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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Going to the chapel

Excited was not the word!  I met a lovely lady at Bible study that was able to allow me to visit the beautiful road chapel near my home in Colorado.  I was intrigued by the little chapel in the wild.  It sits so beautiful up on the side of the mountain and in the summer isn't even seen from the road.  I wanted to see inside.  

Kenny and I were invited up to see it closer.  We road up the little road in our jeep and came upon the sweetest place to celebrate Our Lord.  The view is unbelievable.  God's Creation out of every window and the inside is beautiful woodwork, pews, and God.

We heard the story of a father who wanted to find the best setting on all of his property to build this chapel for his daughter to have her wedding.  He found it and what an act of love for his daughter, but also God.

I could not wait to walk into this chapel.  It was calling to me.
We opened the doors and the view behind the podium was the first thing I saw and words just do not do it justice.  God is everywhere and you do not miss that point.  I will never forget the feeling of opening that door and witnessing the view and the profound moment of knowing that God is celebrated with every word, with every moment, with every turn of the head in this little chapel in the wild.


The pews are still decorated from years before with the dried flowers and bows of celebration of the wedding that the chapel was built to hold.  The wedding was so special to hear about knowing that Our Heavenly Father was celebrated in such a mighty way, but that this young woman's earthly father wanted such a special place for his little girl to begin her new journey.


In Colorado, my time is always so very special.  I am also reminded with every turn of my eyes that God with me.  I am reminded of who He is and just how big He truly is.  I come back home ready to face each day with vigor and love ~ not because of who I am, but because of who God truly is...Colorado fills me up with God and every once in awhile I just go back to be refueled with all that He is through His creation.  It just speaks to my soul.


I thank God for the gift that He gave me the day He took me closer into His arms and allowed me to find Him in birds, bees, moose, bears, elk, porcupines, and little chapels in the wild.  Thank you Lord for this special trip to the little chapel in the wild.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Monday, April 3, 2017

A, B, C, D, or F...



Today, is about grades!  Not really, but it might be easier for us to talk about this way.

I am writing about a topic that absolutely none of us want to seriously talk about or look at, but we must.  I hope that you don't click the x mark and leave the page, because the topic is sin.   Yes, a word that we don't even like to say aloud, much less talk about.

Sin is defined as anything that sets itself up against the holiness or glory of God.  I think some of us (myself included) at times would like to have a grading system.  My sin isn't near as bad as that sin or my sin is only half as bad as that sin and well you know what God doesn't look at sin that way.  No sin is just sin.  Plan and simple.  No big debate sin is sin, but I was thinking the other day we don't want to call it what it is.  We want to label it a mistake, a lapse of judgment, a problem, the list goes on and on.  When was the last time we called it what it is?

God loves us and He sent His Son to pay the price for our sin.  So we must recognize it for what it is, in order to receive grace.  Yes, grace.  Admit your sin and accept your grace.  Then we must begin to look more and more like Jesus.

No longer should we look at the next person and say well I'm at level C and that person over there well they are well an F.  God doesn't see a difference in our sin and it is hard for us to grasp, because we see ourselves as good people.  We haven't done anything really bad.  We try to do good things.  We go the extra mile.  Well, Jesus is the one that did what mattered.  He died to wipe away our sins and we need to realize the cost He paid for each of us.

It is the time of Easter.  It is the time to recognize the love  Jesus had and still has for each of us and accept the gift that none of us deserve.  

Jesus loves me!  Jesus loves you!  Remember the song we all sang when we were little.   Jesus loves the little children.  All the children of the world.  Red and Yellow, Black and White, they are precious in His sight Jesus loves the little children of the world.  I don't know if I remembered it exactly right, but it's true.  Jesus loves all of us and our measure of sin doesn't matter.  Jesus sees it all the same and He loves us all the same.  He loves each of us a lot!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Friday, March 31, 2017

Because I love you...



How do you decide how much you matter?  Are you struggling with the issue of do I really matter?  Well, the answer is yes!  You matter a great deal and in Isaiah 43:4 these words provide so much hope and love for each of us...
Since you are precious and honored in my sight; and because I love you.

Who loves you?  God loves you!  You are precious and honored in HIS sight.  Don't look to this world for your self worth look to God.  I treasure these words that God provides to remind us of who He is and that is truly what is important.

Ladies, look around you.  Who is struggling?  Who feels alone?  Who needs a smile?  Who needs a helping hand?  Provide the smile.  Provide the hand.  Provide an encouraging word.  WE can help to change the tone of this world that we move around in everyday just by sharing this wonderful reminder of who truly thinks we are precious and loved.

I know that some of you feel alone and that nobody understands where you are and truth be known we don't.  Unless someone walks in those shoes then, we don't truly understand.  We don't even know how to understand, until we actually walk in the shoes of different life issues.

