Archive | June, 2013

Blessed – Super Moon – BIG God!

27 Jun

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Sunday night the super moon reached its orbit closest to earth.  Yes it did!  To many folks around the earth it was magical and so many other things.  To me it was nothing but the awesomeness of my God – a gift to enjoy, and both my husband and I watched together.  As I viewed the moon, I pondered on EVERYTHING that I was looking at was created by Him.  He created the moon, the stars, the dark, and as I stood there again Monday morning at 5:30 looking up at it and snapping another picture, I stood there and thought of how small I am in this big giant universe, and how BIG my God is.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”  Genesis 1:14-16 (KJV)

 

I am amazed to think how we can  ALL take the things for granted that God created for us to enjoy and to savor every day.  We walk quickly to our cars, or sit at a ball game,  and never even look up, we walk outside, we swim in the evening and never look up at the stars and the moon.  It takes a “super moon” to get people to pause and glance up, look up and see the magnificent moon, and yes it is ALWAYS magnificent – full moon, half-moon, quarter moon.  Did you stop and glance at the moon this weekend?  Did you stop to reflect in awe that God created that moon?  If you did not, go out and look at that moon tonight and shoot a picture.

As I stood under that super moon Monday morning, I thanked God for His awesome creation – for that gift to me.  I thanked Him for all creation including each of you reading this and me, and I thanked Him for all my blessings – all of which I have been blogging about on MelissaTaylor.Org Blog Hop Thursdays.  Join me and others over on Melissa’s site.

Psalm 8:3-4 KJV  “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”

 

©Deborah Williams

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ONE THING!

27 Jun

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Mary and Martha were two sisters in the Bible and Jesus was on the way to their home. Do you resonate with either one of them? Honestly sometimes for me I am Mary and sometimes a Martha.

Martha was busy.  I can be busy, busy, busy, but I also know how to relax and there are times I am lazy.  Martha was a worrier, and oh I am too when company is coming.   Is this you too wanting everything to be special for them?  Oh you should see me getting ready for company.  I am frantic – I clean baseboards, flower beds, cabinets, floors, closets, plan a menu and cook up until the moment they walk in, and then I am finishing up the food and on and on never sitting down until after the dishes are done.  I know me and how I act when family or friends come.  What would I do if I knew Jesus was coming to my house?  Now that scares me, but I realize He is here every day seeing my messes and my hurrying, and those times I am lazy and should be cleaning and organizing.

I would say in years past I have been more of a Martha.  I worked,  raised a family,  went to college, all kinds of jobs at church.  I liked “to do” lists.  Oh yes I did and I felt so satisfied and delighted to mark a task off my list.  Today even though I still have “to do” lists if that list is not finished, I have learned there is no need to worry about it – it is just a list, just a plan.  I have learned it is o.k. if something important like being with  people  I love comes up.   I honestly strive to keep a good balance between getting things done and loving people.  My to-do list should not get in the way of relationships.  If it does, something is wrong!

Are you busy with too many things (raising children, working outside the home,   church,  sports, caring for elderly parents), and are those things keeping you so busy that you do not even have time to spend in God’s word?  I was that woman, I was Martha just like many other Christians,  who believe that their busyness is important.  I was so exhausted all the time I did not have time to do much more than read a few scriptures or a daily devotion – but really I was not studying them or  breaking them down to see how they could speak to me if I studied.  Mary sit at Jesus’ feet and focused on him.  How my life has changed when I started really focusing on a scripture or two.

I believe there is a lesson to be learned from these women and that is balance – a little Mary and a little Martha.   I need to know when to work and when to sit at Jesus’ feet and Jesus has finally taught me that.

It makes me laugh sometimes when I look at my list and nothing is crossed off, and I know  it is okay.   I trust that it is God working to make me what He would have me be and I just have to stop and say “THANK YOU JESUS” for allowing me to be a blessing today.  My to-do list that day may not have included a telephone call or text to run to help a loved one, to take a meal to someone coming home from the hospital, to bake something for a new neighbor, to go with my husband to take a freezer of ice cream to neighbors (one of which is in bed with alzheimers), to rush to the hospital to be with hurting friends or family, to meet friends for lunch, to go to a funeral home to love on friends who are hurting deeply, to jump in the car on Sunday afternoon and take my mother-in-law for a ice cream treat. That unplanned thing not on my to-do list is what is important in my  life and to my Lord.

I know how hard it is to change “old habits”.  I started small, and so can you.  I started in an on-line Bible study (OBS) because of flexibility at Melissa Taylor.Org (now Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies) where I can go on-line 24/7 with women all over the World.

Another small step was sitting aside a specific time.  Make your time with Him before your feet hit the floor, or do like me and I’ve made my time as soon as my husband leaves after breakfast with my cup of coffee reading my Bible, or do it when your feet hit the bed in the evening, at lunch at work, in the car pool lines picking up the kids.  Make time with Jesus a priority.

