Earth and Heaven

Welcome faithful readers to another musing. This has been a week of much reading; mostly the Christian romances in Love’s Treasure Limited Edition. It’s $9.99 for the Kindle edition, or free with Kindle Unlimited if you want to delve into an excellent, varied group of relationship stories. It has definitely helped me appreciate my husband more and contemplate other relationships I’m involved in. I’m also enjoying different venues and some British and Aussie settings as well.

Love's Treasure - A Christian Romance Collection: Limited Edition by [Juliette Duncan, Marion Ueckermann, Autumn Macarthur, Joy Ohagwu, T.K. Chapin, Lorana Hoopes, Elizabeth Maddrey, Evangeline Kelly, Valerie Comer, Naomi Rawlings, Valerie M.  Bodden, Melissa  Tagg, Mandi  Blake, Carol  Moncado]

This week, we have been amid frequent rain showers and yesterday a touch of hurricane winds and rain. This means I spent one day reading and playing MahJong, was glad to be inside doing my weekly cleaning for my friend the next day, and John and I spent yesterday running errands, searching for a new printer, donating blood, and dinner at Red Lobster with friends. It was good to get out together, even on a rainy day. This is the first time John has donated blood in many years, but he’s right back into the swing of things; he pre-registered for the next donation before I did! He’s glad he had time to get a haircut amid our errands. We also hadn’t eaten at Red Lobster in a couple years and had a great time with a couple we just met a month ago, getting to know more about each other as we shared a delectable meal; including dessert!

Image result for Old People Eating Clip Art

On the heaven end, I’ve been thinking about some things on earth we won’t have use for in heaven. I’ve had a passion for books and videos about people who have seen heaven for many years. The newest revelator I’ve met was on Elijah Streams recently, Kim Robinson. As with Kat Kerr, the Lord has taken her to see heaven multiple times. God really wants us to know what’s being prepared for us, adding to what the Holy Spirit inspired people to write in the Bible. As the Apostle John said at the end of his book:

John 21:24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

Well, to begin, there is no fear in heaven. Imagine being able to do things on earth without any fear of injury, failure, loss of life… not possible with gravity, as well as evil being involved. There are stories from revelators of babies playing with wild animals, out of this world rollercoasters, flying like Superman…no fear of drowning in the River of Life, no fear of losing a loved one, no car accidents or people with evil intent. Death is conquered; our biggest reason to fear here on earth!

How about a body that has no need for elimination of wastes? From eyewitness accounts, they make all things in heaven from air; not the dust of the ground. You can eat to your heart’s content with no food allergies, no weight gain, no cleanup. There are no toilets in heaven! Yes, there are vehicles, but no need for gas. You won’t have to brush your teeth either. You don’t have to change baby diapers or clean litter boxes or walk your dog with a poop scoop and trash bag.

I wonder what will replace my love of changing diapers and cleaning people’s houses? As I muse on that, I realize I like the interaction with the child or the homeowner while I’m cleaning. I’m sure I’ll still love on all types, sizes and ages of people throughout eternity, even if I don’t need to clean!

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Many people are skeptical of these “revelators”, but for me, they fill in gaps in my understanding of what’s in the Bible and agree with what I’ve read. Notice, in these days we have access to the Holy Spirit of God, so for us, these things are no longer great mysteries. The Bible says it’s the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. Use your sanctified imagination and let the Holy Spirit reveal things you have wondered about for years. Happy Holy Ghost exploring!

Planning Your Escape?

Hey readers, remember a few weeks ago I wrote about my husband’s new truck? Well, you know the free trial of Sirius XM Radio you get with a new vehicle these days… taking advantage of it, we’ve been listening to The 70s on 7 channel and this song from my younger days popped up. I guess I never paid much attention to the words when it was new, so this time I listened to hear what Rupert actually said; not just the chorus. Look for the wisdom revealed!

