Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Remember Erma and Forrest Gump? Life is full of Pits

Sometimes I laugh when things so crazy happen in our life, such as tonight as I presented my husband with a beautiful piece of Key Lime Pie right before I dumped the remaining pie upside down in the floor! He was delighted it was right AFTER he had received his slice of pie.

Erma Brombeck was a wonderful author that put life into perspective in her book "Life is a bowl of Cherries and I live in the Pit." Sometime I am in total agreement with her, because it seems no matter how careful we can be, the pie gets dumped or something goes wrong.

Right after I thought of Erma's book, I thought about Forrest Gump (my mind bounces often) and what his mother always said, " Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get."

It made me think about all the choices we have in life, just like in a box of chocolates, we never know what we are going to get, or how it will turn out, until we bite into it. We make a choice and then we must eat it or spit it out. Just like life itself, it could be that gooey cherry filling, which I think is awful and must get it out of my mouth. If we look closely at the candy, we may make a wise choice and get one with a wonderful, crunchy nut filling. Oh my, how sweet it is!

Sometimes we make a choice and it is not the best and we must stop, before it is too late and get it out of our life. But here is where I think we mess up, for several reasons. 

In Romans 7:15-20 Paul said it best:

15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.

Sin can be so relevant in our lives, we no longer care, or not disciplined (in Christ) enough, to hold on to what is right. Often times we allow ourselves to be deceived by Satan to make the sin enjoyable enough that we make excuses to ourselves. When I get ahead of God and try to make my own decisions, I usually mess up big time. There are many reasons we cause our own lives to be disruptive, but not focusing, praying and waiting on God is probably at the top of the list. We must always pray and ask forgiveness, even when we know He already has forgiven us. 

God the Father loved us so much, He sent His own Son to die for us and our sins. This is where we decide about sin. Do we realize we have so many choices everyday in life? What if before we opened the box of candy, taking the plastic paper off and opening the lid, that we decided to only eat the good chocolates? Then we could toss the box and the bad candy in the trash and never look back...could you do it? That is the way should be everyday with our choices. We should wake up and decide right then to focus more on Jesus and make good decisions for the day. We should never wait until the choice is before us, Satan is a professional tempter! 

Bottom line here, don't be like Forrest's mother, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get." I am telling you that you can know. You can live the life God has planned for you. Make wise choices in life by starting you day with Him and the Bible. Don't live in a pit, for Satan will be there! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Has God Messed Up?

When we look into the Bible, we see several instances where things happened and we wonder why God didn't 'fix' it. 

We look at our own lives sometimes with illnesses, finances, death, divorce and many other troubles we go through, and wonder why God hasn't 'fixed' it. It sometimes makes me wonder, "Has God messed up?" I know He hears and answers prayers. 

1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us."
  • When God put Jacob's hip out of joint and left him with a permanent, painful limp 
  • When Jesus caused a minor panic among the disciples by telling them to feed a hungry crowd . . .
  • When three times the Lord refused Paul's request for healing....

When reading in the bible, I have often wondered why things happened the way they did, I see no immediate benefit. 

For instance, there are things we have read where we are not sure 
exactly what happened or specific details of 'the rest of the story' as Paul Harvey would say.

Was it to keep Jacob in pain, so that as he walked he would praise God? I don't think that was why he had a limp.  

Was He trying to pull a trick or embarrass the disciples in front of the crowd? I do not think that was it at all.

Did he not hear Paul's request the first time, so he had to ask over and over? No, I am sure He heard Paul, loud and clear. 
However, we often have things happen in our lives and wonder, "What is going on here? Is God not seeing this? My world has just turned upside down!" 
First, let me assure you there is nothing that surprises God. He knows what is coming into our lives, He is aware of the troubles we are going through and He walks with us through them. 

Sometimes we come out humbled, like Jacob, and continue in life with scars (or limps) to remind  us of those troubled times. 

Maybe we see God perform a miracle in the middle of our panic, like He did with the disciples and the fish and bread, and we can praise and give Him glory immediately. 

He hears our repeated prayers and requests, but His timing for answers is not always our timing. 

Some answered prayers may not be completed until after we are gone from this earthly life. 
In any event in our life, God never messed up. He knows right where you are, hurting in pain, hungry for answers, or pleading with Him over and over.
Luke 12:28 "But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O  men of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. 30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. 32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom it is not hid from you."
God 'fixed' us completely when He forgave us and we received Him as our Lord and Savior. We need not worry about anything else, period. 

