Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesday!

1. Last night we enjoyed a meaningful Passover Seder with our kids who live locally. My daughter’s camera was on the fritz so this is the only pic that materialized! I’m so grateful for the blessings of family and this wonderful tradition we started 27 years ago.

2. I’m praising God for a husband with a heart for Israel and our Jewish roots. I appreciate our teamwork as we set the order of the Seder on our dining room table along with all the help in the kitchen preparing the special meal. He barbecued lamb and made the carrots. I made the rice, salad and homemade chicken soup with matzo balls.

3. I’m praising God for Skype! Even Susanna was able to observe some things all the way in San Diego! I purchased a board book explaining the Passover and she loves it! Her favorite part is the parting of the Red Sea. Some day I will tell her all about the deliverance that Jesus brings.
4. Today I am laundering white tablecloths with red wine and grape juice stains. My daughter is amazed how I can get them clean and presentable year after year. I’m pondering how Jesus removes our sin stains as far as the east is from the west.

5. My husband and I have this cutesy thing we do when the seasons change. On the first day of spring, he walked into my office at work and presented me with some yellow daisies, my favorite flower. I surprised him with Bedhead’s Small Talk for his spiky, textured spring haircut!

6. We attended a meeting at church last Sunday regarding the outreach we are planning on Easter for the Sunday service at the High School. We are inviting the whole town. I love our young pastor and his team of young, enthusiastic leaders. I am planning to be one of the greeters handing out programs (not bulletins in this case, too churchy) and for sure I’ll be flashing my best smile. My husband learned that one of the ushers on his team will be doing something else….he’ll be the Easter bunny twisting balloons and playing with the kiddos. I'll have my camera!

7. My girlfriend, Marlene, flew back home to Chicago. What a friend. Last week, she offered to help me begin a scrapbook project. I’m a 3 on a scale of creativity, 10 being high. She took time out of her day and helped me organize my stash and got me going in a simple style that even I can do. I was so grateful. People like me get stuck and all it ever takes is one confident person who knows what they’re doing to organize you and give you pointers. Someday I will have to show you my work of art that I'm starting, an album of Susanna’s babyhood.

It was so good being with Marlene, and her 95 year-old mother. They visited me at my office where all my scrapbooking loot is. We laughed and ate lunch together. I made a big pot of Chicken Taco Soup. You know it’s a hit when you are asked for the recipe.

8. I learned Susanna is coming for the Easter holiday. Papa and I learned that “Easter baskets are out” since she isn’t given sugar yet, but yesterday we were shopping and I found the cutest bright turquoise pail and shovel she can take to the beach! Any suggestions what I can fill it with for this almost 18 month old?

9. Let it go down in history that Susanna ate her first peanut butter/jelly sandwich! Her mommy sent me this cute picture.

10. Life Group on Friday will be different. Usually we discuss the sermon, but this Friday we are gathering just to pray. Just like in the book of Acts, we are gathering in the leader’s home to pray and break bread together. Being Good Friday, it should be a powerful time!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spiritual Sundays ~ Shalom!

On Monday at sunset we will celebrate our Jewish Roots for the 27th year with a Passover Seder. We have a lot of memories over the years and I always look forward to eating this special meal with its unique foods and order of celebration.

One of my favorite memories over the years is the hiding of the Afikomen matza. The Rabbi, or my husband in our home, places three pieces of matza (unleavened bread) in three pockets of a bag called the Afikomen. The Afikomen is placed on the table with other elements. At the beginning of the Seder, the rabbi removes the middle matza, breaks it in half, and hides the half in a linen napkin somewhere in the room. Towards the end of the night, just after the Seder meal is eaten, the rabbi turns to the youngest person, usually a child, and asks him to find the hidden matza. He then rewards the child usually with some chocolate candy. We’ve asked Jewish people why this is part of the ritual and most reply that they do not know what it represents. I’ve read that because the meal is lengthy with scripture readings and songs and food, younger children get sleepy and the ritual gives them something to look forward to with excitement.