Escape (The Piña Colada Song)

Rupert Holmes

I was tired of my lady
We’d been together too long
Like a worn out recording
Of a favorite song

So while she lay there sleepin’
I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read

If you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like makin’ love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Write to me and escape

I didn’t think about my lady
I know that sounds kinda mean
But me and my old lady
Had fallen into the same old dull routine

So I wrote to the paper
Took out a personal ad
And though I’m nobody’s poet
I thought it wasn’t half bad

Yes, I like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food
I am into champagne
I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O’Malley’s
Where we’ll plan our escape

So I waited with high hopes
And she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant
I knew the curve of her face

It was my own lovely lady
And she said, “Oh, it’s you”
Then we laughed for a moment
And I said, “I never knew”

“That you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of champagne
If you like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
You’re the lady I’ve looked for
Come with me and escape”… … …

Songwriters: Rupert Holmes For non-commercial use only. Data from: Musixmatch

I share this song with you because it coordinates with a book I read recently. More Than This, Stuck In A Rut by Marion Ueckermann, is part of Love’s Treasure, A Christian Romance Collection. It’s also Book 1 of Marion’s A Rustic Falls Romance series set in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. The couple at the center of this story are in their fifties; Pastors recently moved to small-town Rustic Falls from the big city where they were passing as ships in the night. Amid ministry that brought several churches into being, the last one a large church with many demands, the couple lost themselves serving everyone else’s needs. They have two grown daughters serving as missionaries and a son in Bible College. This small village church they are now pastoring has been running well without leadership for a year. What is this couple’s role in this new place? How will they find their way back to each other? Throw in a new Puli puppy, and life gets extra-exciting!

I’d like to touch on that puppy I’d never heard of…

Image result for Puli Puppy. Size: 142 x 95. Source: www.askideas.com
A Hungarian Puli Puppy

As we go through our marriage, we can easily lose our connection amid the busyness of life. Demands of children, work and church activities, even if you are not in leadership, make it easy to miss connecting with each other as husband and wife. The Christian life is meant to be a sacrifice… right? Well, God never meant for us to break the sacred bond of marriage as the sacrifice, although many have lost their marriages and families in pursuit of ministry. What does Scripture say?

Proverbs 5:18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:13  Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.

14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

I love Marion Ueckermann’s story. She handles this subject beautifully! I remember times my husband and I have gotten lost in busyness periodically through our forty years of marriage. As a young Believer, I heard the verses about rejoicing in the wife of your youth and desired to have a husband like that. Thanks be to God, my loving Father, that is just what I have now!

Marriage takes work and much prayer. What could you do right now, one small step for today, that would draw you closer to your spouse? Maybe just a listening ear, an unexpected compliment, or making time to ride with them to the store. Is child raising the rub? Barter with another family for time without the children… and have a date. Think about what brought you together in the first place, and as the Bible says in Revelation 2:4, repent and do the first things.

Lord, I pray against the spirit of divorce that is raging through our households. I ask for grace to use our sanctified imagination to discover ways to love, honor, cherish and appreciate the partner You have given. Fill our mouths with laughter and give us Heaven’s perspective on all our relationships. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Shalom my dear readers! Until we meet again, be blessed and be a blessing!

Love Or Fear?

The theme in all I am reading and hearing this week is: love conquers fear. Let me begin with some Scriptures.

1 John 3:13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

The Outworking of Love

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

A Dance in Donegal

A Dance In Donegal by Jennifer Deibel is one book I read this week. It is the first novel I have read by this author, and my second book from our library since Covid restrictions have eased. Born and bred in Boston, Miss Moira Doherty has heard her mother’s recollections of Ireland since childhood. When her mother dies in the summer of 1920, her dying wish is for Moira to become the teacher in Ballymann, the village in Donegal, Ireland, where her mother was born.

After struggling with fears and uncertainties, Moira finally takes the arduous journey to Ballymann, where she finds a handful of residents give her a warm welcome, but many are not friendly to an American. She has a lot to learn about the culture and language and rumors about her mother’s past being whispered behind her back, but she knows nothing about the “family secret” she’s being accused of. She relies on a few friends, including Sean McFadden, the handsome thatcher. He keeps popping up unannounced, rescuing her.

She finds the young student who has been threatening her and disrupting class ill to the point of death in his hovel. Can she love her enemy enough to nurse him to health… or will she let him die? The above scriptures play into her thought process as she struggles with God and with the people around her who don’t understand. Will the town ever accept her? What will Sean do with Moira’s growing convictions? It’s a story of faith over fear, and of reconciliation.

Image result for Jennifer Deibel Author. Size: 120 x 160. Source: www.goodreads.com
bing.com/images/ Jennifer Deibel

This is the first of Jennifer Deibel’s books I have read. It took me a couple chapters to get used to her writing style, but this is a solid story with wonderful characters that will help you contemplate love and fear, hate and suspicions, as well as forgiveness. I encourage you to pick this book up and spend a bit of time in the Donegal countryside, maybe finding a new view of who God is in Christ. The author has lived in Ireland and Austria, and currently lives in Arizona with her husband and three children, teaching in a middle school. You can check her out at: http://www.jenniferdeibel.com.

Let’s get back to the first letter of John and see how love conquers fear.

The Consummation of Love

1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

This morning, I am on Day 15 in Todd Nettleton’s book: When Faith Is Forbidden. Today’s title is: A Testimony In The Ground. Bilal has died. He was an Indian Christian whose family wants him to have a Christian burial. Radical Hindus want to take the body and do their traditional rituals, cremating the body to show Bilal recanted his Christianity and returned to his Hindu faith before he died. The family wants the body buried with a stone, testifying that he died a Christian. The radicals came to the house, the Pastor and a couple of other Christian men went outside, and the Hindus started beating them. They continued the beating even when the men tried to mount their bikes to escape. When they finally got away, Bimala, an aged widow, opened her door and gave them refuge. She was asked why she took them in… wasn’t she afraid of the radicals? Bimala’s reply: “I am the Lord’s servant, so I have to be strong. I will not fear, because He is with us. I thought that some of those people might make problems for me, but I have to be strong.” (page 111)

Bob Jones said when he was transported to heaven years before he died, the Lord asked him one question: “Have you learned to love?” (you can find his testimony on YouTube)

What do you want your legacy to be? I want people to remember that I loved well; not that I was legalistic, judgemental, or fearful. I know it’s an ongoing revelation from God and dying to flesh for me. Would you be like Bimala and Moira, coming to the place of not fearing anyone but God? It’s a struggle to come to the point of letting the love of God, in Christ Jesus, fill you to overflowing. We need to evict fear from our soul and replace it with the genuine fear of God; which is love. I encourage you to fight the good fight and live in the Spirit so you won’t fulfill the lusts of your flesh. Here’s one last admonishment from Jesus:

Jesus Teaches the Fear of God

Luke 12:4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Photo by Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola on Pexels.com

A Prayer Request and A Dinner

My dear readers, I am sharing this prayer request from my friend Rev. Cyprien A. Afrika who is ministering in Kenya. Please join me in praying for his nephew Yves. If you know a young, godly woman who would make a good wife for him, answering this prayer well, let me know and I’ll pass it on to Brother Cyprien.

My family, I would like to request prayer on behalf of my nephew named:  YVES  TUMUKUNDE

He is my son because after his parent’s death, I took him when he was four years old, now he is a grownup with twenty five years old. He is well educated through college level and now he is a man, this morning he informed me to put him in prayers which will help him find a life partner (wife). More so a Christian lady of 22-26 year old and not from home continent (Africa).

Kindly I request for your prayers concerning my Nephew’s issue

All for His Glory Rev. Cyprien A.

Hardcover Dinner with the Smileys : One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime Book

Because I am part of a military family and also like to invite people to have dinner with us, my first library book borrowed since the Covid restrictions have eased is: Dinner with the Smileys by Sarah Smiley, subtitled: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes and Lessons for a Lifetime. Sarah’s husband Lt. Commander Dustin Smiley, Navy pilot, is sent to Africa for a thirteen month deployment as their sons Ford, Owen and Lindell are celebrating their 11th, 9th, and 4th birthdays and Sarah is finishing her Master’s thesis while teaching at the college and writing a weekly column for the local paper. This is the story of how a family copes with their service member gone for an extended time, which can also apply to any parent left with children at home to fend for themselves. Before he left, Dustin told Sarah to invite people to dinner to fill his place at the table. He challenged her to 52 dinners during his deployment to help the time go faster for them all, and so he could hear about what was happening and feel like he was still a part of the family.

Sarah shares a lot about Ford’s eleventh year angst; caught ‘tween childhood and teenage years, he’s childish, mature, sullen, withdrawn, or ecstatic. This reminded me of my own eleven year angst that must have been difficult for my mother as well, especially because my dad died suddenly when I was that age. I’m not sure I took to maturity as quickly as Ford does in this tale! Sarah also includes Lindell’s antics as the four-year-old who likes to moon their guests and has fun no matter what’s happening… mostly… and Owen’s typical middle-child tendencies who’s a budding artist and the mediator more often than his mother would like.

I also liked her sharing activities to do in the state of Maine. One thing is hiking Mt. Khatahdin in Baxter State Park. My brother lived in Maine and had an account at the Khatahdin credit union when he moved to New York State and I was glad to hear about life in Maine, where some of my family still lives and I hope to visit soon.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a handle on the happy, sad, overwhelming and exciting parts of being a military family, or any other case of interrupted wholeness of the family unit. When my children were young, my husband, as a Federal employee, would go TDY for training or conferences anywhere from five days – to a month at a time – a couple times a year. I also have friends whose husbands work in another state or drive truck for long periods of time who deal with things on their own often. Sarah gets very real in this book and I think it would be helpful for many people. Also, what a challenge to invite people to have dinner with your family! Creative inspiration abounds in this tale.

Just a reminder: He who began a good work in you shall be faithful to complete it to the day of Christ Jesus. Be encouraged; look up my friends, your salvation is near!

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rain fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

-An Irish blessing from all-greatquotes.com. [photo by Heidi Honey]

Have You Heard The Shepherd’s Voice?

I read The Shepherd’s Voice, Robin Lee Hatcher’s 1934 depression era novel set in Ransom, Idaho. The heroine’s name is Akira, Scottish for anchor. Her grandfather wanted her to have a powerful name to make her not be afraid of life; he put a lot of stock in meaningful names. The man with a past’s name is Gabriel, which means a strong man of God. Akira has kept the sheep farm her grandfather left when he died, never thinking about marriage, satisfied with life on her grandfather’s farm. Gabe has come back from prison to see his Lumber Baron father, who not only put him in prison, but owns most of the town… except Akira’s farm! Akira is of strong faith, but can even her faith stand up to what’s ahead with this waif of a man whom she found unconscious from hunger under her thinking tree and his blood-thirsty, manipulative father? As usual, Robin has woven an exciting, thought-provoking story with many surprising twists, much history, and faith! I highly recommend this book.

The Shepherd's Voice: A Novel by [Robin Lee Hatcher]

Robin begins with the following dedication:

“To the Good Shepherd, My Lord and King, Who took me from where I was, brought me to where I am, and, praise the Lord, isn’t finished with me yet. May the stories I write please You, Jesus, for if they don’t. they are without merit of any kind.”

The gist of the story is redemption. Has anyone fallen so far that God, in His mercy, cannot save them? Gabe is not the only character in this story that has a past, has a future, and has a choice to make. It makes me think about some people in my own life. Have I got hope for their future to put before them?

I am also reading a new book from The Voice of the Martyrs called When Faith Is Forbidden Forty Days On The Front Lines With Persecuted Christians by Todd Nettleton.

Today I read Day 2 titled, “I Used To Beat Him”. The Scripture was 1 Timothy 1: 12-15

Glory to God for His Grace

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

What Todd shared on page 25 truly hit home for me, putting Paul’s story in a new setting. A VOM contact in Colombia has a saying: “‘A race horse can run just as fast in either direction.’ One who is zealous for sin will often become zealous for Christ. One who beat Christians might eventually accept beatings with joy in service to his king.'”

I am prone to categorize people as soon as I see them. This keeps me from loving them as God does and hinders my prayers for them. I put this problem before the Lord today and heard the Spirit of Jesus say:

Love, love, love – My love through you is the key. Love! Let Me say again – Love! Give thanks with a grateful heart for everyone I’ve put in your life. Stop and let Me show you what I think of them. Speak blessing and not cursing. It only takes a moment’s pause – I will give you time for that if you let Me. Pause, My dear one.

I challenge you today to think of one person in your life who is hard to love. What steps can you take to establish a bridge by which you can share the gospel with that one? Remember, without love, we are nothing. Love is of God and everyone who belongs to God has His love, no excuse. In this I am shamed and challenged. Are you?

Bumming Around

Welcome to another episode of my musings. It’s another busy week on my end, I assume it is for you as well. Almost half of the posts for the solar panels are in the ground and today we finally had a good rain day after weeks with none, and finally completed planting the garden except for moving my flowers into their new beds. I picked the first radishes, the “Early Globe” variety, which are a treat on salads. Our second air conditioner is in our dining-room window now, preparing for a hot week to come.

Oh, did I say, ‘Bumming around’? I spent about an hour in Salvation Army’s thrift store looking for a pair of jeans I can wear to work in the garden dirt. No success there, but I spent another hour browsing in Ollie’s with my 15% off coupon “burning a hole” in my purse. After a thorough perusal of the mattress pads, which was my primary reason for shopping there, I found the one that should fit our bed best. I also found two varieties of Kind snack bars, a couple books, a new journal, a couple boxes of assorted Birthday cards, and of course, a small bag of York peppermint patties; did I mention I also bought a container of mini peppermint patties at the bulk food store yesterday while picking up a bag of white rice flour I’d ordered? My ‘sweet tooth needs reigning in, I think. Amazing what you can find when you don’t have a time restraint on your shopping!

The Normal Supernatural Christian Life By Aliss Cresswell

My attempt at using Proverbs and the Virkler’s Naturally Supernatural book for devotions has gone by the wayside for now as I begin Aliss Cresswell’s book The Normal Supernatural Christian Life. Aliss’ testimonies of the miracles and healings that go on in their ministry gives me deeper hunger for the things of God. On page 15, Aliss shares that her name Alison means ‘sacred flame’ and the minister at her dedication as a baby quoted Psalm 104:4 “He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.”

The minister prayed that… “‘I would be like a flame of fire and a messenger from God.’ I didn’t know this until recently, but for many years I have felt a fire burning within me, and from an early age have introduced people to Jesus.” (p. 15) Aliss shares this after a man sitting by her on a plane broke out in a sweat and turned red. He asked her what was going on; he was involved in other religions, but realized what was emanating from her was spiritually stronger than anything he’d experienced before, and he gave his life to the Lord!

We must understand we are mighty warriors, just as Gideon found out in the book of Judges. The time is NOW to take back our spiritual heritage and walk in the fullness of what Christ has purchased for us. After a week of floundering, I will dig in to this book and the Lord by the Holy Spirit and look forward to experiencing more of the fire Aliss talks about.

Even Forever: A Novel by [Robin Lee Hatcher]

Have I told you about the Birthday gift I got from Robin Lee Hatcher? Her birthday was four days before mine and she offered a free Kindle download of her new book, Even Forever, to her followers. I got to read it last weekend and realized again what a wonderful storyteller and character developer Robin is. Rosalie Tomkin is daughter of a drunkard who has been in jail and is just returning home to the boarding house she has been helping her mother run while he’s been gone. With a ne’er-do-well brother taking after his father’s sins, she wants to leave Boulder Creek, Colorado as quickly as possible. A wealthy visitor from California is staying at her mother’s boarding house. Could he be her ticket to the city? The book is set in 1890, just as Colorado is becoming a state and the railroad is coming their way. This is a story of redemption, God making a way of escape for the innocent, and ending the reign of terror. I enjoyed this historical fiction. Stories like this aren’t the only place dreams of the heart come true. I can see this tale giving hope to some hopeless people.

I rejoice that the strict guidelines for Covid protocol are loosening in our state! Yesterday I got to go inside the library for the first time in a year. God’s truth will prevail if we continue to wait patiently and pray in faith. Have you been invited to a prayer meeting lately? Please go if you get the chance! We need to gather with others to pray in agreement that God’s will shall be done here on earth as in heaven. We are in a new era and the Greater Glory is falling on us. I end with these Scriptures, summing up all that I’ve written. Yes, God is talking about bringing in the tithe, but I am claiming this whole passage. I’m assuming you tithe, as do I?

Malachi 3:10b “And try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
says the Lord of hosts;

Shalom to you, my dear ones. We will ponder again next week, Lord willing.

Proverbs on Memorial Day

Welcome to my current musings. I am reading the book of Proverbs in my Passion Translation Bible. I’ve spent a week on the first two chapters, so it will definitely take me over thirty-one days to get through it, but that’s my plan. I have thought of the thirty-one-day reading that many do as a month’s devotion; some do this repeatedly. Every time I read a chapter of Proverbs, I’m intimidated by the number of topics covered. So I am taking it slow and pondering as I go.

As we approach Memorial Day in the U.S. I pause to remember all those who have gone before. What sacrifices others have made for us all to stand where we are today is unfathomable. We have all heard stories of the past, but not often what happened in our personal family histories. Some memories are so painful, we will not share them even on our deathbed. Some are so silly or joyful, we have heard them many times, embellished with each telling. No matter what is in your own past, our collective past as a nation, or those tales from our long ago ancestors recorded in the Bible, all these tales become a part of our own tales. Our lives build on those that went before and those to come will build on what we have done.

So how do these two themes connect? King David’s son Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs, as he reflected on his life and what he learned from being the wisest of men who ended up doing the foolish things God had told him not to do. Many of us have to learn from our own mistakes; it is the wise one who learns from others’ mistakes and avoids repeating them, for those who forget history are destined to repeat it. The entire book of Proverbs encourages us to follow hard after God; to seek and find what is good and what will enhance our life here on earth and our eternity. I take the following from The Message Bible.

Wise Sayings of Solomon

A Manual for Living

1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
    David’s son, Israel’s king—
Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right,
    to understand what life means and where it’s going;
A manual for living,
    for learning what’s right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
    and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
    still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
    the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

God provided the entire Bible as a manual for living, but Proverbs delves into the deep meat with both feet. So where do you start?

Start with God

Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
    only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

What will we gain from reading Proverbs? Let’s look at the benefits I found in the Passion Translation.

Proverbs 1:33 But the one who always listens to me
    will live undisturbed in a heavenly peace.
    Free from fear, confident and courageous,
    that one will rest unafraid and sheltered from the storms of life.”

My instigation for beginning the book of Proverbs came from someone (sorry, I don’t remember whom) who concentrated on the first eight chapters of Proverbs because she truly wanted to know the wisdom of God and follow it. As a follow-up to studying the book of James, it made sense to me to do the same. James tells us God freely gives wisdom to those who ask:

James 1:5 And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.

Who better than King Solomon, possessing more wisdom from God than any man before him, could lead us into the wisdom we lack? So, according to the Passion Translation, reading Proverbs will develop the wisdom you lack, freely given from our gracious Father God. Also, who doesn’t want to live in heavenly peace, free from fear, resting sheltered and unafraid? I see this as a good definition of the perfect peace we find when our mind dwells on the Lord! I pray we all find the grace to experience Shalom as we remember those who gave their lives for us to live in freedom. A blessed Memorial Day weekend to you all. I will connect with you again next week, Lord willing.

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Pentecost Sunday

This was an extremely busy week for us and I realized it’s Sunday instead of Friday; which is my usual day for posting. We had company for three days, garden re-structuring and planting, along with helping a friend fence in a garden area, weed and rock pick in both gardens, on top of our normal weekly activities. Oh, and Friday was set-up for our Saturday morning annual plant sale for our Garden Club. By the way, the plant sale went extremely well, and we finally got our Kia back from the collision shop; exactly three months to-the-day from when they towed it there after my February deer collision! It’s so like my Father God to make it an exact amount of time. Does God do this in your life as well?

Needless to say, I missed a day of exercise, two or three days of devotions, and had extra laundry due to all the work in the dirt and grass, as well as the towels and bedding from sharing our home. We have been eating very well, inspired by the guests being here; thanks be to God from whom all blessings flow!

Does your church celebrate Pentecost, fifty days after First Fruits (which is the day of Christ’s resurrection/Easter for Christians)? At our church we remembered and celebrated what the day of Pentecost, as recorded in the first chapters of the book of Acts, still means for us today. They challenged us to ask for another dose or new in-filling of Holy Spirit and the power that comes with it. One brother got up and exhorted us to get rid of the “old clothes” that fit no more since we have put on Christ. It reminded me of the basket full of knee, ankle, wrist, hand… braces and wraps we brought from our other house. I have worn most, if not all, of these through the years, but have not been able to wear them for the past few years; they no longer fit or don’t help anymore. I’m reminded my knee used to let me know when the weather was changing; it no longer does! I believe I’m experiencing progressive healing, praise Jesus!

Coming of the Holy Spirit

Acts:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What “old clothes” do you need to get rid of? Ask Holy Spirit to show you. I know I need to do this, so join me as I pray:

Father, we have immersed ourselves in the things of this world and not kept our eyes focused on You and what You have for us. We have gone through our days forgetting to walk in the Spirit, desensitized to Your voice and presence. We are sorry. We realize Christ in us is the fullness we need to fulfill the plans You have for us, only able to be done by the Holy Spirit working in and through us. Holy Spirit, come as you did on the first Pentecost, like a mighty rushing wind, appearing as flames of fire on each one of us. Fill our hands with healing and our mouths with Heavenly languages that bring Your gifts and enablings alive in and through us. Fill us again. May words of knowledge and words of wisdom and prophecy, healings, signs and wonders flow from each of us to minister to those You place in front of us. We ask that the love of God would spread abroad as we open our hearts and hands to all You have to impart to us.

In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

What a Birthday!

Today I join the crowd turning 58! As the song Sunrise, Sun Set from the musical Fiddler On The Roof says, “Quickly Flow the Days!” Put in perspective: if I live as long as Moses, I have 62 years left to praise and honor God! It’s all part of God’s design for seedtime and harvest, the rhythm of this life we’ve been given here on earth.

Here in Hart's Crossing: Four Charming Small Town Novellas by [Robin Lee Hatcher]

I am following Robin Lee Hatcher and was blessed with this book on a free Kindle offer for her birthday, May 10, the same day as my son Alex, and four days before mine. I have spent the last three evenings in Hart’s Crossing and thoroughly enjoyed reading four stories connected through the well-developed characters Robin has such a talent from God to create. These are not just love stories, but life lessons on learning to honor God with our decisions at any age. Lots of examples of how community works and what it’s like to come home again; or not to have left. I give this book five stars; what a great Birthday week gift!

On other birthday news, I found a one-hundred-dollar bill in my Birthday Card from my husband John. He told me it’s not to give away, put in savings, or use for “needs”, he wants me to get something I will really enjoy! Two of my four children have already texted Happy Birthday, my phone hasn’t stopped pinging, and we’re going to visit my son Alex’s family later today. We’re heading from there to Vermont for the first time since son Chris moved his family there to attend a Birthday Party for our granddaughter Ashlynn. She turned 5 on May 7th. The weather here has become true May weather; the sun is back after a long stretch of rainy days, so it’s a great weekend to travel and visit.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! I’m so thankful for all the years He has been my strength and my song. So many deep waters and Hallelujah times woven together to bring me to this day. I am thankful for my mom who spent this day in the hospital in 1963, thankful for her parents who arrived the evening before I made my appearance, thankful for my dad who was so happy to welcome his fourth child into the family. I’m also thankful for the people I have met that have the same birthday. I think there must be some connection there, since God plans our appearance; our birth on the earth, to be just right for His glorious plans to unfold.

