Sunday Morning Coffee: New Year’s Eve

And I’m home nursing a nasty cold that keeps playing hide and go seek with me.  It’s bad, it’s better, and I start feeling optimistic.  Then it’s bad again. So, for the sake of everyone around me, I decided not to share my sore throat and coughing/sneezing fits with my church family this morning.

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So I’m thinking about the new year. 2018.   This is the 70th new year I’ve seen, although I wasn’t aware of the first few 🙂  That’s a lot of years, and here are some things I’ve learned.

  1.  New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me.  I end up becoming discouraged.
  2. Day-to-day works much better.  Just for today, I can do all kinds of things.  I know it’s just a mind game, but still.
  3. Don’t ever take the next year–or the next  day–for granted. Treasure each one. There may not be another.
  4. Same goes for the people in your life. They may not have a tomorrow, so treasure today.
  5. Be thankful.  Be thankful to God for every blessing. If you’re feeling down, discouraged, depressed–there is a remedy.  Count your blessings.  Can’t think of any?  Go read Psalm 107, then read it again, prayerfully.
  6. Here’s a counseling tip:  If you depend on your feelings to guide your behavior, you’re asking for trouble.  Feelings change from day to day. Instead, you need to depend on what you KNOW is truth, based on God’s Word.   From my years in counseling, I could tell you story after story of people who relied on their feelings and ended up in terrible trouble, not understanding how it happened.   Feelings are driven by what we believe to be true. If you believe your feelings are true, you’re going to be terribly confused from one day to the next.
  7. Most important:  Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?  Then be thankful for that, and share Him with someone else.  If you aren’t sure,  go to the Gospel of John and read it carefully.  It will give you the facts on Who Jesus is, why He came, and how you can have forgiveness and eternal life with Him.

So Happy New Year to all of you, and thank you so, so much for reading and following my blog.  You are a great encouragement to me.

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Heaven’s Gain

One of our closest friends went home to heaven last night. We’d been to visit  in the afternoon, and it was clear that it wouldn’t be long.

There are tears this morning.  We’re going to miss him so much.  But the tears are accompanied by the wonderful memories, and by the sure knowledge that he knew the Lord as his Savior, and is rejoicing in the presence of God at this moment. He’d been sick for a long time, and his body is perfect now.  No more tears, no more pain, no more sickness or dying.

 

 

Weekend

Well, Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. We were left with three happy grandchildren who seem to think staying overnight with us is some kind of  a treat 🙂  We had a very good day with family and close friends, way too much food, and a definite turkey torpor.

Before we ate, we all shared a favorite verse about praise or thanksgiving, and then we sang Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow.  I think it’s important for us to remember that Thanksgiving Day isn’t just about stuffing the turkey or our faces; rather, it is to take the time to remember how God has blessed us personally, and in our country, and in our freedom to worship God as we choose, and when and where we choose. There are those who would take that freedom away from us, as others who have their heads buried in the sand, trying to pretend we have no real enemies.

They’re going to be sadly surprised.

Well, I have a fairly calm day ahead. We’ll be eating yummy leftovers today, so my day will be a lot more lazy than it was yesterday 🙂

And I will NOT be out with all the other Black Friday shoppers. No way.

 

 

A Couple of Days Off

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in America.  I have lots of food prep to do today, and company coming tomorrow.  My heart if full of gratitude that, for the first time in over two years, I am able to host the gathering here.  I love my God, Who has blessed my life so richly.

Psalm 107 is a favorite of mine.  Here’s the first verse, which is repeated at intervals throughout the Psalm.  Read it.  You’ll be glad you did.

To all my American friends, and any others around the world who may be celebrating this day, best wishes for a warm and wonderful time with family and friends, and in remembering the God Who gave us our wonderful world.

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Viruses are Nasty

I got up on Friday feeling just fine. Went to the dentist and still felt fine. It wasn’t until later in the day that all my muscles started to hurt, and I couldn’t get warm.  No appetite, and my temp went up a couple of degrees.

The only thing I can figure out is that I’ve been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks now, and maybe it finally decided to  leave, but not without a rip-roaring farewell party.  I’m still weak this morning, and can’t seem to get enough sleep. So far, the coughing and sneezing have stopped. Sure did put a stop to my plans for the weekend, though. I’ve been pretty useless.

So I’ve been thinking about how my virus can be compared to sin. It can creep up on you a little at a time.  Remember I Peter 5:8? “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

 

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Some years ago, I learned that there is a substance in a lion’s paws that absorbs sounds, so that when the lion is  stalking prey, there is almost no noise as each pad sets down on the rustle of grass and twigs.   That’s Satan, padding quietly about, looking for the weak, the one separated from the herd, the old, the sick. The vulnerable.

