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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?

“OH! THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL!”

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

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A Seagull Surprise

My husband has loved the sport of fishing as long as I have known him. He was taught to fish when he was young by his grandparents. Now I go fishing, too.

Last weekend was season opening and of course we had to try our luck. We were blessed to have our daughter and her family join us. Her husband is an experienced fisherman and adds to the fun. Our two granddaughters, 8 and 10, each with their own fishing poles, were excited to come along as well. In spite of the fact that we couldn’t get any bites, we were having a glorious time.

There were many seagulls, both in the air and on the water. They, and a beautiful large brown eagle, kept us entertained as we patiently waited for something to take our hook. Their presence prompted a memory that our kids have heard many times.

Over 40 years ago when we were dating, my husband and I were fishing on a nearby lake. It was a beautiful day. We were enjoying the peaceful surroundings, our lines dangling over the sides of our small rented rowboat. The water was still. All was quiet except for an occasional seagull as it flew by. After quite some time had passed, my husband commented that since we weren’t catching any fish, maybe he should catch a seagull instead. Jokingly, he cast his line towards a bird that was in flight. To our surprise, Boom! Down it came!!!

Laughing in amazement as young people do, we reeled the poor fella in. Setting him free with no injury to either party, we decided we couldn’t do that again, even if we tried. Of course we never did!

As the story of our past adventure ended, there was a commotion from the front of the boat. My husband had cast his line just when a seagull was flying low overhead. Boom! Down it came! Shocked and standing in disbelief, we carefully maneuvered the gull within our reach. Our son-in-law, putting his gloves on, held the startled bird as our daughter gingerly removed the line from his wing. In spite of the squawking and biting, he wasn’t hurt a bit. He was, however, highly insulted. Then away he flew with the rest of his friends, as they complained loudly about what we had done.

While we didn’t catch any fish that day, we certainly caught a surprise! Who would have guessed when we plucked the first seagull out of the air 43 years ago, that later we would have a daughter, a wonderful son-in-law and two granddaughters, catch one with us again. Instead, we have a memory that will last forever. A story our family will tell and retell every time we go fishing and there are seagulls in the air.

Life with God is always exciting. We may have our own ideas about a fishing trip, but when we walk with Jesus, we never know who, how many, or even what it is that we will catch! Still, we can trust in Him, and that it will be even better than we hoped.

As we cast our lines into life’s waters, may we reel in exactly what He has planned for us!

Luke 5:4-7 NKJV When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

Matthew 4:19 KJV 1And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Ephesians 3:20 NKJV 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

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Hit From Behind

You may recall from a previous post that my car was hit in a parking lot several weeks ago. As I was happily going about my business, someone pulled out of a parking space and into the side of my car. It was a shock and completely unexpected. Since that time, the young man involved has refused to take responsibility for his part.

A month has passed and my car is not fixed yet. The process has been exceedingly slow. It is scheduled to be in the shop for five days of repair next week. When I get it back, my self-confidence in driving will need restoration as well.

Unexpected things happen in life. They catch us off guard and interrupt our lives. They can shake our belief in ourselves and in others; sometimes even in The Lord. Yet Jesus is always with us. He is faithful to help us to move forward and to heal.

Hit From Behind

Hit from behind again Lord,
By things I did not see.
Barreling in from behind Lord,
The pain crashed in to me.

I was looking ahead, not glancing behind,
Seeking to do Your will.
Moving forward to where You were taking me,
Then suddenly I was still.

This unexpected detour,
Throwing me off course.
Causing me to move away from Your path,
This unpredicted force.

Cut and bruised and walking in pain,
Struck by disbelief.
This thing that had happened to me before,
Came again and caused my grief.

Then You took me in Your arms Lord,
And You told me the Truth:
YOU will never leave me or abandon me.
Your past faithfulness is my proof.

You will bind me up and heal my pain.
You will use this for Your good.
You will make me stronger than ever before,
You will help me to forgive, Lord, as I should.

Psalm 147:3 KJV  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Romans 8:28 KJV 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

2 Thessalonians 3:3KJV 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

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HAPPY EASTER!

I loved our last Easter post so much, I am going to share it with you again this year.
Thank You Jesus for what You have done for us!

Have a beautiful Easter everyone, celebrating the Love of Our Risen King!  

Last weekend at church we sang a song called “We Exalt Thee”.  It is a wonderful, older song, and many different artists have performed it throughout the years.  As I was singing and exalting The Lord, I was thanking Him for all that He has done in my life.  My mind then drifted back to when I first became a Christian.  I saw myself standing and singing the very same song at a meeting many years ago.  The chorus went,  “I Exalt Thee.  I Exalt Thee.  I Exalt Thee, Oh Lord”.  I, however, sang what I thought was the refrain;  “I Am Sorry. I Am Sorry. I Am Sorry, Oh Lord!!!”, over and over again.  Tears streamed down my face as the shame of my past and the focus on my failings prevented me from hearing the true lyrics  of the song.

You see, I didn’t yet realize what Jesus had done when He chose to die for me on The Cross.  I did not know that as He received the lashes on His body, He brought healing to my life.  I didn’t know that when they pressed the crown of thorns into His head, every unkind word of judgment spoken against me, both past and present, would be rendered powerless when I presented them to Him. That as He suffered on The Cross, He bore the weight of my every sin. I didn’t fully understand that when He conquered death and rose again, He bought eternal life .  Now I realize, that as He looked at me standing there weeping, He saw me as whole and forgiven because of His suffering on The Cross.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate Easter.  What a wonderful time to begin your new life with Jesus.   He will walk with you daily as you experience His Great Love for you.  He will lift you out of your shame and fill you with joy, as you sing your praises to Him.

Opening The Door is one of the most important pages on this site.  It explains how to invite Jesus into your life.
Growing in Faith gives helpful information on how to move forward after you have done so.

Luke 24:6,7 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Mathew 18:19,20 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Matthew 28:6 KJV. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said…

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Getting Even-Jesus’ Way!

Last week I was driving through a parking lot when a young man backed into the passenger door of my car. He said he was sorry and that he hadn’t seen me. Indeed, there was a larger vehicle to his right which had blocked his line of vision. I acknowledged that it wasn’t intentional and said that I was sorry this had happened to our day. As he expressed concern that his mother was going to kill him, we exchanged information and parted ways. Unfortunately, I have not heard from him since.

My insurance company has tried to contact him based on the information he provided, but to no avail. It looks like that well mannered, apologetic young man fooled me. It seems as though he has no intention of taking responsibility for his mistake. So I have decided that I am going to get even. I am going to forgive him, then I am going to pray.

I am going to ask The Lord to pursue this young man. That He draws him to Himself. I am going to ask for blessing in his life and his finances, and that he will know the goodness of God.

Yes, Jesus knows this young man’s real phone number and insurance information. He knows his relationship with his Mom. He sees the wounds from his past and wants to heal them. He knows every moment of his day. When Jesus looks at him He sees the great plans that He has for him. He sees him through the sacrifice of His Blood.

Matthew 5:44 KJV 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

Romans 12:2121Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Luke 6:3737Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: