Saturday, August 30, 2008

Paul's Teaching

Tomorrow at church Steve will be preaching from the last chapter of Galatians, chapter 6:11-18.  I was reading the verses and am once again so impressed with Paul and his teaching.  He always has some kind of encouragement for me and something to emulate in my life.  But Paul would be the first to say, don't try to imitate me, but Christ!  What an example!  Among other things, these verses talk about how Paul sets a goal for himself.  We all set goals for ourselves, but do they line up with Paul's goal?   His goal as always is to never boast in anything, especially himself, but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!  He always puts Christ first in everything. He remembers all that the cross means.  He states how through the cross the world has been crucified to him and him to the world.  Crucified meaning separated.  I know I am in the world, but I am not supposed to be "of" the world.  This example makes me look at my life and evaluate where I am in regards to being separated from the world.  What areas do I still allow into my life that are worldly? I once heard someone use the term "flirting with the world."  Do I tend to flirt with the world?   Do I take a little from here and  little from there?  I would probably have to say at times I do.  What about my thought life?  I try to be careful with what I watch on tv or what I listen to, but too often there are things that are not filtered out.  
 Paul was writing to a group of people who were very legalistic thinking they were good because they were trying to follow the law. These people were also hypocrites.  These kinds of people are still around today, and so often they are right there in the church.  Their behavior does not conform to what they say they believe.  But I can't point my finger.  We all want to make a "good showing" so that we can have the approval of men and woman.  I think we have all fallen into the "trap" (sin)  at one time or another of being hypocritical.  Saying one thing, but doing another is an example.  Another might be, being one way in front of people, and acting another way alone or at home.  God knows how we are.  He sees us.  He hears us.  We must listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit to live a pure and holy, sanctified life.  We can't do it on our own no matter how hard we try.  We can't boast in ourselves.  That's where we have to allow Hm to do the good work and give Him the credit.  The people Paul was writing to were boasting in the flesh.  This is just the opposite of what we should do!  What really is important in our life is to live our life as the new creation that we are because of Jesus!  He has given us a new life.  It belongs to Him!  When we do walk the way Jesus wants us to we not only experience peace but also mercy!  Paul tells us that peace and mercy will be upon us.   Who doesn't want peace?  Who doesn't want mercy?  God gives us these gifts because of His great unconditional love for us.  In these verses everything was made equally available to the Jews and to the Gentiles.
These verses tell us that the legalists and false teachers,  sought to impose circumcision.  What they were really doing was boasting in their flesh and trying to appear better that those who were not circumcised.  They wanted the Galatians to fall back into following the law.  None of that really mattered.  Yet, Paul experienced what he calls brand-marks.  Paul experienced  suffering because of his faith.  He was shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, persecuted.  Still he praised God and separated himself to Him.  He loved Him and chose to serve Him always.
 Paul also closes the letter with kind loving words, offering the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to his brothers and sisters. He is showing love and compassion as it has been shown to Him. He truly knew the grace of the Lord.
  I love Paul's teaching because it shows me the direction I need to be going.  He shows me what my goals should be.  The Lord wants me to only boast in Him and not myself.  He wants me to remember that I have been crucified with Christ and to live a life separated from the world system.  I am a new creation and I must be willing to be persecuted for His sake.  As I am on this journey of learning to trust God daily, I know I will experience His peace and mercy as I follow the teaching of Paul.  We are justified by faith and nothing else!  

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit!

Learning to trust God . . . As Paul Teaches . . One Day at a Time.

Carla


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Sandcastle

Today I stumbled on a sandcastle! No, I am not at the beach, I am at home.  This sandcastle I found is on the front of an anniversary card.  Today is Steve and my 32nd wedding anniversary.  The photo of the sandcastle is beautiful and it was perfectly made.  This magnificant sculpture resembling a miniature castle, is a replica of a real castle from some far away land!  Undoubtedly the real castle has stories of kings and queens, of princes and princesses!  It is fun to use my imagination and plot out stories of who made their home in the castle.  What events  went on inside the walls of the castle and who looked out from the towers and what did they see?  Just like the castles from afar, the sandcastle has a story of it's own.  A story of someone, perhaps a boy or a girl, who ran back and forth on the beach painstakingly getting water to mix with the sand. Someone must have taken much care to the details of what they were creating.  What will happen to the sandcastle?  Will the tide come in and will the waves wash it away?  Will there be people who inadvertently step on it, or worse purposely  stomp on it?  In a few seconds what once stood tall could once again be separate grains of sand.  Maybe someone else will come along with a shovel and a pail and enough creativity to begin a new statue just as unique as the previous one.  I don't know how long the sandcastle on the front of the anniversary card actually remained.  Was it a short time, or a day or longer?  Nobody really knows, but what we do know is that some person took time to have fun and create a unique masterpiece.  Marriage is kind of like that sandcastle!  We have to work to build it, and can't worry so much about what tomorrow may hold.  We never know in our lives what will happen from day to day and we need to make the most of each day.  Sometimes the things we do will be fun and other times they will be hard work.   Each marriage has it's own stories.  The key is to rely on the Lord and to work together to build a marriage that is honoring to Him. Unlike the sandcastle that may be here today and gone tomorrow, our marriage will always stand strong, even in the hard times, as we remain true to our commitment to the Lord and each other, and build our marriage on Him.

Learning to Trust God . . .  On Our Anniversary . . . One Day at a Time.

Carla

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

He "Believes" in Me

Another day to serve the Lord!  What a blessing!  My computer has been having all kinds of strange problems and thus I have not been able to blog as easily as usual.  But today I have had the need to write.  Nothing profound, nothing really different, just my thoughts from the last couple of days.  The Lord speaks to my heart every day and I am beginning to listen more intently!   After all, if it is God who is speaking, why would I not want to listen?  He has been showing me that He "believes" in me!  Yes!  When I get down and feel like no one understands me or that there isn't anybody who I can share my thoughts and feelings with, I have to always remember that God is here willingly waiting to have me talk to Him.  Of course He already knows me and knows my thoughts, but the point is that He wants me to share them with Him.  His desire is for me to cry out to Him when need be, and to have the confidence that He is listening.  Last night I really had a need to talk to Him.  I confessed my sins.  It is a true blessing to know that "When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  I never want to take that truth for granted.   I was able to release some fears, some concerns, some uncertainties I had been bottling up in my life.  I wasn't doubting Him at all as I know He is in control.   It was just comforting to know I could talk to Him. I knew He would be there to listen and to care and to love me unconditionally.  That is part of having a personal relationship with Him. I belong to Him and He is in my life to guide me.  I believe in Him and accept His claims.  I know He died on the cross for my sins, and I trust in Him alone for my salvation.  I believe He rose bodily from the dead three days after He died and I believe that He is coming back for His own very soon.  I also find joy in the fact that He " believes"  in me in the sense that He has a plan for me, and a purpose for my life.  He has chosen me for a good work and He is perfecting me.  Sometimes I don't know why I am here, and what my purpose is.  That is usually when I am focusing on myself and not on Him. I don't always know which direction to go in a certain day or see my future clearly.  But I don't have to!  The Lord reminded me that this life of walking with Him is a life of faith and trust.  That is what my journey is all about.  I am learning to trust God one day at a time.

Learning to trust God . .  He "believes" in me . . . One Day at a Time


Carla

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Surprise Trip

We are truly blessed!  As I think about this journey I am on with the Lord, I am becoming to understand more and more of how much He loves us and how He truly wants to give us pleasure.  Yesterday God gave us a huge surprise and allowed us to have another "mini- vacation."  I know it was a gift from Him because He directed our steps!  We ended up going to Havre de Grace which is a quaint and unique town along the Susquehanna River.  We have always enjoyed the Chesapeake Bay with the water and all the things associated with this part of Maryland.  We were able to walk along the meandering wooden boardwalk and behold so much of His creation.  The river's edge and walkway were beautiful with all kinds of plants and flowers.  We strolled with our camera in hand, taking pictures of the various trees, leaves, butterflies and flowers that we came upon.  It was almost like we were on a treasure hunt and we were the recipient of the grand prize!  There was so much beauty and we immediately recognized it was a great gift from the Lord that He was allowing us to experience.  We are passionate about His Creation!  He is the "Mighty One, God, the Lord."  He used His might and His power to create the world for our enjoyment.  He gives us all things to enjoy.   We were able to look out at the river and see sailboats and other boats  on the water and anchored in the quiet inlet.  We also watched a little tug boat pushing a huge flat barge full with tons of concrete and rocks.  It was amazing to see!   I immediately thought of the object lesson of how they were " working together" to get where they needed to be!  We love the raucous call and sight of sea gulls and there were several of them that we were able to enjoy taking pictures of.  They almost seemed to be posing for their pictures!  Havre de Grace is home to the Concord Point Lighthouse which we thoroughly enjoyed looking at and snapping pictures of.  We had fun taking pictures of each other by the door of the lighthouse.  This part of the day was not in our plans, but God choose to bless us with this time together.  I love surprises!  It is always refreshing to get away for a few hours and enjoy time together and with the Lord.  How thankful I am that we walk with Him. 

Learning to trust God. . . And have Surprises . . . One Day at a Time


Carla

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beautiful Blessings

Part of my journaling includes the title " Beautiful Blessings" where I write at least one thing daily that I am thankful for.  I've decided to copy these on this blog, just for fun!  They are in no specific order or priority, just the way the Lord led me to write them over a period of a month.  This list is definitely inconclusive and I could probably add to it daily for the rest of my life as God continues to bless me. 

 God is my refuge

 He is a righteous God who is personal

 God is my shield, a shield around me

 He is my glory 

He is the One Who lifts my head.

 For His provisions

 For living in freedom.

  For the animals who live in my home that bring me companionship and joy

 I can call on God and He hears

 He puts gladness in my heart

 I am His creation

 He has given us creation

 He knows me personally

 I am not forsaken

 I trust in Him

 He is a righteous judge

  He knows me

 He strengthens my heart

 He helped me as an orphan

 He hears my prayers

 Even though I do not understand all the future prophecies, I know that He holds the future

 I can have wisdom from Him

 He woke me up today and I have life

 I have water and food

 I have air-conditioning

 I have an oven 

 I have a refrigerator

 I have transportation 

I have a comfortable bed.

 My Bible

 Ears to hear beautiful music

 Eyes to see His creation.

 Raindrops

 My dishwasher

My washer and dryer

 The beauty in the world

Sunshine

 Cool air

 I have feelings for others

 He knows my feelings

His care is forever

 I have hope 

 I live in peace

 I have shelter

A place to serve Christ

Joy

 He has given me safety on the roads

 Freedom to go to church

My family

 God's Word teaching me

 I have medical care

 Birds singing 

A light rainfall

 Forgiveness from the Lord

 God's provision

 My clothes 

Hot water

 Having so much "stuff"I can give to others to bless them

 God stretching my groceries

 God sees me

 God loves me

 I am seeing God meet my needs

 Coupons for free cat food

People who are compassionate

 A roof over my head

 A big bag of rice

 Fresh vegetables

A nice meal and fellowship with a friend



Learning to trust God . . . Looking at my Beautiful Blessings . . . One Day at a Time.

Carla

 
 
 
 

Resting in Him

As I have been on this journey with God, learning to trust Him more, I have been truly blessed.  He is reassuring me that I am heading in the right direction as I consciously make the choice to release myself, and allow Him to be my guide along His path for my life.  As I am  purposely relinguishing my will, I am learning daily how to follow Him and and getting glimpses of His will for me.  One area that He has been showing me that I need to follow Him more closely in is to purposely "rest in Him."  Physically it is very easy for me to rest and relax.  I can sit down with a good book or watch television or listen to uplifting music.  But when God says in His Word to rest in Him it means a lot more than a temporary sitting down with a cup of tea and enjoying some quiet time.  He wants me to rest in Him and while I am resting He wants me to wait patiently.   Resting and waiting seem to go hand in hand when it comes to walking with the Lord.  I have found that resting in the Lord does not come as naturally for me as resting in myself.  But my Abba, Father loves me and wants to take care of me.  Part of His loving plan is to provide times of rest for me in Himself.  He doesn't force these times on me, He just gently and lovingly offers them as a gift.  Just as I need physical rest, resting in the Lord is vital for my relationship with Him.  He has so many lessons He wants me to learn.  He has so many things He wants me to hear from His Word.   He wants to draw me into a closer and deeper relationship with Him.  I desperately need that time of resting in Him.  Resting is a good thing, a necessary thing, so that I can be refreshed by His Spirit.  It is only then that I can regain my spiritual strength and cease from worrying and being anxious.  As I rest and wait, it takes patience, as God's Word states, because waiting takes time.  I usually want things to happen in my time, forgetting that His timing in all things is perfect.  There are many lessons to be gained by waiting and treasures to be discovered through resting.  My faith is strengthened as I learn to trust His timing.   When I am resting and waiting  God  shows me what He wants me to do in situations that appear difficult.  I don't have answers but He does.  As I pray, God sees my heart and knows my desires.  God will reply and work when He is ready for something to happen and when He wants to unfold His answers.  Through resting I can learn to believe His promises in a deeper more intimate way and experience peace of mind and spirit that only comes through Him.   


