Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CONNIE STEVENS

Do you remember Connie Stevens? If so, then you are my peer group. Connie had an old 45rpm and I know you know what I'm tawkin about . . .the ways she spelled the word "V-A-C-A-TION" followed by, "we're gonna have a ball!"

Well, that's where I'm headed ... to "V-A-C-A-TION!" with my mom and daddy in Texas. So I won't be back here until July 8th. I know ya'll are just gonna go plum crazy (plums are in season, by the way and I saw some yummy recipes in "Country Living") and I want you to just stay calm, keep focused and just go on about your business as if I were here. In other words, neglect me, don't visit for a few days, and then hop back on the train and take another trip on Abbeys Road.

Pray for a safe trip, for the pilots flying the planes, for good weather, for the mechanics who work on the planes, and that the aircraft in which we will fly is in tip top shape! Love you all and will see you soon!

Abbey

Monday, June 29, 2009

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

Think of your mouth as a gate that guards your spirit: When you speak to others, become conscious of the need to close the door and allow your spirit to be safely ensconced within you.

A DECK OF CARDS

It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard. The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week. As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk.

Just then an army sergeant came in and said, 'Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?' The soldier replied, 'I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord.' The sergeant said, 'Looks to me like you're going to play cards.' The soldier said, 'No, sir. You see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards.' The sergeant asked in disbelief, 'How will you do that?'

'You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me that there is only one God.

The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The Four stands for the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Five is for the five virgins; there were ten but only five of them were gorified.

The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.

The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation.

The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives --the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth.

The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy; He cleansed ten, but nine never thanked Him.

The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.

The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.

The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.

The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year.

There are a total of 52 cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a year.

The four suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Each suit has thirteen cards -- there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter.

So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.'

The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, 'Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?'

FIRST THOUGHTS FOR MONDAY

Losing my job has been a tremendous blessing. I am feeling somewhat better and will see my rheumatologist again tomorrow for a second round of shots. I feel that the stress of my work environment and all the undercurrents was affecting my health issues more than I imagined. The Lord knew best and I thank Him for the turn of events that brought me home where I can focus on getting as pain-free as I can.

It seems I posted an awful lot when I was working (probably not really working since I didn't have much to do as you would expect), and now that I am officially unemployed, my days seem to fly. I am able to enjoy my mornings as I ease into the day (long known to be good for stress issues) and sip coffee, read a little and decide what needs doing for the day.

Last Saturday, my granddaughter's All Star 10U Softball team was entered into a "Best of the Rest" tournament. Best of the Rest includes the All Star teams who lost out and did not make it to the State Tournament this weekend. We began games at 9:00 a.m. and played a total of five games in the 95+ degree heat. The ballpark was exceptional in that they didn't cut down all the trees and foliage like most of the newer ones do, which left us plenty of places to rest in between games. We had tents, coolers full of food and our folding chairs.

I didn't think I was going to make it, but when our Helena Wildcats ended up playing the final game against Trussville for the tournament championship, there was no way I was going to leave Hannah. Trussville had beat them on Friday night and I suppose they were a bit overly confident. We went from one game straight on to the championship game. They had been resting for an hour and a half and that worried me. But, perhaps because we were warmed up, we were more ready to play. Time expired in the fourth inning of play and the final score was 10-9. The Championship trophy was ours. It was a wonderful game and we were so proud of our girls.

I am especially proud of Hannah and want to recognize her first and only Grand Slam at bat in their second game of play earlier that morning. You don't see many of those and it was spectacular. The look on her face was priceless. I am so proud of my baby girl!

Thus, we left around 9:45 to head home. It had been a 12+ hour day and we were exhausted. Nevertheless, we were up preparing food yesterday for Lee's birthday. Most of the family was over and we did a very casual burgers, chips and dips kind of dinner. It's always great having family around, even if there is no special occasion, having them there makes it special.

We leave on vacation on Wednesday, so I will be away for a week and not posting, but I do hope you'll be patient and come back and see me!

In the meantime, may the Lord shine his blessings upon you and yours every day of your lives.

ABBEY

Thursday, June 25, 2009

HEARTLIGHT


Does this mean I should stop worrying about being overweight? Kinda hard to do ... UGH!


VERSE:
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye
shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye
shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than
raiment?

~Matthew 6:25

THOUGHT:
Food and clothing are some of the biggest worries of our human
existence. They have been for centuries. God reminds us, however,
that no matter how important these may seem to be in our world,
life is really much bigger than these things and God wants us to
trust that he will supply them when we trust in him.

PRAYER:
Father, please help me rein in my envious and covetous heart. I
know my desire for things makes me anxious and near-sighted in my
faith. Give me a more expansive view of your Kingdom so I can use
your blessings to help others. In the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

THIS DAY'S . . .


Leonard Cohen's quote under This Days Smile is profound, yet whimsical!


