August 31, 2010

All Eyes on Earl

"Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord."  Proverbs 16:20  (NIV)
"God's intent for us is never anchored in tomorrow---
His purpose is for here and now. . . .today.
God wants this life to be a grand adventure, not a blueprint.
Our part is to trust Him and obey."
Author Unknown

Just wanted to touch base with everyone to let you know I'm still "out here."  Been missing checking in on y'all.    Since I've been so wrapped up in studying I just now found out about Hurricane Earl.  We're on the coast of Virginia....the Virginia Beach area.  When Isabel hit in 2003 I told my husband "if another one of that magnitude or worse comes through here, I'm outta here."   Well.. . you guessed it, I'm watching The Weather Channel right now.   Things are still too early to determine the exact path, but it's looking scary.  So we're all "staying tuned."   Already Ocracoke Island is being evacuated...We like to go to Hatteras, on the Outer Banks, whenever we can "get away" since it's so close to us.  We will feel the affects on Friday. . hopefully they won't be anything major---Lord willing.  I'll try to keep y'all posted though.

This goofy pic is of me, my bro, and my sister, back in 1988.  We were on a sand dune in front of the Coast Guard Station on Hatteras Island, NC.  Hurricane Isabel tore through that Island, even cutting it "in half."
So we're staying tuned...That makes me think...are we still "staying tuned" to the One Who keeps us running smoothly?  Are we tuned in to His still small voice?  When the noise and mayhem of life become too loud, can we find a quiet place to listen to and FOR His voice?'s not easy to find that quiet place, 'specially when you literally can't hear yourself think.  I know.  But it's important.  . . .so with that, I'll leave you with another special poem my grandmother shared with me. . .

A Quiet Place
by Belle Sandefur

There is a quiet place for the child of God.
It's simply trusting in His Holy Word.
This cushion is given by God above
When we learn to lean on His arms of love.
This quiet place of peaceful rest
Provided by the One Who knows what's best.
This lovely place where all is well,
Of which no mortal tongue can tell.

A place where broken hearts can mend.
Put back together by our dearest Friend.
A place of beauty beyond compare-
It's where Jesus meets His child in prayer.

Dear Father, You want us to see life as an adventure, on a daily basis, and not look at tomorrow.  When we look at the "What may come tomorrow's" we tend to get overwhelmed, scared, depressed--all of these emotions are not Your desire for us.  You want us to trust You, in the here and now, preparing the road, building up and removing the obstacles that are in the way. . . yet never worrying over what may (or may not) come.  So, we humbly ask for Your forgiveness whenever we worry, or keep holding on to our burdens instead of releasing our grasp and letting You take control.  You're waiting for us to let go..and just come to You for rest. . .Trusting You, trusting IN Your Word. . .and resting in and ON Your strong and loving arms.  So we do just that right now Father, and for the ones in Hurricane Earl's path--You know the path it will take--You control the storm.  Blow it out to sea, Father, if that be Your will.  If not, help us on the East Coast to prepare, and keep us safe. . . .Thank You Father for the promise that You are with us in all of our Tomorrows, and even TODAY! 
In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.

P.S.  Just wanted to ask if any of y'all have been through any hurricanes. . .we've been through a "bunch" over the years. . .however, I have to say Isabel was a "doozy."    No matter---literal storms, emotional or spiritual~~we know Who is the Master of these Winds. . . .I'm trusting Him!  :) 

August 27, 2010

God's Workmanship

This is computer artwork that my daughter 'painted' when she was "little."  :)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

The Greek word for workmanship is "poiema" which means "work of art, a product that is designed." It is from this word that the word POEM is derived in the English language.   That means, that you and I are a Poem, written by God...a true work of art.  

God's Workmanship
another poem by my Grandmother

We are God's workmanship
"a work of art," says He...
"A product that is designed"
and He's still working on me.

May the thoughts of my heart
And the words that I say
Convey this message daily---
For this I humbly pray.

I'm only a vessel
Unworthy of His grace,
But He's the great designer
Who's given me this place.

I'll let Him mold and make me
According to His plans
For I can trust His judgement
As He holds me in His hands.

