Saturday, April 30, 2011

L.E.N.S. photo challenge: BOLD

I spotted this little mushroom along the trail to Thunderbird Falls in Chugach State Park, just north of Anchorage, AK. 
Not only is he bold in color, he's a bold soul for growing in such a climate/environment that he does.
Boldly go to where some have gone before for more great photos!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

3 in 30: {week 5}

"You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. 
Praise be to God!"
Psalm 68:35 

April's goals...
Write and mail someone a letter/card each week.
I've enjoyed this so much, I'm thankful to have more cards left to keep on writing more next month, too.  You never know who'll be next...
Make a new recipe at least once a week.
On the menu tonight will be a new dish...most likely it will be baked pork chops.  They sound great!  I also have some cream cheese that needs to be used, so I'm looking for some new cheesecake something or other.  I always have my favorite recipe if nothing else catches my attention. 
Part 2 of Proverbs 31...verses 17 & 27
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."
As in the words of Paul...
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."  
Romans 7:14-25 
Yeah, that about sums up my week...somewhat slow to get things done although in my heart I wanted to own each moment and get more done each day.  Coming back from vacation is always a hard one for me and this week was no different...BUT on a good note, once home, everything was unpacked from the car that night and put away and most things were taken out of the suitcases.  Most things...there's always today and tomorrow and Saturday yet to end April in a "Get-R-Done"  kind of way. :) 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wednesday's Walk: America's Favorite Pastime

Tickets, in hand, to see the Braves on a Sunday afternoon, we head to the stadium after church and a quick lunch.  On the way there, I finally look on the tickets to see whom they were playing.  Much to my surprise, it was the New York Mets.  The Mets and I have a history dating back to the mid 80's, and especially with the 1986 World Series Championship team. 
I really don't remember why I started liking the Mets, but it probably had something to do with the fact that everyone I knew, family or otherwise, liked either the Cardinals or the Reds.  Why be like everyone else?  Why not make life a little interesting and bring a little rivalry to the game?  Nothing will do that better than favoring a team from New York.
I didn't just watch a few games during the season, I followed them, passionately.  Remember, now, this was back in the day before 24 hour internet access was at my fingertips.  I had to read the newspaper (gasp!) and watch the news or listen to the radio for updates and their rankings.  Funny thing, though, I knew alot about the team and the players...especially for a girl...even without Google. :)
I had my favorites...Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra, Keith Hernendez, Ray Knight, Howard "HoJo" Johnson, Gary Carter, Dwight "Doc" Gooden, and, of course, #1, outfielder, Mookie Wilson.  I kept my own stats for the games I was able to see on tv or hear on the radio.  I cut out articles from the newspaper.  I loved the NY Mets.
So, back to my Sunday afternoon game at Turner Field...
Making our way to our seats, I am, again pleasantly surprised when I saw where they were.  Row 4 on the lowest level possible on the first baseline.  I was a stone's throw away from the Braves' dugout, too.  Are you serious!?!

It was totally awesome to be that close to the game...the players actually had facial expressions you could see from your seat.  You could hear them talking to each other.  Several foul balls came whizzing our just out of our reach.  AND, Tim was on the big screen!!!  (I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of him on the screen...bummer).
One more great thing about the game...the Mets' first base coach was Mookie Wilson.  Right there in front of me stood one of my all time favorite players, donning his #1 jersey.  
Now that was a trip down memory lane.
By the way...Mets won! ("Yay!"...Shhhh! It's our little secret).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

3 in 30: April {week 4}

April's goals...

Write and mail someone a letter/card each week.
Again, this week, I found myself looking forward to these few minutes of handwriting a letter to a friend.  Something happens when you give of yourself to someone else...and God uses it to bless His children, myself included.
Make a new recipe at least once a week.
Made a delicious no-bake chocolate eclair dessert today.  I'd had a vanilla one at my sis-in-law's house before and enjoyed no-bake eclair and you'll find a recipe.  My 9x13 dessert cost me $3.95.  Unbelievably good for a good price, too! Part 2 of Proverbs 31...verses 17 & 27
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."
Haven't been home much this week...we left Wednesday for IN to spend time with my family over Easter...BUT I do feel good about getting alot done before I left and am hoping this goal will motivate me into unpacking in a timely fashion and with a happy heart once home again. :)

Happy Easter!!!
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

hope is a beautiful thing

It's blooming again! 
Read the story behind this bush here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jesus bids us, Shine!

Jesus bids us shine
With a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle
Burning in the night.
In this world of darkness
We must shine-
You in your small corner,
And I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine,
First of all for Him;
Well He sees and knows it,
If our light grows dim.
He looks down from Heaven
To see us shine-
You in your small corner,
And I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine,
Then, for all around;
Many kinds of darkness
In the world are found-
Sin and want and sorrow;
So we must shine-
You in your small corner,
And I in mine.
~Susan B. Warner

I love this song!  The boys sing it almost every day during Bible time...and I sing it right along with them. :)  It reminds me, in a very simple way, that no matter where my dreams may be to go one day, Jesus desires me to shine right where my feet are at the moment. 
If we all shine in our spots where the awesome God we serve places us, then His light will fill the dark places.  His message will be broadcast.  He will receive the glory due Him.
If you are looking for your calling in life...looking for a it is:  Shine!

Friday, April 15, 2011

3 in 30: April {week 3}

April's goals...
Write and mail someone a letter/card each week.
Done!  I am enjoying these few minutes each week, returning to the good ol' days of pen and paper communication!  Try it sometime for brings happiness to your day.
Make a new recipe at least once a week.
Made a 7 Layer Taco Dip last night for dinner...I always seem to make a variation to the recipe.  No one likes black olives around our house, so I omitted them, but added shredded lettuce.  7 layers are 7 layers, no matter what the layers are, right?  :)
Part 2 of Proverbs 31...verses 17 & 27
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."
An attitude check continues to make improvements in my daily choices.  Things are getting done more quickly and with a happier heart because I'm focusing on pleasing God more than the task itself.  It has made a difference.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the centerpiece

Sometimes, even I can't miss the message God's trying to get through to me. 
He's that good to keep sending me His Word until I succomb to the theme and it sinks in...deeply...making the distance down from my brain to my heart.
That's been noted to be the longest distance between two points, btw...those 12-18 inches from your head to your heart.
All last week, in my quiet time, I read passages that contained verses that led me to the same thought.  Over and over and over again.

"Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love."  Psalm 6:4
"My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart."  Psalm 7:10
"You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry."  Psalm 10:17
"For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face."  Psalm 11:7
"You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honored by the human race."  Psalm 12:7-8

All week long I was encouraged by God's Word to remember that He is the only One who can save...shield...and deliver.  When I look elsewhere for my protection and start relying on myself or someone else in this world for shelter and encouragement, I'm leave myself vulnerable to the schemes of the devil. 
Then comes Sunday.
Oh, He brought out the message loud and clear if I hadn't heard it already. 
In Sunday School we studied Psalm 31.  In this Psalm, I love how David starts out acknowledging God, states his feelings and struggles, then rightfully so returns to praising his Almighty God.  The only one who is able to deliver him. 
It does no good to stop with the stating of our problems or continue to process them over and over again in our minds.  That doesn't change things.  Focusing on our God and what He can do through us in our times of struggle and what He does for us to help us through them is the only appropriate response to have. 
The focus has to be on Christ.  Not our situation.    
Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
Love the LORD, all his faithful people!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:21-24
Come Big Church time and a message from Revelation 5.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne.     Revelation 5:1-6a
John saw these things occuring and felt the heartache of the situation.  No one could open the scroll.  He wept at the reality of it all.  Then an elder encouraged him to stop crying and see who was the One with the credentials needed to solve the problem. 
He saw Christ.
Christ at the center of the throne. 
The only Answer to the problem. 
Good news!  Good news!
He's still there and He's still the answer.
All I have to do is stop crying and see Him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

L.E.N.S. photo challenge: corners

I've been to the northernmost corner of the US...
 ...and to the southernmost corner, too!

More fun is just around the corner at Home Is Where You Start From!

Friday, April 8, 2011

3 in 30: April {week 2}

April's goals...
1. Write and mail someone a letter/card each week.
2. Make a new recipe at least once a week.
3. Part 2 of Proverbs 31...verses 17 & 27
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

*Card written, stamped, and in the "outgoing" box for the post office!!!  
(I'm even surprised at this one...I have several cards around the house for birthdays and holidays that were purchased with great intentions that never get sent).
*New recipe made (literally made up by little ol' me).  I was inspired by an ice cream pie I had at Sam and Rosco's italian restaurant in Douglasville.  I made my own recipe for what I call "Turtle Pie" and it turned out delicious.  I'm thinking that I'll switch things up again one day and make it a "S'more Pie" next time.

*Working vigorously to change my attitude about working vigorously. :)  What I mean by that is that, for me, it's not just doing a task, but it's more about owning the task and having a good attitude about having to do the task.  It's also about trying not to procrastinate.  (Remember how my name was found beside "night owl" in the dictionary, well, my name's often found beside this word as well). :)  I like working on this goal, because, it's bringing scripture to my mind often during my days when I am deciding on which I should do first.  I'd give myself about a 5 out of 10 on this goal.  Always room for improvement in this department.
Have a blessed weekend and know week 3 is just ahead!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

catching up

March...a month in review of what we did around and about our little corner of the world.

Enjoying the beauty of Spring in bloom...

 AWANA Grand Prix...
 Dolphin and sunset excursion...

 Backyard fun...
Shamrock making...


 Beginning of baseball season...

Friday, April 1, 2011

3 in 30: April Goals

March ended like a lion for me.  It was fierce.  It was hard to get through the last few days without just throwing up my hands and giving up totally.
But, I didn't...not totally.
I mangaged to hold on to some semblence of walking in the right direction most my heart if nothing else.  I wanted to feel better and have success.  My body just couldn't always keep up.  I underestimate the healing power of rest sometimes.  I was reminded of that this week.  I am on the mend, however, and looking forward to a new month with new goals...trying to keep up the goals from previous months, along the way, for a better me.
I did get to bed by 11 all week with the exception of one night...late by 15 minutes.
I did make it to Bible Study Monday.
I did make it up before dawn some morning I was simply too sick to move at that hour and one morning my alarm didn't go off.  (Warning to self:  Old habits find their groove again very quickly if you let them!)
Today is a new day and a new month, so I'm moving on and doing what I can to let go of the past few days' struggles and look for ways to reach my new goals.
April's goals...drumroll please...
1. Write and mail someone a letter/card each week.
2. Make a new recipe at least once a week.
3. Part 2 of Proverbs 31...verses 17 & 27
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

Psalm 121 comes to mind as I commit myself to these goals...
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Have a great month, everyone...take it one day at a time!