A religious hope does not only bear up the mind under her sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them.

~Joseph Addison

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

~2 Corinthians 4:8-12, The King James Version

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The older I get, the surer I am that I'm not running the show.

~Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MOST CHARMING BLOG AWARD


I never thought of my blog as "charming", but someone named Bama Belle thought enough of my feeble effort at creativity in the world of blogging that she awarded me one of her "Most Charming Blog Award(s)". Thank you, my darling friend. Your kindness is only exceeded by your loving friendship! You have inspired me to research a new theme!

"This is how the award works: This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

So here it goes... Seven random things.

1. One of the biggest compatibilities between my husband and I is that we are "obssessive/compulsive" (a/k/a "anal"). A place for everything and everything in its place.

2. All my life I have wanted to write and sing my own music.

3. I love to entertain, and when I have an event, everyone leaves with a small gift to remember the occasion of our fellowship with them.

4. I watch re-runs of "General Hospital" on the Soap Channel.

5. I am completely NON-competitive with other women. I take pride in my individualism.

6. I drive too fast!

7. My life is very organized, and I do not make plans too far in advance because of my sponteneity.

Now for the 8 bloggers that I tag!

1.
Peggy at Simple Woman's Daybook

2.
GrandmaK at A Bit of Blarney

3.
Tracey at A Catholic Mom in Minnesota

4.
Soutenus at A Catholic Notbook

5.
Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop

6.
Jennifer at Conversion Diary

7.
Melissa at Shabby Blue Bungalow

8.
Charlotte at Cheeky Pink Girl

OK so visit and see why they are so precious to I know you will think so to!

Have a great one,

GOD LOVES YOU!

AMAZING GRACE!

I'm almost overwhelmed this morning. Within minutes of each other I received two separate pieces of news, each in my mind, a miracle.

The first is from a friend of mine named Sue. She shared the following with me from an email she received this morning. It reads:

The Bishop visited Larry’s Mom yesterday and brought her a sterling cross and gave a prayer over her. Today she woke up, waved at Larry and her husband five time and they are freaking out. They were going to disconnect her.

The nurses are crying and people are saying it is a miracle and they are shocked. There was no brain activity before. I have to go into a meeting, but I wanted to thank you both for your prayers and all the help with the Bishop, especially you Rob. I have to go, now, but will call Sue when I get out of the meeting . . .

The second piece of news really gave me chills of a wonderful nature. The mother of a friend of my daughter's is in the final stages of cancer. A photograph was taken this morning of the friend, Debbie, sitting vigil with her mother. Her mother has told her that she is seeing a blue light and a white light. She said, "the Blessed Mother is here to help me."

Here is the photograph. Please take special notice that Debbie's mother is looking at the light.

Praise God! He is alive and working miracles in Alabama!

Friday, June 19, 2009

WEEKEND!

Put yourself in the right frame of mind . . . do ya hear it? It's that song they play on the radio every Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m "Weekend .....!" Makes me wanna dance! It's going to be another HOT one in the South today. Lee said the heat index yesterday was 106! He had to watch after his partner whose manly-man refuses to take advice about cutting off those throw-away overalls so his body can breath. He lowered his arm and sweat rolled out of the sleeve like water ... ick?

I was so productive yesterday - I made a skirt for a drama competition (without a pattern - are you impressed?), got all of my laundry finished, folded and put away, and I steamed our carpets including the stairs! I felt like I had performed my exercise for the day. Then it was off to the ballpark.

Our 10U softball girls are in a tournament this weekend and last night was the first game, which started late at about 8:45p.m. It was an ugly one . . . the other team scored one point in the second inning . . . coach looked a might uncomfortable. I think he changed pitchers five times, as well as catchers. It didn't help. I felt awful for them. There's a rule about having a certain number of runs ahead at a certain inning and the umps will call the game. One of our player's grandmother was sitting in the stands and with the most innocent face, she asked, "Is it a mercy thing?" We roared with laughter ... actually, it really is a mercy call, which I didn't know. They finally called the game in the bottom of the 2nd inning when the score was 21-1 ... wasn't much fun. I'd rather see competition...

I'm about to start packing for a weekend at the lake. I put a pot roast on this morning (and I make a MEAN pot roast) and I have some grocery errands and such to do. We'll leave mid-afternoon and it's only about a 75 minute drive. My best friend lives on the lake, has a pontoon and welcomes us any time we can come, winter or summer. This will be our first venture of the season out on the pontoon, so that means we start with adult beverages and salute the season.

I love the water. I envision my own home on the lake not too far into the future. But for now, Fannie Brown's place is as good as home . . . it's so peaceful and relaxing there, and she is part of our family.

Everyone have a safe and happy weekend. Give all the Fathers their due, throw in lots of love, some good food, and plenty of hugs!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FAMILY FEUD

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE MY ANSWERS!!!

