Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Season Is Upon Us!

I hope you were able to enjoy this past week, especially Thanksgiving Day, relaxing with family and friends, grateful for all of God's goodness to you.  He has been very good to America...more than we are deserving of.  Oh, I know we have had our share of disasters this past year.  My heart goes out to the Joplin, MO community that was so tornado ravaged last spring.  In other areas there have been flooding and fires and many other reasons for us to turn to God and ask for His protection, His guidance, His help.  I hope we are all taking time to acknowledge Him and how He is always with He has abundantly blessed us in so many ways, in spite of some of our personal discomfort at times.  I bought a plaque that reads:

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Amen?  You see, it's all in our focus.  What do we dwell on?  We can always point to what's going wrong in our lives, but that's when we need to shift our vision to what's going right.  And that's where our emphasis needs to be, along with "Thank you, Jesus!"

That's why I hope you took time to share gratitude with your loved ones and with your Father in heaven the last few days, during the Thanksgiving holidays.  What I am seeing happening in our country, and I don't like it one bit, is that we get down to what should be a time set aside to be grateful, and it is becoming a season of greed.  Now the stores are open ON Thanksgiving Day...instead of waiting for Friday.  Or they open at midnight to get a jump on "Black Friday".  It's all about the almighty dollar.  The stores want your money...and you want to save it, so you go early...or plan your whole weekend around where all you plan to shop to get the "bargains".  

Please don't get me wrong.  I am a bargain shopper...I love to shop the clearance aisles, refusing to pay full price for anything.  I'm not a big shopper, though, so I'm not as tempted to get out in the crowds as some people are.  I don't condemn them.  My problem is with the commercialism of our holidays...both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It doesn't focus as much on spending time with family as it does spending money.  I would prefer simpler times.  I'm living in the wrong era, or my age is showing...which is more likely the truth.  

So...the Season is upon us!  Will you spend it shopping or sharing?  Grateful or grumbling?  Singing or sighing?  The choice is yours. I want my focus to be on pleasing Jesus, showing gratitude, loving others.  

This past week found me working at the ILNC office a couple of days.  The office was only open one day this week due to Thanksgiving holidays.  We had our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday with some co-workers and their large family...16 of us.  I didn't have to cook a thing, and the meal was plenticious...plenty of it, and very delicious.  We were even sent home with leftovers. 

Friday we met with Paul's family at a restaurant in Hastings for the noon meal.  Then we strolled around the little town (mostly resale shops and antiques), and then spent the rest of the afternoon at his parents' house.  So food preparation has been very easy on me the last few days.  We had our Thanksgiving leftovers for our Sunday lunch today.

I did do some shopping, just to get out of the house and to walk.  We've had some rainy dreary days lately.  I went to a small town south of here, Three Rivers, on Wednesday to walk through three stores.  Mostly got groceries.  Then on our way home from Paul's parents house on Friday we stopped at a Walmart and Walgreens to pick up a few things on my list.  So, as you can tell, I am not against shopping...I am against the attitude of greed...grab all the customers you can...grab all the sales you can...beat the others.  I don't do crowds...whether at an amusement park or a store.  I like to browse through life, take my time, give thought to what I am doing.  Take Jesus with me...keep the right attitude because I represent Him.

Hubby and I have been playing Sequence often in the evenings.  He usually beats, and that's okay.  I started decorating the house for Christmas.  Not doing much.  Each year I unload more stuff at the summer "donations only" tables.  I don't even have a tree this year.  I have a wreath on my front door, and the olive wood nativity set from Israel on my buffet, and a few other touches of red and green around the kitchen and living room.  Keeping it very simple this year.  I do love to have lights on our roof and on the pine trees outside...but that's a hubby project, and I try not to nag.  