My husband teaches that the Afikomen represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The middle piece, or the Son, is Jesus. He was broken and died for the sins of men. He was buried in a linen cloth and rose from the dead. Jesus set us free! When we think of the Passover Seder representing our freedom, we pause here and reflect on our Savior (as the child discovers the broken piece of unleaved bread, matza, hidden.) My husband teaches that our Passover Seders are complete because we know what our savior represents. The youngest in the group, even a small child, can find him.

Isn’t it just like Jesus to be found so easily that even a child can receive Him? In fact he tells us that in order to inherit the kingdom of God we must become like a child!

Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Matt 18:3, The New Living Translation

As we enter into the Passover holiday, we are praying for those who need a savior and that they will find Jesus. We are praying for the peace and protection of Jerusalem.


Spiritual Sundays is hosted by Charlotte and Ginger.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Funnies

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Harrington

Have a happy Friday, everyone! Don’t forget to join Kim for more Friday Funnies!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday!

1. I feel so blessed. My friend, Peggy, who is always taking pictures, helped me re-design my blog. She found this beautiful photo of a butterfly she took. It is now my header and perfect for my spring makeover. I just love it.

2. I got a love package from my mother in Chicago. I am now the owner of a Bacon Genie and a cookie scoop.

3. I asked my husband and daughter if they saw my new blog design, and they told me they haven’t viewed my blog in weeks. Pretty bad when your family doesn’t even read it. We all laughed so hard at that one. Even if no one reads my words, it is so great to have a place to journal on my PC and stick a few photos of Peggy’s with it! Very therapeutic.

4. My girlfriend, Glenda, suggested I listen to her CD Series: Bitterness, Resentment and Unforgiveness by Joyce Meyer so that I can get a handle on some anger issues. Now that’s a friend. I find that these teachings cut to the chase.

5. My favorite TV commercial is for the modern Kohler faucet that extends in three sections and looks like a crane. The setting is Italy and three Italian guys ask the same girl to marry them because she cooks well. But she marries the Kohler faucet guy who is 12 inches shorter than her. It is so funny!

6. My friend, Marlene, is visiting from Chicago. Her mom and sis live in Sedona and they are close friends with my daughter, Amy. After church on Sunday we all went out to Murphy’s Grille for lunch. Murphy’s is known for their “Signature Pot Pies.” Yum!

7. We are getting excited about Easter Sunday at our church. Our pastor keeps saying it is not about us since we all know what the Resurrection means, but it’s about sharing Jesus with our community. We are planning one service and it will be held at the high school auditorium in town! It’s going to be huge! It is taking everybody in our congregation to do something for this service to pull this off.

8. I tried out my new cookie scoop and made homemade peanut butter cookies. My simple, tried and true recipe for years is posted on my cooking blog. It is so easy!

9. Scripture on my calendar this morning: Psalm 27:5-- “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me. He shall set me high upon a rock.

10. Prayer: Father, bless every reader who visits here today. You know each heart’s request. May your kingdom come and may your will be done in each life. Most importantly, may You be glorified. Amen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Broken Life Becomes A Beautiful Life

My prayers were answered when Kat, heart2heart, offered an opportunity to women to study online together using Sheila Walsh’s book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God. I am so amazed at how the Word of God parallels my current storm in life and it has been that way every week! Imagine that, the Word of God meeting me head on in everyday life! Why should I be surprised? I’m not, really! I admire Kat for taking on this project when she is in a battle of her own and facing surgery. I might have pulled the covers over my head were I in her shoes, and recoiled in my pain. Her witness is a strong one to me and although I have toyed with the idea of running away in my own emotional pain, I continue to fight as we Christians must. I stand with Kat today and run to God’s Word as my refuge.

