Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week of the Groundhog Day Blizzard

I don't care where you are from (even though I am curious as to who my St. Louis visitor is), you probably got hit with the Groundhog Day blizzard.  You may have gotten hit before or after February 2nd, but I know the blizzard we had plowing through Michigan was not unique to us alone.  In fact, I think we got off a lot easier than the states that have I-70 running through them.  We had about 18" of snow or so, and it was blustery as it was coming down, but we didn't have all the ice and sleet that the states below us had.  

We had a very nice time in Indianapolis last weekend.  We stayed at the downtown historical Canterbury Hotel, which had it's own private entrance into Circle Center Mall...a three story mall in the center of town.   While hubby was in his meeting on Monday, I was able to browse the mall.  I'm not a shopper, per say, but it was nice to leisurely stroll through the mall, and take advantage of some of those final clearance markdowns...up to 80% off.  

We went down a little early on Sunday so we had time to drive through one of our sister camps just southwest of Indy...Camp Camby.  We enjoy visiting other campgrounds for inspiration and ideas.  Sunday night we were treated by friends to a wonderful meal at the Turner House Restaurant, connected to the Canterbury.  Very classy, very delicious!  We sat and chatted for about three hours...a relaxing conversation that flowed from one subject to another, with much for me to learn as I listened.  

We left in the early afternoon Monday and were back in time before the storm came in.  Our friends who had met us in Indy had to travel back home to St. Louis, and I'm sure they drove straight into the ice and sleet.  We got back home in time on Monday to pick up our two dogs from "doggie camp".  They love going there, and we appreciate their good care.  But, of course, they are always happy to come back home and be with us in their familiar environment.  

Tuesday I took a couple of hours to run to Portage to get supplies before the storm hit.  I was glad I did, for we didn't go anywhere on Wednesday.  It was a good day to just sit back and look out the windows.  I did go for a nice walk with a friend that afternoon.  The storm had receded, and the sun was shining.  I even shoveled out a neighbor's and Jesus.  He kept me from having a heart attack by making the snow load light.  I had also shoveled out a path in the back yard for our doggies, since the snow was deeper than they were high (lots of drifted snow, sometimes up over my knees).  And I shoveled off the front porch and a path down our sidewalk to the road.  The cats didn't show up for a couple of days, and I worried about them, but they are all back again.  I guess they must have a place to hunker down in that they can get in and out of, despite the snow piling up.

Church services were cancelled Wednesday night due to the snow storm, so I didn't get to my second Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" class.  I had my homework done and I was ready for it.  I had read my four chapters, planned my budget, and I started an emergency fund. I feel like I am on my way.  I am determined to make the necessary changes to give us financial freedom.  We are too near retirement to not get our affairs in order!!  I highly recommend these classes to anyone struggling to make ends meet.  Classes are occurring all over the US.  Check out his web site for more information...for lots more information!

Thursday and Friday were busy days at the office.  We had a group of 40+ men in for a spiritual retreat this weekend.  We joined them for meals all day Saturday and dinner today.  Tonight, of course, is the Super Bowl.  Hubby is planted in his chair, and I am providing the snacks.  We started out with a bowl of fruit.  Then we had chicken wing dings from GFS...very good.  More like nuggets...white chicken meat with very little breading.  Juicy.  Mouth popping.  Precooked, so I just had to warm them up in the oven.  We are on our third course now...not that healthy, but still good:  tortilla chips and velveeta cheese dip made with salsa and browned ground beef.  Final course for me will be a root beer float.  

What can I's Super Bowl.  Special night of treats.  Of course I am blogging, not watching the game.  Suits me just fine!!  I know it's party night for a lot of people, but we aren't really party people.  We live a more quiet life.  My evening entertainment, besides blogging and reading, is to watch the cats and kittens come to eat and play on our front porch.  I rearranged their cat camp yesterday, washing all the blankets and towels and rugs.  It was getting a little smelly.  

I had made a pledge with Subaru that I would walk my dogs on Super Bowl Sunday.  We did take an afternoon walk.  It wasn't too cold (20's), but when I took a second walk later to go visit a shut-in it was slightly sleeting.  It was still nice to be out.  

