Transformation Tuesday, Jesus Style

Many a blogger posts a picture of themselves from yesteryear on any given Tuesday as part of their continuing Transformation Tuesday offering.  I’ve decided that I’m going to do the same, but with a twist.

For me, there is nothing quite so transforming as a life changed through a connection to God and His Word, the Bible.  The Bible has everything to say about living a victorious life, and my own experience has been that whenever I stop long enough to read God’s Word, hear His voice, and heed His instructions in the Bible my life gets better.  It happens again, and again, and again, so my Tuesdays from here on out will be about telling my story, as it relates to my own transformation journey from confusion to Clarity.  I encourage you to pop in from time to time to take a peak, immerse yourself in a Scripture reading, and allow a few moments of your time to be spent with God.

If you like what you read here, please share it with others?  That’s all I ask. Thanks! You Rock!!

And now, without further ado, today’s Transformation Tuesday post:

Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard…

000talking.jpg--2

“On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.  And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.  Malachi 3:16-18

Does what we say and how we feel about the Lord make a difference in our lives? You bet it does! It always does, but never more so than in the days approaching that day when God will act.

Truth be told, God is alive and active in our world and he has a gazillion angels who are active, too. Those divinely engineered beings listen in, remember, and report back to Papa God what is being said in his world: The good, the bad, and the ugly. When we act in righteous and just ways God hears about it. Conversely, when we are petty and miserable with ourselves and others, God knows.  What is it that Solomon said?

“Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.” (Ecc 10:20).

I’m pretty sure the wisest man who ever lived, second only to Christ, was speaking metaphorically when he mentioned “informer birds” in his poetry.  More likely than a flock of human-speaking birds flying to God’s ear (although God speaks every language, so that is not completely off the table), Solomon hints at the idea of people of the earth entertaining angels, unaware.  How cool is that?!

When we get together, our conversations ought to reflect God’s power, might, and miracles!

Today as we face another day on planet earth, we have the option to invite Papa God into our conversations, or not.

We have the opportunity to honor Him with our speech, or not.

We have the chance to spread God-seed on fertile ground, reaping a goodly harvest in the by and by, or not.

Not just at home do we plant this seed, but rather, everywhere we go.  When those who love the Lord congregate in tiny circles of joy, they make praising God their primary goal. We can do it, too, and we shall! Let’s do it now!!!

There has never been a better day to praise the Lord and change a life!!!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!!!

 

Goals, A Day Late

000grape

Levity is a good thing, so I thought I would start off my post today with a cartoon.  My goals this week are health conscious, so when I saw this today I chuckled.  Hope you enjoy grape humor.  Now, on to my post that is late, late, late in coming.

Oh, nooooooooooooooooo… I missed my deadline for a Three Goals Thursday post yesterday!  Not to worry, I’m here today, so without further ado, and because I’m already late posting this week, let’s get to it.

THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS FROM LAST WEEK

Last week’s goals were these:

1  Sale, Sale, and SALE. All day Saturday I will help with the sale, the move-out, the transportation of donations left over, and the cleanup of the facility.  A full day, indeed!

2  I will make sure to bake some oatmeal on Sunday afternoon, to have for breakfast this week. I have been slipping in this area, but I will revive the practice of daily oats in the a.m.

3  I will follow-up with the spiritual director, calling again if I don’t hear from him and making arrangements to sit down with him, at least once, to go over my needs.

HOW I DID!

I have to say that I am pretty psyched about last week’s accomplishments.  The sale went GREAT!!!  Better than great, actually, with the church making loads of money and the load-out and clean-up (my area of interest), going smoother and faster than ever before.  Woohoo!

You all know I love this sale, and I love what the sale does for the struggling individuals in our community.  It helps where real help is needed, and all the proceeds from the sale (that’s right-100% of ‘em), are used to help folks who are without help in the hard seasons of life.  I’ve been there, and I know how hard those seasons can be, so I am particularly blessed to have been a part of this sale every year since its beginning.

DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN DOING THE SALE? 

If so, contact me or leave some word in the comment section below.  However long it has been, it has always been a good thing—this Sale!!!

I also did really well with Goals No. 2 and 3 this week.  I have eaten baked oatmeal every day and my body is loving it!! Why do I ever stop this practice? I don’t know, but I’m glad I’m back.

I have also contacted once again the Spiritual Director of my choice, asking for an appointment and making plans to meet that first time. Appointment is pending. We both have very busy schedules, so we are trying to work something out. It might take time.

Request:  Please pray for me for this initial meeting. I think I might cry through it all. I don’t want to, but I’m fearful that I might.  I am so drained right now—of divine inspiration, I mean—so I suspect that is all going to come out in a flood of tears when I get together with this person.  We’ll see, but I know me, and I think my fears in this way are founded.

