Monday, June 24, 2024

A Win-Win


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize. ~1 Corinthians 9:24

Don't forget to enjoy the game. ~Quote from G. H. W. Bush as recalled by his granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hagar.

Danny and I still love playing backgammon every evening while we listen to mostly country or Christian music.  Before all his health issues arise in January, we would keep score on our kitchen whiteboard for an entire week so we could assess that week's winner.  That practice, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing.  We are both extremely competitive players, but while Danny is able to lose gracefully, I find myself too obsessed with winning to simply embrace the game in the moment.

I'm not proud of this aspect of my personality.  To win, no matter what, obstructs the purpose of the game, period.  Just relax and enjoy it!

After all we've endured these last months, I realize that truth more than ever.  Life is not a sprint, but a marathon.  And living well leaves no room for petty tantrums or poor sportsmanship.  Honestly, who wants to play with a sore loser?  I wouldn't want to, yet Danny doesn't give up on me.  He has taught me so much about both patience and perseverance in this challenging game he's so passionate about.

We no longer keep score on the board to remind, usually me, of my pathetic losing streaks.  Now don't get me wrong; I still relish a win here and there, and Danny notices how much better I've become in dealing with the plays the dice give me, but I no longer angst about besting him in any contest.  I'm just so thankful to have him here to play the game at all!

Isn't it amazing how realities can alter, for the better, our perspectives on this game called life?

Yes, if we are honest with ourselves, we all want to be winners, but there are no losers when we accept Jesus' training of us for the long haul.  Knowing He is beside us and before us, trusting in His strength alone, we can run a steady race until we all receive that ultimate crown of victory in God's eternal kingdom.

So, let's resolve to run that race He's set before us, knowing Jesus is the best prize of all, and enjoy the game of abundant life He's given to us along the way.

That's a win-win in my book!


Monday, June 17, 2024

How Could We Ask for Anything More?


For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. ~Psalm 103:11-12

Daughter, Sarah, her husband, John, their three girls, plus dog, Finn, and their two kitty rescues, Riley and Rocky, move successfully to their new home in North Carolina around the first of June.  The photo above is one Sarah takes from their new bedroom window as the sun begins to peek over the horizon to greet a new day.  Oh, what a great joy to awake to such a splendid view!

God is blessing all of them so richly in every way.  The reason for the move is John's promotion in the company he has been working with for many years.  Sarah is able to secure a job, too, with the grocery store chain that employed her previously, and starts work almost before she can catch her breath.  The girls are excited to live in a neighborhood where they can enjoy a big backyard, something they've never had before, and sidewalks throughout the development.  As the summer progresses, Danny and I are confident that they will all make friends in their new place, and be set for school when it resumes in August.

While this state park they explore recently is not adjacent to their neighborhood, it is only a three-mile drive away.  Sarah and John take the girls there one evening to explore the grounds.  Here are some gorgeous photos Sarah takes while they are there.

Just indulge yourself in this dramatic sunset!

From the beauty of the sunrise to its setting, I'm reminded that God has created all the earth and the heavens to His honor and glory.  We see His majesty and splendor, and we cannot help but be awed by His mighty works and be humbled by His wonders all around us.

Best of all, for us who revere His precious Son, Jesus, our heavenly Father promises to remove all our sins, as far as the east is from the west.

How could we ask for anything more?


Monday, June 10, 2024

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 the Lord

When I, in doubt, surrender to His might

In fears I've faced, forgiveness love, finds

Me, through Him who will forever fight

For justice, peace, truth, righteousness

Though earth dissolve, faith will not betray

God's Word, His pledge, His presence, promises.

His mercies new at dawn of every day.


Monday, June 3, 2024

Our Blessing Beyond Measure


"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord.  "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." ~Isaiah 1:18

We love the new decks we have installed at our home in February of 2023, but we soon discover what could be a drawback to the cream color we have chosen for them.  Although this shade is lovely and contrasts perfectly with our cedar red siding, they are easily stained by leaf tannins and foot traffic if we don't tend to them on a routine basis.

Danny always steps up to this task when it's needed.  However, with all we have been through this year health-wise, he cannot keep up his regular regiment.  We really need help to maintain our decks' beauty.  These photos reveal how badly blemished they become without constant tender-loving care.

His son, Nicco, lives close by, and he is willing to give the decks a good pressure washing and brightening afterward with a diluted bleach solution that has worked well for us.  This is not a lightweight task by any stretch of the imagination.  Nicco works diligently on both decks; it takes over six hours of his time and effort, but his work pays off.  Look at the difference!

Restored and shining like new!


When we invite Jesus into our hearts, He will be faithful to wash away our sins, and restore us to newness of life.  That is where the process begins, but it doesn't end there.  As we embark on this new journey with Him, we must be vigilant to ask the Lord's help to resist the sins and snares the Liar will set for us along the way.

We are all works in progress in this fallen world.  We are bound to slip and fall from time to time.  But if we acknowledge our failings, repent, and ask for forgiveness, Jesus will once again wash away our sinful stains.  I feel such relief knowing that God is relentless in His pursuit of His children, and will never stop loving us, even when we are sullied and worn.

We must, in turn, seek Him, surrender daily to His will, and give thanks in all things for all that Jesus has done for us.

He is our blessing beyond measure!


The Greatest Story Ever Told

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