Thursday, May 25, 2017

Things Hoped For



When we talk of faith...talk comes so easy when life is moving along without any bumps in the road. But then life throws us a curve or we just don't know what is around the bend. Sometimes illness just happens, a death of a loved one, disappointment or maybe an attack that you just did not see coming. It is then that we have to look beyond our feelings and emotions to see the hand of God even though we may not see His hand or understand His plan. 

God often allows difficult circumstances into our lives. And He promises to take what others mean for harm and mold it for our good. He longs to grow our faith. 

As a child of an alcoholic, I became paralyzed very early with fear.  After I became a child of God He began to replace that fear with faith. Once in awhile that paralyzing fear creeps back up. It is then that I stop and remember all the fearful things in life that God has already delivered me from. 

The presence of hard times or circumstances never negates God's love for me or you. In fact, God loves us so much that He lovingly and patiently replaces our fear with faith if only we walk with Him. It is up to us to choose to have faith no matter what our eyes may see around us. Our God is so good and we can trust his heart even when we can not see His hand. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Always Stay Humble and Kind





Good Morning,
It is a crisp and beautiful morning here in the capital city of Missouri. I have lit the candles and began to prepare for my day. A special guest is coming for lunch. I am getting ready to make some candied pecans and thanking God for another day of life. With candied pecans, it is bound to a great day.  It's a wonderful life... God gives us so much to praise Him for.

 I tend to run ahead when I have important plans. Most often God seems to call out to me and remind me that I need Him and that I am nothing on my own. I remember the old song that said, "I miss my time with you." God loves us so much that He wants us to spend time with Him. So I have sat down and opened up the Word to quiet my soul. I need to do that often. I once again confess my sin of running ahead without Him.  God quiets my soul and fills me with peace each and every time. I love how His Word comes alive and He speaks to us with what we need to hear at just the right moment. I open my devotional this morning and this is what I find.

I am reading in Proverbs 16:1-9

16 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.


We can make our plans and preparations and run ahead with our own agenda and in running we lose sight of what God's plans may be for our life. What He truly is asking us to do.  What he desires to work out and achieve in our heart.

The scripture here reminds me to commit not only my way unto the Lord but also my mouth.  We tend to devise our own way when we really need to allow God to direct our agenda. I can't help but think as I read this passage ~we need to ALWAYS STAY HUMBLE AND KIND. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blue Bird...Blue Bird In My Window





Last May when we moved in our new home we placed this birdhouse right outside our kitchen window. I watched as several different breeds of birds fought for the new little dwelling. Imagine my surprise when a sweet little bluebird pair made their nest. We watched as they worked so hard bringing all kinds of creative things that would make a soft little place to hatch their babies. Then the excitement grew as we heard the little chirps of new life. Momma bird would go in with worms in a loving manner. Daddy bird kind-of landed and tossed the food in and flew away. It wasn't long before the babies flew from the nest and we missed watching the whole process
 A couple months ago I noticed the pair back just checking things out. Then the whole process began all over again. These photos were captured by my Hannah when she was home visiting the past couple weeks. 

The bluebird is pretty special here in Missouri. The native Eastern Bluebird is the official bird of Missouri. It is considered a symbol of happiness. Its feathers are bright blue on top and its breast is a cinnamon color which turns rust in the fall. The bluebird is seen in early spring until late fall. It is rare to see them in my hometown of St. Joseph but here they are plentiful. I am just thrilled that they have adopted my little house. 

I can't help but think about Matthew 6 as I watch these little birds. God lovingly gave them their nature and ability to know how to care for their young. He loves them so much that Bible says He even knows when a robin falls from its nest. With an Almighty Creator who cares that much about the birds of the air just imagine how much He cares about you...... you who were made in His image. I hope you let that sink in today. The God of the Universe loves you! 






Matthew Chapter 6





Thursday, May 18, 2017

Unexpected Turns






O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Romans 11:33 KJV


We just zoomed past the one- year anniversary of landing in this beautiful and patriotic capital city of Jefferson City, Mo. I say landed because that is sort-of how God brought us here. It was a divine calling and a divine move. He picked us up and dropped us right here.

