December 19, 2013

A Pinteresting Christmas ~ Part 1

Our mini Christmas tree

This year I've been making a lot of the gifts that I'll be giving.  And several of them came from Pinspiration (Pinterest inspiration).  Of course, since Christmas isn't here yet, I can't post about all of the gifts I've made, but there is one I've already given.  

I love working with my hands, and I also love graphic design.  So putting those two together, I created a plaque of a favorite Scripture passage (1 Thess. 5:16-18) using - yes, you probably guessed it - wood from used pallets.  This gift I gave away at a ladies' Christmas party (a white elephant/dirty santa gift exchange), and it was much wanted.  I'm glad, because it took 3-4 hours to make - but it was well worth it!  

I forgot to take one last photo before I wrapped it.  So, alas, no photo of the finished product.  
Me and my 'studio', i.e. my very messy bedroom.  :)

At the beginning of the project.

So... You'll just have to wait until after Christmas to see what were the other gifts that I made.  (Sorry to keep you in suspense.  ;) )

December 18, 2013

On technology and discernment

One significant downside to our technological society is that we can instantly communicate any and every idea that comes to mind, whether good or bad.

December 4, 2013

December 3, 2013

Jesus - My Daily Bread



I recently found an interesting parallel between the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4), and John 6 (the Bread of Life passage)

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.”  Matthew 6:9b-13

Here, Jesus prays to the Father, asking that He would supply for us, our daily bread.  And as I was considering this physical request, it reminded me of the spiritual command that Jesus gives, in John 6:

On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.
Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?
Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”


What I realized regarding both what Jesus says in the Lord’s prayer (“Give us this day our daily bread), and what He says in the John 6 text, are that we are to view Jesus as our daily bread, without which we will die.  We are to be ravished by His love; satiated by His flesh and blood; consumed by His sacrifice.

Too many of us live in a flippant manner, even when it comes to the sacred Meal – we do not realize the gravity of what we are taken and ingesting – it is the body of our Lord!  We are feasting upon Him, and drawing nourishment from what He so willingly gave on our behalf.  We receive not only a blessing physically, but more importantly, we receive a spiritual blessing – a refreshing of our spirit by feeding upon the Lord! 

As I take up the small piece of bread, and the cup, each Sunday, I thank the Lord again for His cleansing blood which has washed away my sins, for His body which was the perfect instrument of atonement, broken on my behalf that I might find life through Him.  And I thank the Lord for empowering me through His Meal and Spirit, to walk in the victory He has given me over sin and temptation. 

The Christian life is a serious one, and a joyful one.  We are to be serious and intentional in our walk with Christ, and joyful – rejoicing in every situation and giving thanks, always!  Those are two sides of the same coin.  I think we tend to overlook both sides of an issue that we are considering, and thus come away with a skewed view.  May we always consider all sides and perspectives, that we may, as Ephesians 4:15 says, “grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ.”   

Lord, grant us the clarity and humility to take into consideration, everything that You would have us consider, on whatever topic You have laid upon our hearts, no matter how uncomfortable it may make us feel.  May we be more and more conformed to Your image (Romans 8:28-29), becoming perfect and complete; lacking nothing (James 1:4).

November 29, 2013

The Day After


November 29.  It's the day after Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving - you know that day where we stuff ourselves (not the turkey) with delicious food, play games, visit with family and say we're thankful for the blessings of our life?  Yeah, that day.  Oh, but today's the day after, the day some people call Black Friday, and are we still thankful?

Are we truly thankful for all that abundance of scrumptious food, more than enough, when millions of people don't even HAVE enough?  Are we thankful for that running and warmed water that we showered in this morning, and the clean H2O we drank after awaking?  What about that nice, big house, and cozy, warm bedroom with a comfortable bed?  Are we really thankful for these things, or do we just take them for granted?  Oh, and I didn't mention the electric washing and drying machines to wash our abundance of clothing, those smartphones, tablets, computers and mp3 players, and those two nice cars able to take us comfortably hundreds of miles in a matter of hours.  When I think about the fact that there are people in the world that live in a house smaller than my bathroom, and don't have ready access to education and information, I look at my family and see how rich we truly are.

And we're out there on Black Friday, or now on Thanksgiving night, fighting over things we don't really need - which we probably won't even remember next year at this time - and all this on the day after (or day) we politely thank God for our blessings.

Really, what is material stuff?  Ultimately, it's just that: stuff.   And stuff that will burn in the end.   Even what is our life?  It's just a vapor, a gust of wind, here and gone in perspective of eternity.  And we waste that vapor of a life gathering stuff that's just going to burn?  People.  People, and their souls, that's what lasts forever, and that's what we should be concerned about gathering - for God's eternal kingdom.