Erase my answers and fill in your answers.

1. Name something you use in the shower:
Shampoo

2. Name something a football player wears under his uniform?
Jock strap

3. Name something people hate to find on their windshield.
Parking ticket

4. Name something a man might buy before a date?
Breath mints

5. What is another word for blemish?
Zit

6. What is something you cook in the microwave?
That chocolate cake in a cup that I posted recently!

7. Name a piece of furniture people need help moving?
Refrigerator

8. Name a reason a younger man might like an older woman.
EXPERIENCE, honey!

9. Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner?
Cheeses?

10. A kind of test you cannot study for?
Agility test

11. Name something a boy scout gets a badge for?
Learning first aid

12. Name a phrase with the word home in it.
Home, home on the range ... where tha deer and the antelope play (hey, I'm from TEXAS - don't mess with Texas!)

13. Name a sport where players lose teeth?
Ice Hockey

14. Name something a teacher can do to ruin a student's day?
Give them detention!

15. Name the person that is least likely to respond?
Uh, hm ... er ... is there points off for no answer?

16. Name a bird you wouldn't want to eat?
Crow

17. Name something a person wears even if it has a hole in it?
Underwear

18. Gets smaller the more you use it?
The roll of toilet paper and I always seem to get the last bit so that I also have to put a new one on ... it's a conspiracy, I tell ya!

19. Name someone that is most likely to respond .
Uh, hmm... er... Cathy? or Tracy?

Now don't be a party pooper, take some time out of your day and play!

MEME FOR TODAY

I wasn't "tagged" but am a follower of Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop where I pulled this. I won't tag anyone, just copy and paste and change to your answers! Have a blessed day!


1. 8 things I am looking forward to. (I can only think of 6)

- The official end to baseball/softball season for the kids. I've enjoyed it so much, but I'm ready for a break - probably not as ready as they are for free time and swimming!
- A planned trip to Texas to see Mother and Daddy.
- The Trade Show in November that my daughter and I hope will launch our biz BIG TIME.
- A weekend at the lake.
- Finishing a skirt that I am making for a friend's daughter who is in a drama competition.
- The rest of today.

8 things I did yesterday:

- Got out of bed.
- Ran errands with my daughter for things to set up our mock display for the trade show.
- Had lunch at Dairy Queen with Christie and Bay.
- Cooked pinto beans, turnip greens and pork medialions for dinner.
- Caught up my blog and Facebook.
- Called my Aunt to check on my Uncle who had some medical tests.
- Steam cleaned the carper in my bedroom, which is just the beginning.
- Picked up some scripts from the drug store (uh, pharmacy - I'm still living in the 60's).

8 things I wish I could do.

- Change the heart of a special person.
- Lose weight.
- Live pain-free.
- Finish the novel that I have tittered with for so long.
- Save the children.
- Stop abortion.
- Take a trip to Italy.
- Gather all my online friends together for a feast.

8 shows I watch;

- Housewives of [Orange County, New York, New Jersey and Atlant].
- The Barefoot Contessa
- Brothers & Sisters
- Cold Case
- Bones
- 24
- House
- First 48

8 favourite fruits:

- Bananas.
- Oranges.
- Apples.
- Pears.
- Strawberries.
- Watermelon.
- Red bing cherries.
- Grapes.

8 places I would like to travel:

- Paris.
- Lourdes.
- Fatima.
- The holy land.
- Australia.
- New York City.
- The Vatican.
- Montana.

8 places I have lived:

I have only lived in 5 places.

- Selma, Alabama.
- Amarillo, Texas.
- Bellflower, California.
- Los Angeles, California
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Adamsville, Alabama
- Hoover, Alabama
- Helena, Alabama.

THIS DAY'S ....


The humility of Christ is not the moderation of keeping one’s exact place in the scale of being, but rather that of absolute dependence on God and absolute trust in him, with the consequent ability to move mountains. The secret of the meekness and the gentleness of Christ lies in his relation to God.

~Richard Niebuhr

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

~1 Corinthians 13:13, The New International Version

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hardening of the heart ages more people than hardening of the arteries.

~Unknown

NOSTALGIA

TAKE A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HEARTLIGHT

"Temptation" is a biggie - why else is it so prominent in the Lord's Prayer? 'Lead us not into temptation' . . . if you say your prayers every day and include this one as you should, it is there every day reminding you that there is a force out there that is going to tempt you often, every day, many times a day. Satan isn't choosey when it comes to the Lambs of God, he wants them all and everyone will live with temptation until the end of time. Turning your back on tempting things, even as small as that piece of chocolate when you're trying to lose weight (I'm guilty!) can be the most difficult thing. It is, in my case, not the least bit silly to ak God to lead us away from 'temptation', whatever form it takes. Be strong Christians and to deny your earthly self is to follow the Lord. Enjoy today's HEARTLIGHT, and have Peace in your heart.

