Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Reflection of Me in my Granddaughter!!

My sweet little granddaughter 'Lucy' dressed up as an old woman and she immediately adapted to the southern accent! It was apparent that she took on the role of the 'old' lady she knows from Alabama that she calls 'Nana'. It is with joy in my heart that this little one
envisions me as an old lady, when truly I feel as young as her 8 year old heart! 

But it also gives me pause that she is watching us, as children do, and with exaggeration mimics me. It should scare us all, as we show our actions and make comments in front of children! Are we setting an example of who we want them to think we are or would want them to become?  

It made me wonder, as I looked at this picture of Lucy, what were her actions? Did she love on her baby dolls, or was she too busy to take time for them? Was she pretending to enjoy life or was she a grumpy old lady? (I do think I see a little pucker of a smile on her face!)  So many thoughts of how do I show love, to family and friends, and do they know how much I love them from my actions? 

It reminded me of Mary and Martha when Jesus was confronted by Martha about Mary not helping her with work. The scriptures does not say what Martha was doing, but we do know that she was hosting Jesus at her home. I cannot imagine what I would be doing if I was hosting Jesus!! 

Sometimes when my grandchildren come, I get busy cooking and preparing for them and maybe I do this too much while they are here. I have just recently started to relax and know that nothing is perfect anyway, so why not enjoy their presence and the time we are together. So many families get caught up in busyness they forget to enjoy the 'reunion' of each other. 

We always have family times together and we include talent shows by each family, cooking classes, game night with the children and just play time together. Each of these are filled with laughter and more laughter as the children see the adults enjoying themselves. 

We have a glass sliding door to our lanai and we closed it one night when the children were getting loud outside playing games. The very next night, the adults were playing a game and the children came and shouted through the doorway, "Y'all are entirely too loud!" and proceeded to close the door! Yes, they do imitate us! 

My heart is filled with peace and joy as I grow old watching the children. Maybe I am getting sentimental, but there is not greater love than God and family. Hopefully, I will grow old with them and get to watch them for many more years, so I ask God for three things. One, that I not grow to be a bitter old woman, but one who enjoys life to the fullest. Two, that my brain will keep up with my body and my memory will last. Three, that my body will keep up with my brain and will not grow weary, but continue to serve Him the best I can as I can. 

Well, one more thing should be added, that the children who watch me, will see God's love and want to share that love. What more could one ask for in this life?
Deuteronomy 11:
18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol[d] on your foreheads.[e]19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your fathers.

Blessings,
gs

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week of Ups and Downs!

Don't know how your week went, but my week was sure full of ups and downs and a lot of that was up and down on my knees! 

For a week of not much on the calendar, it sure turned out to be a busy week of emotions. 

First and foremost, our nephew, Chris, was in a horrific, death defying auto accident. From the moment we heard the news, our very soul and heart was gripped with agony, knowing the emotions his wife and children were going through, the physical pain he was in, and for the medical staff as they worked with his broken body. Knowing he is a child of God does give some peace, but the calmness that
surrounded the whole situation could only be described as Presence of God. 

This is not the first time I had sensed God's presence, so I quickly knew the feeling. It was same as when my husband was airlifted to Birmingham after his motorcycle wreck. It is a calming assurance of 'God is with us' is the only way I can explain it. 

A miracle is the only explanation of Chris doing as well as he has done. God was not surprised by any of this, we just needed to slow down and trust Him and his healing. 

Chris came home from the hospital and is on the road to recovery. Praise the Lord!

In the meantime this week, Denny had been asked to sing a special at a church this weekend. Not bringing any of his music to FL, we ordered a copy of the accompaniment CD online. It should have been delivered by a certain time the next day, it did not arrive. The post office sent it to another city and had to reroute it through Orlando for the second time. After many messages, trips to the post office, the CD arrived today, just one day before he is to sing! This may not seem big to you, but a man without a song can become very anxious!😊

In looking back at a week that was supposed to have been a calm week, that was turned upside down, we are so blessed that we can know, without a doubt, that God was in control! 

Usually our lives roll along and then something triggers a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. We as Christians should enjoy the ride, seeing God in the middle of the highs and lows, knowing He is in control. 

Isaiah 43:2
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

I am anxiously waiting to see where God is going to show up next week! Watch for HIM!! 

Blessings,
gs

Monday, January 23, 2017

Meeting Jesus Face to Face! My Story

Many of you have known me for years, but some of you may have only seen me online or on television or radio. You have read stories of my growing up years or where we have seen things God orchestrated while we have been on deployment in the mission fields. 

