Monday, October 24, 2011

Thoughts and Burdens on My Heart...

"Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil."  Joel 2:12-13

God is asking the Israelites to return to Him.  The reason for their great punishment -- famine, locusts, captivity -- was because they had turned away from Him (see Joel chpt. 1).  They had ceased to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord.  They had refused to worship God.  Instead, they chose to do things their own way.

How many times do we do that today?  We choose not to worship God.  Or, as in Joel 2:12-13, we worship Him with our outward appearance (by going to church, quoting Bible verses, saying "the words"), but refuse to give Him our heart.  God wants more than just the actions.  He wants actions coming from a right heart. 

In Romans 12:1-2 God leads Paul to say, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Paul is BEGGING Christians, through God's mercies, to stand for Him.  It is only REASONABLE that after what God did for us, through the sacrifice of His sinless Son, that we cheerfully, wholeheartedly, give ourselves to Him for His service. 

There are things going on in our country right now that should greatly disturb Christians.  Things such as abortion.  Homosexuality (to the point that it is being taught in our schools and paraded around in public, daring people to confront them), did you EVER think it would be legal here in the United States of America for a man to marry another man, or a woman to marry another woman?!?  And that we are to accept such practices? Please know that God calls us to hate the sin, but to love the sinner.  These things should be driving Christians to their knees, begging God to work a change in the hearts of the people of our country.  Do you think that God is going to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the sins we are committing?  And yes, if we don't take a stand against what is wrong, we are just as guilty as those committing these sins. 

Our country has become one of serving only self.  We no longer care what will affect someone else, only our own selves.  What can I get that will make me happier?  What can I do that will bring me the most pleasure?  What I do won't affect those around me (oh yes, it will!), and if it does, I really don't care.  We have become the "me" generation.  We don't want to offend anyone.  Everyone has the "right" to do as they think best.  We do not have the "right" to protest what GOD says is wrong.  Where does that leave us?  What are we to do? 

God calls Christians to seek Him and pray.  And not just one time.  God gives a promise in II Chronicles 7:14, "IF my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  God was giving king Solomon a promise in this verse, but it also applies today.

We can start taking a stand.  We don't necessarily have to become activists, but we can certainly vote.  We can pray.  We can help and support those who follow after God's laws (I'm not talking about televangelists here).  How do YOU accomplish these things?  Share your ideas...

No, I am not a pastor or a preacher or a teacher.  I am not qualified in any way.  I am just a very concerned woman. 

From the thoughts and burdens of my heart...


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Come Take a Walk in My Garden...

This past Sunday afternoon I spent an hour or so walking through my yard, enjoying the beautiful  shapes, textures and colors of the fall garden.  Want to see what I found?  Wish you could have been there.  The weather was great!  Here in the South (middle Alabama) the weather is just starting to cool off -- to the upper 70s and lower 80s.

We have a large sycamore tree in the back yard that gives cool shade during the summer.  The leaves have just started to fall.  When the tree is bare of leaves, and if we haven't raked up to that point, the leaves are several inches deep.  Of course that's understandable if you know that each leaf is nearly as large as my two hands put together!

These zinnias have really taken off since the temperatures have tapered off.  During the middle of the summer the were leggy and drying out.  Now they are so perky.  I understand why they are one of my friend's favorite flowers.  As you can see, they grow up through everything!

This tiny plant is called a tickseed and comes back every year.  It's resting beneath the celosia's and cannas.  And that's one of those giant sycamore leaves beside it.

Celosia or cockscomb.  This plant and all it's sisters living in my garden, came from sees given to me by one of our clients at work.  Really, he brought me the flower heads (they're soft and velvety in texture) and these teeny tiny black seeds kept falling off.  When the flower heads started drying out I put them in a bag and shook out the seeds.  That was about four years ago, and now I have so many of the things they've become almost like weeds! This year I let them grow up where they wanted, then moved them. Some of these plants have grown as tall as me this year.  As you'll see later, the bees love them.

Some more zinnias. I thought these had died!

This little plant can be a real pest.  I am constantly pulling it up but this vine spreads like crazy.  It's even climbing my roses and some of my bushes.  My Papa used to call it hummingbird vine.  But it's pretty, and for some reason it reminds me of Christmas.

Here are a couple of pictures of my roses.  These are knockouts.  There's nothing to growing them, except pruning.  One of them is nearly as tall as my outbuilding -- it grew several feet this year.  I'm going to hate pruning it, but if I do the blooms will be all over the place next year.  I have had these four years now, and no problems at all.  One of my favorite things is to go outside and get cuttings for around the house.  Unfortunately these knockouts don't have a fragrance.

I couldn't leave out these three beauties!  These are all vinca, and come back every year.  This year I did with them what I did with the celosia, and transplanted them when they were large enough. They have just about taken over my garden, but the color is wonderful!

This year I planted some dahlias.  They make beautiful cut flowers, especially since the flowers are very large and full.  Several in a vase make a stunning arrangement.  I have some on my dinner table right now!

See the bees?  They were humming something fierce Sunday.  They didn't like it when I started cutting some of this celosia for drying.  I was amazed to feel the breeze from their wings when they passed.  I've always thought of bees as being a spring and summer insect, but the mid October weather wasn't holding them back.  There were hundreds of them in the yard.

Finally, one of my favorites, the sage.  This plant came from a cutting from one of my mom's plants a couple of years ago.  Last year we had a couple of dogs running through the yard and I thought they had killed it.  Came back with a vengeance this year.  I have it at the edge of my patio, and when you brush up against it or pinch the leaves, the smell is just heavenly.  And yes, red is one of my favorite colors.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!  Isn't God's design incredible?


Friday, October 7, 2011


Going Deep
Becoming a Person of Influence
By:  Gordon MacDonald
Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers

The goal of all Christians should be to pursue a closer relationship with God.  We should seek to emulate Christ.  I was looking forward to reading Going Deep, hoping it would help me "deepen" my own relationship with God. 

In Going Deep, Gordon MacDonald uses fictional characters and settings, along with himself and his wife Gail, to explain how his character was inspired to develop a program in his fictional church to grow young Christians into tomorrow's leaders.  More than half the book is spent looking at the idea of growing these Christians.  How were these Christians to be selected for the program? What would the program involve for these people? The balance of the book takes up the forty weeks of learning these characters went through to become deeper Christians.

The book is quite lengthy, and at points seemed to drag on with information that really didn't seem necessary.  Although I did become inspired to do further research because of some of Mr. MacDonald's very unique ideas of Christ and His followers, the book never stated exactly how to deepen your own personal walk with Christ, for which I was greatly disappointed. 

This was an easy to read book, although I kept looking to see how many pages were left.  I will not be recommending or loaning out Going Deep to my friends and family.

In order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission regulations, please note that this book was provided compliments of Booksneeze.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

180 Movie

This 33 minute video is well worth the watch. Make sure you have the time to watch it all the way through. 

Feel free to share this movie with others, as well as pass on the link (
Please let me know what you think...