Words for 2020

As I begin each new year, God gifts me with a word or two for that year.  Do you have a word for your year, also?  It becomes something to ponder and work on making or doing better.

In the past I have had family, hope, victory, and other words.  For 2020 my words, there are two, are pray and love.  I was totally surprised.  God will reveal in His time why He gave me each word.  I might not even know until the end of the year when all of the pieces fall into place.  What I do know is that for this year I will make a concentrated effort to pray more and love better.

ED91584F-78AB-4C75-842D-9458E8F8ACE7

Where do you get your word

People have asked me how to get a word for the year.  Since it comes from God the first step is to pray for one.  Then listen and look.  I hear Him gently whisper my word to me.  My best friend is inundated with her word.  She sees and hears it multiple times after praying so it is hard to miss.

What to do with your word

I find it a place to start working, a goal for the year.  Let’s take my word pray.  In an earlier blog I challenged readers to pray for twenty people this year.  I am taking extra time for intercessory prayer.  Everyday I read prayer requests on Facebook or have a phone call requesting it.  Honestly it did not take long to list twenty people.

6BFAEF98-9F54-4331-805E-DD34EED3C2B9

My family is always on my list.  Their safety, health, Walk or salvation are prayed for daily.  I pray for my grandchildren, nieces, and nephews everyday, too.  Asking God to watch over their future spouse is another prayer of mine.  When we pray there is no limit to what we can bring to the Father.

DA8E3A54-D100-4369-B1E1-165155261462

Love is my other word.  I am praying about the significance of this word for me.  Perhaps I do not love my enemies and just think I do.  There are so many types of love that I need to refresh my memory and read up on them.

Jesus has called us to love.  In Matthew 22:36-39 it says: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  That is pretty simple.  Love is what we need to do.  Right?

What is your word

I would love to hear your word if you received one for this year.  Please tell me so that I can pray for you as you learn from it.  Let’s make 2020 a year of learning, doing things for the Lord, and helping each other.  Are you in?

5B30339E-23F9-4F52-A986-626D2CFF2871

 

 

Be God’s Vessel

On a rare trip to the inside of the grocery, I noticed most people hurrying past the Salvation Army bellringer.  No eye contact, and especially no hello or Merry Christmas to her was offered.  I supposed people were afraid it would cost them a donation.  My attitude was taking a turn for the worse so I checked it at the door.

CF98769A-54A5-4809-82B0-E91C6AF02AED

Inside was a flurry of activity.  School is out for Christmas break, and kids were excited just to be at the grocery store.  “Mom, could we get this?  Mom, I really want some of these.  Mom, Mom, Mom!”  Poor mothers were trying to finish shopping while kids were requesting items not on the list or in the budget.  I spied one young mother longingly check the price of a turkey and then ham.  Reluctantly she put both back and went to the reduced section where she picked up some marked down ground meat.  The four kiddos danced around the packaged lunches down a ways that all kids love but were good when she shook her head no.  For a family of six, her cart was surprisingly scant.  I crossed paths with them again as I went down the toy aisle checking for stocking stuffers for my four grands.  The kids were eager to offer opinions even though they were much younger than my grands are.

I was delayed at the pharmacy for a short bit but ended up in line next to the delightful family.  After flagging down a worker, I asked him to hurry and get a ham, turkey, dozen lunchables, and some toys the kids had ogled.  I was ready to check out and the mother was next in line next door so I needed him to hustle.  He did.  With the help of “Ryan” I was able to get these bought and later loaded into her van without her knowing.  He even contributed some items he knew she needed since she shops there often.

BB6A7D53-4593-47FA-B29B-588288BA6CA0

At her checkout time the mama did not have enough food stamps to pay so she started to put things back.  The person in back of her asked “for the privilege of paying for your order” and even added some items from his cart and the candy display.  I heard the woman say through tears she had prayed for a miracle and thanked the man for allowing God to use him.

That day God used me, Ryan, and another man to provide groceries and toys for a faithful, praying woman.  I tell you this not for any glory for myself at all, but for God.  He is Jehovah Jirah, our God that provides.  Answering prayers is just in a His nature.  He will use you if you just make yourself available and ask.