Today’s emphasis in Study Four looks at Anna in the New Testament. Sheila calls her a woman who kept her focus, referring to Luke 2:36-38. Anna, a prophetess and a widow, waited patiently to behold the expected Messiah. Sheila parallels this passage with an Old Testament verse: Isaiah 40:25-31. I especially like this part of it:

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

The Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary

And His understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary,

And increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary

And young men stumble and fall

But those who hope in the Lord

Will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

They will run and not grow weary,

They will walk and not be faint.

I see a powerful example here in scripture of the Lord’s encouragement to us who, like Anna, continue to wait on the Lord expectantly. A good question to journal about in these times is: “In What Area Do I Need Strength?" My heart is breaking when I think of the pain our prodigal is causing our family members. God gave me a promise and I’m fully persuaded what He has promised, he will do! Beautiful things happen when a woman trusts God! But the waiting....torture.

Sheila asks us to ponder: “What Dream Has God Planted Deep Inside You?” “What Prevents You From Realizing That Dream?”

I have a dream of serving the Lord as a family. I get sidetracked when I see the enemy stealing from our family unit and creating chaos and hurt. I realize God is bigger than any plan of the enemy. Standing on God’s Word is lonely at times. I am grateful for friends and many online bloggers who have prayed with me and encouraged me this past year. God has been faithful that way. I gaze at Anna, who waited 84 years for the promise! I wonder if she had any support, any fellowship as she waited. But the day came for her when she held baby Jesus in her arms! I’m asking God to keep me steady as I learn a deeper faith walk in this time of testing. I’m keeping a journal and documenting things God is saying to my heart and reminding myself that He is sovereign. Isn’t it amazing how a little trouble can come your way and it reels you in and makes God’s presence a priority? That’s where I’m at these days. Truly, I cannot wait to wake up in the morning to hear from Him and exchange my uncertainties for His rock-solid truth.

Kat ended her study today by sharing a personal Word from the Lord in her pain. I was encouraged.

I end my study reflecting on a personal experience I had with the Lord in Church yesterday when our pastor asked us if we needed direction from the Lord. We were asked to stand and seek Him for it…in silence! We are anything but quiet in our corporate body, so that was unusual for us. I did not get any words, but standing there I felt like God reached into my central core and lifted out my heart, holding it in His hand and massaging it. He placed it back and all anxiety left me. I’m now a floater! He wants me to trust Him. Beautiful things will, indeed, happen! I just know it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

How can we comprehend God’s love? I know I can’t grasp its entirety. The Way of the Cross is a powerful meditation, not only in the spring when we Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but all year through. The video I chose for today features the song: Because of Love, sung by Women of Faith.

Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders hosts Sing My Soul Saturday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Funnies

With all the news lately about the subzero weather and snow that
the Midwest and east coast areas are experiencing, we shouldn't
forget that Phoenix also has its share of devastating weather in the last couple weeks.

Attached is a photo showing damage to a home from a recent storm
that passed through the Phoenix area. It really makes you cherish what
you have, and reminds us not to take life for granted.

Kim is hosting more Friday Funnies at Homesteader’s Heart. Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday!

1. I really do love winter, but I got my heating (propane) bill for the last six weeks and it’s a killer. So, we’re busy chopping firewood at my house.

2. You know it’s a cold winter when you have to bundle up in San Diego, too. Susanna was caught on film going to the park last week on a cold, rainy day. Notice the book on prayer in her hands

She’s a chip off the old block, her mamma being a mighty prayer warrior and I, too, like to get on board when it comes to storming the heavenlies. Generational blessings!

3. I took my hubby to the VA Hospital in Prescott for a medical procedure last week. He got a kick out of my observance of the place. “Are we in the jungles of Viet Nam?” I asked as we walked down the long corridors. I saw guys with (thinning) long pony tails and others with gray braids all the way down their backs. I expected to hear Bob Dylan on the piped in music system singing “Mr. Tambourine Man” or worse, Jefferson Airplane singing “White Rabbit.”

