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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sent


Don't you love it when you receive a love letter from God?  When He delivers just what you need to ponder and think about, along with sharing with Him your honest feelings.  Which sometimes just are not pretty thoughts or actions...

The study this week brings me to Joseph.  The first questions right out of the book were do you feel wronged?  Do you think you have been dealt a bad hand?  Would you like to turn the tables?  Quite honestly I had very real feelings on each of these questions and they were not all pretty.  It seems like forever we have had several situations in our life that will just not go away.  Someday I might share with you a little bit about the walk, but it is very, very difficult.  The situations sometimes just bring out my ugly...I try to hide it from most people, but those close to me sometimes get lofted a pretty bad remark or attitude.  I apologize and will try to do better...I also ask forgiveness.

The scripture that God brought me  is found in Genesis 45.  Joseph is telling his brothers who he is and the brothers are very afraid.  After all, they put him down a well to die and then sold him to some folks passing by.  Not exactly nice actions.  Yet, look at Joseph's words.
And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.  Do you see the words?  God sent me.  

It is difficult to think about God sending us to some pretty difficult even horrible situations, but it is true.  He wants to grow us to rely on Him and also to worship and praise Him in these very difficult trying times.  God allows us in these places.  It might rub you wrong reading those words, but I prefer to look at like a difficult love letter that God sends each of us.  He loves us so much that He will do what it takes for each of us to focus and grow in our relationship with Him.  Love letters aren't always sweet and cheerful.  Sometimes they are difficult words, but still a love letter.

I love that God desires our relationship so much that He will send us exactly where we might need to be to serve His needs, His desires, His service.  He trust us that we will lean on Him and get through the hard stuff to see His Light Shining all through the terrible mess!

Letting His Light Shine through me,
Debbie


Thursday, January 19, 2017

He was called...



I love this photo!  I know my doggies run along happily playing and jumping on each other and truly are each other's friend.  They count on each other at times they don't understand something.  It is amazing to watch their interactions.  Especially my two puppies watching and learning from Sadie.  Friends.

We all know who our friends are...the ones that check on you when they haven't heard from you.  The ones that show up just to be sure you are okay.  The ones that tell you difficult things that you might not want to hear.  We give thanks for our friends!  I love you friends!

I am still studying Abraham this week and this morning I was lead to James 2: 20-23.  Please take a moment to read this passage yourself.  We are reminded of Abraham offering Isaac on the altar.  The story is found in Genesis 22, so you might look at that story as well.  

The verses that grasp my heart and my attention are 22 and 23.
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.

Talk about putting your faith in action.  Abraham truly was called to believe with all of his being...after all we aren't talking something easy.  Offering one's child would be the absolute most difficult thing to do and I know this without having a child.  Yet Abraham knew God.  He knew and he believed.  His actions speak so loudly.  Do you think he had the slightest doubt?  I don't know, but it struck me studying it this time that he didn't have doubt.  The only way not to doubt would be that He knew God.  He had such a relationship with God that he believed that God would provide exactly what he needed.  He knew, he trusted, he believed and he acted.

Our faith becomes stronger by following Abraham's example.  We must know, we must trust, we must believe and we must act.  If we do all of these things we are living our faith and we will also be called God's friend.  I looked up the original Greek word that James was using and it means companion, friend.  Abraham was a companion to God.  Whose companion are we?  Who do we spend our time with getting to know?

Time well spent is time spent with God.  In this new year I am working on becoming a woman that is truly seeking God's advice through spending more time in His Word and with Him.  I am intent to listen and grow.  
I love Facebook.  I admit it.  I get to keep up with lots of friends that I've had from the beginning of this life journey to present, but more important than this is time growing with God.  I want this friendship with God to be more...

Growing,
Debbie

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hope is Key!



The key is hope...either way hope is the key to a lot.  My study this week is Abraham, where my study lead me to is Romans 4:18 ~
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him...

Do you see?  For things to happen we must believe it is what?  KEY...

Abraham in hope believed so he became...

Practice putting your name in

____________in hope believed so he/she became...what is it you need?  Part of the process is believing it will happen long before it ever does.  Look at Abraham's story in Genesis, but also verses shared in the New Testament about Abraham.  Abraham is in Hebrews 11 the Hall of Faith so to speak...Abraham is listed beginning in verse 11 along with Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the list goes on.  A lot of these people believed, but some didn't even get to see things happen, but they still believed.

This journey of life is bearable because we have hope.  Or should I say we choose to have hope.  It is a daily choice am I doom and gloom or hope and faith?  After all, what do we have to loose by choosing the better which is hope and faith?  We have joy, we have a closer walk with God, we have Light, we have HOPE!  God allows us to pick and on a rainy day like here in Louisiana...we need LIGHT!  

Fill in the blank and believe.  To become we must believe!  Look at the verse again above...Abraham in hope believed and so became...

I believe,
Debbie

Monday, January 16, 2017

Go



In my study this morning on Abraham I am reminded it is all about obedience. Obedience is defined as submission to another's authority.  Well, right off the bat I feel shoulders tense, hair rise, eyes squint what?  Tension...

Imagine for a moment just what Abraham did.  Look at Hebrews 11:8 
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  Okay, let's be real with each other how long does it take you to plan to go on an overnight much less forever. Yet, he believed.  He trusted. He submitted.  

How - look at the first two words.  By faith how do we do things? Do we follow these words or our own lists?  Do we change our own agendas or follow Gods or do we try to make God go along with our list fitting in where we desire?  (Like this even doable)


I admit I have made lists and I also admit I love being able to draw a line through the completed tasks...but I have learned it is much better to let go of my list and follow By faith...

Saying yes,
Debbie

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Getaway with God by Letitia Suk Book Review ~ Need a retreat?



Great book filled with great ideas and suggestions about a time away with God!  Now doesn't that sound awesome?  Perhaps, that brought to mind I don't know if I want that much togetherness with God, but I promise you do!

Letitia Suk fills this book with personal experience and great ideas that will jumpstart ideas for a special time for each of us alone with God.  I instantly related to a lot of things Letitia Suk suggest.  It brought back memories of women's retreats that I participated in or had the pleasure of being on a team serving others.  It is great time, but this book speaks to both but focuses on personal time with God.

I think sometimes for girls it is easier to share the experience, but this book focus is on growth of relationship between each individual and God.  I remember the first time I signed up for such a retreat no friends as such casual acquaintances except for one.  We arrived to be told it was a silent time until the next morning and well that isn't easy for two ladies that are friends to begin with...we failed this section first time around.  Another was take off your watches.  What?  Don't know what time it is and depend on others to wake us up and such?  Well, it worked I still don't wear a watch and I get where I am suppose to be on time or early!

Oops, back to this book.  It is a great guideline and I encourage all women to purchase this book especially women that lead other women.  It will help you to guide someone in a good direction.  I loved that I saw myself in so many of these pages and felt God's calling me to a personal time with Him.  

When I got to the section entitled "Slow down Girl" I knew this book was calling my name, but the names of most women I love and care about...we rush through life and we miss so much because we are in a hurry.  Immediately, I knew I was in the same place as our author when she talks about turning 60 and needing to reflect on her journey and how God took care of every detail.  He will!  Also, it is cool to share how God provides for our spouses response to okay the time, the details, the money, the vehicles, the place every last detail!  He does provide!  

Another thing I appreciate is Letitia provides schedules.  A schedule to go by for all or any of the controlling women that like to go on retreats.  (side note after serving in women's ministry I have found we (most not all) have control issues.  We think we need to control every last detail, so our author provides for all women.  Those that need help with knowing we have a schedule and those that don't need one.

I was personally touched when I arrived at page 115 and found these words from her day 3 retreat...
"Then Luke 6:38, a verse I had read that morning before breakfast popped into my mind:  "Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  She found 2 things after a reflection time that she knew God was sharing with her.  1) Give herself away with abandon to others and 2) tell her story.  Isn't this true for us as well? 

Thought provoking and helpful!  I am going to use this plan in my alone getaway with God.  I love the questions that she provides, her prompts and her guidance.  Yet, I know God will provide even more to the time away with Him!

I suggest this book to all women who love the sound of and plan on "getting away with God"  The book is available through Amazon.com or other book stores.  I was given this book to give my honest opinion by Kregel Publications and honestly when a person decides God provided the exact plan I needed at that moment how could you not highly recommend it to other women?  Yes, order it now or soon so you can begin your plans for your getaway!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

Monday, January 9, 2017

Relax



Looks inviting doesn't it?  Well, maybe not to all of you.  Everybody doesn't like to read, but I imagine most people are able to enjoy a good hammock!  Definitely, makes me think of relaxing! 

God is so good!  I so desperately desired a word from Him this morning and I received it.  Listen to these words from Jude (The Message)
Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!
Now that sounds fantastic!  God reassuring all of us to relax, be open in our hearts, that He is on the way.  After all, isn't He love?  I always take comfort in His reassurances about life!  Yes, He knows exactly what I need and when I need it...it's whether I listen to Him or not.

So let's relax in Him!  After all, He is already ahead of us in whatever situations we all face.  He is already all in the middle of it and giving us whatever we need to face the situations and be who we are suppose to be!  He shows us how to be about life, so let's remember today and everyday it's all going to be all right!

Claiming it,
Debbie

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Truth



Peeps this is truth.  Encouraging each of you to read the Bible is what this is all about...You must know God's truth for the days ahead.  Not Debbie's truth, not Beth's truth, not Christine's truth, not (insert your own name), God's truth.  Our opinions are just that our opinions and nothing more.

Please read God's Word for your own sake.  Read it and share it with those you love.  

Everyday we see bad things happening and the only way to have hope and see good is to know Jesus.  To know that He died for you and me and our sins.  To know that He alone provides the Way to heaven.

I love each of you, so I will continue to share encouragement to look to Him!  His Words and His Truths...It is all about Him!

Bad things happen.  Every moment of every day something is happening and the only way through these terrible things is knowing in my heart and soul that God provides hope for more.  A place filled with no more tears, no more awful because we, humans bring the awful in when we make choices.  

What do you have to loose by reading it?  I believe that even if I am wrong, which I am not wrong about Jesus and His truths...but if I were what would you loose in the end?  You have so much more to gain by reading it than by not reading it.  You gain forever with Jesus and it makes the difficult times bearable, because He is wrapping His loving arms around you making sure You know He is with you and believe me you know!

Clinging to His Truths,
Debbie

Friday, January 6, 2017

Holy Spirit Nudges



Isn't she beautiful?  Those beautiful dark eyes that just pierce your soul?

I was fretting this morning and I prayed for the Lord to help me with my fears.  I prayed for strength and for me to trust Him and the Holy Spirit brought to my memory a trip that touched me deep in my soul.  Reminded me that as long as we trust in Him things really are alright!

I took a mission trip to Mexico some years ago now and it changed my thought process and my heart quite a deal.  I don't think you are able to take one of these trips and not be forever changed.

I remember going out on our first morning and the shock of people that lived in these tiny cardboard homes, yet they were so happy.  The smiles and laughter of the children were so loud and there was a genuine happiness surrounding these children and their parents.  Oh they didn't have much materially, but they were still happy.  It didn't take stuff to make them happy.  They found happiness right where they were.  

They genuinely appreciated anything that you did for them.  Whether it was a left over mardi gras bead or a new home of cinder blocks with a concrete floor, they appreciated your sharing the moment in time with them.  They don't expect anything, so everything was and is appreciated.

The Holy Spirit reminded me again this morning in my weak moment of these beautiful, strong people that trust and share their hearts, their smiles, their laughter through whatever life brings them it's okay. The children forever remind me that laughter and smiles definitely are able to change the world, if we allow it.

Today, laugh a little more.  Trust a lot more!  Allow the Holy Spirit to bring wonderful memories to your soul that you so desperately need to be reminded of and then allow the Spirit to do something with you!

Give thanks for all that God truly is and then believe today, tomorrow and always!

Also, thanks Dave, Jeanie, and Linda for convincing me to go on this trip to Mexico!  See God used each of you to change me by my taking this trip that opened my eyes to a beautiful people!  Love ya'll!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Realization hits!



Reading the story again this morning found in Genesis 3 about Eve and Adam allowing the devil into their hearts and minds, I am reminded how easy it is to fall to doubts, fears, lies and all the other evil stuff.  Eve had such beauty surrounding her and yet the devil knew he could say, but what about that one thing God told you not to bother.  Did he really say what you think he said?  Did he?  Well, I'm not sure.  

How often do we fall for the same trick?  Seriously, that one temptation that you have the most difficult time saying no to?  One more time it won't hurt me.  One more won't hurt me.  We believe the devil and go for it...don't you almost immediately regret the decision?  It doesn't quite feel that empty spot that you just knew this would take care of the ache, the pain, the hole?  Yet, it doesn't. 

We realize that it isn't all that we thought it would be and well so did Eve.  Don't you hate it when we look like Eve and well we do...I know I do at times and it is not pretty!  I don't wear it any better than Eve and Adam wore their fig leaves.  Not the new look and not the best look.  I mean look at the photo of fig leaves and well their are certain parts of me that well I don't care how many I sewed together it would not be a good look!  

We know.  We realize in our hearts and soul, when we make a choice just like Eve did that it was a bad decision.  Do you then play hide and seek not only with others, but yourself?  I didn't do that.  I only did that because she wanted me too...the list goes on and on and we hide from the truth just like Adam and Eve.  We hide from our own choices.  We lay blame sometimes like Adam did...We play hide and seek and nobody will ever know...Yet, God always knows.

The moment that we want to hide and not seek God's company we are in trouble!  We are hiding behind our fig leaves and lies.  Yet, we realize God's love in verse 21 and it will always be one of my favorite moments...the first time we realize that God covers us always.  Before He covered our sins with Jesus blood, He covered us with clothes we are told He made Himself.
And LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Only God that we hide from and make choices that we know we should not make still loves us!  He provides the way for us, if we choose to believe His Words.  Allow Him to cover you today and everyday the devil only covers you with doubts, fear, lies, and evil while God covers you with His Amazing love!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie

  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hand



Do you need a hand?

Well, reach for God's hand.

Psalm 37:23-24
If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble; he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Reach for the hand that helps you when you stumble. NOT the hand that causes you to stumble...the devil.  We are told in Genesis 3, the serpent is crafty.  He said did the Lord God really say,?  He places doubt causing all of us to question ourselves and God.  Cling to the truth knowing:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and forever.

Reading God's Word teaches us that God doesn't change.  We know Him from reading and being in His Word with Him which dispels doubts.

Take his hand and go on this amazing adventure!

Being held,
Debbie

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Promise




Another new year.  Talk about time flying.  Yes they go quickly.

It seems every year it is on my heart to remind all of us (myself included) to read the Bible. Life is tough, but God shows up in His word and provides hope and love.  If we don't show up, how do we have either one?

I always have a word for the year as well. A tradition Linda Perkins got me started on.  Last year my word was "joy" and many times I asked the Lord how do find joy in this situation.  He would show me how? Only with His help!  My word this year is hope.  I know that hope is only found in Him!
All of this to share another year to be in His Word.  My Aunt Martha gave me a new book for Christmas and it is good.  52 weeks through the Bible by James Merritt and already he shared some stats and a story that profoundly touched my heart and even broke it a little.

88% of Americans own a Bible, 80% think it is sacred, 61% wish they read it more, and the average house owns 4 Bibles. Yet of the ones that do read it, the majority read their Bibles only 4 times a year or less.  Only 26% say they read it regularly.  On page 14 James share these details.  It breaks my heart.  No wonder then that America is suffering and down.  We cannot do life right without God. Why is this so hard for us to get?

Another story that woke me up and broke my heart at the same time is about a young man by the name of William Hunter who lived in England in 1555. Well he died then burned on a stake because of his insatiable thirst for God's Word.  In those days one could not own the Bible.  It was kept under lock and key  from no clergy. The Bible was chained to the altar. So he walked into the church opened the Bible and memorized it right there.  It was found out.  He was arrested thrown in jail for months.  He was offered freedom and money for the promise to never read it again.  He replied no, so he was burned on the stake for refusing to not read the Bible.  A gift we take for granted in America.
I don't care what way you read the Bible just read it.  I don't mean to harp, but harp I will to help another find hope and love.  I know it is true, because of someone sharing it with me.  It does change your life.  It does give you answers and most of all you share time with Our Savior!  You do find love, hope, and Jesus in the pages to share with others that need to hear the words.  We cannot find these on our own.

I ask Kenny yesterday one word for 2016 looking back he would use and he replied challenging and I told him stressful, but we did find joy in those situations because God was carrying us through the mess.  How does one get through when I know the only way I get through is by God dragging me, carrying me, or watching over me.  I know I am never alone and I know because I know scripture that make this promise and I feel His presence with me

Please make this a hope filled 2017 by
Reading the Bible. Check out my life verse Joshua 1:9 and claim it.
Sweet blessings,
Debbie