Christmas Lights

This blog was first posted on December 1, 2017.   Over the next 6 weeks as the holidays and my life transitions, I will be sharing some of my favorite Christmas time post.  I hope you will enjoy these past post over the holiday and the new year – 2019 will bring a new life and new post of God’s Blessings.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

The tree is up and the lights are beginning to glisten and shine on homes around the neighborhood.  Homes and business are beginning to show signs of Christmas with lights abundantly shining.  There have been times in my past where this time of year would bring anxiety to my life, as my to do list just seemed to grow and I had no idea what to buy or give as gifts.  A few weeks ago when God first touched me with the song “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle​​​​​​​I was sitting at a stop light and reading a church sign on the corner.  It seems funny to me that I can’t remember what the sign said because I love church signs, but only the feeling that this would be a season of enjoying and not worrying.  Maybe it was the darkness full of lights around me as I was driving, that made me think of Christmas and the coming season of lights, but I felt an excitement for the coming Christmas season and the light of Christ that we celebrate this time of year.  I am going to make the lights important this year. I stop and enjoy each new one home that lights up.  I become mesmerized in the beauty of the lights which are reminding me this year of Jesus and his words in John 14:6, “‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The Star

I love the Moravian star.  If I had one I would probably leave it up year round, so this time of year I get to see the star again.  Have you stopped to really look at one and see all the crosses that come together to create this star?   I imagine this is the unusual star in the heavens above the manager.  Matthew 2: 9-10 shares the joy of the wise men when they found Jesus, “After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”  As I enjoy the stars of Christmas, I realize that the stars we admire in the heavens are created by God.  Psalms 147:4 reads, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Each star including the one that rose over Jesus’s birth is named by God, the Creator.

Christmas Season

Let’s all slow down this Christmas season and enjoy the lights of Christmas, find God’s peace, and His blessings in the lights.  Let go of the chaos this time of year can bring and stop and enjoy what is important.  Stop and remember that God brought his only Son as a baby to walk in our footsteps without sin.  Jesus knows us and understands our walk.  Stop and walk with him through this season.  I know peace will be found if stop and will be infinitely better than the hustle and bustle.  For as John 1:5 reminds us all, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Closing Verse:  Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Challenge:  Stop and Walk with Jesus through the Christmas Season.

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Thankful

Family

As Thanksgiving passes once more, my family realizes that this maybe one of the last Thanksgiving that will not be a homecoming.  So, I am thankful we were all together to share in each others lives as our children have grown into wonderful young women.  God is Good!

Closing Verse:

Courtesy of Youversion

Challenge:

Count Your Blessings, I am counting mine.

Eve and Me

I am a Sinner

Yes, I am a sinner and have always known that, but it seems even harder when God reminds me of it such as with the verse that I mentioned last week in my post The Sinner in Me, “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” Romans 3:23. So I fell short, I listened to the devil on my shoulder and not the angel.  I did not seek Christ as my example, so I found sin.  I allowed the devil to explain right and wrong when I knew the difference because James 4:17 tells me, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  

Choices

I knew I was wrong because I made the choice.  Two wrongs have never made a right, yet that was the path I chose.  A path that did not allow for God’s truth to be revealed but for the devil on my shoulder to reign supreme.  “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 focuses me on the right path, the path of truth.  How did I allow this sin to override all the work I have been doing in my heart?  I have been striving to be a better person, yet I was lying to myself about who I was.  I was Eve in the garden.  Eve  according to Genesis 3:20 is the mother of all living things, “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living”.  Yet, Eve found sin. 

Eve in the Garden

I was Eve in the garden listening to Satan and lying to Adam.  God reminded me of this example and placed it on my heart, so I study the scripture on Eve and pray that I will learn how Eve found grace in God’s eyes after bringing sin into the world.  “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” 1 Timothy 2:14. Eve had consequences, yet I know God blessed her as the mother of man.  “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” Genesis 4:25.  Yet, her sin did bring consequences.  

I stand now in Eve’s shadow and pray that I can heal the wounds that I have opened and in the words of George Santanya, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” May I not repeat my past once again.  

Seeking Forgiveness

So how does one find healing and forgiveness in the midst of sin and hurt?  I seek it in scripture such as verses like 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”  Scriptures like this one should be written on my heart in order to find my way back to Christ.  I long for Christ!  “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,” John 5: 39.

Closing Verse:  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

Challenge:  Seek Christ by listening to the Angel on your shoulder

The Sinner in Me

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Who Am I?

I have been writing for over a year now, but today I find myself in deep examination of who I am.  God has placed me between two verses of scripture.  I have had a glimpse into the darkness and ugliness inside of me, and I fear I am a hypocrite.  I study His Word and share His Love in my life, yet I hid from others.  I lie about who I am, I lie to those close to me by pretending I am someone I am not.

