Being Woven

In His Arms

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Psalm 146:5-10

 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the Lord his God,

6 Who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them,

Who keeps faith forever;

Who executes justice for the oppressed,

Who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;

 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

the Lord loves the righteous.

 The Lord watches over the sojourners;

He upholds the widow and the fatherless,

but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.

10  The Lord will reign forever,

your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!

The Lord is over all and the only One Who can supply all our needs, provide all the help that the world just cannot supply.  With so much going on in these days we are living in, I so wish that things would be better, that people would not be oppressed, hungry, killed.  I just want us to live in peace with everyone, with all nations.  But Jesus said:

And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.  Mark 13:7-8

…but while we live in these times, we are to remember Who is the only One Who saved us, can save us, and will come for us when the time is right.

Psalm 146:1-4

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

 Put not your trust in princes,

in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;

on that very day his plans perish. 

Father God, I lift my hands to You and feel Your strong arms reach to me, this child of Yours.  You hold me closely and I am secure in You.  Father, why is there so much that feels so terribly wrong in this world?  Why is there starvation?  war? murder of innocents? fear of what others may do? chaos? kidnappings? … this list does not end, Father.  Why?  I am sad, Abba Father.  Just too much that is wrong.  But there is only one answer and that is the fall of man; evil came to live with us.  Oh, Father, Your strong arms remind me that one day, Jesus will come for us who have placed our trust in the One Who is Salvation, Who is the Holy One, and will bring us into His home where there will be no more tears nor pain. 

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4

Father, I want to stay close and feel the comfort of Your love as I am wrapped in Your arms.  I thank You for the very salvation that Jesus brought to us so that one day we will be free from all that is of this world.  I have always been sad that You felt that You were sorry You ever made man back in the early times.    

So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7)

I sense You feel that way today.  But You know the times for they are in Your hands.  Walk with me through the remaining days of my life.  I crawl into Your arms, my Abba Father, one of your lambs.  I thank You and love You so.  In the Strong Name of Jesus.  Amen.

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picture:  https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/120444797_640.jpg

I may be linking up with:

On Monday:

http://lauraboggess.com/    PlayDates with God

http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com/    Small Wonder

http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/    Soli Deo Gloria Connections

On Tuesday:

http://www.richfaithrising.com/    Unite the Bloggersphere

http://purposefulfaith.com/    Cheerleading #RaRaLinkUp

http://hollybarrett.org/    Testimony Tuesday

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/    Tell His Story

On Wednesday:

http://holleygerth.com/       Coffee for Your Heart

http://www.w2wministries.org/     Word Filled Wednesday

http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/      3-Word Wednesdays

http://mecoffeeandjesus.com/      Words with Winter

On Thursday:

http://3dlessons4life.com/      Thought-Provoking Thursday

http://www.faithbarista.com/      Beloved Brews

http://tsuzanneeller.com/        Live Free Thursday

On Friday:

http://www.missionalwomen.com/ Faith-Filled Fridays

http://arabahjoy.com Grace and Truth

http://equippinggodlywomen.com/ Fellowship Friday

http://countingmyblessings.com/blog/ Blessing Counters

http://www.simplemomentsstick.com/ Faith and Fellowship

On the Weekend:

http://www.barbieswihart.com/     The Weekend Brew

http://sandraheskaking.com/     Still Saturday

http://seespeakhearmama.com/     Give Me Grace

http://www.janiscox.com/        Sunday Stillness

http://www.spiritualsundays.com/     Spiritual Sundays

“Scarlett Gray Joins the Parade” – Book Review & GIVEAWAY!

UPDATE:  July 4, 2015:  CHRISTA BROWN @ http://littlelogcottageschool.com/ is the winner of the giveaway!
Thank you to each of you who commented and read this review!
You are each so supportive.  I am grateful for all of you.

The comments were from both Being Woven and The Reader and The Book.

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This post is a bit different for Being Woven but have decided to share it with you here.  It is originally posted on “The Reader and the Book” where I review mostly picture books.  I was asked to review this Christian short chapter book and decided to do it.  Suzanne, the author, sent me one and another one to give away.  You have a chance to win this if you will leave a comment on either site.

