Thursday, April 30, 2009

Healing Waters

Put four adults in a mountain stream that is icy cold--so cold that your legs go numb in seconds! And what do you have? Relief!!! (Plus strange looks from families who are bundled up in sweaters and are trying to keep their kids from playing in the same water!) Y'all know that I love to run...thus the title of my blog. Trail running is my favorite--just leave out the coyotes and snakes! After a L..O..N..G run, nothing feels more refreshing than to feel the icy fingers of healing water relax the muscles and blood vessels in your legs. Healing occurs quicker we have discovered (and we don't walk funny for quite as long!)

...Jesus stood and said in a loud voice," If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."John 7:37-38. I love this Scripture from John! There is so much to ponder within it! One version describes Jesus as the Fountain of Living Water. Healing and salvation come from Him when we accept His gift of grace. Once we "drink" from this stream or fountain, we too have this power of living water within us (the Holy Spirit). While running, I have to continuously drink water or Cytomax to stay hydrated. If I deplete my supply, the pain of dehydration sets in quickly. This carries over to my spiritual running/walking as well. I must consume His Word and spend time in fellowship with Him to keep my heart "hydrated" --if you will! Then, my love, care, and concern for others will keep on flowing. He lives, through the Holy Spirit, within my heart. I won't ever be thirsty again! (Wouldn't this be GREAT while physically running as well?!!) AT THIS POINT, THE YOU TUBE VIDEO OF "COME TO THE WATERS" WOULD BE SO PERFECT!! BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO INSERT A YOU TUBE VIDEO--HELP!!!!!

This will be one of my memory verses to ponder while I run my race this weekend. We begin on Sunday at 7:30am and run through the woods until we cross that finish line...hours away. I would so appreciate your prayers as I run! The weather is supposed to be a little warm, and I don't do very well in the heat! (Think of a wilted magnolia blossom that has turned brown!!) I am preparing my body(by carbo-loading and drinking lots of water beforehand) and my spirit (by prayer and uplifting music on my Ipod Shuffle--love that little pink thingie!). I would love to pray for you as well while I'm running!! I will wear a "Live Strong" bracelet with your name on it--in very LARGE print!! For each mile, I'll pray for a different person. It helps me stay focused and keeps me in tune with Christ while pounding away the miles. I'll be back in touch on Monday night--I'm subbing on Monday( if I can walk!!!)--or Tuesday. Hugs to all of you!!

On a more serious note, please continue to lift up those families being affected by the swine flu! Y'all, this is hitting close to home. Child #1 is at home today because 3 kids at his high school have the flu---DHEC is running tests to see what kind of flu it is. All of this is a PRECAUTIONARY attempt to keep our children safe, and I applaud the school district's efforts. Safety is the number one priority. So, let's see what fun chores Mama can find for darling child to accomplish today--Heehee!!!

Don't forget to send me your prayer requests. If you want to be anonymous, that's fine. God knows who I'm praying for. :)

Many Blessings!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Post #2!!

Me again! I never post on consecutive days, but I need y'all to be aware of this exciting ministry opportunity! Tomorrow, my roomie from She Speaks--last summer--will be releasing her first book!! I am so proud of her I could do a happy dance!! She is just precious!! Here's the link to her website with all of the info that you should need. Remember, it's Tuesday when you need to purchase this book!! Mary Singer Wick is simply an adorable lady with a heart so big for God and a trust that is even bigger!! Hop over and check out her website. Thank you all so much!!


Free and Forgiven

We're back from a delightful time of sunshine, friends, food and GOD!!!! Thank you so much for your prayers! Y'all, I didn't realize how much I needed a Susan break! Wow! We had close to 30 ladies who went to Myrtle Beach for 72 hours to focus on Him! Our theme was the title of my post. I heard so many beautiful gals--that I thought I knew-- share their hearts as to how He had released them from bondage ranging from abuse to pride through the precious blood of His son. Simply beautiful.

I have a story to share about something that occurred while we were there. Leebird is the only one in Bloggyland who knows this because I have her cell phone number!!!

