Happy Thanksgiving

Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

As you celebrate Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for? This has been a crazy year but in everything we are to give thanks. I am thankful my husband is cancer free! I am thankful for my family and friends and their encouraging words when I try new things. I am blessed to have a wonderful family, friends both old and new, and a heavenly Father who loves unconditionally.

Abba, thank you for Your mercy and grace that are new every morning. For the people You place in our lives to encourage us and help us to grow. May we always seek You and put You first in everything we do. Help us to remember to extend mercy and grace to others just as You have given it to us. In Jesus name, amen.

Celebrating God’s Goodness

Wow. What a year. Earlier this year we found out that my husband had thyroid cancer and had to have his thyroid removed. Between the discovery of the cancer and the actual surgery, Covid-19 hit. After surgery he had to have an ablation to confirm there wasn’t any lingering cancer cells. Here we are in November and my husband finally had his ablation. Now most people when they hear the word ablation they automatically think heart. Not in this case. He had to swallow a radiation pill. Yep, a special diet for two and a half weeks, 2 days before the procedure he had a shot and the day before the procedure he had another shot. Then he was quarantined for three days at home where he couldn’t be around people. Room Service please! πŸ˜‰ Thinking about the past few weeks with the strict diet and then the quarantine, I thought about how God can use those minor distractions in life to encourage us, to help us grow stronger in our relationship with Him. It can also, if we aren’t careful, be used by the enemy to try and discourage us to take our eyes off of the Lord.

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

Psalm 27:5

It could have been so easy to become discouraged during this time. Sometimes we can take things for granted and don’t realize it until we are forced to take a step back. We had to read the labels of everything we bought. If it had salt, we had to avoid it. Dairy products we had to avoid. (Egg whites were allowed) We became rather proficient with label reading. (Something we probably should be doing all the time.) We did find some new permanent food fixtures in our house as a result of the diet. Hamburger buns made from scratch. πŸ˜‰ (Hubby decided he liked them better than store bought. But guess who gets to make them? πŸ˜‚ Although I will admit that it isn’t that hard to make so I don’t mind.)

The care we had to take in making sure we were following the diet brought to mind how we nurture our relationship with the Lord. Do we spend quality time in His Word? Do we spend quality time in prayer talking and listening to Him? If we don’t take the time to nurture our relationship with God then we are neglecting the most important relationship we will ever have. How can we expect to nurture and grow our relationships with our family and friends if we neglect the most important relationship of all? How we nurture and grow our relationship with God reflects how we will nurture other relationships in our lives. If our relationship with God is one of little communication, our other relationships will suffer the same lack of communication.

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee; my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

and

You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

My husband had a post ablation whole body scan to make sure there were no lingering cancer cells. PRAISE GOD he is cancer free! To God be the glory! Thank you to those who prayed for us. God bless!

Faith Healed You, Go In Peace

The woman with the issue of blood. Put yourself in her place. You’ve spent all that you had on medical advice and yet no one is able to help. You’re in debt up to your eyeballs and about to lose your house. You hear about this Man who can heal anyone and you think, you’ve nothing to lose and if you can get close enough just to touch even His coat then you can be healed. That is, if what you hear is true. But you have nothing to lose so why not check out where this Man is going to be next. You happen to overhear a conversation and learn that He is passing by any minute so you begin to search the crowd for signs of this Man. There! There He is and He’s going to be passing by in front of you. You see Him and the look on His face is so loving, so caring that you allow yourself to be swept up by the moving crowd.

You begin easing your way through the crowd determined to get near to Him. You get shoved from behind and stumble but not before seeing Him pass by. No! You silently scream as you scramble to gain your footing. But with your illness you’re slow to react and soon He is moving on getting further away. In a desperate attempt to get close, you push your way into the crowd and suddenly you see His back. One last shove and you stumble again this time your fingers grasping the air and then…you feel your fingers brush the coattails of His coat and immediately you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are healed. You feel energized, ready to tackle the world until you hear “Who is the one who touched Me?” Busted. He had stopped so quickly and turned to face the people behind Him, you barely managed to get out of the way.

“I did it. I touched your cloak.” You say. His eyes fill with compassion for you as He says “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” You knew you were healed when you touched His cloak, you felt the healing power flowing through. But His words touch you and confirm that you are healed.

Can you feel it? Can you feel the love and compassion flowing through Christ? Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of Jarius, an official of the synagogue and yet He stopped and spoke to this woman. Jesus affirmed what this woman confessed, that when she touched His cloak she was immediately healed. Jesus said her faith made her well and to go in peace. In other words, don’t be afraid. You chose to believe and by faith you followed through which led to your healing. I can’t help but to wonder why Jesus said to go in peace. Was it for her benefit or that of the people surrounding them? Was it to keep the people from trying to harass her after He was gone? Maybe He didn’t want her to feel embarrassed over running after Him to heal her. He wants us to run after Him. He wants us to seek Him, to find Him, to follow after Him, and to share the Good News with others.

The enemy digs, pokes, pushes, invades, and doesn’t give up when he has made it his mission to turn as many people away from the Father as he can before his time of reigning comes to an end. He already knows that he has lost the battle. He already knows that when it is finished, he will spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone but before that happens, he is going to take as many as he can with him.