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STORY SPOILER ALERT!!

This book is the first in a new series of short chapter books (6 chapters) written by a Christian homeschooling mother.  Mr. and Mrs. Stamboulieh know that children are impressed easily by so many outside influences, some for good and others not for good.  They want the best for their daughter by being the kind of parents who’s influence upon their child is by the authority of God.  They look for books that “instill the ‘good character qualities’ and ‘godly principles for living.'” Thus, the book was created (with more to come).  Each book in the series will be based on one particular Scripture.  In this first book, Ephesians 6:1 is the focal verse: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”  Because the book is written around this verse, a child reading the book or having it read to her or him will see how God uses parents to teach and guide children.  They will also see the love that comes through these parents as they do their best to show their daughter God’s ways.

The Madisonville Fourth of July Celebration is the day’s event when we meet Scarlett Gray, her parents, and Scarlett Gray’s best friend, Georgia.  This small town leaves nothing out when it comes to a Fourth of July celebration.  There is a three-legged race, face-painting, dunking some of the community leaders in a water-filled tub, and booths galore with arts and crafts as well as ones with food to eat.  There is a parade and, of course, fireworks.  Before leaving the house, Scarlett’s father has a talk with the girls about safety among crowds and strangers and what they should do if they were to be separated from each other, lessons that Scarlett has heard before.  She and Georgia listen, and then Scarlett finishes a sentence of her father’s which she has heard many times before.

Once they are at the celebration, Scarlett and Georgia have their faces painted, eat some food, and so much more.  When it is time for the parade, the family finds themselves behind a large crowd of onlookers.  The girls cannot see much and beg to go up front when candy is thrown from a float.  They get permission and then promise to stay in the parents’ sight.   While they are up front, another float comes by tossing teddy bears and that takes the girls a bit further away from the parents.  They had promised to stay in close range, but the excitement of the many floats, horses, cars, characters on stilts, and bands made it hard for Scarlett to quit marching forward with the parade.  They actually found themselves marching along with the high school band.  They were so excited that they forget just how far they had gone away from the parents and suddenly became worried and fearful when they realized they were lost.  Then Scarlett remembered what her pastor said on many-a-Sunday: “Pray to God when in need, because He cares.”  And she did just that.  She also recalled her father’s “safety rules.”  God provided a policeman quickly who helped them.  When the girls were reunited with Scarlett’s parents, the father had a heart-to-heart talk with the girls, especially with Scarlett.  He reminded her that God had given them, her parents, a most important responsibility by entrusting Scarlett to them to look after, keeping her out of harm’s way as best they can.  They love her very much and remind her that they take this God-given responsibility very seriously.  Teaching Scarlett obedience to them is also being obedient to God.

As a Christian, I see God’s Word and ways to honor Him intertwined throughout the story, allowing for lessons around every corner, room for discussions at the end of each chapter.  I believe that this book and all of the future “Scarlett Gray” books will be a blessing to Christian families who read aloud with their children, who homeschool, and who want books built on God’s Word.  You won’t find things in this book that you dread finding in some other readers.  Mrs. Stamboulieh has written from her heart the lessons she wants her daughter to have as she is growing up.  I know you won’t be disappointed.

Reading Level: ages 4-8 (or to 10, in my opinion)

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Suzanne Stambloulieh has given me an autographed and inscribed copy of this first book of the series to give away.  By leaving a comment, you will be placed in the drawing.  Since the book is centered around the Fourth of July, the winner shall be chosen from this red, white and blue hat on July 4th I will contact the winner shortly after to get a mailing address.
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Author
Suzanne Stamboulieh “has a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. She previously worked as a therapist for her church. During her training and work as a therapist, she learned a great deal about how outside influences can affect our thought processes, actions and belief systems. Suzanne believes it is important for parents to be ever watchful of those influences to which their children are exposed.
“As a homeschooling mother, she reads countless books to her daughter. Since there were few Christian-based options available, Suzanne decided that she would start a new series herself. Suzanne hopes that the Scarlett Gray series will inspire young girls to make good choices to better follow in His ways.”from Scarlett Gray Publishing, LLC:
“Our aim is to inspire young readers to seek God in their daily lives, and to honor Him with their choices. It is our hope that parents can confidently share our books with their children, knowing the message meets their high standards.”
http://www.scarlettgraypublishing.com/

Illustrator
Katrina Arrington

I RECEIVED A FREE BOOK ALONG WITH ONE TO GIVE AWAY FOR AN UNBIASED REVIEW.

