Category Archives: wonderful

Joy and Laughter

Wonderful Wednesday

Joy and Laughter

Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the
hands of evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy. —Job 8:21

I’d like to talk today about chronic illness because it is my life these days. So why would I think of it in terms of joy and laughter? I mean, there is nothing about chronic illness to laugh about. Or is there?

The other day I got my vitamins mixed up. I tried to swallow my chewable Vitamin C tablet and chew my coated multiple
vitamin. Yuck! The Vitamin C refused to go down my throat, even with lots of water; the cracked multivitamin released its bitter taste. Double whammy! I had inadvertently confused the one for the other.

Even though the taste was nasty, I just had to laugh at how I mixed things up. The problem is that these kinds of mistakes occur almost everyday. If I’m not seasoning my food with pepper instead of salt, I’m confused by the huge variety of groceries at the store and end up buying something I don’t need or can’t eat. This has only gotten worse now that I have to read all labels to avoid the many ingredients that are allergens for me.

And what can I say about the time I wore different-colored shoes to church? different-color-shoesNo, this isn’t a photo of my feet but I did about the same thing: wore two shoes exactly alike except for the color. Well, it was an easy mistake because it was dark in the closet and the two pairs were right next to each other. My apparent choice of colors? Black and navy blue, so it’s obvious why I got confused. Right?

I can either lament these occurrences or laugh them away. I admit that it’s sometimes hard to laugh at yet another memory lapse, but in the long run it is a better response. I don’t believe God wants us to feel sorry for ourselves or bemoan our circumstances. He wants us to rejoice in Him and trust that He’s there to take care of us, no matter how much we hurt or forget things.

In this particular Scripture passage,one of Job’s friends is trying to remind him that God has not forgotten him. His words are meant to encourage and uplift Job in the midst of his circumstances. Job had the security of knowing that he could trust God, and so can we.

Snoopy-LOLI wish I could say I’ve gotten better at laughing these things off, but to keep it real for you I have to admit that I’m not as good at that as I believe God wants me to be. This morning I accidentally knocked a jar off the counter and rather than getting angry at myself over my clumsiness, I just stared at the mess on the floor and shrugged. Then I went to get the mop and dustpan to do damage control. Although I didn’t laugh at what I did, I didn’t stress or get angry and frustrated over it. That’s a big step for me, because about this particular part of my life, I am apparently still a work in progress.

So what’s the wonderful part of this? That God still loves this pathetic work-in-progress. And that He is always so close to me that anytime I need help with my attitude, all I need to do is ask Him.

How about you, Beloved? How do you handle frustrating situations?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, there are so many times when I’m tempted to complain and whine about what I can no longer do or how I mix things up. Help me to always remember that nothing happens that You and I can’t handle together. And remind me to grab on to my sense of humor during these times. Amen.

AnnaSmile…..

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The Perfect Christmas {repost}

Sharing a post from December 2012…

merry_christmas

The sounds of Christmas are starting earlier every year. Halloween isn’t even here yet when the stores start decorating for Christmas. And before Thanksgiving is on the horizon, Christmas music starts playing.

In fact as I sit here writing this I am listening to my own mix of Christmas music. My taste in this has changed somewhat over the years. Now I prefer instrumental music over songs with lyrics. It soothes and calms my heart and makes me feel more in touch with what I believe Christmas should really be.

Celebrating Christmas involves a host of activities. Buying—maybe making—and giving presents. Baking cookies and other holiday yummies. Christmas trees, ornaments and decorations. Singing and listening to carols. Connecting with others.

What is it about Christmas that makes us want to embrace it so completely?

There are countless magazine, ezine and other online articles showing us how to create the perfect Christmas for our families. Some magazines are even completely dedicated to the Christmas theme, filled with new or traditional recipes for cookies and other treats. They illustrate ways to decorate our homes to enhance that Christmas feeling and show us how to create to-do lists to keep track of everything that needs to be done by December 25th.

We rush around in an effort to find the best deals on gifts for friends and family. And why not? Since everything is more expensive now and our paychecks are probably not keeping up with rising prices, we need to save money wherever we can. Maybe we’ve decided to try for a more basic Christmas by making gifts and goodies. That still means we have to actually buy whatever it takes to make them. In a frenzied effort to provide our families with the perfect Christmas, we may miss the point of the whole thing.