One of our precious ladies is from another country. She's lived in the US for many years, but there is still a language barrier. She is an avid hiker (she's climbed Mt. Rainier!!) and golfer and walker. Granted, even though she's in her late 60's, she still is extremely active and in great shape! On Friday morning, the first day of the retreat, she decided to go for a walk on the beach. She took off before some friends and I left to run--around 6:30. We returned from a great run and got all ready to begin the retreat--at 9:00. This precious lady was not back. We waited about 45 minutes, and some of the others were quite concerned and worried. In my heart, I knew what her capabilities were--she could go on for hours without stopping. But, another gal and I volunteered to go and find her. We'd already run 5 miles, but this was different. I put back on my running shorts (they were still wet from sweat!!) and remembered to remove my dangly earrings! I do not run in jewelry even though I love to wear it! It gets on my last nerve!! I still had on my cutesy t-shirt and regular bra and of course, my name tag!!! So, Mary and I took off down the beach. She ran in one direction, and I went the opposite way. We had cell phones and were going to call each other when we found her.

The sun was shining brightly, and I was "glistening" after a couple of minutes! I asked a few folks on the beach if they had noticed this precious lady, but they had not. And, my name tag was still on--starting to peel off from the sweat!!! After running 2.5 miles out, I stopped and called Mary. No luck. Then, I called my Hubby and Leebird and asked them to pray that she would come home quickly. Y'all, it's hard enough to talk and run, but try running hard and explaining a situation on the phone at the same time! It was a little tricky!! As soon as I hung up with Lee, my phone rang. It was one of the gals at the beach house. Our lost lamb was found!!! With a grateful heart, I lengthened my stride to get back to the house and give her a welcome home hug! Y'all, she truly had become lost. She couldn't remember where our house was located--we had only been at the beach one night! The houses all look the same from the beach (we were on the front row--woohoo!). How many times have we become confused and lost because everything looked the same? It all looks good, but looks can be deceiving.

The story of the lost sheep in John 10 clearly illustrates that we have to keep our eyes focused on our Shepherd--through Bible Studies, church, prayer and fellowship with other believers. If not, we become lost in a world full of choices. Some of these choices have severe consequences. If we know our Savior, the way is clear. We won't get lost along the way.

Many Blessings!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To the Beach!

Good morning, chickadees! Our computer service has been down and dead since Monday night! Talk about being out of the loop! I'll get back and visit y'all next week! I am not even attempting the emails!!

Need to finish packing for our Ladies Retreat at the beach!! Sunshine, crashing waves, sand in my flip flops and lots of time to focus on the One and Only! Please pray for traveling mercies and for God's Presence and His will to be the focus of this retreat! Pictures next week!! Hugs to all!

Many Blessings!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Under the Overpass

Hey, y'all! I did not fall off the face of the earth after last Monday! I just really got busy, and you know how the story goes! It helps to blog if you're at home as well!!

Thank you for your wonderful comments from my last post! Your encouragement is awesome! What great friends in Bloggyland! Our high school girls' Bible Study is meeting tonight, and the topic is Facebook!! These baby girls know how to pick 'em! I'll let y'all know the verdict!

One of the areas that our Women's Ministry has included is a book club that meets monthly. It has around a dozen women of all ages--which is wonderful! The book that they discussed last night was Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. It is fabulous! I just got a copy last night and can hardly put it down. This is a book that parents and older kids--middle school through high school--could read and discuss. Basically, a college student decides to give up his middle class lifestyle for a time and live as a homeless person in the US. "He needed to know if his faith in God was real--if he could actually be the Christian he said he was apart from the comforts he's always known." Y'all, this is a topic to ponder and pray about! Listen to this quote included the book by A.W. Tozier. " We hear a Christian assure someone that he will 'pray over' his problem, knowing full well that he intends to use prayer as a substitute for service. It is much easier to pray that a poor friend's needs may be supplied than to supply them."

It is easier to say that you will pray for someone...than to step out of your comfort zone and perform a service. I've been there before. I will do the service--like take someone to the store or pick up extra groceries for them, but I don't always do it lovingly and cheerfully. Sometimes it's out of my way, and I don't have time. For example, those of you who help with Meals on Wheels.....that is a service of love, but it may not always match up with your calendar of things to do! Helping with things at church (VBS) or school (fund raisers) is another opportunity that is time consuming but needed. This book is an eye opener for lots of things that we take for granted!

This book came from Barnes and Nobles--not the library. But it's a great one to share after your family has read it. Let me know if you have read it and what your thoughts are! Also, I would love to hear what your reactions are to the homeless--espescially when your children are with you! It's a tough topic, but it is very prevelant in our country. How do we as Christians deal with this??