We are all vulnerable to temptation and sin.  And when it gets a strong hold, as in II Cor. 10: 4-6, it takes  the power of the Holy Spirit to  break the hold of sin and send it packing.  In the process,  there can be some damage, and confession and repentance must be a part of the process.

Just as we try to prevent physical illness by eating well, resting, exercising–so we must be on guard against spiritual illness by staying in prayer, in the Word, and fellowship with God’s people .  Physical health must be purposefully maintained. So must spiritual health be purposefully maintained.

 

Found!

There are little events in life that need to be recognized.

Last Friday or Saturday, not sure which, Terry lost his wallet. He thought he’d lost it at one store, thinking that as he slipped it into his front pocket, he must have missed the pocket. After conducting a thorough search, he called the store. They said nothing had been turned in, but they would call him if someone found the wallet.

So he began the tiresome process of canceling credit cards, getting a new driver’s license, and getting his military ID replaced.  There was a little money, but not a lot.

We were both praying throughout all this time, asking God to protect us from identity theft, and keep our accounts intact.  I checked bank and credit accounts each day, and nothing untoward showed up.

Last night, a week later, a pickup truck pulled into our driveway.  I thought it might be a friend of ours, so I went to the door and flipped on the porch light. A young woman stood there, and she held out Terry’s wallet to me.

She worked at a different store, one that Terry forgot he’d visited  before he came home. The wallet had been in the store’s safe all week. She had asked her boss, “Aren’t you going to call and let the guy know we have his wallet?”  His response:  “Nah, they’ll figure it out.”

But it bothered her, so she told her boss she knew right where our road is and she wanted to return the wallet to us. Which she did.  Intact. Of course, the replaced cards had to be shredded, but the money was still there.

Once again, we were impressed with the way God cares about the small details of our lives. Neither of us had stopped praying about this situation, and getting the wallet back was definitely an answered prayer.

Terry is now figuring out how to attach a chain to his wallet that he can affix to his belt or suspenders so this doesn’t happen again.  And now I understand why so many older men have that exact setup.

 

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(Don’t worry–Terry won’t be getting the tattoos)

Don’t laugh. You could be next 🙂

 

Weekend Wanderings

It’s so pretty outside.  It’s the last few days in October, and we have crystal clear blue skies, colorful trees—but lots of their leaves litter our lawn.  The temp is somewhere in the mid-60’s, which in my mind is just perfect. No wind, bright sun.

If you suffer from SAD, please go talk a walk today before evening sets in. You’ll feel better 🙂

I had a haircut appointment this morning, and then stopped at the Walmart for some groceries.  If you’ve been reading  my blog for some time, you may remember a post in which I described a sweet little girl who had a smile for everyone, and what fun it was to watch grumpy old adults respond to her sunshine.  I decided to make it a point to smile at everyone whose path crossed mine. Can’t hurt, and maybe someone else will catch the bug.

Here’s the link to that post: friendly child

So there I was again, in my handy little electronic cart because, even though my back is feeling much better, it gets tired quickly with bending and lifting.  I was motoring along minding my own business when I heard, “There she is!  That’s the one I was telling you about!”

Well, of course I looked all around, curious as to who was creating such a to-do. And I saw two older folks–even older than I–grinning at me like a couple of Cheshire cats. disneycheshirecat

What could I do?  I grinned back. I said, “Hi, how are you today?”

We had a short conversation. Seems the woman had told her husband about this person who always smiles at her whenever they happen to see each other at the Walmart. She was amazed that a complete stranger would do something so, well, strange.  We ended up laughing as I told them about the little girl who got me started in this journey, and we all  turned away smiling.

And then, out of no where, I thought of my mom. I used to dread going to the grocery store with her because the minute she walked in, about fifteen people, including customers and employees, would pop out of the walls and  call out to her. “Hey, Ms. Fullmer!  Is that your daughter from Pennsylvania?  How y’all doing today?”  And then they would launch into what was obviously an ongoing conversation about various relatives and their doings, which my mother knew all about.  Cashiers would actually motion her over to their lane, wanting to get to chat with her.

This is my mom when she was 69, a year younger than I am.now .She was all dressed up for my oldest son’s wedding.

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She’s been in heaven for five years now, and I’m sure she’s spent time getting to know everyone there, catching up with her friends and loved ones and generally being sociable.  She told me once that when she and dad were just starting out in the ministry, she was very shy. Dad was tall, a big man, and she would do her best to hide behind him when they entered a room full of people.

She sure did change over the years. Dad used to shake his head when she told him she was headed off to grocery shop, and would be back in about an hour.  He said to me once, “She’ll be gone for up to three hours, and come home all in a rush to get supper started. She never accounts for her visiting hours.”

They were a good match, my mom and dad. He mellowed as he grew older, and so did she—as most of us do—but her social butterfly phase didn’t mellow.  It blossomed.

She and that little girl in my Walmart would have taken to each other, I think.