Tag Archives: Lessons from life

Blessings

23 Oct

Being away for 11 days brings the blessings of home and family sharply into focus! I have so much to be thankful for. In short, I am so glad to be home!!!  What a blessing to be surrounded with family who loves me and wants to care for me. The challenge is to accept the love and care instead of wishing for the independence I would so much prefer.

It’s so comforting to be in your own home. My own bed, my own computer, my own nebulizer and other equipment, a friendly living room, the familiar kitchen. The list goes on and on. Things I seldom think about until I’ve been out of it.

The physical things of my home aren’t the things that bring the most comfort however.  It is the presence of a loving family. The knowing that their care comes from love, not just a job or a nice thing to do.

Absence of things also contributes to the comforting atmosphere of home. Lack of nurses, lack of noise, lack of machines, lack of doctors. All those are so important, but when I get home where none of them are, I feel like I am getting closer to that land of “health” where I am hoping to get to one of these days. To sleep the whole night through without being woke up…. ahhhhhhh

God is so good!  He met my needs in the hospital. He let me feel the comfort and strength of family and hospital staff.  Now He is seeing me through each day.  I can face each challenge, each struggle because I know the He is right here with me each step of the way.  God is in control of everything happening!

Maybe Tomorrow

16 Oct

I have heard this phrase many times in the last week! I have ‘moved into’ the hospital a week ago, the intent being to clear the junk out of my lungs. After a couple days they started saying ‘maybe tomorrow’ you can go home. It appears that the junk in my lungs has settled in pretty good and is putting up a good fight against the good guys, otherwise known as antibiotics.  The good news is that the bug is sensitive to several antibiotics.

I have been reading a lot and not worrying about my stores, which has been a great blessing. Now that I have Internet access, thanks to my SIL’s iPad, my customers have been very understanding.

The Lord is so faithful and the best of Friends to those who are weak.  One verse that has really been a blessing to me is “in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15 I am very confident God has everything in His control and knows how it is going to work out, therefore I try my best,through His strength, to be ‘quiet’, or calm.

I will be extremely happy when ‘maybe tomorrow’ turns into ToDay!! I am thinking of all the things I would like to crochet when I get home. 🙂 Obviously, it will be awhile before normal comes back, but it’s always good to feel like I’m on the right path.

God bless you with a very lovely day!

That’s When God Wants to Hear You Sing

27 Jul

Their chains were fastened tight
Down at the jail that night
Still Paul and Silas would not be dismayed
They said, “It’s time to lift our voice, sing praises to the Lord
Let’s prove that we will trust Him come what may”

God wants to hear you sing
When the waves are crashing ’round you
When the fiery darts surround you
When despair is all you see
God wants to hear your voice
When the wisest man has spoken
And says, “Your circumstance is as hopeless as can be”
That’s when God wants to hear you sing

He loves to hear our praise on our cheerful days
When the pleasant times outweigh the bad, by far
But when suffering comes along
And we still sing Him songs
That is when we bless the Father’s heart.

 

This song has been running through my head lately. It’s not so easy to sing in the darker hours of life. But those times are often when we learn to trust God more. God is faithful and is with us in all our circumstances!

Safe Haven

29 Nov

When I was in Ohio, I was very intrigued with this bird feeder.

It reminded me of the verses in the Bible that speak of how God cares for every little thing, even the birds. For example: Luke 12:6&7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

We can see how God takes care of the birds, and to think He cares more for us! Deuteronomy 33:27a The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms.  Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

What a blessing to have a loving heavenly Father Who cares so much for His children!

Life is for Living (not for waiting around)

23 Nov

Life is for Living by Anita Yoder is a book primarily for single women, but I believe most anyone would enjoy it! It is one of my favorite books. Now there is a chance to win a book for yourself and a friend in this giveaway. You may also enjoy reading Anita’s blog. I may do a longer article on this book later, but for now go check it out!

Practice

9 Aug

Practice! Practice! Practice!

If you asked me what would be the most important thing in learning to crochet, I would say PRACTICE!! You may not attain perfection as in the saying: practice makes perfect. You will be able to crochet better and have nicer results, though.

The same is true, to an extent, in our Christian lives. When I became a Christian, I didn’t automatically begin acting like one overnight. In some ways we have to learn to be like Christ. We do not have to do that on our own though! Christ is always right by our side ready to assist us in our Christian walk.

In order to become more like Christ, He must be my number one priority and focus in life. I must spend much time in His Word, the Bible. Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

 It is also important for me to surround myself with others who have the same desire to follow Christ. I can learn from them to and they can encourage me when I become discouraged.  Hebrew 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Living the Christian life is not always easy and does not necessarily become easier after many years. (This is one place where the “practicing” example breaks down!) We have to keep our focus on God at all times. He will give us the necessary tools to keep out of the influence of the world.  2 Timothy 2:3-5 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

 The Bible tells us some areas where we should diligently practice to become more like Christ:  2 Timothy 2:15&16 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2 Peter 1:5-9 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,  to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,  to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

There are many more things in the Bible to guide me in my life, if only I am willing to look for them! May we all be diligent in Practicing the Christian life.

The Life of the Apostle Paul

2 Aug

The Life of the Apostle Paul 

Recently in my personal Bible reading, I have been reading through the book of Acts. One of the themes that seems to stand out to me is the faithfulness of Paul. Often while I was reading, I thought, I hope I can be that strong in the face of trials!