I've started getting ready for our Christmas trip to be with our family.  We'll be together for a week, and we plan to cook at the resort rather than eat out...huge money saver for all of us.  So I'm planning meals (requesting their favorites from them) as well as planning to bake cookies with the granddaughters...also fulfilling requests.  I have planned a game where everyone will eventually get a prize...their personal favorite candy.  We'll have that to munch on while we watch movies.  "The Crippled Lamb" (Max Lucado) is going to be our Christmas movie.  It will allow our littlest one to understand Jesus coming as a baby, God's love gift to us.  

We'll be honoring three birthdays while  we are together...Jesus, my oldest son, and my youngest granddaughter.  Then I have two rounds of gifts planned.  One is a round of white elephant each person something from our house to take home to theirs (small items).  The second round is a craft kind of gift...something for each of us to work on all together around the table.  I can share more about those gifts next month...after the fact.  I think it will be fun.  We keep gifts to a minimum and very simple.

We started doing a time share Christmas with our family back in 2003  to focus more on making memories than giving gifts.  We get together every other year, so they have the in between years to be with the other side of their families.  Thus far we have gone to Orlando, Hilton Head, Phoenix, Orange Beach (Alabama), and now this year to Branson.  One week to play together.  Games, food, movies, food, crafts, food, side trips...even a little shopping.  And time to talk, time to pray, time to love, hug, and laugh...and even cry.  We try to be vulnerable to each other...trusting each other...knowing we have each other to count on.  I hope you have those kind of feelings in your family also.  They are precious!

Now, on to my weekly devotional reading:

The Word for You Today
1.  "You've Got to Pay Full Price"
"When you get what you want in the struggle for self,
and the world makes you king for a day;
just go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say.
For it isn't your father or mother or spouse
whose judgment upon you must past;
the fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass.
He's the fellow to please; never mind the rest,
for he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test, 
if the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
and get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
if you've cheated the man in the glass." (author unknown)

2.  "Why You Need Courage"

  • to honor God - to bring honor to His name
  • to encourage others as they see your faith in the face of difficulties
  • because your attitude and influence passes down to your children and grandchildren


  • The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results. (5:16)
  • Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your word. (119:18)
  • Keep me far from every wrong; help me, undeserving as I am, to obey your laws, for I have chosen to do right.  I cling to your commands and follow them as closely as I can.  Lord, don't let me make a mess of things.  If you will only help me to want your will, then I will follow your laws even more closely. Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord.  As long as I live I will wholeheartedly obey.  Make me walk along the right paths for I know how delightful they really are.  (11:29-35)
  • O, Lord, the earth is full of your loving kindness!  Teach me your good paths.  Lord, I am overflowing with your blessings, just as you promised.  Now teach me good judgement as well as knowledge.  For your laws are my guide.  (119:65-66)

  • A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful.  But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.  (28:13)

I Peter
  • Dear friends, God the Father chose you long ago and know you would become his children.  And the Holy Spirit has been at work in your hearts, cleansing you with the blood of Jesus Christ and making you to please him.  May God bless you richly and grant you increasing freedom from all anxiety and fear.  (1:2)
  • There is wonderful joy ahead even though the going is rough for a while down here.  These trials are only to test your faith to see whether or not it is strong and pure.  It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it---and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold, so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.  (1:6-7)
  • have been chosen by God himself---you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God's very own...(2:9)
  • Show respect for everyone.  Love Christians everywhere.  Fear God and honor the government.  (2:17)
  • Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on jewelry or beautiful clothes, or hair arrangement.  Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.  (3:3)
  • And now this word to all of you:  You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.  Don't repay evil for evil.  Don't snap back at those who say unkind things about you.  Instead, pray for God's help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it.  (3:8-9)
  • If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies.  Turn away from evil and do good.  Try to live in peace even if you must run after it to catch and hold it!  For the Lord is watching his children, listening to their prayers; but the Lord's face is hard against those who do evil.  (3:10-12)
  • The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore be earnest, thoughtful men of prayer.  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each others, for love makes up for many of your faults.  (4:4-9)

II Peter
  • Do you want more and more of God's kindness and peace?  Then learn to know him better and better.  For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living as truly good life; he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!  And by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character.   But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough.  For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do.  Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you.  This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to live them deeply.  The more you go on in this way the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ.   (1:2-8)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Attitude of Gradtitude

In a personal note below, I mentioned how God has been faithfully meeting our needs here on the campgrounds.  I have decided for the next seven days I will not ask God for anything, but simply give him praise for all he has done.  I will live my life with an attitude of gratitude this coming week, for I am truly grateful for how he continues to supply all our needs...not just physical ones, but mental and emotional as well.  He is greatly to be praised.  

Here are the words that stood out to me this past week in my daily devotional reading:

The Word for You Today
1.  "Do Not Be Afraid"

  • I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Or Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

2.  "Expect Good Things from God"

  • your prayer may not be answered when or how you think it should be, but God will answer in the way that is best for you -- just trust him.
Personal Note
After many weeks of asking God each week for a specific amount needed to pay the bills and payroll and taxes...and seeing him do that...I still had fears and doubts He would.  This past weekend I was praying for $15,000 - the sum needed to cover payroll and bills this week.  Monday in the mail came a check for $14,300 and three small checks.  Combining them with 4-5 checks received on Saturday in the mail, my deposit was over $15,000.  Praise the Lord!  I felt him showing me he hears my prayers, he knows the camp needs, and he will supply!  I must always trust him!!

3.  "What God Expects from You - Faith"
  • Without faith it is impossible to please him.  (Heb 11:6)
  • narcissism is the worship of our own intellect; we believe in ourselves, not in God.
  • only when life hands us a problem we can't solve do we realize our desperate need for God.
  • it is the strength of our faith in God that will bring us through.
4.  "Grace"
  • "When you operate in the freedom that comes with grace, you're okay letting other people chart their own course and make decisions you may not make."
5.  "Conformed or Transformed"
  • you must crucify the flesh whenever it wants to take over and lead you away from your spiritual commitment
  • God's holy Spirit will indwell you and give you strength to resist the world's pressure to conform
  • when you give in to your temptations, sin results, but when you surrender to God, he will bless you
  • surrender is an act of worship that should occur 24/7 - all the time
  • repentance is a response to the love of God and obedience is a response to His promises
  • decide to NOT conform to the world and be enslaved by its influences, but choose to be transformed by the indwelling guidance of the Holy Spirit
  • make the commitment to renew your mind to have the attitude of Christ Jesus and transformation will occur day by day

  • For the good works of a righteous man will not save him if he turns to sin, and the sins of an evil man will not destroy him if he repents and turns from his sins.  (33:12)


  • Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.  
  • Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor.  He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God.
  • If you want to keep from being fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him.  After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.  (12:1-4)
  • God's correction is always right and for our best good, that we may share his holiness.  Being punished isn't enjoyable while it is happening--it hurts!  But afterward we can see the results of a quiet growth in grace and character.  (12:10-11)
  • Try to stay out of all quarrels and seek to live a clean and holy life; for one who is not holy will not see the Lord.  (12:14)
  • Since we have a kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts, and with holy fear and awe.  For our God is a consuming fire.  (12:28-29)
  • Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, "I will never, never fail you nor forsake you."  That is why we can say without any doubt or fear, "The Lord is my Helper and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me." (13:4-6)

  • A Christian who doesn't amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord's sight.  (1:9)
  • Happy is the man who doesn't give in and do wrong when tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life God has promised those who love him.  (1:12)
  • Dear brothers, don't ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry, for anger doesn't make us good, as God demands that we must be.  (1:19-20)
  • Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith.  (2:20)
  • If you are wise, live a life of steady goodness, so that only good deeds will pour forth.  (3:13)
  • But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness.  Then it is peace loving and courteous..  It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds.  It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.  (3:15-18)
  • Don't you realize that making friends with God's enemies---the evil pleasures of this world---makes you an enemy of God?  I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy the evil pleasure of the unsaved world, you cannot also be a friend of God.  (4:4)
  • But he gives us more and more strength to stand against all such evil longings.  As the scripture says, God gives strength to the humble, but sets himself against the proud and haughty. So give yourselves humbly to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. (4:6-7)
  • Don't criticize and speak evil about each other, dear brothers.  If you do, you will be fighting against God's law of loving one another, declaring it is wrong.  But your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it.  Only he who made the law can rightly judge among us.  He alone decides to save us or destroy.  So what right do you have to judge or criticize others?  (4:11-12)
  • Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin.  (4:17)