When God decides to move us~ He will move us. Some days I wake up and wonder how I landed here. I am thankful that I know that I know... the best place to be is right in the center of God's will.

My Brian and I did not know a soul when we arrived here one year ago. This unexpected turn in our lives had us a bit confused and to be honest we were both fearful. My husband left behind 30 years of blood, sweat, and tears that he invested in the school district that he left behind. Did we really hear God's voice or had we made this choice?  Where would we go to church? What about the loved ones we left behind?   Just who would be our new friends? Surely God would not leave me without Godly friends. I was lonely..... real lonely. I cried a lot of tears. I was fearful that the son I left behind would be lost and confused. My last child, whom I had homeschooled his entire life wanted to stay behind in the place we called home. I cried out to God~ are you sure you know what you are doing? Deep in my heart, I trusted that He did but in my moments of doubt I cried out to God to please not abandon us or our loved ones during this unexpected turn in our lives.

This unexpected turn for us has become one of the greatest blessings in our lives. We have watched as God unfolded the plans in His timing. He never wastes anything~ not pain, not tears, not lonely days. He has taken our confusion and replaced it with assurance. He has taken my boy and grown him into a man who is finding his own faith in His own God. Hallelujah! He has flooded me with Godly friends whom I already dearly love. He has placed a Godly Pastor in my life with a wife that has become very special to me. He has given us a church that we felt like we had finally come home after several years in the wilderness.  He has once again moved my Brian up the ladder to a higher position but more importantly a new place to serve and shine the light of Jesus.  He has taken our feeble and humble efforts and allowed us to be servants just doing our best at loving this God who has become so real to us. He has blessed me beyond measure with a position where I am privileged to walk this life with beautiful women as the Director of Women's Ministry at our church~ a position God has been preparing me for my entire life.

The unexpected turns in our lives may take our breath away and move us out of our comfort places that make us feel safe. God may even allow our foundations to crumble under our feet. He may give us way more than we can handle.   And that is just where God wants us. These unexpected turns in our lives make us weak. It is then God makes us depend on Him~ we have nothing left we can do. It is in this place that He takes our weakness and makes us strong.  Praise God that what is an unexpected turn for us is really God working and moving in our lives to make us and mold us into His image. This unexpected turn has made my heart glad and full of joy.



Psalm 16:5-11King James Version (KJV)

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.





Monday, May 15, 2017

Living Life With Zest Mother~ Daughter Banquet





Happy Mother's Day!
Life is so much sweeter with the love of all the women in our lives.
So I hope you put your feet up and enjoy 
the one day a year set apart to honour YOU!

























The Women of Concord hostessed our Mother-Daughter Banquet on May 6th.
We set the stage as a farm stand. This also served as the photo backdrop.
A photographer was hired to catch pictures of each family and some special friends. 






This was our speaker, Mrs Sharon Hoffman. She is the Pastor's wife of West Division Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo. She was full of sunshine and zest.



We had 30 table hostesses that set tables. They used their own tableware and decorations. As you can see from a sampling just how beautiful they turned out. Each table had 8 guest. Each one was different and just made the banquet so special. 




























This was the table that I hostessed. The hostess of each table gathered drinks and salads so each guest had their salad as the 240 guest made their way through the serving tables. 

The Menu
Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Spinach and Berry Salad
Wedding Cupcakes
Very Lemon Cupcakes
Iced Tea
Lemonade























This is my mother and youngest daughter along with myself and our speaker. It was a day to remember.



Psalm 34:8

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I'm Undone By The Mercy Of Jesus






This a glorious thought to start out a stormy Saturday morning. No matter where you are and no matter what you may be doing, you can rest assured that the Redeemer lives.

I remember the day I accepted what Jesus did for me when He died on the cross for all my sin. The day I repented from my sins and gave my life to the Redeemer. My life has never been the same. I was just a young 18-year-old girl away at Bible College.  He cleansed me and made me whole. "Since then I walk in forgiveness. The chains of the past are broken at last."

