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Summer Rest

Our first summer repost is an invitation from Jesus to come away and rest with Him.
Resting in Jesus’ presence is where true freedom can be found.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!!!

Jesus loves to spend time with us.  Take time each day to meet Him in the favorite place of your imagination. Be it a meadow, the ocean, a mountain, or a brook, He is waiting there for you!

The Meadow

Come away with Me to the meadow,
Come away with Me and rest.
Come away with Me to the meadow,
It is here you receive My best.

Come away with Me to the meadow,
Come spend some time with Me.
Come away with Me to the meadow,
It is here I’ll set you free!

Come away with Me to the meadow,
No need to clean up first.
I love you just the way you are,
At your best and at your worst.

Take My hand and follow,
Together we will run.
Come away with Me to the meadow,
Your striving alone is done.

Come away with me to the meadow,
Lift your hands and sing.
Come away with Me for I Am waiting, 
I Am Jesus, Your Lord and King.

Psalm 27:8
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”  And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming. (NLT)

Song of Solomon 2:10
My beloved spake , and said unto me, Rise up , my love, my fair one, and come away (KJV)

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It’s Summer!

I have been eating a lot of red cherries lately. We are blessed with two trees in our yard. Cherries are the first fruit to ripen at our house. Next will be the plums, then the pears, then the apples this fall. The cherries are my favorite, however, because they signal that summer is here!

Yesterday, as I was on the ladder picking and eating, I was contemplating what to write today. This will be our last post before the July and August break. My heart was flooded with gratitude for those that The Lord has brought to ALME. With a mouth full of cherries and the desire to send you a summer blessing, Galatians 5:22,23 came to my mind.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Here is my summer prayer for you:
*Love~ May you experience The Love of Jesus, as you love and are loved by the people in your life. May He ripen this fruit within you, as you walk with Him day by day.
*Joy~ May you be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that you are under the care of The Living God. May you be overwhelmed with the joy of His Love, no matter the circumstances you are in.
*Peace~ May you walk in a peace that is beyond understanding as you cast every care upon Him. Minute by minute may you trust in Him, knowing He works all things out for your good.
*Patience~ May your patience continue to grow in abundance, as you watch and pray for the people and things that seem to be taking so very long.
*Kindness~ Every day may you choose kindness. Every day may kindness be shown to you.
*Goodness~ May you be a reflection of the goodness of God, to those who do not know Him.
*Gentleness~ May you so deeply know God’s love for you, that your response to others need never be harsh.
*Faithfulness~ May The Lord help you to faithfully carry out, those things He has asked you to do.
*Self-control~ May The Lord help you in those areas that you are weak, so that you may be increasingly free.

May The Lord bless you with a bountiful harvest until we come together again this fall…

***Note– we will be publishing weekly articles from years past during our break. They are some of my favorites, so please continue to join us for them.
***Another note– I just realized that there are 9 Fruits of The Spirit, and there are also 9 weeks between now and the first week of September when we resume new posts! I am going to print my prayer list and focus on one fruit each week. Join me if you like!

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No Matter The Road

I love this picture. It was taken as I walked out the front door and saw our 10 year old granddaughter riding her bicycle. While there were storm clouds in the distance they did not matter to her. The fact that she had fallen before did not hold her back. Strong, determined and fearless she pedaled forward, confident that she would make it to the top. The light shining on her made me smile because I knew; Jesus was right beside her cheering her on.

If you are on a road that is long and feels all uphill, Jesus is with you too. Though the sky may look dark and the pitch may seem steep, be encouraged. You are not alone.

Thank You Jesus, that no matter what type of road we are on, we can know that you are near. If it is paved, You are with us. Rock, sand or gravel, You are ever so close. You are watching ahead if it is curvy with a limited sight of distance, or straight with clear vision far ahead. Wide or narrow, You are guiding our way. It is so amazing to know no matter where we might find ourselves, Jesus, You are always there.

Ephesians 6:10 KJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Joshua 1:9 NKJV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 50:77For the LORD God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge;

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My “When I Get To Heaven” List

Not too long ago our Granddaughter had a question about heaven for her Mom.  Not knowing the answer, she offered a suggestion.  “Granna has a list of questions that she keeps for Jesus so that one day when she sees Him in heaven she can ask Him.  Maybe you want to keep one too”.

I love  my “When I Get to Heaven” List.  It comes in a variety of forms.  It is written in my heart, and scattered throughout many years in my journals.  Some of it is unwritten, in the form of my prayers.  I have offered them to Jesus, following deep conversations about things I could not understand.

As time has gone by my list has grown shorter.    I add to it less often as I come to know Him more.  My “Why’s” have become less intense as I have learned to trust in Him.   As I look back on situations that seemed impossible at the time, His faithfulness has allowed me to cross many “Why’s” off my list.

