A journal of thankfulness and inspiration as I travel the paths of spiritual awakening and a healthy lifestyle

"Enjoy the journey; rest in God's love."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lord, Make Me a Tree!

(I was reminded of this article I wrote several years ago when the Pastor used Isaiah 61 for the sermon this Sunday. I hope you will enjoy reading my ponderings. Please remember that this is copyrighted material and may not be reproduced or used in any way without my permission. Thank you!)

Can you imagine a world without trees? There are so many varieties of trees! A short walk through the woods and we will see trees in all sizes, shapes and types. Trees add great beauty to our world. Giant redwoods and sequoias are so majestic to behold (One of my requested destinations in our future travels is to go see them!). Pines, oaks, and other hardwood varieties provide many useful products for us. Deciduous trees put on a magnificent display of color in the fall season. Some trees provide cones, acorns or berries for food. Wildlife abounds in areas where there are lots of trees for shelter and food. We probably all enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace or an outdoor bonfire in the cooler weather. The addition of some hickory or pecan wood to our grill makes steaks and burgers taste so much better! The list goes on and on.

What makes a tree strong and mighty? In a recent trip to East Texas I was saddened to see the effects of the drought on their trees. Many were already dead or were in the process of dieing. The ground around them was cracked open due to lack of moisture. The trees could not get nutrients through their root system because there was no water in the ground to be carried. Their roots were not in a place that could nourish the tree. Even trees planted by creeks were dieing because the creeks were dry. Their SOURCE was no longer there to supply their need.

Several years ago we had timber thinned on our land in Louisiana. In one particular spot we have picked out a place to perhaps build a house in a few years. We carefully selected the trees to be taken, marking the weak and overcrowded ones. We selected many of the trees to remain on the basis of the beauty they would provide in the fall. We also carefully preserved dogwood and holly trees by not marking anything right around them to be cut. To our dismay on our next visit after the thinning, we discovered that several of the trees we intended to be kept had blown down during a wind storm, and some took my beautiful dogwoods down with them! Although the remaining trees had been strong, they were dependent on the trees around them to help anchor them in place. The thinning of the trees revealed that the root structure of some trees was not strong enough to uphold the tree on its own. Together, they had great strength, but alone, some could not withstand the strong wind.

Have you ever considered that WE are like trees in some ways? Did you know God wants us to be TREES (a creation of great strength)!

Isaiah 61:1-3 (KJV)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
(The Hebrew word used here for “tree” means “strength”.)

The AMP version of v.3 reads, “…that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Don’t you think of “strength” when considering an oak tree? God wants us to be strong trees of righteousness. Note that a tree can not plant itself! The anointing of Jesus brings about the changes that make us mighty trees and give glory to Him.

Colossians 2:7 (AMP)
Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

Our roots must be in the right place, firmly and deeply planted. We must be firmly established in faith and on the Word. God must be our SOURCE. We are not intended to stand on our own, but to be part of the body of Christ. There we can draw strength and encouragement from one another. We can intercede and minister to help each member stand firm against storms in their life.

Psalm 1:3 (KJV)
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

When we are planted by the river of God, we will flourish and we will have fruit. As His river flows through us and out to reach others we will grow in strength.

Lord, make me a tree, strong and righteous! Help me sink my roots firmly into You, Lord. Help me to daily feed on Your Word and commune with You. Keep me planted by Your river that I may grow and flourish, that I may help uphold others in the body of Christ. Lord, today I reaffirm that YOU are my Source. Amen.


Copyright by Kathy R. Ellzey, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


ENCOURAGE: “to inspire with hope, courage, or confidence” (American Heritage Dictionary).

Do you need encouragement today? We all go through periods of time when we need to be “inspired with hope, courage, or confidence” that things will get better, that God IS a faithful God, that His promises ARE true for us today. Where can we go for this encouragement? First of all, we can do as David did.