VERSE:
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for
the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye
shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk
therein.

~ Jeremiah 6:16

THOUGHT:
Temptation is a choice between God's will for us -- the old path
-- and a shortcut provided by Satan -- the new path. So often,
Satan's path is presented to us as a shortcut to happiness,
prosperity, and accomplishment. However, this path leads us away
from God and the blessings he longs to give us. Let's not be like
the people of God in Jeremiah's day who refused God's way and said,
"We will not walk in it." The outcome of their choice was their own
destruction.

PRAYER:
O dear Father, Almighty God, forgive me for turning from your
path and seeking a way that seems easier and a path that appears to
lead to happiness more quickly. Through your Holy Spirit, help me
look through the facades of Satan's temptations and see their
bitter end. I know your way is the way of joy, peace, and rest.
Please give me courage to walk it confidently. In Jesus' name I
pray. Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Husbands Are Husbands

A man was sitting reading his papers when his wife hit him round the
Head with a frying pan.

'What was that for?' the man asked.

The wife replied 'That was for the piece of paper with the name Jenny on
it that I found in your pants pocket'.

The man then said 'When I was at the races last week Jenny was the name
of the horse I bet on'

The wife apologized and went on with the housework.

Three days later the man is watching TV when his wife bashes him on the
head with an even bigger frying pan, knocking him unconscious.

Upon re-gaining consciousness the man asked why she had hit again.
Wife replied. 'Your horse phoned'

MARITAL BLISS (?)

Wife: 'What are you doing?'

Husband: Nothing.

Wife: 'Nothing...? You've been reading our marriage certificate for an hour.'

Husband: 'I was looking for the expiration date.'

~*~

Wife: 'Do you want dinner?'

Husband: 'Sure! What are my choices?'

Wife: 'Yes or no.'

~*~

Wife: 'You always carry my photo in your wallet. Why?'

Hubby: 'When there is a problem, no matter how great that problem is,

I look at your picture and the problem disappears.'

~*~

Wife: 'You see how miraculous and powerful I am for you?'

Hubby: 'Yes, I sure do! I see your picture and ask myself,

What other problem can there be greater than this one?'

~*~

Stress Reliever

Girl: 'When we get married, I want to share all

your worries, troubles and lighten your burden.'

Boy: 'It's very kind of you, darling, but I don't

have any worries or troubles.'

Girl: 'Well, that's because we aren't married yet.'

~*~

Daughter: 'Mommie, when I was on the bus with Dad this morning,

he told me to give up my seat to a pretty young lady.'

Mother: 'Well, daughter, you did the polite and the right thing.'

Daughter: 'But Mommie, I was sitting on daddy's lap.'

~*~

A newly married man asked his wife,

'Would you have married me if my father hadn't left me a fortune?'

'Honey......,' the woman replied sweetly, 'I'd have married you,

NO MATTER WHO LEFT YOU A FORTUNE!'

~*~

Girl to her boyfriend: "One kiss and I'll be yours forever".

The guy replies: "Whew! Thanks for the early warning!"

~*~

A wife asked her husband: '....What do you like most in me, my pretty face or my gorgeous sexy body?'

He looked at her from head to toe and replied: '....Well, I really like your sense of humor!'

Monday, June 15, 2009

THE SIMPLE WOMAN'S DAYBOOK




Simple Women's Daybook is hosted by Peggy. Pop over to her site and see what other simple women do. The members of this unique club grows every week!


For Monday, June 15, 2009


Outside my window... The sun is well on its way into this new day. The lawn is freshly mowed, the flowers are blooming and I admire that I have four full yellow roses on one of my bushes. The sound of that pesky woodpecker chatters not far away and he is the lone creature that I am not happy to see!

I am thinking ... How blessed am I to be where I am at this moment - sitting on my patio, drinking coffee and soaking up all of the sights and sounds of a brand new day! Thanks be to God!

I am thankful for... My husband for taking such good care of me and all that we have, including our children and grandchildren.

From the kitchen... My kitchen hasn't seen much activity other than quick salads and oven-baked chicken fingers since All Stars began. We seem to be passing each other coming and going for ball games involving three children - and of course, they are always at the same times and at different places in the area, so we must put our heads together each morning and lay out logistics to get everyone where they need to be, and decided which of us is going to miss one or the other.

I am praying ... Giving Him thanks for so many things in my life at this moment. So much has happened in the last three weeks, and all of it has had a positive effect on our lives. I now have such peace and am excited about the plans we have made for the future.

I am wearing... I am still in my nightgown as I sit and sip my hot coffee that my hubby leaves for me each morning. I am totally SPOILED by him. Isn't that wonderful?

I am creating... A general ledger for my daughter's business. She has the creative brains, and I have the business sense - we make a great pair. Avenues have unfolded before us without any effort, which has to be from the Lord. He guides us in our every endeavor.