Today I will be sharing with you a little of both, my growing up years and seeing God at work. I will share the testimony of my salvation experience, the night I met God face to face. 

Growing up in a christian home, my parents had restrictions and rules, which you have read in my previous blogs. My mother, especially, kept the apron strings tight and I am thankful. I respected my parents and never wanted to disappoint them (my children say I must have been a 'nerd' lol).  

My mother had heard of the Sanders family and the mother, sister and son singing in churches around our county. She decided (or led by God) that I ought to go on a date with this young man, after all, he was at least attending church services! 

She did not know that he had already asked me out and I had turned him down! But he was persistent and even rode his horse eight miles to my house to see if I was home one Saturday morning. My mother was happy to see him and offered him a seat in the 'parlor' of the old home place. She hurriedly came to my room to tell me, "You have a guest!" She was all smiles and I was curious! As it turned out, I ended up saddling my horse and going riding that day. 


Being strict parents, the only time I could date through the week was to attend church, so my sweet 'fellow' looked for every revival or church singing that summer! 


One night, sitting in the back pews with the youth group, the preacher shared the gospel during the revival at the little country church. I do not remember the sermon, the preacher or the song, but I do know my heart was pounding in my chest. The Holy Spirit was calling out my name.....but I did not respond or listen to Him. Instead, I held tightly to the back of the pew in front of me, not wanting to step out in front of the people. I walked out of that church in fear, knowing I would go to hell if I died that night. 

In bed that night, I talked with God, telling Him I would go up the next night, if He would just give me another chance. What I did not know was that God does not require you be in a church building to accept Jesus and ask forgiveness. I wrestled with my heart that night and the next day. 

It was a relief that next evening when the car pulled up in my yard to take me to the revival, it had been a long day. The preacher preached, but I don't think I even heard the message. From the moment I stepped into the building my heart started pounding once again. The invitation was given and the song "O Why Not Tonight" was being sung. My future sister in law stepped out with me to walk the aisle for Jesus that night. My future mother in law, and future aunt, joined me at the altar that night. I don't remember praying, I just remember the moment I stepped out of that pew, my heart quit pounding and my steps grew lighter. I know I did promise to live for Jesus and ask that He lead and guide my life. 

My mother was awake when I came home from church that night and as I passed, she called out to me, "How was your evening?" This was not unusual for her to ask, but I will always wonder was she always waiting on this particular answer, "Mama, I accepted Christ tonight as my Savior and Lord." She smiled and hugged me. I don't know for sure, but I think we both slept better that night.

My mother passed away six months after we were married. God let her see me marry the man she picked out for me and that this very man was the one who took me to church to meet Jesus. My mother had a way about her and I have a feeling it was because of the prayers she prayed. I am certain God had a hand in all of this.  

Now you have read my experience about meeting Jesus. How about you? Do you know that you have a personal relationship with HIM? 
Romans 10:
"9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

If you believe in your heart, pray and ask forgiveness and ask Him to be your Savior and Lord, He promises your name will be written in the Book of Life for eternity. Then, one day I will meet you in heaven and introduce you to my mother, but greater still would be to meet at the Throne of God and meet Jesus!! 

If you are already a believer and would want to share your testimony, go ahead and comment. If you have prayed today to receive Him, please comment with your name so that I can pray for you! 

God Bless!
gs

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Emotions

Emotions are feelings, what is going on inside our very being, how we act and respond is from our emotions. We are even putting emotions in our correspondence now. 😊
To be really accurate the definition is: 

e·mo·tionəˈmōSH(ə)n/noun

plural noun: emotions

a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
"she was attempting to control her emotions"
instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.
"responses have to be based on historical insight, not simply on emotion"

When something happens quickly in our life, it can cause all kind of emotions:fear, anxious, anger, and even love. When there is something foreseen to occur in the future, like the death of a loved one, it can cause dread, sadness, sorrow. When the expectant parent feels the movement of the child, excitement, love and joy can occur. Emotions are a state of mind, as the definition says, but it is also the character of a person. People react differently when different things occur. 

For instance, I get excited when we are planning a trip. I want to be ready and on time to leave, even if we are driving. On the other hand, my husband drags around and sipping on his coffee, in a relaxed state of 'just another trip' !! I am ready to roll!!

But my feelings and emotions are closer to my way of life in someways. I get excited, sad, and joyful in a different way than he does when we hear or see something happen. I guess you can say I express my emotions a different way than he does, but he does show emotions. 

