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."

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!