Saturday, December 31, 2011

Take the Light of Jesus into the World in 2012!

Today is New Year's Eve. As we look forward to another year, I'm trying to refocus myself and take all my energies away from myself and onto the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty! I want to be His Hands and Feet in this World. Matthew 5:16 says

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven."

That's what I want to do, everyday. I want to live for Jesus Christ. I want every breath I take and every word that comes out of my mouth to Glorify Him. We live in a world that is suffering greatly. Moral decay has enveloped this nation and this world. So many people are lost and are looking for something to hang on to. My prayer is that the Lord will use me, each day, to reach out to someone in need. You never know how your words and actions will affect another person. YOU may be the only Jesus that some people will ever see, so DON'T let Him down. You can do it and I can do it too! SHINE for Him!


Show your Jesus Light to the World each day and Shine for Him! May God Bless you and your family with a very Happy 2012 and in this New Year, take the Light of Jesus wherever you go!

My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

My dearest Lord Jesus,

As we start this New Year help me to refocus my energies away from myself and my desires and onto you. Help me to live for you each day. Help me to focus on Your Word and look up to you with any questions and concerns I have. You are my everything. You sustain my soul and my life. I love you Lord. I want to live for YOU. I want to take Your light into the Whole World!

In Jesus Name I pray,
Amen and Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jesus take the Wheel - Make 2012 your best year yet!

As I'm recovering from my 3rd CCSVI angioplasty procedure last Friday, I've had much time to pray and rest and as I've done that, I am reminded about one sure fact:  Our God is Able. 

                                                       His Coat of many Colors - Lord of Lords © Thomas Blackshear
He is able to do anything He wants. He is able to take care of any situation you face, even if you think it's something totally insurmountable. It might seem humanly impossible to you, but for Him, it is nothing. Do you believe that? Do you believe in the Power of Almighty God? Do you believe in the Power of Prayer?

He is the God of the Universe. He made the sun, the stars, the planets and everything and everyone that inhabits them. Just take a look around you. He has provided everything needed to sustain life here on this earth, while also wonderfully enhancing the beauty of everything we encounter each day, including the most mundane and simple things that we often take for granted; the flowers, the sunrise and sunsets, a beautiful symphony or piece of art, the sweet smell of a newborn baby, a cute puppy, the feeling and touch of a caring parent or friend upon the sick or helpless.

                                                  ASK, BELIEVE and RECEIVE - It can change your life, forever!
If you just stop and take a look around you, you will see God Almighty at every turn. Our God is Able and that is the truth. He is also able to handle any problems you may have. He has very big shoulders and He is waiting for you to reach out to Him with the simpliest or the most complex dilemna you are in. He's absolutely your man, no doubt about it.

But, here's the thing~~ do you believe it? Do you receive it and will you ask for Him to release His power in your life? Prayer is a powerful thing. Mark 11:24 tells us "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." But, you have to believe, that is absolutely and totally paramount. Don't just think it, believe it! 

Now, you are no doubt asking - How do I do this? How do I believe? How do I get closer to God? It's really as simple as pie, but it means YOU losing control. You need to surrender your life to Him and let Him take the wheel. There is a great song by Carrie Underwood that talks about giving your life to Jesus Christ.

This is what you need to do to to release His Almighty Power! It's the first step towards true happiness and peace during your time here on this earth. A life where you can release all your problems over the Him and let Him figure it out. Ever heard the phrase- Let Go and Let God? That's where it came from. Sounds pretty darn refreshing, doesn't it? You can sit back and relax, and let the one who really has control anyway, take over. Listen to Carrie sing about it here:

John 3:16 tells us how and is the path to eternal life:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Our God is SO faithful, friends. You can count on Him, every single time - He will NEVER EVER let you down.

Deuteronomy 7:9 tell us about the Lord's faithfulness: "Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."

As we begin to turn the page on another New Year,I implore you to take some time to think about your life and how your Creator, the God of the Universe, has taken care of every single little detail for you. Thank Him for all your many blessings and if you haven't done it already, step aside, surrender control and let Him be the driver. He's an excellent driver and knows the road of your life very well- so much better than you.

If you have a problem, ask for His help through prayer, believe that it will happen and get ready for the flood gates to open up. He is more than able and ready to help you get through the challenges of life. ASK for it, BELIEVE it and RECEIVE it! You can make 2012 your best year yet! Guaranteed! Happy New Year Everyone!