For instance, he is sensitive to tender moments and is known to shed a tear when he hears a beautiful old hymn sung in praise to our Lord. On the other hand, he gets a little loud while watching a football game, especially Alabama (Roll Tide). He does have quick emotions when it is something he cares about, but when it is daily routine, he pretty much keeps himself in check. 

On the other hand, I can keep my emotions in check, but then have been known to fall apart, in private, as I am talking to God. (now you know how I deal with some things) I guess I try to be strong for others at that time. However, I also have been known to yell loudly at a ballgame as well!! 

How do families deal with all the different emotions that happen inside a home? It can make a person change their attitude in an instant. But scriptures say 

Galatians 5:16-24 ESV 




But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, ...















But how do we control our emotions? Over and over again, we see in the scriptures that it says 'walk in the Spirit.'  How do we walk in the Spirit? We must stay in The Word and in prayer and be around mature Christians for encouragement for when we go into the world.

Life can be hard sometimes, but know that He is with you. When those emotions come out, stop and think about what He said  






Romans 12:2 ESV 


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.




May you all have a blessed and peaceful week with your emotions. May He watch over you and you can feel HIS Presence in all circumstances. 😇


God Bless, 
gs

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Paths Through Life

Here I sit looking at these pages as the wind whips and blows the leaves around and the tall trees sway back and forth. It is the sign that winter has arrived, at least for the day. Stew is on the stove and warming the house with the smell and staying tucked in seems to be a good idea. 

Our lives have seasons just like the earth. We have times when we go through the days of troubles blowing and swirling around us, sometimes bending us in the coldness of life itself. We often wonder when the sun will shine again in our lives.

Sickness and death sometimes touch our families and the holidays and reunions hurt like the winds. But the sun peaks through as we can hear laughter of children playing. 

Life moves on, just as time on the clock. 

The past few weeks we have had the laughter and enjoyment of our grandchildren filling our home. They played in the field across from our house and played around in our little community. We always enjoy seeing them and having them near and did not think about the loneliness others were having around us.

After our children and grandchildren left, I must admit, my house seemed larger and quieter, but I sensed the emptiness others may have during the holidays. I begin to understand this when we received a text message from one of our neighbors expressing how he had enjoyed hearing the children playing in the field; and again as I called our 93 year old neighbor to thank her for calling our grandsons over to offer her balls and bats to them to play with, which they did. She told me she pulled a chair up to her window everyday to watch them play. She asked when would they be coming back to visit. 

We leave a path as we walk through this world. As we walk the weeds or flowers fill up the path. Eventually, when we die, the path will be covered up and our life on earth will have ended. Some paths may be longer than others, some paths may wind across the country or even the world, but they all will end at someplace. 

While we don't like loneliness or hard times in our lives, they are times for us to grow. Solomon wrote iEcclesiastes 3:1-4 , “There is a time for everything...a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

I now look back on those few days the grandchildren were here and I am thankful they may have planted a few flowers in the paths of our neighbors as they watched and listened. Sharing joy in lives can be done, sometimes when you are not even aware. Those little children had no idea they were being watched as they played, but they put a dash of joy in those lives around our community. 

How easy would it be if we all could know we have sprinkled a little joy in the winds of someone's life? Let's all start this new year with letting the Son shine through us and spread a little joy! 

Blessings!
gs

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Our Choices at the Polls

Elections are the talk on all news, social media and in coffee shops. I don't know about you, but I am about sick of it all. Let's move on to what each person can do for this nation rather than what an individual will or will not do as they sit in the White House. Now let me explain to you that I do respect the office and to please hear me out before you shut me down.

I was in the sixth grade when I first heard anything about a president going to be elected. Fellow students had heard their parents talking and so much discussion was going on, the teacher decided we needed to have a classroom election. 

I really never listened to the news as a child. The only time I knew it was on was when my daddy made me get up to change the channel so he could listen to David and Chet! Then I left the room immediately because that was stuff adults needed to hear, I had more important things to do. Riding my bike and reading had to be more important, right? 

As the teacher passed out the ballots, I did not even know who was running, so I looked over to the boy sitting across from me. He wrote the name 'Kennedy,' so I did too! 

After writing that name down, I felt I should learn more about this man. I started watching the news, just enough to see what he looked like. I remember seeing his wife and thinking she was very pretty and they had sweet children. I do not remember what his slogan was or what the news said about him.  

Kennedy won and I was happy, but only because I knew I had written his name down on that little piece of paper and no other reason. 

