This is one of those trips we are trying to do inexpensively, as much as possible...just a trip to relax on...not necessarily spending money on "things to do" or shopping. We expect to have a good time with our dear friends, playing games, yakking...sharing our hearts and lives. We anticipate seeing beautiful scenery as we ride along in the train, and as we pass through parts of Canada. And we are counting on the Lord Jesus to revive our souls, refresh our spirits, and reveal Himself to us in His many creative ways. This trip is more about renewal than rushing from place to place. We feel it is a God ordained time for us. Thank you, Jesus!!
This past week has been rainy and cold. According to the weather forecast for the week ahead, we should see sunny days and warmer temperatures. Sounds good to me!!
Hubby and the guys transformed the tabernacle into a winter boat storage this past week. That's a lot of pews to stack (well over 100 he says). Things are looking more and more like a place buttoned down for the winter.
I trapped three more kittens this week...that's a total of 16 feral cats I have trapped since June. We are trying to keep the cat population down by not having any more kittens!!
Went shopping with a co-worker/friend mid week, getting ready for the train trip. Hubby took me to Olive Garden for supper one night (one of my favorite places, not his). I filled in at the office for two days for one of my co-workers who went to "Come to the Fire". She deserved a break...I'm glad she could go. I'll be filling in again for her in November and January and February as she takes her winter breaks to spend with family in far off places. It's good for our budget for me to work the extra hours, and good to keep me busy during the long, cold winter months. I'm not complaining at all!!
Yesterday we took one of our volunteer couples to hear the Booth Brothers (Southern Gospel group) at the Gospel Barn, and then out to Bill's Steakhouse afterwards. Then, of course, a stop at the Dairy Queen on the way home. Nice day with them.
Today we headed back to Lansing First CON one more time for morning worship. We had another supply minister today, and he was very good. He reminded us that the purpose of the church is to make disciples. Kellogg's makes cereal; GM makes cars, and churches are to make disciples. It was a good reminder for me as to why we have church...I had sort of forgotten that! I could sit under his preaching and grow! Today was a glimpse into the future of the church...I truly believe that it is going to rise up and once again be a lighthouse to bring people to Jesus...and to make disciples. Several testified this morning, and it was a great encouragement to all of us who were there.
After morning worship we met Paul's sister and her husband for lunch at Cheddars (I really like that place!!). Then we all went to visit Paul's parents for the afternoon...sort of an early anniversary celebration (58 years). Nice day. The dogs went along with us again. Always a nice break for us to leave the camp grounds for several hours...a change of scenery!
I have spent this past week reading some very encouraging passages in God's Word. I speak to God in prayer. He speaks to me through His Word. Sometimes He reminds me of what I should be doing, how I should be acting. Sometimes He lifts my spirit up by letting me know He is with me and loves me. Sometimes I just feel prompted to copy the scripture in my blog for whoever might be reading, and needs to read that particular passage from God's Word. So sit back, take a deep breath, empty your mind of "all that jazz", and bask in the presence of my Holy Savior...allowing Him to speak to you in the passages below:
- Follow God's example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. (5:1-2)
- So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don't be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you to...be filled instead with the Holy Spirit, and controlled by him. (5:15-18)
- So again I say, a man must love his wife as a part of himself; and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband---obeying, praising and honoring him. (5:33)
- All who seek for God shall live in joy. For Jehovah hears the cries of his needy ones, and does not look the other way. (69:32-33)
- I've trusted you from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth and have helped me constantly---no wonder I am always praising you! My success...is because you are my mighty protector. All day long I'll praise and honor you, O God, for all that you have done for me. (71:5-6)
- I will keep on expecting you to help me. I praise you more and more. I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me from danger. I will tell everyone how good you are, and of your constant daily care. I walk in the strength of the Lord God. I tell everyone that you alone are just and good. O God, you have helped me from my earliest childhood---and I have constantly testified to others of the wonderful things you do. And now that I am old and gray, don't forsake me. Give me time to tell this new generation (and their children) about all your mighty miracles. Your power and goodness, Lord, reach to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things, where is there another God like you? (71:14-19)
- I saw myself so stupid and so ignorant; I must seem like an animal to you, O God. But even so, you love me!! You are holding my right hand! You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel; and afterwards receive me into the glories of heaven! Whom have I in heaven but you? And I desire no one on earth as much as you! My health fails; my spirits droop, yet God remains! He is the strength of my heart; he is mine forever! (73:22-26)
- But as for me, I get as close to him as I can! I have chosen him and I will tell everyone about the wonderful ways he rescues me. (73:28)
- For God, who knows all hearts, knows yours...and he will reward everyone according to his deeds. (24:11-12)
- Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call upon him now while he is near. (55:6)
- This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours. (55:8-9)
- Be fair and just to all, the Lord says. Do what's right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you. Blessed is the man who refuses to work during my Sabbath days of rest, but honors them; and blessed is the man who checks himself from doing wrong. (56:1-2)
- If you keep the Sabbath holy, not having your own fun and business on that day, but enjoying the Sabbath and speaking of it with delight as the Lord's holy day, and honoring the Lord in what you do, not following your own desires and pleasure, not talking idly---then the Lord will be your delight, and I will see to it that you ride high, and get your full share of the blessings I promised. (58:13)
- "As for me, this is my promise to them," says the Lord: "My Holy Spirit shall not leave them, and they shall want the good and hate the wrong---they and their children and their children's children forever". (59:21) (cc note: I want to claim that promise, Father!!)
- And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. (1:6)
- My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight, for I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong, and to be inwardly clean, no one being able to criticize you from now until our Lord returns. May you always be doing those good, kind things which show that you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord. (1:9-11)
- For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ...and that I will always be an honor to Christ. (1:20)
- Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose. (2:2)
- Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing. Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ. (2:3-5)
- ...at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (2:10-11)
- ...be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease him. For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants. In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of Life. (2:10-16)
- ...God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith---counting on Christ alone. (3:9)
- I don't mean to say I'm perfect. I haven't learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. ...Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. (3:12-14)
"The Word for You Today":
- Meditate on God's Word (read it, study it, think on it, act on it!)
- I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me. (John 5:30)
- Intimacy stems from desire - how much do you desire God?
- You are as close to God as you desire to be.
- Decide to be close to God and discipline yourself to be in his house, read his Word, communicate with him.
- God does not give out assignments that do not require His wisdom and strength...we are dependent on Him, and He wants us to be so.
- When Jesus is Lord of your life, you give up your right to what it will cost, where it will lead, and how you will be changed.
- When you walk in obedience to God, you receive His best for your life.
- The grace of God that brings salvation...teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. (Titus 2:11-12)
- If I truly love God, then I will also love: my brother and sister; God's Word; spending time in prayer with God.