75BAE81A-5162-42B0-A12A-2E72BB7C70B9

Friends, I am abundantly blessed and that could have easily been me or one of my children except for the Grace of God.  If you are nudged this season by Abba, please follow through with it.  Let Him use you as the vessel to answer someone’s prayer.  You will end up being blessed.

What Do You Really Know About Mother’s Day?

AE391906-BB67-4A9A-8C52-50062F716258Why we celebrate Mother’s Day is pretty obvious.  Right or is it?  Who doesn’t want to celebrate the wonderful mothers in their family, especially their own sweet one?  Did you ever wonder when we began to celebrate Mother’s Day?  That’s a seldom known answer.  I studied up so I could share it with you, but what I found made me realize the why we celebrate is a bit deeper.

Before the Civil War a woman from West Virginia named Ann Reeves Jarvis began a series of clubs to help teach women about caring for their children.  “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” did not just teach women how to care for their children, they taught them the right, proper way.  Women were able to dispel myths and incorrect information by attending these meetings.  The meetings helped unify ladies after the Civil War and they promoted reconciliation between Union and Confederates in 1868.

It was not until 1908 the official Mother’s Day holiday was celebrated in a small way.  Ann Reeves Jarvis’ daughter, Anna wanted to carry on her mother’s efforts after she died in 1905.  Anna thought a day to celebrate and honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children would be perfect.  She received financial support from a Philadelphia department store owner in May 1908, and she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Also on that day, the department store owner held a Mother’s Day event at one of retail his stores in Philadelphia.  Thousands of people attended.

A few years later the holiday had more support.  There were many states, towns and churches  celebrating Mother’s Day as an annual holiday in 1912, but it was not a national holiday.  Anna Jarvis kept trying and set up the Mother’s Day International Association to help with her cause. Finally in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson officially established the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

488B6219-1637-4496-8D3F-864DBE0C001C

It is interesting to note, Anna did this all in her mother’s memory and for mothers everywhere as she never married nor had children.  She just wanted to honor her mother’s memory and great sacrifice.  Mothers give up so much for their children, but it is willingly with love.  Their freedom is gone, money disappears, sleep is rare, calmness is replaced with chaos, and peace often with concern.  Ask any mother if it was worth it and all (or most everyone) will say absolutely.

This Mother’s Day remember it is more than a casual “Thanks, Mom” day.  It is a sincere “Thank you for all you have sacrificed for me, Mother” day.  Reflect on what she has done, given, given up, and sacrificed for you.  Originally Mother’s Day was to honor a mother or woman’s sacrifice for children.  Is it still?IMG_3325

My sweet, dear Mother sacrificed more than she will ever let me or my sister know.  I am certain of that.  She is a great woman of faith, adored and treasured.  Just hearing her voice makes my day better.  Yes, I am a mama’s girl and proud of it.  Thank you for EVERYTHING, Mother.  You are appreciated and loved.

 

 

 

Read a Book Monday: “My Heart Belongs in Glenview Springs, Colorado…Millie’s Resolve”

