Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
However, with the advancing of his Alzheimer's disease lately, even a small amount of sugar can cause anxiety and agitation in the late afternoon or evening, with additional confusion when it comes to simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt. So here's how a sugar bomb went off in our house:
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
4:49 p.m. Today's project was to welcome four new ladies to our home Bible study, Theresa's sister Kathy, Debra, Marty and Laura. What a blessing to see the Lord add to our number, especially ladies who are strong in the Word and readily able to share with one another!
Whenever I teach this book of history, I Samuel, I pose the question: "What will your I Samuel history be?"In studying this book we see ourselves. With an open mind to the Spirit, we allow the Lord to show us our own hearts and character.The beauty of I Samuel is in the people the book portrays: Samuel, the stern spokesman for God, the prophet and priest who judged Israel before God told him to anoint a king as the people demanded; Saul, Israel's first king, an insecure, hot-headed leader whose fears and impetuousness cost him the kingdom; Jonathan, a courageous and godly young man, the king's eldest son; David, the shepherd whom God chose to rule over His people after Saul's downfall. Shakespeare couldn't have created better characters!
The supporting cast includes the sons and daughters of Saul, David's brothers, the Israelite army, Goliath, and ever-present enemies surrounding the land.
Sounds like the cast of trials and problems our enemy Satan throws at us, while attempting to lie to us and about us! Revelation 12:10 says about Satan's inevitable demise,
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down."
Speaking of the kings of ancient Israel, the picture above represents the second time in a month that I have been named "Queen of Sales" for our Laurie's Legacy unit of Mary Kay. It's pretty hilarious to me, being that I just decided to get serious about my 4-year-old business again, this January. Why? The Lord told me to, simple as that, and I am now obeying!
I admit to getting bogged down mentally last year by telling myself, "You're too old to become a Sales Director;" "You don't have time;" "Too many issues with Steve;" "You'll have to give up: teaching Bible studies/gardening/time with Steve/writing your next book/the blog, etc., etc." Wonder where the source of all that discouragement was? The pit of hell, where else? The enemy doesn't want a Christian woman to have a business where she can have fun, fellowship, and encourage other women, any more than he wants a Christian man to find the joy God has prepared for him in his career calling!
And by the way, God has given us all approximately 16 hours a day to organize constructively!
Tonight's meeting was full of laughter and cheering one another on, but tomorrow begins another week of stepping up and working hard to build on the foundation God has laid down. I will still occasionally find myself listening momentarily to the devil's accusations, but I'll give God the glory for bringing me scriptures of encouragement that I might excel and not settle for less than what He wants me to accomplish--in all areas!
Let's all remember Proverbs 23:7a:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
- Get active. That would include walking, jogging, gardening,etc. anything active.
- Meditate. I would say pray and praise, from a Christian viewpoint, and meditate on the Word!
- Laugh. Proverbs 17:22: A merry heart does good like a medicine.
- Connect. Reach out, make social connections. Like church, ministry, and my business.
- Assert yourself. In this context, it means to ask for help, delegate, and learn to say no, so your mental and physical health needs don't suffer.
- Sleep. That's an area of lack for me, will work on being more consistent!
- Journal. My journal will be the basis for the next book God has put on my heart, and this blog serves the same purpose, to shine God's light on daily life.
- Get musical. My plan is to get back to my piano practice after the wedding commotion is over. Can't wait! May even dust off my violin!
- Seek counsel. Proverbs 11:14b (NLT): There is safety in having many advisors. Godly ones, of course!
When the discussion came to ways we can stay more focused on our blessings, I shared about writing my praises down every night before bed. I've been doing this for 24 years, and it really reminds me how much God loves and cares for me. The presenter actually suggested that everyone there give that a try!!
As well as that meeting went, and as well as Steve did at home, God had opened up His treasure chest of blessings for me even more. The senior center's director put me on this afternoon's activity schedule to do facials for the ladies at the center. So I went home, took a nap, and after lunch, Steve and I went to the center for a 2 p.m. facial party for six darling elderly ladies. He helped me set up, and the gals really enjoyed the pampering. This wasn't a selling event, but if they remember me next Tuesday and would like a product, they can ask me. I was so blessed to spend time with them, as we jokingly agreed that we are all still 39!
A further blessing is that I was invited to participate in a spa day on June 23rd at the center!
More good news: my doctor's office called, and except for a slightly elevated cholesterol reading, all of my blood and urine tests came out fine! Less red meat for me, sigh...they also said avoid the carbs, but I do that already for dieting purposes, and lowering weight lowers cholesterol, as does exercise, so I am a happy camper today. I need to start being a happy walking camper, though, must get back in that habit!