Sweet Ponderings!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Modesty, Character, and Thongs

What's the best way to convey to our teenage girls that modesty is OK? That it is not a bad word? That it's perfectly alright to not bare your "ta-ta's"(using this phrase from a breast cancer awareness magnet!) in public while wearing a deep v-neck dress or shirt. That no one wants to see what color your thong strap is. That the cute skirt from that cool store in the mall is too short and too tight. Can you guess what our topic of discussion was at our Bible Study last night?

I came home simply overwhelmed at the comments and stories that the high school girls shared. These are precious girls that I have known since they were itty bitty...and most of their parents are friends of mine. The way of the world has a huge vice grip on our children, chickadees! Romans 12:1-2 simply does not resonate in the hearts of some kids and especially not in the hearts of clothes designers! One of the girls shared that she saw an 80 year old lady (in all actuality, the woman was probably a lot younger!) at a gas station bending over, and her thong strap was exposed while wearing low cut jeans. Just because they fit doesn't mean that you have to wear them!

Our attractiveness comes from within, not what's on our bodies--or not on our bods! It's that spirit of the Lord that shines from us. It's our character. It's how we act when we are around others and when we are at home alone with our family--when others don't see us all cutesified and sweet!

I would simply love to have your thoughts, stories, scriptures, and advice as this topic will be revisited! As I heard what the girls see and hear at school, I am silently thinking, " Oh, my word! I am old and getting older by the minute! Things have really changed...I mean REALLY changed since I was in school!!" I have got to be equipped with the Word and godly wisdom if the Lord wants me to continue to work with these girls and be involved in their spiritual walk.

Many Blessings!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen!!

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women,"Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you."

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy...! JOY! Can you imagine what these women experienced as they flew back down the dirt road to the place where the disciples were staying? This joy is the same joy that we too experience when we are filled with the Presence of God! I can just imagine the excitement and chatter as they ran! This scripture from Matthew 28 (NLT) paints a picture that exemplifies what Easter morning means to me! The grave could only hold my Lord for just so long! And He is here with us living in our hearts today. He is risen indeed!!

Easter Blessings!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Decorating Dilemma Wednesday--Time Crunch!

Too many things to do and not enough time! Or, should I say, time management and priorities? I could type a super long list of things I need to do around the house and projects that need to be completed...but I won't bore y'all! I did finish spray painting the lovely new wicker bookcase! It's a shiny black and only took 3 cans of paint at 98 cents each!! And, I wore my gardening gloves so I have no black finger disease! I love projects like that! Now, I simply have to determine what I put on it! But...I need to clean up the house first!

With it being Spring Break, the boys and I traveled a couple of hours yesterday to visit my parents. I had great intentions of helping them get some things done around their house. I even took a hammer and nails for the boys and me to repair a portion of their wooden fence! But, it was cold and windy, and we needed a post to complete the project--which I didn't have! So, that project was left for another day.(When Hubby can help as well!)

I also had a plan to help clean out the attic. Both parents are in their 80's and do NOT need to be climbing up rickety stairs into a dark place of old boxes filled with things that belong in the trash or Goodwill! I was ready! I even stopped by Wal-Mart and and purchased a super duper strong flashlight--a single drop down bulb in one corner is all that illuminates that attic! Child #2 and I got up there and began--until he found my diary that I had written as a 12 year old! That sent him downstairs and into a big chair to read and giggle! I continued with my task at hand. I would holler down to Daddy about this or that, and he would reply to leave it up there...he'd get it later! People, I am later! It will be me up there again at some point trying to go through stuff! Why not now? I even found some law books that were ancient that were given to him over 50 years ago! He thinks that this lawyer's grandson might want them one day! I don't think so!!! They were nasty looking and falling apart!!

Realizing that I wasn't getting anywhere, I closed down shop and came on down with one box of old Christmas ornaments that were my Grandmother's, ONE bag of throw aways, and finally, a treasure....Daddy's 1940 High School Diploma! Already framed by my darling Grandmama!That is going on my new bookcase!