I am reading... I just finished "The Shack" (awesome!) and am deep into a crime mystery by Dennis Lehane called "Darkness, Take My Hand". Mysteries and thrillers are my favorites, next to biographies of interesting people.

Around the house ... I've set a goal to clean out my closets and ORGANIZE! I have two double closets full of clothing, and some I no longer wear. I have for months taken the hanging laundry and stuffed it in creating a mixed bag that confounds me when I'm trying to find something coordinating to wear. I need to sort, iron and coordinate and make a box for the women's shelter.



I am hearing ... Birds chirping the most beautiful and different sounds, chatting back and forth. Sometimes I try chirping back and low and behold, they answer. Wonder what I'm saying to them and what they are replying?

One of my favorite things ... Planting flowers and watching them multiply and blossom. I planted three long baskets which are hanging on the upper deck with multiple variations of flowers. They have taken off, especially with the rain we've had, and I open my blinds every morning and look at them stretching their necks toward the sun of a new day. I especially love the verbenia as it was my grandmother's favorite and the one's I planted are blossoming in a deep burgundy.

A few plans for the rest of the week: We are still in the midst of All Stars. Ri plays at 7:30 tonight and if they lose, it will be their last game for the year. If they win . . .?? Bay has been asked to play on a team put together by another coach, even tho his All Stars season has finished. This coach is a fellow parishoner at our church and just wants to play in the tourney this weekend "for fun"! If it's not for fun, then why do it! That is what we instill in the children - do your best and HAVE FUN! Hannah has two more weekends of tournaments, but this coming weekend's tourney will be less than five miles away, so that's not too bad. Monday is now my day to clean house and I will accomplish that today.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I AM . . .

BONA FIDE

Remember Holly Hunter in "O Brother, Where Art Thou"? I adore her way of speaking, first. That, coupled with those words, "He's bona fide . . ." in speaking of her fiance in the general store, well, it just stuck with me. It's my latest slang term and I use it often and put as much Holly on it as I can. I don't do to bad. If you don't watch "Grace" on cable/satellite, you should. She has a really great show and I adore her character. She's unpredictable, edgy, tender, wild, caring, ... and BONA FIDE ... all in a tough shell - not a whole lot unlike myself. Perhaps that is why I am so drawn to "Grace", the character.

Just for reference purposes, here's what Merriam Websters has to say:

\ˈbō-nə-ˌfīd, ˈbä-; ˌbō-nə-ˈfī-dē, -ˈfī-də\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin, literally, in good faith
Date: 1632

1 : made in good faith without fraud or deceit

2 : made with earnest intent : sincere
3 : neither specious nor counterfeit : genuine

synonyms: see authentic

THIS WEEK'S SERMON: LESSONS IN GRACE

Ephesians: Lessons In Grace
Lesson 4: God’s Grace Draws You Near
By Eric Elder
http://www.theranch.org/

God’s grace is like a powerful magnet: it draws you close to Him. No matter how far away you may feel from God, God can still draw you near.

There’s an old joke that says that the Prime Minister of Israel came to visit the President of the United States in his office one day. The Prime Minister noticed a red telephone on the President’s desk. When the Prime Minister asked about it, the President said, “Oh, that’s my direct line to God.”

After a few minutes, the Prime Minister asked if he could use the phone. The President said, “Sure, but don’t talk too long, because it’s pretty expensive from here.”

A few months later, when the President of the United States went to visit the Prime Minister of Israel in his office, he noticed the Prime Minister had a red phone on his desk, too. When the President found out that the phone did the same thing as his phone back home, he asked the Prime Minister if he could use it for just a few minutes.

The Prime Minister said, “Sure, and you can talk as long as you want! From here it’s a local call.”

While God does seem to have a special place in His heart for Israel, the truth is that no matter where you live in the world, you can talk to God anytime, for as long as you want. Every call to God is a local call when you place that call through Jesus Christ.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, Christ destroyed the dividing wall that once separated the Jews from the Gentiles (or “non-Jews”), as well as the wall that once separated all people from their Creator. Now anyone can come near to God through Christ. Paul said:

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth...were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.... He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:11a, 12-14, 17).

God’s grace draws you near. It doesn’t matter how close or how far away you may feel you are, His grace can draw you in.

The first time I went to Israel, I stayed with a Muslim family on the West Bank. They were incredibly gracious and treated me like a king.

But as I thought about how close they lived to the paths where Jesus once walked and ministered and died, I also thought about how far away they were from the peace that Christ offers to all who put their faith in Him.

Even though I lived over 6,000 miles away from this land where Christ called His home, God’s grace was still powerful enough to reach out to me on the other side of the world and draw me close to Him. He’s not far from any one of us. As Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, says:

“From one man He [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

God is not far from you today. It doesn’t matter where you were born or where you live. What matters is that you keep putting your faith in Christ, realizing that it was God’s grace, demonstrated in Christ, that destroyed the dividing wall of hostility between you and God.