What we should be thankful for the most is the grace, mercy and love God showed to us in Jesus' death and resurrection.  Us, poor, awful enemies of His.  And the fact that we have the resources and ability, through His Spirit, to share that love with other people.  I think that's way better than Black Friday shopping!

So, as I'm sitting here on a smartphone, typing in a warm, large house, with an awesome family, I want to thank God for everything, blessings and trials. And, I want to consciously thank Him everyday, and in every situation.

Remember, it was ingratitude that caused the first generation of Israelites out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, long before they ever saw the promise land.  Let's be thankful every day, not just Thanksgiving.  And let's remember that things are temporary, but people last forever.

November 20, 2013

Something to consider future Christians!

"Brand:  How long will you have to fight?  Until you die!  What will it cost?  Everything you hold dear.  Your reward?  A new will, cleansed and strong, a new faith, integrity of spirit; a crown of thorns.  That will be your reward."  - Ibsen

Corresponding to this, are several passages from Holy Scripture, which expound upon how much suffering comes to those who leave behind this world and cling to Jesus, alone.  But, there is also so much joy in resting in Him, and forsaking the world.  His ways are perfect, His truth worth searching out!

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
2 Corinthians 4:17 

"As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:57-62

And let me just say, that the Scriptures are full of examples of the cost of following Jesus. Of leaving EVERYTHING to be His.  But, have I ever once regretted being His?  NO!  There is nothing better in this world, then to know that I am loved and saved by Jesus.

Doing anything for Him is my life aim.  And I think I am finally close to figuring out what that may be.  He desires a wholly surrendered life, not a partly surrendered life, because you're either all His, or you're not.

O Jesus, help me to be fully committed to You and Your goals; everyday take me closer to Your heart.  For I wish to be near it.  You are my one desire!  And I love you. :)


November 4, 2013

9 Things You Should Know About Christian Persecution {Re-blogged}

1. Christian churches around the world have set apart the month of November to remember and pray for the persecuted church, through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).

2. According to the U.S. Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ.

3. With the exception of four official state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, Christians in North Korea face the risk of detention in the prison camps, severe torture and, in some cases, execution for practicing their religious beliefs. North Koreans suspected of having contact with South Korean or other foreign missionaries in China, and those caught in possession of a Bible, have been known to be executed.

4. In Syria, Christians are increasingly becoming the target of violent attacks. Catholic and Orthodox groups in Syria say the anti-government rebels have committed "awful acts" against Christians, including beheadings, rapes and murders of pregnant women. A special 'Vulnerability Assessment of Syria's Christians' conducted by the World Watch unit of Open Doors International from June 2013 warned that Syrian Christians are the victims of "disproportionate violence and abuse." They warned further that Christian women in Syria are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse.

5. In August 2013, Egypt faced what has been called the worst anti-Christian violence in seven centuries: 38 churches were destroyed, 23 vandalized; 58 homes were burned and looted and 85 shops, 16 pharmacies and 3 hotels were demolished; 6 Christians were killed in the violence and 7 were kidnapped.

6. The bloodiest attack on Christians in Pakistan's history occurred in September 2013. Two suicide bombers exploded shrapnel laden vests outside All Saints' Church in the old city of Peshawar. Choir members and children attending Sunday school were among 81 people killed. The attack left 120 people wounded, with 10 of them in critical condition.

7. During an attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi in September, Islamic terrorists asked people for the name of Muhammad's mother or to recite a verse from the Quran in order to identify non-Muslims. One of the terrorists announced, "We have come to kill you Christians and Kenyans because you have been killing our women and children in Somalia. Any Muslims can go."

8. Four Christians in Iran will get 80 lashes each this month for drinking wine during a communion service. Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said that it is common practice for Christians to be punished for violating theocratic laws. In the UN report Shaheed wrote: 'At least 20 Christians were in custody in July 2013. In addition, violations of the rights of Christians, particularly those belonging to evangelical Protestant groups, many of whom are converts, who proselytize to and serve Iranian Christians of Muslim background, continue to be reported.'

9. An average of 100 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Note: There are several sources that claim the numbers are as high as 100,000+ a year. In the absence of solid evidence for those numbers, though, I chose to go with the more empirically verifiable estimate.)