Learning to Trust God . . .  As I Rest In Him. . .  One Day At a Time

Carla

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Day At a Time

Each day is a gift from the Lord. His mercies are renewed every morning. Some mornings I wake up and He is not on my mind.  Rather than thoughts of Him, my mind is racing with thoughts of the things I want to do, or the places I want to go and the people I will be seeing.  These are the things that are foremost in my thoughts.  None of these these should ever take precedence over Him for a second!  The priority of my day should be to put God first before I get out of bed, acknowledging Him in prayer above all else.  It is so important to express my gratitude to the Lord for allowing me to wake up and for giving me another day to serve Him.  How often it is taken for granted!  When I do start my morning with Him I love to take the day and give it right back to Him.  I commit my day to Him.  He knows the things that should get done, and He knows the things He has planned for me.  His thoughts need to be my thoughts and His plans need to be my plans.  I must delight in His ways.  Many days that may mean "just" staying home and spending time with Him as I work around the house and be a helpmate to Steve.  These days are just as important in His schedule, as the days when I am busy doing other things.  They may be more important because my priorities have to be in place.  He also knows when I need to rest spiritually, physically and emotionally.  There are other days when He wants me to fulfill commitments that I have made with other people and I need to ask Him to guide me in these areas as well. I desperately want Him to walk along side of me as I venture out into the world.  I want to be an encourager, help meet needs and witness to unbelievers;  but I can't do these things on my own.  I need  His power and direction.  The whole day is HIS, not mine to be used to serve Him. When I am being obedient to His call I am serving my husband, my family and others as He would want me to.
  As we are ending another week and beginning another, my goals will be to be more thankful for my days  and to look for ways He is leading me at home along with times He is guiding me to be with others.  I don't want to be lazy, I want to make the most of my time.  I am trusting Him to lead me and to let me know His unique plans  for my life each day.  Being on a journey with my loving God makes every day a beautiful gift!!  My prayer is I will willingly and joyfully follow where He is leading. "This is the day,  that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!"  Let's use our days for His glory!

Learning to Trust God . . . With His Plans . . . One Day at a Time.

Carla

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Answered Prayer

Praise God!  Our family has been waiting for the DNA results on Josiah's test.  It has taken what has seemed like forever to find out the results.  They are NEGATIVE!  That news was worth the wait.  I hope the Lord can see into my heart to know how thankful I truly am.  My words can't adequately express to Him my gratitude.  Yet, somehow I know that the Lord understands when we don't know how to express our heart's inner thoughts, whether they be great praises, or deep cries for help.  We don't have to have the perfect words, or a long elegant prayer for God to hear and know our thoughts.  A simple "Thank you, Lord" from the depths of our heart speaks volumes to Him.  In the case of a need too hard to express, God hears our simple cry "Lord, Help" or "I need You."  He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  He is here with us always, in the troubling times and in the times when we have waited patiently for Him, and made Him our trust! I can't help but to think that God is smiling down on us because He knows our heartfelt thanks to Him, and it pleases Him to see us acknowledge His good work in Josiah's life.   "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised."


Learning to trust God . . .   Thanking Him for Answered Prayer . . . One Day at a Time

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Magnify

"The Lord be magnified!"  This morning I was thinking about that verse and what it means to magnify the Lord.   Immediately I thought about a magnifying glass.  Whenever I have looked through a magnifying glass, it has simply taken something small and made it appear bigger.  Then when the magnifying glass is removed the thing is still small in size.  As I have looked through my camera lens, the object has been made to look closer than it is to get a more up close picture, but it never really changes.  But the Lord is not "small" and He does not need anyone to try to make Him any different than He is!  As I get to know Him more, I do realize all the time how great and awesome He really is. So my knowledge of Him does increase.  My faith and love grow "bigger." However I realized as I pondered this verse a little more, that magnified probably means to praise Him and to extol Him because of who He is.  It has nothing to do with trying to make Him " look" any different.  What I desire to do is to intensify my praise of Him, as He alone is worthy of my praise!  He alone is worthy of being magnified because of who He is.  In the Psalms it says "Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, "The Lord be magnified." So I have to ask myself how I am seeking Him?  Am I rejoicing in Him and am I glad in Him?  Do I truly love His salvation?  Am I continually praising or magnifying Him?  These are all areas I want to grow in because  I know that it is His will for me.  But it is His will for all of us.  What a joy it is to come together with others to praise Him.  "O Come Magnify the Lord with me."