1 Samuel 30:6 b (KJV) …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

This was at a time when David’s own men spoke of stoning him because they were grieved by the loss of their sons and daughters. David, not yet having been seated on the throne as king, could have looked at the promises of God and determined that obviously they were not going to happen. The men were talking of KILLING him! But instead he turned to God for help.
Strong’s defines the Hebrew word used for “encouraged” (chazaq) as meaning: “to fasten upon, to seize, be strong, to bind, restrain, or conquer”.

I think David did all of these. He fastened upon the promises and the goodness of God; he seized or bound the thoughts the enemy sent his way; he used restraint by not acting on impulse, not striking out at those that wanted to harm him and by not running away from the danger; and most importantly, he was strengthened and then conquered by seeking the counsel of the Lord. The JFB Commentary adds, “His faith supplied him with inward resources of comfort and energy…”.

Secondly, we can plant seeds of encouragement. Do you know of someone else in need of encouragement? Plant a seed in their life. Small acts of kindness and encouragement provide great help to a hurting individual. The enemy is well-practiced at using our physical, mental, or spiritual challenges to grow thoughts of self-pity, discouragement, frustration, doubt, and fear. It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken by the Word.

Read the Word, speak the Word, and then go plant seeds of the Word in someone else’s life that needs encouragement. Someone did this for me recently, and it has really made a difference. Then this weekend the Lord gave me the opportunity to do the same for a friend.

John 17:17 (KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

The Word IS the answer! Pass it on… Find a way to be an ENCOURAGEMENT to someone today!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend Thankfulness

I'm thankful for good friends, though they may live 200 miles away.

I'm thankful for a DH that likes to travel as much as I do.

I'm thankful for lots of laughter, had while visiting good friends at a bowling tournament this weekend.

I'm thankful for safe travel and seeing new sights while traveling a route we've not taken before to get to MS.

I'm thankful for great food and fellowship shared with friends.

I'm thankful for good bowling this weekend... we don't always bowl well when out of town.

I'm thankful for being back home... I'll sleep well in my bed tonight.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Thankfulness

The title says "Monday's Thankfulness", but really these are Sunday's (which I am just now getting around to publishing).

I'm thankful that we had grand-daughters visiting this weekend... they are such fun! At 9 and 10 they still think Granny and Grumps are great people and they are willing to try lots of new activities on the farm (like picking fruits and veggies, cooking adventures, sewing projects, etc).

I'm thankful that even at their young age they are interested in what I do and how I do it. This makes for opportunities to pass on my knowledge and skills to them. A day spent sewing produced a brightly patterned pillowcase for each of them to take home. They had FUN! It is great they have now gotten to the attention span that we can complete projects without lots of breaks... sure makes things go faster.

I'm thankful for children's laughter... nothing brings a smile to my face quicker than hearing the laughter of my girls as they visit, work, play, and just "be kids".

I'm thankful for my church, where each person is welcomed with love, where the Word is taught, and ministry happens. One "grand" gave her heart to Jesus at church Sunday! How blessed I am to have a part in sharing Jesus and His love for her! I'm thankful for Paula, who knows how to explain the plan of salvation where even very young children can feel the calling of the Holy Spirit.

I'm thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus, whose promises in the Word are true, whose love, mercy and grace continues to change us into His likeness.

Blessings to you all today, and every day,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Just Never Know...

You just never know...

how the little things you do in life can affect and help others! God gives us gifts and talents but WE assume sometimes that they do not help others as much as the spiritual gifts. But we just never know... until someone tells us.

Recently I had an opportunity to quilt for a friend I had not seen in a long while. She lost her dear husband about 18 months ago. I can imagine the void this left in her life, but not having been there, I'm just imagining. I can imagine the difficulty of getting up each day and noting his absence, of everything around you reminding you that he's not there, but not having been there myself....

I was so thrilled when I received an email from her and noted her excitement over the quilts that are headed back to her in the mail. But more important than the quilts is what she had to say about how getting back to quilting has helped her.

