Devastation

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God is your float

Peace in the Ripples

Not long ago, I shared about finding Peace in the Ripples of Water.  My post shared how water was a peaceful and serene place that I long for in my life.  The slower life that one finds around the ripples of water. Bodies of water are full of beauty and a peaceful stillness that brings the message that God is real and our creator.  Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”shares that water is a symbol of our salvation.  Water is a beautiful thing…. most of the time.

Devastation of Harvey

Over the last week, everyone around the country has watched the horrors of water in Texas.  This is not the peaceful stillness, but the water that left devastation and loss of life behind.  My eyes fill with tears, my heart aches for the people impacted, and I pray for God’s guidance in helping those who are hurting from this disaster from water.   Watching Texas rally together and fold their arms around each other for survival has been the good God has given from this devastation.  Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Texans have proven this verse true.  They have treated each other tenderhearted and God will save.  

Irma’s Fear

As Texas continues to rally and the country supports their efforts all eyes turn to the Atlantic and the biggest storm on record as it roars toward Florida.  Once again we are watching people prepare, flee, and with fear in their eyes and tears on their cheek prepare for one of the possible worst events in Florida’s history.  My heart is hurting as I watch that storm move across the Caribbean and devastate these beautiful islands.  I pray for God to tame the storm and wind as I know he can, but I also know he may choose not calm the storm.  I know that either way he will walk through the pain and heal the wounds as Psalm 147: 3 promises, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  

God’s Promise

God made a promise to Noah a long time ago that he would never destroy the way he did in the Great Flood.  This is the peace that I take into the storm even as it may approach my home so many miles away from the coast. Genesis 8:20-22 shares this promise, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” 

This promise will comfort me through the next week as Irma makes landfall and brings her wrath on Florida and beyond.  I will look to Jeremiah 33:6 as we move past all this devastation and the angry waters recede where it reads, “Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.”  God will heal and provide abundance this is the comfort I have in knowing that God is in control.

Closing Verse:  Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Challenge:  Pray for God’s control as Irma comes on shore.  Pray for God’s healing and provision.  Pray for God’s blessings amidst the turmoil, devastation, and pain.  Above all Pray.

There is a God…

Without Excuse

Having the opportunity to see different places in this great country, I know there is a God (The World Around Me).  How can anyone see majestic mountains and crashing waves and not know there is a creator.  Romans 1:20 reminds me, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”  I am without excuse to know his name!  God has left his Word for us in all that he has created here on Earth so that all would know His Name and His Glory.

Traveling North

My husband and I are once again moving our daughter.  As we traveled North to Syracuse, New York,  we spend the entire day with a view of majestic mountains and beautiful valleys.  Moving through CNY (Central New York), I was amazed at the continuous beauty and large farms across the countryside.  This is one of those moments when I think I know what to expect and it becomes apparent that I had no idea what to expect. Psalms 95:4-5 reads, “In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”  The rolling mountains are just breathtaking and were formed in his hands. Be sure to stop and linger in the awe of rising mountains each time the opportunity is given.

New Home

After moving her into her new home, the real adventure began when we explored the area.  The rolling hills of Syracuse, NY allow for beautiful views especially on campus.  Finding the unique little restaurants and shops in her neighborhood that are just a short walk from her house was for North Carolinians a real treat.  Meeting people with smiles on their faces who were more than happy to share about this city they love.  This college town is both large and small all wrapped into one.  Yes, the magnificence of the Carrier Dome is real!  You can’t miss it when you view the horizon of the city.  Exploring a new and beautiful area once again brings God’s creation to my thoughts.  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”, Revelation 4:11.

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Water

Our final adventure was to one of the most beautiful waterfalls.  Although the tourism around it was more than I expected.  The beauty and power of Niagara Falls was stunning and breathtaking.  I stopped to try and view each detail.  The rocks below the American Falls, the openings in the mist around Niagara Falls.  The rock cliffs that linger over the falls on the American side.  I can not find the words to describe the breathtaking experience of watching the water fall. Even in the midst of the tourist and chaos, Niagara Falls radiates a peace as the water falls over the cliffs.  It is a creation of beauty from my Father. “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.” Psalm 42:7.

Closing Verse: Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”

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Challenge:  Seek Gods’ Beauty all around us and know that this is a gift to know his name.  My prayer for everyone who reads this is to stand in the beauty of our Lord one day.  How majestic that will be!  I know because I see the world around me he has created.  Stop and look at God’s beauty today.

 

The World Around Me

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Traveling NC

I have had a great opportunity to travel across the state of North Carolina over the last two weeks.  I have lived in just one area and worked in that same community, so I have forgotten how big just this state is and how beautiful.  Not just the natural beauty but the people.  Especially those teaching our students each and everyday.   What a life changing experience to see our state and engage with educators who care about the students they teach?  I wanted to pack so many in my suitcase and carry them back home to my students.  Learning with educators across the state reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 40:31, "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  As educators we are on the front line for our students.

Educators in NC

These past weeks gave me the opportunity to meet such strong passionate people and reminds me of how God is working in the lives of people around me each day, but also people across the state, the country and around the world.  His guidance is evident when you talk to so many who just care so much about children.  Jesus was an example to us all on how to love children.  In Mark 10:16, "And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.", we read how Jesus take the children and changes their lives.  I met educators who with whatever they have they strive to give their students the best they can and in turn they are a blessing to their students.  This experience has been a reminder to me of not just why I do what I do but why so many have chosen to love all our children just as Christ has chosen to love us.

Natural Beauty of NC

Finally, as I drove across the state, I was blessed with seeing so much of God's beautiful creations.  Sometimes the Sun was shining and the breeze was awesome. Then the storm clouds would open on the fields and pastures.  I watched the sun rise between the mountains of NC one morning as I drove through the valley.  I saw the flatlands of eastern NC humid and dry and then drenched and wet.  I drove back roads I would have never known without this adventure and all of it was full of God's beauty.  I watched the sunset each evening in a new location and praised God for his beauty.  I was reminded of the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."  No matter what the circumstance be sure to take the time to see the grace and beauty of God all around you.

God's world is full of beautiful people and beautiful places.  Sometimes I just can't get enough!  Makes me want to find another adventure.  Maybe I will head to Syracuse, New York….Stay Tuned.

Closing Verse: Psalm 145:5, "On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate."

Challenge: Open your eyes to all the beauty God has given us.  Sometimes it is an unexpected blessing.

 

God’s Perfection – Me!

Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about CREATING yourself.  -George Bernard Shaw

Who Am I?

Maybe I have been trying to find myself for too long, and now I finally realize that I should have been creating myself.  So, if I want to create myself then I must look deeply at who I am.  So who am I?

I Am A Christian

First and foremost, I am a Christian.  I am not a perfect Christian because I fall short of God’ glory each and every day and seek his forgiveness and mercy in my daily life.  I believe in and love the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.  Sometimes, I forget what an important piece this is in my life and that nothing else that I do is more important than my life as a Christian.  I am reminded by John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  This famous verse in the core of my faith.  God has provided an opportunity for me to show the world how God has saved and blessed me.    Recently, My husband and I were given the chance to share his grace with a neighbor.  We did not have a sit down and discuss, but just modeled his love and blessings in our lives and tried to help her refocus all her anger and bitterness on the positive.  She has just let life get the best of her like so many of us and learning to lean on Christ in both the good and the bad is what should truly define our lives.  I pray that I continue to CREATE myself as a Christian so that others will always see Christ as Matthew 7:16 reads, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”  I pray I bear his fruits.

I Am A Wife And Mother

As I really look at the life I am creating, I see the blessings I have from a loving husband of 28 years and two beautiful adult daughters.  I know that as a mother I failed them both many times, but I hope that above all they knew I loved them and Christ.  Psalms 127:3 brings me joy, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”  I hope that somehow I showed them how to love those that God will place in their lives both now and in the future.  Being a mother never really stops as I continue to pray for their futures, their lives, and that they will be blessed.  I could not have been a loving mother without a loving husband by my side.  He is my greatest blessing from God.  Ephesians 4:32 defines my marriage blessing, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  My heart hurts when I think about how I have let him down, but the life that he has given me is one of laughter, fun, and dreams lived.  He helps me see the future so that I can believe in my own dreams.  Each day and each year just gets better and I can’t wait for the future with him.  He is the gift God gave me so that I could CREATE the real person that I truly am.

I Am An Educator

God has given me the great opportunity to work with so many children in my career.  I get excited when I bring a child and learning together.  I love the sparkle in their eyes when the learning means something to them deep inside.  I know that this comes from the Lord because Jesus has a special place in his heart for children, Matthew 19:14 reads, “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.””  Over the last twenty years, I have been a school librarian and this has changed my life.  Working with both students and teachers in this role has allowed me so many opportunities to see not just the success in the classroom but around the world.  Proverbs 8:10 clarifies this purpose, “Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,”  I hope that my future somehow holds a piece of this in it because I truly love this part of me, but I know that it is not the definition of who I am or who I want to be.  It is just a piece of me, but a piece that I love.