My husband walks in pain everyday.  Terrible pain that never goes away, but he goes everyday never stopping providing for all of us that he loves.  He hurts with each step, but yet he knows deep inside that God knows his pain and will help him through each step.  I know his pain only because of the pain in his eyes, the way he tries to get out of bed, the slowness of his steps, but I try to do little things to help him get through.  I make sure we are on the calendar for his shots he gets in his back.  I try to make sure he gets to anything that might help relieve the pain.  Whether it is cold therapy or massages whatever to help ease the pain.  But do I really understand his pain?  No.  It's not my pain, so sometimes I know in my heart he hurts, but I don't  truly understand the pain that  makes him feel alone.  

WE all face it in different issues.  Divorce, Death, Money Issues, Gossip, Loss of Job, the list goes on and on and our issues all look different.  Yet we all face them.  Nobody understands everything.  Accepting that we just don't get it sometimes helps to realize who we need to really depend on and grow with during the difficult times.

So today and everyday cling to the verse from Isaiah and remember you are precious, you are honored, you are loved and God does see you and God does know you!  Remember the lost sheep?  God knew all His sheep and that means you and me!  

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Measuring up?



Do you ever struggle with your self-worth?  Do you think you don't measure up?  Are you trying to measure yourself against something that doesn't make sense?  I love this photo of this tiny boy up against the giraffe.  The giraffe bending down to eat the offered banana.  Or perhaps lowering himself down to the level of the little one.  Do you ever do such things?  No, me neither.  WELL, I know that isn't true of me all the time.  Sometimes, I do this without even realizing that is what I'm doing.

I was reading this wonderful new book entitled I AM by Michele Cushatt.  Day 6 struck a chord with me on realization that perhaps I struggle with this in ways I didn't realize.  Let me ask you a few questions and see if you might struggle with this issue too.  Do you need to know you matter?  Do you run tirelessly trying to help people?  Do you try to make everybody happy?  Do you try to fix things? Do you see the struggle?

I realized that some of these issues might be me trying to have proof that I matter.  Proof that I make a difference and I didn't even realize that this might be what I was doing, but I felt the Lord speaking to me this morning on this topic strongly.  

Where do we look for our worth?  Our value?  Are we looking to others?  Are we looking at our own things we accomplish and think we are moving on up the ladder of self-worth?  

I was reminded that we don't have to prove anything to God much less anyone else and remember our value comes from above.  Jesus reminded us in Matthew 10:31 ~
So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Is this what we are afraid of?  We aren't worthy?  Well, we aren't and nothing we do makes this change.  God changes it.  Jesus changed it.  We are His!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

P.S.  The book I mentioned is fabulous.  I wasn't ask to endorse it by anybody, but it is great!  Lots of real stuff that everybody is able to relate to.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Forever



Forever.

I don't know if getting older makes one reflect more and realize so much more, but nothing last forever...except God.

Yes, I believe the words from Hebrews 13:8 -
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hope is found in God's Word.  I love the way He surprises me with just what I might need for the day, if I just take the time to listen, ponder, and reflect.  Yesterday, was a day of reflecting.  My sister's lab that has been a part of our family for 18 years is really sick.  Hershey was brought by Santa one year when Vaughn was like 5 and Kyle was 2 and Blake wasn't yet here to brighten our world.  Santa dropped him at my house early and he stayed with me until it was time to move across the street. 

Hershey is sorta of like my other nephew just with 4 legs.  He gets excited when DeDe shows up like her boys do.  Yes, they still like me after all these years.  Anyway, Hershey is a great dog.  Well, he isn't doing well and probably will not be with us much longer.  I know we've had him a long time, but letting go isn't easy if its just been a few hours or years.  We all love our families and loss is just difficult and extremely hard.  Whether it is our doggies or our 2 legged family members it hurts so bad...God knows it does and He reassures us with His Words that He is with us.  He never leaves us and He goes before us.  He knows what we face and He helps us along the way.

Yesterday, He brought to me the words from Psalm 136 and over and over in this Psalm these words are repeated...
His love endures forever.

Please pick up your Bible and read these words.  God reminds us throughout this Psalm who He is and what He has done.  He brings our focus to Him and indeed the words remind us to praise Him.  Loss is so difficult and I don't pretend to have any answers other than to point to the only thing that helps to heal my own broken heart and that is God's Word.  He shows up and takes my hand and leads me through the tough times.  

So today and everyday take His Hand and allow Him to remind you who He is and He reminds us that He is with our loved ones and He is also with us! 

In closing here are the words from Psalm 136:26
Give thanks to the God of heaven, His love endures forever.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Creation



God really touches my soul through His creations!  It hasn't always been true.  I remember rolling my eyes when people would talk about birds, and be so enthralled with birds.  Well, I have become this person!  I am enthralled with birds.  I am amazed with God's attention to every detail in everything He creates and created.  It reminds me of who He truly is...

I share a lot of photos of creation.  I am intrigued and want to share things that God shows me along this journey.  Sorry if it gets to be too much for you, but if it touches one then it's okay.  I've learned that one is just as important as many.  

I read this quote and it spoke to me;
"You never know what may cause them.  The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you've never seen before.  A pair of somebody's old shoes can do it....You can never be sure.  But of this you can be sure.  Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.  They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and its summoning you to where you should go next.  Frederick Buechner

God pursues us in whatever way to have relationship with each of us.  He speaks in ways that we hear Him, He shows up in ways we might see Him, He cares and He pursues us.  I believe the reason creation touches me is that is when I most often have those goose bump moments that I realize God sees me.  He loves me and He shows up!  It is always in the most unexpected way and it truly reminds me of how Big God truly is and it gives me such amazing peace. 