Book Information:

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Scarlett Gray Publishing, LLC (November 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692223460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692223468
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 8 inches

I may be linking up with:

On Monday:

http://lauraboggess.com/    PlayDates with God

http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com/    Small Wonder

http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/    Soli Deo Gloria Connections

On Tuesday:

http://www.richfaithrising.com/    Unite the Bloggersphere

http://purposefulfaith.com/    Cheerleading #RaRaLinkUp

http://hollybarrett.org/    Testimony Tuesday

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/    Tell His Story

On Wednesday:

http://holleygerth.com/       Coffee for Your Heart

http://www.w2wministries.org/     Word Filled Wednesday

http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/      3-Word Wednesdays

http://mecoffeeandjesus.com/      Words with Winter

On Thursday:

http://3dlessons4life.com/      Thought-Provoking Thursday

http://www.faithbarista.com/      Beloved Brews

http://tsuzanneeller.com/        Live Free Thursday

On Friday:

http://www.missionalwomen.com/ Faith-Filled Fridays

http://arabahjoy.com Grace and Truth

http://equippinggodlywomen.com/ Fellowship Friday

http://countingmyblessings.com/blog/ Blessing Counters

http://www.simplemomentsstick.com/ Faith and Fellowship

On the Weekend:

http://www.barbieswihart.com/     The Weekend Brew

http://sandraheskaking.com/     Still Saturday

http://seespeakhearmama.com/     Give Me Grace

http://www.janiscox.com/        Sunday Stillness

http://www.spiritualsundays.com/     Spiritual Sundays

Awe or Dread?

psalm 10

When you look at this photo, if you were the one in red, would you be terrified or could you sit in awe at the incredible view?

The Lord is King forever and ever;

the nations perish from His land.

O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted;

You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear

to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,

so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Psalm 10:16-18

עָרַץ

`arats

[ä·rats’]

to awe

(intransitive) to dread; hence, to harass:— be afraid, dread, feared, terrified, break, dread, fear, oppress, prevail, shake terribly.

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You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.  Deuteronomy 7:21

For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all who are around Him?  Psalm 89:6-7

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.  But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”  Isaiah 8:12-13

For when he sees his children,
the work of My hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify My name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.  Isaiah 29:23

We can stand in awe of our God’s might or shiver in fright from the world’s terror.  Which shall we choose?

  • Dylann Storm Roof shot nine of our Christian brothers and sisters as they joined in fellowship and communion; even the armed gunman sat with them for over one hour in Bible study and prayer.
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a death sentence for killing 3 and maiming 264 at the Boston Marathon of 2013.
  • Islamic State, Taliban: car-bombs, kidnapping, killing, taking and retaking lands
  • Drug cartels
  • Armed and unarmed men killed by police
  • Boko Haram attacks, kidnappings
  • and on and on…

Can we pray for these instead of fearing them?

Can we look to our God in awe for Who He is, for all that He does?  He is the One Who enables us to hear from the afflicted, the oppressed, the poor, the elderly, and to be able to do something for orphans, the elderly, the oppressed.

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.  And the idols he shall utterly abolish.  And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.  In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;  To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.  Isaiah 2:17-21

Matthew Henry comments on Isaiah 2:20-12: “Let not your eye be to the power of man, for it is finite and limited, derived and depending; it is not from him that your judgment proceeds. Let not him be your fear, let not him be your hope; but look up to the power of God, to which all the powers of men are subject and subordinate; dread His wrath, secure His favour, take Him for your help, and let your hope be in the Lord your God.”