I CREATING Myself To Be Free

What I have learned about myself is that I want to live a life as free as the life Christ has established for me.    What does that mean? Psalm 119: 105 explains it this way, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  I look for the path where I feel free and I find that is when I am on the sand and near the water.  This is when I feel free.  I want a simple life that is what is deep down inside.  I want to CREATE that person who needs less, loves more, and explores the beauty of God’s creation all around me – (but especially those areas near a beach and the water!)  Digging deeper into myself has allowed me to really see what I have been created to love and to be.  I am ready to start CREATING a new part of me!  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Closing Verse:  Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Challenge:  Stop trying to find yourself and look deep inside so you can CREATE who God planned for you to be.

 

Water

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Searching the Ripples…

As I walk along the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas among people hurrying through life, I find flickers of peace as I watch the water move through the city.  As the light flickers off the ripples, I find some inner peace among all this busyness of life.  I want to shout to those who are missing the peace from the water because of this fast pace of life they are distracted by as  they move through life.  How many are just missing the calm waters each day of their lives? 

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Proverbs 18:4, “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.”

Christ’s Living Water 

Recently, my husband shared an article from earthables, Science Reveals How a Visit to the Beach Actually Changes Your Brain, As I was reading this article, my mind began wondering what God’s purpose for water in our lives might have been.  What symbol or meaning should water provide in our lives when we are surrounded by its peace?  As I searched scripture, I was not surprised by the common thread of living water.  Jesus is our living water and he provides peace, grace, and salvation in our lives.  Each time I am near water, I am reminded of God’s love through his  provision of living water for us by his son, Jesus Christ.  Water is a symbol of peace in our lives just as Christ’s sacrifice provides for our eternal lives.  The Samaritan woman at the well found peace in her life from the living water of Jesus in John 4: 13-15, ‘Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”’. Like the woman at the well, we must turn to Christ’s living water to find peace and quench our thirst.  Summer is a great time to find some water, recharge and refocus on Christ in our lives and the full meaning of his sacrifice for our weary souls.  

Summer Rejuvenation

Yes, Summer is finally here, so why is it that I am missing the peacefulness of the water.  I am longing for some relaxation by the ocean.  I feel like I have not stopped to enjoy the summer days yet, and I need the peace that I find near the water.  Walking along the Riverwalk in San Antonio reminded me of this deep need to reflect and reconnect with my inner being and my relationship with Christ.  The verse in 1 John 5:8 is a great summer motto, “The Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.”  I need to reconnect all three again to find his peaceful agreement in my life. 

Summer is my time to renew myself from the dry and coldness that Winter brought into my life.  I was David in Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water,” but I seek the water that Christ gave to the Samaritan woman at the well.  I seek his water to replenish my relationship with him.  Each time this summer that I find myself near the water by relaxing on the boat, walking along a river, or sticking my toes in the sand on the beach, I will remember the sacrifice that Christ made to provide that living water that nourishes my soul.

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Warm January Days

I have to sadly say that the weatherman baited us!  We were so excited about this great warm weekend in January only to find lots of clouds, some rain, and wind all mixed in with very little sunshine, but ok the temperatures were fairly nice.  Due to this baiting we made big plans to uncover the boat and hit the lake.  It was our great pleasure to escort the some great friends down the lake to pick up their new boat.  First time boat owners enjoying their new boat in January…

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There she goes down the lake with Angie behind the wheel!  The fun began on the trip down with good times on our boat as we anticipated the arrival into the marina to add another pontoon to the fleet!  A cold beer, a bottle of wine, a huge block of cheese (Thank you Eddie) and we were set!

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Successfully now docked and covered the boats are ready to finish out this winter so we can enjoy some fun times this summer on the water!  We did finish off Sunday with lunch on the boat (Awesome soup Bill!) and just when we thought we were probably done the sun began to really shine and a few more hours passed enjoyed the water and good friends.  Lots and Lots of Laughter which is my favorite part of hanging out on the lake.  Nothing can make you feel better or invigorate you in the middle of the winter blues than laughter.  That is probably why I love the summers so much.  That and it is warmer so much warmer!   I will get that picture of you next time Angie but for now just me hanging over the side of boat as we parted for the evening, but I got those boats disconnected!

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Congratulations again Bill and Angie!  Looking forward to many more laughs together!

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