4. I received a neat email about natural ingredients found in most kitchens that can be used for healing. So now I am applying fresh lemons to my age spots. It’s suppose to lighten them after time. Remember, I’m from the Viet Nam era…

5. Reading through the Bible this year, I reflected yesterday on Mark 15:43 which describes Joseph of Arimathea as “one who was looking for the Kingdom of God.” What a reputation.

6. I’m thankful for answers to prayer this week. Both my husband and my daughter’s husband got good health reports. Two blogger friends received healing in their bodies. I give Him praise.

7. Here’s a thought that gripped me on a girl’s blog this week: In the midst of praising God, you can praise the hurt away.

8. I like it when everyone is out of the office and I’m left alone with the place to myself. But last Wednesday, I saw a gray “thing” fly across the hall and into the Sales Manager’s office as I sat at the front desk. The droppings near the kitchen wastebasket revealed that a critter moved in among us. A mousetrap was set over the weekend. Got him!

9. Here’s something I need to improve on: taking life less seriously and having more fun. The morning I drove to Prescott, I was peaceful and unhurried. I made a mental note to take my camera out of my briefcase and stick it in my purse. Did I remember to do that? No. Instead I did the dishes. So here I was driving in the mountains covered with white, fluffy snow and beauty everywhere and I have no camera! But the breakfast dishes were cleaned.

10. I leave you with an important challenge: your legacy. During last Friday’s Life Group discussion, our leader, Jeannie, asked: “What will be said about you by your family and friends after you are gone?” I think the answer to that lies in our passion. Most said “that I loved the Lord.” In my opinion, that’s a given. Those of us who believe in the claims of Christ should be passionate followers. But what, specifically, will be said of you and me? Something to ponder for some, others of us may know well what we live for each and every day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Hunger to Belong ~ Bible Study 3

If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31,32

In keeping up with the Bible Study from two weeks ago, we pick up again in Study #3 from Sheila Walsh’s book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God. Today’s study is called “The Hunger to Belong.”

Sheila says: “What I have learned is that freedom and transparency walk hand in hand. To the level that we are willing to be known, to be seen, then at that depth we can be set free from the things that have defined us apart from Christ. It is risky to be known but it is what we were made for and anything less is not freedom. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. It is a promise!”

“The Strength of the fatherless was crushed. Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden fear troubles you.” Job 22:9,10.

Describe a situation when your words have been similar to the words in the verse above.

My response: In this verse of scripture, Eliphaz brought unreasonable accusations against Job of harming others with his wealth and power. I have seen people abuse their authority both in the church and in the world. I had a situation happen to me last year that was similar to the background of this scripture. Like Job, I was broken in spirit and one of my girlfriends with an “Eliphaz Spirit” appeared on the scene. I asked God if I should visit her in my distress and when I didn’t hear the okay, I made an appointment to visit her anyway because I knew she was a seasoned woman of God with a reputation to pray powerfully. For whatever reason, when I arrived at her home the first point that she made was that I should ask God to deliver me. She perceived that in my leadership, I was very controlling! Yikes! I am a strong leader, but I did not receive her accusation. I made a firm decision to overlook the offense and focus on my prayer time with her taking the good in that meeting with me and leaving behind the rest knowing that if God was in that accusation, I was so humbled and broken I would have known it.

There, of course, have been times I have spoken out of turn in leading groups in the past and I have had to go to any that I have hurt and ask forgiveness. So I couldn’t hold any resentment against this gal, for I have been forgiven much and decided to forgive her instantly. That was to my benefit.

If God knows everything about us, why is it important that we be transparent before Him?

My response: I think my transparency before God sets me free to be who I am and receive His love and acceptance resulting in more freedom with God. I think this is true with others, also. My transparency allows others to be free to be transparent.

What comes to mind when you think about belonging? Be honest about your feelings.

My response: When I think of belonging my first thought is being accepted.

Describe a time when you have listened to a song or watched a scene in a movie and suddenly you are overwhelmed by feelings out of proportion to what is happening around you. How did that experience make you feel? What do you think God is trying to say to you in these experiences?

