Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Lord's Rest

 


Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28


I cannot begin to convey the excitement and anticipation that my husband, Danny, and I are experiencing right now.  Our granddaughter, Virginia, will be arriving on Monday, and will spend most of the month of June with us!  Oh, how we have missed her, and have counted down the days until we are reunited!

In light of this, it's time for me to take a rest from blogging in order to give my full attention to Virginia.  No doubt, our adventures together will create many ideas for future blogs, but now, I want nothing more than to simply spend time with her.

I have no doubt that we will experience the Lord's rest as we immerse ourselves in the reaffirmation of the connection we share.  My instinct tells me we'll pick right up where we left off at Thanksgiving!

That being said, please understand if I'm absent from your blogs, too.  I'll keep you all in my prayers, and I do hope I will be kept in yours for a blessed time with Virginia.

Amen!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Friday's Forever!

 


For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10


I'm not sure how many years I've been a fan of Karen Friday's  blog, but it is definitely a favorite of mine.  I look forward to reading her weekly, God-inspired reflection every Thursday without fail.  If you aren't already one of Karen's followers, please hop over and introduce yourself!

You would think, having followed Karen for some time, that I would have been aware of the YouTube channel that she, and her husband of 37 years, Mike, have created.  But it's only a few weeks ago when I actually see the link and decide to pay them a visit.  Wow!  The Fridays are a talented team, indeed!

Here's a bit of background Karen has kindly provided for me to share with you.

Mike and Karen met on a college campus in the beautiful mountains of east Tennessee.  While they have lived many places as Mike served as a pastor, they returned to their roots years ago, where Mike served for eighteen years at his home church.

Now retired from the ministry, Karen is an office administrator for a realty company, and Mike is a real estate photographer/videographer during the week, but on the weekends?  That's a completely different story!

Their YouTube channel, Friday's Forever, feature their adventures throughout eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  You may see Karen and Mike enjoying a corn dog from Fannie Farkles on the Gatlinburg strip, reviewing a local hotel or restaurant, and enjoying the sights and sounds Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Hiking a trail or gazing at a waterfall in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park showcases God's amazing and breathtaking creation for all to see and enjoy.  Especially in these hard economic times, when vacations may have to be virtual for many, Mike and Karen's unique videos give you scenic landscapes, quaint and historical towns, and introduction to the unique culture found in the hills of Appalachia.

Karen also adds that although their adventures are always fun and memory-making trips, the best part about being on YouTube is that they get to meet subscribers to their channel in person from time to time.  That's definitely a thrill for them!

As The Great Smoky Mountains is a favorite destination for Danny and me, Friday's Forever allows us to enjoy that gorgeous and majestic place from the comfort of our living room.  Won't you join Mike and Karen on their many adventures?

You can find their channel by simply going to YouTube and typing Friday's Forever in the search bar.  Karen also does speaking engagements and may be found on Facebook and Instagram.  

Happy Adventures!

Amen!

Monday, June 6, 2022

Practice Makes Perfect?

 


When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ~1 Corinthians 13:11


When my husband, Danny, runs across this meme on Facebook, I can't help but laugh, albeit ruefully.  It perfectly describes my love/hate relationship I have with the game of backgammon.  It has become a ritual for Danny and me to play several rounds every night.  One would think with all that practice, that I'd become a better player.

Think again!

I lose more than I win; that's just a fact.  Blame the roll of the dice.  Blame the wrong choice of a move.  Blame the continual luck of the opponent.  When it comes to backgammon, it seems, no amount of experience can prepare you to master the game.  And as we have seen recently in our country's administration, blaming is the name of the game.

Thank goodness that's not true when it comes to God's Word!  We may start out as immature Christians, childlike in our faith, but the more we immerse ourselves in Bible study, prayer and reflection, the stronger and more mature we become.  And hopefully, we reach the point where we can confidently and lovingly inspire others to grow in God's knowledge and grace.

Sure, life is full of both losing and winning moments, times of rough seas and times of calm.  But when our faith is grounded in the Word and the knowledge of Jesus' love for us, we are more than prepared to survive the hard moments and celebrate the good ones with thanksgiving.

Just have to remind myself of that the next time I lose another round of backgammon.


Amen!

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Path to Freedom

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13


Yesterday marks six months since I quit smoking.  If anyone had asked me in December of 2021 if I planned to make any New Year's resolutions, I would have answered with a resounding, "No!"  But God, it seems had other plans, plans that were certainly not on my radar.  You can read about that here.

In order to heal completely from pneumonia, I know I have to stop smoking.  For good.  After all, it isn't every day I can attest to audibly hearing God's voice, and knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is His.  He tells me what will happen if I fail to quit.  I think on all the family members I love, and can't bear the thought of departing this life right now.  There's still too much left for me to do for God's kingdom!

The Lord and I make a pact.

This journey hasn't been an easy one, but I must admit, it's been easier than I ever imagined it could be.  That's due in large part to the aid of the Nicotine Patch.


This product comes in three different levels:  21mg for folks who are used to smoking 15 or more cigarettes a day; 14mg for those who are somewhere around the 8 to 10 mark, and 7mg for those approaching the threshold of not craving cigarettes at all.

I've been on Step 3, or 7mg, for at least six weeks now.  One is directed to wear each patch for one day, and then change it for a new one.  But in the last two weeks, I've cut down even more, changing the patch every day and a half instead.  That is working so well, I think I'll be able to ditch the patches for good in just a couple of weeks.  HOORAY!

Yes, Jesus has most certainly given me His strength and resolve along this journey, and I know He will never forsake me or leave me at loose ends.  Should I be tempted to stray, I know I will hear His comforting and encouraging voice, bidding me to keep to the paths He has set for my feet to follow.

Walking in the footsteps of Jesus is the only path to freedom.

I'll take it!

Amen!

Keep it Simple

  Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and grea...