Reach out today and give Him a call. And feel free to talk as long as you want! No matter where you are, it’s always a local call.

Let’s pray...

Father, thank You for sending Jesus to bridge the gap between me and You, and between me and my fellow believers. Lord, I pray that I would be able to experience just how near You are to me today, sensing Your presence as close as the very air I breathe. Lord, help me to reach out to You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

P.S. Even though you can talk to God from anywhere in the world, there’s still something special about being able to see the land where God chose to birth His son into the world. If you’d like to come with me to Israel this fall, there’s still time to sign up. But we need to know by July 3rd to guarantee your spot. You can learn more about the trip here:

http://www.pilgrimtours.com/groups/theranchisrael.htm

ABE LINCOLN

So I said to him, "Barack, I know Abe Lincoln, and you ain't Abe Lincoln."

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

~Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, June 11, 2009

TRIVIA . . .





Thanks to my friend, Sam for this trivia.







In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden'.. .and thus, the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma
Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury..

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)

The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair..

The first novel ever written on a typewriter, Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987, 654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?

A. Their birthplace

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?

A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?

A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?

A. All were invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?

A. Honey

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?

A. Father's Day


In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the
phrase...'Goodnight , sleep tight'

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the
wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon..


In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.'

It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's a nd Q's'

Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or
handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

THIS DAY'S . . .

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

~Reinhold Niebuhr

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It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.

~Proverbs 16:19, The Revised Standard Version

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

CHURCH SIGN

Reverend Ole is the pastor of the local Norwegian Lutheran Church, and Pastor Sven is the minister of the Swedish Covenant Church across the road.

One day they were seen pounding a sign into the ground, that said:

DA END ISS NEAR!

TURN YERSELF AROUNT

NOW BAFOR IT'S

TOO LATE!

As a car sped past them, the driver leaned out his window and yelled, "Leave me alone, you Skandihoovian religious nuts!"

From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash...

Rev. Ole turns to Pastor Sven and asks, "Do ya tink maybe da sign should yust say,
BRIDGE OUT?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

MY ATTORNEY

After living what I felt was a "decent" life, my time on earth came to the end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table. As I looked around I saw the "prosecutor." He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at m e. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen. I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room I couldn't take my eyes off of Him. As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, "Let us begin." The prosecutor rose and said, "My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell." He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and In the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible Perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not Offering any form of defense at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life - couldn't that at least equal out part of the harm I'd done? Satan finished with a fury and said, "This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise..."

When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward. As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior. He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, "Hi, Dad," and then He turned to address the court.

"Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won't deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wage of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished." Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, "However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted Me as his Savior, so he is Mine." My Lord continued with, "His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from Me. Satan still does not understand yet. This man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy." As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said, "There is nothing else that needs to be done. I've done it all."

The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from His lips. "This man is free." The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed." As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, "I won't give up, I will win the next one." I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go next, "Have you ever lost a case?" Christ lovingly smiled and said, "Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you,

~Paid In Full~

Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend, (as I have done here), will bless you both.

"Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is!"

Cows, The Constitution and The Ten Commandments

Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in this country lately: illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida.

Not me. I concentrate on solutions for the problems. It's a win-win situation.

+ Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.

+ Send the dirt to New Orleans to raise the level of the levies.

+ Put the Florida alligators in the moat along the Mexican border.

Any other problems you would like for me to solve today ? Yes!

Think about this one:

1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

C O W S

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canadaalmost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq . Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

T H E 1 0 C O M M A N D M E N T S

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandmentsposted in a courthouse is this:

You cannot post 'Thou Shalt NotSteal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians....It creates a hostile work environment.

Monday, June 08, 2009

HOW OLD R YOU?

Don't tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway - but the Hershey Man will know!

YOUR AGE BY CHOCOLATE MATH

This is pretty neat.

DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!
It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read... Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759...If you haven't, add 1758.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born. You should have a three digit number


The first digit of this was your original number(I.e.., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!)

THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2009) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT LASTS.

THIS DAY'S . . .

Do not entertain the notion that you ought to advance in prayer. If you do, you will only find that you have put on the brake instead of the accelerator. All real progress in spiritual things comes gently, imperceptibly, and is the work of God. Our crude efforts spoil it. Know yourself for the childish, limited and dependent soul you are. Remember the only growth which matters happens without our knowledge and that trying to stretch ourselves is both dangerous and silly. Think of the Infinite Goodness, never of your own state. Realize that the very capacity to pray at all is the free gift of the Divine Love and be content with St. Francis de Sales’ favorite prayer, in which all personal religion is summed up: “Yes, Father! Yes! and always Yes!”

