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Friday, September 30, 2011

Others


Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for - Others.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I do for you
Must needs be done for - Others.

Let "self" be crucified and slain
And buried deep; and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again
Unless to live for - Others.

And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven's begun
May I forget the crown I've won
While thinking still of - Others.

Others, Lord, yes others
Let this my motto be
Help me to live for others
That I may live for Thee.

(Charles D. Meigs)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finding Focus in a Whirlwind Life (Part 3)

More wisdom from Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World:

But a busyness that isn't God-directed and God-motivated is not God-blessed.  Busyness can ravage the soul as thoroughly as idleness can.
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Even when activities are worthwhile, to diligently occupy ourselves doing what we want, to keep from doing what we ought, is not commendable or wise.
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The emphasis is not on learning to pack more into each day, so much as learning to order our day according to God's will.  We must recover our time from wasteful activities, and liberate it for God's purposes.  Again, reading the Bible and considering His truths are essential.
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The Christian life should have a rhythm--doing and resting, speaking and listening, giving and receiving.  The life of Jesus illustrates that perfect balance.
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Jesus and His message are inseparable.  He stands as the perfect embodiment of all He proclaimed and taught. His totally integrated life and ministry reflect His union with the Father.  His work, the expression of His life, is worship.
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Service in the kingdom consists not of isolated acts for the benefit of mankind, but of acts of obedience done for Him, in Him, because of who He is, and what He is like.

Likewise, solitude without service easily degenerates into self-absorption.  Time with the Lord must quicken us to our needy world, not provide a soothing insulation from it.  The natural fruit of looking at God is a heightened zeal and vigor to serve Him.  As we ponder His grace and love, we long to express our gratitude in acts of obedience and to communicate Him to others.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World (Part 2)

More highlights from Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World:

God directs us through His Word and His Holy Spirit.  They are our Director's (God) gracious provision for us. The Bible is God's most complete revelation of Himself to us.  Through it we grow in our understanding of what He is like, what He has done, what His plans are for the future, and what He wants from us.  If Christ is to be our Center, our Director, we must develop right notions of God and of ourselves, through His words to us.
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...His voice is quiet, and our spiritual ears must be trained to listen for His instruction and leading.  Before opening your Bible each morning, ask Him to teach you and make clear God's ways and will.
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Busyness isn't always the culprit.  Even in slack times, we can be so preoccupied that God can't get our attention.  Life becomes cluttered with too many options and competing interests.  Decisive living requires the selective burning of bridges.
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More tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Birthday Celebration

I had a wonderful day celebrating with friends and family.  A few of the lunch bunch ladies treated me to lunch at a nearby French restaurant.  Oh la la!  I had the quiche Lorraine and it was very good.  Better yet was the fellowship.

Then in the evening, our family (plus Jessica's beau, Anthony) all went to my favorite restaurant, Firebird's.  I love that place.  We had a nice time celebrating my birthday.  I was just happy to have everyone there.  With the kids' schedules and Michael being out of town a lot, it's hard to get us all together.

I am so thankful to the Lord for my family and what they mean to me.  As a mom, I didn't really need any presents except them!  As a wife, I am so happy that I married the man of my dreams!

Here's some pictures from the evening:

Anthony, Me, Jessica
Birthday cake!
Jared, Michael, Anthony
Julianne and Jared

Julianne, Me, Jared

Michael and me

All of us.  This is what makes me happy:  everyone together!

My present from Jessica (a beautiful picture from with pictures of her and Anthony, our family and his family
My present from Julianne (a drawing of my dad)
Close-Up of my Dad

Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World



One of the pages on this blog (well, the only page so far!) is my books to read.  I have been reading lately but not the books on my list.  I went through some of the books the other day and realized that a lot of  them have about 10 or less chapters in them.  If I read a chapter a day, I could finish a book in about 2 weeks!  So, every evening I've been going upstairs and reading one chapter.  The first book I'm reading is Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World.  I kind of thought this was going to be a "how to" one simplifying life but it's so much more.  The author, Jean Fleming, talks about focusing life, not simplifying it--or even balancing it--that that is key to truly Christ-centering living.  I have lots of things underlined so I won't share all of them but here's a few to encourage you.  I believe this book is out-of-print but you can still find it used online or perhaps at a used bookstore.
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The Apostle Paul's obvious center was Christ.  His writings never digress from Christ.  They ring with the steady, predictable hammer striking the anvil of life:  life is in Christ, of Christ, through Christ, by Christ, with Christ, for Christ, from Christ.  To live is Christ, and to die is more of Christ.  (Oh that this would be the center of my life also!!)
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[when going through trials or any event in our lives] ask only a few fundamental questions:  How can I know and experience more of Christ in this situation?  What does Jesus want me to do?  How can this situation bring Him glory and honor?
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Demonstrating our love for God through our obedience to  His direction is the surest indicator of His work in our life.
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The practice of spending time along with God has been called the Morning Watch, Personal Devotions, and the  Quiet Time.  By any name, it is essential to the focused life. Make God your Director by setting aside time each day to read the Bible and pray.
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More tomorrow...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Catching Up



It seems that September has flown by and here we are a few days away from October!  It still feels like summer here with temperatures in the 80's and the high humidity.  But...I looked at the forecast for the weekend and it's supposed to be cooler.  And today I'm seeing out my window something that has been missing for the past few weeks:  blue sky!!  We've had 7.27" of rain so far this month.  I wonder if our winter is going to be as wild as the rest of the year has been?
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One of the things that I have been working on is my household notebook.  Now that I'm no longer homeschooling and my schedule has changed, I needed to make a new one.  I'm using a mixture of Mom's Home Journal and The Intentional Planner.  I really like both of the forms in each of these!

