Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Formula for Success

How many books have you read or heard of in your lifetime that proclaim the perfect formula or plan or steps that lead to successful living? There are most assuredly hundreds that have been written....

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen Covey
The On Purpose Person: - Making your life make sense

Kevin McCarthy
How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Dale Carnegie
The Power of Positive Thinking

Norman Vincent Peale
How To Get What You Want

Zig Ziglar

and SO many others you could list I am sure...

Today I read scripture that stood up and waved and got my attention. Good stuff.
A formula for SUCCESS. I had to share it with someone else. :-)

Here is the Scripture:

"Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what He did for me: For I cried to Him for help with praise ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But He listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it!
Blessed be God, who didn't turn away when I was praying and didn't refuse me His kindness and love." (Psalm 66:16-20)


1. Reverence the Lord. Ever have those feelings of awe and extreme respect for God? It is usually after you have spent time with Him listening to Him talk...yeah, that means you were taking time to read His Words....Bible reading...and God the Holy Spirit spoke to your spirit.

2. Cry out to Him....um....that means TALK to Him. Ever go through the morning and step into the afternoon, and realize that you haven't prayed once that day, spent some intimate time with God????

3. with praise ready on my tongue. That smacks of an expectant attitude. As I am talking, asking, crying out, I am absolutely so expecting Him to respond to me that I have my praises already sitting on my tongue. I am ready to thank Him for listening, and caring, and working things out for my best...wow, >asking with my Thank You ready and waiting.

4. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins... I am not flippant about my relationship with God that I would be so bold and prideful to think He will listen to my needs if I have wronged Him. I must seek restoration in that area. I remind myself of my position before a Holy God.

5. He listened! He heard! He paid attention! I am confident of my standing with God. I have held myself accountable to be in good relationship with Him by my assurance through Jesus Christ's work for me. I know without a doubt He has received my request.

6. Blessed be God, who didn't turn away...didn't refuse His Kindness and love to me. I give praise to Him for His faithfulness to me. I express gratitude for His grace to willingly accept my petition. I accept His plan as what's best. I know His will is filled with kindness and love. I testify of this to others.

This is my post to myself today. An entry into my e-journal. To come back and read later....down the road...when I review this journey I have travelled with God as my constant companion. All of the Good Stuff He tells me as we talk and walk.

Our God is an awesome God. How will one ever know this ...without doubt...if they do not spend time getting to know Him better? This is what He desires of us. And I for one, definitely desire to get to know HIM better. What a Friend we have in Jesus. He wants to help us while we remain here, until we get to our eternal home where all will be sweet and burden-free.

Spend some time with the One who knows you best. It is a formula that cannot fail you.
It's amazing! He is mindful of us. He hears us when we call. He is thinking of us. He loves us! God, the Lord Jesus Christ calls us Friend.



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Making a Moment...

We Do Not Remember Days, We Remember Moments...

It has been said that it is not so much the BIG things in life that really bring about the intimacy and memories in our relationships as it is the SMALL things. Those moments that are sandwiched in-between the everyday realities of what we live out every 24 hours.

This past Saturday Kurt and I had the pleasure of sharing in one of those moments with our son Justin. He is a Marine training at Camp Geiger out in Jacksonville.
It is a 4.5 hour drive out there and then again back home. But the sweet time we get to spend with him is worth every minute, mile, and penny we use to do it.

Last Saturday Kurt and Kameron got to be with Justin. This time, I got to go.
We got away about 5:45 Saturday morning. As we travelled we began to see the sun peeking over the horizon and the treetops.

We got to see WALLS of corn...sometimes on both sides of the road. I felt like we were in a maze a few times.

Don Williams provided some background atmosphere during the trip.

For many miles the sun was shining on the blacktop causing multitudes of little pieces of material in the asphalt mix to reflect shiny sparkling little dots.
I told Kurt it reminded me of fairy dust or the Pixie dust of Tinkerbell she shook all over everyone to enable them to fly in Peter Pan. I felt like we were "flying" to a Happy place where we would get to see Justin again. (If you click on the photo, you can see them a little better.)

We also got to see many patches of colorful wildflowers that the NC DOT has planted along the highways.

About halfway there we got a phone call from Justin telling us his liberty was being cut short for the day, and instead of all day liberty, he would have to be back on base at 3:30. That would give us about 5 hours. We took what we could get.

Here is my "superfly" chauffer driving me out to see my Marine. Big heart, Big smile, Big glasses.... Happy Dad...That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Can't really post pics of Camp Geiger once inside the Gate, but here is where we stop to check in and register (outside) every time we go to visit Justin.

Our itinerary for the day was hoped to be a trip to the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, eat some fish, take in a movie, and let Justin do anything else he needed to do. With the shortened liberty, we decided to head for the Aquarium first.

Just outside there were four men working hard on a sand sculpture. Here is what they had started. Wish I could have seen the finished product!

