, but loves the Lord dearly and he showed through his honesty how to walk.  He stumbled and he got back up.  He loves and he continues to love.  He is compassionate and he teaches others how to be compassionate.  He is real.  It helps so much when we realize that our leaders are like us...flawed, but still loved. 

Anyway, he came to me and he spoke such sweet words after I received the Lord's Communion.  It was a powerful moment that I was definitely reminded that I am loved by God.  God provided through Brother Jerry such a sweet beautiful morning at Ida UMC.  I stepped back in time for a moment and it was wonderful.

Thank you Lord for the past few weeks for such special moments with my family and friends.  I am blessed by each one and treasure our moments together and love each one more with each special moment.

Share your moments with your loved ones and friends and treasure each one!   Give thanks for each one to the One who provides each moment.  The photo I took this weekend is a special moment that God reminded me to stop and take in His beauty. 

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette



I love a book that keeps you so excited that you will not put it down and this book is indeed a page turner!  Alanah, is a survivor, fighter, woman, unique, broken, and beautiful person that you will fall absolutely in love with and fighting for from the beginning.  Tobiah, the Hebrew who saves her on the battle field is a true gentlemen that captures your heart and together they make the most beautiful love story.  Life is not easy for anyone, but God provides in the most amazing ways.

Connilyn Cossette is an author that uses just the right word and phrasing that makes your heart soar and falter with the characters.  I truly become a part of her stories and this is the 3rd book in Connilyn's series Out From Egypt.  I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, because each one is truly beautiful.  Capturing God's stories and putting them into a fictional story that makes you think and makes you fall more and more in love with God through each one.

I have always wondered about manna.  Yes, manna.  Well, through the pages you begin to think you know how it taste and the absolute miracle that it truly is and once again the author captures how we take things for granted.  Alanah was so hungry the first time she tasted manna and she never lost the desire and love for the sweet taste.  

Alanah was a Canaanite warrior when you meet her that was fighting disguised as a man and wounded when Tobiah discovers her laying hurt and wounded.  Tobiah brings her back to camp to the woman that is a midwife, she also helps with the wounded.  The healing of her body and heart begin the moment that Alanah meets Tobiah.  

I don't want to give any more of this beautiful story away.  I want each of you to give this gift to yourself or a loved one.  I promise it is beyond 5 stars and it will capture and make your heart swell!  God's love and forgiveness are shown throughout each page.  It is real.  It is authentic and so honest that you will see things in this story that are happening right now and perhaps new eyes will be given through these characters and this author's gift of storytelling.  Eyes for all of us to forgive and let go and keep our eyes on Our Savior.

Go to your local bookstore or order it online today!  It would make a perfect Mother's Day gift if your mom likes to read.

I also want to tell you that this book also entices you to open your Bible and read it with new eyes!  So don't wait.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

DISCLAIMER:  I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher.  I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been paid for this.  It is my honest opinion and review.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Baseball and Blue Angels



Yesterday was a real treat!  We had some of our great American values at the ball field!

We had baseball, the American flag, take me out to the ballgame in the 7th inning and the Blue Angels!  It doesn't get any better than this...I was sitting beside my dad, who is now 84 and another gentleman that looked much older than my dad and it was great.  I have to tell you it was emotional.  Emotional with the flag flying proudly over the center field wall, my nephew playing catcher in one of his last college games, the Blue Angels which just give you chills and my dad sitting with Pam and I.

It just doesn't get any better than special times with people you treasure.  It really has been emotional with Vaughn getting to this point in his life.  Not exactly sure what his next step is and where that will lead and supporting him as much as possible and then honestly just getting older.  Not so much me as much as all the folks I love so dearly.  We truly realize with age what really matters...or at least I hope we all do.  It is not stuff.  It is people.  It is moments.  It is these truly special moments of patriotism and family.

I am a proud aunt and daughter.  I love going to all the games with my dad to support my nephews.  Pam truly does share these guys with me and they mean the world to me.  So I celebrate life!