What then occurred was plain and simple.... just visiting! Mama, Daddy, and I sat in my bedroom and talked about everything under the sun! I love times like these! And they do as well. It reminded me of what Jesus said about Mary when Martha was so bent out of shape while trying to prepare a meal and clean for her guests--all by herself. Jesus responded, "Martha, Martha, you are distracted about many things, but only one thing is needed." Mary chose to sit and listen! Did I, too, make the right choice yesterday even though it was not on my agenda which was to clean and repair? Oh, yes m'am! There's always time to clean and decorate, but there's always a question of time when it comes down to your family and friends. God has a set timeline for each of us on His Kingdom calendar. We have no clue as to how long we will be here. Only Jesus knew his. During this Holy Week, as you spend time remembering the last moments of the life of Christ, remember to enjoy your time with family and friends and let the dust bunnies play. They will be there tomorrow, I promise!!

Many Blessings!

Monday, April 6, 2009

True Loneliness

Yesterday marked the beginning of Holy Week for Christians around the world. We celebrated at our church with Communion and half of the Easter Cantata. This half dealt with the events leading up to the Resurrection. Next Sunday, the choir will present the second half of this beautiful and powerful Word.

One of the soloists, who is a good friend of mine, was talking to me after church. We both agreed that not only did Jesus have the weight of the world on His Shoulders on Good Friday, but He had to deal with incredible loneliness throughout the week. Yes, He was surrounded by His closest friends and the thousands who were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. But deep down, only He and the Father knew what was approaching....and it was the very reason He was sent to earth to live as a Man.

Can you imagine this scenario? You and your three BFF's go on a weekend getaway. Things are going great! Delicious food at wonderful restaurants, great shopping with lots of sales, and time to chill out and simply visit without any interruptions. Life is SO good! But deep down, you have a heavy heart. It may be that your husband's job is on the line, or you've discovered a lump and are waiting results. Just imagine if you couldn't share any of this with your BFF's because they wouldn't understand. Then, to make it even more difficult, one night you decided that you needed to finally talk to God about this. You ask your friends to accompany you to a nearby church and you head inside. Your friends are simply precious, but they are worn out from all of the shopping and running around you've done. You settle in to pray and want them to pray with you. You spend your time that is so sweet with God, and you turn around to thank your friends for being there and praying with you. But, low and behold, they've drifted off to sleep on the pews! How would you feel? These are your best friends in the world, and yet they couldn't do one little itty bitty thing for you! You only needed them to pray with you. And this happens more than once in the case of the disciples--Jesus' BFF's ! Bless His heart! Can you imagine the loneliness and the pain? Oh, my goodness, as humans we simply cannot fathom the exact thoughts and feelings that flowed through our Savior!

I encourage each of you this week to take time and slip away to a quiet place--no children, husbands, or cell phones--and spend time focusing on this loneliness that our precious Lord endured for you and me. Talk to God, but most importantly, listen to what He in turn says to you! Mark 14: 32-42 is where you can find this in the Bible.

Many blessings,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Decorating Dilemma Friday--What To Do?

I sorta missed my Wednesday post! There's just a lot going on. And, I'm trying to sneak in extra mileage on the roads right now in preparation for a race in just a few weeks! Spring Break begins tomorrow! I don't know who is more excited--the kids or me!
I got one of those wonderful phone calls yesterday afternoon from a precious friend! She had a wicker bookshelf that she no longer needed....could I use it??? Well....y'all know the answer to that one! Most definitely "yes!" This is what I got, and it's lovely! I am thinking of spray painting it black--it's going it the study(everything is going in there right now!) What would y'all use to fluff it up a bit???
Now,this is definitely a dilemma! I found two of these at my favorite thrift store down the street for 2.00 each! But they are just UGLY! Should I paint them? They are in the den on the mantle...I need lots of advice on what to do here. I use red, blue, and yellow in this room with some pops of black. Help me, friends!!! Oh, and remember the bu-jay!!! Hubby and I went to the envelope system this week. We are actually seeing some positives! But, it "ain't" easy!!! (This is the system that Dave Ramsey teaches).
Finally, I am really being convicted to memorize scripture! It is so important! I have always struggled with this. So, the boys and I have found a scripture for the first half of this month. It's "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:6). It's on the refrigerator on hot pink paper that cannot be helped but noticed!! We'll give it a try! I surely need my paths to be straightened!!
Y'all have a wonderful weekend! Pray that the wind (major wind gusts here!) doesn't blow me away as I run for the next few hours...I am truly procrastinating here, chickadees!!!

Many Blessings!