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord,

What a comfort and blessing to know that YOU are in charge of the Universe. You hold all of us in the palm of your Hands. Help us Lord to give it all to you, everyday. You want to help us Lord, but you are such a gentleman and don't force your way into anyone's life. Help us to get over our stubborn human nature and reach out to you in humility. Help me to live for you everyday.

I ask this in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ my Savior,
Amen and Amen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Joy to the World ~ The Lord is come!

This is the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus Christ as told in the New Testament of the Bible. Enjoy this accounting of Jesus Birth and enjoy this Holy Season. Remember that Jesus IS the Reason for the Season!
Mary, a virgin, was living in Galilee of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel visited her and explained to her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would carry and give birth to this child and she would name him Jesus.
At first Mary was afraid and troubled by the angel's words. Being a virgin, Mary questioned the angel, "How will this be?" The angel explained that the child would be God's own Son and, therefore, "nothing is impossible with God." Humbled and in awe, Mary believed the angel of the Lord and rejoiced in God her Savior.
Surely Mary reflected with wonder on the words found in Isaiah 7:14 foretelling this event, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary's apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.
Although Joseph's initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary's story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God's will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.
When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah's earthly father.
Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."(NIV)
At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that acensus be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.

The Shepherd's Worship the Savior:

Out in the fields, an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep by night. The angel announced that the Savior had been born in the town of David. Suddenly a great host of heavenly beings appeared with the angels and began singing praises to God. As the angelic beings departed, the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child.
There they found Mary, Joseph and the baby, in the stable. After their visit, they began to spread the word about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. They went on their way still praising and glorifying God. But Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. It must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the tender child she had just borne—was the Savior of the world.

The Magi Bring Gifts:

After Jesus' birth, Herod was king of Judea. At this time wise men (Magi) from the east saw a star, they came in search, knowing the star signified the birth of the king of the Jews. The wise men came to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and asked where the Christ was to be born. The rulers explained, "In Bethlehem in Judea," referring to Micah 5:2Herod secretly met with the Magi and asked them to report back after they had found the child. Herod told the Magi that he too wanted to go and worship the babe. But secretly Herod was plotting to kill the child.
So the wise men continued to follow the star in search of the new born king and found Jesus with his mother in Bethlehem. (Most likely Jesus was already two years of age by this time.) They bowed and worshipped him, offering treasures of gold, incense, and myrrh. When they left, they did not return to Herod. They had been warned in a dream of his plot to destroy the child.
Joy to the World, the Lord is born: 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm praying for another Christmas Miracle~~

In 5 short days, the world marks the Celebration of the Greatest event in the history of mankind, the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

Our Savior, Our Creator, the Sovereign of the Universe, the Great I am! He came to live among us, and to die for the sins of mankind. He was God, yet for his short 33 years on this earth, he was also human. His birth was prophetic. There are over 60 verses mentioning the birth of Israel's Messiah in the Old Testament of the Bible, with over 300 mentions of it through the Old and New Testaments.

He was born of a young virgin woman named Mary. The Holy Spirit visited Mary and told her that she was going to be with child: "But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  Luke 1:30-33 
Can you imagine Mary's surprise? Yet, this young woman of God, listened and obeyed. Jesus' arrival was not something that most people would have even noticed. But His arrival was announced by the angels to a field full of shepherds. Luke 7:15 tells us all about it:

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
 and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Jesus came into this world born in a stable because there was no room for his parents at the Inn. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in hay in a cattle feeder. Pretty humble beginnings, right? Yet, Kings and Wise men sought Him to see about this life changing event that had happened.

So what is so important about the birth of this one child and why are we still talking about it and celebrating it, over 2,000 years after the fact? Why is the calendar split in half because of his birth? BC (before Christ or AD (Anno Dimini ) after his birth?

Jesus Christ IS the long awaited Messiah! He is the Savior that God promised. His birth changed the Universe forever. Many unbelievers will say "Come on. Why would the long awaited Messiah, the King of the World be born in a lowly stable, surrounded by farm animals?

