Tag Archive | Daily Devotional

My House is a Mess, but I Am Oiled In the Presence of My Enemies!

A beloved Psalm throughout the ages, Psalm 23 speaks of devotion from our Shepherd, peace and rest, and protection.

But do we really understand what these beautiful Words say?

And how do we meaningfully apply them to our lives?

Here is my take on these timelessly beautiful and peaceful Words. The Words in Burgandy are Scripture, with my interpretation and a little humor on how I have been applying – or NOT applying them to my life in green. 

Enjoy!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd

 (when I allow Him to be)

I shall not want. 

(even though I do want – lots of things – I will try not to want unreasonably)

He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

(even though often I don’t see them)

He leads me beside quiet waters. 

(even though I tend to stir them up)

He restores my soul;

 (time, after time, after time)

He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 

(This means He guides me when I seek Him. When I forget to seek Him, or ask for His help, more often than not, I end up on the wrong path!)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

(Sorry God, I know that not having enough money for the things I think I need, is not actually the valley of the shadow of death, nor is having shoe and boot envy! – but I get what you mean here.)

I fear no evil, for You are with me; 

(I know You are with me, God, but sometimes it’s so hard not to worry or be afraid. Bad things have happened in my life in the past, and I keep being afraid they will happen again. But I will try NOT to worry, and trust more that You know what You are doing.)

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

(Yes, God, I have to admit that in probably every tough lessen I have had to learn, I came out better for it. I don’t like tough lessens at all – as a matter of fact, I dread them, but there is comfort in knTall Table compowing that once through the lesson I will be stronger and a better person for it.  And when I let You lead me, my reward is always greater on Your path than my own.  Yes, I have learned this.)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

(Sometimes I don’t get this one – but I know that when I’m around people I don’t know, or those I feel uncomfortable around, or a little scared of – if I just say a quick prayer to You to help me or keep me safe, I always feel reassured. I know from Your Word that You will bless me for my faithfulness and carry me through any danger.)

You have anointed my head with oil; 

(and my feet with beautiful shoes)

My cup overflows. 

(Yes, Lord, even though I like to “want,” I do realize that I have much more than many, many others. I have a non-leaking, heated and cooled roof over my head; I have a dependable car to get me where I need to go; I have ample and nutritious food in my tummy every day; and I have so much love and support in my life from family and friends – My cup does overflow!

I will be grateful!!

And during those times when the level in my cup begins to lower, yes even when it seems it will dry up – well, somehow just in the nick of time You seem to always fill it back up and then even overflow it again!

I will remember this! I will!)

Surely goodness and lovingkindness (and mercy) will follow me all the days of my life. 

(This means God will take care of me, providing for my basic needs and love me forever. This does NOT mean I will always be trouble-free, carefree, or rich! But I promise I will try to remember this and be grateful, even in the tough times.)

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

Thank You, God, that I have Your house and Your presence to dwell in, because I, and my house are sometimes a mess!

Thank You God for the Words You give me – that You give to everyone, to help me – us- make it through each and every day. God, please help me remember to start each day saying “hi” to You, and asking You to walk with me that day, and to be with me, no matter what. Show me who You are in my life, God. Give me faith to believe completely in You, and that You have a pre-made plan for me, because You loved me and formed me, and consecrated me even before I was born. Please help me remember this and be faithful. And in this season of Thanksgiving, please help me see and remember how much I have to be thankful for.  I love you God – Amen ❤

Thankful Table

Have a Beautiful Day!

#Goodness #Love #Mercy

#Goodness #Love #Mercy

May Love and Kindness

Guide your life today.

May you find a little Peace

Along the way

Enveloped in Compassion

Walking with Faith

May you sit with Contentment

At the end of this day.

 

Peaceful, Nice Veteran’s Day to You!

Peaceful, Nice Veteran’s Day to you all!

In reflection today of those in my family, and those from around our Country who have served, and yet serve, and in thinking particularly of the changes that serving can and does make in our troops and their family’s lives, I came across this song Stand With Me by the band Downhere. It carries the message I wish to say to each of these faithful, serving in our Armed Forces –

I will stand with you!