So, as I sit here, after one full week of college classes, brain still a little "sore and tired" from the mental workout, (LOL) it helps to remember that I...WE...are a work of art, a poem, written by our Heavenly Father.  He is designing something beautiful with each twist and turn, with each stroke of the "heavenly pen"--
"Pancake" 2009 Season
So let's just keep on keepin' on.  As I find myself walking the halls on campus, it's so helpful to remember:  He's there with me.  He before-ordained that I should walk with Him, wherever He that's what I'm doing.  And, even as I carry that super-heavy backpack, I can take "this burden" (and all of my burdens) unto Him and ask Him to carry them for me.  Then the burden becomes not-so-heavy after all.  :)

UPDATE:  Bryan did see the specialist this week.  He received two very painful shots in his foot (heel and bottom of the foot)....hoping that this will take the swelling down and ease the pain...The X-ray showed two rather large bone (heel) spurs.  He'll see the DR again in two weeks...may receive another shot, then after that, if no's surgery.  He's still in pain, but continues on working even in pain.   Thank you all so much for your prayers and concern!   I sure do miss checking on everyone, and hope that you all are doing okay.  Tonight's opening ceremony for our son's football season.  His nick-name is Pancake!  LOL  He earned that from "pan-caking" over the defensive line.   But being the gentleman he is, he's kind enough to help the "victim" up after the whistle blows.  LOL   FYI:  He plays "center" on the offensive line.  Can't believe football season is upon us again!  Ready or we go!

Anyway, I just wanted to give an update.  Sending out big hugs to each of you!  Thanks for keeping in touch, and most of all for your prayers and friendship!   Hope to talk to you all soon!  Miss y'all!

August 23, 2010

In Thee

In Thee
Written by my Grandmother, Belle Sandefur

Lord, in Thee and Thee alone
I find the strength I need,
There is no other source of help
So for Your strength I plead.

Thank You for the strain
That draws me close to Thee,
And for the grace that's given
By You so tenderly.

Thank You for the joy
That Thy salvation brought,
For all the lessons learned
That You have gently taught.

Some I thought were hard,
But much to my surprise,
My understanding lightened
As You opened up my eyes.

So thank You for the strength
You give from day to day,
And thank You for the strain
That keeps me in Thy way!

This meant so much to me tonight as I glanced through my book of poems from my dear Grandmother. . .Strain...I thought, " ironic."  I am hoping that Bryan's injury is "only" a strain, and not a torn ligament.  He sees a specialist Wednesday.  Strains hurt.  They are not comfortable.  And sometimes when we are under the weight of our burdens, we feel the strain from the grief of the burden.   Let's remember to take our burdens to the Lord... Roll them onto His strong shoulders. . . we can find rest and the yoke to be easyGently accepting this situation, no matter what the outcome may be, brings relief for the moment.  Remember:  Tomorrow may never come...God gives grace for this moment.  If we try to take on tomorrow's situations or worries, then-- boom---we've got ourselves a heavier load than He ever intended for us to bear.  And besides, He's waiting for us to bring this burden to Him.  Thank God He knows we can not do this....that's why He's promised to do this for us.  All we have to do is A.S.K. ~~ Sometimes the only strength we can muster is simply: 
A Sigh on our Knees.   I'm on my knees, sighing---and with that sigh, I'm asking Him for strength, I'm trading in my weakness for His Strength!   That Sigh is traded in for His Strength!   That's Super!   Look at all those S's....Silly me.  LOL  :)

Thanks again for all your prayers . . . I shall keep you posted. 

Now, for's off to get Some Sleep!
Love y'all!

August 22, 2010

Prayer Request and Update

Just a note to say a great big thank you to everyone for their loving and encouraging support!  I did begin classes, and it's been challenging to this old brain of mine, to say the least. . . hardly have any time to do anything except read, read and study some more...and this is only the beginning.

However...there's been a big bump in the road this evening and cause for a prayer request SOS.  Bryan fell this evening.  His foot is swollen!   I believe he has torn a tendon or something, because along the back side of his foot it is swollen---goose egg knot immediately came up as soon as he fell.... Is that the Achilles?  Anyway, he is our only source of income, and this was the reason for me to go back to school, to hopefully get a better job...Now...with this, and the possibility of him being out of work---Ooooo, he doesn't even want to consider that "option" (of missing work).  Please pray for him.  And for us.  I have to say that I'm feeling more and more like the disciples---when Jesus "compelled" them to get into the boat.  "Where are You, Jesus?  The storm's raging!  It's getting darker!"  But yet, I need to re-read the last blog....Could it be He is up on the mountain top praying on our behalf?  Our two children are school, now this uncertainty.  Heart is just so heavy this evening.

