Chapped Cheeks and Tingling Fingers

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Wow!  How I love this time of year.

I just came in from putting up some garland around the patio. Haven’t made it to the lights yet. We’ll probably wait until tomorrow to get those up. It’s quite chilly outside and I love it. Even though my cheeks feel chapped and I have tingling fingers I can’t help but gulp down a good ice-cold bottle of water! Yummy.

I have my tv tuned into “Sounds of The Seasons” and my frosty toes are tapping to Suzy Snowflake. I feel like I have a handle on shopping. In fact, I am very close to being finished. And yes, you guessed, I love to wrap.

I always think back over my life and recall so many happy, Christmas memories. One year my papaw and me took a walk up behind the little cabin where we lived (Mamaw, Papaw, Mom and Me). I was probably 17. We were very poor that year and things were really tight. So, we walked up behind the cabin looking for a tree to cut down to be used as this years Tannenbaum. We quickly spotted the little tree that would be perched in the living room. Much to our surprise we also spotted two beautiful deer standing just beyond the tree. Now I had a perfect illustration of the phrase “like a deer caught in the headlights.” They just stood there staring at us as we stood motionless staring back at them. Soon, the moment was gone and the white tail deer were on their way. It was such a special moment that I will never forget. I know that my life has seen its share of ups and downs, but praise God above He never took His hand off me.il_570xN.650364854_45hj

Looking back I see so many places where He protected me and kept me from harm. I see where He guided my footsteps away from danger and touched the hearts of those who could have hurt me. My Heavenly Father is awesome. I hope you know Him the way I do.

I know that there is much debate about the correct time that Jesus was born. Was it winter? Was is spring? For me, it simply does not matter. I celebrate His birth everyday. I’m just thankful that God sent His one and only Son to earth to save our souls. What a love! What a gift! There has never been any better. This reminds me of song….I’ll post a link to it.

Well, I’ve shared my evening with you. It is now dark outside. I can’t wait to get the lights up tomorrow…but for now, I think I’m gonna have some hot chocolate!


Give Thanks
        God bless,  Rachel

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Drifting back

It’s almost 1 a.m. I’m working the night shift and reflecting on the day. I’m listening to my “most played” songs on my ipad. I can’t help but smile as Bob Marley starts playing…

“Don’t worry about a thing…cause every little thing’s gonna be alright.”

Such simple words carry such truth and depth. I remind myself that, in fact, everything is going to be alright as long as Jesus is first in all I do.

I was talking with a friend the other day and we were discussing how difficult it is to stay focused. There is so much noise and junk filling our minds. Television, radio, computers…you name it. Such tragedy, devastation, and sorrow. So much stuff to make you worry. It’s almost impossible to keep a leash on your thoughts. ALMOST!

I know that my Heavenly Father is watching over me.

He knows my thoughts. He knows my deepest thoughts.

He sees me when I stumble, when the worries of this life start to take hold. When I drift far from the shore. He is there; just waiting on me to look up and realize I’ve swam beyond the rope and need help getting back to level ground.

I am humbled by His grace and I feel like such a selfish child. A stubborn child. Praise God, He is the author of my life and my story is still being written. I have so much to learn and understand and change.

Not my will…but His will be done.

Precious Father,
Take my life and mold me into the vessel you want me to be. Guide my steps, my thoughts, my words. Be my thoughts. Be my words. I surrender to your word and your authority. In Jesus most precious name. Amen.

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Still serving…

Where do I go? To find myself. To lose myself. To surrender. To find strength for the battle. Where else can I go but to The Lord?

My ways are not enough. They lack in every area. I am precisely imperfect. My abilities will fail…they will falter and crumble. I am weak and afraid. I can not rely on my courage. I am but a handful of dust so easily scattered and lost on the winds of change.

However, yes, however, my Savior is my strength. He is my compass, my defender. My champion. He searches for me and keeps me in his care. He lifts me high above the danger and carries my feeble frame.

I surrender to His might. I surrender to His very name at which even the powers of darkness run from the slightest utterance. Jesus.

I will serve Him night and day for all the days of my life. I will sing His praises and tell of His mercies.

My Lord, my God may your voice be ever present in my soul, guiding me and leading me on my way home to you.

Ready Yourself

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heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

And so the end comes quickly.  Like a thief in the night.  Are you ready?  I mean really ready?  Do you know where you stand?  Where your soul is going?

 

The things in this life are just that…things!  They rust, mildew, stain, fall apart or simply get tossed to the wayside.  But, there is a place where time does not exist.  We will no longer be on a countdown to our “golden years”.  We won’t have to worry  about senior discounts.  We will have everything we need!!  I’m talking about Heaven!!