  • In my distress I prayed to the Lord and he answered me and rescued me.  He is for me!  How can I be afraid?  What can mere man do to me?  The Lord is on my side, he will help me.  (118:5-6)
  • This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it.  (118:24)

  • When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily; but with honest, sensible leaders there is stability.  ((28:2)
  • To obey the law is to fight evil.  (28:4)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Zonked Out!!

Here it is, Sunday evening, and I am just waking up from a long afternoon nap.  I don't generally sleep that long in the afternoon, but today was an exception!  I'm guessing it was to catch up from all our travels and change of pace lately.  I'd say I needed it, and I will be refreshed for the new work week...I just may not sleep tonight very well!

It's been a couple of weeks since I blogged, so I have a little catch up to do.  I don't know why I even blog...this is more or less a journal of my life's journey...the events of my life more than the emotional thoughts.  I'm wondering, who really cares?  And yet each week there are a few who check in.  I've thought about stopping this blog, but for now I am being persistent.  

I am so tickled over the number of page views I have on the Genesis blog, for I quit publishing that almost three years ago, yet the traffic keeps coming.  I've never published a book, but I have readers all over the world reading my reflections on Genesis.  That's cool!  I wish I could get motivated to get back to First Peter.  Maybe that will happen this winter, but for now I am still too "busy" to spend the time with it.  I think it's a great book of the Bible, and God has much to teach me in I Peter.  I just need to discipline myself to put my focus there.  It will come...I hope!

Well, a recap of the last couple of weeks...  We left after work on Thursday, November 3rd, for Cleveland, TN, to attend my college reunion/homecoming.  We drove to Louisville and spent the night.  I think that is such a cool city.  I want to go back sometime with the granddaughters and spend some time there.  They have a neat city skyline.  I'd love to go to Churchill Downs, and some of the horse farms in Kentucky.  I'd like to walk the streets of down town Louisville...many neat places.  Perhaps we will go to the Gospel Quartet Convention some's always held in Louisville.  Definitely a destination spot for the future!  We spent a few days there last February at our denominational conference M-11, and that was when I was first enticed to make it a vacation spot some day.

Back to the TN trip.  When we arrived in Cleveland on Friday afternoon, we went to Lee University to register for Homecoming, picking up our tickets for weekend events.  The campus is absolutely beautiful.  The president has been there 25 years now, and it was stated that he has basically built a new building each year of his presidency.  When I attended there in the late 1980's (I was a late bloomer...graduated from college at the age of 41), there were 1500 students.  They are now approaching 5,000 students.  The campus has grown with the student body, and it's mostly done in colonial style...lots of brick, stones, and columns.  Very nice landscaping.  I noticed on this visit some of the staff now use golf carts to get around...just like our campground!!

We drove around the town and out through our former housing subdivision.  We drove past our golf course, which has discontinued to be a golf course.  How sad to see the fairways overgrown and ragged.  Some condos for senior living has been built where the former swimming pool area and roller rink was.  I could live there!  Whenever we move to the next stage in life, I'm all for getting a maintenance free condo!!  We met a friend for supper at our favorite restaurant...The Gondolier.  Paul and Bill had pizza, but I opted for my old standby...Italian Steak Sandwich... mozzarella cheese melted on the outside of the sub bun...sooo good!