"I have been piecing a bunch this week and have discovered it is very comforting to me. Since losing my husband, I have kinda wondered around the house looking for things to do. Finally decided to get in there and start working on all my "stash of material". I know that receiving the quilts will inspire me even more. So I thank you for the encouragement you've given me!"

Who would have thought that me just "doing my quilting thing" could have helped someone in this way? How blessed I am to be able to do something I love each day (and get paid for it), and then the Lord (who provided both the talent and opportunity for me to do this) uses it to help others. That is just AWESOME!

So my word today for you is: Don't shortchange or discount the gifts/talents/abilities God has given YOU... He has great plans and purposes for you to use them to help others... and you just never know how that will come about!

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

HMMM... an expected end... That sounds like "plan and purpose" to me!!

So may I challenge you today... go forth and use your abilities to touch others.

Mark 9:41 (KJV) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Many times we have no idea how we may have helped someone through our simple actions, but then once in a while, someone lets us know. What an encouragement that is!

So my second challenge is... if someone has encouraged YOU in some way, let them know about it today!

Be blessed today, and be a blessing, too!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Thankfulness

Today I'm thankful for:

A free meal out... as members of a local forestry group we get a meal out (and a short program on forestry management) once a month. This is sponsored by different local businesses. HOW NICE! I DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK TONIGHT!

The Lord's protection: We were in a terrible thunder/lightning/heavy rain storm on the way home. I could not see the lines on the road at many points. A quick prayer for safety and protection, and we eased on toward home. It was just too dangerous to pull over since shoulders are narrow and visibility was near zero. Thank You, Lord, for keeping us safe!

Company coming: Tomorrow we will host our BIL and SIL in a meal of Reubens and watermelon... What a combination! But these are things we all enjoy. We'll be cooking corned beef that we corned ourself. YUM! THEN, we will have an evening of dominoes or games of some sort. I love game time with friends and family!

Be blessed in all you do tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday's Thankful Thoughts

How time has flown since my last post! When I started this blog I had planned on it being a daily journal... HAHA! WHAT was I thinking????

Today I am thankful for:

The meatloaf DH made and I cooked last night. I LOVE leftovers... more time to quilt, less to cook!

The fresh grape tomatoes that continue to be picked each day... they really add taste to our salads.

The fresh okra that is now being picked by the gallon every day... what were we thinking when we planted so many plants? But, YUM! Fried okra tonight was delicious.

Elderly ladies that continue to enjoy their hobby of quilting. Yes, their quilts sometimes present unique challenges to me as their quilter, but I so admire those that keep making quilts even though the aches and pains of growing older might cause some less determined soul to just give up sewing. I worked hard today to finish one very challenging quilt. It won't win any awards, and some would look at it and wonder why I did THAT to this quilt. It was a means of stabilizing the hand-piecing that was coming undone in MANY places, and finishing something that was pieced probably around the 1960s. When I return the quilt I will get "the rest of the story" and find out exactly who made it.

Rain and cooler temperatures. It is still hot, but not nearly as hot as a few weeks ago. We've had several small rains and more on the way, so things are really looking nice and green again.

That's my short list today... you can tell I'm tired and heading for the shower and bed.

Be blessed in all you do!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Power (and Pain) of Pruning

Photo curtesy of freefoto.com

I guess none of us want to be on the receiving side of pruning... it's just not fun! We often don't understand why the Lord is pruning us (or a church body), and it is very easy to try to come up with our own solutions that remedy the hurt of pruning.

John 15:1-2 (NASB) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. [2] "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.

Pruning is a GOOD thing... it is a sign that we ARE bearing fruit! But the Lord does not just want fruit, he wants EXCELLENT fruit.

As we were reminded last night at church, a rose bush that is not pruned regularly does not produce quality roses. The canes are spindly, the leaves are small and not able to nourish the plant very well, the roses only have a few petals which open quickly and then are spent in a short while. Only through pruning can a gardener produce quality rose bushes and thus beautiful roses.

Snip, snip! The Master Vinedresser cuts things from our lives that don't need to be there. Sometimes it might be a person or persons; sometimes it may be an activity which of itself is not wrong but is causing distraction from the Lord's perfect purpose and plan for your life. Sometimes it might be a needed change in your priorities, that they may better line up with His will for you.

Regardless of the reason, pruning hurts (especially when the Lord prunes people from your life or church family). The love of others (especially church family) is very deep, so when they are pruned there is a type of mourning that must take place. You naturally feel very concerned for those you love and you miss their presence.

When church programs and activities are pruned we want to figure out a "plan B". "Surely there is some other way!", we think. Why is it so difficult to believe that He really knows what He is doing and has nothing but good for us?

BUT... during these times we must trust in the Vinedresser... He DOES indeed know what is best for us and for a church. When direction is given that we have strayed from the chosen path and must return to the original purpose and vision we will be blessed if we obey (even though it may be painful to do it). Snip, snip!

Jeremiah 6:16 (NASB) Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls.

Lord, we surrender all things to Your wisdom as the Master... prune those things that are not in keeping with Your perfect will... Thy will be done!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday's Thankful Thoughts

Today I am thankful for:

Time away from home (read that as, no cooking, no cleaning, just sewing as much as I want!)

A sweet husband that does not mind that I occasionally get away from home.

Great meals prepared by someone else... why does it ALWAYS taste better when someone else has cooked it?

Friends that enjoy laughing and having a good time.

Digital cameras that give us instant gratification and laughs as it captures images of our silliness.

A good AC system in very hot SW TX .

A soft bed, which I will be in much earlier tonight, than I was last night!

Answers to prayer. Marvin and Helen are doing much better. Thank YOU, Lord!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blessed to Be a Blessing

This week has been a great opportunity for me to pass along some of the things the Lord has blessed me with. First of all I donated a BUNCH of tomatoes to a friend for the governor's reception today. Then I had opportunity to repay some of her kindnesses by helping her prepare and serve food.

Todays event was wonderful! The governor, many elected officials, and local citizens enjoyed great food and visiting in the beautiful B&B. It feels really great to serve others. I have to keep reminding myself of that, for I definitely was NOT given the hospitality gift when the Lord passed out spiritual giftings. My giftings are more in the organizational areas and teaching, as well as music. So as you can imagine I was really out of my comfort zone today. This small-town gal has never seen such a fancy spread as was set before the guests today!

You know, we never give (of our talents and gifts) without really receiving more in return than we are giving. It amazes me how thankful people are even for small acts of service like fixing them a to-go plate, or helping them find foil to cover a plate, etc. But yet it really is fulfilling to be helpful. I must keep reminding myself of THAT, also. It is so easy to get so bogged down in my world and my long list of "Things to Do" that I don't stop long enough to see how I can be helpful to others.

Lord, please open my eyes to areas of service around me. Help me to see the needs of others through Your eyes.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Thankful for Friday

Or I guess I could use the acronym... TGIF!! This week has REALLY flown by, probably because I have been so busy. I've gotten some quilting for customers done and a lot of quilts came in this week and are lined up waiting for me to return from quilt retreat. I've done some sewing on a project of mine, some fabric painting, and housework. BUSY!

Tomorrow I will go help a friend get ready for a huge reception for the Governor of LA! Can you believe he will be coming to a tiny town like ours on Sunday?! Paula has a B&B here and a reception for the Governor and 100 of his invited guests will be held there. Nope, I did not get an invitation, but I volunteered to help her serve, so I may just get to meet him.

I really don't want to say "TODAY I am thankful for..." because it has been so long since I posted, so I will say,


Time to work on some of my own quilty things.

A really fun get-away planned for next week.

Okra and tomatoes... YUM!

Beautiful painted fabric.

Creativity and inspiration given from God.

Healing truths the Holy Spirit has been reminding me of this week.

Hot showers... and I need one RIGHT NOW!

Blessings to you all,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday's Blessings

RAIN!! We have not had any measurable rainfall in weeks, until today. Thank you Lord for the refreshing rain. Everything looks so much fresher with the dust washed off. Our garden is really saying "thank you"... plants that had wilted and were thought to not survive have perked back up after our morning rain. And along with the rain came cooler air. Our high today was somewhere in the 80's. This is quite a change after having about 2 weeks of 100+ temps!

AAAHHHHH! Nice weather, nice rain! We are blessed.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Fearless Fridays

Fear... we all have it at times. Sometimes it overwhelms us and controls our thoughts. I realized a number of years back that I was becoming fearful about many things... driving, riding in the car when someone else was driving (I think that is a control issue!), fearful of the future,... the list could go on and on. The enemy of our soul loves for us to be fearful, because then we are not in faith!

I have heard that the phase, "Fear not," is used 365 times in the Bible. That is one for each day! So I have decided to "fear not". Yes, it IS a decision that we must make. There are multiple opportunities each day to fear about something, but you can join me in 1), recognizing the fear when it tries to come upon you, 2) choosing NOT to let it take root, and 3) stand in FAITH instead of fear.

It is always easy? Nope, it is not. Sometimes our senses tell us that things just can't work out well, so we may start worrying about the outcome. That's when we have to look with our spiritual eyes and see what the Lord has done, and read about what He has PROMISED us.

He has promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us. He has promised to guide our steps, even through the fire and the flood. He has promised that we have a hope and a future. He has promised that all His promises are yes and amen.

He is a Good God, He has good plans for us, and He loves us greatly, so stand on His promises, stand on faith in Him and His Word, and cast that fear right back where it belongs!


Today I am thankful for...
Accomplishments... we cleaned the porch today, raked leaves off the top of the house, and then raked the yard and hauled away the leaves. I feel SOOO much better about the looks of the front of the house now.

A husband that likes to grill. YUM!! He smoked the BEST brisket ever today. I added with it some store-bought potato salad, beans, and bread. Easy peasy for me! It was all delicious.

Our new dog, PJ. She has been a lot of company for us (especially DH, since she loves to run along with him when he goes in the woods) and she is a very sweet natured dog. I'm thankful my friend rescued her and then offered her to us.

Visits from my son... He is so busy I don't get to see him very often, but offer him BBQ and he shows up! Is that really fair, bribing him to visit by offering him food????

Tired muscles... they show I have worked hard today, and I can look behind me and see accomplishment! That feels good.

Thank You Lord, for all Your many blessings!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday's Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for:

A safe and fun trip to Galveston/Bacliff, TX area.

DH who agreed to motor me there in the RV, even though he really did not want to go. (And he later fessed up that he was glad... he needed a getaway from the garden stuff.)

Meeting new quilting friends... quilters are just the nicest, most sharing individuals!

Learning new fabric techniques... taking classes really expands your vision and creativity.

Fresh seafood... nothing tastes quite like it!

Sleeping in a king-size bed last night (the camper bed is a little scrunched!)

Coming home to discover that DS DID remember to feed the dog and cats while we were gone.

The bookkeeping that I have been procrastinating on... it is a sign that my business is going well, even if I don't like doing the records.

The green beans are done (I'll miss them, but I'm kind'a tired of them.) and the okra is getting ready for picking. Now if the purple hull peas will just kick in so we can have some of them!

Long-distance friends that keep in touch on a regular basis (Hi, Donna!).

I could go on and on, but I better go do that bookkeeping!
Have a blessed day!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday's Reflections

Today I am thankful for a week of accomplishments. It really is good to look at what I have completed each week. This week has really been very productive.

I am thankful for my business... this week I have completed 3 customer quilts. Thank You Lord, that I can work at something I really LOVE to do. I have also had a little time to do some quilt piecing this week... it feels really great to see progress on this project that I have been working on for the last year.

I am thankful for my DH, David. He has been very busy this week picking things from the garden, canning pepper relish, getting the camper ready for a trip, etc.

I am thankful David's middle name is "GO", just like mine! We really enjoy traveling to different areas, seeing sights, eating good food, meeting new friends. We are getting ready for another short trip in the RV.

I am thankful for my children and grandchildren. They are a real blessing to me. It is a joy to watch my children mature into really great adults.

I am thankful that this week the Lord has provided an opportunity to witness for Him. He also blessed me greatly during Saturday morning prayer at church.

I am thankful that this week we had a great time of fellowship with friends.

THANK YOU, LORD for all Your blessings!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worship Defined

Several years ago I was asked to write a weekly article for our church "e" bulletin. After starting this blog the Lord brought to my remembrance about those articles, so I am going to reprint some of them here from time to time. Some will be split into 2 articles because I have discovered in reading these again, I can be VERY long-winded at times! I hope you enjoy reading them and that they minister to you in some way.

Please note that these are my personal writings and I hold all rights to them, so please do not copy or use them in any form without my permission!

WORSHIP! Defined

As a teacher, all words fascinate me… their layers of meaning, origins, etc. But lately the word “worship” has drawn my attention. WORSHIP may be either a noun or verb. As a noun, the dictionary definitions may be these: “reverent love and allegiance; a set of ceremonies, prayers, and other religious forms by which this love is expressed; ardent, humble devotion.” But I think the verb form draws me…” to honor and love as a deity; venerate (to regard with respect, reverence, and deference); to love or pursue devotedly.”

Pursue… now THAT deserves defining also. Pursue – to follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase; to proceed along the course of; follow. (This reminds me of the Tommy Tenney books, God Chasers, God Catchers, etc. I highly recommend reading them!)

OK. Enough defining. Now let’s get to the HEART of the matter, for truly, WORSHIP is a heart activity! For most of my Christian life I participated in the very lowest level of worship, following the “set of ceremonies, prayers and other religious forms”, but I expressed very little “love, ardent, humble devotion.” While attending a traditional denominational church, I sang hymns and songs without ever letting the words do more than roll off my tongue. It was a time of seeing how well I could harmonize with the person next to me, of singing even louder and better than others in the choir… it was about ME! I’m truly embarrassed to admit it, but now the ugly truth is out. Shout “hallelujah” or raise my hands? “It’s just not done here… That’s for those Charismatics!” This is what I was told and what I came to believe (although I never really felt the desire to do those things!). Am I knocking denominational churches? DEFINITELY NOT! Keep reading!

What changed me? It’s a HEART thing. I love the song that says, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus!”

Have you ever used words that you really did not know the meaning of? I have… I have during worship! But the Holy Spirit called my hand on it… at times I could feel Him asking me, “What did you just say? What does that mean?” I had to confess that I did not really grasp what I was saying, but everyone ELSE said it during worship. Shouldn’t I? Worship by rote does not involve the heart, and is NOT worship! This sent me on a search for understanding of words often used in worship.

HALLELUJAH! (Alleluia, the Greek form of hallelujah is used in Revelation 19:1, 3,4,& 6. ) means “praise ye Jah!” Jah in Hebrew is Jehovah, the Lord. PRAISE THE LORD!

Holy… Lord, You are holy! The Greek word, “hagios”, meaning sacred, pure, blameless, consecrated one.

Glory! All glory to You, Lord! The Greek word, “doxa”, meaning glorious, honour, praise, worship.

Honour! We honour You, Lord! The Greek word, “time” pronounced tee-may’, esteem (especially of the highest degree).

Worthy! You are worthy, Lord! The Greek word, “axios”, meaning deserving.

I hope I have not bored you with too many definitions, but getting to the HEART of worship is important. Worship must be a personal expression of love toward our God. It amazes me that now when I attend that same denominational church when visiting my family, the hymns I took for granted for so many years now often bring tears to my eyes as my heart really offers them up in worship rather than a rote activity. Worship was in the words all these years, but I did not see it or feel it! Why? It was a matter of the HEART. Now I can see (with my heart) the sacrifice of praise writers of the old, traditional hymns (many of them written over 100 years ago!) must have been pouring out in their songs of love, adoration and worship.

We are so blessed that we have been set free of the rituals and given liberty to worship with abandon! There is so much to worship and praise God about! The Psalmist declares several times in Psalm 107, “O, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” I love to read the Psalms now, remembering the words we have just defined. It gives a whole new understanding and appreciation for the praise contained there.

Psalm 95:6 (KJV) O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Psalm 145:21 (KJV) My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Psalm 29:1,2 (KJV) Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. [2] Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Oh Lord, I offer up the sweet-smelling sacrifice of praise to You today. HALLELUJAH! I give You all the glory, honor, and worship, for only You are holy and worthy of my praise. Watch over my worship, Lord. Holy Spirit, reveal to me when I am not giving the Lord an offering of love and devotion, but merely going through the motions. I repent of not esteeming You as highly as I should, of not giving You the reverence that You deserve. Lord, bring me to the place of abandon in worship. The place where I can reach out to You with all that is within me. The place where I will not concern myself with what others think, but only with what You desire and deserve… true HEART WORSHIP. Lord, make me a true worshipper! I declare unto You my love, and daily I will pursue You with all my heart. Amen.


Lord, Open the Door!

We (my friend/ pastor's wife Paula and I) really need the Lord to open a door. We both feel so called to minister at the local women's jail. We've been there once and had a really wonderful time of praise and ministry, with rededications and baptisms in the Holy Spirit. That opportunity came about because a friend that goes there weekly was out of town and asked us to go in her place. What an AWESOME day we had!

We both feel like this is a call of the Lord for us at this time. The problem... the door appears to be closed at this moment. So would you please join me in simply praying, "Lord, open the doors to that place for us!". There is great power in a simple prayer, and the power of agreement.

So Thank YOU LORD, for what YOU are going to do in this situation. Thank YOU, that YOUR timing is always perfect, and YOU make straight our paths, and YOU light our way with YOUR Word! Thank YOU LORD!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

Blueberries a friend just could not throw away, so she passed them on to me.

The fact that DH's parents did NOT get rid of every pint jar and jelly jar, but saved them knowing that they would be needed sometime down the line. I think I had DH digging in the cabinets about 3 different times today getting more jars... I sure had not planned on putting up 56 half-pints when I started this project!

DH being willing and able to follow a list when he is grocery shopping... he may bring home TWICE as much of an item as you asked for, but everything on the list is present and accounted for! It sure saved me a lot of time that he was willing to go shopping. SMOOCH SMOOCH!

DH willingly helping put lids and rings on jars after I have ladeled up gallons of blueberry jam and marmalade (Interested in the recipe? See my other blog.)

NOT having to do any more canning tomorrow. This "day off" work was very HARD WORK! But I sure have a lot of nice jars of jam to give as gifts or just share with others. Tomorrow I will get back to quilting.

Being able to stand on my feet and work all day. There was a time when knee issues kept me from being able to work on my feet much. Thank You, Lord, that is not so now!

Being able to look at the day behind me and see a big accomplishment. That gives a great feeling of satisfaction.

I am thankful that I am tired, it is bedtime, and a good, comfortable bed is waiting for me.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday's Witness

At church tonight we got to see the fruits of our labor. The 10 children that went to church camp had a testimony time tonight, and we also got to see a slide show of all the activities they had a camp.

It is so rewarding to see a very visible change in the countenance of one girl! She now has a smile instead of the gloom that used to be on her face all the time. Another young man's worship has greatly intensified... all because he went to camp and had a very real encounter with the Living God. I'm sure each of the 10 children that went were changed in some way, but these 2 were the most obvious ones.

I am so thankful that I could have a part in the molding and changing of young lives. It is so worth all of our effort selling raffle tickets, having garage sales and bake sales, etc. How do you put a price tag on a child's freedom from oppression?

So thank You, Lord, for these young people and what you are doing in their lives. Thank You for Your provision which was used to send them to camp. Thank You for allowing me to have a small part in it all. Thank You that You are "the same yesterday, today, forever", and you still reach young people through camp, just as you reached out to me at camp many years ago.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

Today I am thankful for the men and women who defend our country. Their sacrifices (and those of the families they leave behind to go where needed) are great, and I am so thankful that they are willing to do this.