~Evelyn Underhill

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

~Psalm 117, The King James Version

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I bandage, God heals.

~Ambroise Pare

WHAT DOES YOUR NAME MEAN?

A is for Attitude - see meme below!

B is for Blessed Beyone Belief!

B is for Belonging.

E is for Excited about every new day!

Y is for Young at Heart!

ABC'S OF ME MEME

I borrowed this from AUSSIE THERESE who borrowed it from ADOROS ....

A - Attitude: Plenty for all.

B - Born in: Decatur, AL

C - Cat's name: Once had one named "Rhea", then another called "Jester" ... all gone to their heavenly reward.

D - Dog's name: I've had several in my lifetime, but none now.

E - Excited by: Prayers answered! Grandchildren, family, my faith, my church.

F - Field: Wildflowers, lavender ones

G - Grateful for: Forgiveness from my Father in Heaven; I tend to need it a lot!

H - Hates: Drama; Gossip

I - Into: Catholicism, prayer, writing, reading, music, my family, sewing, gardening, fellowship with family and friends

J - Job title: domestic engineer

K - Kinfolk: Mom, Dad, sister and her family, my children and their extended families, my husband and his children

L - Loves: God, Jesus, sitting outside in the early morning drinking my coffee, making people laugh, a clean house, food in the cupboard, knowing there is something good coming every day

M - Music: Southern Rock, Smooth Jazz, spiritual

N - Nickname: I don't think I can write some of them here! But my grandies call me Mimi, my hubby calls me Goober and Gooberhead, Mom, and the oldest is from mom and dad, Skeeter

O - Outstanding achievements: Giving my life to God completely; having my children; ability to FORGIVE!

P - Pastimes: blogging, writing, reading, gardening, grandchildren, sewing, watching the stars at night

Q - Quirks: Oh my, do we have to be self-deprecating for a meme??? Let's say I'm a sinner and I have lots of quirks, but I know what they are (b/c I'm reminded by a family who doesn't let much slide) and I try to overcome them every day of my life.

R - Relaxes by: Praying, listening to my favorite music with my eyes closed, floating on a raft at the lake

S - State of residence: Alabama

T - Telephone type: The only one I know - it has 10 digits - all my phones have ten digits, I don't think I need any more than that to communicate

U - Usual breakfast: Coffee

V - Vices: That's between me and the Lord, I have my fair share and no more, no less ....

W - Wearing: pajamas

X - X-ray you last had: I had a cervical and thoracic myelogram two weeks ago

Y - Yummy dish you make: Crock Pot Pizza !!

Z - Zoo favorite: Monkeys

If you want to participate, feel free to just tag yourself! Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

SUNDAY EVENING THOUGHTS

1. My mother sent me her most recent read and promises it is a page-turner that I will find hard to put down. She was right. I began reading this morning and am 2/3 through "The Shack." This novel has a very creative way toward expressing how we all can and are in "relationship" with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You must read this book. It is wonderfully inspiring for Christians of all faiths. It has certainly given me a LOT of "food for thought". Thank you Mother; I'm passing this one down to Christie and Kerry when I'm finished!

2. All of Saturday was spent supporting our three grandchildren in All Stars baseball/softball. Keith was in Columbiana with Hannah all day. Lee headed to Cahaba Heights with Ri, and I took Bay to Homewood. Following Bay's game (we got creamed), we headed to Cahaba Heights via Mickey D's. Ri had finished and the team was having lunch and hanging 0ut until their 1:00 game. Lee too Bay BACK to Homewood for his game; I watched Ri play his second (we lost), then he and I headed to Homewood. We saw most of Bay's second game (they won!), then both cars headed to home base. We left one car here, picked up Christie who had been resting (she worked herself sick last week), and we all headed to Columbiana to cheer Hannah on. At that point, pool play was finished and our Helena Girls All Stars were in first place. The tournament began at 5:00. If they won, they played immediately. They won, but they had been out there since 7:00 a.m. and were whipped, and it's no wonder we lost the second game. Can't say I'm sorry - they would have had to play one more if they'd won. No rest for the weary, but Poppy and Mimi took the day off doing nothing at all today except relaxing, reading and now here I am. WHEW, are you tired yet?
3. Gene Simmons "Family Jewels" new season begins in a few minutes. I can't wait. I know it's contrived, but I enjoy them. They seem like a really happy family. Nick is adorable and funny, as is Shannon and their daughter whose name suddenly escaped ....

4. My sister called today. They were half-way home from the beach. When I lived in California, I loved the beach. Even tho it was West Coast, the water is dark and ALWAYS cold no matter what month of the year, and the Florida coastline is beautiful with crystal clear, warm water, I suppose I'm over getting sand in between my butt cheeks and into everything else. It's unavoidable. If I cannot float or take a nice ride on a pontoon, I don't want it. I'm old. I need peace in the valley. I get this at the Lake! HOWEVER, not to rain on their parade, they had a good time ... they took food and cooked all their meals which does save money and I'm all about that.

