Laboring is NOT in Vain

ImageIt’s 5:15 am on New Year’s Eve. I have been up and down most of the night.  When I have nights like this my thoughts get wondering. And tonight was no different. In between my dreams I think about or analyze them. Tonight it was about tithing and what we as church members should be doing for our church and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I don’t remember much of the dream that brought on this thought. But I do remember that as Christians we should be willing to serve in whatever way God wants us to. There is no position in the church that is greater than another. Even though I don’t see myself climbing ladders and things like that.

There is always something that someone can do as long as they are alive and breathing. I did find it interesting that my cell phone notification sound is what woke me up from this dream. I have a kinda eerie sound on my phone when I get emails or messages. It says “I See You”. If you remember the show Sixth Sense and where the boy says that he sees dead people. This is kinda on the same line. Since it woke me up I decided to see what my notification was. It was my verse for the day from KLOVE Christian radio station.

ImageTODAY’S ENCOURAGING WORD12/31/2013- So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
–1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT

My thoughts on this are that we need to keep on working for the Lord. Nothing we do for the Lord is in vain.  I looked up this verse and commentaries on it and there is a slew of them. Here is a link to a list of sermons that cover this verse… http://biblehub.com/sermons/1_corinthians/15-58.htm

I think I need to spend some time in researching this verse since I had a dream on this and then it comes into my inbox on my email. I think I will have to ask my pastor for a deeper and easier overview of this. But for now, I get the idea that we should be steadfast in our work when it comes to doing things for the Lord. I enjoy the things I do for the Lord and my church. I don’t like to go into the things I do for my church because I don’t think that we as believers should draw attention to ourselves. My way of thinking is that all the things I do are for the Lord.I may have to ask Pastor Ray if I am understanding this verse as I am taking it.

I will go into just one thing I do for the church because it’s also a healing thing for me. I enjoy building websites and creating things. I like to start from nothing and see something come alive. With my churches website if they had to pay an outside service it would be extremely costly and most places charge right around $40.00 to $75.00 an hour to create a website. Then you have the updates and such. Now my feelings are that if God gives us a talent and a way to serve our church and share the gospel, you don’t charge the Lord. Click here to see our churches site. You can post prayer requests and praise reports too…

ImageThose outside of my church or those who build websites can’t fathom why I would donate my time and the cost of the website when I could be making thousands for the kind of site we have. And I find it very simple. I do it because I love the Lord. I don’t do it to draw attention to myself. I have many medical problems that make it impossible for me to work. And doing the website for my church is just as much of a blessing to me. It gives me a way of feeling like I’m doing something. I may not have a lot of money for tithing and donating. But I do have the gift that God has given me. And I know that there is no way our church would be able to afford the type of site we have. Well, they may be able to afford it, but why do that if God gave someone the gift to be able to do it. That money is better spent on missions and outreach.

Those that don’t understand giving to the Lord and not charging for this kind of work don’t understand the blessings I receive. When I see new people coming to our church because they found us on the internet, it makes me happy. And I know it makes the Lord happy too. How can you put a dollar amount on reaching others for the Lord? I never went to school for building websites and doing things on the internet. I never had the desire and for the most part I fought getting a computer for many years.

Due to illness, there are times it takes me longer to do certain things. And if I get over tired I may miss something here and there when I do the power points for my churches Sunday Service. Thankfully, I have the pastor and a few others to help correct things. But all these things I do computer wise and website wise helps me keep my mind off the things going wrong in my life and health and allows me to focus on Christ alone.

I have had people come to me to ask me to do websites for their companies and they would pay me a pretty penny for it. If we paid an outside company to do our churches site, it would cost anywhere from $7000.00 on up and that doesn’t include the monthly updates and such. But for me it is priceless to reach those who may never have a chance to hear the Word. Even if only one person walks through the doors of our church that needs to hear how much God loves them just as they are, it’s worth it.