Do you like to read?  Obviously I do.  There is something relaxing for me to get lost inside a book.  I love traveling to places and making friends between the covers of a new novel.  Don’t you.  Well, today I have a really good one.  “My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado…Millie’s Resolve” is a 256 page Historical Christian Romance written by Author Rebecca Jepson.  Published by Barbour it was the first book I have read 2B48CB54-1270-4592-9F12-99CB0D84D629by that author, but it definitely will not be the last.  This is a fresh delightful, emotionally packed historical Christian romantic fiction.  I enjoyed it so much I did not want to do anything else except read that book!
Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a town with a healing spa.  The story is set there in 1888 and is the tale of Millie Cooper.  She is a caring young woman running from her past.  Millie grew up in Nantucket as the daughter of a poor fisherman.  One summer she fell in love with the son of a wealthy family on vacation.  The results were heartbreaking for Millie and the book opens with her now in Glenwood Springs working beside dear Dr. Murphy.   Everything is going wonderfully until the brother of the man she fell in love with came into town and turned Millie’s world upside down.  He needs a nurse for his family and Millie seems to be the one.  This man prevented her from marrying his brother and now wants her to care for his mother and brother’s pregnant wife.  Oh my!
Author Jepson presents a fresh new story that I have not ever read.  It deals with forgiveness, regret, mercy, love, grudges, social classes, faith, illness, and trust.  The author tackles issues in 1888 that we can relate to now.  Her writing style is lovely.  The words just lowly effortlessly making the story easy to read and book hard to put down.  Twist and turns are added to keep readers on our toes. 9B1B3DF4-9C70-4265-A04E-C5EEE3D32768I was emotionally invested within a few pages. The descriptions were so good felt like a fly on the wall watching things happen.
The characters are so well rounded and defined that I felt like I knew them.  Not only did I become friends with the main characters but secondary ones, too.  I loved Dr. Murphy!  Some characters I scolded, others I had empathy for, and the majority I wanted to stay my friends.  I could travel to healing Glenview Springs and have coffee or tea with my new buddies.  The novel gave me the feeling we were that close.
“Millie’s Resolve” is a touching historical, Christian romance.  The lesson to trust God is prevalent throughout it.  I loved on page 192 the lines “The Master of the crashing sea was with her.  He was Lord…even of this storm.”  This beautiful message of faith is woven in the story so well.  Anyone will benefit from reading it and feel inspired.  Nonbelievers shouldn’t find it off putting or preachy.  This is just a great story.
I highly recommend this.  It is one of those books I wanted to finish reading, couldn’t put down, but did not ever want to be over.  What a dilemma!  It is a complete story, no cliffhanger.  I just loved it.  Any reading group would love discussing this delightful tale.  There are no discussion questions but just asking “what did you think” will start words flowing.  This gets a big 5 out of 5 star rating from me.  Loved it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.41D8B9AB-D3BF-4C95-94F5-249C5BCB2C25

That’s a Sure Bet! Is it Really? Absolutely!

Living close to Louisville Kentucky makes life interesting around the first Saturday in May.  The racetrack, Churchill Downs is open and so are festivities in preparation for the Kentucky Derby.  It is a two minute horse race.  There are fireworks, hot air balloons, a steamboat race, parade, style shoes, vendor booths at a “Chow Wagon”, Thurby (the Thursday before), Oaks Day (the day before), and more than I even know.  D2412375-5B81-4566-80F6-0D56C813565C

On Oaks Day there is a  Survivors Parade around the racetrack of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Survivors.  That is touching to see.  A sea of pink with beautiful hats and smiling faces.  On the local news everything is Oaks and Derby.  They discuss the horses and if one looks like a favorite, sometimes going as far as saying it is a sure bet the horse will either win, place, or show.

Do you go to the horse races and bet on horses?  Some people study racing forms like a student before finals.  Others use the color method of choosing the prettiest silks or their favorite color.  Even the way a horse looks and acts play a part in betting.  7603B979-4416-494D-B92B-5668C32459B1Names came play a large part in it as can the jockey riding the thoroughbred.  Even asking people that work there or “know someone” for a tip is another way of deciding how to place a bet.
After placing a bet, it is off to watch the race.  Sounds like fun doesn’t it?  It is only if you win or haven’t bet.  If you have gambled some of your hard earned money on the horse you might not be smiling if it comes sashaying across the finish line.  Sometimes a horse wins by a wide margin while other times you aren’t sure if it’s still on the same track. 83369005-6FC6-46AD-924D-CEB84B0455B1 On television there are pictures of many clinched fists, gritted teeth, and frowns among a few smiling faces.  None of the ways people use provide a sure bet or 100% winner every time.  History shows very few people bring home the big buck instead leaving some of their own instead.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a 100% guaranteed sure bet on something?  It would wouldn’t it? Everyone loves to get something they didn’t earn.  Don’t you?  Come on now, we all do.  Well, I have some great news for you today. 0CB794E2-8222-45F8-816B-3201356F5748 Yes, I do.  I have a sure bet.  You do not need to invest any money and you will receive the greatest treasure.
Do you have any idea where this is going.  Jesus.  He is a sure bet.  You can bet your eternity on Him and win every time.  Do you know where you will spend eternity?  Are you certain?  Jesus wants you and me to spend it with Him.  He loves us fiercely and died to prove it.  I can almost see heads nodding.  That love is beyond imagination.  He carries us when we are too weak.  If we are lonely He reminds us that He is always there.  He gives us what we need when we need it.  He is our way to the Father.  Do you know Him?  If not, don’t wait because it is a sure bet He already loves you.
29A6E043-A04B-41D9-BA1A-7B9249178610