Here are some photos for my e-scrapbook as a memory of this Saturday end-of-June trip.

Gator-wrestling. Justin won!

The Ray tank had beautiful varieties of small rays in it.

No...I am not going to touch one of the Rays...

Here is a shot I couldn't resist. Justin is getting video on his phone of the Shark tank. This shot shows what Justin calls his Neopolitan look. Note the Strawberry/ Vanilla/Chocolate Hairstyle. :-) Also mom loves the dimple in the back of his head that matches the two on his face when he smiles. :-)

Here, Justin and I stand by a HUGE alligator turtle. Justin liked it!

After the aquarium, we took off for a Fish restaurant. Found One!

This is most of the damage he did... hungry soldier!

After eating, we were getting short on time, so we headed back towards the base. Justin was getting V-E-R-Y sleepy. His head started nodding. Tired Marine...

We stopped off at the MCX store for Justin to get a quick haircut and purchase a few supplies. Mom snuck in with her camera, and got a nod and a smile from the cheerful barber to grab a photo!

It was almost 3:30, so we got Justin back to his building, got some big hugs and said a quick goodbye. He grabbed his PowerBars we had brought, his backpack, and once again we had to leave him behind. Bittersweet, but not so bad, as we knew he would be getting a 96 hour leave for 4th of July and will get to come home this week. YES!

As we drove away, I snapped a photo of this sign where you turn to approach the gate of Camp Geiger. It is also the entrance of the USMC air strip.(click if you want to enlarge and read.) It says: PARDON OUR NOISE...IT'S THE SOUND OF FREEDOM!

It was a glorious day, albeit short, but oh so sweet. We look forward to having him here with the whole family next weekend as we celebrate our country's birthday of freedom. Seems 10 times more meaningful now that our son is going to fight and protect that said freedom.

Hope to share about that. I'll close with this little gift Justin had to give us when we arrived to pick him up for the day. :-) :-) :-)

Those smart people out there know how to get a soldier to spend his money!
Mom and Dad will wear them with love and pride.
Hoping you are making some precious moments in your life,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For Your Good...

“Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances. Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good.” - Charles Spurgeon.

I came across this quote this morning as I was reading and spending time with the Lord. Charles Spurgeon was an amazing man. His writings reveal his close relationship with his Savior. I am thankful that he was compelled to share about his times spent with God, that others might benefit.

As I posted yesterday, I am grateful for the fact that God chose me before time as I know it began. I am His. To keep this knowledge close to my conscious state as I go about my duties every day is what I would attempt to do, in order to live my life so that it would speak out loud of that gratitude.

And then today, to read and be reminded that God has ordained my days, every one of them, and has ordered and placed them that I might be in the most "suitable circumstances" all the time. When my days seem less than ideal, there is the knowledge that the One who loves me, whose wings shelter me... is still in control. He has divinely planned or allowed every day of my life to His specifications for what works for my utmost best and His ultimate glory. This gives confidence and courage. This is what FAITH is all about. Believing, not Seeing.

Every morning, if we would only spend time with our Heavenly Father, if only to be reminded of that promise...I think we would stand stronger, fare better, and walk more confidently as we went out to live our lives.

Without God, we walk in darkness
With God, we walk in light.

"In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." (John 1: 1-5)

I want to see. I am grateful today that I know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I know that He has redeemed me. He gives me light to walk in and through this world for my lifetime.

I hope that you know of this confidence. It is life giving.

And truly....it is to die for.

Today, pray for our military people. They are willing to die for your freedom.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In the Shadow of His Wings...

Today...I am pondering with wonder that I am a child of God. I am HIS. He chose me.
He adopted me to be His daughter. I belong to the Heavenly realm. I am a citizen of God's Country. I am a Princess, as my Father is the King of Kings. I am a warrior because being in that lineage puts me under the calling of a soldier for the holiness, righteousness, and justice of His kingdom...of which there is no end.

I feel humbled and honored to have such a position to stand in. And yet I feel the need to cry out and shout to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who made this position possible for me. My allegiance is to Him, and Him alone. I take my commands from Him.

I read and listen and hear of the condition of this earthly, physical realm we walk in currently. It is frightening. It is angering. It is alarming. And yet I know...that God has it all under His control and watchful eye. I need not fear or worry.

"For you are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me. I shall live forever in your tabernacle; oh to be safe beneath the shelter of your wings!.....I lie awake at night thinking of you - of how much you have helped me - and how I rejoice through the night beneath the protecting shadow of your wings. I follow close behind you, protected by your strong right arm....This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I am trusting Him.... For He rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with His wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor....For Jehovah is my refuge! I choose the God above all gods to shelter me...
For the Lord says, "Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble and rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.." (Psalms 61, 63, 91 selections)

I hope and pray that I will continue to grow in my faith step by step in response to His everlasting faithfulness to me and my family. We have no reason, no justification, no answer, no grounds... to ever doubt Him. He has shown so much mercy and grace and love and faithfulness to us. He truly is our rock in the shifting sands of this culture. He fully is the refuge we have to run to when the enemy is overwhelming in his barrage of arrows sent to cripple our hope. He daily is the shelter, the shadow we can rest under when we need to recharge, recover, and be restored to our fully-armed positions, ready to fight for His glory, His victory.