I think that completes my "diary" update of what I've been up to this week.  Can't believe anyone really cares, but when I blog, it's like I'm talking to a friend.  I also like to share what God is saying to me through my daily devotions.  So here goes:

Lessons from Noah:

  • honor God, no matter what others do or say
  • obey God...understanding can wait, obedience must be instant
  • partial obedience is disobedience
  • if we love God, we are going to obey His commandments
  • use your energies and talents for God's pleasure

Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.  (Mt 20:28)   I can tell you that my attitude is often NOT like Jesus, and it's the one area I must conquer if I want to represent Him well.  I'm an idealist, and when things are not ideal (like most of the time??), I can easily adopt an air of "you are wrong, I am right".  Well, that boils down to pride...and guess what.  God HATES pride!!!  So...still working in this department!

Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him.  With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.  (Ps 25:14)  Assign me Godliness and Integrity as my bodyguards...  (Ps 25:21)  Whoa, now there's a pair of body guards!!  Godliness (purity, wisdom) and Integrity (a person of honor who keeps his word)...would that I would be possessed by those two character traits!!

I have called you friends.  (Jn 15:15)
  • you become a friend of God's through constant conversation
  • make Him part of every activity by talking with Him about what you are doing
  • cultivate the presence of God in all things, in all places
  • delight in God as He delights in you
  • Brother Lawrence says, "The key to friendship with God is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do.  What you normally do for yourself, you now are doing for God, whether it is eating, bathing, relaxing, or taking out trash."

Sometimes what seems to be the worst thing ever, turns out to be a blessing in disguise...check out Joseph's story in Genesis.    I love his attitude in everything he went through...and God honored him.  What an amazing story he has!  Check out my Reflections on Genesis Blog to read more about Joseph.  (I am amazed at all the visitors to that blog, since it's been a few years since I wrote it.  It gets the most hits, and they are from all over the world!  I don't know how they find the blog, but my guess is they put in a passage from Genesis, and my blog comes up as a reference to read.)  

The Importance of Loving Others:

  • Everyone who loves is born of God.  (I John 4:7)
  • it's easier to label people than love them
  • if you don't love people, you don't love God
  • the greatest gift I have to give others is love and acceptance...just as Jesus would temporary residents on earth.  (I Peter 1:17)
  • God allows us to feel a certain amount of discontent in this life because this is not our final destination
  • at death you don't leave home, you go home

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second most important is similar:  Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.  All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them.  Keep only these and you will find you are obeying all the others.  (Mt 22:37-40)  My basic problem stems from not loving myself as I should.  I'm insecure at times, and tend to keep in the background to avoid rejection.  I do like to reach out to others who seem to be left out or struggle with the same insignificance that I battle.  But I tend to avoid popular people, people who crave all the attention (because they themselves are insecure!), and those who are just too busy.  This is one of those issues that comes and goes for me.  Sometimes I'm on top of my world, and all is well.  At other times I would like to escape the world and go on home to be with Mom and Dad (heaven).  But for now, I am here.  I make it a matter of morning prayer daily that I would treat others as Christ would and learn to accept myself as He does.  I am so far from perfect, yet I am complete in Christ. 

Are you feeling like a victim?
  • forgive the past so it no longer controls you
  • cry out to God to heal your heart and clear your perceptions
  • face the pain/crisis
  • find God in it
  • follow Him
  • He will give you a better tomorrow lightening flashes across the sky from east to west, so shall my coming be, when I, the Messiah, return.  (Mt 24:28) 
But no one knows the date and hour when the end will be---not even the angels.  No, nor even God's Son.  Only the Father knows.  (Mt 24:36)  So be prepared, for you don't know what day your Lord is coming.  (Mt 24:42)

Every time someone says they know when Jesus is coming back, they predict the date, the day, even the hour, I think of this verse.  How can a person miss these words of Jesus when they are studying to determine such a time frame?  So...when the prediction is made, I can pretty well be sure when Jesus is NOT coming back!  I just need to live as though Jesus is coming back momentarily...and be ready for whenever He surprises me!!

Walk with God this week, trusting Him in all situations!  I'll be back again next week!

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