Moments that thrill you beyond words, but scare you at the same time!  Wow, these guys are special! Thanks for the show Blue Angels!


My oldest nephew is the one standing up in the back.  He is truly banged up at the moment with back injury and hurting.  Please keep him in your prayers, he wants so badly to finish up strong!

I love you Vaughn and whether you continue on the baseball field or decide another route...you make me so proud to say you are my nephew!  

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Reinvented in the words of Aunt Martha



New things all to a new and improved you?  Does that sound good?  It did to me.

  I am feeling very pushed out of my comfort zone, but I am enjoying it.  I don't show you this painting, because I think it is wonderful.  I show it because I am stretching myself to try things I've never done before.  No jumping out of airplanes, but creative things!  We are never too old to learn and grow.

I heard Nancy Kerrigan say on Good Morning America that she really enjoy DWTS because it was pushing her out and that is how I am feeling.  My Aunt Martha told me at dinner Monday night Deb you are reinventing yourself and that is a good thing.  She went on to say that we should all do this several times in our lifetime. Aunt Martha is ??(not sharing her age)Re and still learning!  I thought about it and she's right.  Life gets boring, if it is the same.  Yet, I believe God wants us to learn and grow and that is why these times are so fulfilling.  He wants us to create and to share in His Creation and so I am.

I am enjoying taking photos and I am enjoying art.  So today's post, is about encouraging others to get outside your comfort zone.  I don't how that might look in your life, but push past the same, the ordinary, the safe and try to widen your horizons.  You will feel good and it will improve your outlook on life.  Opening your eyes to a whole new world!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Monday, May 1, 2017

Where did the time go?



Yesterday, I took a trip down memory lane.  It was great, beautiful, and eye-opening.

I decided rather than sit in the house and watch another hallmark movie, that I would grab my camera and go for a ride.  I ended up in east Texas.  I love this part of the country and it brings back lots of fun family memories.  We had a lake house outside of Jefferson on Lake of the Pines.  We enjoyed growing up on this lake, laughing, crying, and arguing like siblings do...and parents telling us to stop it right now.

As I rode along, so many things popped into my mind.  The family gatherings from my dad's side of the family with all my great uncles and aunts, papaw, and lots of noise and food!  Always, the food at the Sutton gatherings with lots of football...well really only Arkansas talk.  So many gone and so few of us left, but such happy thoughts. 


Looking across this lake it brought back a memory that was so scary.  We had a boat that we had dry docked near the lake.  We always stopped to get the boat on the way to the house.  We took it down to the boat launch and in it went.  Hal and daddy boarded it to bring it around to the house and we went on by car to the house.  In a little while, daddy came walking into the house drenched from head to toe ~ cowboy boots and all!  Hal was slowing walking behind him white as a ghost and scared. 

 On the way to the house, a freak accident happened.  Daddy put the boat where he always did to go to the back of the boat and check something.  When he did something had happened to the gears and it started going in circles and threw him out of the boat.  Daddy told us that right as the motor was right by his head it suddenly stopped.  Hal had thought quick enough (God told him to) turn the key off.  Anyway, our very close call had a very happy ending, but a scary one.  Hal was probably between 10 and 12 and on down the line for our ages.  The lake was never the same for all of us.  It wasn't long before we sold the boat and soon the house.

  Yet, I smiled looking across the lake at how good life has been for all of us.  We celebrate the good and bad knowing that God has been with us through each step.  We celebrate family that we laughed with and will one day again.  Yet, we still have so much to still laugh and share together as family.  My parents are still going strong along with my siblings and their crews...along with my smaller crew of Kenny and I and our doggies.  Yet, life is still throwing us out of boats...not really boats, but obstacles that we must learn how to handle.  All of us must figure out that God is handling it all and we must trust and believe it.  The treasured family members have been examples of learning to do just that...trust God and move forward!

Memories are good for the soul.  I thought wow over fifty years since we started coming here to this part of Texas.  It still is beautiful.  It still is fun.  So I celebrate the good times and look forward to more holding God's hand through all!


Sweet blessings,
Debbie