From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Archive for Encouragement and Fellowship

How do you “do” the holidays?

The busy holiday season is upon us. Canada celebrated Thanksgiving in October, the United States a few days ago. The Christmas parties are about to begin. Then we move on to the New Year celebrations.
I for one decided a few years ago to slow down during the holidays and focus on what’s most important. For the most part I have been successful in my resolve only momentarily slipping back into trying to meet everyone’s expectations.
I thought it would be fun to share thoughts on how you “do” the holidays. Do you prefer to “do it up big”, keep it simple, or somewhere in between? What is your most special holiday tradition? Share your thoughts about Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Eve.
I would like to hear about some of your favorite recipes as well. They can be simple yet tasty, or extravagant but worth the effort.
Let’s talk.

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Quote for the day

“Be sure to taste your words before spitting them out. ”

This very good food for thought is not my own. I read it this morning and don’t know the author. But it is a good reminder for he day.

Where does your peace come from?

A few days ago my blog was very short a simple. I said, “Let me hear from all of you please. When do you feel the most peaceful?” Sadly, I had zero responses. Maybe there aren’t very many of you out there feeling peaceful. I sure hope that isn’t the case!

I was asked that question many years ago. The first answer that came to my mind was “holding my grandchildren on my lap, talking with them and reading them a story”. At that time I lived very near those precious children. That is not the case today. But when I do get to visit with them I still enjoy reading to them and of course visiting with them. My grandson is now too big to hold on my lap and one of my granddaughters is nearly too big. I had best get another visit in soon!

I have been pondering my source of peace a lot recently. It really began a couple of weeks ago when I had a few disturbing dreams that stirred up some memories of a times in my life that I wish I could completely forget. Those thoughts/memories seemed to be haunting me throughout the day. I have many regrets about those times.
I discussed the unsettled feelings and guilt that the memories stirred up with my husband. I knew what I needed to focus on but it did help to share my thoughts and emotions with him. We both came to the conclusion that Satan was trying to get my focus off the most important things by stirring up past failures and guilt.

As I shared a while back; my husband and I are at a very significant crossroads in our lives personally and in the life of the church we serve. It is so very crucial that we keep our focus on God alone. I know that if I do this I will have peace and not those unsettled feelings of guilt and confusion. I know that if I focus on Him that I will hear from Him.

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 NLT

Notice what this scripture says? You will be in perfect peace when? When your thoughts are fixed on God.
God is faithful to give you perfect peace; the peace is will sit deep within you; the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I feel most settled doing the things that I enjoy. I believe it’s because God “wired” us each differently. I enjoy visiting with my children and grandchildren, riding my bicycle, riding horses, walking on the beach and of course digging in the dirt. Yes, I love digging in the dirt! I am eagerly awaiting the snow melting enough so I can get the door to my greenhouse open. If I’m having a difficult day and I can get to my greenhouse that is most likely where you will find me. I’m digging in the dirt and getting my eyes fixed on God.
But no matter whether I can get that door to my greenhouse open or not that shouldn’t shake my sense of peace that is deeply rooted in God. I’m looking out my office window at my greenhouse right now. There is no way that door is coming open anytime soon! Yes, I will have a great big smile in a couple of months when that door opens and I’m planting seeds. But for now I have a peace knowing that God is guiding me through this time.
I’m posing another question. Or should I say the same question only a bit broader? I’ll put it in 2 questions. When do you feel the most peaceful? And – How do you refocus when you know your eyes are off the Lord? Let me hear from you

Quote for the day- perfect one for today

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

My favorite quote of the day

“Let your Christianity be so unmistakable, your eye so single, your heart so whole, your walk so straightforward that all who see you may have no doubt whose you are, and whom you serve.” J.C. Ryle

Taproot

A tree has what is known as a “taproot.” I looked up the definition of taproot. I found “a main root descending downward and giving off small lateral roots”. This gave me plenty to think about
When there is a lengthy drought and water in the ground dissipates, that root tirelessly tunnels through the ground deeper and deeper until it locates water.

We (my husband and I) are in a season right now of what some would say is a drought. There has been what I called in a previous blog “one thing after another” The hot winds of adversity and opposition are blowing fiercely. The way we have been able to survive this season is by extending our roots deeper to the source. Jesus said, “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14 NAS

I can tell the days when I’m not “tapped in”. I feel like I am withering from the hot winds.
It is not enough to merely resist the devil and what he throws our way. We must be submitted/tapped into God. (See James 4:7). Regardless of how long I have been a Christian, how close I think I am I know I must go deeper. As I do I always experience a wonderful sense of refreshment.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7-8 NAS

Never fails to bear fruit; that brings me back to the taproot definition. You see the definition says that as it descends it gives off other roots. Have you ever noticed that new trees pop up from the roots of older ones? If we are tapped into to the Lord we should be bearing fruit; new growth should be springing up from our root system.

So, as I am feeling the hot winds of adversity on my face I am thankful for the Source that I’m tapped into. I pray I will bear fruit even in this season.

Are you completely His…………….Really?

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 NAS

When I was a child I enjoyed watching the cartoon Mighty Mouse. I don’t know how popular it was or if any of you reading this will remember it. But in every episode someone or a group of characters would find themselves in a predicament. Then Mighty Mouse would fly in and save the day. Follow the link to hear Mighty Mouse’s theme song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdIev12fCPs

Have you ever wished someone would fly in to save you? Have you ever wondered why we have troubles and found yourself complaining of your circumstances? Have you ever thought that God didn’t care or perhaps couldn’t see your predicament?
Well even though God doesn’t fly in and rescue be sure He sees our situation, our every distress, our every challenge. He is no disinterested observer. And unlike Mighty Mouse He doesn’t have to hunt for clues to find out what has happened or how to rescue us. Our God is always looking, searching, and scouring the earth for the opportunity to show us just how strong He is, to prove to us that He loves us, that He is in our corner, backing us up, clearing paths, showing us the way, and sometimes removing obstacles. Yes, only sometimes does He remove obstacles. Other times we must work through those obstacles, being obedient to what He is asking and grow from the experience.

However, in order to discern what the path is and the correct choice is you must love Him completely and you must trust Him entirely. How hard can that be? After all He is far more powerful than my childhood hero Mighty Mouse

Our task at hand is to listen; really listen. This is more than reading and hearing God. This is obedience! Immediate obedience! When I was a child and I heard my father’s voice commanding me to do something I did it immediately. Sadly this wasn’t out of love for him. He was a harsh father and I feared what would happen if I didn’t. My father had a temper you didn’t want to rouse so you had best obey. My heavenly father is much more trustworthy than my earthly father. I know He loves me desires only the best for me. But, it would behoove me to obey him immediately as well. It is in my best interest; His timing is perfect. If we are going to have the honour of being used for His purpose we had better get at it now. Rebellion kills our potential to be used of God to make an impact. Walk boldly in obedience. Do not fear the ‘what if’s” The thing that you can always be sure of is that He loves you more than you can ever imagine. His plans are always best even if they don’t seem logical.

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 NAS