The Good News:  Tears are a language God understands and can be cleansing.  I’m not afraid to cry, mind you. I’m just not looking forward to doing it for the whole hour I’m with this SD.  With your prayers, I’m sure I won’t have to, so Thanks, Friends!!

ANOTHER WEEK–THREE MORE TEENY, TINY GOALS

This week, my goals are going to be more health and diet conscious, so here goes.

This week I will attempt to…

  1. Read three chapters from a current healthy-living type publication and blog about what I learn there.
  2. Continue on with my IF-ing experiment, IF-ing at least 3 x per week.
  3. Report my current weight as a coded message in at least one blog post this week.

Note to readers:  IF means Intermittent Fasting. What it entails is me making a conscious decision to fast for the period of time that extends from my evening meal until lunch the next day.  This week I IF-d three days, and I found it helped me to feel better, act with more clarity, and find more encouragement in my journey to health than I’ve had in a while. I’m going to continue IF-ing then for 3 more days next week.

Yikes!! Goal No. 3 will be tough.  Can I do it?  I can!

Check back and keep me accountable this week for my goals.  Moving back into a more health-centric frame of mind can be a good thing, can’t it?  With summer coming, I’m feeling more inspired.  I hope you are too!  Yay, the winter cold is gone!!!

What inspired you?  What keeps you coming back again and again, and again?

 

Hope is the only good thing that disillusion respects.  –Marguis de Vauvenargues

The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love…  Zephaniah 3:17

Anyone who knows me knows I love the Old Testament.  It makes sense to me.  Its truth is straight-forward, though sometimes strange and definitely culturally diverse from my everyday experiences as a believer.  Some of what the Old Testament has to offer I can’t understand. I’m not middle eastern, and I’ve never been to Jerusalem, Iraq, or Syria.  How people from those places process the Bible is a mystery to me, but what I do know is that hope is hope, is Hope.

We all understand hope!

000hopeWhen I need encouragement I run to God.  There I get the hope I need to carry on, and so much more.  I get love. I get forgiveness. I get second, third, and fourth chances.  I get courage. I get insight.

I find comfort and wisdom for tomorrow!

I get all I need when I get up in Papa’s lap and rest in Him for a while.

All I need!!!!

Today, is there something you need?

Hope is always found in Jesus; sometimes found in the world, but never found in disillusionment.  Better to trust The Lord!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!!!  

ThreeGoals-AlternativeIt’s Thursday again.  Time for an update…

MY THREE TEENY TINY GOALS FROM TWO WEEKS AGO

1  Set a time for meeting with that new spiritual director I’ve contacted.

2  Attend a Saturday night function at the church that promises to be uplifting.

3  Finish up PR for sale at church, getting signs updated and posted in the community.

HOW I DID!

I gotta say that I did really well at my goals this week. I’m super excited to report I completed them all!  Yay, me!!!

Goal No. 1 DONE!  I called the SD like I said I would. A win!  The bad part:  I got his voicemail. :(  This guy is super busy helping people, which means it may take a while to get an appointment with him. It might even take a while to get a call-back from him, but what’s that they say about busy people?  If you want something done, ask a busy person?  Yeah, I’m asking, and I will let you all know when that call comes in and the appointment is set. For now, it is enough to have hit my goal and made the call.  Again, Yay!!!

Goal No. 2 Done and DONE!!!  I absolutely loved Sharon Glasgow and learned a lot from her session on Saturday night two weeks ago, but her Sunday message blew me away.  All about hope and belief in miracles, and the power in those big fists of our Savior.  POWER people!  Resurrection power!  It was so good, from beginning to end, and Sharon is on a crusade to get and stay healthy, too, which is right down my alley.  I want to share with you some of what Sharon gave to us, and the best way to do that, I think, is by sharing the link to her website, so here it is.  Enjoy!!!

Goal No. 3 DONE! DONE! AND DONE!   I have people lined up to help with the move-out for the big sale and those people have trucks at the ready.  A little snag occurred in my planning when I found out that the place our event organizer had chosen to send our left overs wasn’t willing to accept adult clothing donations.  What???!  That’s the majority of what we have left after a sale.  I immediately went to work finding another venue for the clothing donations, and YES, I found one!  We will be heading in two directions after the sale to make drop-offs for left overs and that is additional work I didn’t expect to have to do, but its okay.  Today is the first day of the sale and I’m excited about the potential. I love this event and will be on the “sales floor” bright and early Saturday morning, pushing hard for those last few items to fly out the door.  !00% of the proceeds for this sale help the disadvantaged in our community.  I’ll say it again–I love this Sale!!!

