We are on a journey, sojourners on this earth. Let us share with you the highs and lows of our lives. Heaven is a sweeter place now that we have two beautiful granddaughters waiting there for us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Making the Right Choice

18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places. Habakkuk 3:18-19

“You should complain more so people know how much pain you are in.”

That statement by my husband got my attention. I had to think about it. I have made a commitment to choose joy in my life and not focus on the circumstances but was I not being truthful by doing that? Was I giving the wrong impression of what the Christian life looks like? After all we all have disappointments, losses and ongoing pain in our lives that can derail us in our attempt to live and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

But then I looked again at these verses that I so often cling too, and read the verse immediately before them:
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls, (verse 17)

There was not much going right at that time…the crops had failed and there was no food or any hope of food in the foreseeable future. But the response of the writer was still to focus not on the circumstances, but on the Lord of His salvation!! It was God that would be His strength and that’s what he chose as his focus.

As I daily choose to walk in the Spirit and allow Him to develop His fruit in my life, I have a choice to make. Where is my focus? Yes He is supposed to develop joy in my life, but first I have to choose not to focus on the negative and instead turn my eyes to Him. Only then will I see that joy produced to overflowing in my life.

 Heavenly Father, thank you that your Holy Spirit is at work in my life and that he can and does produce his fruit in me. Help me to daily choose to give thanks regardless of the circumstances I am facing, and to make the choice to rejoice in the God of my salvation and depend on Him for my strength. Amen.

Action Step:
Have you been making the right choice and choosing to rejoice in your situation? Or have you been grumbling and complaining, demanding that God change it? Take a moment to confess your sin and once again ask God by His Holy Spirit to fill your life today and help you to choose to rejoice as he produces his joy in you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Like the Birds

 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8
After years of talking about it, we finally bought a birdfeeder to hang in our yard. We were told to be patient because it might take weeks before we saw birds enjoying the food we provided.
But after just two days, we had seen a myriad of birds dropping by to take a taste — even yellow goldfinches that we hadn’t known were in our area. I couldn’t help but wonder if somehow the birds were telling one another about the birdfeeder and birdbath in our yard: “Hey, over there is the perfect spot to take refuge on a warm summer day!”
Day after day, the trees were alive with the sound of the birds waiting their turn to feed. It got me thinking. Do we tell one another where the free spiritual food is, much like one beggar telling another where he can find a free meal? Or maybe we haven’t been enjoying that free meal so there is nothing to share?
I began to consider how we as believers need to be taking refuge in our Heavenly Father so we can share his goodness with others. Taking time to be still, to reflect, and to enjoy spending time with Him, we realize just how blessed we truly are.
As I see the birds come back day after day, I am reminded that I too need to taste and see that the Lord is good, dropping by not just once, but over and over again until I overflow with His goodness and can’t help but share it with the people I interact with.
Once we have tasted of God’s goodness, how can we not share it with others? How will they know unless we tell them?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given me the Bread of Life and I can tell others about it so they too can taste and see that You are good. May I always be quick to share Your goodness with others. Amen.
***This devotional was written by me and edited to appear at today.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Our Little Runner

 A year ago after running the 5 K Run for Water Race,
Jaxon announced that next year he was going to be running the 10K,
so one of his parents better get ready!
 And today he and his Mom, Megan, did just that!
There were thousands of people lining up getting to race,
but in the crowd they saw familiar faces,
good friends from our church.
Of course Megan got a selfie of the two of them.
And then it was time to line up...
 ....proud Momma looking down at her 8 year old,
definitely one of the youngest to be running this distance.
 And they're off!!
 Love that smile!
 Dave followed the route to catch a few more pictures along the way....

Jaxon had told Megan ahead of time that she was going to be holding him back 
and we all laughed...
... in the midst of the crowd, 
he was usually running with her...
Finally with the finish line in sight she told him to run ahead...
 There he goes.....crossing the finish line ahead of his Mom!!
 So very proud of these two today!!
Mommy and her Little Runner!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Yet Will I Trust You

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.” Romans 15:13

A recent medical diagnosis had confirmed that the extreme pain that I was dealing with would be a reality in my life for the foreseeable future and left me with a choice. How was I going to deal with this new reality?

As I opened the book I was reading, I stopped to read the above verse on my bookmark.  It was as if God Himself was speaking to me through his Holy Spirit.
I grabbed my Bible to look it up in a different version… may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NASB) God was promising that by the power of His Spirit, I could be filled with hope not just in spite of the circumstances I found myself in, but in the middle of them.