We should focus on Him and serving Him. If we do that, start everyday focusing on Him, He will take care of any needs we have that really matter. We should allow His priorities to become our priorities. 
We may mess up our priorities, but thank goodness, our God never messes up!! 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The FOG Could be in our Own Lives!! BEWARE!

Sitting out on our back porch, early before daybreak, coffee in hand and a throw around my shoulders to keep the chill off, I watched as the silent fog crept across the waters. It started out on the main river, at the base of the mountain, and it crawled into the lagoon by our home.   As I watched, it was so slow I was almost in a daze, as the docks across the way quietly disappeared. It was almost smoky at first, then cloudy, then a heavy mist and then poof, a total whiteout. 

As I looked around, the lightness of the fog began to encircle the very place I was sitting. The screens on the porch were turning to water as it ran down the wires. I noticed it was like I was in the middle of a rain forest with no rain as the dampness surrounded me. The stillness of this moment was overwhelming. I sat so still, afraid to move for fear of breaking the fog, I barely breathed. 

I am not sure how much time passed as I sat there, watching and waiting. It was then I noticed it, the dock across the lagoon was slowly reappearing. It was just as subtle as it disappeared, slow and quietly. As I realized what was happening, the sun cast a light shadow through the trees as the birds started to chirp in them. 

The day had awakened, a new start, a new beginning for everyone.

This reminded me, as I sat there in the stillness, of sin,  of depression, and so many other things going on in lives today. It begins slowly, so quietly, until it completely surrounds our very being and soul. It will completely hide you from the world if we are not careful. It will eat away at you, just as the fog ate away at the docks and houses that disappeared from my sight. 

The only thing we can do when things start creeping into our lives, is give it to God. Be still, listen, let Him be the SON that comes upon your life and push away the fog, sin or depression. 

I know this sounds like an easy thing to do, but it is not easy if you are the one that is covered in the mist and need a friend. Jesus Christ is the lighthouse to guide you out of whatever you are dealing with in your life. He is more than just a friend, He died for you and would do it again. He loves you that much. 

Someone out there needs this blog, I am not sure why God is leading me to write this to you. But you know who you are and you must listen to His call. It is time to let Him shine into your life and let your very own heart start singing to Him. He is waiting on you and He has a plan for your life. Don't stop now, you will miss all the blessings He has for you. 

John 15:13
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends"

Step out of your own fog and find Jesus. If you need help doing this, please contact me at gingersanders0@gmail.com. If you have a praise or make a decision, please comment or let me hear from you so I can pray for you. 

In the meantime, I am praying for YOU!! 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

50 years is a 'Short' time

I have shared about 'time' before in my blogs and most of you would say 50 years is a long time. But in reality, as you will see, it is not. When I accepted my best friend's proposal at the Chicken in the Basket restaurant 52 years ago, 50 years seemed so far out in the future. But now, as I look back on our lives of 50 years of marriage today, it seems it happened too fast! 

As I remember, Chicken in the Basket was just a drive up where teens frequented in Scottsboro, AL, and as he came back to the car, he opened my door and got down on his knees and said, "Will you marry me?" Puzzled, I thought what does this have to do with chicken! I really did not expect him to ask me, even though we had been talking of the future. 

Now you must understand that even though we talked of the future, we were young and in love and had no idea of what the future was going to hold for us. Thank goodness God was smiling down on us and had it all under control! 

As we look back today on our lives, we see that God knew exactly what He was doing and now we must praise Him for all the prayers (many) and blessings (many) He has given us.

                   Just to name a few: 
 Our children from Korea, Jamie and Kara
 Our children we were told we could never have, Todd and B.J.
 Saved lives in car/train wreck
 Saved life in motorcycle wreck
 Protection as we have traveled around the world serving and blessings to see salvations
 Denny is now cancer free
 Healthy children and grandchildren that all love the Lord and serve in local churches
 Blessed with fantastic son in law and 3 daughter in laws

I could go on, but you would not believe how many times we have looked back and seen His hand all over our lives. He has been a major part of this marriage and that is why is has been soooo good. 

I am personally thankful for my mother who prayed for a christian mate for me and then encouraged me to 'go out with that Sanders boy' just because he sang in church with his family! 

This blog has been one of reflection for me, but  I hope you will understand that marriage is a 30-70, never equal, give and take relationship. It must have God working in it to be the balancing presence.
We must learn to forgive and (I know this is hard ladies) forget and move on. Let your marriage be an adventure, don't get bored in it. ( I look for adventure, but always understand he needs his coffee before we can walk out the door!) 

Find reasons to do things together (I had never played golf until last year!) Find things to laugh about together! Watch a funny movie....anything that will create a smile you can share together. 