 I fall short each and every day but my Jesus made it possible for me to be redeemed and made righteous in the sight of God. Now that is reason enough to celebrate this day. My debt has been paid and one day when I leave this world, I will spend eternity with my Redeemer. Do you know the Redeemer?

I've got Jesus ~ How could I want more?

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Job 19:25 




Friday, April 28, 2017

"For Such A Time As This"




Life has been moving at full speed and I do mean full speed. I took a position on staff at our church as the Women's Ministry Director. I am having the time of my life. It is a wonderful thing to be right in the center of God's will doing what I love.  I feel like God has been preparing me all of my life for such a time as this....serving others, encouraging others and getting the opportunity to pour my life out for others. I am so very humbled that God would let me be a part of so many amazing women's lives. 

I think of Esther. She had endured hard times. She had lost both of her parents and lived with a cousin, whom she loved. She was paraded before a King for the purpose of him choosing a bride. I wonder what his qualifications were. Was she pretty enough, smart enough..... just enough. Then to be chosen to be his bride. Then to learn there was a wicked man who wanted to kill her and her people. Esther had her share of hard days...... yet the Bible tells us she was right where God wanted her to be "for such a time as this."  


Esther 4:14

14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

What is God calling you do today .... "for such a time as this?" Maybe it is raising young children..... a long list of to-dos. Like cleaning toilets and mountains of laundry and sticky floors. Maybe you are teaching in a classroom or homeschooling your children. Maybe it is facing an illness or walking along someone who is fighting. Maybe it is serving in the ministry or teaching Sunday School. We all have our assignments given to us by God. I want to encourage you today that no matter how big or small the assignment, you are where you are because God has placed you there "for such a time as this."

Esther did not allow herself a pity party. She stood with courage and grace and obeyed God. She saved an entire nation. You never know just what God has in store for your life right now, right where you are...... "for such a time as this."





Thursday, April 27, 2017

KJV, Thinline Bible, Compact, Cloth Over Board, Purple, Red Letter Edition


This sweet little Bible is very slim and small to carry along or for traveling. It is really a beautiful coffee table Bible also. It contains two ribbon place markers and has Christ's words written in red. It contains full colorful maps.

This would make a wonderful graduation gift for any young lady or Mother's Day. I especially like the  cloth cover.

This KJV version Bible was provided to me in exchange for my honest opinion. This girl loves her King James Bible.

The Joy Of Letting Go Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World




One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is letting go of my children. I remember the day Ashley left home after she got married. My husband and I sat in her room on her bed and cried a river of tears. In fact, I cried most of the summer. She was the first of our four children who found their wings and flew far away from my warm and cozy home. Did I mention Safe also......safe home? 

This devotional is written true to life. Vicki captured the tears and stories of letting her children go. In The Joy Of Letting Go, each of the 52 devotions has a cute and catchy title. The author shares how letting go really begins the day we bring our little bundle home..... from walking to driving.. college and moving out.  In each devotion, she takes her stories and turns them into a thought-provoking and spiritual application. 

I highly recommend this book for those who have teenagers. It would make a wonderful gift for any newly empty nesters. 

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day~ Cabbage Roll Recipe


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.  I am not Irish, nor do I believe in luck. I do wear green and make a mean pot of corned beef and cabbage. I do often think about how blessed I am when I hear about the "luck of the Irish."

1 Peter 1:4

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.

Rainbows are to remind us of God's promise to never destroy the earth again with water.  But to be honest, my pot of gold would have to be my relationship with Jesus Christ. My accepting Christ as my Saviour will one day lead me to a pot of gold in Heaven. 

Not only do I have the promise of eternity in Heaven but I have so much here on earth. I have joy in the journey. I have peace in the pot holes. I have faith in my failures. I have love in my loneliness. 

So don't call me lucky~call me blessed!

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.