Learning to trust God . . . and to Magnify His Name . . . One Day at a Time

Carla

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

His Omniscience

Today it is very evident that I have to trust God.  I am learning to trust Him deeper and deeper every day, but today is one of those days that I am learning even more the absolute necessity of putting my total trust in His omniscience.  Trials are difficult to go through and I would like to say this morning that I have perfect peace because I am trusting in Him. But today I don't.  I must not listen to anyone else above listening to what God says in His Word.  People fail, I fail, but God never fails.  I am not doubting Him.   I believe in Him.  I believe what He says and who He is.  I believe that He sees all and knows all.  Some days are just harder than others.  My inclination this morning is to go ahead of God and try to fix things and try to figure out how things are going to work out.  I want to see the end and not go through the process of waiting and wondering.  But God has reminded me just to "Be still and know that I am God."  With His help that is what I will try to do.  I just need to get myself out of the way and trust Him.



Learning to trust God . . .  Knowing He is Omniscient  . . . One Day at a time.

Carla

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Gracious Woman

O lord, Your word says, "A gracious woman attains honor!"  (Proverbs 11:16)  Help me to be that type of woman for your glory! My greatest desire in life is to please the Lord and bring Him honor!  I want to be a gracious woman because that would please God.  When God looks at me I want Him to see that I am headed in that direction.  I desperately need His help.  The word gracious reminds me of how I am saved by God's gracious intervention on my behalf!  His divine grace in my life has nothing to do with any merit or good in me, but all to do with His unconditional love and mercy.  As I think about attaining honor and being gracious I very aware that I am not there yet.  I have not achieved it but my desires are that I will keep growing in the right direction.  When I think of ways I can become more gracious I think of being more Christlike, exhibiting the fruit of the spirit.  I picture a gracious woman as being kind.  That is a work of the Holy Spirit.  I think there is more to being gracious than being a pleasant courteous person yet I know those attributes are important as well.  A gracious woman is one who shows God's love to others with her words and deeds, even when she doesn't feel like it.  She is willing to "Bear one another's burdens, thus fulfill the law of Christ."   I know I have had times in my life when I have been gracious.  But I have also had those times in my life when I haven't wanted to be gracious.  I have chosen to pick and choose my times of being gracious  depending on my  feelings at the time. God has shown me that I have been selfish and self-centered in my attitudes.  Too many times  I haven't wanted to bother with someone.  I haven't wanted to speak kind words, let alone DO anything.  I haven't been attaining honor.  It is a hard lesson to learn.  It is not easy when God shows me things that I have tried to bury.  But I am thankful for this journey in learning to trust Him. He brings my sins to the surface so that I can repent and be on the right path.  I can only do this because He is leading me and because I am learning to listen. When I think of His amazing grace in my life, how can I be so selfish and uncaring?  I want to be a gracious woman,  I want to please Him.  I want to attain honor.  I have to learn to trust Him to help me become the kind of woman He desires, as I know I can't do it on my own.   I am not there yet, but with His help I am heading in the right direction.  "A gracious woman attains honor."

Learning to Trust God . . . To become a Gracious Woman . . . One Day at a Time

Carla
 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Today is Steve's birthday!  I think I will have to hint for him to take a peek over here so he can read this birthday message. . . :)

Dear Steve,

I thank the Lord for my you  today on your birthday.  I am so grateful for your life and how much you mean to me.  Today as we celebrate your birthday I am reminded once again how much I love you and how special you are to me and to our family.  I could not ask for a better husband.  We share so many things, the most important one being our faith in the Lord.  It is only through Jesus that we are able to have the love that we share.  I pray that today will be a special day as you celebrate and as you look towards the future with great expectation to what God is going to do in your life and in our lives together.  I will always be right by your side!

Happy Birthday! 