Father God, I pray that I would seek Your Holy face in all ways.  Your majesty and glory is above all and before all.  I want to see You.  I want to hear You.  I want to be obedient to You and not follow those who would lead me astray.  Father, You are my LORD and Savior.  You mean everything to me.  I thank You for saving me.  Should I ever be in a situation such as in the church in Charleston, may I be able to stand tall for You, not shrinking back from the love I have for You out of fear to man.  “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”  Ephesians 6:13  May I stand for those who need You, for those who are downtrodden, for those who are old and alone, for those who are fatherless, for those who are hungry or thirsty.  Father, there are so many who need You in untold ways.  Show me Your ways.  Father, I pray these words of Jude: Now to Him who is able to keep [me] from stumbling and to present [me] blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.  Jude 1:24-25

That I may be in awe of You.   Amen and Amen.

 

beblacksig

 

I may be linking up with:

On Monday:

http://lauraboggess.com/    PlayDates with God

http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com/    Small Wonder

http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/    Soli Deo Gloria Connections

On Tuesday:

http://www.richfaithrising.com/    Unite the Bloggersphere

http://purposefulfaith.com/    Cheerleading #RaRaLinkUp

http://hollybarrett.org/    Testimony Tuesday

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/    Tell His Story

On Wednesday:

http://holleygerth.com/       Coffee for Your Heart

http://www.w2wministries.org/     Word Filled Wednesday

http://www.kristinhilltaylor.com/      3-Word Wednesdays

http://mecoffeeandjesus.com/      Words with Winter

On Thursday:

http://3dlessons4life.com/      Thought-Provoking Thursday

http://www.faithbarista.com/      Beloved Brews

http://tsuzanneeller.com/        Live Free Thursday

On Friday:

http://www.missionalwomen.com/ Faith-Filled Fridays

http://arabahjoy.com Grace and Truth

http://equippinggodlywomen.com/ Fellowship Friday

http://countingmyblessings.com/blog/ Blessing Counters

http://www.simplemomentsstick.com/ Faith and Fellowship

On the Weekend:

http://www.barbieswihart.com/     The Weekend Brew

http://sandraheskaking.com/     Still Saturday

http://seespeakhearmama.com/     Give Me Grace

http://www.janiscox.com/        Sunday Stillness

http://www.spiritualsundays.com/     Spiritual Sundays

Dependency

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 “Christianity promises to make men free; it never promises to make them independent.” 
William Ralph Inge


No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.  That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Roman 4:20-25

Abraham was faithful.  He depended upon God, was obedient to Him.  He had a relationship with His God.  His faith was “counted to Him as righteousness.”  I have a relationship with God because I want to be close.

I have worked so much of my life to be independent, having a life I could call my own, but faith in the LORD, being married to Kenneth, talking with one of my sisters each weekend on the phone, are relationships that mean so very much to me and call me to obedience and dependence.  Being dependent is not a bad thing as the world often portrays it.  From the Mosaic Bible’s devotions:  “While relationship doesn’t demand the sacrifice of independence, it offers the gift of meeting our inadequacies.  In such moments of weakness, we realize the strength of dependence.”


I Cannot Do This Alone

 by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.
 
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the ways for me….
 
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
Amen.


I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9


LORD, I need You and You alone.  May the needing of You be joyful and may it be the delight of my heart.  LORD, help me release my need to be self-sufficient so that I may always be God-dependent.  Amen.

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picture:  https://jimkane.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/slide14.png

You Did It To Me

For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You?  And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’   Matthew 25:35-40

MLKquote

I have just finished reading “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, written in 1939.  Prior to that book, I read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, written in 2014.  In this world today…my heart, my eyes, my ears see and sense injustice, inequality, desperation in trying to migrate or to escape across waters and harsh lands, living in war-torn countries, starvation, sex and slave trafficking, and this list goes on and on.  I also see the good and the great, but these books have focused my attention on these harder issues.

The first of these books wraps around the issues of migrant farm work back in the Dust Bowl period and the Depression.  The misuse of land, bank loans, and then corporations getting the land of small farmers, set these families off their land.   When they saw handbills advertising workers were needed in the rich, fertile valleys of California, far too many went out there without enough work for all.  Then corruption reared its ugly head all across the state in many forms.  The circumstances of it all broke the spirits of many of these people, yet many overcame as best they could to survive.

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The second book is about a lawyer who meets prisoners on death row.  These men come together when Bryan Stevenson goes to the South for a month-long class while attending Harvard Law School.  He meets men who have been locked up in solitary confinement for years upon years.  Eventually, the ones in the book are found to be innocent, yet never had the council necessary to have a fair trial.  People in authority used their powers unjustly to lock up innocent people to keep the guilty out of prison or to keep their own name from coming under ridicule when they did not arrest a guilty party.

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Although one book is fiction, it is based on events over years and of many that actually did occur.  It is like a composite of the times.  The other is nonfiction.  My heart strings have been pulled immensely these weeks.  I am sad for the injustice that took place so long ago in many situations, and still takes place to this very day.

Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, to visit prisoners, to welcome a stranger.  When we look around, there seems so very much that needs to be done.  Overwhelming, indeed.  And we often sit still, doing nothing because we don’t know where to begin or it seems like too daunting of a task.  Bryan S. thought such thoughts, but he began with one prisoner.  Casy, in Steinbeck’s book, stood up for the downtrodden who were being underpaid, overworked, and betrayed because someone else was willing to do their job for less so the wealthy landowners hired the new ones for half the price and forced the others to take that same pay or get out.  Tom Joad, a main character, planned to take up that mantle after Casy was killed in trying.  Tom was willing to risk it all.

Risking is hard.  Yet…can we lift a hand to help another?  Can we offer a drink of water?  Can we feed the starving?  Can we bring Jesus to the hearts of the lost?  Will we?

Helping-Others-Quotes-No-one-is-useless-in-this-world-who-lightens-the-burdens-of-another.

Father, I ask Your forgiveness for all of the open doors I have walked passed, missing the golden moments to offer help.  And thank You for giving me an opportunity to feed one from Cuba recently when he asked for money for food.  We were just outside a cafe so I invited him in and bought his lunch. He was most grateful.  You blessed me, LORD, for this man truly wanted a meal.  My cynicism creeps in when so many have a hand out with looks of drug and alcohol abuse.  My trust in their request is zero for I judge them and think I know what it is they really want.  Guide me to those who You want me to help.  I trust in You and You alone.  Then I will know.  Father, take me by the hand and teach me Your ways that I will see Jesus in these with a need.  I don’t want to get to Heaven and find out just how many, many times I have missed Him here on this earth.  I know I will have missed many, but I don’t want to add to that number now.  I lift this prayer to You in Your Son’s Name. Amen. 

beblacksig

Martin Luther King, Jr. photo:  https://www.facebook.com/RevivalAmerica

Charles Dickens’ Quote:  http://www.verybestquotes.com

Rolling

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Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him, and He will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.  Psalm 37:5-6

גָּלַל

galal

to roll

roll away

roll down

roll together

=

commit

rolling down

Playing with a ball brings to mind rolling.  Lying at the top of a grassy knoll brings a delightful roll down the hill on one’s side.  Playing marbles is about rolling.  Using an exercise ball calls for a rolling action of the body upon the ball, whether standing up against it or lying atop of it.  We roll.

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Commit, in the verse above, is about rolling our cares off from ourselves and onto God.  We are to…

commit

trust

remove from ourselves

throw off, give, cast off a burden

 

Roll unto Jehovah thy works, And established are thy purposes,…   Proverbs 16:3 YLT

“Roll upon Jehovah thy way,”… i.e., commit all my concerns to God.

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.  Joshua 5:9

Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Matthew 6:25

…casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

All of our cares, those anxious moments, those tender ones whom we love so…give them all to Him.  Our job is just that.

Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.  Judges 11:11

Jephthah gave all his concerns to the LORD and trusted Him with the outcome for in verse 7, Jephthah asks, “And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?”  He had reason for concern.

Naomi said to Ruth, “Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.”  Ruth 3:18

In His time, God will roll away the reproach, bring forth righteousness and honor due to the one who is rolling away his cares onto the LORD.  Just because God takes on our cares does not mean that we should stand far off, be afraid that these cares, concerns will be back in our own hands.

Yes, I do take them back all on my own, but God usually does not give them back.  I tend to roll them over to Him time and time again, because I take them back time and time again.

BUT…I am to stay near to God…

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.  James 4:10

Father God, You want me to roll my burdens to You, to “roll upon Jevovah thy ways.”  I want to.  I do.  I forget and take them back.  I am sorry.  I am learning.  I wish that I were a child and still rolling down those green hills with laughter bubbling out of my mouth and heart, never thinking once, let alone twice, about cares and concerns.  I was a kid having fun “without a care in the world.”  I want to roll down those green, lush hills, but I can no longer do that physically.   You know that of me.  But you also know that I can lighten my load by giving it to You.  Teach me Your ways, O LORD.  I want to learn to roll, to commit my burdens to the One Who can do something about them.  I want to quit pretending that I can do things better than You.  I want to lay down my pretenses of strength and allow You to be my Strength.  I want to roll everything onto Your back for You can carry these loads.  I cannot.  Then when I finally let them go, Father, I can heart-fully roll down those green hills once again with the lightness and laughter of long ago when I did not even know “burdens.”  O Father, I can be the child I miss so, sometimes.  I can be Your child and run, walk, roll, and stay close because You love me so.  I am Yours, Father.  I pray these words in the Name of Your Son, my Brother.  Amen. 

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Rolling Ball Clipart:  http://imgarcade.com/1/rolling-ball-clipart/

Children rolling down hill:  https://beingwovenzephaniah317.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/290a7-rollingdown.jpg

Photo of little girl in red:  http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/parenting/4254193/Lee-Price-tries-the-50-things-every-kid-should-do-before-they-are-11.html

With Healing in Its Wings

malachi4_2But for you who fear My Name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.  Malachi 4:2

מַרְפֵּא

marpe’

health, healing, cure

health, as of sound mind

refreshing of the body, of the mind

deliverance

remedy

relaxed, tranquility of mind, meekness

This is where I am today.  Surgery…knee arthroscopy: torn meniscus, arthritis rubbing on bone.  A week ago, that surgery.  Yesterday, doctor appointment.  I am walking without Mama’s walker, weight-bearing on the right knee and leg.  I am not quite ready to leap out of those stalls with the calves, but soon!  I begin outpatient physical therapy this week to gain strength, better mobility.  God is so good and so gracious to this one.  I am so grateful to my Healer.

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.  Jeremiah 33:6

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.  Proverbs 14:30

A sound heart, a heart of meekness, a tranquil heart, a peaceful heart…gives life to this flesh.  LORD, You alone have given me this calmness throughout this time.  The trust in my surgeon comes from You.  The staff that took care of me from pre-op to post-op and all of those in between were just so kind and caring.  You sent me to this small hospital that is doctor owned two years ago for a hip replacement that first time.  It was just as fine in an outpatient setting as it was when I spent nights after surgery.  You know my every need and You held my heart and mind in Your mighty hands.  Your heart melded around mine and kept all systems running perfectly as I underwent this surgery.  Oh, God, I praise You.  My heart tonight still feels the peace of a week ago.  You have walked every step with me this week.  With all the love I have to give You back, I hand my heart overflowing with love to You, O Father.  In the Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.   

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Photo:  http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/113.html

Memorial Day – 2015

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Memorial Day can be a gathering of family for a barbeque or for a day at the beach.  It is remembered as a day off from work or a reminder that we will only have a four-day workweek.

But Memorial Day is far more than that:

  • It is a day (and there ought to be 364 more days a year for this) to remember the many men and women who have worn a uniform of the United States Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard over this country’s history.
  • It is a day to remember why they wore those uniforms — to protect the United States of America and her citizens.
  • It is a day to remember that many have died in the face of an enemy during battle, protecting the people and the freedoms that come with living in this country.  Their blood was shed as they obeyed their commanding officers.
  • It is a day to remember that there are many, this very day, who are wearing one of these uniforms and are in harm’s way…this very day!  