May our entire Country stand with each of you, today, and always – God bless you and your families, and thank you for putting yourself out there for your Country and each of us. I appreciate each one of you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0yOzDptjWs#t=15

Tiff and Chris in Uniform

Welcome Home Son-in-Law

Richard Aaron in Uniform

Brave Nephew

Chas

Brave Neice

Nikki

Brave Niece

Billy, Mindy, Cyndi in Terminal

Welcome Home Brother

Dad in Uniform

My Korean Veteran Dad

Billy in Guard Uniform

Hero Brother

Billy in Navy Blues

Awesome Brother

Honor Guard at Dad's Funeral

Veteran Honor Guard

Salute at Dad's Funeral

Veteran Honor Guard Salute at Dad’s Funeral

  Billy Taking Navy Oath

God is My Bowl of Cream of Wheat

Full Fur Lined Slippers   After experiencing my first dry, HOT Nevada summer, I am definitely enjoying this week’s burst of cooler, fall weather – yay!  How about you?  Waking up to a brisk 49 degrees (and after pulling out my warm, fur lined slippers), I find myself longing for a bowl of hot, satisfying Cream of Wheat! Mmmmm…Rich and creamy, made with milk and a touch of pure maple syrup for just a hint of sweetness, topped with dried cranberries and cinnamon toasted walnuts or pecans – oh yes! Just what my tummy is hungering for. 

Cream of Wheat for Blog 2

Mmmmm…that was SO good! Soothed me right up!

     As I was eating, I got to thinking this: my rich, delicious, soothing bowl of cream of wheat does for my tummy and body, just what my relationship with God does for my soul and my life. Oooooh yeeeeeaah!  Here’s how:

The thick, hot cream of wheat itself serves as my breakfast foundation; it’s the soothing, nutrient rich filler that lines my tummy and satisfies my hunger.  Just like my relationship with God.  Believing in God, allowing myself to love Him, and having deep faith, fills me up with goodness, satisfies my hunger for belonging and self-worthiness, soothes my battered soul and creates the rich foundation for everything in my life.

Maple Syrup 2The little touch of pure maple syrup serves as the wholesome little bit of sweetness I need to not crave delicious and tempting super fats like fried donuts and pies in the morning!!  This is like prayer – my conversations with God.  Talking with God fills me up with sweet love from my Maker, satisfying my craving for acceptance and love and all the very tempting but bad-for-me things in this world.  After imbibing in a little prayer time, I feel loved and renewed and good about myself, and relieved of the need to go out and seek the wrong kind of acceptance socially.Cranberries 1 comp

The cranberries lend a little bit of tartness just to liven things up. They get my orneriness and backbone going, just like God’s Word or Scripture does.  When I need a little strength and courage to do what needs to be done, I can always go to the Book and find that encouragement and backbone, and even a little direction for my day to day living.  Plus, cranberries are loaded with anti-oxidants and help improve immune function.  Scripture is also loaded with anti-oxidants for life, and applying God’s words to my life definitely improves my immunity to temptation. (smile smile)

Cinnamon compThe cinnamon adds a little spice for variety and flavor.  Just like my Christian service and ministry work.  I love the sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy flavor of cinnamon, and I love the sweet feelings and spicy variety I find in helping/doing nice things for others.  People and physical work can be great fun, but they can also be quite spicy!  But like cinnamon, mission work is full of variety and adds so much robust flavor to my life!Pecans

And, finally, the nuts give a little shot of protein, a little “meat” to cling to my tummy, which helps the rich cream of wheat fill me up, making me feel that much more satisfied and content.  This is just how I feel when I visit (fellowship) with other believers, whether socially or in church.  They back up and affirm my faith, helping to enrich and shore up my confidence and satisfaction in serving God.  And when I might falter, they are there to help carry me through the empty spots. These friends are God’s little helpers in making my life rich, happy, full and satisfying.

So there, you have it – God is my bowl of cream of wheat 

Yum!

Something in the Water

     I came across this article yesterday and my heart was warmed as I read.  As I listened to the song, I found my feet tapping, my head nodding and my spirit lifting.  I felt renewed – in the words of the song, definitely, but also in the realization that a mega-superstar was unashamedly putting it all out there – her FAITH!

Go Carrie Underwood!!!!

     I say we need more of our superstar, high profile people, like Carrie Underwood, to vocally stand up for what they believe in, against the mega bullies who are trying to tear anything having to do with our Christianity and God down.

     And I’d also say it’s time for us wishy washy, only-on-Sunday-Christians to wash up, armor up, Truth up, and speak up!  It’s time to show in words and deeds (respectfully and without tromping others’ rights and feelings) that True, real Christianity is not a dreaded disease to fear, but a good, honorable way of life, worthy of respect.  

And worthy of protecting.  

Who is with me?????

 ‪#‎somethinginthewater‬ ‪#‎realchristianity‬

Every day, it seems that the cultural norm in this country is to attack Christianity. From bakers being forced to choose between adhering to their faith or shutting…
TPNN.COM|BY JENNIFER BURKE

Beautiful…finally!