God has given me this gift I think just as much for me as for the church and other places I do sites for. I don’t do websites as a business though because I can’t do things that need time schedules and due by dates. I don’t know how things will be from one minute to another. But God does give me the strength to do what I need to do for Him and our church.

I would like to add though that our church is a very blessed church. We have many people who donate their time, money and heart when it comes to members of our church. Some churches have just a few here and there and that is far from our church. God is alive and working at St. George Community Church. I feel blessed and honored that I can do what I can do for our church and congregation. For the most part our church that is mostly seniors has no idea what it takes to do a website or to get the program to work on Sundays. But that’s OK. Because when they see the site and the power point and they share it with friends and have a smile on their faces it makes me happy. I love to make people happy. I love to do for the Lord in whatever capacity that may be.

One last thing and this is about our new pastor and his wife. I feel really blessed by them because they allow me to be creative and use my gifts. When they need something for the site or want something for our Sunday Service, they are very kind when I make a blunder, lol. Which is nice, because I do have many of those moments where I forget what I’m doing or it takes me a bit longer?  I think when a pastor and the leadership board allows those who go to church and want to do service for the church and more importantly for the Lord the tools and encouragement to do those things, it is a blessing.

My daughter Jessica has a heart for service too. She loves children and is going into teaching. She wants to start a couple programs at church for children. I think she is in the right place to do that. You can’t find a more encouraging and loving group of people. They have to be the most supportive Christians and church I have ever gone to.

I need to close this because it is becoming a book. But these are my rambling thoughts about the email I got from KLOVE radio stations. So I will end you with Today’s ENCOURAGING WORD -So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
–1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT

My Year in Review

Image2013 is almost over with. Soon we will be going into a year year. I got thinking about what the difference is between 2013 and 2014 and I have decided nothing but one number.

We will still have our ever loyal newscasters telling us all the bad things happening and once in awhile, we may hear of something good. We will be shocked and surprised by who died and what is going on in our country. We will still have Christians persecuted, put to death and martyred in the name of Christ. To them is just a number and another day.

I guess for me, I don’t really pay attention to New Years. Now I do pay attention to getting older and that I’m not impressed over one bit. But when I think of how we measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, it doesn’t really matter. Time is a man made thing, not a God thing. We measure everything by time and gauge our happiness, successes and failures based on time.

People ask me what I’m going to do on New Years Eve and my answer is the same. I will wake up, grab something to eat, watch some TV, and go to bed. And of course there are all the other things that we put into a 24 hour time slot.

My theory is on New Years is that hopefully if there is some kind of good luck thing, which I’m not into the whole superstitious thing. But if there happens to be, I would hope that if I go to bed early, have a peaceful night then maybe that will continue though the year. So far that has never worked. And I don’t expect it to because life happens. Everyday there is something new to look forward to or surprise me.

Like I said, there is only one difference between 2013 and 2014 and that is the last number. Even though I would have to say if Christ came again, that would be AMAZING!

If you happen to be one of the millions of people who crowd into huge groups to watch the ball drop or waiting to kiss a loved one or stranger, I wish you a Happy New Year. My wish for you is to know the true blessings of Jesus Christ and to find peace that only He can bring.

Here in our area we have “Prayer Over the City”. I don’t think I will be going to this event this year, but I do want to offer a prayer for everyone all over.  I didn’t write this, I don’t know who did. But I thought it was fitting.

A Prayer for the New Year

What shall I ask for the coming year
What shall my watchword be
What should thou do for me, dear Lord
What can I do for thee?

Lord, I would ask for a holy year
Spent in thy perfect will
Help me to walk in thy very steps
Help me to please thee still.

Lord, I would ask for a trustful year
Give me thy faith divine
Taking my full inheritance
Making thy fulness mine!

Lord, I would ask for a year of love
O let me love thee best
Give me the love that faileth not
Beneath the hardest test.

Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer
Teach me to walk with thee
Breathe in my heart the Spirit’s prayer
Pray thou thy prayer in me!

Lord, I would ask for the dying world
Stretch forth thy mighty hand
Thy truth proclaim, thy power display
This year in every land.