Because He could. He could be born anyway he wanted, but he chose to enter the world in a humble manner, so he could relate to His creation. It's the perfect scenario really. So unexpected. Everything about the Christmas story is unexpected. Jesus was born of a virgin and born in a stable, yet the entire world changed forever. His earthly parents were a young in-experienced teenager and a carpenter. His birth and his lineage is well documented throughout the entire Bible. He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! His arrival was something to celebrate and it still is, 2000+ years later.

Christmas is the season of miracles!

             In 1997, when I was very sick and the doctors were telling me I didn't have long to live, the prayers began. I had people all over the world praying for me, asking the Lord to spare my life. Even some people who knew me and weren't religious folks at all, told me they began praying for me. The Lord heard every single one of those prayers and it turns out those doctors were WRONG, I didn't have brain cancer, I had MS!

I can remember clearly jumping up and hugging the neuro-oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. Steven Brem, who told me I had MS, not cancer. He said " Well, Mrs. Watts, I've never had anyone give me a hug when I told them they had a debilitating disease like MS. This is a first for me." I then explained what we'd been through for the last month and how relieved I was to only have MS. That was my first miracle!

On Friday 12/23,2011 I will return to Moffitt to have a treatment for my MS that I've had before, CCSVI (Chronic CerebroSpinal Venous Insufficiency). I very successfully had this procedure in August of 2010, (which was clearly my second miracle), again in May of this year (Unfortunately not so successful that time) and now, this will be my 3rd time. You've heard that the 3rd time is a charm, right? I am expecting and praying for another Christmas miracle - because we have a God of miracles and Christmas is the Season of Miracles! 

                                                    Christmas is a Season of Miracles!
Dr. Bulent Arslan, my compassionate doctor ~~extraordinaire, and dear friend, will be in charge one more time before he and his family moves away to Chicago. I am asking the Lord to have his Mighty Hand upon Dr. A. as he does my surgery, to give Him wisdom and guide his every step. Between Dr. A. and the Lord, I know I am in the absolute best of hands! I am asking all my friends and family to please pray for me this Friday at 2 pm, believing and expecting that the Lord will move in a mighty way!

Do you have a Christmas miracle you are praying for? Seek His face and He will reveal Himself to you in the quiet of the night. He is the God of Miracles and He promises to Never leave us or Forsake us. Matthew 28:20 tell us "...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

Merry Christmas to all of my wonderful family and friends. As we close another year, we all have so much to be thankful for. God has richly blessed this nation and all of us with so much. Please take time during this holiest of seasons to slow down and look for Jesus, because you will surely find him. Even in the midst of all the Christmas busyness, the shopping, the gift giving, lights, special programs, parties and decorating. If you take time and be still, you will find Him, because He is there. Don't ever forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

If you look for Me at Christmas~~

Jesus, the Reason for the Season~~ © Greg Olsen

Joy to the World, the Savior Reigns~~

My prayer for today:

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Thank you Lord for another year. Thank you for the many blessings you have given me and my family. Lord, this is a sad Christmas because we lost Mom a few weeks ago, but I know that she is spending her first Christmas in Heaven with you this year and I am rejoicing in that fact. Watch over everyone I love this Christmas and in the New Year and give them Your Peace with surpasses all understanding. I pray for my surgery this Friday, you know what's in my heart Lord, please bring your healing upon me.

I ask all this in the Mighty Name of Jesus, my Savior,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Are you a worrier? Consider the lilies of the field....

Do you know this wonderful verse about worrying? Matthew 6:28-35 tell us:

 “And why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you— o you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. "

                                                                              Consider the lilies ©artist Morgan Weistling

That says it all, doesn't it? We don't need to worry about one little thing in our lives, at anytime. Our Lord makes it so simple for us. If we SEEK Him and His Kingdom, everything will be taken care of for us. It's His promise and God doesn't break His promises. So, why is it so hard for us to do? Why is it so hard for us to give everything over to Him?

We tend to worry about every little thing in our lives. Our family members, our jobs or lack of them, our homes, our bank accounts, our health, keeping up with the Joneses, what we wear, what we have in comparison to others, and where we think we are at this particular point in our lives.

Matthew 6:27 says: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

On December 1, 2011, I lost my Mom. She had been going downhill for the past 6 months and she slipped away peacefully before I arrived with my other family members by her side.