My response: Just yesterday I got a call from my daughter telling me about a worship experience at her church service where a praise song brought strong emotion upon her resulting in a manifestation of God’s phenomenal love for her. I couldn’t place the song even after she spoke the buzz words…like a hurricane, a tree bending…amazing love…so she emailed me the song. After listening to David Crowder’s “How He Loves”, I was weeping too! Oh, how the Lord loves us and longs to tell us “we’re accepted!”

Leave it to Sheila Walsh to write such a heartwarming Bible study to challenge us to come up higher and face some things in ourselves and be set free by the Lord! Thank you, Kat, at Heart2Heart for presenting this study today. Kat has more for you on her blog regarding this topic.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

God has given me a promise and though I have seen no evidence of it, I'll stand on His Word! The song, Stand, is sung by Susan Ashton.

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays is hosted by Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. I’ve been thinking about how selling is similar to evangelism. Both offer a persuasive message.

2. Great blood pressure readings for me lately. The resting heart rating went down probably due to getting back to exercise…walking in the park a few days a week to my exercise music….but now my right knee is acting up.

3. I watched the movie, “Grease” again over the weekend and now I’m singing “Hopelessly Devoted to You…” to Jesus all the time. I’m no Olivia Newton John, but He doesn’t care.

4. I talked to my oldest daughter, Amy, yesterday who got all dressed up and attended the Academy Awards Sunday night while I stayed home and watched it in my pajamas. The Sedona Film Festival featured the Oscars complete with a red carpet entrance, horsd'oeuvres, desserts, giveaways and raffles in the Harkins Theatre in Sedona. Amy agreed with me that Sandra Bullock’s acceptance speech was good. However, I think the award goes to the family Blindside was about.

5. I really love all the rain we’re getting in the higher elevations of the desert. Reports say we might even get snow tonight!

6. I am proud of Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick from my state of Arizona who introduced a bill to cut pay for members of Congress by five percent. This is her idea of decreasing the national debt. Leading by example, she removed five percent of her pay.

7. Speaking of decreasing, I spent days working on my Yahoo email program. My husband nagged me for months to get rid of such a large number of mail, 825. It took me some time, but I got the number down to 35! And, I found wonderful jokes. Can’t wait until more Friday Funnies to share them.

8. This was my most interesting dream this last week: I walked into a new beauty salon and was seated in front of the mirror. The stylist cut my hair before, but I asked her “How do you suggest I wear my hair?” which I always do. She said “Like you have been wearing it, because you now have the hang of styling it,” like she always says! Humph…what does this mean?????

9. I joined Lisa’s online Book Club at Hospitable Pursuits. She announced the next read and I immediately called the local library to see if it’s available. I would have to be placed on the waiting list. Get this…there are 41 waiting to read the book. I told the librarian I need to start reading it NOW so I can get it read in time for Lisa's book club next month! She suggested that if I purchase it, I should donate it to the library after I read it. Now there’s a girl with chutzpa. (The Book Club button is on my sidebar if you are interested in participating.)

10. A great tip on prayer from Tiz Huch in her book, No Limits, No Boundaries:
As you read scriptures of God’s covenant of blessing, insert your own name to personalize His promises. By involving yourself verbally and emotionally—by taking ownership of the truth, you’re going to leap from 30 percent to 90 percent absorption and retention of what you read in the scriptures. You will be an engaged learner of the Word.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God ~ Bible Study Lesson Two

Sheila Walsh presents the topic of brokenness in the second chapter of her Bible Study that is related to her new book. A special thanks to Kat for hosting this Bible Study in depth and challenging all of us to take a look at the Word of God with regard to our need for deliverance of brokenness today on her blog, Heart to Heart.

Isaiah 43: 18-19:
18: “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19: See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

Here are some thoughts I have with regard to this verse and brokenness: This passage tells me that God delivered me in the past, therefore, I can now embrace what He is doing in the present. He rescued me before. He can do it again! He will heal me of anything that is broke in me or in my life. He is in control of it.