When Kennedy was killed I was horrified. Did I really 'vote' for a man and then he was killed? What a shock and tragedy for our country as we watched the news for days as the horse drawn carriage went through the streets of Washington D.C. 

When politics get thrown at us today, I still don't like to listen, it is truth and reality vs desire and imagination. It is hard to tell the difference. Many will vote like I did as a child, because others say it is the right one. 

I am sharing all of this to give you my true feelings. We act as robots when we go to the polls. We try to vote the best, but do we really? 

We need to be praying constantly, unite together in prayer. God knows who is going to be in office in January. We need to pray for the person as well as the office. We should seek the face of God and plead our case with Him to protect our nation from the evil that is oozing out of the very homes which we live. We see marriages broken, television promoting sin, and electronics taking away our children and completely doing away with communication. No one knows how to talk anymore! 

Sometimes I just feel like exiting the polling booths, because with the choices I have, there is really not much of a choice. Is this the best America has to offer, the best to represent us in the world arena? I would really just like to get off at this exit please! Now don't get me wrong here, I will go to the polls to vote my heart, but I will go prayerfully. I just don't like all this rederick before election day. 

Ok, I will quit preaching, but listen folks, the political conventions are over, we have THREE choices, yes three. We can chose either party,  that is two choices. The third is we can decide as Christians to get off our 'duffs' and stand up for America, Israel and the unborn children! 

May God Bless American in these last days! 

"and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Blessings
gs


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stay Between the Ditches

As many of you know, I learned how to drive in a hay field on our southern farm. I drove the tractor or truck, pulling the wagon along for others to throw and stack the hay. I would slowly roll along, dipping down into ruts and up on little hills. It was a big challenge for me to watch through the big side mirror on the truck to see when the wagon was beside the hay bales. I did everything I could to make it easier for the men working so hard in the Alabama summer humidity. On occasion, the hay baler would leave the bales far apart, due to the turn at the end of the field, so I would try to drive between the rows to get it closer to the wagon. It was an obstacle course for a young girl who could barely see over the steering wheel and had to practically stand to put on the brakes! 

It was always a treat for me to be included in the hard work. I always enjoyed being outside working more than inside cooking or cleaning. I learned a lot from watching men do a hard day's work and there was a lot of joking and laughter that kept them going. Even when one hay bale had a snake wrapped up in it, the laughter rippled across the field as the one young man gave a big "Yikes, it's a snake!" holler! 

But then one day, my daddy said I was going to move onto the road and drive the truck to the barn. I was scared as he told me, "Just stay between the ditches."  I drove and I can imagine my eyes were round as headlights, looking over the hood, watching those ditches! 

Then, he came to me another day and tossed me the keys and told me to drive him to the store to get gas. Now I was terrified as I climbed into the truck, but again he said to me, "Stay between the lines and the ditches." I sat straight up, really high, to be able to see and we set off. I was fine as long as daddy was there with me. 

A few months passed and we were going on a trip to Chicago to see our relatives and he said he was tired and I needed to drive for awhile, so he could take a nap in the back seat. Mother sat in the front with me as I drove down the highway. When I drove up behind a trailer truck driving very slow, she encouraged me to pass him. I drove slowly behind him a long way, before building up courage to go around. The road was straight and I could seen nothing coming, as I eased out around the truck.
My knuckles were white with fear and my eyes were huge as I watched the lines and the ditch! I passed him and remember my pounding heart in my chest. My mother smiled as she said, " You did just fine." (I have often wondered was daddy really sleeping in the back or was he sighing with relief!) 

These memories are very similar to when I was young christian starting to walk with God. I enjoyed being at church and loved to watch others work and I could see them enjoy serving Him. Then one day, God pushed me to move forward. This helped me to learn about Him and begin my growing process. He often times seems to be sleeping as I serve and I have wondered if I was going to make it. Often I am reminded, He is always watching over us. 

Sure we get stretched out of our comfort zones, but that is how we learn and grow in Him, just like driving a hay truck. We need to trust Him to get us out of the ruts, so that we can move on around the big stuff. If we keep our eyes on Him, we will stay between the lines and out of the ditches. 

God's love for us is like that of my parents, even greater. He wants us to grow in Him everyday, not just in seasons. He allows things in our lives, not to overwhelm us, but to help us trust Him more. 

Ephesians 4:14-15Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way

2 Peter 3:18Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.[a]Amen.[b] into Him who is the head—Christ.
Blessings,
gs