My Dad remains in the same nursing home and understandably he's not doing well. They were together for 64 years. That is a lifetime of living and loving the same person. He'd been sick for the month preceeding her death, no doubt doing much of his grieving before she even left him. Now he's very ill with a bad infection and that is bringing him down further.

When I think of him laying in that nursing home by himself, a big part of me wants to go up there and just take up residence in that bed right next to him and try to help him get through this terrible thing that has happened.

But I know I can't do that, and that wouldn't really help him anyway. He's going to have to get through this all by himself, if he can do it. I'm concerned and scared to think that he may have lost his will to live. That often happens to couples when one passes, the other isn't far behind. I hate to even think about that, but I know it is a reality I must face.

The best thing I can do for my Pop right now is to pray for him. Philippians 4:6-7 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

What a glorious promise that is and that is exactly what I am praying for. I am thanking the Lord for the lives of my Mom and Dad and thanking Him for their 64 wonderful years of marriage. I'm asking Him to surround my Dad with his loving arms of comfort and peace to get him through these difficult days.

I don't know what's going to happen in the coming days, but I know the one who does know and I put my faith in Him. I know that He will give me, my Dad, my brothers and all of my family the strength we need to face the trials of each day in the coming months.

Do you have something or someone that has you worrying? Don't. Give it to God and let Him have all your concerns and worries. He has big shoulders, He can handle it. Worrying is simply a lack of faith. Don't go there. Stand strong in the Lord and His promises. Reach out to Him and let Him help you with your worrying and concerns. He doesn't want any of us to live that way, distressed and tied up by worry. His Word says so.

I remember years ago when I was teaching an Elementary Sunday School class. We made a "God Box." Each child in my class decorated their "God Box" up just the way they wanted them with plenty of glitter and stars and colorful paint. Then I asked each child to write down something that was bothering or troubling them and asked them to take that folded piece of paper and put it in the God Box. Once they did that, I told them they didn't have to worry about it anymore because God was going to handle it for them. I was amazed how the members of my class told me the next week that once they did that, they didn't think about it anymore because they had given it to God. Every week, we put more and more concerns in those boxes and slowly but surely, those small children began to trust that God was in control of their worries, not them.

So, if you need to, make yourself your own God Box and put all of your worries in them. Give them to God. He wants them and in return He will give you His peace which surpasses all human understanding and that, my friends, is quite a promise!

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Thank you for my parents who gave me life. Thank you for their long and happy marriage of 64 years. I pray for my Dad. I know he, along with all of us, are grieving the loss of our beautiful Mom. Give him your peace Father, which surpasses all understanding. Comfort Him, so he knows he is not alone, help him to find solace in your loving arms. Heal him Lord, body and soul. Be with all my family members who are suffering and worrying about Dad and other situations in their lives. Help them to find your peace. Give them your wisdom and strength.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Hope is in Jesus

My beautiful mother passed away peacefully last Thursday morning, Dec 1, 2011, in TN. My brothers, sister in law and Dad were with her as the angels lead her home. Unfortunately, I didn't make it in time. Knowing she had been placed in hospice care a few days earlier, the nurses and doctors best estimate was she had 7-14 days, I was scheduled to come up on Friday and thought I had plenty of time to say my goodbyes, but the Lord had different plans.
Mom was ready, she was tired of living in her worn out body with it's many limited abilities. She was ready to go on to glory and be with Jesus.

When someone we love leaves this earth, the grieving begins. The is the first loss of a direct family member for me. I've been blessed to have both of my parents in my life for over 56 years until last Thursday. In thinking about the grieving process these past few days, I've realized something about myself and my beliefs.

First, let me say I'm going to miss my Mom terribly. I'll miss the fun times we spent together. I had a great childhood, and had parents that loved me dearly and unconditionally, which is the way it should be. I'll miss the wonderful times I spent with Mom and Dad when they were still living in the new home they built when they moved up to TN to be near their youngest grandchildren. I have some marvelous memories of the years Mom and I worked together at Mill Pond Press. We had such a blast together. Although we didn't work in the same department, it was great knowing she was so close by and , we often had lunch together.

                                                                       My Mom during her years at Mill Pond!

I'll miss her smile, the sound of her laughter, and the quirky little things that only Mom would do. I'll miss talking to her on the phone and hearing "Hi Nick!" She was a dear lady with very specific opinions about what she believed. You always knew where you stood with my Momma. She was very black and white, there was no grey area with Livie Sue.