I have spent today quilting on an American Hero Quilt. Quilters in our area are constructing the quilt tops, I do the quilting, then they are finished and mailed to a VA Hospital in Washington state. They are presented to our wounded soldiers who come to this hospital for treatment. This cause is very dear to my heart because...

My son was over there. His Army Reserve unit was activited in 2003 and he spent 8 months in Kuwait. Thankfully he came home safe. His time in the Army is over.

Each time I think of the soldiers these quilts will comfort I remind myself... that COULD have been MY son! So tomorrow I will quilt another American Hero Quilt, which will be presented to another TRUE American Hero... a wounded warrior who gave much for his/her country.

Thank You Lord, for those who fight to keep us free and safe. Put your angels of protection around them.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday's Blessings:

FRIENDS! We are so blessed with good friendships here. God has provided people we really enjoy spending time with, sharing food, bowling, and playing dominoes with. Friends that listen when you need to talk, encourage you when you need lifting up, and laugh with you when life is funny. Friends that are always looking for ways to bless you, so you look for ways to bless them.

It amazes me when God sends EXACTLY what you need, even though you really don't know yourself! That is what He has done with our friends.

Thank You Lord for Your provision. Thank You Lord, for good friends!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Birth of Another Blog

After much consideration the 2nd blog has been birthed. The purpose of this blog is to provide a place to post daily praise and thankfulness. I hope this will be a source of encouragement to others (Now we can ALL use encouragement from time to time!). I think it will also be used to share what I am studying and preparing to teach on. I imagine most posts will be short, pictures will be very few (because I do NOT like dealing with the digital camera), but hopefully I will post often because there is so MUCH to give God the praise for!

The title, "Enjoy the Journey" comes from the song of the same name written by ? as recorded by Jonathan Martin As soon as I can locate the name of the composer of the song I will post it... I've not had any luck with finding it, and it is not given on Jonathan's album information. The lyrics are:

Do you ever think God's give up on you?

Your faith is weak; you question what He can do

Let me encourage your heart, He knows right where you are

He'll see you through.

Enjoy the journey, rest in God's love

Give Him the glory, be strong and stand up

For He has given a life worth living

So until eternity, enjoy the journey

Be faithful and strong; His work in you has begun

Don't ever give up; just hold onto what He has done

So don't waste time with your tears, paralyzed by your fears,

You can go on

Enjoy the journey, rest in God's love
Give Him the glory, be strong and stand up
For He has given a life worth living
So until eternity, enjoy the journey

I know sometimes this life is hard

And seems that heaven is so far

Away but He has promised better days

Enjoy the journey, rest in God's love
Give Him the glory, be strong and stand up
For He has given a life worth living
So until eternity, enjoy the journey

I guess that is a great reminder to us all that even in difficult circumstances God gives us His grace. He teaches us so much, we grow more into His Likeness, and we are used by Him to bless, teach, and lead others to Him. It's a JOURNEY...(Webster's defines journey as, "a traveling from one place to another"), not a marathon, but a steady plodding toward the goal.

So let's JOURNEY together! I love sharing things the Holy Spirit has shown me in my studies, and I hope you will enjoy reading them. Please feel free to comment and share with me what HE is saying to you, too!

Please bear with me while this blog is under construction... it will probably take several days or weeks to get to the look that I want, so each time you check back you will probably notice a few differences.

So now I think I will go "rest in God's love" since today is a day of rest (of course I'll be doing laundry while resting/relaxing).

Today I am thankful for: the wonderful, fresh vegetables we are consuming and sharing with others. The Lord has bountifully blessed our gardens (Yes, with an "s"... we have 5 different small gardens scattered around our land). I am also thankful for DH who planted, tilled, cares for, and picks that garden. His efforts have really paid off this year despite the deer. Thank you, Hon. And thank YOU, Lord!