Happy St. Patrick's Day





 Grandma Catron's Cabbage Roll Recipe 
They are so very yummy. 

12 cabbage leaves
Filling~

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk

Sauce~

  • 1 cans (8 ounces ) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

Preparation: Drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well. For filling, combine ground beef, rice, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Place a portion into the center of each cabbage leaf. Roll leaf around filling; fasten with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish. For sauce, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water with cornstarch and pour over cabbage rolls. Bake covered in a preheated 350° oven 40 to 45 minutes. Remove rolls and discard toothpicks. Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Recipe for cabbage rolls serves 6.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hope For Your Children For Each Day~ A Billy Graham Keepsake







Oh-my-stars! This is going to be a keepsake for sure. I have admired the faith and testimony of Billy Graham always. We have been told he is growing weary and tired which makes this all the more special.  I am so excited to read this little devotional for children.

Billy Graham said, "Every day I turn to the Bible to give me strength and wisdom for the day and hope for the future." Which can be seen in a life well lived for God. What a blessing.

I can think of no better way to teach your child to do the very same just as Billy Graham has done. The Hope for Each Day was written for adults and this devotional has been taken from the adult version and put in terms that children of all ages can benefit from reading.

I am love with everything about this devotional.  It is a thick book with a hard back cover full of devotions for each day of the year. I highly recommend this book for all parents to read to their children. The devotions for each day are absolutely wonderful.

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. I rate this book with 5 stars. Great resource!

Make Some Quiet Time for Your Soul-5 Minutes With Jesus Devotional




It is a snowy day here on this March day but I am sipping tea and reading this new devotional from Sheila Walsh. I love the devotions. They are short and easy to read but loaded with great wisdom. After each devotion is a section of 5 minutes in the Word with scripture verses relating to the devotion.  It has a way of  drawing you into a time of rest with God. I enjoy the way she uses stories along with Biblical insights. This is a great way to start your day.....and we all need a little reminder to spend more time in God's Word 

It would make a wonderful gift for Easter, Graduation or Mother's Day. Beautifully  designed and it features and a hard back cover..... very trendy in design. 

 I really like this devotional and rate it 5 stars. This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. 



Book Description

Step away from the noise and into the arms of your loving Savior.
Bright screens, beeping notifications, a never-ending list of activities and to-dos . . . when do we ever stop? Is it any wonder we are deeply weary?
Jesus longs to give you the gift of rest—to lead you beside quiet waters and refresh your soul. He stands with open arms, saying, “Come as you are!”
With her signature honesty, vulnerability, and humor, bestselling author Sheila Walsh helps you seek Jesus in the quiet. Every entry features an encouraging devotion and takeaway along with powerful scriptures that guide you in drawing near to your life-giving God.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Are You Suffering?






Sometimes in this life, we suffer. We have health issues, heartaches, and disappointments. Throw in a dash of troubles and trials and some days we just find ourselves questioning. Some questions here in this life just don't have answers. Why does God allow his children to suffer?

That is a million dollar question for sure. Yet, we only need to look to the oldest book in the Bible and read about poor Job. He suffered horribly.  He lost it all and then he lost his health. 
I have been battling a health issue and most likely I will for the rest of my days on this earth. When you don't feel well it makes all of the suffering in life a little more heavy to carry. We only need to look at God's  Son to realize that God does allow his children to suffer at times.

The great news is that He never wastes any of our sufferings. Although Job may not have ever understood why....... He did learn that the character of  God is merciful and loving and that He can be trusted.

We can trust our God too. Not because He always gives us the answers to life but just because He is God. 

Job 23:11 My foot hath held his steps, his way I have kept, and not declined.   Job kept God's ways and never turned away. What a lesson for us to follow. 




Monday, March 6, 2017

No More Shame



Do you ever feel like you just don't deserve God's love? Maybe you have traveled down the wrong road. Maybe you've made a bad choice. Maybe you just feel undone......not good enough. The list goes on and on. No matter what shame you may feel today by asking God to forgive we find forgiveness.

