What have you lovely ladies been up to? What's new in your life?
LOVE this video! Have a great weekend and a FABULOUS FRIDAY ladies!
50 Countries affected by Covid-19
Good morning ladies! I'm finally back! We had quite a trip out to Arizona. It wasn't AT ALL like our last trip out there when we went out for sabbatical. Driving across the country and through the mountains in January versus November makes a huge difference! We did see some snow in the higher elevations last year, but NOT like the winter snowstorm that came through this year. We definitely had some trouble areas on the way there, but couldn't even take the mountain pass on the way home. The roads were completely closed (and they still might be). We heard yesterday that they measured the snow in feet! When we left to come home, we had to reroute, going south two hours out of our way first in order to avoid traveling in the mountains. Of course, you can't avoid them completely, and we had some treacherous weather on Tuesday, but we're home safe and sound now. Thank You, LORD! (I put up some pictures of our trip below).
What have you lovely ladies been up to? What's new in your life?
LOVE this video! Have a great weekend and a FABULOUS FRIDAY ladies!
50 Countries affected by Covid-19
Good morning ladies! We just arrived home late yesterday afternoon from South Dakota. So much fun! It was hard to leave. But we had such a wonderful visit with our kids and grandsons. Our new grandson is such a cutie!!! I'm feeling very blessed! We kind of crashed last night, but things don't slow down for us anytime soon. We are leaving for Arizona on Sunday after church. With my new eating plan and my husband's low-carb diet, it makes for a very complex packing situation. I've been following a low FODMAP diet from Mayo Clinic for about a month. You can look it up if you're interested, but it focuses on taking out certain food irritants, such as gluten, lactose, etc. Even though we took quite a bit of our own food on this past trip, we still ended up eating a few things that irritated my stomach, so this next trip will probably be even more of a challenge because we'll be eating out more, at least for dinner. The good part is that I've been keeping track of everything I eat and also any symptoms I have so I'm starting to see some patterns. I'm also noticing that I'm feeling better overall. All that, and there are many other things to get done this week too. How about you? What's been happening in your life?
This is a fun analogy today. I always like to learn something new about our world. Enjoy your day and have a WARM WEDNESDAY ladies!
"The Epaulette Shark
CBN Ministries, Alisa Hope Wagner
The epaulette shark walks on land—well, kind of. It is the only shark that lives in water so shallow that when the tide recedes at night, the shark is literally landlocked. It is able to live more than one hour without oxygen by slowing or shutting down many of its major bodily systems. Then it uses its club-like fins to push off the seafloor, moving along the land with ease.
While other sharks have to retreat in low tide, the epaulette shark can “walk” from tidal pool to tidal pool, eating its fill on all the prey left behind. This shark is undisturbed by other predators and the transient land becomes its feeding ground. God designed that specific shark to go where other sharks can’t go.
Just like the epaulette sharks, God designed each of us to enter places other people can’t go in order to reach His people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are all specifically wired to enter certain “tidal pools” of darkness, bringing the Light of Christ with us.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14 (NIV)
However, many times we don’t realize that we have these special abilities until God recedes the waters of our comfort zones.
When we feel like fish out of water, we must not retreat back to easy currents. God will bring forth capabilities that we never knew we had, which are only triggered by this “transient” situation. We may flounder a bit at first, but God created us into a unique masterpiece perfectly suited for our new environment.
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
We will soon adapt and excel.
For this reason, we should never compare ourselves to others because they are reaching different tidal pools than we are. Also, we should only discern the work of others by their fruit (Matthew 7.15-20). What they are doing may seem weird to us, but they are reaching a different people group who are out of our sphere of influence. If they are spreading the Good News of Christ, and people are being saved and transformed, we should pray for them, not criticize them.
Jesus says that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. There are fields of opportunity before us. We can keep our eyes on our tidal pools, allowing God to transform us into our best design for the work He has for us. Also, we can encourage those who are making a difference in God’s kingdom, trusting that there is plenty of harvest for us all.
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’" Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV)
Good morning ladies, and welcome to a brand new week! I trust you're all doing well. So far, at least for us, it's been a fairly mild January (compared to what we CAN get around here!) The nose-chilling weather can just stay where it is! Ha! Anyway, we have some wonderful news! If you haven't heard via social media, our second grandson, was born on January 8 at 11:45 pm. He weighed 7 lbs., 5 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. What a little cutie!!! It was an extremely long and hard day for our daughter-in-law, but what a trooper! I just have to share some pictures with you!!
What a great analogy today! And I would say (for those of us who really don't like tunnels), how true! Have a MAGNIFICENT MONDAY ladies!
"Lessons in the Tunnel"
CBN Ministries, Lori Wilkerson Stewart
I was crossing a bridge on my drive home from church. With an excruciating headache, I’d left the Sunday morning service after worship, and now regretted missing the sermon. But, I was well aware the Holy Spirit could speak to me while driving home. So as I came to the bridge I began to think about the bridge being a metaphor for Jesus — his death on a cross made a way for me to come to God. As I thanked the Lord for his sacrifice, I asked the Lord a question, “If bridges have a spiritual meaning, what about tunnels?”