So...this is a short, SOS blog post...also to say thank you for your support and prayers, and to let you know that we're out here, on the waves....the winds are howling, and I can hardly see my "spiritual hand in front of my spiritual face.

I shall keep you posted, time permitting. . .but I have a feeling it's going to be a looongg night.  

Master, the tempest is raging!

Love and hugs to each of you!
God bless!
Until next time,

August 19, 2010

Time to "Get Growing"

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying...."  Numbers 20:7

Well, this is it...the day has finally arrived....I'm headed back to class.  In fact, I'm typing this on Tuesday night and plan on scheduling it to automatically post for Thursday's blog.  Oooh.   Time to "get going" on this new journey.  What a "time of growing" this past year has been.  Looking back through my journals, and reading notes from studying and seeking His will, I have seen His hand guiding me all the way to this point.  Did I think THIS was the "point" He was taking me?   No.  Never dreamed it.   But place yourself in His hands, completely surrendered to His will, then expect Him to take you places you never dreamed---all for His glory!   

Even through the "Growing Pains," I have been learning some lessons:
  • to fully trust Him, one day at a time
  • the futility of struggling in His hands, when all He wants us to do is let go and R-E-S-T
  • He L-O-V-E-S me. (and YOU too!)   :o)
  • There is always HOPE when we place our hearts in His loving and capable hands.
  • God is SOVEREIGNLY in control of everything.
  • God is to US like water is to a fish, or air is to a bird---He IS our atmosphere.  We live and move in His presence....therefore, take a deep breath and you're breathing in the very presence of God.*  Such relief is found when I take a deep breath now!  *Thanks to A.W. Tozer for this eye-opener!
  • He answers our prayers before we even ask, and yet takes the time to listen when we cry out to Him.(Isaiah 65:24)
  • He can (and WILL) use us and move us in accordance with His plan, no matter HOW old we are.  The sooner we quit wrestling with Him, the quicker He will begin moving.
This is me, my brother and my sister @ '77
That last item leads me to the verse above:  "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying....."  Moses was nearly 40 years old when he saw his fellow Israelite being mistreated.  Acts 7: 23 says he was "nearly 40" yet look at Exodus 2:11 and it says"  "when Moses was grown..."    Hmmm...I'm nearly 40...I would hope that the Lord could look at my "spiritual growth chart" and say, "Tam, you've certainly grown..."   No matter our age, can we look back at where we were "spiritually" last year and say, "Yes...I've grown closer to the Lord...yes, I'm growing spiritually."  ???  We should be able to say that.

Here we are again, @ 1980, on Sherri's 6th birthday.
As I begin this new phase of life, I hope to one day be able to look back and say, "And the LORD spoke to me, saying..."  I love the present tense of that verb, saying. . . THE One and Only God of Israel, The LORD, will continually tell me what to do, each and every step of the way.   All He asks of me is to simply FOLLOW.
Here we are @ 1988

With that being said, I'm off to school---20-something years later.   Oh my.  LOL  Beyond that, I have no idea where He is leading me.  But thank the Lord His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. 
Dear Father, Looking back I can see Your hand on my life, just like You had Your hand on Moses' life.   If we are Your children, then we're ALL in Your hands...and You long to see us grow.  Thank You for this time of growth--even the growing pains I've had to endure.  It has all been for a specific purpose, and has come from Your loving hands to "grow me."  I shall not look back on this time and regret it.  And  together, as blogging friends, we look forward to each new day that You lead us in plain paths, until we reach our final home with You.   Bless my dear sisters and brothers in Christ out all their needs according to Your perfect will.  Help them to trust You; and may whatever You do in my life bring You glory and be an encouraging testimony of Your provision and love.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

August 18, 2010

Spiritual Storms

photography by Katrin Blumenschein
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.  Isaiah 59:19b (KJV)

It's been extremely hot here on the east coast of Virginia for the past several days.  The heat has been just oppressive!  Whew....I wondered when the rain would come to cool things off?  Well, today, I'm looking outside and see the clouds rolling in. . .and based on how my knees are hurting (they seem to predict the weather sometimes LOL) I think we'll be getting a substantial amount of rain later.   Hopefully cooler weather will be ushered in as well.

As the clouds are looming, and the H/H (heat and humidity) are stifling, I couldn't help but think about the past several months and the spiritual storms that the Lord allowed me to go through, like the fiery furnace of affliction.  Mark 6:45 says, "And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side..."   From reading the passage, we know what was awaiting them--a fierce storm.   He constrained them to get in and go on ahead without Him, so He could go up to the mountaintop and pray.  