 

That glorious home that awaits us.  That our Jesus, our Savior, went on to prepare for us.  Can you imagine after all Jesus went through on this earth to provide us a bridge to Heaven, He still left and had to go prepare  a place.

 

I imagine not once did He mutter under His breath about us being ungrateful, stubborn, sinners.   So, are you ready?  Have you come to that place in your Christian walk that you can goodbye to all your worldly gain?  Can you say goodbye to family and friends?  Can you let go of that big house on the hill?

The Spirit bears witness.   You will know if you are ready or not!  And, best of all, He will tell you what you need to do to ready yourself.

If you hear His voice…run to Him!!  He is your Father.

My staycation to The Holy Land

The Holy Land!

A place I have always wanted to see.  The Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Sea of Galilee…oh to see what my Jesus saw.  I have felt myself walking the streets of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth…all those wonderful places where my Savior walked.

I know that in these turbulent times a trip to the Holy Land is very dangerous.  Especially for a Christian.  So, as I thought about that today I decided if I can’t go to Jerusalem…I’ll bring Jerusalem to me!!!

Google Maps is incredible!
 
 
I have walked the streets of Israel today.  I saw the Temple Mount.  I visited Petra.  Have you seen Petra?  It is gorgeous!  I meandered the shores surrounding the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus walked on that water!!  Did you know that?  Think about that!  Jesus…walked…on…the…water!!!   The only time I have walked on water is when it was frozen!!  And if you saw me, you wouldn’t call it walking…it’s more like a balancing act.  Not graceful…but covered in Grace!!

Tonight, I’ll be visiting with family.  We will have Bible study and laugh and cry and talk about Jesus and how close we are to His return.  We are so close.  Sometimes, I just sit and look at the sky thinking I’ll catch Him coming…hoping this will be the day He comes back.  This evening I think I’ll share my journeys and take my family on a trip of a life time.
 
If you get the chance you should bring it home.  Talk about a staycation.  I am so blessed.

Have a great weekend! 

Love and Prayers ~

Empty Me…

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.”        

Ephesians 5: 1-2

I want to blindly following Jesus.  Trusting in Him as He leads me to all the places that are good for me.  Places that will teach me things and show me things that are Godly and fruitful.  I try to imagine myself as a little child who follows their parent around the house…constantly tugging on shirt tails and asking questions.  I  want to be that little child that Jesus smiles down upon and gently corrects when I’ve done something wrong.

 I want to curl up in His arms and fall fast asleep knowing that I am safe and protected.  Yes.  I want to be that child who is afraid of falling out of grace and approval.
I want to be that little, innocent child who smiles at everyone and doesn’t know how to judge others for the clothes they wear, their hairstyle, their tattoos and piercings.  I want to wave at passers by regardless of  the car they drive or the jewelry they wear.
I want to love everyone!  Just as Jesus loves everyone.  I strive for that!!
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
 I don’t want to understand how to judge others.  I want to be free of that.  I want that part of me to vanish and never return.  Oh, I want to be wise and not cast my pearls before swine.  But, Lord, help me not to be so quick to sum a person up based on outward appearance.

Prepare For Battle

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  Ephesians 6:11

 

Are you a soldier for the cross?  Maybe you are in basic training…learning the skills necessary for battle?  A kind of spiritual boot camp so to speak.  If so, you better get ready because you will be deployed and you will see action!

After I was saved by the blood of Jesus I felt like nothing could stop me.  I could have charged Hell with a water pistol and still have come out unscathed.  I had a clear and definite understanding that the battle I was about to face had already been won.  As the song says, the battle is His…the victory is mine.  I just didn’t have a full grasp on what awaited me.

No one told me that I was going to be tempted and tried…at least not to the extent that it happened.  I believe this is an area that, as a Christian, we need to be more open and forthcoming about the war getting ready to explode inside of us.

 It is true, the battle is won and the victory is ours.  However, the enemy is smart and cunning and will stop at nothing to win you back.
 for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

I guess it stands to reason…He was an Angel to begin with so why wouldn’t he be able to transform?  Scary thought, huh?!

I felt tormented.  After the ‘high’ of being saved and getting baptized there came a moment of spiritual silence.  I liken it to Jesus being tempted in the desert.   We must all face that temptation.  You will have everything you ever desired laid out in front of you.  Prepare yourself.

Have a strong Christian support system.  Someone you can call on when it feels too heavy to bear.  And never, ever forget that Jesus will never put more on us than we can stand.  There will always be a way out.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 1 Corinthians 10:13

Thanks Kim for the water pistol comment!  You are awesome!