Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Lord, Save Me!

 


But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" ~Matthew 14:30


Have any of you seen this commercial depicted below?


If you haven't, here is the plot in a nutshell:  A Vision Works customer, floating on a make-shift raft, decides he doesn't like the glasses he has chosen.  Enter the Vision Works associate with a new pair, assuring him there would be no cost as he chose to exchange the glasses within the 100-day window.  Before she departs, she asks, "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

To which he responds, "Like what?"

It's obvious to all watching this commercial that this man needs help.  He needs saving in the worst way.  Yet, he is oblivious to the offer made to him.  Makes for a momentary chuckle, maybe, but the implications of refusing help when you're at the end of your rope is no laughing matter.

As Christians, we have the ultimate lifeline we can share with those who don't even realize they need saving.  Jesus commanded us to go into all the world, and make disciples of the lost, the hurting souls who wander aimlessly day by day, not even aware that their greatest needs and wants can be satisfied in having a meaningful, personal relationship with the only One who saves and forgives.  Are we doing that, or are we shirking our mission?

Peter had no qualms about whom he should cry out to for help when in rough waters, and he knew in whom he could put his eternal trust.  We know that, too.  Isn't it time to share that abundant life message with all we meet?  Maybe, just maybe, that person will not say, "Like what?" but will be convinced to grab ahold of Jesus' hand and hold on tight!

Amen!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

A Book Review and Give-away!

 


Jesus answered, "It is written:  'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" ~Matthew 4:4


I cannot recall how or when I met my blogging friend, Cheryl, but from the first exchange, I knew she was someone I wanted to know better.  She and I bonded immediately over our love for the Lord, and the deep desire to share the inspiration He gives us with others.  The by-line of my blog is "Meeting the Miraculous in the Mundane."  Cheryl personifies that concept perfectly in her latest collection of devotions:  Homespun Devotions - Volume Two.

Her down-to-earth reflections give me a sense of peace, warmth and closeness to God, as if I'm visiting with a long lost friend, rocking gently together on her front porch, and sipping on a glass of iced tea.  That's how welcome Cheryl makes her readers feel.

Cheryl describes her work with these words:  Homespun Devotions - Volume Two continues a series of books that record the piecing together of many of the stories in my life and rich spiritual truths God has imparted along the way.  As you read these homespun narratives of faith, family, love, marriage, motherhood, friendship, and the music that is such a part of my heritage, you will discover glimpses into the moments of the soul - searching and intense struggles I have experienced while journeying to a place of complete surrender to the One who bled and died for me.

Beautiful!

And now comes the easy part:  If you would like to be entered in a drawing to receive a complimentary copy of Cheryl's latest book, just leave a comment below.  On April 1, I will have my husband, Danny, draw a name from a hat.  I will announce the winner in the blog that follows.  Regrettably, though, for my many out-of-country friends who follow me, shipping costs prohibit overseas mailing.  The good news?  You can order Cheryl's amazing book on Amazon.  And if you have yet to read Homespun Devotions - Number One, you can order that, too.

May this book of collected devotions touch your heart the way it has touched mine!

Amen!

About the author:

Cheryl E. Smith is the author of the books, "Biblical Minimalism:  Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life" and "Homespun Devotions - Volume One."  She blogs as www.BiblicalMinimalism.com, where she writes about minimalism from a Biblical perspective, and www.HomespunDevotions.com where she writes devotionals and conducts "Inner Views."  She loves to spend time with her husband and son in the mountains, sing and play rhythm guitar for the Mountain Hope Band, and write.  You can hear her original songs on YouTube @mountainhopeband.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Spring!

 


"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree:  As soon as its twigs get tender and the leaves come out, you know that summer is near." ~Matthew 24:32


Spring has yet to officially arrive on the calendar, but here in our own backyard, the signs of new growth are everywhere you look.  I know that some of my readers live in colder regions of the country, and have yet to experience the first whispers of spring's promises, but I hope and pray this little tour of our yard will filly you with anticipation for the warmer weather that will be here before you know it.

While most of our daffodil "family" blooms in February, these narcissus plants blossomed on March 1, my birthday.  What a great gift that was!



We don't know how or why they got here, but these trilliums, native to the Smoky Mountains, appear in our yard several years back, and seem to have firmly established themselves.

 



Moss is greening once again.




Fiddle-head ferns arise from the loamy soil.



A brave violet shows its delicate face.


And the azaleas are beginning to bloom, in spite of the fact that we neither trim nor fertilize them.  God's doing a great job all on His own!





Yes, God's amazing creation calls to us, sings to us, invites us to savor all of spring's promise and glory.  May your spring season, when it finally arrives, be just as beautiful!

Amen!

Monday, March 13, 2023

All in Good Time

 


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build . . . ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-3


Something I've never looked forward to is the semi-annual time change that plagues our calendars, and disrupts our natural Circadian rhythms.  It used to be that I could live with the "fall back" part of the time cycle; it allowed me to get up earlier without feeling tired and out-of-sorts.  However, this past fall-back experience didn't make a positive difference.  If anything, it upset my natural rhythms more than ever before.

With that being said, you can just imagine what this latest "spring-forward" experience has done for me.  My rhythms weren't at all interested in adjusting to the new time, no matter what my clock said.  The morning rain did little to help in compelling me to leave the warm cocoon of my covers, even when the digital numbers scolded me about laying in bed until 9:00, the "new" 8:00.

Every time I attempted to rouse myself, I felt the stupor of sound sleep encroaching once again, much to my chagrin.

Long story short, I finally managed to abandon the bed and embark, quite reluctantly, upon the new day.

This, I decide, is going to take a concerted effort on my part over the next week or so, in order to reclaim my much valued and treasured morning time.  I know my body can, and will, finally adjust, but I'm not looking forward to the process.  I can't help but envision continuing naps in my future, as the ones I currently take are not enough.

I'm left wondering, too, if my body's revolt against falsely imposed rhythms is exacerbated by my age.  If so, it certainly confirms that as we get older, we become more entrenched in our ways and habits.  Makes me question, too, how many more tricks this old dog can learn!

However, with our daughter, son-in-law and the girls coming to visit us over spring break, which is about a month away, I'm determined to acclimate a decent, workable daily schedule.  If that's not motivation, I don't know what is!  It will be worth any amount of sleep deprivation just to have them here, and on the week before Easter, no less.  Yes, this Gammie is already planning fun and memorable activities for all of us to enjoy.

Not the least of which is staying awake to enjoy every moment!

And I'm trusting God to make it all happen in His good time.

Amen!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

In the Beauty



 


Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. ~Psalm 96:11

Before we are laid low by the dreaded Covid virus (I'm still continuing to take long naps), Danny and I had just returned from a brief, but lovely, getaway to St. Simon's Island in southeastern Georgia.  Danny finds us a perfect, cozy Air B&B that works perfectly for our stay.





No lack of places to eat on the island!




And we do get to meet with my brother and his family for his birthday at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place.  Wish we had taken more photos!





But what made our hearts sing were the times we visited the beach.  Our little house is conveniently located within walking distance, so it's natural to take advantage of the proximity to enjoy watching the sea and the waves that flow ceaselessly and effortlessly.











I do hope you all have enjoyed coming along with us on this little vacation.  I believe in celebrating God's creation wherever we find ourselves, at a seaside or on our back decks.

Because it's in the beauty He created that we will most likely see a reflection of our true selves - the people God created us to be.

Amen!

Sing a New Song

  Danny and I in his new music studio Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. ~Psalm 96:1 A new song shall I sing unto...