After-My-Birthday Giveaway

I had five amazing giveaways planned for my Birthday month (which was May) but the calendar exploded and I never was able to figure how to link them on my BLOG page. However, I am too excited to giveaway these items from some of my favorite local shops and Etsy stores. So get ready for this ‘non-tech- savvy’ blogger to just go for it!

Starting Monday, June13th, when you subscribe to my BLOG, share a new page or make a comment, your name will be entered into the drawing. Then, on each Monday for the next five weeks, I’ll announce the winner (five total) and make arrangements to have your prize shipped directly to your home. You can “enter” more than once and you can also win more than once.

The first giveaway is a  handmade quilted wallet from Counting Treasures etsy.com/shop/stitchinghook. My friend Wendie does amazing work and not only is it beautiful, there are 8 credit cards slots, 2 large cash/receipt pockets and a zippered coin pouch. It has a sturdy snap and a quick grab-and-go strap for when you don’t want to mess with a purse.5 (2)

 

4Look for more details your chance to enter coming up on Monday!

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Jesus Loves Me

For as long as I can remember, Jesus Loves Me has been Aunt V’s favorite song. If we sing ten great songs in church, she requests Jesus Loves Me. If Clint is playing his guitar, she asks when he’s going to play Jesus Loves Me. If the radio is on, she wants to know if Jesus Loves Me is going to play. SO, for a special surprise Clint found 22 different versions of Jesus Loves Me. Fifty-five minutes of continual looping of her song! She sits in her chair; content (for the moment), singing along. I was trying to get some work done and the repetition starting wear a little thin. (We may have been on the 3rd time through her ultimate playlist!) I was heading to her room to find something else for her to listen to when Aunt V belts out at the top of her lungs; “Yes, Jesus Loves Me, Yes, Jesus Loves Me!” In that moment the lyrics of this familiar song spoke beauty to my soul.

Jesus Loves me, This I know,

Do I really “know” that Jesus Loves Me? Is there an overwhelming peace from the very fact that the Creator of the universe loves me? Do I enjoy the days in light of His love for me? Unconditional love? “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you” Psalm 63:3.

For the Bible tells me so;

Do I believe the bible is the exclusive, authentic, inspired word of God? Yes! I’ve read and listened to great theologians who’s understanding of the bible amazes me. Their historical evidence of its perpetual survival throughout the centuries is persuasive. Yet, I know my belief is a gift of faith. And if I believe “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16; then knowing He loves me is undeniable.

 Little ones to Him belong,

In Romans 8, one of Paul’s main themes is to give assurance to those of us who believe in Jesus Christ; we belong to Him for eternity. We are heirs of Abraham and all the promises God made to him. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” Galatians 3:26.

Belong: (v) to be in the relation of a member, adherent, and inhabitant of; to have the proper qualifications; to be properly or appropriately placed. Because of the gospels message, even at 55, I am His child and I belong to Him! He has made it so.

They are weak but He is strong.

“He gives strength to the weary” Isaiah 40:29 I do not need to fear my inadequacies or limitations. I do not need to “rise above” or “soar to new heights” because He wants me desperately dependent on Him. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Yes, Jesus loves me!

The word chesed is found in the Hebrew Bible 191 times. 123 of those times are in the psalms. Chesed is translated as “steadfast love”. This word love has less to do with my feelings and more to do with God’s covenant to me and those enjoying the same covenant relationship with Him.

  Yes, Jesus loves me!

“that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

Yes, Jesus loves me!

How beautiful that I can never be separated from His love. nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39

The Bible tells me so.

“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”                Psalm 119:160

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Interruptions

“We are perplexed, but not driven to despair” 2 Corinthians 4:8

 I’ve been trying to blog for two weeks, but I keep getting interrupted. There is nothing more frustrating than to have a head full of “brilliant” thoughts, then something or someone interrupts, and you can’t seem to get your traction back.

Interruptions are always unexpected. The very definition is “to cause a break or discontinuance; interfere with action or speech.” Many of these interruptions (actually most of them) feel like burdens. They leave me frustrated and out of patience. I become snippy and discontent with the day. However, none of these interruptions catch God off guard; as if He turned away for a moment. They are certainly not random events or distractions in my life. God uses these interruptions to change me. He uses the unexpected surprises, the interruptions, as a way to make me into the likeness of Christ.

Charles Spurgeon calls our life interruptions, “divine appointments”.  He goes on to say “That which is to our divine appointment should be to our contentment.”

So when someone looses her keys, requiring you to stop everything and run her a second set; divine appointment.  When the phone rings and a friend needs to cry on my shoulder; divine appointment.  When an emergency requires me to sit with someone’s child; divine appointment.  When the air conditioner breaks and you can’t use part of the house; divine appointment.  When traffic is heavy, construction closes a lane and now I’ll be late; divine appointment.  When the stomach flu hits and you have to do six extra loads of laundry; divine appointment.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” EVEN the circumstances that interrupt my best plans and intentions? I know there are a lot of people who would trade my worst day for their best day. I know that, yet I can so easily loose sight of the grace and zoom in on the hard and unplanned things. There is this magnifying lens that seems to amplify what is being lost in the middle of an interruption; time, money, sleep, peace, my sanity. I react with frustration and anger and stomp my feet like a toddler! (Not on the outside…usually) I blame others for the inconvenience their interruptions are causing me!

But I desperately want my life to proclaim the beauty of God’s goodness in the middle of my every day reality. I want to model a deep faith and trust in God’s sovereign hand in my life, especially in the center of interruptions. When my eyes are forced to turn back to His face, I can see interruptions as divinely placed evidence of grace.

“Interruption is God’s invitation. God is inviting us to see him all around us, in the lives of others, in our conversations, in our serving those in need. Interruption is not simply a matter of our heart developing patience; it’s about experiencing true life. It is one of God’s ways of waking us up to what’s around us to see there’s more to be done than our self-appointed tasks for the day, as important as they may seem.” ~Joseph Tenney

On May 25th, God invited us into one of the saddest interruptions our family has ever experienced. He disrupted our busy lives, cluttered our chaos and imparted on us a very tangible picture of the utter dependence we have on Him. He interrupted our home with a beautiful reminder that our lives are not our own. This “interruption” to my every day life, illuminated the heart of God’s eternal, extravagant everyday desire to sees my life look more like Jesus. What unexpected evidence of grace!

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Psalms 17:15

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