I am glad our Granddaughter has started her own list.  She will have questions in her life, for that is the way life is.   Still, there is one thing we can all be certain of.  Our God is a loving God.  His ways are true and ever higher than our own, and His motive is always love.

“Lord You are patient with us even when we have questions, and our hearts simply can’t comprehend.   Help us release our demands to know the reason for things, and choose to trust in You instead.   Help us to rest until we stand before You face to face, seeing things from Your heavenly perspective of Love”.

Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV   8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Proverbs 3:5 KJV Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

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Doing While Being

This past week was wonderful! It was filled with family, fun, and a lot of accomplishments around the house. Still, I am glad for this morning as things settle down and return to “normal”. Normal will include a trip to the ranch and some office work that I put on temporary hold. I will need to work on ALME, and to attend a bible study as well. I have several appointments scheduled, including a fun reunion luncheon with some friends. Laundry and cooking, shopping and cleaning are ever calling of course, and as I look out the window I wonder the lawn could grow so fast! There is so much to do, yet still there is something missing. It is spending time with Jesus, the most important thing of all.

My husband and I will be married 41 years in September. One of the best things we have done is to sit down at the end of the day, outside whenever possible, and visit. We talk about our day and things that are coming up, and about our future. Sometimes we just sit quietly and look at the trees. It is, in part, what has kept us together for these many years.

With this in mind, this morning I decided I will rearrange my schedule. It seems doing, even when it is for Jesus, can easily take the place of “being” with Him. I am grabbing my bible, my journal and some coffee and heading to my “quiet time chair”. I know my day will be so much better if I spend some time with Him. Time to express my thanks, share my concerns, and claim His promises for my life.

If you are like me, “doing” has robbed you of “being” with Jesus. Today I would like to invite you to rearramge your priorities with me. Your time with Jesus may look different than mine. Because He loves you, it will be just what you need it to be. Be it 5 minutes or 15 or 30, He will be ever so happy to meet with you! He wants to bless you and hear your voice.

A final note. There was a time in my life when “busyness” wasn’t my barrier to spending time with Jesus. It was fear of listening to what He might say. I am including the following link for those who might be experiencing this as well. It is an important conversation that I had with God during that time. I hope if you are in that same circumstance right now, that it is helpful to you.

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Apologies and Enchiladas

I HATE to make apologies.  It is not because I mind being wrong; I am used to that! I hate to apologize because it means I have hurt someone, or done something foolish, selfish, or ungodly. Still, apologizing and asking for forgiveness are vital to our relationships. It is also what Jesus wants us to do.

Last week was incredibly busy. My “to do list” included making my famous Chicken Chrisaladas to stick in the freezer for an upcoming gathering. Fresh flour tortillas, an important ingredient in the recipe, can usually be easily found. That day, however, it took several stops to locate them before I triumphantly headed for home. The filling was already mixed, the chicken was cooked, and the two cheeses were grated and ready to place on top. I had just enough time to assemble the recipe before a doctor’s appointment. Then, I discovered that my “fresh” tortillas had mold on them. In desperation, I cut out the black spots and decided to fry them anyway. Eventually thinking better of it, I threw them in the trash and headed out the door for my appointment.

Grabbing my phone, I proceeded to engage in a rant with my daughter as I drove. I recounted the entire story, complete with intense emotion and a curse word or two. It was utterly ridiculous. Yes, there were other pressures that were contributing to my frustrations, but I really had no excuse. I also discovered that I was on speaker phone, and that my son-in-law had walked in and heard the worst part! I hung up feeling righteously disgruntled but not a bit better. Suddenly I realized; my tirade hadn’t helped a thing.

So my apologies began.

“Jesus, please forgive me! That was not a reflection of You! Cursing and ranting about tortillas? Please help me to have a better perspective next time.”

I apologized to my daughter, the recipient of my verbal onslaught.
“Please forgive me for subjecting you to that. I can’t imagine that it improved your day. It was ungodly, self centered behavior. I will do my best not to do it again!”

My son-in-law wasn’t available to take my call. I left a message requesting time to speak to him, explaining that I needed to clear the air.

The results:

Jesus always forgives us when we bring our failures to Him. He sees our mistakes even when they are happening and still loves us anyway. His concern is that sin is harmful to us. He wants us to be free from bearing it’s weight. He doesn’t want sin to come between us and Him, or between ourselves and anyone else. It is good to know that when we confess our mistakes to Him, He chooses to remember them no more. We never ever have to be afraid to turn to Him.
Isaiah 43:25 KJV 25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

My daughter was very gracious. “Don’t give it a thought. No one is perfect. Everyone has that kind of day”.
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

As for the innocent speaker phone victim? He offered to bring me a bottle of Febreeze if I still needed it to “clear the air”. Then he told me not to worry, “a box of red licorice will fix anything!”.
Proverbs 19:11 KJV The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

As you can see, I have some amazing, grace filled people in my life who are excellent apology accepters! I am so very grateful for them! Others, however, are not always so quick to forgive. Even then, The Lord requires me to go to them, then to leave the result between He and them.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be quick to seek forgiveness, and to be just as quick to forgive! May I always begin at the feet of Jesus, for He is the One Who gives me the ability to do what He has asked me to do.

Philippians 4:13 KJV 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Luke 6:37(NKJV Do Not Judge. 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

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The Compliment

During one of our daily phone conversations my daughter said, “Mom, I thought of you today”. Then she proceeded to tell me about a woman she had met while shopping over town.

She was eye catching to say the least. On the bottom of her legs were tan compression socks rolled all the way down to her ankles. Her white pants were quite form fitting, but looked nice on her in spite of her seventy plus years. Her floral shirt was as tight as her white pants, and it outlined her unencumbered breasts as they rested on the top of her pant line. She wore red lipstick that went beyond the outline of her lips. Her blue eyeshadow reached up to her eyebrows. She was quite bright and friendly, with a big smile on her face. Excitedly, she showed my daughter the leather bomber style jacket she had in her bag. Obviously very pleased with her find she declared, “It only cost eight dollars!”

When she finished her story, I laughed and questioned my daughter, “And you thought of me because???”. She answered without skipping a beat, “Because I knew you would have taken the time to talk to her, too”.

Listening to this little lady was a sacrifice on my daughter’s part. Her life is very busy, her next destination just around the bend. Stopping to hear about her purchase was a conscious choice to display love and kindness.

My daughter’s comment was one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. I smile when I think that one day her children may call her just to say, “Mom, I thought of you today”. Actions speak louder than words, and they can show what is in our hearts. Jesus sees what we do and it brings Him joy, when we choose to love.

“Lord forgive me for the times I have not chosen love. Still today is a brand new day! Help me to see others through Your eyes. Jesus, help me to always choose love.”

John 13:34 NKJV 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Matthew 25:35-40 NKJV 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

Mark KJV 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

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Imperfectly Beautiful

I was walking down a street in the Queen Anne area of Seattle when the above rose caught my eye. My husband and I were visiting our son when I noticed it in front of a small coffee shop. I fell behind as I stopped to take a couple of pictures. After running to catch up, I was happy with my prize.

I loved the beauty of this rose. Wanting to share its image with others, I decided it would make a good Thank You card. The vibrant pink blossom would be a perfect representative of gratitude or an act of kindness or generosity. I designed the card and had it printed.

While the rose was strikingly beautiful, plain white paper just didn’t do it justice. It needed something more to show off its splendor. I decided to apply clear sparkle paint to its petals. Still, it wasn’t complete. Finally, I put sparkling silver ribbon with a bit of clear glue on the edges. It quickly became evident, however, that the results I had hoped for weren’t going to be easy to achieve.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get the ribbon glued on straight. It was often too long in places, even after being carefully trimmed. In addition, mysterious little bits of glue appeared where they didn’t belong, both on the inside and back of the card. I was dismayed that they were there.

“Oh no Lord!”, I cried, “my beautiful rose! I am not going to be able to use it! I don’t want to throw these cards away!”. I was so disappointed. All of my time, effort and money was wasted.

As I wrestled with my dilemma, it suddenly occurred to me; the greeting cards didn’t have to be flawless. They could still be used in spite of their imperfections. Each would be hand painted and finished with love. Yes they would be imperfect, but they would be beautiful anyway, just like you and me.

Jesus knows we aren’t perfect. Yet, He never gives up or throws us away. Instead, He adds the sparkle of His love to our lives. He adds the splendor of His peace as we spend time with Him. He knows just what we need in just the right place. He paid the ultimate price for us when He gave His life on the cross. There is no one who loves us more.

… As for my Thank You cards, they are even more flawed than I thought they would be. The outer edges curl up a bit because of the glue. Some petals have a bit more paint on them than I would like. Still, I love them and think they are beautiful.

I was sharing my card struggles with my neighbor and showed her an example. Her response?


My Mom thinks they are pretty too.

I love my Mom and my neighbor. I think I will remind them of that fact this week and send them an Imperfectly Beautiful Thank You note for being just the way they are.

Psalm 139:14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalm 86:15 NKJV) 15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

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Peace, Be Still

Mark 4:39 (KJV) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Peace, be still, I say to the storms that rage within. As the winds of worry and hurry threaten to steal my peace, I choose to quiet them with the knowledge that Jesus is with me. Through my today, through my tomorrows, and every moment of every day,  I do not need to be afraid. I can walk in the calm of the Lord’s presence, though there is turbulence all around.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This week I have been on the run, trying to accomplish far too much.  In addition, I have  been attempting  to meet the needs of others, not always with the best results.  Add a little worry to the formula and I am led to reshare this post.  It is a good reminder to give your cares to Jesus.  Please take some time to rest in Him, for in His presence you will find peace.

1 Peter 5:7  KJV Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you