I spend my first few hours each morning on those days I am not subbing.  Before I do any “Martha” house cleaning I am “Mary” first, “Martha” second, and somedays I would loe to be Mary all day in my pajamas.

Blessings – Week 8 – Texas Heat

20 Jun

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Since those of us here in  Texas are burning up in almost 100 degree weather and I have been out mowing and sweating and finally came in to take a shower, I stopped to think how can I call a Texas summer a blessing.  I am not by any means complaining about summer – it is a season and it is a season God created and it is a blessing.   Again this week I am writing about blessings as one of my topics on MelissaTaylor.Org during the study of Stressed-Less Living.   I will give thanks for this season, but I will also find ways to stay out of the heat.

I thought it might be fun to dream a bit – like how about dreaming about Fall – you know sweaters and long sleeves for that cooler weather or a light coat.  These sweaters are pretty, but honestly I love my shorts and flip flops.  Not much of a sweater girl.

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Or you can dream about a hot cup of chocolate or a hot cup of orange spice tea!  Oh yea!  But today it’s iced tea and iced water.

During this hot summer I need to find time to clean out some Fall clothes and Winter, Spring and Summer also.

Did I get you excited about Fall?  I hope so.  Just forget those hot, humid, dog days of our Texas summer for a few minutes.

How am I blessed by the Texas heat – summer?  I am finding so much to do indoors – cleaning my office today.  Tomorrow the laundry room and ironing are on my to-d0o list. On Friday I’ll meet some retired friends for lunch.  Saturday is a baby shower, and then lots of work at my Mom’s house as well as mowing her yard in this heat.  We lost her in February, and are getting ready to get it empty to sell.  Sunday is church and hopefully we will have time to swim since all the work is done.  Yes swim – not that’s a Texas reality.  No all the work will not be done.  The mowing of this acreage will be done at least for a few days after I get out and finish up a little ore pushing and a little more riding tomorrow.  In between all this, I am finishing up a Bible Study called Stressed Less Living by Tracie Miles.

I can think of many other blessings about summer – it causes me to be thankful for spring and fall.  It causes me to slow down inside like it does during winter snows.  I have time to read, get caught up on paperwork, enjoy eating healthy salads and cleaning out all those old clothes, watch a good movie, and in a week or two my neice and great nephews will be over for a swimming party. Or let’s dream about a bowl of ice cream.  Can I say yum – yummy blessing?  Ice cream is the one really cool thing about summer – banana nut, coconut, chocolate, Reese’s peanut butter cup, vanilla, strawberry – my husband does them all and more as he continues to invent new ice cream recipes in the summer.   Or how about a summer smoothie – my breakfast this morning.

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And then there are those summer watermelons and cantaloupe.  Yummy and refreshing.  And what about the blessing of sweating off toxins while mowing in the heat.  I love that and maybe, just maybe my cholesterol will be better when I go see my doctor in a few weeks.   What a blessing that would be!

This summer my biggest blessing will be the birth of my first grandchild, Colt sometime around August 9 (talking about hot – August is really hot).  And then we will be celebrating 44 years of marriage on August 16.  Where did the time go?

I hope you are inside today or in a place where it is nice and cool and counting your blessings because if we stop and just think about it there is always something to be thankful about even in those “dog days” of summer.  I think I will just name them God’s blessed days of summer.

INTERCEDE

20 Jun

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Has there been a time in your life when you could not find the words to pray, when you were so emotionally overcome by a situation that you could not even utter a prayer, and just so overwhelmed and perhaps even angry at God?  Tracie Miles says “we have all found ourselves in a pit at one time or another.”

I remember one time in my life when I was in one of those deserts, one of those pits where I found I could not pray.   I did not understand how something so bad could happen to someone so in love with Jesus, and I am so ashamed to say that I was angry with that thorn and I wanted it removed and the doubt, tears, and all that came with it.   I wanted to pray at times, but I could not get the words to come.  I know during those times that my God cares, and He is interceding for me, but nonetheless it hurts when you know you need to pray but you can not utter the words.  I find it scary that “He knoweth the secrets of my heart.’  Psalm 44:21b (KJV).  In Psalm 139:2  (KJV) it also says,  “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.”   Did you know Jesus knows us inside out?  Yes we may hide to others what we are thinking or feeling, but we can never, ever hide our thoughts from Him.

He knows our thoughts, he hears our cries, and carries us through those heartbreaking times.  Romans 8:26 is   comforting to me because I know God is standing in the gap for me and you.  God desires to intervene and he will intercede .  Our prayers, and our cries are heard by Him.  He sees our tears too and hurts with us.

I  believe the enemy will try his best to keep us from praying.  Read this quote from Beth Moore, “What victory the enemy has in winning us over to prayerlessness. He would rather we do anything than pray.”  WOW!  But thank God that it is He who is in control .

