Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our Lamp and Our Light

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

Advent begins last Sunday, and with it, I begin my third year of reading through the entire Bible.  I know there are a plethora of Bible study guides out there, but I use on called the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan.  This particular plan divides the Bible into seven categories, one for each day of the week:

  • Sunday - Epistles
  • Monday - The Law
  • Tuesday - History
  • Wednesday - Psalms (my favorites!)
  • Thursday - Poetry (Did you know the Book of Job is included here?)
  • Friday - Prophesy
  • Saturday - Gospels
Obviously, this guideline is one which jumps regularly between the Old and New Testaments.  That might not appeal to everyone, but I've so enjoyed the change-up each day.

And speaking of change-ups, I've decided to implement some exercises that I hope will enhance my daily reading of the Word.  The majority of my first year with this study program was spent in The Message.  The second year, I used the NIV, NRSV and NKJV alternately.  For this third year, I'm going to explore as many versions as I can, using Bible Gateway.  That should keep things interesting, as if God's Word by itself isn't interesting enough!

Next, I've decided to keep two separate journals, one for the Old Testament and one for the New.  When I read the OT, I plan to consciously seek out and record scripture that points to the coming of Jesus.  The NT will afford me an opportunity to single out particular verses, and rewrite them in my own words as a prayer, or perhaps, a poem if I'm feeling brave.

Yes, I'm truly excited to be off on this new adventure of immersing myself in God's Word on a deeper level.  If you don't currently practice a daily routine of Bible study, I do hope you will download the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan and hop on board for the ride with me.  And if you do have a study guide that works for you, please share it in the comments section.

Remember, my friends, the Word of God never grows old nor wears out.  Like His love and mercies, it is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

His Word - our lamp, our light.

Amen!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Give Thanks!


Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

As our annual observation of Thanksgiving approaches, we see posts of gratitude teeming on social media.  Is this good?  Absolutely!  But do we require a specific day, a month of remembrance, to ever be thankful for God's immeasurable blessings in our lives?

Certainly not!

And in light of our recent visit to the mountains of North Carolina, I'd like to share, through photos and few words, some of the moments of gratefulness that graced our adventures and discoveries during our travels, and rested with us at the cabin itself.


I am thankful for ~

A Cozy Cabin


And the good health we enjoy - just look at those stairs!


Fall Foilage




Rushing Rivers




Lakes Serene


Incomparable Vistas



The Least of These




Morning Mist



Sunrise Starburst


Sunset Clouds


Earthly Stars


Gift of Contemplation


History Preserved




God's Provisions





Afternoon Coffee


The Love We Share



My prayer, my friends, is that you are entering the gates of God daily with thanksgiving, and filling to overflowing His courts with praise!

Amen!

~

This Thanksgiving break, for the second year in a row, I will be taking our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, down to my mother's home in Oxford, Georgia, to visit and help prepare the Thanksgiving feast for the rest of the family, who will descend upon us on that singular day.  And again, because of the lack of internet/computer access, I must take another hiatus from blogging/reading blogs from Tuesday until Friday afternoon.  Thank you for your understanding, and know that Danny and I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with loving memories and hopes for the future.  Blessings to you all!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Level Playing Field


Luke 14:7-9
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:  "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.  If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this person your seat.'  Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place."

Did you know my husband, Danny, and I don't have cable television?  Now do not think for a moment that we can't watch shows we like via Netflix and Hulu.  But we can't view news/shows/sports in real time.  Honestly, that's not a bummer.

Until it comes to college football season.

Oh, how we miss watching Georgia and Georgia Tech, Danny's alma mater, games!  The now old-fashioned radio comes through for us, though it's not the same as seeing the action on the big screen.

So imagine our excitement when we realize, while at our recent cabin stay, we can view both Georgia Tech and Georgia play live.  It's the ultimate icing on the cake for our idyllic visit to the mountains the day before we are scheduled to depart.

The Tech game comes on first.  It is truly a see-saw battle on the field with Virginia Tech (and can anyone explain to me what a 'Hokie' is?).  But the Jackets manage to squeeze out a 28 to 22 victory, moving the team to #2 in the ACC Coastal division.  Quite the accomplishment!

But the game we are convinced will be a blow-out is the SEC #1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs against the #10 Auburn Tigers.

It's a blow-out, alright.  Powerhouse Georgia seemingly pulls the plug on their winning streak, falling to Auburn in a whopping 40 to 17 loss.  What a crushing disappointment for the team and the fans.  In one fell swoop, Georgia is plucked from #1 and dumped to #7 in the rankings.

That's one big piece of humble pie to chew and swallow.

Whether it was the pride and conceit a #1 standing can create in a team, or if they were simply having an off-day, we may never know.  But the humiliation remains.

And Jesus' parable in Luke 14 comes to mind.

We all tend to think more highly of ourselves than is actually the case.  Pride?  Yes!  Instead, we should be humble, remembering that rankings or not, we are all #1 in the eyes of God.

He alone levels the playing field.

And win or lose in the game of football, or in life, He will never cease to love us.

Amen.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sunrise Ridge


Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

Vacation time is here at last!  My husband, Danny, and I are heading for the Nantahala Mountains in North Carolina next week.  We will be staying at Sunrise Ridge, a cabin we haven't rented since 2010.  So even though we have photos from our first trip to jog our memories, I'm sure there will be new things to notice this time around.

These cabin retreats, with the notable exception of the last debacle, offer both of us the opportunity to reconnect with each other and with our everlasting God.  With His majestic creation surrounding us at every turn, His presence speaks clearly to our hearts, our minds, and our souls.

To better hear God's voice, Danny and I will be going "dark" from Tuesday afternoon until Sunday afternoon when we arrive home.  Yes, we will be checking messages and email on our phones, but I will neither be blogging nor commenting on the blogs of others during this time.  I so need these days to unplug and unwind.

To rest and relax.

To simply be.

With that said, allow me to share some fabulous photos Danny snapped when last we sojourned to Sunrise Ridge.  Enjoy!







May God bless and keep you all!

Amen!

Sunset Falls - Part Two

Psalm 111:2-4 Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and...