Source

November 3, 2013

How true

“Without inward conversion there’s no reason to expect outward devotion.” #CalltoResurgence

November 2, 2013

6 Favorite Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil

I have come to really enjoy using Peppermint E.O., and miss is dearly when I don't have it available.  So, I decided to make up a list of my favorite uses for it.  Here it goes:

1. Air freshener ~ Add a few drops to an E.O. diffuser, and let it fill the air with the wonderful fragrance.
Fresh peppermint leaves
2. Breath freshener ~ My dad likes to carry around a bottle of peppermint E.O. as an alternative to gum or mints.  It works wonderfully to freshen up your breath.  Just put a couple drops on your tongue, and let it do it's job!
3. Mouthwash Alternative ~ Add a few drops to some purified water, and swish it around in your mouth.  You'll feel refreshed, and clean!
4. Toothpaste Additive/Alternative ~ Add a drop or two to your tooth paste each brushing, or just simply put a couple drops on your tooth brush in place of toothpaste.  It will amaze you how clean your mouth will be and feel. 
5. Breathing Aid ~ When it comes to sleeping at night, I like to have a clear nose to be able to breath through.  Well, sometimes that just isn't achievable by simply blowing your nose.  Put a few drops around your nose and breath it in.  It will clear it up almost instantly!  (If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn't recommend this - it may burn your skin.  Instead, put several drops on a cloth, and hang the cloth near your nose.)
Peppermint E.O.
6. Bug Bite Healer ~ Rub some peppermint E.O.s on any kind of bug bite: mosquito, tick, chiggers, you name it.  If your skin is sensitive, simply dilute the E.O. in some other type of oil; coconut, jojoba and olive oil work well. 

Since I've given you a list of my favorite uses, I'll now give you my favorite places to buy peppermint E.O., or any other essential oils, for that matter: Heritage Essential Oils and Young Living.  These two companies produce high quality and pure essential oils.  We've been very satisfied with their products over the years.

The author is in no way connected or funded by Heritage Essential Oils or Young Living. 

This Is Our Aim

Zechariah 8:20-23 ESV

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord . Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”

October 28, 2013

The Glory of God (a summation of chapter 10 from King's Cross)

Question: 

What does God most want?  God is most after His glory! 

John Piper said it well: glory is "the holiness of God put on display." 

What if we wanted MOST what God wants most?  God, above ALL ELSE wants to be glorified. 

What if we wanted, like Jesus, God's glory above every other thing?


The Mountain: Jesus' Transfiguration and God's Glory (from Tim Keller's Book Kings Cross)

The second half of Mark's Gospel will show us why the Cross was necessary and what it accomplished.  This is why the Mount of Transfiguration experience was so important.  Both to Jesus and to the three disciples who accompanied Him up the mount.  It helps to explain His purpose that He came to fulfill.

The true cost of following Jesus begins to be clearly explained to the disciples at this time.  Jesus takes up His cross, so must we.  As the cross and glory are linked in Jesus' life, so the cross and glory will be linked in our lives.

"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only."  Mark 9:2-8
Moses, in Exodus 33, desired to experience God's glory, atop Mount Sinai - but God denied his request declaring: "When My glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by, but My face cannot be seen.  No one may see Me and live."  (Exodus 33:18-23)

In stark contrast, Jesus and the three disciples (and because of their writing, we) are ushered on top of the mountain, and experience a truly amazing occasion. 

Jesus' clothing radiates pure whiteness - such brilliance as could never be achieved through mere washing. 

However, this is NO Mount Sinai.  Moses had reflected the glory of God as the moon reflects the sun.  But Jesus PRODUCES the unsurpassable glory of God; it emanates from Him

Jesus does not point to the glory of God as Elijah, Moses and every other prophet had done, up to this point. Jesus IS the glory of God in human form.  He IS the focal point!

Worship is not just believing.  Peter had just prior to this moment, confessed that Jesus was the Messiah - the Christ.  He and the others had already come to believe in God.  

Now through this intimate and powerful mountain top experience.  Peter, James, and John have sensed God's presence and worshipped.  They have lived to see the glory of God. 

"For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain."  2 Peter 1:16-18
After Jesus' transfiguration, He instructs His disciples to not tell anyone about what has just happened, until after the Resurrection.  Here again, Jesus is pointing forward to His impending death.  And the disciples (especially Peter), dont' like it!  

Jesus explains that "the Son of Man must suffer much." That is the reason He came! 

The transfiguration experience was meant to glorify Jesus - setting Him above and apart from the prophets who foretold of His coming; and at the same time, was also meant to fortify and strengthen Jesus and His inner circle, for the struggle which lay ahead. 

At the end, just moments before the betrayal and arrest, Jesus is praying for God to be glorified through Him and the work His is about to undertake. 

"When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father,the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 Glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed."  John 17:1-5


"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs."   Hebrews 1:1-4
Because of the finished work of Jesus; because glorifying God was the entire aim of His life, we get to experience a small foretaste of what Heaven will be like.  We get to worship God. 