God is in the business of interrupting the power of shame in our lives. God's love can't be earned or bought.  Sin and shame keep us from moving forward.... paralyzing us and separating us from our Father. He is waiting with open arms to forgive us and cleanse us...... setting us free from all shame.

I am celebrating on this breezy March day that there is just no sin or shame bigger than the cross.

1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Are You Just TOO Busy?


Not one more thing! Do you ever hear yourself saying that? Not one more meeting. Not one more cake to bake. Not one more errand to run. Not another person requiring anything from me. Not one more thing added to my calendar. Nothing....zero.....can't add one more thing right now to my over-booked life. 

Staying too busy can lead us into stress and unrest. Are you hearing me as I preach to myself? I love to be busy. 

I plan to live my 100 years ( I have prayed for 100 years.) on this earth pouring out every ounce of by feeble attempts for my Jesus. Yet~ when I find myself too busy to sit at the feet of Jesus~ I am just too busy. Stress is a warning sign for us to go back to the basics and line up this thing called "LIFE" to fit into God's plan and purpose.

We need to remember to say "yes" to the best and "no" to the rest! I was challenged in my Bible study to pick two jobs in the church and do them really well. That is just good advice from Mrs. Sherry~ if you are reading!  

When we find ourselves in distress and trouble it is time to remember that the commands or will of our Father will give us peace and delight. How about you? On this beautiful Monday morning~ are you full of delight? Like Mrs. Sherry says, "Just do today what God's assignment is for you to do today." That seems simple enough. 

Psalm 119:143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Control Girl~ A Book All Ladies & Girls Should Read



This is one book I highly recommend to ladies of all ages. I can't remember when I have read a book that could be more helpful. It seems like little girls are just born as natural controllers......I know I sure was and still struggle with this control issue. It was mother Eve who passed it down and we sure manage to keep it going. 

Shannon does a great job comparing how the girls of the Bible had their own struggle with control. Yet each time the control girls of the Bible took matters into their own hands they suffered along with those they loved and those who came after them all the way down to me and you. 

I like what she writes here:
  • A Control Girl detaches from God. A Jesus Girl relies on Him.
  • A Control Girl breaks God's rules. A Jesus Girl embraces the Bible's instructions.
  • A Control Girl trusts her own perspective. A Jesus Girl defers to God's viewpoint.
So many times we like to think we are just being a great wife, mom or Christan when we micro- manage, manipulate and control but it is just not so.  We need to give up our control and manipulation and let God work.

I plan on using this book for a group Bible study. I love this book and it was provided to me for my honest review.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A New Place of Grace







Yesterday at staff lunch our Pastor told us of one of his college professors who allowed them to give themselves their own grade at the end of the semester. Some thought that would be a great idea. But I hated the idea. I don't think I would ever give myself a good grade if it were left up to me.

 I never think I do good enough. I am a perfectionist and I am my worst critic.  I want to be a better Christian. I want to be a better wife. I obsess over the areas of my motherhood where I feel like I failed. I never feel like my house is Pinterest worthy enough. I feel like I need to do more to be good enough.  I second guess every decision I make and read into every word I say. Yep~ I want to be good all the time and at everything.  Perfectionism is a tough slave master.  A Pastor friend asked me not long ago, "Do you always have to be perfect?" That's a big problem. I know it and I am a recovering perfectionist. I am praying that God will help me with this problem which is really the sin of fear of never being accepted or loved for just being me.  

 The problem is that in my walk with God this tends to lead to legalism and that is very ugly!  Self -righteousness.... self-sufficiency... independence.... no matter what you call it, it is  "I" and not "God." I have spent three years in a spiritual wilderness as God has been prying my hands off "gotta be good enough." He has been showing me how my perfectionism has turned into a goodness gospel and  He has been calling me into grace. A new place of grace and goodness where I can rest and depend only on Him and that is the most wonderful place to be~ depending one step at a time on my Heavenly Father. 

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. I John 4:10

As ye therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Colossians 2:6




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