The Greek word for constrained is anagkĂ©, which means to compel, to force.   Sometimes we feel as if the Lord is FORCING us to "go on ahead," maybe even without Him.  Then we find ourselves in the midst of a storm, feeling ALONE.  Oh the fear and wonder as to WHY He would have ever called us to "do this??"  "Where IS He?"   May it bring us comfort to know He is our Advocate. . .He is praying on our behalf...and really, He has never left us, not even for one second!   He is just about ready to reveal Himself in a powerful way---just like He did with the disciples---He walked on water!  "Be of good cheer!  It is I!  Be not afraid!"   

So, as I am feeling forced hopping into "this boat" and heading "out on the sea of college," I need to remember, when the winds are howling and I'm "toiling in rowing," to LOOK OUT and see the Master of the Wind walking on the water!  He's calling out to me (and YOU) to take courage and be not afraid!  It IS HIM!  He has never left us. . and when it seemed He WAS away, He was simply interceding on our behalf to our Heavenly Father--waiting to perform a miracle for the glory our Heavenly Father!   May He always receive GLORY in every storm that rages!

                                                        Spiritual Storms
                                                   by my grandmother Belle Sandefur

When the enemy comes in like a flood to destroy your spiritual home
Look up!  Remember that God above still reigns upon His throne.

He rules the tide, He knows how high the waves and billows roll;
And His Spirit lifts the standard high to protect the trusting soul.

So trust Him when the storms are raging.  Cast on Him your anxiety and care;
And don't forget, He's your Heavenly Father, and He hears your smallest prayer.

"Come closer, my child, come closer," can't you hear Him gently say?
"I love you enough to draw you near--near to My heart today...

And each thing that happens--though it be from the enemy's hand-
I promise it'll work out for your good, though you now cannot  understand."

When the storm has passed, and the skies are clear,
you'll look back~ probably shed a tear-

As you see the beautiful bright design Your Heavenly Father saw all the time,
As He allowed the storms to come to prepare you better for your heavenly home.

Embraced by the Father

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  Proverbs 25:11

Summer's rapidly coming to a close, and it's soon "back to a regular routine"...or for some of us, "back to school."  :o)   During the down-time of summer, did you get a chance to read any good books?  As I glanced through my college Anatomy and Physiology books I thought, "Oh boy, this class sure looks like a lot of 'fun'."   LOL  No matter what's on my future "book reading list," I did have some time to enjoy a few good books over the summer.  I'm still reading through and enjoying a couple of A.W. Tozer's books, which are very thought-provoking.  But I wanted to share with you one book I DID finish...and it was really a blessing to me.  After Debbie, from Heart Choices, did a surprise blog post about my CD yesterday, the Lord reminded me of just how wonderful "word of mouth" recommendations truly are!   When we pass the word along, we're being used by God to share another person's gifts and be a blessing to others, for His glory!     

Embraced by the Father:
Finding Grace in the Names of God

Have you ever longed to know God as your Heavenly Father?  I wonder how many of us have found it difficult to view Him AS our Heavenly Father?   What concept do we truly have of Him?   Is it easy to recognize God as the Creator of the universe, and of course as our Savior, but difficult to view God as the Abba Father He truly is?  If so, maybe it's because we tend to view God the Father in light of the relationship (or lack thereof) that we had with our earthly fathers.    

Susanne Scheppmann's Embraced by the Father was a blessing to me over the summer, especially in my journey of seeking His will for my life.   Susanne speaks to the reader in such a candid way, sharing personal, sometimes painful circumstances from her past to illustrate the transformation of  her relationship with our Heavenly Father.  No matter our past circumstances--or "baggage" that we carry--Susanne encourages us to run to our Father, dig deeper into His Word and discover just Who He tells us He is.  Realizing Who He is compels us to DROP the baggage from our past, and reach up to our Abba Father for that warm embrace that can be compared to none other!   At the end of each chapter is a place to journal, with inspiring questions that invite you to dig deeper into the Word, and explore the many wonderful names of our  Abba Father.   

Thanks, Susanne, for allowing the Lord to tie your circumstances together and wrap them all up in this book!   We can truly "find grace in the names of our God, and BE embraced by our Father!" 