Luke 4: 18-21

18: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21: and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

My observation: Jesus' ministry targets here the brokenhearted--the poor--the captive--the blind and those oppressed. Sheila asks us to consider "how does this passage speak to my life?"

I have experienced the touch of Jesus on my life during brokenness and because He has delivered me so many times in the past, I can ask boldly in any situation for His help because I know He shows up. He'll put the broken pieces together and in a sturdier way, too. How so?

About five years ago, I sold a home to a customer who proved to be a shyster. I fell into his traps of friendliness and need. I even prayed for him and his family when life threw them a curve ball. At work, I listened endlessly to his stories of woe and gave him my undivided attention. Little did I know that he was baiting me for information to use against me in the sales contract and when silence finally came and I was given a respite of peace, I learned he was calling my boss regularly, waging war against me. My boss' lawyer came on board to defend my character. In my prayer times, I called out to the Lord and learned that "The Lord is a Warrior; The Lord is His name!" Exodus 15:3! He rescued me from brokenness and set me free from captivity. I learned to declare His Word over my situation and soon enough, this customer was silenced. His evil reputation became know throughout the company. I later learned that we were just one of the many companies he dragged into court to make money in his role as a victim. That was how he maintained his lifestyle.

It's time in this lesson to fill in the missing blanks: Because Jesus said_____; I will ______.

Because Jesus said: no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord, I will defend you.

My prayer today: I praise you, Lord, for every time that you have pulled me out of trouble. You have shown me great kindness repeatedly. Your Word is a weapon for the discouraged and brokenhearted and your Spirit is the greatest comfort I can have. I wave your banner high; You alone are worthy to be worshipped.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spiritual Sundays ~ Restoration

You know I'm believing the Lord for restoration this year. Look what I found, tons of things God says in His Word about restoration! I am having a picnic with His promises and wanted to invite you along.

Blessings to Charlotte and Ginger for their leadership in
Spiritual Sundays. I look forward to all the inspiration this weekend, and I appreciate all those who participate.

Scriptures to Meditate On and Claim About the Lord's Restoration

Deuteronomy 30:3 – The Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you.
Psalm 14:7 – When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.
Psalm 23:3 – He restores my soul.
Psalm 41:3 – The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed...restore him to health.
Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.
Psalm 53:6 – When God restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
Psalm 60:1 – Restore us!
Psalm 71:20 – Restore me again.
Psalm 80:3, 7, 19 – O God, restore us.
Psalm 85:1, 4 – You restored the fortunes of Jacob. Restore us, O God of our salvation.
Psalm 126:4 – Restore our fortunes, O Lord.
Isaiah 57:18 – I will lead you and restore comfort to you.
Jeremiah 15:19 – If you return, then I will restore you.
Jeremiah 16:15 – I will restore them to their own land.
Jeremiah 27:22 – I will bring them back and restore them.
Jeremiah 29:14 – I will be found by you, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations.
Jeremiah 30:3 – The days are coming when I will restore the fortunes of My people.
Jeremiah 30:17 – I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds.
Jeremiah 30:18 – I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob.
Jeremiah 31:18 – Bring me back, that I may be restored.
Jeremiah 31:23 – Once again they will speak this word...when I restore their fortunes.
Jeremiah 32:44 – I will restore their fortunes.
Jeremiah 33:7 – I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and I will rebuild them as they were at first.
Jeremiah 33:11 – I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first.
Jeremiah 33:26 – I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.
Jeremiah 42:12 – I will also show you compassion...and restore you to your own land.
Lamentations 5:21 – Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days.
Hosea 6:11 – There is a harvest appointed for you, when I restore the fortunes of My people.
Joel 2:25-27 – I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten...and My people will never be put to shame.
Joel 3:1 – When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem.
Zephaniah 2:7 – For the Lord their God will care for them and restore their fortune.
Zephaniah 3:20 – I will give you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes.
Zechariah 9:12 – Return to the stronghold, O prisoners of hope...I will restore double to you.
Malachi 4:6 – He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
Galatians 6:1 – If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.
James 5:15 – The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Remembering Elizabeth

For as long as I’ve know her, Elizabeth was notorious for being late. Last weekend, I attended her memorial service, scheduled ten weeks after her death. I learned it was planned that way because her husband and her boys were considerate of relatives and didn’t want them traveling afar frantically during the holidays. What was neat was that they held her Celebration of Life on her birth date. She would have been 58. Very nice touch, I thought.