And that is…?

Celebrating the birth of Jesus because it paved the way for us to live with Him forever in heaven.

Worshiping the One who made us and sent His Son to be born as a human being.

Thanking God for the humanness of Jesus Christ so that He experienced everything we’re going through and completely understands our joys and sorrows.

I have changed a lot over the years. When my children were young, I enjoyed all the hustle and bustle of decorating the tree and the house, baking all sorts of cookies and treats, shopping for those “perfect” gifts. I loved the excited smiles on my children’s faces as they saw the presents piled under the tree on Christmas morning and rushed to find those with their names on them.

Now I cherish more simple things this time of year: enjoying the long-standing tradition of exchanging Christmas socks with my daughter; listening to reflective Christmas music as I am right now; reading cards and notes from friends and family.

Other simple things? The look of twinkling lights. The aroma of a few cookies and quick breads baking. Hanging the stockings I crocheted on the mantel.

My Christmas trees used to drip with treasured family ornaments and colored lights. Now I put out this small but precious ceramic tree made especially for me years ago by my mother-in-law. There are also a few decorations scattered throughout the house and a wreath on the front door…

more than enough to satisfy my Christmas heart.

How about you, Beloved? Do you go all out for Christmas or have you scaled back in recent years?

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The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

Wonderful Things

Wonderful Wednesday

Isaiah25-1

Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago. —Isaiah 25:1

AnnaSmile

My REDEEMER

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

As part of my continuing Wonderful” series on the Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, here is today’s offering.

THE REDEEMER

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. —Isaiah 59:20

When failure comes and disappointment, when thy soul has been defeated and the race seems hopeless, stop and think “thy Lord redeemed thee and at countless cost.” If He saw in thee that for which to pay His life, Himself, His all, is it not worth while to rise and try again, walking with Him and worshiping Him who redeemed thee?

[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Copyright © 2002 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.]

My thoughts

“Who are you?” [Boaz] asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said.  “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.

“The LORD bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier. You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.”—Ruth 3:9-10

Ruth was a widow who chose to remain with her mother-in-law, Naomi, when Naomi decided to return to her home town of Bethlehem after her husband died. Even though Naomi urged Ruth to stay with her own family, Ruth decided that it was more important for her to go with Naomi. “Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

I doubt we could find such loyalty today.

In Biblical times, a kinsman-redeemer was a relative who volunteered to take responsibility for the extended family. When a woman’s husband died, the law provided that she could marry a brother of her dead husband. Naomi had no more sons, but in such a case, the nearest relative to the deceased husband could become a kinsman-redeemer and marry the widow.

Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer of Ruth. They met when she asked permission to glean wheat and barley in his fields for herself and Naomi. Ruth found favor in Boaz’ eyes so he made the appropriate preparations to marry her. In this case, Boaz had to meet with a man who turned out to be a closer relative to Ruth than Boaz was. Boaz needed to ask permission of this relative for the right to marry Ruth.

When the relative agreed to Boaz’ request, the relative gave one of his sandals to Boaz: “(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel)” (Ruth 4:7).

In effect, Boaz purchased the right to marry and care for Ruth.

Beloved, we have a Kinsman-Redeemer in Jesus Christ. Through His death at Calvary, He redeemed us from our sins by taking them on Himself. He thereby purchased our way to heaven to live with Him forever! His death and resurrection on our behalf paved the way for us to enjoy an eternal inheritance with Him.

Isn’t it amazing that God would go to such lengths to enable us to always be with Him? In exchange for Jesus Christ’s death on our behalf, we were made beneficiaries of His eternal promise of salvation. All we have to do to claim this promise is admit that we are sinners, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He paid the price for our sins through His death and resurrection, and confess and repent of our sins and fully acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of our lives. [You can read more about this here.]

And then live it out!

Our Kinsman-Redeemer lives! Let us always remember the huge price that was paid for our sins through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Job 19:25

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p4G2GbPYQA

My HIDING PLACE FROM THE WIND

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

As part of my continuing Wonderful” series on the Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, here is today’s offering.