I Am a Sinner

Yes, I am a sinner and have always known that but when God placed this verse he fully reminded me of my sinfulness before I had to face my sins.

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Funny, I shared this verse out of social media because it touched me and had lots of responses and reactions to it which now is just a reminder to me of our sinful nature and how haunting it is just as God opened my eyes and exposed my own.  I am thankful and grateful for his love in opening my eyes, but I so struggle with the Why?  Why? am I hiding my sins knowing the pain it could cause.  How did I let this happen?

A Simple Prayer

I pray that God will some how bless these words from a sinner.  I don’t usually stop and pray in my writing, but I feel strongly that I need to stop and pray now.

Father, give me the wisdom and strength to shine light on my sinful nature, my lies, and the pain I have caused.  Bless these words that from within healing will come and that the truth will cleanse and make whole that which is broken through your grace and love.  Amen

Saying this prayer brings the verse that God brought to me today:

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I cling to this verse now as a goal for my life.  I am headed toward this cleansing by publicly and personally committing to cleaning myself of my flesh and moving toward more holiness.  A path I should have already taken in my life.  I will walk to this scripture knowing that God promises in Romans 8:28, “We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him.  They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,”  I cling to these words that I am a child of God and long for Christ in my heart.

Ethics

Oh the irony of sitting in a class on Ethics and reading this quote today by George Santayana, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  A stabbing reminder of my ethical sins.  As I become overwhelmed and humbled by my unworthiness, I can only fall before the throne and beg for forgiveness for my reckless sins and the hurt these have caused.  I am hiding behind God instead of him living within me.  The irony continues to drip in this class as I examine my own ethics. How have I been fraudulent to those around me?  The words are painful but necessary.  I see a sinner and liar in the mirror today but tomorrow I want to see Christ.  The only way to see Christ is to seek the truth.  As I close I want to share something I really learned in this class today and that is not to just apply the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12, “Treat others as you want them to treat you.”  but maybe just maybe we should treat others the way they need to be treated in that moment.  I need to stop and see how my sins affect others around me.  Then maybe then I can truly call myself a Christian and feel like one.  Sin is hard to bear.

Closing:  (Prayer)  My Father, may you place the words of truth on my lips and guide me to share my sin of not choosing to follow you but my flesh.  Cleanse me and bring Your Glory.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

Challenge:  When the devil and the angel sit on your shoulders, listen to the angel – Listen to God.

Entry from Solmates

First Posted October 11 from Solmates

Is the Endeavor the boat of our Dreams?

SolMates_revised

Hi Everyone!

We are D and Allie, otherwise known as SolMates!  A few years ago we began discussing our retirement. I, Allie, will probably do most of the blogging, just so you know who is chatting with you here.  I have always loved the beach.  Being close to water, waves, and sand brings peace to my life.  D would say that one of my gifts to him in our marriage was learning to relax and enjoy a day on the beach doing absolutely nothing.

Loving the Water

We grew up in the piedmont of North Carolina near Lake Norman, and as our children grew older we decided to buy a boat.  Spending days on the lake became another passion of ours.  There is something about the water that brings serenity and peace to our lives, and watching the sunset over the water.  Sunsets have become a weekly Friday night event in our lives these days.  Now we are discussing retirement and boating seems a perfect fit for our future, but what does that really look like?

Courtesy of WorldAtlas.com

Oh Captain, My Captain!

In late 2015, D focussed on his Captain license which is finally at completion.  We felt this was a necessity as we moved forward with this plan for both knowledge of navigation and possible moneymaking alternatives for our future.  Along with this began the research for a boat to navigate the Caribbean.  Honestly, like many already out there living the dream we researched and discussed sailing, but in this research we found the powercats.  A powercat is a catamaran boat that functions like a trawler without a sail.  This we feel is the route we want to take to navigate the Caribbean.  We love the idea of the catamaran for stability, but at our age we want to enjoy retirement and since we have not been sailing all our lives we feel this is the perfect match for our future!

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Happy Captain!

Check out the Endeavor Boats

Our research has lead us to Bob Bennett in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Endeavor Powercats.  Although, we went to look at different types of powercats, our trips to the Tampa Bay area to visit our daughter in college made this a great place to start.  While visiting the Endeavor marina where haul outs take place for repairs we were able to see both a 44ft and 36ft Endeavor boat.  Here is a brief glimpse of our tours.

Bob Bennett with Endeavor boats was informative and answered many of our questions about the boats and traveling on an Endeavor powercat.  As we left the facility in St. Petersburg, we knew for sure we were interested in the powercat, but unsure of the size and type of boat we would like to purchase as we plan our future and the exploration of clear blue waters.  Come along with us as we begin the journey to find the boat of our dreams to live the life of our dreams.

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