Thanks for sharing this day with me. I pray you are giving thanks with a grateful heart for all the blessings the Lord has poured out on your life. It doesn’t take much time when you stop to “Count your blessings, name thenm one by one” to stack up layers of praise for the goodness of God in your life.

Shalom to you, dear readers! Thanks again for joining me.

Ashlynn May 7, 2021

Father and Son

Welcome to another random musing post, my friends! My son Chris, who lives about six hours away, came late last Friday to turkey hunt with his dad. They enjoyed spending time with each other and catching up on their lives since the last time they were together; which was last fall’s deer hunting. He went home a day early due to all the rain we are having and his daughters and puppies missing him (as well as his wife!).

While Chris was here, our son Harold, who lives about seven hours away in the opposite direction, went truck shopping. He got a good deal for trading in his jeep that had been having problems and found a Ram truck to suit his family’s needs. He and his dad had several long conversations and pictures were sent to show Dad what he was doing. Well, their discussions led to Dad deciding if he wants to trade in his truck, he should do it soon.

The grace God gave us when we showed up at the Kia dealer in February to find the Telluride we’d been hoping to buy was sitting right out front held true with our truck trade. We went a day earlier than John was going to go, found the manager had taken the truck John found on line to the dealer three hours away. Well, the salesperson found another truck in line with what we wanted, then we test-drove one that wasn’t the color we wanted. When we got back, the salesperson found the truck he thought was out in the back lot had been right out front the whole time. It was just what John had been looking for and had been talking with our son about!

We picked it up today, the day after we test-drove. Turns out the one we test-drove sold shortly after we left the day before, the salesperson put the plates on the wrong one; there were “twin” trucks, and they also sold the twin to the truck we bought, and it was also being picked up today! There is a great demand for good used vehicles at the dealerships right now if you’ve got any idea to trade yours in.

What a blessing! This is the earliest we’ve ever traded a truck in (5 years) and we got an excellent trade and zero % interest; the trade-in garnered half the price of the truck, which made the deal! John also got to talk to the owner at the collision shop where our Kia has been for three months. He was so thankful we did not call and chew them out for the long wait. He said the last part we need should land on American soil at the end of next week; he could give us a rental until then. John said we really don’t need the rental, but could he take some off our deductible payment? He said he definitely could guarantee half, and probably get complete payment authorized. John told him my birthday is on the 14th, and it would be a good gift for me, so the man said he’d really try to get it to us by then!

On this National Day of Prayer, I am so thankful for the blessings our family is experiencing, the Dad/Son (and mom) time my family is getting, and the wonderful things the Lord is working out in our country. All for His glory!

I am being challenged again to draw deeper in my relationship with Father, Son and Spirit of God. Patricia King, in the devotion I did today from The Prophetic Manifesto for 2020, shared the essence of Brother Lawrence’s story you can find in the book The Practice of the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence constantly practiced turning his thoughts to God. No matter what he was doing, he would remind himself to turn back to God through worship and prayer. As I said, he did it no matter what or where. People would come to be near him just to feel the presence of God that emanated from him. This reminds me of an interview I saw with Carol Arnott; every ten minutes she talks to God. She’s been doing it for long enough that she doesn’t need to set a timer anymore! What would our lives look like if we became that connected through the Spirit of God? Jesus modeled this for us, but few of us achieve it. In last week’s post, i mentioned that most of us don’t fill our God-hunger with worship and prayer, or even giving thanks throughout our day.

I ask two questions: first, what would it look like for you to practice the presence of God each day? second, what could you remove from your day to make this possible?

Take advantage of God within us, hope of glory. Remember this verse from my theme for this year; in Him we live and move and have our being. Let us endeavor to grow deeper in understanding of this. We do not take a breath without Christ in us. The blood flowing through our veins would cease without Him sustaining us. Let us give thanks with a grateful heart continually, as we are able. Come, Holy Spirit, burn within and draw us near that burning love to abide! Reveal keys for us to draw near, as each of us is unique. I encourage you to start by quieting your soul and letting thanks and praise come out of your mouth from a grateful heart. Let’s start with one of my favorite verses in Psalms, “Be still, and know that KI am God.”