[did you see what I did with the exclamation point there. Yeah, I love exclamation points!!!!!]  LOL

000SALE-1

Now, for a new week’s list of goals…

THREE TEENY TINY GOALS FOR THIS WEEK

1  Sale, Sale, and SALE. All day Saturday I will help with the sale, the move-out, the transportation of donations left over, and the clean up of the facility.  A full day, indeed!

2  I will make sure to bake some oatmeal on Sunday afternoon, to have for breakfast this week. I have been slipping in this area, but I will revive the practice of daily oats in the a.m.

3  I will follow-up with the spiritual director, calling again if I don’t hear from him and making arrangements to sit down with him, at least once, to go over my needs.

I’m excited for how this weekend’s activities might turn out.  I hope you are excited about your weekend, too.

Why is goal-setting important to you?  Do you volunteer your time, and if yes, when, where, and how?

Living with a Vet

RobertHooseSr

Living with a veteran of war is an experience not many have a chance to observe up close and personal-like, but I do.

Here is what I’ve seen:

A man with regrets.

A man of sorrow.

A man with grit.

A man unafraid.

A man with dues to pay.

A man of faith.

DSC_0268

My man is a man of laughter.

A man who is truly free.

A man who seeks peace.

A man not afraid to fight.

A man who loves.

BobAaron

He’s a man who picks up hitch-hikers.

A man who will help you, no matter who you are or what you need.

A man I can respect, love, and follow.

Someone who loves a practical joke, but not in a mean way.

DSC_1409

My husband is this man and so much more.  He’s earned the right to be respected by others.  He’s earned the right to his peace.  He’s put his life on the line for many, even as he forfeited his youth, his hearing, the comfort of home and hearth, and his ability to sleep through the night without experiencing horrific nightmares that plague him and try to steal away his serenity while he lays dormant, unable to defend himself.

My Bob is a tough ole bird, but he melts when he holds his grandchildren. He would take a bullet for them in a second, without a thought.  He would seriously harm anyone who harmed them. Anyone!  He says that and he means it!

Family Photo spring 2014

My husband loves his family! In fact, He believes they saved him from an early grave. I believe it too, but I know that with all we have done for him, Jesus has done the better work. He gave Mr hope, purpose, and a way of redemption.  Now, Bob offers that same hope to others.

DSC_0595

Today, for some reason I’m thinking of my honey and missing him more than usual.  Bob Hoose, I love you!!!

What has  your mate done to make the world a better place?  How can you honor him today?

 

Movies, God, and Ducklings

Yoda, the great force master of Star Wars fame, is credited with first saying, “Size matters not…” Oh, but we fall for the lie that size does matter, don’t we?  I would agree that size matters some of the time, but I would disagree with the notion that it matters all of the time. Let me explain.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day, I took my mom out for an early mother/daughter celebration. We visited Eldridge Park in nearby Elmira, NY.  Here’s a picture of the park as it looks now around the lake:

000Elderidge parkMom is waxing nostalgic a lot of the time these days, so I was the lucky recipient of some fun recollections on Saturday.  When she was a kidlet, my grandad was in the habit of taking her to Eldridge Park, where for 20 cents he and his eldest could watch a movie projected on an outdoor screen and share a few laughs together.  Think Abbott and Costello and the joke about Who’s On First.  Under the stars mom and dad bonded, she reminisced, and I have to say that I loved hearing it. My mom can get caught in negative loops at time, so I’m especially encouraged when I spend time with her that recalls the good ole days, instead of the challenges she faces.  These are supposed to be her “golden years,” but more practically work themselves out in a tinny fashion many days.  I found it heartwarming to realize how a few cents helped purchase such a big piece of real estate in her heart.

SMALL INVESTMENTS CAN EARNED BIG DIVIDENDS!

While we were driving through the park on this slightly rainy day, we were stopped in our tracks by a momma duck and her ducklings. The importance in that moment and the size of these babies struck me as significant right away. Here we were, one of five cars weighing several tons each, suspended in motion by six lumps of downy brown fuzz wobbling atop newly trained legs and undecided about which way to go on the roadway around the park. Back and forth they swerved, these brown mottled puffs of fluff, while we patiently waited for them to push back panic long enough to regain their sense and get “out-o-the-way.”

000duckling alone

000ducklings together

We Christians often look at the events in our lives or the people we are in relationships with and are tempted to lose hope, aren’t we?  The problems seem so big. The people seem so screwed up. Our efforts seem insignificant in comparison to what is yelling our name on any given day.  We fear!  We tremble!  We wonder, “what can be done?”  Were it not for Hope, we’d be tempted to follow Henny Penny’s lead and proclaim to all in earshot, “the sky is falling!”

Here’s where we go wrong.

The sky is not falling.

Life is not over.

All is not lost and we are not forgotten!