But she's gone now. She's moved on. Her earthly life is over and her soul has now taken residence in the glorious Kingdom of Heaven. She is sitting at the feet of Jesus, right now. How awesome is that? All of her worries, pains and sorrows of this life are gone! Finito!

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:8  "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord." What a resplendent thought that is.When we pass away from this earth, we leave our old, earthly bodies and we will be present with the Lord in our new bodies!

1 Corinthians 15:49 says "Just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven (Jesus Christ)." We are going to have the likeness of the man from Heaven! Unbelievable, right?

So, in light of what the Bible says, when I think about the way we grieve, I have opposing views. A big part of me is so, sad that I'll never again be able to give my Mom a hug again, but another big part of me is rejoicing for her new life in Heaven!

I'm sad my Mom has left us, but I'm not sad for my Mom. Does that make sense? That might sound a little nutty to you, but that is the foundation of my Christian faith. Christ conquered the grave! He defeated death for us. With the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have taken the sting out of the death experience. Death is just a passage into a glorious new life with Jesus! Mom knew the Lord and she was ready to go home. Mom's death is a victory for Jesus! She is dancing with the angels now.

We are all going to die. None of us is getting out of here alive. It's just a matter of when the Lord says it's time for us to go home. I'm happy for my Mom. I'm happy that her suffering is over and she is happy and smiling again, that she's no longer in pain. I'm rejoicing with her for her new eternal life in Jesus! There is a great song about what Jesus did for all of us called "Because He Lives."  Enjoy it below.

If you are suffering a loss in your life right now, in the midst of the your grief, please try to remember that Jesus Christ is our only hope! He came and died so that we might live with him in Glory!

                                                         Because He Lives I can face tomorrow! You can too!

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayers for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

I miss my Momma, that is a fact Lord, but I know she is sitting with you in Glory, right now. I know she is out of pain, that she has a brand new body and has no more worries. What a wonderful and blessed assurance you have given us in Jesus death and resurrection. We can forever hold tight to your promises, that you will never leave us, even until the end of the age. Thank you for that Lord, thank you for the life of my Mom and what she has meant to our family. Watch over her until we meet again in Glory.

I ask this in Jesus Mighty Name,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mom's victorious journey home~

My Mom is beginning her long journey home.With her earthly life now winding down, she is surely in anticipation of the promise and hope that await her through her love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It's been a difficult few days for me. Knowing that things were not looking good for my beloved Mom, I was still holding out some hope that she could somehow pull out of this last episode that landed her back in the hospital. But, in thinking about her life these past few years, I came to the realization that, as hard as this is, this is the way Mom would want it. She wouldn't want to linger on and make any of us go through more than we had to.

She's been suffering for years since her knee replacement. She never fully recovered from that, and has had a host of knee problems, along with arthritis and leg pain that have plagued her for the better part of the last 10 years. But Mom has endured. A few years ago, she began falling and Dad was taking care of her the best he could at home, until it got to be too much for him and with my brothers and sister in laws help, they decided reluctantly to put her in a local nursing facility where she could get the 24 hour care that she so desperately needed.

I couldn't ask for a more devoted family who have been by her side and by the side of my Dad, ever since they moved up to TN back in 1997 when they retired. As I've mentioned before, I am in awe of my brother's and sister-in-law's loyalty and devotion to my folks. What a comfort that has been for me as I've lived far away for so many, many years.

             Mom's 80th Birthday at Robert's house in S.C. May 29, 2007

                                                           I posted this pic on facebook yesterday and wanted to share it here also.  
                                                It is one of the sweet memories I have as Mom as a grandma. 

I have many wonderful memories of good times with Mom that I will treasure forever. I spent much of the day yesterday looking at old pictures, remembering our lives with Mom. As my husband and I were talking this morning and I was saying how hard my Mom's passing will be for my Dad, (they've been married 64 years) he reminded me to remember that Jesus conquered the grave! Of course, I knew that, but the reminder was just the wake up call I needed! Thank you Jesus for having those words come out of my blessed husband's mouth!

