I took this picture in Glacier National Park while driving the Going to the Sun Road. I added a purple filter for the fun of it. 🙂 The scenery here is spectacular. I saw two mountain goats on the side of the hill right before my family drove through a tunnel. Of course, this would be the one time I didn’t have my camera ready. Maybe next time! Wishing you a wonderful week!
I dedicate the following song to my son, Cameron, and to all the 2018 graduates. 🙂 CONGRATULATIONS!
Continuing on the person of The Holy Spirit, I found Bill Sweeney’s post, “God Has Friends In Low Places”, interesting and insightful. If you haven’t visited Bill’s blog, Unshakable Hope, I encourage you to do so. Bill, who found himself paralyzed from ALS, has been a huge inspiration of having hope in spite of difficult trials. He is able to write by using a computer that tracks his eye movements.
The other day I was sitting out in the backyard listening to an audio book and getting a much-needed dose of vitamin D. Two Mockingbirds were darting back and forth just feet in front of me and were making so much noise that it was becoming difficult to hear my audio book. I knew that they had a nearby nest and were only trying to protect their young from a potential threat (apparently Mockingbirds don’t understand that paralyzed people in a wheelchair don’t pose a threat).
Then I saw two beautiful Bluebirds sitting in a nearby live oak tree just minding their
own business. Like me, they seemed to be doing their best to ignore the noise and the antics of the paranoid Mockingbirds. Every five minutes or so, one of the Bluebirds would fly over and land on the roof of a dilapidated birdhouse that Mary’s been meaning to…
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What better way to begin the New Year than focusing on Bible verses that inspire a fresh walk with God and a deeper commitment to living the Christian faith?
The following post is written by Mary Fairchild and can be found here: 10 Hopeful Bible Verses for the New Year.
NEW BIRTH – A LIVING HOPE
Salvation in Jesus Christ represents new birth — a transformation of who we are. The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on the new and living hope we have in this life and in the life to come:
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
We can trust God in the year ahead, for he has good plans for our future:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)
A NEW CREATION
This passage describes a transformation that will eventually lead to the full enjoyment of eternal life in the new heavens and new earth. Christ’s life, death, and resurrection introduce followers of Jesus Christ to a foretaste of the new world to come.
A NEW HEART
Believers are not merely changed externally, they undergo a radical renewal of heart. This total cleansing and transformation reveal the holiness of God to an unholy world:
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command. (Ezekiel 36:25-27, NLT)
FORGET THE PAST – LEARN FROM MISTAKES
Christians aren’t perfect. The more we grow in Christ, the more we realize how far we have to go. We can learn from our mistakes, but they are in the past and need to stay there. We look forward toward the resurrection. We keep our eyes on the prize. And by maintaining our focus on the goal, we are pulled heavenward.
Both discipline and perseverance are required to accomplish this objective.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT)
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:10-11, NIV)
WAIT ON THE LORD – GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT
We can be content and wait for God’s timing, for it is sure to be the right time. By waiting and trusting patiently, we gain quiet strength:
Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7, NLT)
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31, NASB)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV)
EACH NEW DAY IS SPECIAL
We can count on God’s never-ending love and faithfulness with each new day:
The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24, NASB)
It’s been awhile since I’ve written an update. The clock keeps ticking as our oldest child, Cameron, is now a Senior in high school and checking out potential colleges.
Our Jonny boy is a Sophomore. Along with his brother, he loves being involved in our school’s sports programs.
Annie (Jr. High), our animal lover and social butterfly, not only loves hanging out with friends, but also enjoys playing basketball, volleyball, and softball. My husband and I stay busy going to lots of games. But it has definitely been a blessing watching their progress, along with their teammates. I love the valuable life lessons they learn through sports.
I have been working on setting up an online store, which I’m calling L & L Abode, and hope to launch soon. The products consist of home decor and some miscellaneous products (mugs, totes, etc.) that I merge with my photographs. When brainstorming for an appropriate shop name, the word “abode” kept floating through my head. So I looked it up in the dictionary and realized that abode is associated with “home”. But I later learned while combing through my Exodus study that this meaning only scratches the surface. The Hebrew word translated “abode” (Exodus 40:35) is transliterated shekinah in English. This word expresses the glory and presence of God.
This made me think about some of the people who have been a big influence in my growing up years of my perception and knowledge of God. Although they’re not alone, both of my Grandmas—Lucile and Lenore (L & L)—exemplified this kind of abode. They were huge blessings to my family and me as they creatively expressed God’s character in their homes through their love, generosity, hospitality, compassion, faithfulness and forgiveness.
I plan on continuing this blog, but will keep you posted when my store—L & L Abode—launches. The following photograph, which I’m experimenting with on canvas and mugs, was taken last Sunday near my home.
In this busy Christmas season I hope we all find the needed time to soak in the meaning of Christmas and find rest in God’s presence. Blessings!