Friday, September 28, 2012

Ice Cold Glass Of Tea

Grace Gift
~ Ice Cold Glass Of Tea

Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

                                 Thank You, Jesus

Free Time

Grace Gift
~ Free Time ~

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21

I was asked how I spend my free time. Good question, I thought. I know that the person wanted to know what hobbies or recreational activities I enjoy finding time for, but the words free time caused me to think deeper.

I've arrived at this stage in life where there are no little ones constantly under my feet or plates to keep spinning, and it's been a decade since I worked outside the home. I haven't had this much free time since I was in kindergarten.

Even my chore list is simple these days, rarely requiring more than an hour of unscheduled time on any given day - unless I've chosen to tackle a particularly large and time-consuming task. The hours and minutes generally flow at an unhurried pace, and there's white space all over my calendar.

It's a gift, I know - but I wondered what free time really means for a Christian. Is any of my time really free - my own to use as I choose - when "for to me to live is Christ"...?

As I wrestle with that question in the light of scripture, the answer is obviously no -  So, I wake up in the morning and ask God to order my steps and to remind me when interruptions occur that they are usually opportunities to love and live like Jesus that He has provided.

To be available and let God use my time as He desires will look differently for all of us, but it doesn't mean I need to fill in those white spaces on the calendar and find busy work to fill the time {in fact, if I did that, I'd no longer be available}, but I'm reminding myself to approach each day expectantly, with the understanding that my time and abilities belong to the Lord, and if there is a need that I can meet, I'm available to be used to meet it.

What if we've confused our worth, our importance or significance with busyness, when who God is looking to use are those who will keep their calendars clear for Him?

If you are still raising children, free time is not even in your vocabulary, but if you are in a season in which free time looks much like mine, what does being available look like in your life?

Forgiveness and Grace

Grace Gift
~ Forgiveness and Grace ~

As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. ~ Romans 12:18

I'm probably forgiving to a fault, but I honestly try to understand and excuse the behavior of others, because I'm well aware of the forgiveness and grace that has been extended to me - and the longer I live and the Holy Spirit uncovers my sins, the more I realize just how much grace that is - and how dare I withhold it from others.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Filled With Peace

Grace Gift
~ Peace ~

The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:25-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Apple Crisp

~ Grace Gift ~
Apple Crisp

Genesis 2:9
And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.

As soon as the weather starts getting the slightest bit cooler, this strange urge overtakes me to bake.

4 cups sliced apples
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick oats)
1/2 c. melted butter or margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9×9-inch baking dish and layer bottom of dish with apple slices. Combine sugar and 2 tbsp. of flour and sprinkle over apples. Set aside.
Stir together brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, butter and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Combine well (mixture will be crumbly) and crumble topping over apples. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Lord, thank You for apples and sugar and cinnamon; what a tasty treat.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Right Here With You

Grace Gift
 ~ His Presence ~

“I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1

Wherever you find yourself this week friend, whatever hills or valleys are in front of you this week, may your eyes be drawn all the way to the throne of grace, where our most faithful Redeemer intercedes for us.

“If I take the wings of the dawn,if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” Psalm 139:9-10

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name;

                            you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1

Lord, pull me close. Don’t let me miss you you in the details of my days.
Don’t let me be deceived into thinking real life begins somewhere “out there.”
Show me every day that my life is right here. With You.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mercy Falls Like Rain

Grace Gift
~ Mercy ~

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalms 103:8-14

God’s mercy is tender, gentle, a loving touch that heals a broken heart. His mercy is infinite. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


 ~ Grace Gift ~

"They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest;"
Psalm 107:37

It's the season for apple-picking.Apple picking comes at summer's end, as fall begins and nature prepares for her great winter sleep.

Being raised in Nebraska City ( apple orchard country ) my children loved to go to the orchard; they  loved to pick, collect and take home the apples for baking and cooking and just plain good eating. 

Robert Frost, a favorite poet of mine wrote~

After Apple Picking

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, let down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

- Robert Frost


Grace Gift
~ Shelter ~

Psalm 91 ~ He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty

When we go through trouble, not if, but when we go through trouble, God is with us, if we abide in Him. Abide in God, dwell in God, dwell in the secret place of the most High, abide under His shadow, trust in God, live in God, make God your habitation and God will be with you.  He is the safest place.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


~ Grace Gift ~

~ Grace Gifts ~

With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
~Psalm 98:6

September 17th began the fall season of Biblical Feasts, a day our Jewish friends call Rosh Hoshannah, a day God told Moses to call the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23.)

The shofar (שופר‎) is a Jewish instrument most often made from a ram’s horn, though it can also be made from the horn of a sheep or goat. It makes a trumpet-like sound and is traditionally blown on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. It was used in ancient Israel to announce the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh) and call people together. It was also blown on Rosh Hashanah, marking the beginning of the New Year, signifying both need to wake up to the call to repentance, and in connection with the portion read on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Binding of Isaac (Genesis, chapter 22) in which Abraham sacrifices a ram in place of his son, Isaac.

In terms of its Jewish history, the shofar is often mentioned in the Tanach, Talmud and in rabbinic literature. It was used to announce the start of holidays, in processions and even to mark the start of a war. Perhaps the most famous biblical reference to the shofar occurs in the Book of Joshua, where shofarot (plural of shofar) were used as part of a battle plan to capture the city of Jericho:

"Then the LORD said to Joshua… March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in. (Joshua 6:2-5)"

According to the story, Joshua followed God’s commandments to the letter and the walls of Jericho fell, allowing them to capture the city. The shofar is also mentioned earlier in the Tanach, when Moses ascends Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.

According to Leo Rosten, “The bend in the shofar is supposed to represent how a human heart, in true repentance, bends before the Lord. The ram's horn serves to remind the pious how Abraham, offering his son Isaac in sacrifice, was reprieved when God decided that Abraham could sacrifice a ram instead.

                                   Thank You, Jesus!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Joy Of Creation

                                 ~ Grace Gifts ~
                              The Joy Of Creation

Joel 2:21
Rejoice and be glad,
for the Lord has done great things.

The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.
Psalm 126: 3

                                    Psalm 143:5
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
Psalm 90:16 
May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children.

                                Psalm 92:4
For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

                                    1 Samuel 12:24
Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart, considering the great things He has done for you.

Sunshine and Rain

 ~ Grace Gifts ~
Sunshine And Rain

2 Samuel 23:4
He shall be as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
 A morning without clouds,
 When the tender grass springs out of the earth, 
Through sunshine after rain.'

It's pouring rain outside while the sun is shining.
* Except I got drenched while taking the trash to the curb.
Oh well, it was fun, it made me laugh and refreshed me!*

Thank You, Lord for the sunshine and the rain.!