AN HIDING PLACE FROM THE WIND

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind.—Isaiah 32:2

Standing one day on the deck of a steamer in the harbor at Aden, a traveler saw a storm of wind sweeping across the desert like some high, mountainous wave, rolling and sweeping forward until it struck the ships lying there at anchor, till nearly every boat was torn from its moorings or forced to loosen every cable and steam with full force into the face of the terrific wind. No hiding place was there. So do the storms of hate, of evil, and of sin sweep over our lives as we journey toward our everlasting home. But for every soul who knows his own helplessness, our Savior is Himself “AN HIDING PLACE FROM THE WIND.”

[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Copyright © 2002 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.]

My thoughts

Since, then, you have been raised in Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:1-3

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.Psalm 119:114

What does it really mean to be hidden with Christ or think of Him as your hiding place? The word “hidden” means covered, concealed … in other words, safe. It means that this very day, I am safe in Jesus Christ’s arms as one of His very own children.

What a tremendous comfort! Especially when life throws us curve balls. So often we plan something only to find we don’t have enough energy. Or funds. Or time. Perhaps we’re in a deep depression or are suffering from pain so bad that we can only lie in bed and brood about how nothing about our life has any worth.

That’s how we start believing we’re not much good to ourselves or our loved ones.

Well, I’m here to tell you that God uses everything and everyone to His advantage, even those of us who feel we’re leading unproductive lives. My mother was a terrific example. For many years, she suffered from congestive heart failure with its associated complications. More than once, in the midst of yet another terrible bout of pneumonia, we were told she only had a couple more months to live. But she stayed with us for much longer than any doctor predicted, for about eleven years!

Mom raised up a family of five girls. She was always cooking or cleaning or doing laundry. But during her the last few years of her life, she had to learn to pace herself to get through her days. In fact, a lot of her time was spent in her recliner. And what did she do to keep busy even while resting? She prayed!

Mom was in constant communication with her Savior and found such complete comfort and strength in Him. She learned what it meant to “set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Her focus was on the eternal rather than the temporary as she purposely chose to cling to her heavenly hiding place. And God definitely continued to use her in spite of her limited physical abilities.

So take heart, Beloved. You are much more important to God than your particular set of circumstances. God can use you in your present situation to show His love to those around you… if you’ll only allow Him to be your hiding place.

My GLORY and THE LIFTER OF MY HEAD

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

MY GLORY AND THE LIFTER UP OF MY HEAD

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” —Psalm 3:3

That God is “glory”—or “excellence”—beyond our understanding, none can deny. But do our hearts look up to Him today in humble, earnest worship, and know the truth, and speak the truth—”Thou are MY GLORY“? Our safety lies in the fact that He possesses us. Our deepest, holiest joy comes only when we humbly say in the hour of secret worship: “Thou art mine.” Oh, Lord my Glory, be Thou my shield this day. Amen.

Oh, Thou who hast given
Thy glory to me,
Anoint my blind eyes
Till Thy glory I see.
Lift up my bowed head,
Be my shield and my light,
Till Thy radiant glory
Shall banish my night.

[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Copyright © 2002 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.]

My thoughts

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make we dwell in safety.” —Psalm 4:8

According to Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Psalm 3 has been called a “morning psalm”: in other words, a good psalm with which to start the day.

He calls Psalm 4 “an evening prayer.”

I love the way Dr. McGee puts it: “In spite of all the problems and troubles that David had, he trusted in the Lord. He could sleep at night…He simply trusted in the Lord, pillowed his head on the promises of God, and went to sleep.”*

Imagine! David “pillowed his head on the promises of God, and went to sleep”! I love the visual imagery this conjures up.

A good night’s sleep is something our bodies need in order to regenerate. We all know that a good night’s sleep is something our bodies need to help us regenerate and get ready for the next day. But for many of us, sleep problems dominate our lives. When we don’t get the refreshing and restoring deep sleep we need, we suffer the physical, psychological and emotioal effects throughout the next day…and often beyond.

I’ve always been a very light sleeper. I will fall asleep almost immediately, but then wake up at the least bit of sound. After years of sleepless nights, I’ve learned to wear ear plugs. These do a great job of muffling the harsh sounds that jar me awake.  Certain sounds slip through anyway every so often, like the barking of neighbors’ dogs or the annoying beeps of a smoke detector that needs new batteries.