We stayed at our friend Marilyn's house for the weekend.  She had her two grandchildren with her for the weekend also, and it was nice to get to know them, and get updated on Marilyn's life.  We weren't at her place very much due to the weekend activity, but it was so nice to go "home" to her place while in Cleveland.  

Saturday we attended the Homecoming Basketball Game, and Lee won, of course.  Very  We met a couple of friends for supper.  Dick and Paul started work at Olin Chemicals on the same day, fresh out of college back in 1976. Again, it was good to get caught up to date.  I love going out with friends from the past and just picking up from where we left off.  Dick mentioned that many others we knew from that company are planning to retire in Cleveland because that's where their friends are.  Maybe that's where we will have to retire, for we certainly have most of our friends there, even though we moved away in 1994...17 years ago!  Funny how on this visit (we had not been there for several years) we brought up the topic of retirement with most everyone we met with...tells me we are at a different stage of life, preparing for what's ahead.  We had planned to retire in Hendersonville, NC, on the other side of the Smokies, but Cleveland would not be a bad choice.   It's just more humid there compared to Hendersonville.  North Carolina still gets my first vote as far as a unique place to live.  Cleveland gets it if we base it on friends.

Saturday night we attended the Musical Festival put on by all of Lee's musical choirs, groups, ensembles, brass, and even a couple of performances by a group of fiddlers!  Now that was down south!!  Yee-ha!!  Fantastic two hour concert.  By the way, we grabbed some Chick-Fil-A for lunch that day (can't get that in Michigan), and had supper at our favorite Cleveland Mexican restaurant, The Monterrey.

Sunday morning we attended a former church of ours...Cleveland First Church of the Nazarene, and went out to eat with a group of friends from church...11 of us.  We chose to go back to The choice.  Sunday afternoon we drove out to Polk County to our friend Bill's house.  He has a organic farm now (sheep and pigs) and we wanted to see it, plus meet his new wife.  They've been married three years now, and she is perfect for him, as he is for her!  Great couple.  Felt like we have known her as long as we have known Bill...34 years.  We spent the afternoon with them, and they drove us up into some of the foothills of the Smokies...the fall colors were beautiful.  They took us out to eat at the Gondolier...another branch of our favorite restaurant.  

We chatted with other friends, but did not have time to see them.  Sunday night we spent time with Marilyn (her grandkids were gone home).  She was a terrific hostess, putting up with us coming and going as we felt like.  She had to head to work the next morning, and we headed out to our next destination...West Harrison, Indiana, Higher Grounds Camp and Conference Center for our annual Nazarene Camping Assn. conference.  As we left Cleveland, we drove by the Olin plant where Paul worked almost 18 years.  Sometimes I wish he could go back there.  

The Cleveland years hold for us the best of times, and the worst of times.  But God has brought healing to my memories and my past, and I can recall the worst of times without any pain, and I cherish the best of times.  We were blessed to have lived in Cleveland most of the time we raised our boys.  I am glad to be a graduate of Lee University and The Pentecostal Theological Seminary.  Cleveland is a very nice city...has grown tremendously since the time we lived there.  It was there we fell in love with dogwood trees, Bradford pear trees, and azaleas.  There is no prettier place to be in the springtime than Cleveland, TN in its full bloom!

On our way to Cincinnati....West Harrison, we stopped in Florence, Kentucky at a mall and walked the mall just to stretch our legs, and to get Paul a pair of Clarks shoes.  Got to Higher Ground in time to check in and join several other couples/camp directors and family for supper at O'Charley's.  We had two staff members join us at the conference...our Facilities/Operations Director and Events/Hospitality Director.  We also met up with our two closest friends in camping...the directors from the Adrian, Georgia campground.  We met them in 2004 at our very first camping conference, and have been good buddies ever since.  

