Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another Snowy Day

Just when I thought we were having a sunny, mild weekend, I opened the front door to a snow covered environment yesterday morning. It was beautiful...the snow looked like cotton balls on the you could pick it off. This afternoon we had another blowy, snowy front come through. But the sun is shining now, and everything is just snow white outside. A nice day to stay inside!!

I've been spending my evenings studying about Route 66, the historical Mother Road that was initiated in 1926 and became the major route from Chicago to Los Angelos mid-century. Alas, the cry for speed was heard and the interstate system was put into place, bypassing the icons of where you could get your kicks on route 66. I ordered materials from AAA and from to better understand this part of our American history.

We plan to make a trip down that route in a couple of months or so. I like the idea of the road trip itself, being our "destination", rather than a place. I'm not one that wants to go to the cookie-cutter cities of our nation to shop the mega malls that have all the same stuff, or to eat in chain restaurants that serve the same food. I like "distinctively different" routes, rests, and eateries. I guess that is why Route 66 is beckoning to me. I am so enjoying reading about it.

We had a camp board member take us out to eat this week. That was a nice treat!! Then we turned around and took our camp head nurse out to talk about the upcoming camping season. Time to start getting everything lined up and ready for another fun-filled summer!

We have a scrapbooker's retreat going on this weekend in our Learning Center. Several women gathered around tables, some in their PJ's, with their paraphernalia spread out in front of them. Lots of yakking, nibbling, clipping, some games, a good time to relax with a favorite hobby and friend. I am not a scrapbooker, but I enjoy visiting with the ladies.

The first month of 2012 is almost gone. January went sort of fast for me, as I was quite busy at the office all month. I don't mind the winter months slipping by. My favorite season is just ahead....SPRING!!!

Now for my weekly devotional recap:

January 23-29, 2012 Devotional Thoughts

The Word for You Today

1. “How to Handle Bad News” (1)

  • Honor God as Lord of your situation
  • He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. (Ps. 91:15)

2. “How to Handle Bad News” (2)

  • Before you act, stop and pray, think rationally, gather the facts
  • Responding in faith makes a crisis into an opportunity
  • Don’t get in God’s way when trying to help others

3. “Trust God’s Word, Not Your Feelings”

  • He was strengthened in faith. (Rom 4:20)
  • If you live by feelings you will be messed up
  • Get over your feelings of hurt and bitterness
  • Trust God’s Word, grow in faith, practice love

4. “Keep Your Sense of Gratitude”

  • Forget not all his benefits. (Ps 103:2)
  • Each morning God’s mercies are new, and so should our gratitude begin afresh each day
  • His love, faithfulness, and mercy are there when we wake up, and we should being our day very grateful for that
  • Don’t look at the problems, but see the blessings, count on His Promises

5. “The Power of Perseverance” (1)

  • Let us not grow weary while doing good. (Gal 6:9)
  • Quitting is more about who you are than what’s going on
  • “stop trying” is a guarantee of failure

6. “The Power of Perseverance” (2)

  • We shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Gal 6:9)
  • With faith in God and confidence in ourselves, we can make it
  • Dreams unfold one day at a time
  • God will give you grace and strength for each assignment He gives you

7. “Don’t Give in to Bitterness”

  • Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. (Eph 4:31)
  • Bitterness is contagious – it affects others
  • Overcoming bitterness is a way to spread God’s blessing to others
  • How to overcome it:
  • acknowledge it
  • don't rehearse it in your mind or in your speech
  • repent of any un-Christlike attitudes
  • ask God to give you self-control
  • submit to His authority
  • forgive others so you can be free to enjoy your relationship with God and others
  • find ways to be kind to those who have hurt you

Sparkling Gems

Colossians 3:16 (NLT)

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

  • As a child of God I am a spiritual billionaire
  • “richly” – incredible abundance, extreme wealth
  • When the word of God dwells in us, , our hearts are full of joy, our minds are full of wisdom and understanding, and our spirits are rejoicing
  • When we are filled with the Word, we affect others around us in a positive way, we are encouragers

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

  • “surrounded” – completely encircled by something that is stacked high on every side
  • We are surrounded by Godly examples of people in the Bible who faced difficult challenges yet held fast to their faith in God.
  • It’s not a matter of “if” I win, but “when” I win, for God will bring the victory

2 Timothy 2:4 (NLT)

Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.

  • “entangles” – being caught in a vine that is woven together; running, hindered by a long robe
  • We are not to get too involved in non-eternal matters
  • Our focus should not be on material things
  • We can wrap our hands around material things, but not our hearts…we must be willing to let “things” go
  • Stay balanced by focusing on what truly matters, things that have eternal value

Hebrews 10:32 (NLT)

Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.

  • “sufferings” – mental pressure, attach on your mind
  • satan likes to attack the mind with negative thoughts, accusations, past reminders, anything to divert you from God’s plan
  • Be encouraged because you must be following God if satan is attacking you, trying to stop your effectiveness
  • Hang on, don’t give up, trust in God and His Word
  • Resist the devil and he will flee from you

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

  • Your environment will impact how you think and act
  • “easily trips us up” – something around us that feels comfortable
  • Your must leave behind the comfort zone of your sins if you want to become a strong person of faith
  • Avoid relationships and places that drag you down and entice you away form Jesus

John 14:18 (NLT)

No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

  • “abandon” – like a child left without a mother and father, or a student abandoned by his teacher
  • When Jesus ascended to heaven, He did not leave the world alone…He sent the Holy Spirit as our guide and comforter, and teacher
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

  • “ambassadors” – agents or representative of a king or country, authorized to speak on behalf of the one who sent them
  • We are representatives of heaven to the world around us, our neighborhood, our family, our work place
  • As representatives for God, we have given royal power and the authority of the blood of Jesus and all the resources of heaven are ours for the asking

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