When Jesus comes down from the mountain, He is met by a man whose son has been plagued by demons.  This man brought his son to Jesus' disciples, hoping for a miracle of healing.

Jesus confronts His disciples, for incorrectly attempting to exorcise the demons; but how does He respond to the father's request? 

Jesus does not tell the man "I am the glory of God in human form.  Purify your heart, confess all your sins, get rid of all you doubts, and your double mindedness.  Once you have surrendered to Me totally and come before Me with a pure heart, then you can ask for the healing you need.  He instead turns to the tormented father, and responds: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

The boys father says, "I am not faithful. I am riddled with doubts, and I cannot muster the strength necessary to meet my moral and spiritual challenges.  But help me." 

That's saving faith. 

We cannot leave this scene of ministry, without thinking about all that Jesus is about to give up, on behalf of sinful humanity. 

On the mountain we see Jesus surrounded by God; on the cross He will be forsaken.  On the mountain we see the life He has always led - embraced and clothed with the love and light of God - but on the cross He will be naked in the dark.

Why did Jesus allow Himself to go through this? 

He did it for us.  He did it for love. 

"...having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it."   Colossians 2:14-15
And on the mountain, through the Spirit, God was strengthening Jesus for His mission, for the infinite suffering He would endure to defeat all evil.  And God can empower us in the same way, to face evil and over come our own suffering, and help us to minister to those who suffer. 

October 10, 2013

To clarify

I wanted to clarify why this blog is now not only mine, but a joint-project with my sister, Phoebe. 

Wanting to encourage her creative side, I invited her to join me in exploring and writing about life.  Her life. My life. Our life.  Thus, we decided to jointly blog here on my site, whilst maintaining the family blog Phoebe runs, and our sense of individuality.  

Each post we place on this site will have our names attached to them, distinguishing who the author is. And of course, we will be writing from our own distinctive styles, so that helps too. ;) 

So, if you all have a question to send Phoebe's way, feel free!  She's an experienced blogger, having maintained not only our family blog for several years now, but being a massive contributor to Suburban Homestead, and Creation Evangelism Tools.  

I look forward to seeing what topics Phoebe and I will tackle together.  You know how controversial and blunt I can be, and I will continue to speak (write actually) my mind on here.  It's going to be a fun adventure!

September 29, 2013

DIY Hanging Pallet Desk

This desk is one that you hang on the wall.  Made from pallets, it wasn't that complicated to create.  A few simple cuts, some nails of different lengths, two hinges, two lengths of chain and a can of paint. 
 
Drilling pilot holes keeps the wood from cracking.
 
Putting together the fold down desk part.
 
Adding the paint before you put the desk together is the best way to go about it.
 
We chose white paint, but you could do whatever color you'd like.

Attaching the hinged desk was a bit difficult, but with some bricks or wood blocks to keep it at the right level, it wasn't too bad.  Make sure you place the chain screws in just the right position so as to make the desk level.
  
The finished product.  We haven't had a chance to hang it on the wall, but one day it will be used!

Be creative!  Think outside the box, and use materials you may already have, or are free (or very inexpensive) to obtain.  Some places will very readily give away pallets.  Give us a link in a comment of your DIY pallet project!

September 20, 2013

Heart ponderings

Soft rain patters off my window pane, and a gentle breeze brushes my cheeks. The grey sky threatens to burst open any moment, in torrents of wonderous rainfall.

As I sit here pondering all that is my life, I am reminded by the little things that most days, go un-noticed.

Birds chirping. Cows lowing. Cars whizzing. Jaden calling.

Each of these play a part in who I am. How I tick.

It's always good to slow down and drink in the myriad of ways God speaks to my heart. To truly be still... and know that He *is* God.

Reflection.

Something I am trying to master.

I suppose that is one of the reasons I keep a daily journal. It helps me to keep things in perspective. To recount blessings, joys and sorrows. A place to record prayers and go back to see how they were answered.

And in these moments of quiet, I feel closer to God.  And I can really say that no lesson He gives is too small or too precious for me to embrace. Even if painful, or unclear.

There is always a purpose to what He gives. Always.

That is something I am trying to learn as I watch many dear friends and family members walk into a new season of life,  or begin a new adventure.

Can I still be useful to You God?  Do You still have a plan for me?

And as the rain gets harder, my heart feels lighter,  because I am sure He cares,  He knows,  He does direct.  Even when it seems like today is the same as a hundred days previous.  I must be faithful,  while I work and wait.

--------------
"Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?
Who can endure all His  praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!

Psalm 106:2-3