Silently, I waited for an answer. Living near the Atlantic coast, you put up with two things — bridges and tunnels. I prefer bridges because you can see where you’re headed. Tunnels, I strongly dislike. But tunnels are necessary too. As I listened, the Holy Spirit had much to say on the subject.
1. Tunnels allow huge boats to cross above. When we’re in a tunnel we have no idea what’s going on above. For instance, ships too large to sail under a bridge can easily glide over a tunnel. God showed me that when we’re in a place in our lives where it may seem nothing’s happening, He is moving and shifting big things into place. God is leading us into something, but not all the pieces of the puzzle are in position yet.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)
2. In a tunnel, I can only see directly in front of me. This is what makes me nervous about tunnels. I feel totally dependent on the car in front of me. I can’t take my eyes off of his brake lights — if he slows, I must slow. I must stay completely focused. As Christians, we can be assured God is driving the car in front of us, He knows where He’s going, and all we have to do is simply follow Him. In life, sometimes we can’t see down the road. All we can see is today. Therefore, we must live today to the best of our ability, focus on the task at hand, and trust God to reveal more information in time.
"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him." Matthew 8:23 (NIV)
3. In a tunnel, we can’t change lanes. Most of us have experienced God placing us in a position we didn’t choose. Sometimes, we want a new assignment, but God is saying, “Stay where you are. Stand still. Don’t move to the right or to the left, follow me.”
"Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!" 1 Samuel 12:16 (NIV)
"So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left." Deuteronomy 5:32 (NIV)
4. Once we’re in the tunnel, there’s no turning back. If we’ve committed to going into the tunnel, guess what? No U-turns. No stopping. Not even an emergency lane. In fact, if we attempt any of those things, we will cause a dangerous accident affecting everyone else in the tunnel. We’ve all known believers who turned away and quit. Look around at the damage they left behind—pain, hurt, disappointment, divorce, disease, and even death.
"Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path." Psalm 44:18 (NIV)
5. There’s light at the end of a tunnel. I love when light appears and I can finally see I’m almost at the end. Any anxiety I feel disappears, and I know I’m going to make it out ok.
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you." Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)
6. Every tunnel takes us to the other side. What’s on the other side? Daylight, fresh air, an open sky, a panoramic view, a new place, a destination, fresh hope, and a bright future — all good things!
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
If we’re in the tunnel, it’s imperative we trust God and stay close to Him — pray, listen, and pray some more. It’s never easy or enjoyable in the tunnel, but it’s only temporary! We will make it to the other side!
Good morning ladies. I hope your Wednesday is going well so far. The devotions have gone out a little bit later because I've been up and getting ready first in case we get a call to go to South Dakota. I want to be prepared. I told my husband that it will probably happen when I'm the least prepared. Haha! But we are still planning on leaving tomorrow around noon. So, what are you doing today? I've been busy making some cards. I'm getting a little low on my supply. When I get all that stuff out though, it makes me want to scrapbook. Oh, I need to stay focused!
I love to read about the names of GOD. This devotion reveals that Almighty God is El Shaddai. He is our sufficiency. Have a WORTHY WEDNESDAY ladies!
CBN Ministries, Leah Adams
The story is told of a very wealthy man who was asked the question regarding his money, “How much is enough?”
“Just a little bit more,” was his reply.
Our culture is replete with messages trying to convince us that we can never have enough…never enough money, fame, food, control, love….never enough. You don’t believe me? Turn on the television or open a magazine. Advertisers seek to lure us to purchase their products by trying to convince us that we need more. We need something bigger, better, more expensive and the product they are selling is that “little bit more” that will bring us real happiness.
Let’s delve into one of God’s names that speaks of His sufficiency, His enough-ness. Whenever we hear God speaking of Himself in the Bible as ‘God Almighty’ we are hearing the Hebrew name El Shaddai. As we join Abram in Genesis 17:1-9 (NKJV) we hear the Lord proclaiming this name to the patriarch.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.”
In this passage of Scripture, the covenant that is being enacted relies almost completely upon God. No less than eight times, the Lord tells Abram something that He will do for him. The only thing God asks of Abram is to keep the covenant; walk before God and be blameless. If Abram walks in obedience, there is great blessing ahead for not only himself, but all his descendants.
Notice in this passage that God does not inquire if Abram is able to do what is being asked. Rather, God begins by proclaiming to him that He will be Abram’s sufficiency and if Abram will walk before God, He will be enabled to keep the covenant. God would be sufficient for Abram’s every need. He would be Abram’s El Shaddai.
God never calls us to walk before Him and then disappears, leaving us to map out the best path to take by ourselves. Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, El Shaddai provides everything we need to walk the path which God is taking us.
Perhaps there is a place in your life where God is saying, “I am your El Shaddai; walk before me and be blameless. I am enough for everything that I will ask of you. Trust Me, walk before Me and see the blessing that I will bring to you.” Friend, He promises to be sufficient for anything that He allows in your life. Do you trust Him? Will you, in faith, walk before Him, believing that He is enough?