Jesus came, he lived and he died so that we don't have to fear death! Death is only a passage to a wonderful new life. Mom will be a glorious new creation in Jesus and will she ever shine. Hebrews 2:9 tells us that Jesus tasted death for all of us and through his suffering, he is now crowned with glory and honor! That is going to belong to ALL of us who believe in Jesus Christ! What an amazing thing that is!

"But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

                                             Mom was 20 when this picture was taken in 1947. She was so beautiful~

I can just see Mom now. She'll be the bell of the ball, like she has always been. She'll be dressed to the tees, from head to toe; her hair all permed and styled just perfect. Her nails and toes will be perfectly manicured, her face will be perfect again so there won't be any need for anymore facelifts. She'll be talking and having fun, dancing around on those new legs of hers.

And jewelry? Mom has always loved jewelry! Gold, diamonds and pearls are her favorite. But when she gets to heaven, she'll be wearing real gold, real pearls and diamonds will be everywhere! What a joy that will be for my Momma. She'll be reunited with her folks, who she hasn't seen in over 40 years and her brothers. What a reunion that will be! She has so much to look forward to~ I'm so happy for her.

Thank you dear husband for reminding me of our firm foundation in the Lord Jesus Christ! Mom's new and improved life is awaiting her and she will truly have no more sorrow and no more pain! Enjoy this glorious song called Victory in Jesus! It says it all!

My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord Jesus:

Please hold my Momma close by your side as you gently take her home to be with you. Comfort her and take away any anxiety she may have. Wrap her in your big, loving arms and ever so sweetly pull her from  her loved ones here on this earth to her new Heavenly Home with you.

Thank you Lord for the promise of a new life for her and for all of us.

In Jesus name I pray,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give thanks with a grateful heart!

It's almost Thanksgiving! Isn't it hard to believe that yet another year has rolled by us, our official day of Thanksgiving is upon us, then Christmas will be here and we'll be looking at another New Year staring us in the face before we know it! WOW!

2012? Hard to believe, seems like it was just the year 2,000, doesn't it with all the year 2,000 hype and hoopla, and now here we are 12 years later. It's true what they say about time going by faster as you get older, cause don't know about you, but it sure seems to me like the last 12 years have flown by!

So, let's talk about being thankful. Do you take time, each day to give thanks to the Lord for all your many blessings? It's so easy to look at the bad in our lives, especially when things aren't going our way, but that's not the way the Lord wants us to live. The entire Bible, the book of Life, is a book about giving thanks. There are many verses throughout the Word of God (Old and New Testament,) that instruct us to give thanks, even when we don't want to.

                                                                                Psalm 100 says:                                        

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all you nations. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know that the LORD is God: it is he that made us, we are his people, and the sheep 
of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful to him, 
and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy lasts forever; and his truth endures to all generations."

Ephesians 5:20 says
"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I went to breakfast with a dear friend of mine this morning. We were talking about Thanksgiving. Did you know that during the first Thanksgiving, fully one half of all the pilgrims had lost a family member during their ferocious Atlantic crossing? That very first thanksgiving was born of pain and suffering. 

                                                                            The first Thanksgiving in 1621
Yet - In the midst of all the terrible loss and suffering, those pilgrims looked to the Lord and wanted to Thank Him for landing them safely in this new land. So, they stopped, gathered together with remaining family and new friends, and thanked God Almighty for everything they had. They did what the Bible wants us to do, to give thanks in everything, good and bad. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 encourages us to: "Be joyful always; pray continually; giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Our modern day Thanksgiving Celebrations tend to focus on the abundance of food, lots of drinking and football. While our intentions are always good, sometimes we don't spend enough time on the "Thanking the Lord" part! There are so many without, in this country and in our world. So many lonely and without friends or family during this holiday of thankfulness and blessings.

If you know someone who is alone, pick up the phone and give them a call. Stop by and pay them a visit if you live nearby. Take them a Thanksgiving meal, or invite them to dinner? There are so many ways you can show them what Thanksgiving is truly about. About sharing God's many blessings with those in your world. Don't you think we should go back to our roots, and focus on what the Lord wants us to be grateful for? For His provision, for our faith, for our family and for our many friends. 

                                                             The family that prays together, stays together...

So, for this Thanksgiving, look up, not in. Count your blessings, not your troubles, and you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Give Thanks with a grateful heart!