5. I'm racking my brain for money-saving ideas since I'm unemployed now. My UE insurance isn't half what I was bringing home and Poppy is not happy. I'd rather have some support and faith coming my way, but he's a man and I guess I should stop being forever optimistic in this area. It's just not a'changing. I've thought about cleaning a house or two on a regular basis, but when I told her, Mother said, "oh you can't do that with your back and neck pain issues!" I'm trying my best to pray and to follow where the Lord leads me. Was this wonderful feeling of a ton of weight off my shoulders an imaginary sign that this was right? I must be missing something.

6. I bought a new king sized iron bed a few months ago and I love it. But just recently, I dropped to my knees beside my bed and found it is the PERFECT height for praying on my knees. It's wonderful and I love being reverent and honoring the Lord in this way when I talk with him.

7. We're going to Texas, "home" for me, on July 1st for a week. Our air fare cost me all of $20, which was the Federal Tax per passenger per flight, which cannot be included in our sky miles. So, we've been using the Southwest Airlines VISA less than a year and we've already achieved one free trip! If you don't already, and if you pay your credit card in full every month (THIS IS A MUST!) like we do, you can't afford NOT to do it. We put everything on our VISA and pay it all at the end of the month .... groceries, gas, restaurants, all of it, and we earn sky miles quickly. Again, if you live on your credit cards and don't pay your full balances every month, I don't feel you need a credit card at all. Except for our cars, we are debt-free it is truly a stressless financial philosophy!

Gene and Shannon's opening of the new season is on .... gotta scoot. Sorry for being AWOL; I'm still getting my feet under me since the lifestyle change. I even had a garage sale last Friday with my daughter. I didn't sell much. Hannah said "poor Mimi, nobody wanted to buy her old stuff ....." Geesh!

Be blessed!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

THIS DAY'S . . .

Real goodness does not attach itself merely to this life- it points to another world.

~Daniel Webster

-----------------------------------------


And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

~Exodus 14:13, The King James Version

HEARTLIGHT

Talk about inspiration! My morning prayers were totally in line with today's Heartlight. Now THAT, my friends, comes from only our Loving Father. Praise be to God.


VERSE:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

~Romans 6:3-4

THOUGHT:
Baptism is far more than getting wet or checking off another thing on our obedience to do list. You see, what saves is Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-5). God has given us
the incredible grace (Rom. 6:1,14,15) of being able to share in Jesus' saving work through faith and experience it in baptism (Gal. 3:26-27). We die to the old way of life and bury it in the past. It no longer holds us. This death is the death that matters most. Raised to a new life, our life is now joined to Christ and his future becomes our own (cf. Col. 3:1-4). The life we now live is to
glorify God and to live with him forever. That means the Gospel is not just something preached; it is something we experience by grace.

PRAYER:
Thank you Father, for raising me from death to your new life for me in Jesus. Thank you for your grace in sending Jesus. Thank you for your grace in making Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection something I have experienced. May my life reflect your powerful grace given to me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

WISDOM:
Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee;
and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

~Deuteronomy 33:29, King James Version

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CHRISTIAN HUMOR

Good Question . . .

HEARTLIGHT

VERSE:

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall beestablished.

~Proverbs 16:3

THOUGHT:

The real question behind this promise is very simple: How do Idefine success for my plans? The answer is very simple as well:bringing glory to God for his grace (see Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). Committing our works and plans to God means surrendering them toGod's will (James 4:13-15), trusting that God will be glorified inthem (Col. 3:17), and recognizing that it is not in our power toproperly guide our own steps (Prov. 16:9). God longs to bless usand empower us -- not for our own selfish ambition (James 3:16), but for our eternal good (Rom. 8:28) and God's glory. Like Jesus,when we commit our plans and works to the Lord, we are saying, "Notmy will, Father, but yours be done!"

PRAYER:

Father, I want your will to be my plans. I want your glory to bemy goal. I have things that I want to do. However, if these plansare not for your glory, if these plans are not a blessing to myfamily or those over whom I have influence, then please defeat mein those plans and please guide me into other areas of blessing. Iwant you to be glorified in what I do. I want to go where yourgrace leads. I commit my ways, my plans, and my works to you and toyour glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

LADY OF LEISURE?

Just a quick note to the regulars - I lost my job last week and I've been in a bit of a funk, but I'll bounce back. I was really unhappy as for some time I felt singled out and ostracized by my superiors and other hierarchy. BUT, the Lord is working in my life. I know because I gave it over to Him a long time ago. So, I follow where the Holy Spirit leads me, and right now, I am a woman of leisure - I'm going to savor every moment that it lasts. Please pray for me as I pray for you.

God bless us all, everyone!