The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.

John 10:10

The devil will do everything in his power to put a wedge between you and God. If we were to dig, poke, push, invade, and not give up on the mission of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, imagine how many people we can reach for the Father. The enemy wants you to fear and tremble; God wants you to be bold and courageous. Which do you choose? God bless.

Break Away

Family and good friends!

How times flies. Can you believe it’s already nearing the end of October? Wow. Today we are taking a journey. A trip down memory lane. Speaking of how time flies, it was a year ago today (October 22, 2019) that I officially started blogging.

A year ago God nudged me into starting this blog. He sent me an encouraging friend to nudge me into obeying Him. He gave me a supportive family, friends, and fellow bloggers to continue encouraging me to blog. Thank you so much for your support! To God be the glory!

Marie

There is something about breaking away for a cup of coffee with friends. You talk about life, family, friends, and well just about everything. It was during such a visit with my friend – Nudge (I decided she needed a nickname) 😊 that we started talking about different things. I happen to mention something about doing a blog or even a podcast. Nudge said “do it”. I said I would pray about it. Between God nudging me by planting the seeds and Nudge over there watering those seeds for Him, the idea began to take root. Can I just tell you that when God sends someone your way to encourage you in something He has planted in you; He is going to send a persistent, quiet, force to be reckoned with. Oh what a joyful feeling it is when you obey.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another, just as you also are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

I shared my thoughts with my husband and he also encouraged me to follow through with it if that was what I wanted to do. Our son and my sister were also very encouraging. I began to pray. As I prayed I could feel an excitement building inside me. A few weeks went by and I decided to blog. I started setting goals of where I wanted to be. Goals are good as long as you don’t fret and worry about reaching them within a certain time. Don’t get me wrong, yes, you want to set goals. But worrying, or stressing over reaching them in a specific amount of time, isn’t going to do you or anyone else any good. Strive to reach them and when you do reach them celebrate!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

I had these grand ideas of where I wanted to be…not where God wanted me but where I wanted me. Ouch. Don’t ever put yourself ahead of God. It doesn’t work. But God is a loving and forgiving Father. The blog started to slowly gather followers and then a wonderful thing happened. I met a really amazing prayer warrior through blogging. She encouraged me to keep pursuing and not worry about how many people were following but to be obedient to what the Father put on my heart to do. And so I have. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the coming year. God bless! ❀

The Artist’s Lesson

No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw.

One of my earlier watercolor paintings.

Recently I took up painting with watercolor. As I sat at the table practicing on a small sheet of watercolor paper that I had for scrap I made a tree. The tree wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it but I was anxious, ready to work on a painting. I made the tree trunk on my paper and frowned. It was too dark and looked more like acrylics than watercolor. I extended the branches next. What a disaster. Next came the leaves, a mix of color because it’s fall. That was so so, I could live with it, but not quite what I had hoped. So my painting turned into another practice session. I took the different colors and made a small area of a colorful bush. I tried to fix the dark trunk that didn’t go over so well. I made it worse by trying to lighten it up with water. I finished my practice page sat back and frowned even more. I scribbled notes on the paper, criticizing everything that I had done wrong. I went over and sat next to my husband on the couch and whined. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I criticized my work. He looked it over, read my notes, and said practice. So not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, what I needed to work on. You know all the things I had already written down.

As an artist himself, I was looking for criticism -did I really say that?🀨- on what I should have done. (Honest criticism on what I needed to work on.) The problem with that is my husband doesn’t work with watercolor. He works with acrylics and oils so it’s hard to say what should be done except practice until its the way you want it. We both agree that working with watercolor is a whole different animal. If you make a mistake with acrylics or oils you can paint over it and continue on. With watercolor, not so much. Put a drawing pencil in my hand and I do fairly well with drawings and sketches. Working with pastels, I do okay and I can manage working with acrylics. But there is something about watercolor paintings that drew my attention and I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolor. I’ve learned that as an artist, I’m way to hard on myself. Actually, I’m probably way to hard on myself most of the time. πŸ˜… I should also mention that I’ve only been working with watercolor for about two weeks now. 🀨 Yeah, way to hard on myself.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental. If it isn’t perfect then there is something wrong with it. There is no such perfection here on earth. No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw. There is only one perfect man and His name is Jesus. As I chewed on that thought for a minute, I thought about what the Bible says.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Save His people from their sins. Huh. Not a word about having to be perfect first.

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 12:47

I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. So, no mention of having to be perfect first. Totally not judging the world but coming to save the world. Can you see where this is heading? Lies. The lies we believe. We know that Satan is a beautiful fallen angel. In my mind’s eye I can visualize him walking up to you or me with that winning smile, carrying on a conversation as he began whispering little things in your ear, things you may have already been thinking about yourself. He probably subtly mentioned you weren’t good enough. Might have even said something about Jesus being a perfect man, (you know after he realized Jesus wasn’t going to fall into temptation) and there was no way you could even be close to Him. Wait.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Save that which was lost. Well that sounds like Someone you can get close to. Which means we don’t have to be a perfect person first. That He takes us where we are, as we are, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He begins to create a new person on the inside. God bless!