Tuesday - Thursday noon we enjoyed our time at the conference, getting to know many of the other directors.  There were about 70 of us from around the US.  Each year we meet at a different campground to get exposed to how other campgrounds are laid out and running their programs.  Next year we are headed to Camp Taconic in New York.  Look forward to that as I have never been to New York.  Wednesday night we were all treated to a riverboat dinner cruise on the Ohio River...after dark, to enjoy the city lights of Cincinnati.  Very nice time.

We drove home Thursday afternoon, and as we crossed the Michigan state line, it was snowing.  By the time we picked up our dogs from the boarding kennel, and picked up my suv from the repair shop, snow had accumulated enough for me to have to brush and scrape my windshield!  Welcome back to Michigan!!  Our first snow of the winter.  It melted the next day, but it was a bit nasty Thursday night.  

Friday was a long day of catching up on all the mail at the office, after being gone for a week.  I worked on Saturday for a bit also, plus getting all the laundry and things at home caught up.  Did my shopping in Portage, including some Christmas shopping.  I like to get it done early and avoid the crowds after Thanksgiving!  It gets so nutso with the traffic then, so I don't even enjoy going to Portage for that month.  Hubby spent Saturday mowing and mulching leaves on the campground.  They've been piling up for a while!!

Today we attended worship at Chapman Memorial and then took a friend out to lunch at Logan's Steakhouse.  Spent three hours chatting with her.  She's a widow, and very lonely.  She has health issues that give her some limitations, but her mind and her spirit is so very energetic.  We enjoy our time with her.  When we got back home I walked the dogs...found a mommy and five new kittens (oh, no!!  more cat trapping...I'm so weary of that!!).  Then came that long nap, and then this long blog.  Let me insert my devotional material...rather brief for two weeks...but I did keep up with it!!

The Word for You Today
1.  Don't Limit God

  • with humility comes wisdom
  • God values truth and honesty - be truthful to Him, other people, and yourself
  • speak truly, deal truly, live truly
2.  Pray Every Day
  • there is no recovery at the physical or emotional levels without paying attention first to the spiritual level within us --- that means spending time with God
3.  What Paul Prayed For
  • understanding the will of God and obeying it
  • living lives that please God
  • bearing fruit for the kingdom
  • being strengthened by power from God to be able to endure
  • having grateful hearts and an attitude of praise
4.  Don't Be Afraid
  • there are 365 "fear nots" in the for every day
  • God does not want us to worry -- it means we don't trust him

  • For God is not unfair.   How can he forget your hard work done for him, or forget the way you used to show your love for him -- and still do -- by helping his children?  And we are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward.  Then, knowing what lies ahead for you, you won't become bored with being a Christian, nor become spiritually dull or indifferent, but you will be anxious to follow the example of those who receive all that God has promised them because of their strong faith and patience.  (6:10-12)
  • You need to keep on patiently doing God's will if you want him to do for you all that he has promised.  His coming will not be delayed much longer.  And those whose faith has made them good in God's sight must live by faith, trusting him in everything   Otherwise, if they shrink back, God will have no pleasure in them.  (10:36-38)
  • If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ's death:  there is no way to get rid of it.  (10:26)
  • What is faith?  It is the confidant assurance that something we want is going to happen.  It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.  You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. (11:1)
  • Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.  (11:6)
  • How can men be wise?  The only way to begin is by reverence for God.  For growth in wisdom comes from obeying his laws.  Praise his name forever.  (111:10)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Girlfriend Getaway

Went on my second annual Girlfriend Getaway this past weekend.  Last year I went with three other gals to Colonial Williamsburg and Mount Vernon.  That was for a week, and a marvelous week it was!

This year I joined three of my friends from my high school years...we all attended church together as teenagers and young adults.  A fifth person joined us for part of the weekend, but four of us went for a four day weekend.  

We headed up to Big Rapids and spent the night in a Quality Inn near Ferris College.  We had supper at Applebees after walking the streets of downtown and picking up some fudge and apple cider.  We also went shopping at Peebles, one of my favorite stores.  I was the only one who did not buy clothes.  I opted for some jewelry for my granddaughter instead of something for me.  After supper we played Apples to Apples.