Good morning ladies! And Happy New Year!!! Wow, it's been a long time since I've sent a devotion to you. I definitely wasn't planning it that way. In fact, about a week ago I started to write a note to you and it's actually still in my 'drafts' box. Who would've thought that we'd be even busier this holiday season?! It turned out that way for us because all the celebrating had to be much more individual. I really can't even remember where we left off, but that's okay. I hope you ladies had a great Christmas! Even if it looked different this year, there were still many blessings. We met up with our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Sioux Falls, SD a few weeks ago for lunch and exchanging gifts. They have restaurants open at a limited capacity so we had to cross the state line to be able to do that. It was a lot of fun! And just last weekend we drove out to Chicago to see our other son and his girlfriend. We checked into an Embassy Suites hotel so we could have the extra room to eat and visit with them. They are on a very restricted Covid plan there. We enjoyed some Puerto Rican food that we love to get while we're there. They introduced us to Jibaritos a while ago. Yum!! We also had some special get-togethers at church, one which was a "family chat-time" and white elephant gift exchange. A lot of laughing was involved with that!! And a very special Zoom call took place a few nights ago with my side of the family. Wonderful!
The beginning of this year will not slow down for us, because this is probably going to be new grandbaby week!! Our daughter-in-law's due date was pushed up by almost a week, and her new due date is January 8th, this Friday! If she hasn't gone into labor by then, they will induce her. SO EXCITING!!! We have our bags packed (mostly) and are ready to go whenever we need to. We can't go to the hospital, of course, but the plan is for us to drive out as soon as we get the call to watch our grandson until they come home from the hospital. Our son will be there with our daughter-in-law the whole time. They have another couple from their church family coming to be with our grandson until we get there. And if that isn't enough, my husband and I are leaving for Arizona in about two weeks to visit two churches that we will consider for our next ministry. They are small churches that are close to each other and both of them need a pastor. Yep, that would certainly be a NEW one for us! We will wait and see what God has in store and I will keep you posted. If you feel that you want to share about what's been going on in your life or something special you did for the holidays, I (we) would love to hear about it!
What a comforting devotion as we begin a new year! Are you feeling alone, in a desert place, or even a place of confusion? God is with us no matter where we are. We need to look up and follow Him, even in the detours. Have a MAGNIFICENT MONDAY ladies!
"Life Is Full of Detours"
CBN Ministries, Shadia Hrichi
If there is one Bible verse that really bugs me, it is Genesis 12:1 when God says to Abraham, “Go ... to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1 ESV). Not only does it poke at my need for control, but I get lost … a lot. The Bible teaches that God determines the time and place that each of us is born (Acts 17:26); I sometimes wonder if God waited until the invention of GPS before sending me into the world.
Nevertheless, there are times when a detour is actually a part of God’s plan. Take Abraham and Sarah, for example. When God asked Abraham to leave his homeland, Abraham and Sarah packed up their little family and began the journey. However, just as they were starting to make some headway, a famine struck and the couple suddenly found themselves detouring into Egypt. But the curious thing is that when they left, Scripture says that they traveled right back to where they started.
“...to the place where his tent had been at the beginning...” (Genesis 13:3 ESV).
Abraham did not gain a single inch of ground. So what was this detour all about? Well, a few chapters later, we are introduced to Sarah’s Egyptian slave named Hagar. Could it be that God was watching over Hagar and that He decided to remove her from Egypt and its pagan gods? Did God Himself have His eye on Hagar, desiring to bring her out and introduce her to Himself?
What if God orchestrated this little detour into Egypt, not because He needed to send Abraham and Sarah in, but because He desired to bring Hagar out? After all, God could have prevented the famine; He could have rained down manna from Heaven. But with God, everything has a purpose – even the detours. Even the difficulties. Even the desert roads.
Later, when Abraham and Sarah’s misguided schemes to conceive a child distress Hagar to the point that she flees into the wilderness, it is God Who pursues her; it is God Who meets her there.
Ever been in a wilderness? I have. At the time, we may only see dust and despair beneath our feet. To our right, we see a wasteland …to the left, only emptiness. But if we look up, we will find God has been there all along, watching, waiting.
Why? Because only in the wilderness can we come to recognize our complete dependence on Him. Maybe that’s why God allows us to go there. To reach the point where our hearts cry out to Heaven, “God, do You see me?”
Oh yes, dear one. He sees you.
Hagar may have felt completely alone, but she was never alone. She may have felt unseen, but she was never out of God’s sight. She may never have felt more unknown and unloved than in that moment, but it was right then - right there in the barren wasteland - where she heard a voice, “Hagar.”
And it is there – on the desert road – where we get our first glimpse into the amazing plan God has for her life.
How about you? What if God wants to use the desert roads—the detours, the struggles, the heartaches and tears—to form and fashion you for His great purposes? Will you trust Him? Even in the detours?
“Go ... to the land I will show you …” (Genesis 12:1 ESV) But don’t be surprised if you encounter some detours along the way.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19 ESV)