 The main characteristic in the life of Paul is that he was very zealous. He was completely devoted to doing what God wanted him to. Even when it seemed all opposition was against him, he still went where God led him. We can see from Paul’s life how important it is to have the right goal in life. Paul was very zealous before he became a Christian, but he was following the wrong master! When he accepted Jesus into his life, he allowed God to use his talents in the work of the church. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.  Acts 9:20 (NKJV)

 There were many times when Paul faced unpleasant things, but he always did his best. For instance the leaders of the Jews often made trouble for him as they did not want him teaching Christianity to their people. Many times Paul was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned. Are they ministers of Christ? –I speak as a fool–I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness– besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 2Co 11:23-28  (NKJV)

 I am very impressed how Paul would explain his beliefs to those who arrested  or opposed him. There are lengthy passages where Paul recounts the history of God’s people and the church to those around him. You can tell the Christian life was really at the heart of Paul’s life and passion. He was speaking from his heart not just reciting some document about what he believed. Some examples of Paul’s testimomies are found in Acts 13 and in Acts 22.

 I think the secret of Paul’s strength and endurance is that he had a very strong relationship with God. There are many times when it says God revealed things to him. But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11 (NKJV)

  Sometimes we wonder why God lets people go through things like this. Why didn’t he protect Paul from being beaten and stoned? I don’t know all the answers, but I know God is always faithful and knows what is best. He cares for His children through their trials. I think of the story of when Paul and Silas were in prison. Having received such a charge, he [the jailer] put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Acts 16:24-33  (NKJV)  Even though this was a bad situation for Paul and Silas, God delivered them and also used them to teach others to live for Christ.

 So may we all be faithful to God and His calling on our lives. I want to be able to say with Paul: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2Timothy 4:7 &8 (NKJV)

God Is With Us

27 Jul

This is a selection from Footprints for Women: Scripture with Reflections.

God Is With Us …

As Our Loving Father

 

He whispered,

“My precious child…”

 

The Creator of the universe calls us His children – what a blessing! What a privilege! What a responsibility!

 

The LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:12

 

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

 

To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13

 

You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior. Psalm 89:26

 

To us a child is born, to us a son is given … And he will be called … Everlasting Father. Isaish 9:6

 

O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaish 64:8

 

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs– heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  Romans 8:16-17

 

For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. I Corinthians 8:6

 

There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

 

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:14-15

 

As children of God we can trust that our Father will provide for us.

 

Jesus said, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8

 

{Jesus said] “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

 

God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

 

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

 

As God’s children, our Father knows us by name and bestows on us certain rights, privileges and responsibilities.

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:3-6

 

Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. Isaiah 49:1

 

It was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you. Deuteronomy 7:8

 

When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade– kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1Peter 1:3

 

Our loving Father cares for us as a shepherd cares for his sheep. And we, His children, need to listen carefully to His voice.

 

[Jesus said,] “The sheep listen to [the shepherd’s] voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:3-4

 

[Jesus said], “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father– and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

 

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

 

[The Lord] tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

 

I remember my father having a kind of intimate, heartfelt compassion with me. Often when my dad would be busy at his easel, I’d sit on the floor at his side with my crayons and coloring book. Sometimes he’d set his brushes aside, reach down and lift me into his lap. Then he’d fix my hand on one of his brushes and enfold his larger, stronger hand around mine. Ever so gently, he would guide my hand and the brush, and I would watch in amazement as, together, we made something beautiful. This is the kind of love our God has for us. Fatherlove. The kind, gentle compassion of a dad who deeply cares for his sons and daughters… Let God’s big hand close gently over yours. With his help, even the discouraging scribbles of your life can become a masterpiece. Nothing would delight a father’s heart more.   Joni Eareckson Tada

My Plans

19 Jul

Some mornings I get up with a whole row of things I want to get done that day. A lot of days, I actually do get a lot of things done on that ‘list’. There are other days when my energy just can’t keep up with all my brain’s ideas. Sometimes that is why I sit and crochet.

When this happens it is tempting to ‘stew’ instead of calmly crocheting away. Crocheting is a relaxing hobby for me if I let it be. I have to leave my plans in the Master’s hands and remember that He really does know best.

Psalm 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. (NIV)

Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. (NKJV)

It is not easy for me to accept a change in plans. I realize however that I don’t see the whole picture and in the end God always gives the best.

Psalm 37:4-6 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. (NKJV)

Many times I do not understand the ways of God. It may even seem like His plans don’t have my best interest in mind. This is not true.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (NKJV)

Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (NKJV)

God always knows best. So I can sit and calmly crochet in peace.

My Pattern

12 Jul

My Pattern

I use patterns nearly every time I sew, crochet or anything. Even in cooking we use a ‘pattern’ –a recipe. Even if I do something from memory, the pattern is still stored in my head somewhere. It is very important to follow my pattern if I want my project to turn out the way it should. If I end up with lumpy icing or a mishapen garment or a crinkly doily, I have likely neglected the pattern somewhere.

How much more important to follow my Pattern for life! His name is Jesus Christ and He is not hard to follow if I heed his directions in the Word of God!

Christ is my perfect Pattern or Example in every area of life. He is able to perfectly love everyone. 1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. (NKJV) It is only by allowing God’s love to flow through me that I can love others.

Humiliy is another characteristic of Jesus that I would like to follow. Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (NKJV) Too often it is tempting to promote myself instead of the Glory of God and the good qualities of other people.

Accepting others just the way they are is another area I can grow more like Jesus. He never turned anyone away or looked down on others who were different than Him.  Mark 2:13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (NKJV). It is much more comfortable to surround myself with others who believe and live the way I do. In doing that I miss the blessing of leading others to our Perfect Saviour!

These are only a few examples of the way our Perfect Pattern is an Example to us. The list could go on and on. The important thing is to make sure and obey God when He points out flaws in my life. It is only with His help that I can become more like my Pattern.

 In what ways is Jesus your Perfect Pattern?

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