August 14, 2010

G.P.S. "God's Placement System"

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.  Psalm 37:23 (KJV)

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and leaving special comments in the limited blog posts that I've been able to add this week.  I have a sneaky feeling this is just one thing the Lord is going to prune.  I think sometimes, "Lord, it doesn't make sense to cut away something that is fruitful."  And then He so happily responds, "But that is what pruning is all about...."  So I have to believe with all my heart that even though a few very special "things" in my life, such as blogging, sharing, and working on music are being "pruned," that it is only to bring forth much more fruit in those very areas at a later date. 

Today, on the way home from purchasing my first set of college books in over 20 years, I told my daughter, "You know, if I could ask the Lord a question about all of this, it'd be:  I sometimes wonder why You equipped me with certain abilities, and yet it seems that You are shelving those very areas of usefulness that You have received the most glory from?"  In more particular---the ministry of music at church.  I wonder, how that will "hold up" under the pressure of me in college, the kids adjusting to public school (as opposed to home school) and of course all the typical mom/wife/house keeper duties?  Will the desire of my heart to serve Him musically be shelved?   He's so good to give a quick answer.  In My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers) I read how the Lord sometimes puts us in the "most useless" places--places not where we are most "useful," but where HE can get the most glory.  And it's not for US to say where that should be.   So....that was a big "Ah HA!!" moment.  And then He adds a wonderful P.S. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"  (Gen. 18:25)  God will place us wherever He wants to, in order to receive the most glory out of our lives.  God's Placement System is far more advanced than words could ever describe, so there's no need to "try to figure it out."

He Met Me on the Football Field Tonight:
God is in control.  And to PROVE TO ME that HE IS sovereign in this situation, watching every detail, He graciously added a few "signs" alongside this new road.  Almost like the comforting voice of that little G.P.S. "Turn right here....turn left at the next traffic light," He gave me yet ANOTHER reassuring sign that this is the road I am to be on.   Continuing our normal evening routine, my son and I hop in the car, and we head down to football practice.  Only thing is----no one is there.  Well, no one except one other car with two of his teammates who weren't at practice last night  Evidently last night the coaches told the boys there was no practice tonight, but my son "happened to miss that announcement."  Well...that was of the Lord!  Why?  Because as I was chatting with the two teammates, I mentioned I was going back to college, and they said, "So is our momma!"  Knowing that THIS was a Divine Appointment, shy little ole me went over to talk with her... having never been introduced before, this was a huge step for me.  :o)  Anyway, long story short, she was the biggest help, offering so much advice, and most of all, encouragement!   I knew that football practice had been canceled, and we were the only two that didn't get the message for THIS very important reason:  God wanted me to SEE His hand is STILL working....and yes, even on the football field!  LOL  How cool is that?  :o)

I did look over my Anatomy books, and's intimidating to say the least...but one thing is for sure, with the belief that "our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made," I was able to view the pictures with a sense of awe, instead of "somebody catch me, my knees are givin' out!"  LOL  Oh how I pray for the Lord to enable me to GRASP this material....but that's another day's story I guess.  Tonight's is just the simple fact that He has been so good to reveal another facet, another "sign" on this new road that is springing up.

Thank You Father for the Divine Appointment You scheduled for me this evening.  Thank You for the little details and encouragements You gave me too!  I pray for my special sisters and brothers in Christ.   The road they are on may be dark, it may be scary...and just to have one glance from You, one Divinely placed appointment would bring such encouragement and breathe strength into their hearts as it did mine this evening.  Do something, reveal Your wonderful fingerprints in their circumstances, just help them to know You are there. If You should choose not to for now, please give them the strength to continue on, until the Son-shine breaks through these dark clouds!  We can only come to You and request this because of what our Savior, Jesus, did for us on Calvary.  We come through Him, in His name, and ask for Your grace to abound to our hearts!  In Jesus' name, amen.

August 13, 2010

The Master's Plan

The Master's Plan
(written by my Grandmother, Belle Sandefur)

God has a plan for your life and mine:
It's being laid out by His own design.

The pattern from underneath never shows
The beauty the top-side plainly bestows.

Let's make sure to yield to the Master's plan.
For some day, we'll see from the top-side and understand.