As I begin to fall asleep, there is usually a hymn going through my mind, one of several that I’ve somehow remembered from listening to Scripture songs over the years. I drift off while praising the Lord in my mind and heart and this, plus the silence that surrounds me, usually puts me right to sleep. And I notice that when I wake up during the night to change positions, that same song is still running through my mind.

But then there are the nights when I can’t sleep, no matter what I do or think about. That’s when I need to remind myself—like David did—to pillow my head on the promises of God, letting thoughts of anything else work their way out of my mind. I need to relax and allow Him to comfort and soothe me through any negative or unsettling thoughts, which only work against my desire and need for sleep.

Beloved, no matter how much or how little sleep we get, one thing should be a constant source of comfort to us: that the LORD is always with us while we sleep, keeping us safe in His care. And no matter if our night is sleepless or not, we can still rejoice in each new day and take comfort from the knowledge that the Lord is:

  • OUR SHIELD
  • OUR GLORY
  • THE LIFTER OF OUR HEADS

Now that’s something worth counting on!

*Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee. Copyright © 1982 by Thru the Bible Radio.

My ROCK

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION

“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.” —2 Samuel 22:47

No graver danger threatens the believer than that of forgetting that he was redeemed—forgetting even in the joy of realized life what our salvation cost, and what is the rock foundation of our faith. To meet this need our Savior pictures Himself not merely as the Rock of Ages, and our Strong Rock of Refuge, but the Rock of our Salvation. Here, in Him and upon His merit and atoning grace, we were saved from among the lost. Let us glory in this precious name and never forget that He was “wounded for our transgressions” and “that he bore our sins in his own body on the tree.”

My thoughts

As I was reading and then typing this here, I found myself singing the words from the song “By His Wounds” as sung by Mac Powell, Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman, Brian Littrell:

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

We are healed by Your sacrifice
And the life that You gave
We are healed for You paid the price
By Your grace we are saved
We are saved

He was pierced for our transgressions
And crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

We are healed by Your sacrifice
And the life that You gave
We are healed for You paid the price
By Your grace we are saved
We are saved

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed
And by His wounds, by His wounds

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

How about you? Have you admitted that you are a sinner? Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins? And have you confessed your sins and acknowledged Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of your life?

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus…

My STAR

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

For the next couple of months (or more) worth of Wonderful Wednesdays, I will be sharing excerpts from a small but wonderful book titled, Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Here is the first one.

A STAR

“I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” —Numbers 24:17

What could be more beautiful or more fitting than that our Lord should be called of God “A STAR”? Those who know Him best may say, “I shall see him, but not now. I shall behold him, but not nigh.” From far beyond our world of trouble and care and change, He shines with undimmed light, a radiant, guiding STAR to all who follow Him—a morning STAR, promise of a better day.

My thoughts

Oh, how I cling to this promise!

As I am too often in the midst of unbelievable pain, I have the tendency to wonder why I must go through it. But on the heels of that thought comes the reminder that I need to trust that God always knows what is best for me and that there is a reason for this particular season of my life.

These times grow my faith in God and in His unwavering love for me—why? I’ll never know—and I cling to the knowledge that there is something much better for my eternity. So much better, in fact, that I can hardly imagine it!

Oh, my STAR, come quickly!

Perfect Peace

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

This wonderful Scripture passage is one of my life verses. The Lord gave it to me a few years ago during a particularly difficult time in my life and I will forever cling to it. The words are faithful and true and immediately calm me down when I start feeling anxious or upset about something.

How about you? What are some of your favorite Bible verses and how do they impact your life?

Wonderful and Pink

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

If you’ve read my posts enough or visited this site before, you know how much I ♥ pink! So, on this Wonderful Wednesday, I’d like to share with you one of my most wonderful pink things.

My daughter, Kathy, gave this purse to me after she used it awhile and decided it wasn’t really her style. Well, guess what? It is definitely me! And I really, really ♥ it!

Thanks again, Kathy, for gifting me with this purse and for sharing my love of things pink!

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