With all my love,
Carla


Learning to trust God . . . Loving my husband . . . One Day at a Time


Carla



Praying for China

This morning I am up early, in spite of the fact I went to bed late last night.  We have been watching bits and pieces of the Olympics from China.  On my wrist I am wearing a bracelet from The Voice of the Martyrs that says Pray For China. That is exactly what I have been doing.  I think that I could not sleep this morning because I have felt the deep need to pray.  But how do I pray for these beautiful people?  "For God so loved the world (Chinese) that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him (Chinese) shall not perish, but have eternal life (Chinese)."  John 3:16.  That's how to begin, to look at China as more  than a country and more than another people group, but as individuals loved by God. He sees what is going on in China.  It is very sad to think of the persecution that takes place over there and around the world.   People are being persecuted for their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  God sees these people and loves them.  I hate war and I hate persecution!  Watching the Olympics has reminded me that in so many ways we are all the same.  We have feelings, dreams, hopes, desires.  But in other ways we are different.  Our political and religious beliefs affect who we are and what we think.  The governments around the world are affecting the actions and outlooks of some, but deep down people have the same basic needs.  We all need to be loved. So I will just pray, and as always, God will see my heart and hear my prayers in spite of not knowing how to truly pray for China. I just have to trust Him to work.

Learning to trust God . . . praying for China . . . One Day at a Time

Carla

Saturday, August 9, 2008

He Holds My Hand

As I journey a long this path of getting closer to God and trusting Him in a deeper and more personal way, I have decided to read the Psalms every day.  I actually  have a portion in my journal entitled "Beginning My Day With My Saviour" in which I write some of the things I am learning from my quiet times with the Lord, especially what I am learning from the Psalms.  Today is no different.  My Psalm for today is Psalm 37. David has so much wisdom, and daily I ask God to make me wise!  One of my very favorite verses in the entire Bible is found in verse 4, "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart."  I am still learning what it means to delight myself in the Lord!  For me to delight means to love Him, love His Word, and seek His will.  Obedience is also part of delighting in the Lord.  My desire would be that I would delight in the Lord more and more, and never think I have arrived! I feel like it should come so naturally, yet too often I "love" myself more, and find myself doing my will not His. Verse 23 also refers to delight.  This time it is the Lord who is delighting.  "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way."  I want to follow and walk in the steps that the Lord has established for me.  I never want to go astray, or off of His path for my life.  But when I do, verse 24 is such a comfort.  "But when he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand."
It is such an awesome thought that the Lord holds my hand.  He holds it and does not let go, ever!  He wants me to walk close to Him.  He wants me to stay on His path.  He wants to lead and guide me.  He wants to spend time with me, and have me commune with Him, always and forever!  He knows the struggles I have and He knows the ugly sin that creeps into my walk with Him.  He knows when I am tempted to do it on my own, and when I start out not even acknowledging that He is with me.  He is ever so aware when I am not even giving Him a thought.  Too often I am only thinking of myself.  Yet He is still holding my hand and loving me.  From deep within my innermost being I am praising Him for His unconditional love,  for His guidance, and that He will never leave me.  I am thankful that through everything He holds my hand.   He is my Abba, Father.  I delight in Him!

Learning to trust God . . . as He holds my hand . . One Day at a time.

Carla

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Sweetest Words on Earth

Today I had the honor and privilege to be with my husband as he shared the gospel and as he led an older gentlemen to the Lord.  There are no sweeter words on earth than those words of a sinner repenting and turning his life over to the Lord.  Praise God! Praise God!  Praise Him for His amazing grace, for His unconditional love, and the working of the Holy Spirit this afternoon!
Praise God for the free gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life!  There is no greater joy!!


Learning to Trust God. . .   with a joyful heart . . .  One Day at a Time


Carla 

His Gifts

Today I received some amazing gifts.  They were not in boxes or bags. No, these gifts came from my Creator and they didn't need any fancy wrappings or bows.  On this journey to learn to trust God, He is constantly reminding me of His love.  And today, just an ordinary day, His reminder came in allowing me to see some of His workmanship, some of His love for me.  First there were the perfectly spaced rows of corn.  They start out so small and seemingly insignificant and yet today they were so green and so tall, so perfect.  My Heavenly Father helped them to grow into what they have become today.  I was awe struck!  A little later I witnessed a field of Queen Anne's Lace.  The flowers are so fragile, so delicate, and I could just imagine them in a beautiful bouquet being held by a bride as she walked down the aisle on her wedding day.   God made those flowers!  What a treasure! What a gift!  He also made the Golden Rod, so vivid as it seemed to reflect the sun as it stood growing along the side of the road.  It was blooming right where  God had chosen to plant it, looking so majestic and bold.  What a wonderful gift from my loving God!  Another awesome gift I received today was was being able to catch a glimpse of a mother doe with her two fawns frolicking along the side of the road.  They looked so peaceful and so fearless as they played together in the warm summer sun.  It almost seemed like they were dancing, and God was supplying the music!  What a blessing to be a part of their little world for a short time.  I was so thankful as I watched a beautiful black and yellow Monarch butterfly flittering around so freely amidst the tall, towering, stately evergreen trees. God's gifts to me today were such a reminder of His love and His workmanship.  Thank- you God for allowing me to experience these awesome gifts from You today.  My heart is overflowing with joy and thanksgiving, for Your goodness to me today and every day.  Most of all I thank You for Jesus my Saviour!  Thank You!  Thank You!  Amen!  