Sometimes when I have a difficult time putting into words what I'm feeling, I reach for the book of poems that my Grandmother gave me, with the confidence that she's written a poem for "such a time as this."  And of course, there it was...The Master's Plan.  Normally when I read this I think of embroidery, with all the knotted-up mess underneath...but with one look at the top side of the finished piece, the beautiful picture is revealed.  The dark threads outline each piece, just like the storms and trials are meant to add depth to our lives.  Maybe, just maybe, if we endure these storms and trials, relying on Christ's strength within us, others' perception of US will be the very image of Christ!  

While living on our temporary home, Earth, we are bound to have the disadvantage of looking up and only seeing the jumbled up mess that appears to be our circumstances.  However, take another glance---look into the eyes of our Heavenly Father.  There you'll find the reflection of His Son is being formed in our lives with each and every Divinely-placed stitch!  One day, when we are WITH HIM, we can look from His very perspective and SEE just what it was He was "after" through these dark storms or the things that just "don't make a bit of sense."  

Dear Father, we are resting in Your plan....You are the God of all the Earth, and You shall do that which is right.   In this melting process, may Your All-Consuming Fire purge away the dross within our very lives and make us more into Your own Son's image.  
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

August 10, 2010

A Great Cut

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  I John 4:18

Just wanted to give an update. . . .and also say a great big THANK YOU to each of you for your wonderful words of support and encouragement as I (and my family) am facing a new road.  This morning I am taking the "kids" to their first set of tests in order to enter the public school system.  . . so this post will be short.  But first thing this morning I woke up and heard this little voice inside me saying, "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:19)  Basically He is telling me, yet again, "I'm doing something totally new, which requires CHANGE...don't you SEE it?"   Yes, Lord....I am beginning to see it.  .  .

This is a pic I took of my niece & her husband at their wedding on Sat.
Just like I was talking the other day to a friend who is facing some difficult changes...The Holy Spirit reminded me of Romans 8:28...we know that ALL things (even changes) work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.  Well, it's like this. . .over the past 13 years, after my sister's untimely death (from her own hands) God has shown me some of the "good things" He has's like He has revealed each little "facet" --- the cutting away, the shaping in a diamond that HE is fashioning.  This very diamond is going to be a jewel in the setting of a crown that I shall in turn place at His Son's precious feet one day.  He may never reveal to me the entire vision of that diamond, but with each good thing that He DOES reveal in His plan, just like with each "cut" on a diamond, He is showing me that this cutting away, this chipping away, is to polish me, shape me, and in turn cause me to sparkle...makes me wonder if one day will we all be His precious jewels in the crown that He wears upon His head?  Either way, our Heavenly Father is preparing a perfect, sparkling bride for His Son, our Bridegroom.  So as the Heavenly Jeweler chips away at yet another facet in my life, surely He is preparing my heart to be shaped into an image, sparkling and perfect.  No matter what you're enduring, this cutting, chipping away, and shaping process is to reveal a perfect jewel---right now, we're just a "diamond in the rough."  And speaking on my behalf, "Rough" it is!  LOL   :o)

This is my niece and her husband at their wedding on Sat.
Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, encouragement, and just for being Y-O-U!  You have helped me to not fear change, but embrace it.  Besides, perfect love casts out fear, right!??  God's love is perfect!   And as He perfects His love in me and my heart, the temptation to fear will be g-o-n-e--gone!  Letting Him have His way, that's what I'm asking Him to do in my heart. 

As time permits, I shall indeed keep you posted.  Sending big and thankful hugs to each of you!!

Dear Father, change is "in the air," just as I can sense "fall" is in the air.  I trust You, Father.  I am leaning wholly upon Your strong yet tender, loving arms to carry me and my family through these changes.  Please keep us in the center of Your will, for I know that we will not be content unless we are where You would have us to be.  . 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart (we are trusting You) and lean not unto your own understanding (I can not begin to understand this)...In all thy ways acknowledge Him (Father, I humbly acknowledge that we not only are looking to You for guidance, but that we desperately NEED Your guidance and help as well.) and HE shall direct thy paths. (We await Your direction.)  In Jesus' Name, and for His sake and honor and glory we ask, Amen.

August 6, 2010

Anyone for some pizza...anyone? anyone??