May we stand proud for the United States of America whether we believe in all that is going on in the country today or not.  This is our country.  We must stand proud of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem.  As we stand with our hand over our heart, be proud because these men and women in uniform are standing in obedience to the orders they receive from their commanders.  They are doing this for us, in our name, for we are citizens of the USA.

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You and I are to stand in obedience to God Who is our Commander in Chief, our Stronghold, our Refuge, our Protector.  His Son shed His Blood for us…His red blood…in obedience to His Father Who is our Father.

Father God, may we look to You for all of Your commands, Your will,  for our lives each day.  May we honor those who stand for this country, who die for this country.  Please care for them as they fight or assist in war-torn countries, or work in places that have been ravaged by natural disasters and have been sent to help.  We lift up the many families who have lost loved ones in these many battles this country has been involved in.  We lift up those families who have someone in uniform right now and are fighting, protecting, assisting, or are preparing to go into a place that could be dangerous in one way or another.   Please guard them with your legions of angels.  We pray in the Powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’  Jeremiah 7:23

For He will command His angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11


F
lags In

“This is a mission unique to members of the 3d United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), which has the distinction of being the oldest active unit in the United States Army dating back to 1784. The Old Guard is the Army’s ceremonial unit serving as honor guard to the President of the United States, and performing burial services for fallen service members, veterans and their family members at Arlington Cemetery.”  Arlington Cemetery

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 21:  Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place American flags at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in preparation for Memorial Day May 21, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Both of my parents are now buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

There is a flag on their grave this very day and I remember.

I am honored to remember.

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I am married to a Vietnam Veteran and am honored to have my hand in his.

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I do not forget.

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Photo of Young boy saluting flag: http://365atlanta.com/2010/11/11/286-a-simple-thing-to-do-thank-a-veteran-every-day-not-just-on-veterans-day/

Flags In photo: http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2015_21/1038161/pc-150522-arlington-flags-mn-0430_f195bba7ed10dc1c882e0c9d58494cc9.nbcnews-ux-1360-900.jpg

Rejoice in the LORD

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Isaiah 35

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

it shall blossom abundantly

and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart,

“Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it.

It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there,

nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

The Way of Holiness is surrounded by waters, plants, and animals that reveal the glory of the LORD.  All of creation shouts.  Redemption has come and we, the people, sing with rejoicing.  Healing and forgiveness make way for gladness and joy.  The hard things of this world fade away, leaving sorrow and tears to be no more.

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a Mighty One Who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”  1 Chronicles 16:31

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.  Psalm 16:9

Father God, I rejoice in Your Holy Name.  I sing to You and worship only You as I continue to learn of Your ways.  Your highway to holiness is the only way I want to be journey upon.  Your Way is the Truth.  May I walk steadfastly along that highway, remaining close to You, precious LORD.  As I ponder these and other verses about rejoicing, my heart lightens.  The heaviness of this world, all the heartaches and soul aches I see and hear about me seem to fade into the background as You stand strong and faithful beside me.  You come before me and are my way.  I follow You.  May I be in Your will in this world, and may I be strong in You that my heart would not grow faint.  

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31

May I wait upon You and sing praises of joy to You, only to You.   In the Strong Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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Caring for the Caregiver – Part 2 @ SDG

caringforcaregiver

One of the very first things a giver of care should think about doing for herself/himself is to find quiet … find the calm center of the storm, find peace in your mind and heart. Finding quiet is calming down, letting the mind focus on the Lord. Find a physical peaceful setting or find one in your mind. Get away to a quiet place even for an hour, go for a walk, sit-down for a time in the park or in a coffee shop, or soak in a hot bath. This usually means being alone for a time.