GOD STILL REIGNS AND WE CAN STILL TRUST HIM

Matthew’s gospel tells us, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6:27)

As I watched, six little ducklings stop six cars, and observed two grown adults acting with tenderness and mercy to help said chicks get back in the pond, hope returned to my heart. If God could do that for insignificant little ducklings, what might He do for insignificant me?

I concluded that God will move heaven and earth for those He loves. To Him, I’m not insignificant, and neither are you. In fact, we might be the most significant thing in the world to God. I believe we are.

Why else the manger? Why else the cross? Why else the resurrection?

Your life matters. Your dreams matter. Your pain matters. Your future matters to God!

Dear Lord, I pray that today those living in darkness would see a great Light. I pray they’d feel a great warmth, and they’d know a great Love—Your Love. Where there is fear, bring assurance. Where there is defeat, bring hope. Where there is weakness, bring strength. Where there is worry, provide peace; and where there is doubt, drive it all away. Fill us with confidence in You, giving us all we need to live in victory this week. Thank you, Thank you, Thank You! Amen.

Noah’s Ark

000ark

You’ve heard the story of Noah and his ark, right?

Pastor spoke about it a few weeks ago in church.  I love lessons from the Old Testament, and Noah’s story is no exception.

Recently, I heard of the Noah’s Ark project, wherein a replica of the actual ark described in the Bible was built by Johan Huibers of the Netherlands. He’s built an ark and he intends to sail it from Rotterdam port to Rio Janeiro in time for this summer’s Olympic games.  What a great opportunity to insert God’s story into the Olympic story this summer.

If you haven’t heard about the ark project, check it out there.

http://arkofnoah.org/tour-the-ark/

Continue reading

Effort, with a capital E

000effort

I know, I know, not everyone likes Phil McGraw, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some good things to say about goals and getting to them in a more efficient manner, right?

Recently life has taken a turn for the more dramatic at the Hoose hillside hacienda, so I was glad to read what they were writing over at The Seeds For Life blog when they prompted me this morning.  Another great devotional, so I’m sending you their way again today.

Click on their website name above, to access today’s good word from The Seeds For Life.

Effort: A vigorous or determined attempt!

Effort is what I’m putting in to my diet these days, and I’m taking hubs with me on that adventure since a nasty tick took a nasty bite of him that turned into a nasty infection.  He will see PCP today, and maybe schedule blood work. We are obviously hoping against any blood borne diseases, but whatever the outcome, we know God has our back.

He always has our back.  We are His beloved, after all!!!

Sugar is the enemy at our house in light of this new tick bite and the need to heal quickly.  Immune systems are compromised by high levels of sugar in the system.  That means no spicy jelly beans…no sugary coffee creamers…no banana buns, or Almond Joys, or Strawberry milk shakes from McDs, “with three cherries, please” for the mister going forward–at least for two months.

Two months–an eternity, right?

But it must be.  Diet and sugar intake become priorities now, which means we must be vigilant, and remember to remind each other, and do some added planning.

Oh, how I hate planning meals!

Effort: A vigorous or determined attempt!

We can do this! 

Because of Jesus, we can win!!!  The battle is His. We are His. THIS is His!

Effort: A vigorous or determined attempt.

His success.  Only our effort.  We can do this!!!

What struggle do you face right now that will take effort to achieve?  Are you someone others see as determined?  Explain.

 

Freedom in Christ

000freedom

But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

Malachi 4:2

Freedom: it’s not a little thing!

Don’t believe me, ask anyone who has had to live under the constant scrutiny and confinement of a captor.

Ask someone who has been a prisoner of war.

Ask someone who has lived with an abusive spouse.

Ask anyone who lives with a narcissist.

They will tell you freedom is precious–something to be enjoyed when you have it and something to be made the focus of many prayers when you don’t.

Have you ever seen calves kicking up their heels and run through the meadow after a long winter of confinement? That is joy–unfettered, uninhibited, and unlike any other feeling God’s creatures might enjoy.

It’s new grass, people.

New grass is awesome!!!

New Grass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How long has it been since you tasted the new grass of God’s love?  Metaphorically speaking, how long since you last kicked up your heels and sprinted across the pasture in His kingdom?

How long since you knew joy?

How long since you let go and let God?

How long?

Today, let’s grab a lil bit of joy for ourselves. Let’s sprint across the meadow.  Let’s kick up our heels and raise up holy hands to heaven. Let’s rejoice in our Savior and in the freedom He brings to every captive, especially those struggling with life issues on this third planet from the sun.

Physically speaking, you may be trapped today in bad relationships or even disease, but your spirit knows no such bounds.  This morning, let’s jump, leap, and rejoice.

Jesus is Lord–what better reason to celebrate?!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!!!