This God is our God. He is the Awesome God of the universe and beyond. Do you grasp this truth today? Have you pondered the wonder of being loved and claimed and protected by the GOD of all gods?

If not...take some time...let the fact that He has chosen you for Himself...blow your socks off today. :-) Then....thank Him. Claim your position as His warrior.

Live for Him. Fight the good fight. Finish this race, in His power, under His wing.

Thanking God and Christ my Savior for who I am today, undeserving, but assured.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Couldn't let the day pass without saying that my Dad is a great Father. He is a wonderful Grandfather, too. :-) His Dad was a godly man....he is a godly man, he and mom raised myself and my siblings to lead a godly life, and that heritage is being passed on generationally to our kids now.

Here are a few photos of this prayer warrior over our family.

Photographer - big events

75th birthday! Double Chocolate!

Reading the annual Christmas devotion

Birthday party, (chief pizza provider)

And we can't forget the biggie....

He gave me away....and then

He married me to my hubby.


Even though he's not my father, Kurt's a very special man, because he's the father of my bestest treasures in this world. He is a good dad.
Here are some pics of Justin and Kam. Their dad drove all the way to Wilmington to spend the day with his Marine at Camp Geiger on his liberty Saturday. They had fun and enjoyed the time they had together. Here they are after touring the USS Battleship in Wilmington.
Left at 5:30 in the morning, spent the day with Justin, and turned around and drove back home, arriving at 2:30 am.
It was Kurt's Father's Day to himself, and his best gift both to himself and to Justin. Kam had fun too!

Driving, driving...driving around Jacksonville

Big Boat

Another pic??? oh, yeah ...for mom

Hey Dad, thanks for giving this Father's Day gift to yourself...we LIKE it!

Thank God for fathers. Though none of us are perfect, those of us who are sinners saved by grace, know that God can do great and mighty things through those who love HIM. And HE does His good and perfect will through men...dads...who are good-willed and honorable in their intentions and efforts to glorify their Savior. Respect them and honor them and thank God that HE is the perfect Father-figure who shapes and forms godly men still, today, into good dads.
Thankful for the fatherly men in my life.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Got a little piece of Eden in your yard???

Remember these flowers in a post several days ago? They are a thing of beauty hiding an OOPS-induced ugliness! (broken window pane)

Here's the replacement blooms. The others started wilting. It's fun to watch all the different shades of Hydrangeas as they open up on the bush, and change by the day. A small embellishment of Red Maple is added to this display.

The beauty of God's Creation is mind-boggling. The sights and scents of just the floral offerings are proof and evidence of His power. They are a wonderful example of that original Eden that we are still able to experience and enjoy today in our world. Eden, by definition, means... A delightful place; a paradise, or a state of innocence, bliss, or ultimate happiness. I can only imagine what The First Garden must have looked like and smelled like in all its splendor. I love gardens. :-)

healthy crop of Lamb's Ear....so soft.

and then we have the Elephant Ear....so BIG!

The blooming of the Day lilies has begun! Sadly the blooms only last for one day...

Every time I look at this Hosta variety, I am still amazed at the size of the leaf. You could pile a huge dinner serving on one of these!... and I love the variegated coloring.

Ever heard of the term "Eye Candy"? eye candy - visual images that are pleasing to see but are intellectually undemanding. That's what this photo is. :-)

Daffodils, Lenten Rose, Snowbells, Dogwood and Sebastian getting to experience the garden flora inside where he has to stay.

hmm...a blast from the past in the days when Rastus used to come downstairs. Here he sits enjoying the Gardenias (I love their scent!) Rose of Sharon and Hydrangeas.
scanned from a photo, so please excuse the grainy look... :-)

And here's a photo from the past with my little Annie Grace whom I miss!!! She was looking pretty beside the bouquet fresh from the yard. That was a bountiful year of many different flowers.



God's natural beauty from outside...brought inside, to enjoy even more throughout the day! (the most beautiful of all interior decoration selections!)

AND just for fun, more "eye candy" from the outdoors.

I close with this little sign. If you don't have a little piece of earth to plant in right now, then just grab yourself a few hanging baskets or planters and pots, and fill them up with some summer annuals. The riot of color on your patio, or balcony or window ledge will bring you joy and happiness every day... I guarantee it!

Here's hoping you enjoyed this garden post.

Blessings in your own little spot of Eden,