The question to me was, ‘Will you trust me?’. As I struggled with this He gave me this acrostic:
T- Thank God that He hasn’t changed. This isn’t a surprise to Him but He is still the same God and in control.
R- Rely on His Holy Spirit to fill and empower you to make the right choices.
U- Understand that the choice is yours, whether to trust Him or not.
S- Say it out loud, ‘Yes Lord, yet I will trust You!’ In this situation, this circumstance, even if it never changes, yet will I trust You.
T- Trust Him! He will empower you by His Holy Spirit and He will fill you with joy and peace as you trust!
What are you facing today? Has trusting God been a challenge for you?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You that because Your Holy Spirit indwells my life and fills me daily, that I can choose to trust You in the midst of daily pain. Also, I can know that I can abound in hope by the power of that same Holy Spirit every single day and for that I am exceedingly thankful. Yet will I trust You dear Lord, fill me with your joy and peace. Amen

Action Step:
Is it hard for you to trust God today? What is the situation that you face that makes it a challenge for you? Ask God by His Holy Spirit to fill your life today so that you can in fact trust Him and allow Him to fill you with all joy and peace.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I Lift My Eyes Up

 “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?” Psalm 121:1
We were driving through the canyon with mountains rising up on either side when I remembered this psalm. My heart was heavy as we had just received word that a young wife and mother that we had been praying for had given up her battle here on earth and was now enjoying a pain free life with her Heavenly Father.

But what about her grieving family, how were they going to cope? Lord I know this psalm says that our help comes from you but how was her husband with three young children without a wife and mother to help carry the load, how was he going to make it?

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip, he who keeps you will not slumber. (Psalm 121:2,3)

As we drove the still small voice of the Holy Spirit reminded me that our life here on earth is only a little piece of the picture. God knows the big picture and we are going to spend all of eternity with Him. In the meantime, He isn’t unaware of our pain, but instead He is right there in the midst of the heartaches that we face, carrying us when we cannot go on in our own strength.

When walking through the valleys of our lives, where do we look? Do we try to do it in our own strength? Or do we lift up our eyes to the Lord who made heaven and earth? The choice is mine. The situation doesn’t change, but my perspective does. And in the midst of the darkness my help comes from him.

What impossible situation are you facing today? Why don't you join me in singing this song today.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You that you are indeed the maker of heaven and earth and my help comes from You alone. Thank you that when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, You are there and already know how it will end. You are my keeper and I can trust in You. Amen

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Beauty on a Gray Day

After a week of beautiful warm, sunny weather,
the day had dawned very gray
with rain forecast for later in the day.
I caught myself feeling discouraged,
down and kind of gray like the day...

until I looked out my kitchen window 
and saw the beautiful flowers in bloom.
It was like they were calling me to step outside,
and stop to take a look.
 The dark red rhododendrons were in full bloom...
 and unlike my neighbour who is already dreading deadheading the finished blooms,
I just stood and admired their beauty,
so many individual blossoms making up each flower.
 The branches on this one were so heavy
they almost covered up the pretty pink azalea growing underneath.
 I'm excited that the camelia bush 
that we planted two years ago 
is growing stronger and has blooms that almost look like roses.
 Dave's been busy in our backyard 
and I'm delighted with our newest pink/yellow rhodo.
 This magenta azalea is about to burst into bloom underneath our living room window,
 right beside this white rhodo 
which has been getting major cutbacks every year
in an effort to have room for others to grow.
 I love how these flowers start out light pink,
but then become more white as they open
with a hint of color inside.
 Of course the cherry blossoms outside my kitchen window make me smile,
because I always wanted a cherry tree in our backyard and now I have one that I can see every day.
 Even one of my white hydrangeas is starting to bloom...
...doesn't it know it's not time yet?
It's only April after all!
 And then there is the Japanese Skimmia...Hers and his versions!
 That's right!! 
You heard me!
This is the female plant which grows beautiful red berries...
 but only if it is close to the male plant!!
Even in the plant world they need each other to bloom
and be all that they were meant to be.
As I walked back to the front door with a smile on my face
I noticed my red azalea,
waiting for a few warm days so it too can burst into bloom!

As I walked back into the house
I realized that my spirits had lifted
and the gray skies weren't so overwhelming any more.

I just needed to take some time
to stop and smell the flowers
or at least to notice them
and be reminded that just as my creator takes care of them
He also takes care of me!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Watching Over You

“He who dwells in he shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
The bird was without a doubt the largest we had ever seen in our backyard birdbath! In fact, he almost filled it up as he tried to take a bath. As he flew away we grabbed the camera so we could take a closer look through the telephoto lens and identify this mammoth.

As the juvenile Cooper’s Hawk perched high in our pine trees, I couldn’t help but think of this verse from Psalm 91:1. I later grabbed my Bible to look it up and my eyes landed on verse 4 from the same Psalm, ‘He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark”.

The picture of that hawk perched in the tree behind our house has stuck with me over the past weeks. It’s been a reminder that my hope is in the Most High and I can abide in his shadow. Regardless of what this season of my journey holds, I can seek refuge under his wings knowing that he never changes and he is always faithful.

Just as that hawk dwarfed the tiny sparrows, robins and other birds that more often visit our birdbath, so my heavenly Father dwarfs those earthly things in which I too often seek refuge. Financial gain, security or significance all fail to provide the unshakeable refuge that He alone can give me. I can run to Him knowing that he is never surprised, never caught off guard, always fully aware of the situation I am facing, and I can rest there, safe and secure.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that as I dwell in your shelter I can abide in your shadow. Thank you that there is a safe refuge in Your faithfulness and I can rest there, safe and secure, knowing that You are totally in control regardless of how hopeless my situation my seem. Amen.