Elizabeth was in our Yada Yada Book Club and we ladies cherished her gentle spirit. She loved Jesus with a passion.

Elizabeth is on the top row, far right.

I remember when we read a Christian fiction novel where one of the characters meticulously planned her future memorial service. The gal knew how she wanted to be remembered. Our book club discussion that day focused on our own legacies and we shared what we personally would want if we could plan our own service! Elizabeth shared that it would be important to her that her service be worshipful. She didn’t care about the details but wanted the Lord to be glorified, especially in the music.

In the midst of a fully-packed church in Sedona last Saturday, Elizabeth got her wish. Family and friends gathered from all over the country to honor her memory. My Yada Yada Sisters and I agree…the music, scriptures, testimonies and praises brought glory to the One Elizabeth worshipped and adored. She would have been pleased.

I close with a question all of us should ponder from time to time. Can others see Jesus in me? As Elizabeth would say, “It’s all about Him!”

Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Am I So Afraid, Bible Study #1

I’m studying the topic of “courage” today with Sheila Walsh and Kat. This Bible study is taken from Sheila’s book: Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts. Kat is offering this study with participation on her blog. I think it's great! Who knows…when we study with Kat and Sheila, we may all become dynamic “women of faith!”

Kat posted an excerpt from Sheila’s book and this was my favorite line: We will never understand this side of eternity what it cost Christ to take on himself all the sin of a broken planet. But just as our devastation began in a garden with Adam and Eve, so our restoration began in Gethsemane. Having poured out his heart to his father, Christ turned to all that was ahead. That is courage.

The first scripture in today’s study was Job 33: 29-30.

29 "Behold, God does all these things,
twice,(AR) three times, with a man,
30 to bring back his soul from the pit,
that he may be lighted with(AS) the light of life.

Thinking about this verse today reminds me that God is relentless in rescuing His people. It takes courage to look at myself and talk to God and repent. God is always ready to help me out of the pit. I am the only one who can keep myself there.

The second verse we studied is Joshua 1:1-9:

After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2“Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— 4from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Seaa in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
6“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I noticed Joshua is told three times to be courageous in this passage. I observed, too, how Joshua is reminded to keep God’s instructions. Personally, when fear tangles with me, I not only read Bible passages more than once, but I find various translations to make sure I fully comprehend the Word.

Jesus’ style is not to control me, but He allows the pain in life to release growth. Pain in a testing time is used to deepen my trust in Him and although I want to escape, I know He is with me on my journey. His Word changes me and renews my mind. Fear is one feeling that tries to reel me in every time when I’m under duress. I think this is why I gravitated to the passage in my opening statement from Sheila’s book where Jesus was in Gethsemane. Jesus was like me. He didn’t like the pain in the garden either. But He did His father’s will. (I want to say “like me” here, too. I’m working on it!) The best way to deal with fear is to face it. It takes courage. I must have Jesus with me. He renews my mind. He promises never to leave me.

In my current time of testing, I’m working on releasing control of a difficult situation. Journaling what God reveals about it to me from His perspective reinforces my faith. For example, I got a great word from Psalms this morning in my quiet time reminding me to let God order my steps today. He promises to tell me the way to go and I can walk in it. Now I can fill in these blanks on Kat's blog: Because God said_______________, I’ll_________________ and make it my prayer. Because God said He’ll tell me the way to go, I’ll relinquish my control of the situation!

A question like this is a great way to journal! In fact you may want to study with us. Click here for Kat's blog featuring Sheila's Bible Study.