Learning to trust God . . . amazed by His gifts . . . One Day at a time.

Carla

Loving My Family

When I walk into our home one of the first things that I see is a wall that has several of our family pictures on it.   Our children, and our grandchildren each have a place on this wall.  It is nothing fancy, but it's my wall with my family!!  I am blessed!  Then as I head up the stairs to the kitchen there are some other things that warm my heart.  Of course there are more pictures on the windowsill, but mixed in with them are Mother's Day cards and Father's Day cards.  These things give me joy because they are a reminder of God's blessings on my life.  They silently tell me that I am loved and cared about.  My eyes go to words that  speak so loudly to my heart:  Wife, Mom, Dad, Husband, Best, Love, Beautiful, Special etc.  Our refrigerator door is also "home" for more photos, children's artwork, valentine's, and  magnets from places Steve and I have traveled.  Each one has it's own story and  brings with it memories of times we have spent together, places we have explored and things we have done.  There are other magnets and things from friends and family that are another reminder that we are loved, and have been thought of and cared about.  There are other little mementos that would probably look like junk to everyone else, but to me they are treasures.  God has truly blessed us in so many ways, but today I am especially grateful for my husband and my family.  

Learning to trust God . . . loving my family . . . One Day at a Time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Meeting My Needs

Tonight we have some fun plans to go out for the evening.  First we are going to the Hawthorne Pool to get a free meal!  With our current budget in place, eating out is almost non-existent , so a free meal sounds good to us!  Then we are going to Jeremy and Kim's for dessert and to look at their wedding video, and just hang out with them for awhile.  Having to watch every penny we spend is good for us!  God is showing us what is important in life and what should take the "backseat" or not even be in the picture.  This wonderful journey with Him is teaching me to trust Him that He will meet all of our needs.  I have always looked at that more as the financial needs, but I am now seeing along with that it is ALL my needs.  I have spiritual needs that He guides me through every day, teaching me new things, reassuring me along the way. He is always with me pouring out His all encompassing love and wisdom to me.  He teaches me through His Word.  My time alone with Him is a top priority.  My emotional needs are sometimes hard for even me to pinpoint. I just know when I  am feeling sad or depressed or angry or lonely, but don't always know why.  I have come to realize that I so often look to others to meet whatever emotional need I am dealing with.  But as much as I need other people in my life, and want them there, I am coming to understand in a deeper way that, again, it is God who is the only one who can truly meet these needs.  He understands me more than I understand myself, and far more than any human being can.  I just need to remember that.  He knows how I am feeling, why I am feeling that way, and He will work in my life in such a way to help me examine what is going on.  I need to have this relationship with Him, and am passionately seeking to get to know Him better, as I am on this exciting journey with Him. I see Him working in my life, and I KNOW it is Him, meeting my needs.  So as I go about this life, I see that many things I think are needs are really not needs at all.  My true needs will be met by Him.

Learning to trust God. . . to meet all my needs . . . One day at a time.

Carla

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Paying the Price

 I have been trying to come up with some extra cash recently as things are really tight financially.  I found a few pieces of glassware, a plate, a tea set, some jewelry all that I think may be antiques.  My big question is where do  take these items  and how much are they worth?  How much money will someone be willing to pay me for my "stuff ?"  Or is anyone even willing to part with their hard earned money for something that may not have much worth?  I will have to talk to some people and see which direction to go.  God showed me something as I was pondering the worth of my things.  It is amazing but Jesus never questioned how much I am worth, or where to go to make a payment!  To Him I was worth all He had.  God gave Him into the world to give His life for me.  Jesus knew exactly where He needed to go and that was directly to the cross.  He had no questions, He just  willingly went to the cross and died upon it for me!  He paid the price for my sins.  I can hardly contain myself just thinking about that!  His love is so deep, so pure, so unconditional.  He humbled Himself and paid the price, HIS VERY LIFE, which was everything He had, for a sinner like me.

Learning to trust God. . . knowing He paid a price. . . One day at a time.


Carla

Monday, August 4, 2008

Being Content

Steve and I had a wonderful date tonight.  We drove into Washington, DC and went to Georgetown.  It is always fun to have a change of scenery and get away on a "mini vacation." We enjoyed each other's company just walking up and down the main street in Georgetown.  It has some amazing old, old cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture and there are lots of interesting people to watch!  We went into an upscale grocery store where the price of all the food was astronomical!  I thought our local store selling bananas for $.59 cents is too much, but the bananas there were $2.00 a pound!  We took some fun pictures of each other on an old bridge and then later sitting on, or standing by a big  stone lion!  Sometimes it's fun just to do things out of the ordinary!  And as I am on my journey, of learning to trust God, tonight I was reminded again of the fact that I am so glad God is teaching me to be content with what I have. It is easy to look at stores and fancy food and become covetous of wanting bigger and better and more things.  But tonight I was totally content with just being with my husband and knowing God has supplied all my needs, and will continue to do so.  He is teaching me to be content and trust Him!

Learning to trust God. . . and be content. . . One day at a time.

Carla

Saturday, August 2, 2008

De-Cluttering

This is Saturday.  Lots of times on a Saturday my favorite thing to do is to go to yard sales. Today I find myself stuck at home.  For one thing it is drizzling out, another I have no extra money to spend, and I have a little bit of a headache!  I really don't need to be buying things anyway!  I have actually been trying to de-clutter some of my own things, one room at a time.  Yesterday we cleaned out half of the garage. Half of the garage now is all swept, dirt and leaves and the junk on the floor is gone ! We didn't actually get rid of too much, but we made it look much more orderly. (Steve is the organizer, not me).  But getting rid of the dirt and clutter and the things we didn't need was a big accomplishment!  Now everything has a place of it's own, either on a shelf or hanging somewhere. It looks so much better and psychologically we feel a sense of freedom.  It is not too hard for me to get rid of things, especially if I know someone else can use them.  So now I am asking myself why it is so hard for me to "get rid" of my sins. I want to experience spiritual freedom!  Wouldn't it be nice if I could just throw away anger, throw away worry, throw away laziness, etc.  I wish I could just sweep them all up, put them in a bag and never see them again.  But then keep and hold onto, and use, love, faith, joy, etc.  As I de-clutter my house, I am in desperate need to de-clutter my life!  There are so many things that I hold on to.  I feel like I am giving them away, but taking them back and "using" them again.  I have so much to learn, so many areas to surrender to the Lord.  I am on a journey with Him and He is showing me how much He loves me in spite of my "clutter."  I know I have it, I see it and I experience it.  I can't get rid of it on my own, but with His help I can!

Learning to Trust God . . . De- Cluttering . . . One Day at a Time


Carla

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Mind of Christ

Yesterday I posted about being crucified and I am still pondering what that truly means!  Then last night at our Bible Study at church we were studying in I Corinthians and we came upon the verse that talks about how we "have the mind of Christ!"  Wow! How incredible!  I decided to "take that verse home" and make it my own.  What I mean by that is that I truly have to ponder that thought, too.  God is so good to teach us these things in His Word.  One thing He has been showing me is that I worry too much.  Since I am on a journey to learn to trust Him more, this verse about having the mind of Christ really stood out on the page of the Bible as if it were written just for me.  God is so personal in the way He ministers to us.  If I want to learn to trust God more, then every time I start to worry, I am going to claim that verse and put it into practice.  My mind should not be worrying because I have the mind of Christ, and He does not worry, nor does He want me to worry.  He wants me to trust Him.  When I start to have sinful thoughts, such as negative, judgemental thoughts about others, I can say NO I am not going to think these things because I have the mind of Christ!  Jesus is loving and caring and not critical and thinking the worst of us!  I am wanting to walk closer to God, and have a relationship that is not hindered with any worldly thoughts.  Part of my journey has been to see God showing me from deep within things about myself that need to be changed. I am grateful for His amazing love for me in showing me these things, and bringing them to the surface.  Now I just need to obey and trust Him to show me how He wants me to live according to His magnificent truths!  I still don't comprehend how I can have the mind of Christ, but I am determined to continue down this path of learning and following Him.

Learning to trust God . . . having the mind of Christ . . . One day at a time.

Carla