The next day after our breakfast buffet at the motel, we headed toward our true weekend destination...The Shack in Jugville.  It's between White Cloud and Fremont, and is a fairly large lodge with various kinds of accommodations.  Very unique place, built on several acres on a lake, log cabin style.  There's a museum and prayer chapel and various gazebos and a large pavilion, plus walking trails.  We did take a walk on a trail, but mostly we opted to stay inside and chat and play games.  

The room price included our supper meal and breakfast buffet.  We had lunch at a cafe in down town Fremont on Saturday, while we were browsing through the little town.  That town is the home of Gerber Baby Foods, so we drove around the plant, and by the Gerber a bed and breakfast.  It was the original home of the Gerber Family.  

Sunday morning we had our own worship service, with each of us sharing some scripture, our thoughts on it, and a song.  Then we had a time of sharing our prayer concerns and praying for one another.  We had The Shack's Sunday Brunch.  And I can't forget to mention that every night they serve banana splits.  I think it's the key to longevity of life, as the owners served them each night, no matter how large the crowd was, and they must be close to 90 years old.  They've been serving them every night for 33 years.

While we were there this weekend, one of my friends' 100 year old grandmother passed away.  It was good for us to be with her and help her refocus for a while before she came back home to the funeral.  I think God ordained this time for her.  She had lost her mother earlier this year, so it's been a tough year for her.

Monday morning we stopped by an apple orchard on our way home, and we stopped in Lowell at a small town cafe for lunch.  One of my friends lives on the campground also, and we were back home by mid-afternoon that day.  Was glad to see hubby and the dogs and cats!!

Now hubby and I have a little get away together.  We are going to my 20th college graduation/homecoming down in Cleveland, TN.  We look forward to seeing friends, staying with a close friend, attending a concert and a basketball game, and our old church on Sunday.  Next week is the annual Nazarene Camping Association Conference in the Cincinnati area.  We'll be stopping at that on our way back home from Tennessee.  

This week I'm getting things caught up at work and preparing to be gone again for a few days.  I'm filling in for one of our office staff who is in Florida for the month of November.  It's a slower month, so things will be fine.  

We bought our second high top conversion van...a 2002 Ford, Tuscany Edition.  It replaces our 1997 GMC Savanna, which has come to its final rest for us.  Someone may want it for parts, but we didn't want to put any more money into it.  We enjoy traveling in a high top van, even though the gas mileage isn't the greatest.  It's a great way to travel with granddaughters also!!  We will get our use out of the Ford van, even though we will be using it just for travel.  It's our travel investment, which should take us right into the retirement years.

I'm looking forward to our trip back to Tennessee.  We basically raised our boys there, and it seems more like home to us than Michigan does, even though we were both raised here.  I could easily move back to Tennessee.  But we will be content wherever God has us...we just want to be in His service!

Time to look at what God has been saying to me the past week or so.

2 Timothy

  • But you must keep on believing the things you were taught.  You know they are true for you know that you can trust those of us who have taught you.  You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the Holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God's salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus.  The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.  It is God's way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.  (3:14-17)
  • Stand steady and don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord.  Bring others to Christ.  Leave nothing undone that you ought to do.  (4:4)

  • Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.  (94:19)
  • Worship the Lord with the beauty of holy lives.  (96:9)
  • I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should.  (101:2)  (Amen!!)

  • Yet there is one ray of hope:  his compassion never ends.  It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction.  Great is his faithfulness; his loving kindness begins afresh each day.  My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him.  The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him.  It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  (3:21-26)  (This is the passage I used for my devotional at our weekend worship service.  I also brought in the verse God has given to me this year in I Thessalonians 4:11-12:  Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders, and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.)

  • ...we Christians are God's house---he lives in us!---if we keep up our courage firm to the end, and our joy and our trust in the Lord.  (3:6)
  • For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as we did when we first became Christians, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.  (3:14)