 Reading this woman’s experience (article link below) made me cry…

…cry because even though I have never been what most women would call overweight, I have obsessively struggled to be and remain “thin” my entire life. Like this woman, I have bought into the worldview of what “beauty” looks like and found myself lacking. 

         But the last 2 yrs as I struggled with an injury, not able to physically exercise much and gained 10 lbs, along with seeing the signs of an aging body, I have come to accept myself more.  I have come to realize and accept that I have EARNED every single one of my “dimples”, “sags”, “wrinkles”, “dark spots”, “age spots”, etc.  Like the wonderful, beloved-by-her-children woman in the article below, I have loved my children, have romped with them, have sacrificed for them, have laughed and cried with them, have held them, spent TIME with them, and did my very best to LOVE them as a Mommy should. 

         And like this beautiful woman, these characteristics and joyful givings from my heart have made me beautiful. They have made my life beautiful.  YES, I can say that now – I am beautiful – with the kind of beauty that matters. Who cares if I don’t wear a size 2 or 4 anymore, or if my abs are flat, or if I still have a nice thigh gap – being obsessed over being, having and keeping those things doesn’t allow enough time to love my children properly every day and be an attentive, giving partner for my husband. Besides – my husband likes curves!

         So, now that I’ve learned a few super important lessons, like this gorgeous, wonderful woman in this article, I choose to be truly beautiful and concentrate on the things that are realistically and ultimately important: my kids, my husband, and the special people in my life who add so much beauty and grace to it.  And the time left over after I have loved them each as they deserve will be devoted to being as physically healthy and fit as I can be. 

         True beauty is what is on the inside – the characteristics of the heart.  And the most beautiful of these is truly loving and giving love to those who are around us.  Exterior physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is just icing on the cake!

         And we all know that cake doesn’t have to be beautifully decorated to be delicious

http://blog.petflow.com/a-moms-kids-exposed-what-she-really-looks-like-and-her-reaction-is-perfect/?utm_content=bufferb8dcb&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_source=sungazing&utm_campaign=PFPost#rhuTXP6EfeTQusVG.01

Tommy's First Day Home comp Mindy, Tiffany, Tommy cropped Happy  Birthday Son comp Tommy Tiff and friend and dog Candy is a girl's best friend! Me and Cyndi - rabbit ears

Ebeye, Marshall Islands Time with the girls!

Ebeye, Marshall Islands
Time with the girls!

Here we go!!

Here we go!!

Frankenstein Room

Frankenstein Room

Showing Cap Mindy Tiffany Tommy, red Stripes comp

Free to Believe

Considering today, the momentous and historical Supreme Court Decision involving Hobby Lobby and contraception, and the wild array and ends of the spectrum comments/tweets/posts regarding this decision, I’d like to say this:

If you would like your employer to pay for your “emergency contraception” or “morning after pill” or “week after pill” then in America you are free to work for a company that is not in conflict with providing those to you. If we want the freedom to participate in the use of this type of (religiously controversial) birth control, then we also have to allow others the freedom to NOT participate in the use of it. It goes both ways.

As in all our life choices – work for, associate with, socialize with, spend your life with those who share your beliefs. In America, we are free to choose and practice what we believe – as long as it does not harm another – and we have the right to NOT be ridiculed nor injured for (safely) practicing those beliefs.

Hobby Lobby is an openly Christian, family owned and run business, conscientiously trying to put into practice what they believe.  It has been documented that they are good to, and provide very good benefits for their employees, including much better than average beginning pay.  And they do willingly provide common birth control – what they object to is “emergency contraception” such as the morning after pill and the week after pill, because the results of using them would conflict with their spiritual beliefs on abortion.  They provide numerous local charity benefits in the communities surrounding each of their stores, and close early during the week and are closed on Sundays so that their employees can have more family time.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/hobbylobby.asp

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/24/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-hobby-lobby-case/

What I would like to know is this:

1).  If a person has such differing views/beliefs than a place of business, so much so that it causes conflict within said person, why would this person want to work in this business? Wouldn’t it be better for them personally to obtain employment in a business they are more comfortable with?

2).  Why would anyone want to boycott and make flounder one of the few businesses today that provides so much good for their employees and communities, one that gives back and truly cares about them? And all because this business doesn’t believe it should provide an emergency abortion pill free of charge?  This makes no sense to me.

How about you?

‪#‎respect‬ ‪#‎religiousfreedom‬