Wednesday, November 26, 2008


photo of our pond - November 2008

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by name, am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3

Thanksgiving for my family of five and our extended family has been held at our home for the past several years. My mother always brings the tasty turkey and dressing, my sister always brings a delicious pumpkin roll, and my sister-in-law always brings some of her yummy dishes ... sometimes even chicken nuggets for my picky nephew. Some of my favorite things to prepare are the sweet potato casserole, wild rice, fresh green beans, pecan pie, pumpkin cake, and cranberry jello salad. Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and even some 'significant others' have joined in our annual celebration. This year will be different though. Very non-traditional and out of the ordinary. Since one son will be working and another son is away at college, husband, daughter and myself will be going to visit college son and have Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant with him. I am not sure about this arrangement. It's different and I am definitely a creature of habit and comfort. I like things the same, constant, familiar.

I thought about all this today and even cried a little. This unusual Thanksgiving seems to go along with the entire 2008 year. It's been all about change, adjustment, reminding me that nothing in this life stays the same. We have definitely had our share of change this year - financial stress, cancer, life threatening car accidents, grief (losing four close relatives, including my mother-in-law this year). In spite of all the change that has affected us, I am thankful. Because in the pain of the adjustment, blessings came too. Treasures, hidden riches of secret places that caused me to know my God better and trust Him even more.
I realize this world is not meant to be so comfortable. If it were, we may not long for home. The home that awaits us. Beyond this life. Heaven.
So as I pack my suitcase for a Thanksgiving away from this home, my little nest, I pause to be thankful, truly thankful ... more than ever ... that He never changes. My God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

“We cannot remain faithful and question God’s own faithfulness. His love for those who are in Christ is beyond question. His character is a constant and his love never fails. He is not loving and gracious toward believers at one moment, only to turn into a malevolent deity the next. He never changes.
In this light, it would be sin to question . . . whether God really loves us, or if He is really faithful to his promises. This is not the questioning worthy of a believer, but of an unbeliever.”
- Albert Mohler, “
Is it Legitimate to Question God?

These reflections were written in response to an invitation by L. L. Barkat.

You are cordially invited by
L. L. Barkat to join a Thanksgiving Celebration. Just post about a Thanksgiving memory, something you are thankful for this year, a special family Thanksgiving tradition, your favorite "thanksgiving" Bible verse, or anything else you can dream up. Be serious, spiritual, creative, beautiful, humorous, whatever … it’s a celebration and good celebrations welcome all kinds of expression!

More gifts for The 1000 Gifts List ...

375. girl talk with my sweet daughter

376. a husband who really loves me

377. a "Joy"-ous phone call

378. watching a Christmas movie

379. sharing spaghetti with two precious teens

380. laughing at my flat chocolate chip cookies

381. heart to heart with Griff

382. hearing Taylor's voice

383. packing for Atlanta

A Sweet Gift ...

374. Malli - is there anything sweeter?


At the cross, He cried out,
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Mark 27:46
I have felt painfully alone lately. Alone, surrounded by family and even dozens in my return to the workplace. Fear has crept in and taken up residence in this heart. No one knows the depths of my hurt, the disappointment, the anxiety, the loss, the sorrow, and the grief I feel.
But truthfully, I am not alone. Jesus was the only one who was ever truly alone. On that cross, He cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 27:46). When I feel alone, believing the lies of the enemy, looking at my circimstances instead of looking to Him, I, too cry out. But then I must listen, trust, believe the only One who truly knows loneliness, the One who took my place. He was forsaken, abandoned, and left alone so I would not be.
Writer Marvin J. Rosenthal notes, Jesus was forsaken to a degree that no other man has ever known - He was forsaken utterly and utterly forsaken. He was forsaken by the world He created.He was forsaken by the nation from which He sprang. He was forsaken by the village in which He lived. He was forsaken by the brothers with whom He grew up. He was forsaken by the disciples He had trained. He was forsaken by the Father with whom He had eternally fellowshipped. Jesus was forsaken that you and I,through faith in Him, need never be forsaken. Here then, is grace –grace greater than all our sin.
His closeness does not depend on my feelings or my situation. Whenever I am so anxious and overwhelmed I can believe He understands, my heavenly Father is there.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What we have lost God will restore –
That, and Himself, forevermore.
- John Piper, Job (Desiring God, 2008)

With Thanksgiving ...

Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28
366. comforting, encouraging words from my sweet Moma
367. Savannah-Jane's homemade carrot cake
368. preparing for a non-traditional Thanksgiving in Atlanta
369. unpacking Christmas decorations
370. antibiotics for my sore throat ... sick again
371. a week at home, away from school
372. a phone conversation with Taylor
373. a hug and kiss from Griff

Uncle Mark

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Obviously, I have not seen Christ, but I have seen pictures created by artists. As beautiful as these images are, they do not compare to the experience of seeing Him face to face. When we finally see Him face to face, all our suffering will be gone…all our worry, pain, doubt, anxiety, fear, depression, and darkness shall have passed away.
Born into a hard-working rural south Georgia family, my Uncle Mark would know the struggles of farm life early on. His eyes may not have seen the world like some of the other family, having been born legally blind, but I believe he had a clear view of what mattered in life. He lived simply, loved Jesus, had a good sense of humor, was gentle, kind, and had a big heart for others.
Last night when I saw his body lying in the casket dressed in denim overalls, his straw cowboy hat lain carefully on his breast, through my tears I smiled.
Because I remembered the many times as a little girl I followed him around on that farm. I was always astonished at how quickly he could figure math in his head, no pencil or pad needed.
Because I remembered how he managed to care for those stinky, squealing pigs with limited eyesight and how I couldn't help but laugh each time when he got mad at their stubborness, muttering under his breath.
Because I remembered it was in his bedroom that I first heard Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner sing on his 8-track player.
Because I remembered he actually drove a truck with me by his side, guiding him along the dirt roads on the farm (and sometimes venturing onto the paved ones). Me, too young to take the wheel, directing my Uncle Mark as he sat behind the wheel of that truck saying, 'now slow down, there's a stop sign coming up, ok, now stop' ... or, 'veer to the right a little, ok, now turn ...'
We were living dangerously!
But, mostly I smiled because I know he is home. No more worry, pain, doubt, anxiety, or fear. It's gone.
There is a quote, by John Milton that goes "To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable."
Uncle Mark bore his blindness and everything else he was dealt in this life with humility, grace and quiet strength. He has gone home now, his body made perfect in Christ.
Lord, help me to see what matters in this life. Take away my spiritual blindness so I may see what you would have me to see, until I am in your presence ... face to face.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This is something I struggle with.
My feeble, finite understanding of how merciful my God really is.
It is hard for me to grasp that truth, that reality
that He actually extends His mercy and grace to me
new and fresh every day.
What a threat to the Enemy when I believe this truth.
This truth that I am free.
No longer a slave to sin.
All because every day He is faithful and ready to forgive me again.
That is amazing!

This is an powerful excerpt from a book by Paul David Tripp called

“If you are one of God’s children, there is something in your life that will not wear out. In fact, it has the amazing capacity to be new day after day after day. Scripture says that God’s mercies are ‘New every morning.’
Now, you know you need mercy, because you know you need forgiveness and help. Almost every day you mess up in some way. Almost every day you face things that are bigger than the size of your personal wisdom and strength. You and I constantly need the mercy of forgiveness and the mercy of enablement. And so, it is very encouraging to know that God’s mercy is new every day! God’s mercy never grows stale and it never loses it’s transforming power. God’s mercy is brand new morning after morning after morning.
This also means that God’s mercy is form-fit for the problems that you are facing right here, right now. Each morning you are given new mercies for the particular things that you will face that day.
So, you can wake up tomorrow with courage and hope. And you can do this, not because of your strength and wisdom, but because you know that the most important thing you have ever been given will never wear out. You can also have hope because you know that the God who has given that new mercy, knows exactly what you are about to face.”

Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Somthing to consider...

Said one demon to another: “One of our great allies at present is the church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans.” (from C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, cited in Alan Jacobs, The Narnian, 217)

Gratitude ...

the Gift List continues ...