As we begin to quiet ourselves, we usually need to allow the voices, the day’s busy-ness, the stresses of the daily activity roll through our minds, our hearts, and then gradually let it slide away. When these things pop back up, let them go again. Rather than getting upset that we keep bringing the stresses back up, allow them there and then release them again, each time allowing it to remain for shorter periods. It will subside if we let it. Remember, these concerns, issues, words spoken, or words left unspoken, may be issues that have already been resolved, may be un-resolvable right now and need setting aside, or may not even be of our business! Listening and reviewing the day can allow us to step back, look at things from a different perspective, and take some or all of the emotion out of an issue. Then give these things to Jesus. He asks for them. “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

During the quiet, take time to look at your personal needs. You may be a parent. You may be homeschooling your children. You may hold a full or part-time job. You may have more than one person you are taking care of. You may be married, single, divorced, going through problems in relationship. All kinds of personal concerns surround us. So time may be of the essence and you may think, “I don’t have time for me, Linda. I cannot even begin to do any more and now you want me to take care of myself.” Well, yes, I do. And I know it well. (When I moved Mama here from California, I worked full-time, had been married only 5 years so still felt like a newlywed! Mama needed help in so many ways. Besides her regular medications, the doctor placed her on insulin within the first year here. Her dementia worsened and giving herself insulin became a problem as she would forget or think she had already given herself the shot. I was running over to her place (in a senior residence) twice a day taking her blood sugar and then giving her a shot. My workplace was 12 miles away. My hours were odd two days a week so I had to teach my husband how to do this too. Bless his heart … imagine talking to your mother-in-law and reminding her to take her blood sugar and then measuring the insulin and handing her the syringe? Not easy, I know! My mother was rather strong headed, too! But it had to be done, and we did it and much, much more!

Well, back to our needs. Time or not, we must find some for our care or we cannot care for others. What do you do for yourself? What do you need for yourself? Do you eat nutritionally? Is there a way to do that better? Are you able to exercise? Can you make time to take a class of aerobics, yoga, Pilates, walk regularly…the type that would make you feel better after it was over? You don’t need more stress and taking a class that you feel is a “should” will not be a help to you. Can you watch a video of yoga or stretching at home to help you relax some? Do you have time for family, for friends? How can you make quality time with the people you love and who love you and care about you? Are there hobbies that help you relax … reading, crocheting, quilting, baking, taking a Bible study? What do you enjoy … riding your bicycle, walking on the beach, visiting others, …? And the most important piece of this pie is to spend time with the LORD…sitting at His feet. You don’t have to talk with Him or do anything in particular. Just sit at His feet. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:39-42

Setting time for enjoyable, relaxing treats is so key to a caregiver’s well-being. Caring for another can zap all of your energy, leaving you lifeless. If we are good at caring for others then we surely must learn to care for ourselves. Begin by making an appointment with yourself, spending time writing down those things that are important to you for your well-being. Once a list is in print, prioritize them either by most important to least, or by the amount of time it takes to do each, or how often you would want to do each. Begin doing one thing on your list. Calendar things in daily, weekly, monthly … make it work for you. If you cannot do anything every day, then begin with weekly or every other day. Gradually, work the most important things into your world so you will feel better. And when you cannot do something, please, PLEASE, do not feel guilty. Guilt is the last thing you need.

You are important! YES! You are IMPORTANT! And caring for yourself is a part of caregiving for others that gets neglected far too easily. How can we be wholly there for others when we can barely be there for ourselves? Take time to begin. Just begin!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  Isaiah 43:2-3a

God tells His people that He will be with us as we walk through the fires of life.  Fires burn, but they also purify, refine.  Caregiving is not easy.  In fact, it is painfully difficult at times, and exhausting.  Yet, He is with us and will not let the fires consume us.  The waters will not drown us.
Father, hear our prayers. We need You and want You in these times of giving care to others. Father, You are our Shepherd and LORD.  Give us the abilities needed for the task. Fill our hearts with Your love so that we may care for those You love, for those who need help, who are unable to do for themselves any longer.  Father, guide us in ways to care for ourselves that we would be more able to be the caregiver whom You have called … able to be patient, loving, kind, gentle, and joyful too. May Your fruits of the Spirit shine through us in all that we are and do for others. Father, give us calm and peace, and may we be the Christ in the eyes of these precious ones of Yours.  In Jesus’ Name we pray and we love.  Amen.

 

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