Lord, I would ask for a year of joy
Thy peace, thy joy divine
Springing undimmed through all the days
Be thy days of shade or shine.

Lord, I ask for a year of hope
Looking for thee to come
And hastening on that year of years
That brings us home to you.

 

 

 

How Great Thou Art

I have been going to church as long as I can remember. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home per say. Many of those around me where Christian and from them I got to know more about God. Over time, I was able to understand what a real relationship with Christ meant.

hqdefaultThere are times when I look around and wonder how things came into existence. Like at night when I take pictures of the moon and the stars. I can’t help but wonder about them and how they were created. My mind will get wondering to clouds too. When I look up and can see shapes in clouds, I believe they are for me to enjoy and learn from.

Have you ever just stopped to notice the small things around you and then you get that Ah HA moment and realize it isn’t small at all. It may be for God, but for us we can never create the wonders of our universe. We don’t create the cute puppy dogs and angels in the clouds. God does. But there are times when I wonder how God created them.  

Then I think about how wonderful God really is. He put everything in order. He provided a way for us to overcome sin. And that provision is Christ Jesus.

How great Thou artWhat got me thinking about this is the song “How Great Thou Art”. Having heard this hymn from the time I was little, at times I took it for granted. But now when I hear it I think of all the wonders around us. I think of sweet Dena Allen at my church that loved this. She got the biggest smile on her face and a sense of peace when it played on the organ. She is with the Lord now, but I can’t help but think of her when we sing this song. There would be times tears would be streaming from her face.

My church is an older congregation and when this song is sung, the voices raise and there is a joy about them. I notice it more when we sing songs they may not know as well. But as soon as How Great Thou Art starts, there is a difference in the house of the Lord. This song touches me in different ways. I guess it depends on what is going on in my life. I want to include a awesome version of this song. And I got chills as soon as I heard it.

 Video – Click Here to Listen to How Great Thou Art

History of the Hymn How Great Thou Art

Stuart was inspired to write his hymn over a period of fourteen years and first included it in his gospel magazine Grace and Peace on the 15th April 1949. His inspiration came from his own personal experiences in the Carpathian Mountains, and from hearing Ivan Prokhanoff’s Russian hymn Mighty God based on Carl Boberg’s Swedish poem ‘O Store Gud

About the Poem (From Wikipedia)

200px-Carl_BobergThe inspiration for the poem came when Boberg was walking home from church near Kronobäck, Sweden, and listening to church bells. A sudden awe-inspiring storm gripped Boberg’s attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its violent entrance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Mönsterås Bay. According to J. Irving Erickson:

Carl Boberg and some friends were returning home to Mönsterås from Kronobäck, where they had participated in an afternoon service. Nature was at its peak that radiant afternoon. Presently a thundercloud appeared on the horizon, and soon sharp lightning flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. The thunder pealed in loud claps. Then rain came in cool fresh showers. In a little while the storm was over, and a rainbow appeared.

When Boberg arrived home, he opened the window and saw the bay of Mönsterås like a mirror before him… From the woods on the other side of the bay, he heard the song of a thrush…the church bells were tolling in the quiet evening. It was this series of sights, sounds, and experiences that inspired the writing of the song.

According to Boberg’s great-nephew, Bud Boberg, “My dad’s story of its origin was that it was a paraphrase of Psalm 8 and was used in the ‘underground church’ in Sweden in the late 1800s when the Baptists and Mission Friends were persecuted.”The author, Carl Boberg himself gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:

“It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest colouring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.

“When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of ‘When eternity’s clock calling my saved soul to its Sabbath rest.’ That evening, I wrote the song, ‘O Store Gud.’

If you would like to read more about this hymn click here

Being Grateful Even In Hard Times

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First off, I’m sorry this post is so long. I hope I don’t bore ya all.

I had some people last week ask me why I don’t complain or get upset about all the medical things I have going on with me. And it is very simple and that reason is my faith and Facebook. Some may wonder why I say Facebook and this is my reasons. Even right now with my pain level and being on home health and such. So I do my blog and get my mind off stuff.  I have so much to be thankful for.

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Abby Grace

1.      Sick Children are all over my Facebook. I have been praying for these children who are battling cancer, heart problems, Muscular Dystrophy and a whole lot of other things. When I go to these sites or they update their status’s, they are filled with hope and strength. Yesterday Abby Grace who is around 4 or 5 earned her wings. Every week there is another child I get requests to pray for them.  And every week another child dies. Little Abby’s parents are heartbroken of course. But all the messages they post are filled with love. They don’t blame God and others. They take things one day at a time and trust in God. I dreaded hearing that this little girl I never knew passed away. I have about 30 kids that are fighting for their lives and still have a smile on their face and are the strongest and most courageous kids I have ever seen.

2.      Adults that are going through chemo and are facing uncertainties. There are countless friends on my list that are facing cancer and fighting for their lives. And it isn’t just cancer, its other diseases. I belong to a group for survivors of Guillian Barre Syndrome. Just last week a young mother lost her life because of this. I have the CIPD variant of Guillian Barre Syndrome and my heart aches for those who are just going through it or those who never regained what they lost. I will post a link to a page that will give you more information on GBS.

3.    Image  People without hope pop up all over my Facebook and in blogs I read. They believe what life is like now is always going to be this way. Some have lost jobs while others are unable to work. Getting out of bed is difficult for them because of the severe depression they go through. I do have my pity party moments, but I can’t stay in them too long. I can’t imagine going through life and have no hope for happiness or anything else. Because of my faith in Christ, I know without even thinking twice that there is something better when we get to heaven. I know that God will never leave me and that He sent His son to die for our sins. For those who don’t understand this, I feel for them.

4.      Family issues have been out of this world for my immediate family. They live in a very small area in AZ and they can’t get out of the fog they are in. Everyday there is something going on.  There is stress, hatefulness and disregard for one another. I’m so very thankful that I don’t live like that. I have my independence and choose what to do each day. I’m not dependent on others to decide how my day is going to be. I always thought I had it bad until I go see what bad really is. When you have one person that is doing things to tear apart a family for their own personal gain, it is sad.  I feel bad that they can’t see that there is more to life and it doesn’t have to be that way.

5.      Gaining weight is a biggie for me. I really hate that I gained weight. But then I think about why I do and that is because of medicines that keep my blood pressure down. They say the meds will prevent a stroke.  Even though it isn’t working for my blood pressure(249/135) . But there are many who can’t get these medicines. People are dying because they can’t get the care they need. I was in this same boat before I got my disability and Medicare kicked in. I can understand from both sides.

In my life I have been truly blessed. My life is very far from perfect and things have happened that can’t be changed. But I have the assurance that God loves me and even if I died tomorrow, I have peace in knowing where I will be. When I see posts on Facebook from people who have no concept what it means to have a loving and personal relationship with Christ, it is very sad. I can’t complain about my situation because I have it so much better than many. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t make it better. I have my times where I feel like things are caving in and I do not like that I have to go back into the hospital or this organ isn’t working right. But, I’m blessed beyond measure.

My friends are the best friends in the world. Even when it comes to friends, God puts the right ones there when I need them the most. Now, there are those friends that I have trusted and been burned. And for those friends, they taught me lessons and they are the past. My eyes were opened and I have chosen to make the best out of it. For those who don’t have friends that wouldn’t be afraid to say it as it is, you are blessed too. I read about how some people feel alone and unloved.

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Our rescue dog Patsy… She was beat and the shelter said she was adoptable because of her scars. She is a blessing

When it comes to my pets and I have a few of them. They don’t know how good they have it because they don’t get treated as some do. I can’t imagine life without dogs. But it is heart breaking to see dogs that are being put down left and right because they have no home or are abandoned. I’m blessed because God put it on my heart to love all creatures great and small. Even though I may have issues with spiders and snakes. I have no love loss there. I’m blessed in knowing that I can make a difference in the life of the dogs and birds I have.

Unemployment is another thing people post about. They have been looking for jobs and loosing everything they fought for. They can’t pay the bills, put food on the table or get medical care. At least my husband is working, even though he isn’t home often. So many struggle to get through the day. And I do thank God for being there and making sure things are taken care of.

I Don’t Do Resolutions

ImageOh Man, I hate New Years resolutions. The reason I hate them is because I never seem to keep them. I set myself up for failure because I have super high expectations. So I stopped making them along time ago. That way I don’t have to worry about it when I fail to fulfill them. I looked up the meaning of resolution and this is what it says;

res·o·lu·tion  n.

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
2. A resolving to do something.
3. A course of action determined or decided on
There are many more meanings, but they didn’t pertain to what I was wanting to cover .
Many times people will make a resolution to loose weight, stop smoking, be nicer to others, join a gym and so on. I refuse to make resolutions, but I did find a way that will help me  be a better person. At least that’s what I’m thinking. I’m going to do a Memory/Blessing Jar. I seen this on Sassy Mom and on Pinterest. I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  I will do this throughout the year unless I get killed doing something or something happens.
 
ImageAccording to Sassy Moms site, you begin in January, start out with an empty jar and fill it with notes about all the great moments, Bible verses, memories, blessings and things that happened to you throughout 2014. Then on New Year’s Eve next year, open it up and reflect on all of the awesome things that happened to you. This is great for just about anyone. 
 
I think this is an awesome way to look back and think about all the good things that are going on in my life instead of all the bad things. Too many times we only focus on the bad when the good outweighs the bad. It just doesn’t seem like it while we are going through rough times.  I’m going to give it a whirl and see how it goes. Off I go to find me a jar big enough to hold all my blessings in. I might need a tub by the end of the year 🙂
 

Why Blog?

ImageSome people have asked me why I like to blog. And for me that would be because I like to write down my thoughts somewhere and see what others may think or feel about a topic. Many of my favorite topics are faith, current events and stupid things people do, myself included. Blogging for me is like an open journal. Even if I don’t have lot of readers, it’s nice to say what I want and get it off my chest and go on living. I don’t do it to make money. I never sell products from my page. I just write about what is on my mind.

ImageNow there are things that get under my collar and I want to make sure to share those with others. Some of those topics are animal abuse, people bashing, stupid drivers, kids dying and child abuse are among many of my ticked off posts. I can be very opinionated at times. For that reason I try to stay away from topics that are political. Those always get me in trouble. Share my faith is my most favorite subject.

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Phil Robertson

Lately there has been so much going on in the news about this Phil Robertson guy that it has even gotten covered in my blog. I don’t watch the show, but I feel that each person has a right to say what they believe and why. There should be a freedom of speech for all people. Even though as a Christian, there are many things he says that makes me step back and scratch my head. He comes off harsh and overly judgmental when it comes to things. The more I read about him, I think the less I like. I do like that he stands up for his faith. But the way he words things are a bit much for even me. But he still has a right to say what he believes and who he believes in. This is why I love to blog.

I can say what is on my mind, even when it is out there at times. I may ramble about this and that. And that is why I call my blog Senseless Ramblings of the Mindless. It has been a great outlet for me because I like to write. I think mentally it is good also because I don’t let things stew. I say what I want and then go on.

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Asia BibI- On death row in Pakistan for offering a cup of water. They said it was Blasphemy since she is a Christian.

Then I have those days I want to know that people are listening. I want them to know there are injustices going on in the world. I want to draw attention to something that is happening around us. There needs to be more people caring about those being persecuted for sharing their faith. Some of the ones in the news right now is Pastor Saeed and Asia Bibi. Many in the Christian community knows about them, but more people need to be talking and praying for them. They need to be released from prison. Bloggers can help get those messages out.

Blogging for me isn’t just spouting off and trying to push buttons. I think all bloggers can offer a service to those that choose to read what we think. On my Food Review Blog I have over 8800 readers right now and on this blog I have right about 3000 people world wide. Many subscribe by email and others bookmark. Just think what good a blogger can do with this readership. But also think of the harm that can be done. I choose to use my blog to raise awareness about childhood cancer and other illnesses. Plus it help me vent and share what I think about a topic like parking in handicapped spots and not being handicapped. I do have my soapbox topics for sure.

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Anne from Domestic Goddesstry

I subscribe to many blogs for various reasons. After awhile of reading them, I may decide not too anymore. For me, I can learn many things when reading a persons blog. I will use two bloggers as an example. Anne has a blog that is called Domestic Goddesstry. I know Anne personally and I may not agree with a lot of the things she writes about, but I always learn from her blog. She has a great gift and she says things as they are based on her heart and eyes. Anne isn’t Christian, she is a pagan. Many would be shocked I would read things she writes. But I’m not. Her blog is very direct and point blank and I have respect for her. I don’t agree with what she believes and that’s OK. She has a right to believe just like I do. She is using her freedom of speech. When I read her words they are raw and direct. She isn’t into sugar coating things. And she isn’t out to impress anyone. I have respect for her because of these things. I think that she also is using her blog to heal. In May it would be a year since her fiance killed himself. He left her with a young child that just recently turned one.

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Nancy Kelly from Almost Perfect

The other blogger that I like to read about is Nancy’s. Her blog is called Almost Perfect. I have known Nancy for shoot, like 12 yrs or more. We both have our medical struggles. She has chosen to go more into hers than I have. She has anorexia and bulimia. The purpose of her blog is to share with others what she is going through. And for people to not make the same choice that has ruined her health and happiness. She will go into very deep and personal details about her life. For her this gives her peace in knowing she is helping others and blogging helps her put into words what she is feeling. I have to give her kudos for sharing her life and opening up to anyone who asks.

ImageWith me, I don’t like going into the medical part of my life unless someone asks. And usually then it is just the basics. I prefer to focus on how God helps me through each and every day. I will write every now and then about my diagnosis when it comes to awareness. But there aren’t many personal details. But I have found through sharing my experiences with Myasthenia Gravis and Guillian Barre Syndrome that others have been helped. For those times I go more on the personal route and contact through email. I don’t want people to feel bad about what I have, my diagnosis or prognosis. I want them to understand what my thoughts, values and faith is. Those are the things I want people to know about me. I don’t want them to see medical issues and the poor me moments. When I focus on the whys and how comes, that takes the focus away from all the good.

ImageMy advice to those who would like to start a blog is to DO IT! Find what it is that you want to blog and enjoy it. At first it is time consuming and maybe that’s why I like it. It takes my mind somewhere else. Have fun with blogging. I do have a hidden blog where I post things just for me to go back to read. Its my personal journal about deep feelings. Because of blogging, I think I have become more aware of the things around me. I enjoy blogging and those who want to blog love it too. If you want to or thinking of doing one. Just do it! They are free here at WordPress for the most part.

There are some people that should blog and I would love to hear what is on their mind. I think they could reach a great deal of people because of their passions and love for writing. I hope one day they will do this.

Happy Birthday Jesus

ImageI love Christmas. It is the one time of the year where it is OK to sing songs in public that talk about the birth of Christ. It’s OK to discuss what and who Christmas is really about without getting too many people in a tizzy. Sure you always have those who celebrate Christmas because they see it as a time for family and don’t really care about Jesus. For me, I love it that I can go into stores and hear the music coming out of the speakers overhead.

I don’t want to make this a long drawn out post or message about Christ. I want it to be simple. Jesus was born to take away our sins. He may not have been born on December 25th and the Christmas story that we hear about isn’t exactly how it went according to the Bible. The important part of Christmas is Christ. Jesus is the greatest gift we will ever receive. His gift isn’t given because we deserve it. That’s what is so awesome about grace. All you have to do is open your heart up and receive Him.

Happy Birthday Jesus… Click Here for the Video