361. a long nap

362. one more day til vacation

363. hot soup and yeast rolls for supper

364. daughter shares her heart with me

365. comforting words from husband
Give me revelation
show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here
Or do I need to move
Give me revelation
I've got nothing without You.
-Third Day lyrics

There is a distinct point in our experience when we cease to say—“Lord, show me Thy will,” and the realization begins to dawn that we are God’s will, and He can do with us what He likes. We wake up to the knowledge that we have the privilege of giving ourselves over to God’s will. It is a question of being yielded to God.Has God been trying to bring into your life the fact that he is supernatural, and have you been asking Him what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell us what He is going to do, He reveals to you who He is (John 14:12-13).All of God’s revealed truths are sealed until they are opened to us through obedience. You will never open them through philosophy or thinking. But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately. Let God’s truth work into you by immersing yourself in it, not by worrying into it…Even the smallest bit of obedience opens heaven, And the deepest truths of God immediately become yours. Yet God will never reveal more truth about Himself to you, until you have obeyed what you know already. -Oswald Chambers

Monday, November 17, 2008

356. a soothing pedicure

357. husband folded laundry

358. a phone conversation with Mary

359. Malli's sweet self

360. sleeping in pajama pants

Battle Weary

I am battle weary. These past few weeks have been more than trying on my 40-something nerves. Not only have a fought a serious, hacking cough that made me feel as if my brain was going to explode and made me consider purchasing "Depends," but I have also engaged in warfare with Pre-K students. I am subbing at the Pre-K Academy for a teacher on maternity leave. Granted, I have knowledge and experience in this area (nine years experience to be exact) but nothing prepared me for the challenge of this particular group of darlings. They are quite a uniqe group! Tonight after talking to my dear friend, Mary who is a wonderful listener, the Holy Spirit reminded of this scripture “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Psalm 37:5-6

Some comments on Psalm 37:5-6 by Charles Spurgeon ...

“Commit your way” literally means to “roll your burden” and so Spurgeon urges us to:
"Roll the whole burden of life upon the Lord. Leave with Jehovah not thy present fretfulness merely, but all thy cares; in fact, submit the whole tenor of thy way to him. Cast away anxiety, resign thy will, submit thy judgment, leave all with the God of all....The ploughman sows and harrows, and then leaves the harvest to God. What can he do else? He cannot cover the heavens with clouds, or command the rain, or bring forth the sun or create the dew. He does well to leave the whole matter with God; and so to all of us it is truest wisdom, having obediently trusted in God, to leave results in his hands and expect a blessed issue."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

more for the 1000 Gifts List ...

349. being with sweet baby Malli after a rough day

350. a slice of pizza

351. my pillow

352. a funny email

353. a happy, content daughter

354. an understanding husband

355. the good-humor of a son

Faith beneath the ashes ...

The root of faith can never be torn from the godly breast, but clings so fast to the inmost parts that, however faith seems to be shaken or to bend this way or that, its light is never so extinguished or snuffed out that it does not at least lurk as it were beneath the ashes.
—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.2.21

Monday, November 10, 2008

Definition of FAITH

“Faith is transferring your trust from your own efforts to the efforts of Christ. You were relying on other things to make you acceptable, but now you consciously begin relying on what Jesus did for your acceptance with God. All you need is nothing. If you think, ‘God owes me something for all my efforts,’ you are still on the outside.”
- Timothy Keller, How Can I Know God?

In this journey with my Lord, I am constantly reminded over and over and over again to put my trust in Him alone.
He does the impossible.
It's true!
It's all about faith.
It it so easy to slip and get in a funk, so to speak, of putting my faith in my efforts or
to rely on my present circumstances to dictate my emotions and feelings.
Father, thank you for reminding me today that you accept me, empty and poured out.
I only need you.

So very thankful for...

345. coughing less and headache gone

346. substitute teaching Pre-K til March

347. a reminder that things can be replaced - daughter's car vandalized

348. pictures safely removed from infected computer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

With Gratitude

340. voting rights

341. doctors ... Malli and I are sick

342. medicine

343. chilli for supper

344. my bed

Election Day

Malli gets the message out!

I was drawn to a scripture in Daniel 2:20-21 today.

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,to whom belong wisdom and might.He changes times and seasons;he removes kings and sets up kings.

Many people are distressed concerning this election. Some recent comments I have heard are ...

*these are tough times for everyone and the future of our country is at stake

*both candidates promise change but I wonder who is telling the truth

When I read Daniel 2:20-21 today I was reminded that God removes leaders and places them in office. Whoever wins this presidential election will do so because God has decided to put him there. No matter who takes office, our God is on his throne.
When we wake up tomorrow, we will have a new president. Regardless of whether McCain or Obama wins, the Lord God still reigns. My trust is in the Him alone.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. -Psalm 20:7

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Top 10 Predictions ...

I received this via email from a friend and thought it worthy of posting.


1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed teaching and healing.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.