I'm trying to hone my daily routines, meals, etc. since I am now at a different stage in my life.  I'm no longer homeschooling and have been devoting more time to what I call my "encouragement ministry".  I really enjoy talking with women about the Lord and His Word and how we can implement it in our every day lives.  I want to be able to do my work here in a timely manner so I can be available if needed but I don't want to neglect my family for other people!  It's a different time now as Michael is out of town a lot, Julianne is in college and Jared is working and in college.  Mealtimes are not always a sit down affair but I want to be able to provide good food no matter what the evening looks like.
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It seems on Sunday when I go to church that my week is pretty clear but by the time I go home, it's filled.  This week is no exception.  Tonight I'm meeting a friend for Bible study; tomorrow is our monthly Lunch Bunch, I'm getting my hair cut, and our whole family is going out to dinner to celebrate my birthday; Wednesday I'm babysitting for a friend (4 boys!) while she goes to the doctor; Thursday I have a dermatologist appointment; Friday some of the ladies at church are going to teach us non-knitters how to knit scarves.  We hoping to make 120 by December 6 in order to take them with us when we serve the homeless.  Saturday is my day to clean the church and that night a bunch of friends are getting together for a potluck/get-together to encourage a friend who will be undergoing breast cancer surgery soon.  And Sunday evening is the Third Day concert in Charlottesville.  But as Cheryl over at Copperswife says, I have learned to "hold my plans loosely".  To me that means to be prepared for God's appointments, which we call interruptions.  To be ready to minister to those in need.  I don't want to be so tied to my schedule  and my routine that I miss opportunities to serve.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Bookmobile Memories


I like the above poster because it reminds me of going to elementary school in the early 60's.  It was such a simple time then!  Our school didn't have a library but we did have a bookmobile that came every week; at least I think it was every week.


I can remember lining up just like this and waiting to go into that wonderful bus.  It was filled with books!  Every week I would hurry up and pick out the books I wanted to read.  The reason I rushed was so I could have time to read the other books that were there.  One of my favorites was (and still is) The Little House.  Oh, I loved this story and would read it over and over!!  Others books that I liked were Harry the Dirty Dog and No Roses for Harry!  How fun these books were to read and I'm so glad they are still in print.  As my children were growing up, I was able to read these to them and they have come to love them as much as I do!


I remember the inside of it looking like this with all the shelves full of books and I would sit near the back, out of the way, so I could read, read, read!!  I don't know if there are still bookmobiles out there.  I hope so!  But if not, make sure you take your children to the library on a regular basis.  Cultivate in them a love of reading.
Now, go read a book!!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Weather News


Since August 24, we have had over 10" of rain in our area.  There are no longer any water restrictions!  The last two days we have had heavy downpours and thunderstorms but today was mostly sunny.  Thankfully, our area has not had the devastating floods like the Northeast.

I'm looking forward to the cooler weather and the things I love:  sweaters, soups and stews, the beautiful autumn foliage, warm days and crisp evenings, and sleeping with the windows open. It shouldn't be too long before a good cold front comes through and gets rid of all this humidity.

Since the weather has been so crazy lately, my husband is looking into getting a generator.  Hurricane season still has two months to go and then winter.  Our area is right on the rain/snow line so we get a lot of freezing rain and sometimes ice.  We haven't had a bad storm in a long time but this winter might be different.

I found some puzzles on clearance the other day and hope to work on those this coming season.  I also like to work on my embroidery!  In a few weeks some of the ladies at church are going to teach a knitting class. We want to make 120 scarves to give to the homeless.  I hope I can knit one or two...I'm not sure how easy it is to learn to knit!!

Even during these times of uncertain weather, it's comforting to know that God is still in control.  From Trusting God:

Whether the weather is nice or bad, we are never the victims or even the beneficiaries of the impersonal powers of nature.  God, who is the loving heavenly Father of every true Christian, is sovereign over the weather, and He exercises that sovereignty moment by moment.

Thank You, Lord, for Your sovereign control over every area of our lives!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Hurricane Debris

Hurricane Irene didn't do much damage to our yard; just branches and leaves everywhere.  We were without power for two days, which is nothing!  Several friends were without it for a week or more.  

We ended up spending one night at a friend's house.  It was so nice to have a warm meal (that wasn't fast food) and to sleep in the a/c.  Little things do matter.  

Two men from church came last week and took away all the debris I had raked together.  That was such a blessing and I know it was to Michael also.  He came home on Monday from 10 days in Honduras and I wanted to have the yard all clean for him.

The morning after the storm

Our backyard yard

After I cleaned up!

Excellent Deal!!

I read (actually listened) to this book last year and it is excellent.  Now it is on sale for $1.99 for the Kindle.  Remember you don't need a Kindle device to read it.  You can download the Kindle app to your computer, laptop, phone, etc.

Here's the link: