Saturday, June 30, 2018

June 30

As we were coming back from the mountains, the sun was shining, traffic was clear, and we were beating the GPS in arrival time. You know what it means if you’re beating the original arrival time on the GPS! When we got close to Atlanta, the lanes became confusing and we missed our turn, I think we may have been heading to Alabama! It was a slight detour and we were back on track. We were right on schedule until we reached Gainesville and someone turned on the faucet and the clouds opened up and traffic slowed to a crawl! We got home right on schedule, but not before. You know that God has us on a path that is part of His plan. Sometimes we are sidetracked by getting off at the wrong exit because we fail to listen to His direction. Other times we are delayed, like getting caught in the pouring rain, but we are on schedule and will arrive at our destination right on time! Don’t get frustrated when things don’t go as planned, it’s not your plan!

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Friday, June 29, 2018

June 29

It was quite refreshing to enjoy the cool, crisp mountain air for a few days. To go from a daytime temperature of 95 degrees to a high of 79 degrees was fantastic! I’m sitting in Helen Georgia right now, but in about 10 hours, I’ll be back home in the unbreathable, high humidity, sweat dripping, sunny Florida. It makes me want to become a “sunbird” where I travel north to escape the heat, just like our friendly “snowbirds” from the north do in the winter. Just one problem, I think I might go stir crazy! I mean, how many mountains can you gaze upon before they begin to look the same? The winding rivers and rocky shoals are soothing, but will put you in a trance if you fix your eyes on them too long. Where are the beaches? Yes, the mountains are a great place to visit, but I’m satisfied with the location that God has placed me in. Maybe vacations and travel are a way to make you appreciate what you have, at least that’s my take on it today. Learn to appreciate God’s provision. He has you where you are for a reason and will let you know if it’s time to move on.

“And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Shittim. Joel 3:18

Thursday, June 28, 2018

June 28

During our trip, one area we explored was where Richard had spent quite a few summers as a kid. He helped his uncle build cabins in the mountains of northern Georgia. One of the cabins he helped build belonged to his grandmother, and he was determined to find it even though he had no idea where it was. He had an old, outdated address that included a rural route, which are no longer used. He did some research online to no avail. He decided to go to the county office and see if they could help, but they were no help and led us on a wild goose chase. After hours of driving through the mountains on some very rough roads, he decided to call a family member who had been there within the last couple of years and she was able to direct us right to it. Many of his memories began flooding back. It’s so funny how things you thought were big when you were a kid, end up being dinky. The best part of all of this was the interaction with the people; the personnel at the county office, the woman who currently owns his grandmother’s home, the tenants and owners of the hotel, his cousin, and more. When you focus on people and not just the destination, you will abound with blessings. Change your outlook to people and your destination will be fantastic no matter where you go.

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

June 27

After a ten hour drive, with only one stop for gas, you get a little anxious to stand up and stretch your legs. That long trip where all you see is the interstate highway can become mundane and loathsome. However, when the scenery changes something inside you begins to perk up! Our heart and soul are awakened and we long to breathe in the freshness of the mountain air. The majesty of the mountain terrain draws you to want to explore the surroundings a little closer. The rocky streams, the towering trees, and the overall comfort of the mountain lifestyle causes you to relax. Is this Heaven? If not, Heaven must be pretty close. Though this is a nice treat for me, we can find a little slice of Heaven wherever we are. It’s as easy as tuning in to the Holy Spirit; ask Him to make you aware of the glimpses of Heaven that are around you right now. They are there if you are willing to take a moment to notice. God is so good to us and doesn’t want us to be anxious. Take a moment to relax and refresh, even if it’s just to glance out the window and see the beauty of His creation. 

Psa 19:1  To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalms 18:1

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June 26

I watched this video of a young woman who decided that she wasn’t going to let someone else define who she was. She took matters into her own hands and began to love herself the way she is. It took so much courage for her to do this and to embrace what others see as imperfections. She was ridiculed by men and women alike. We all know how hard it is to feel like we fit into society, so why do we treat one another so badly? You know, Jesus was not a perfect looking man for our standard of perfection - most images we see depicting Him, are of a gorgeous man with luscious locks of hair and smooth skin. I can assure you he didn’t look like that. As a matter of fact, He was described by Isaiah as a dry root and he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. Jesus came to point us to something much more lofty than our outward appearance, our heart. He wants us to love beyond the looks and see into the depth of others. Stop judging people on how they look and stop judging yourself so harshly. We can learn a lot from someone who’s been set free like this woman.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Monday, June 25, 2018

June 25

Another dog story! Rudy’s favorite toy is a small rubber ball about the size of a racquetball. It’s only his favorite toy because it’s the only thing he can’t destroy, all other toys end up scattered all over the house and in his belly. The only time he’s not playing with the ball is when he is sleeping, and even then it’s right beside him. He will bring it to me and lay it down in front of me waiting for me to throw it. Sometimes when I reach back to throw, he anticipates the direction and starts to run; other times he waits until after it stops moving before he goes to get it. Which method do you think is the smartest? It’s the one where he waits! God is like the bouncing ball. It's better to wait to see what He’s doing before we make a move. “Wait” is a command that is repeated throughout the Bible. It is one of the hardest things to do. When we pray, we expect Him to answer, but sometimes He has to move things into place before the answer comes, like the bouncing of the ball before it stops. Wait patiently my friends, God has heard your prayers.

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalms 27:14

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24

Are you ready for Jesus to return? Is your lamp and flask full of oil so your light doesn’t go out? A year ago, I bought a couple of plants that had a pretty spiked flower. The plant had beautiful wide leaves which added more interest. By the time November came the plant wilted and dried up, even though I was taking good care of it. Being that it was a type of ginger, I decided to keep it. I left them in their pots and kept them watered, even though there was nothing but dirt in it. So, for almost a year I looked at those black pots full of dirt, hoping they would come out again. Much to my surprise and great delight, I began to see them sprout. Not wanting to continue to look at the nursery pots, I planted them in the flower bed. Now they are fully grown and have bloomed! If they didn’t come back out, I would have just thrown them away, however, I held out hope and have received a reward for my patience. This illustrates the hope we have in Jesus. We can’t see Him, but we must never give up the hope we have in Him. Keep your lamp and flask full, the King will return for His bride and it will be a beautiful union.

but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. Matthew 25:4-7