But out of all the things we both would highly, highly, recommend, would be to pray together. When you humble yourselves before God daily, praising and talking to HIM, it ties the knot in the string of love, binding your marriage. 
I remember we were sent to talk with a couple who were having marital problems and we asked them when was the last time they had prayed together. Their answer was, "Six years ago, our wedding day." Eh hello, do you understand? Prayer is essential for each of us and even more so for a couple! 

50 years! Wow God! You did it again! We have survived, arrived and You delivered! This has been the most amazing journey anyone could ever have and You were in our midst! You made us best friends in high school and we never stopped loving each other, we learned to forgive and love even more. You had to grow us in You, to be able to grow us together. I praise You for my life and the one You chose for me to share it with....50 + years! If I never have another day on earth, You have given this old girl a good life and I fall before You with a thankful heart. 

Denny Sanders, thank you for being a Godly man that kept me on track and focused on Him. Thank you for taking me for a ride on the ferris wheel, where you first told me you loved me, and I giggled because I thought you were just trying to steal a kiss! Thank you for being about as romantic as you get, on your knees at Chicken in a Basket! Thank you for giving me everything I have ever wanted in life. Thank you Denny Sanders for praying with me and for me, as we have searched for His plan together through the years. 

I love you, Denny Sanders, more than you will every know, and I give God the praises for it all! 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sounds of Communication

As I sat outside this morning, in the still and quietness of dawn, I noticed the sounds of communication going on as the world came to life. There in the distance was the sound of trucks on the highway, which are usually not heard during the busy day hours. There in the trees were the early chirping of the birds and then a loud splash of water in the lake caught my attention. A squirrel started barking in a nearby tree as a water crane walked by too close and then the sound of a train in the distance silenced them all. 

This past weekend we had some of our family for a visit and we had the chattering of a two year old in our home. We listened closely to her wants and wishes, but not always making her happy when we could not understand her desires. We noticed she could perfectly say "My baby" when she loved on her baby sister, Eliza, but she would say "Ride in Papa's doat (boat)" when she wanted to go for a ride on the lake. She would repeat 'peas' (please) when she wanted something and say she  'lubs you' with her cutie pie smile. Sometimes she would just walk up to you and chatter and smile and then walk away thinking we understood what she said, when we really had no clue, but she was happy! What joy to see her growing and learning to communicate. 

Denny, Gilbert, and Ginger in Haiti 2011
See note below about Gilbert
We have traveled extensively around the world and have had a blessed time. We have had to count stops on the subway in Milan, Italy since we could not understand where we were or where we were to get off! Our interpreter in Romania was Rudy and called us Mama and Papa, but was so afraid he would make us unhappy. Actually our happiest times when we traveled was when we had an interpreter (it makes it easier to find the necessity rooms). 
Our sweet interpreter, Gilbert, in Haiti a few years back was the best. He was a young, Godly man, but also had a sense of humor. He had compassion for his people, but also knew when we needed to leave an area for our safety. His translating for us helped lead many to Christ. 

The computer social sites have translation links to them so we can now talk around the world. Many that read this blog (amazes me!) are from Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, UK, PR and several other countries. 

Communication between mankind is at an all time high. We can blog, tweet, facebook and instagram. I am probably leaving out some areas that have been created just while I am writing this. 

But my main thought that I would like to share with you today is about the communication we have with God. Listening to all the sounds this morning, I thought how God must be listening to all His children, waking up all over the world, praying to Him. He would not have needed to ask any of them to repeat what they said like we did my granddaughter or need an interpreter, like we did in a foreign land. God has a listening ear that understands our hearts and our prayers before we even pray. That is true, but we still need to lift our praises and needs to Him, interceding for others. He wants the communication from His children just like I loved hearing 'lub you' from Ellie. It made me smile, I wonder if God smiles when He hears us pray? Really aren't we continually learning to communicate with our God, just like Ellie is trying to communicate with us? None of us think we pray the perfect prayer, but isn't it perfect if we just do it? 

Make a point this week to a new beginning, if you aren't already, praying to Him in the mornings. Wake up and let Him hear the sound of your voice among the many other sounds, as the sun rises upon the earth. Let Him hear your praises and that you love Him. Make God smile upon you this week! 

Jeremiah 29:12 "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you"


P.S. Gilbert and his 4 yr our daughter were both killed  this past New Year's Eve in a wreck in Haiti. His wife, Jesula, is still in need of our prayers!! She still is in need of specialized care in Haiti for her traumatic brain injury.

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.