And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.   Deut. 31:8 (KJV)

For several months now, I've been on a journey...seeking God's will for my life.   For most of my life I've been a person who has never liked change.  For example, when I was sick in elementary school and had to miss a few days of school, mom and dad would have to "encourage me to go back to school" by offering dad's home-made pizzas for dinner that night.  Dad normally would only make those pizzas on Saturday for him to offer to "switch up the routine and make them during the week" was a BIG DEAL!  :)  That's how "unadaptable" I've been most of my life.) LOL   

I've been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom ever since my first child was born, 12 years when my husband told me, with a heavy heart, that I'd have to go back to work this fall, and not home school them...(due to the economy pinching our wallets), my heart sank....Change!?? NO WAY. What will I do?  Where will I go?  Even worse----the kids will go to public school? ? ?  How will THEY adapt? 

Oh....the fasting, seeking, listening and reading God's Word, praying, pouring out my heart to Him over this... believing that if it were His will, He could change circumstances all around, even at the very last minute.  Well, it's down to the last minute, school's about to start....and the way it looks, I'll be headed back to school finish what I started over 20 years ago.  Scared?  Pretty much.  Trusting the Lord?  The best I can.  Waiting on Him to open a window of escape er, I mean opportunity?  You better believe it! LOL   So far, I see no window.   Hey, whatever happened to "Maria von Trapp's" saying, "when the Lord closes the door, somewhere He opens a window?" (from the Sound of Music)   Well, me going back, just may BE the window.   What's going to be on the other side?  I have no idea.   But I know WHO will be there, Who IS with me even now, Who is leading me.  When He said to me months ago, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)  I had no idea the "new thing" would be THIS.   :o)

those little white dots are sheep :)
In the process, I've been letting go...of a lot of things.  And the freedom I've found in Him is refreshing.  I'm learning to STEP OUT of that "comfort zone" (or the sheep's fold)...and go out...into hopefully greener pastures, where I can graze upon His Word, walking ever closer with Him along the (NEW) way.

With the thought of homework (*gasp*), wife and mom duties, church pianist duties, and of course my relationship with Him and keeping THAT in tact, I have wondered why He would have led me to even start this blog....But now I see that He has brought across my path some very special people, my spiritual sisters and brothers in Christ.....and I appreciate your wonderful, new-found friendship and support.   

Now...won't you please join me on this new journey.  (when I think about it, I realize that maybe, just maybe, He has given me such wonderful new friends, so that you all can walk with me on this journey "into the unknown.")  OH HA...That sounds scary.   But it's not.  Because He is already there.  Wherever He leads, may the results bring Him all the glory!  Let's go ahead and start praising Him now.  ;o)

"His presence shall go with me...and I will be not afraid." 

One final note:  I'm going to be away from the computer for the weekend. . . so I just wanted to let y'all know I'll miss hearing from ya, and visiting with y'all....but should be back by Sunday night or Monday morning. Thanks again for all the wonderful comments about my grandmother's poems. I know she is thrilled to see the Lord still using her, even in her golden years....and golden they are...
She's such a jewel.

Thank you dear Father, for Your Sovereign hand, ruling the tides of my life.  I can see Your hand on my life ever since I was a little bitty girl.  I know that You will NOT leave me even now, as I'm facing a new road.  Why should I worry or fear, when I know You are the "Ultimate New-Road-Construction Engineer."   Thank You for bringing me new friends into my life.  I pray a special blessing upon each and every one of them.  Bless them in their individual ministries, and strengthen their walk with You, just as You are strengthening mine.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

August 5, 2010

The Master of My Ship

The Master of My Ship
(by my Grandmother, Belle Sandefur)

Thy Word was planted in my heart; I fell in love with Thee.
I cried, "Lord, be the Master of my ship.  Come on board and pilot me."

"I took You even as You were into my life that day;
But many times in the midst of the storms, I almost lose my way.
photography by Katrin Blumenschein
I try, and fail when I take the helm~~as if You are asleep.
I cry out in fear, "Oh Lord, don't You care?"  With a broken heart, I weep.

You've always arisen and rebuked the winds,
and said unto the sea, "Peace be still."
And oh, the joy that floods my soul
when I know I'm in Your will.

So even today's there's another storm raging from deep within;
But You're the Captain of this ship, and You guide it safely in.

You know the cares. You know the fears, and deep down inside there's rest.
For I know the Master of this ship doeth "all things" for the best.

You're wonderful, Lord. 
You're very near, and each day that I live
May I never forget Who the Captain is,
And that "an abundant life You give."

Enjoy the following video of one of my favorite pianists, Dino,
playing "Wonderful Peace."  May the Lord use this to minister to you and bring peace to your hearts. "Thank You, again dear Jesus for being our one and only true source of Peace! In Your name we pray, amen."