So many verses speak to God the Creator of all and provide hope being reminded of who He is such as some of the following.

Job 38: beginning in verse 4
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.  
Who marked off its dimensions?  Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
ON what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Who shut up the seas behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, 'This far you may come and no father; here is where your proud waves halt'?...

Or 
Isaiah 45:12
It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it.  My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.

Psalm 147:4
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

I love the reminders of scripture that remind each of us who God truly is...

Today, look around.  Enjoy nature and be reminded of who Our Creator truly is and absolutely nothing bad in this world compares to who God is...We are never alone.  He goes before us and He goes with us with every step we take, so go enjoy your day!  Share the glory of who God is ...

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Monday, February 20, 2017

Control issues? Who me? Perhaps you? Book Review on Control Girl by Shannon Popkin



5 stars of truth!  Shannon Popkin writes a wonderful book filled with truths from God's Word and the issues of desiring control, having so called control, and letting go.  Serving in women's ministry for many years one begins to realize that most people struggle with control.  Some of us may not admit to it being a problem, but sometimes I don't think we realize it is control we are struggling with.  I recommend this book to women's groups to study together.  I recommend this to a woman that doesn't have a group available.  It is a must read.

I love the way that Shannon shared about the realization in Bible study one night that most of the prayer concerns all had to do with control.  Most with someone's mother or someone's mother-in-law and all the issues that were brought into their life from control.  Everyone wanted to control and it brought to Shannon's mind how she herself needed to deal now with this issue, so that she would not have to face this in her own relationships one day.  When she shared this story, I thought back to prayer concerns over the years and it was true.  Most of the prayer concerns other than health concerns all dealt with control of one sort or another.  

I liked the approach taken in this book with looking at women from the Bible that struggled with control.  Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Miriam quite a list of women that all struggled in different ways with control.  One I found most interesting on this list is Hagar.  After all, she was a slave with no choices, so how could she struggle with control?  Well, once she was having Abraham's baby she turned the tables on control.  I would have never though of her to place on a control list until looking at this with new eyes.  

I love the closing of the book with focus on the one woman in the Bible that didn't struggle with control.  She wasn't even a woman yet.  She was a young girl that became the mother of Jesus.  Mary is a beautiful lesson of how we all need to let go and let God.  

I really did enjoy this book and I believe studied with girlfriends this book would really come together great.  Discussion would be awesome and I know God would do great things!  I believe this because He really brought some things into focus for me with reading it on my own.  So either way order it immediately through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or whatever bookstore you use!

I was given this book by Kregel Publications for my honest review.  I loved it!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Mother's Love





Perhaps not the photo of a mom you were expecting, but moms look different.  Different from the children at times, but yet they are a mom.

Yesterday, I went to the movie Lion with Frankie and absolutely loved this movie.  It is a true story about a young boy that gets lost from his birth mom and finds a new mom.  Only to one day be reunited with his birth mom and still loving the mom that raised him.  It was beautiful!  Heartbreaking at times, but yet so very beautiful.  I highly recommend this movie to everyone.  It is a wonderful reminder about love.

Valentine's is next week and it is all about love.  Well, this movie would be a great beautiful reminder of what love looks like.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie




Monday, February 6, 2017

Love



1 John 4:16
...God is love.

February brings valentine's day and it is all about love.  So this thought brought me to these verses substituting God for love since God is love and divine.  Ponder these verses in February and everyday beyond.  Also, share with me any passages that surprise you thinking of God.

God is patient.  God is kind.  He God does not envy, does not boast, is not proud.  He does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs.  God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  God never fails. (adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

It provides so much hope and love, doesn't it?  God is patient.  Praise Him!!!  I treasure knowing this with how much I must let Him down.  He is kind!  Amen!  The list goes on and on about how amazing God truly is, but so much hope with the last sentence...God never fails!  Cling to the truth!  

God is definitely love!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Freedom



Study this week is about Moses.  The first text in the study lead me to was Exodus 2:23-25 and it is a great one.  It got me to really thinking because of these words that just jumped off the page at me:
The Israelites groaned and cried out for help.
God heard.
He remembered.
So God was concerned...

Are you groaning and crying out for help?  Who are you going to?  The cries of the Israelites went out to God.  Where are our cries going?  Are we talking to God?  Are we sharing with God?  Are we going to Him or someone else?  God hears!  God remembers!  God cares!

I don't know what you are struggling with or even if you are at the moment, but the time will come.  Turn to God.  Share with Him.  The image of being a slave to something and needing freedom is so profound with these scriptures.  Are you a slave to gossip?  food? exercise? love with the wrong person? jealously? bitterness? addiction? The list could go on and on because we all have our issues and some of which we desperately need freedom from...

I loved these verses read them for yourself and see which words God speaks to you about in your life.  He will, we must then listen for His truths.

Sweet blessings,
Debbie