It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Losing vs. Winning

Something to chew on:  Perspective is everything!

As your life unfolds much differently than you anticipated, remember that there are some things in life you can learn from losing . . . that you may never be able to learn from winning!

God already knows the end of the story no matter how surprised we find ourselves.

Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good:  blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

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What’s tucked in your backpack?

On this journey through life, we get banged up, broken bones and hearts, accumulate scratches, marring & scars, bodies altered, cut, and lose limbs, become deeply wounded, experience death and disease, etc.  All, which come in the categories of emotional, spiritual and physical.

Some of that may come from our own doings, and some from the choices others.  ALL, which we have NO CONTROL over.  Nonetheless, God has allowed these circumstances for a greater purpose than what we realize in the moment as well as enduring our suffering.

1) to bring him glory in our weaknesses, hurts and failures

2) to establish a platform of victories, that we might reach out and help others find victory through defeat

Satan hopes our horrible experiences will cause us to live in the past.  No way!!!  This pilgrim is moving forward, but I DO keep my experiences tucked in my backpack.  It serves me along the way to be of help to another soldier in battle.

LOOK today for those in need of encouragement, as the Lord has given each one of us a platform to be HIS hands and feet!

Hebrews 3:13  “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today . . .”

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Squirrel Harbor

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When things die, as well as come to life, it is a time of harvest!

Around here, we know that Fall has arrived when the acorns fall off the trees, hit our metal roof, and roll down bombing the deck!  As this event begins to unfold, it is an all day entourage of squirrel soldiers preparing for the harvest that has begun!

Are you sleeping through the events that are unfolding in this day and age?  Sleeping when there is work to be done is condemned, creates slothfulness and poverty.

“He that gathereth in summer is a wise son:  But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame”.  Proverbs 10:5   When the harvest is gathered, many will be awakened and it will be too late!

As I hear these squirrels running and scampering up and down the deck, I am reminded of many things that are still yet to come.  Are you ready for the Lord’s return when He comes to gather up His children?  Are you ready for the judgment of God when you will stand before HIM to give an account of your life?

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A Pig and A Pear Tree

Are you like a pig under a pear tree?

He is happy as long as the fruit falls.

The more he eats the closer he gets to the slaughter house.

He eats and eats, paying NO MIND to the source of the fruit he is taking in.

Are you taking in fruit that will eventually kill you, or are you taking in and bearing fruit that will change your life as well as others?

Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation”.  

Which tree are you eating from?

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Suffering Shatters!

When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces.  But He doesn’t put us back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves.  Instead He sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project – a mosaic that tells the story of redemption.

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Conquering the Guantlet of Life!

IMG_0278  6 foot slanted wall  IMG_0456  IMG_0499  IMG_0523  IMG_0515  IMG_0508     IMG_0562
Three friends started on a journey together.  All smiles, looking pretty with a great outlook on the road ahead.  The road of life brings with it many obstacles that we must jump over, crawl under, go through in the dark, some laced with barbed wire, while some  you will be on your hands and knees with one eye open, battling the mud that someone has thrown at you!
This past weekend, our 15 year old daughter and two of her friends decided and purposed they would attempt to “Conquer the Guantlet”. . . AND THEY DID!  However, I must say, they looked and felt quite different when crossing the finish line, than they did on the starting line.  In the end, they were much dirtier and covered with mud, exhausted, fatigued, marred with cuts and bruises, thirsting for water and nutrition and not near as excited in the end as they were in the beginning.  This trio was relieved to cross the finish line standing up and breathing, yet ready to get cleaned up, lay down and rest.   *Psalm 23:2
Olivia, Megan and Kayla headed out together on a 4 mile journey along rough terrain that encompassed potholes and thick stobs – not exactly fit for running!  90 degree temps with high humidity only added to the difficulty of this event.  There were over 25 of the largest, most unique and challenging obstacles along this 4 mile stretch.  It was this 2 hour and 15 minute journey, that stretched these girls and pushed them to their limits, trying their physical, mental and spiritual ability like never before!
The further into the trails they went, each one began to realize just how important it is to “not go it alone”.   We need friends on this journey through life.  Not just “friends” but the friends that will encourage you and push you to keep running — not ones who will give up and encourage you to quit!  *Proverbs 17:17
They also began to verbalize what things they would lay aside next time, that were a (bothersome) “weight” for them.  For example:  their tu-tu’s – cute and fun, but not needed for such a race.  How many things do we carry through life that is not needed or just an added weight?  *Hebrews 12:1
It was neat to listen to them encourage each other.  As one began to grow weary, not sure she could press on or challenge the next obstacle, the other two would pipe up exclaiming, “YOU CAN DO IT” while pulling or pushing the other one up or over the obstacle.  The obstacles on this course were optional.  You could take the challenge or go around, watching others push themselves above and beyond what they “thought” they could do!  *Galatians 6:9
I was informed by my husband just minutes AFTER the starting gun went off, that I could go along the course and take pictures if I wanted to.  This meant I had to hurry and catch up!  I was able to follow along (tongue hanging, tail dragging and sweat pouring down between my spectacles) taking pictures while cheering them on!  I definitely was NOT equipped in the best attire or shoes to travel this journey with them, alongside them or even behind them, as I did not attend this event prepared for the same journey.
There were several different walls they were challenged to climb over.  Some were approximately 15 feet tall with different length ropes to run and grab, pulling yourself over then climbing down the other side.  Some were 8 feet tall straight up and down, some were 6 feet tall and slanted for you to run up as far as you could and climb over.  As I watched the girls on the 6 foot slanted wall, it was difficult for them to make it over.  So, two of them would get at the top (leaning from opposite side) while the other would run up the wall.  The two girls would grab her hands helping to pull her over.  They had great difficulty and tried several things to beat this obstacle. I was immediately reminded of how it is in life, when others will pull us down easier than we can pull them up.
**We don’t know what life’s journey holds, but the Lord does.  May we be prepared and equipped with God’s Word and great friends to embark on this journey through life that brings with it, rough terrain, obstacles, marred flesh, etc.  There is so much spiritual application to this event.  Hope you enjoyed the snippit of their journey to Conquer the Guantlet.
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Glorified Salt Shaker

Are you a salty saint?  Salt generates value, salt seasons, salt preserves, and prevents decay, salt purifies and burns, salt penetrates and gives flavor, salt gives life and salt heals…our problem is not just HOLLYWOOD.  It’s SALTLESS saints!  Our churches have become nothing more than salt warehouses.  Are you worth your salt?  Are you being the salt of the earth? Or are you just a glorified salt shaker? See Matthew 5:13-16

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