This week in Stressed Less Living in Chapter 11, we studied how we can reset our lives when we come to the end of of our ropes.  As I studied those steps I realized at times I have gone through all of them and sometimes more than one at once.  These were the steps that Tracie Miles revealed:

  1. Realign your life to God’s word.
  2. Recognize your need for God’s help.
  3. Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances.
  4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  (Remember the one who’s praying on your behalf)
  5. Be faithful in your prayer life.
  6. Believe God is Who He says He is

While I can improve in all these areas, the one that spoke to me  was #3.  I need to adjust my focus to God and not  on my circumstances.   It is hard at times to not focus on the negative.  Stuff going on in life can just get you down.  The loss of my Mom this year in February was much harder than I ever dreamed.  Going to her house now each week to mow and try to get it cleaned out and empty both hers and Dad’s “stuff” to sell – well let’s just say it has been heartbreaking with all the memories.  I find when I focus only on the negative happening in my life that it makes things so much worse and I could easily stay and wallow in that pit.  But, if I focus on God and all the blessings in my life, it does bring peace.

So how do I adjust my focus to God and not all these negative circumstances, hurts and pain.  One way that God showed me this week was when I jump in the car to leave Moms is to turn my radio up and sing with 94.9 KLTY or put a good CD in like  Big Daddy Weave and I can sing Redeemed without missing a word (love that song) or this one “Every Good Thing” by The Afters because it will make you and me worship.   Even if I do not know the words I can let that music blare.   Another thing a sweet Bible study friend shared with me this week that, like me, she wakes up during the night with thoughts of her mother.  Last night she said I came to mind and she prayed for me when she woke up.   Sooooo when I wake up again with thoughts of Mom, I know now that instead of feeling sorry for myself, I will turn that around to reflect on Him and to reflect on Linda and lift her in prayer as well as all of Group 31 and our leadership team.  I will also focus on all the precious memories of Mom and not the pain of her being gone.  FOCUS – adjust my focus to God and not my circumstances and me, me, me – but HIM!

So how about you?  Will you share how you get through the  hurts and pain, thorns and pit in your life, or one of the steps above that you need to tackle to reset your life?

My One Word – 2013

13 Jun

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He must increase, but I must decrease.  John 3:30 (KJV)

Do you have “one word” for 2013?  Mine is LESS – less of me, MORE of Him!  Does that verse speak to you like it does me?

It is sort of like a New Year’s resolution, and my first time to do it, but it is so much more.  For me,  it is working well in all areas of my life this year.  With resolutions in years past they lasted maybe a month.  I am finding it is working in all areas of my life – my spiritual life, leadership, organization, cleanliness, exercise and health and so on.  Guess what – I already have a new word picked for 2014.

Last year I was led to Melissa.Taylor.Org.  One of the topics for several weeks has been blessings and I have been writing about my blessings but deviating a bit because the other topics have been awesome these past few weeks.  Today I wanted to look back and write about at least this blessing.

I am blessed that through this study I heard about the “one word” concept and there is even a book, and no I have not had the time to read it.  It is on my to-do list.  I have looked at it when I am in the book store.

So how have I been blessed by my one word this year:

1.  As a leader in a Facebook Bible study group, I have learned to stop and pray for guidance before posting to my group.  I can not live nor serve the way I should without His perfect leadership and guidance.  More of Him each morning, less of me.  It is not about me,  it is about doing for others which is in turn for Him!  I pray that the light of the Lord would shine through me and people would see Him and not me.  I do not want to get wrapped up  in doing great things for Jesus, and feel any pride welling up inside me but rather humbly serve and honor Him.

2.  As a leader in our group of many leaders sometimes it can be hard not to compare myself to other leaders – some have been a leader longer than me, some are authors, some are more creative, some can vocalize so well,  and yes the list goes on.    But you know what God did not call me into this leadership to be like anyone else on the team.  He did not call me to be better.  He called me to be the “me” that He created “me” to be, and let Him work through me.  He only wants a willing servant, and He will do the rest.

2.  For my health I have tried many times to lose weight only to gain it again.  I have found this year I am making healthier choices in snacks and meals.  I have even started making shakes with kale leaves and I love them.  More of Him when I am planning meals, less of me.  I am learning to crave Him and not food, and learning I need to be fit for Him – not me.  I know now it does not matter what others think about my weight, it does not matter what I think – what matters is I am a child of the King and I need to be making wise healthy choices with my food and exercisedaily as a reflection of Him in me.

3.  As a wife and mother I want to be all I can be.  When it talks about the Proverbs 31 Lady in the Bible – yes that is who I want to be.  I am not there yet, but I am working on it and God will not let me rest until I become the Godly wife and mother He desires me to be.

So how about you – do you have one word this year?  If so, please share.  If not, I pray you do next year.

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