My verses for today are above in red.
Give thanks with a grateful heart song:

My prayer for today:

Thank you Lord for another blessed Thanksgiving. Thank you for the abundance of blessings and provision that flow from your Hand. Help us to reach out to our family and others in your name, showing them your love, mercy and grace.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fix your eyes upon Jesus~

This last week, admittedly, I've been overwhelmed with some of the things that have been thrown my way. It seems like everyone in my life, all at once, has a request, or a problem that I need to solve, a tragedy, a heartbreak, a worry, a crisis. You know, it's called "Life." Ever have a day like that? Where you are the one everyone is turning to? It's comforting and also can be a bit inundating as well.

Now, folks who know me think I'm a pretty even keeled gal, and I would agree, but even I, too, can get feeling like "life" is too much for me on any one particular day.

Anyway, I haven't been taking too many naps these days because I really haven't needed them since my CCSVI treatments, but today, I felt I needed to. So, off I went, listening to my dragging body, to lay down and let the world fade away for a brief while.

As I always do when my head hits the pillow and I fade off to a light sleep, I began to pray. I was praying for all the needs that I knew myself and others were facing. And then it hit me, or should I say "He" hit me, with these thoughts "Fix your eyes upon Jesus."

Gotcha! I knew that verse! My head acknowledged the thought He gave me, and I pledged that when I got up I would look it up and begin writing about it, so here it is, from
Hebrews 12:1-4

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

                                                                          Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus!  
Of course! Exactly! Duh??? It's as clear as a bell. Once I read it through, it made perfect sense. No wonder He put that verse in my head. 

Every worry, every concern, every prayer request, every crisis, no matter what--it all boils down to this one verse. He is the key to everything. Fix your eyes upon Jesus. He will handle everything.

Sounds so simple, doesn't it? But, really, it is astonishingly true! For more detail, if we look at further verses, we can see the Lord's stance on any subject you choose. Don't forget the Bible is "The Book of Life." and accordingly, He has a word for every situation we will ever face. Much has changed over these past 2,000+ years, but the human race still faces the same problems they did in Jesus' time, just "kicked up a  notch," as Emerill would say:

Are you having financial troubles?~~Timothy 6- 6:10

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Are you grieving the loss of someone you love?~~ Matthew 5:4 tell  us:
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Do you have a broken heart?~~ Psalm 34:18 says:
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Are you sick or know someone who is? ~~ Exodus 15:26 says:
"He said, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORDwho heals you.”

Do you have a prayer that needs to be answered?~~ Mark 11:24 tells us:
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Do you struggle with unbelief?~~Matthew 17:20 says:
..."Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Do you have conflict?~~Proverbs 15:18 tells us:
"A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel."

And on and on it goes. Got a problem? His Word has an answer. Can't you see? The problem is never with God, the problem is with us. We want to try and handle our many problems or the situations that get thrown our way, by ourselves. But, why should we? The Bible has every answer to every problem we will ever encounter in this life! He's made sure of it. The dilemma lies within our hearts. We don't believe that He's capable of doing everything He says He will. 

But it's absolutely, positively true! It is the promise of God, if we live an upright, righteous and blameless life. Now, that's the part that gets us in trouble every time. It's our humanness that gets in the way, every hour of everyday. We are sinners, every single one of us. Not one single one of us is blameless.

                                                      He died for you and He's waiting to give you a New life!

But, the good news is that God is forgiving through his Son, Jesus Christ. So, whatever problem you are facing, turn to your Savior, Jesus and He will help you through. He wants your problems, he died for your sins and problems. He won't judge, he's very forgiving and He wants to be your "Go to" guy. He's just waiting for you. So what are you waiting for? Confess your sins to Him, ask for His forgiveness and turn from the life you have been living to a new life in Him. You'll never regret it. He'll never let you down, and that's a promise!
                 Give your life to Him. You can belong to His Kingdom, right here, right now, on earth!
My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord Jesus:

Forgive me Lord, for any unbelief I have. Forgive me for not totally trusting in you for every problem I encounter each day. Help others to learn to lean on you for their problems. Help me to reach out, in Your love to help them in any way I can, while gently assuring them of your promises, as stated in your Word.
Help me Lord, to lead others to your love each day, so they too, may have New life. Help me to read Your Word each day and look for Your answers to my problems. For with you Lord, Nothing is impossible.

In Your mighty name I pray,