And miracle of miracles, I managed to pull my stuck ATM card out of the machine at Wells Fargo with the miniature Mary Kay tweezers in my compact! As the hymn says,
PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
As we wrapped up a successful day and were on the way home, Heidi and Heather made plans to see "Pride and Prejudice" performed at our church by its high school drama department. I too love Jane Austen, having a degree in English Literature, but my girls have read her novels many times for sheer pleasure, and talk very knowledgeably about the various screen versions.
At first, I was about to say, "Think I'll go too," but then I thought the better of it. I said to myself, "Let them develop their relationship as grown women, and bond even closer over a shared favorite author's works."
Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
3:20 p.m. Today's project was to share and publicize our church's Heart to Home classes that will meet on Tuesday the 17th and the 24th. Kay Wardell will be teaching "Fashionable Homemade Diapers" (pictured above), and I will lead "Event Planning for Busy Women."
Heart to Home was birthed at Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley in April 2005 as an offspring of the "Willing Hearts, Willing Hands" ministry I had begun with Linda Thomson and Bonnie Lange at Harvest Christian Fellowship several years before Steve and I were led to Calvary. In 2008, Mickey Althouse began a new Heart to Home in Black Forest, Colorado! I was honored to speak at their opening session, and Steve helped the men in preparing and serving the luncheon.
We have offered classes on everything from mosaic tile table tops, quilts, chocolate candymaking, Mexican cooking, crochet, fleece blankets, strawberry jam, beauty and makeup, basic sewing, flower arranging, home economizing, painting, recognizing your child's spiritual gifts, aerobics, stencilling, sign language, beginning guitar, starting your own business, journalling, budgeting, gardening, scrapbooking, holiday decorations, canning and many more than I can remember! I offer the devotional message before classes begin. Heart to Home is also an outreach, because co-workers or family members who wouldn't come to church feel quite comfortable coming to a fun, creative and crafty event.
Now that our classes take place on Tuesday evenings during the same time slot as the men's Bible study and the high school study, women can attend classes on any subject that interests them, not limited by a one-time event. I have been blessed to meet many women I've never seen before, even as active and involved as I am!
Heart to Home is a perfect fit for the Titus 2:3-5 theme of our women's ministry. The scriptural exhortation to older, more experienced women in the church reads thus:
...that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
There are many requirements of us older women, to teach and lead, and not be drunks or slanderers, to teach godly character to our younger sisters in Christ. But two items on the list gave me pause when I first read the passage many years ago as a young believer. "Why did the Apostle Paul find it necessary to direct that young women be taught to love their husbands and children? Isn't that natural?"
My favorite commentator Albert Barnes (1798-1870) comments that this particular word for love "occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul directs husbands to love their wives, and in verse 33, the wife to reverence her husband, and here he says that it should be one of the first duties enjoined upon the wife that she should love her husband. All happiness in the marriage relation is based on mutual love. When that departs, happiness departs."
As for loving one's children, "Nature prompts to this, and yet there are those so depraved that they have no maternal affection...Religion re-produces natural affection where sin has weakened or destroyed it, and it is the design of Christianity to recover and invigorate all the lost and weakened sensibilities of our nature."
In our classes, we teach women to enjoy, be at peace, fulfilled in their roles as keepers of the home, even if they also have outside employment. I think of women of past generations who worked very hard physically, but still found time to bless their families with handmade items and lovingly prepared dishes and treats. We serve the women by teaching them the "good things" our scripture refers to!
Barnes notes as to keepers at home (KJV), "This does not mean, of course, that they are never to go abroad, but they are not to neglect their domestic affairs; they are not to be better known abroad than at home; they are not to omit their own duties, and become 'busybodies' in the concerns of others."
Our Heart to Home ministry aspires to offer loving encouragement and skills to bless, please and comfort the ones we love!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
3:56 p.m. Today's project was to praise the Lord for His good work and answers to prayers from yesterday, when I decided that "I would not need to fight the battle, but position myself, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord who is with me." (paraphrasing II Chronicles 20:17)
Yesterday opened with issues of concern on several fronts. I was needing to make financial arrangements, and all went beautifully. In order to attend a Riverside County Office of Aging Alzheimer's caregivers' support group today, Steve would need care, and I was able to take him to his friend's to help out in his orchard. And just now, 4:58 p.m., the Office on Aging called to set up an appropriate caregiver for the next 5 weeks the class runs!
I was pretty downhearted about my garden because of the gophers pulling down tomato plants, even wondering if I should let it go and concentrate on my upcoming Bible study, sales of Galatians, Heidi's wedding, and my business. As a veteran gardener who's faced some real persistent pests, I needed to ask myself the question in Jeremiah 12:5 instead of moping!
If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?
And I needed to correct myself--again--with Proverbs 24:10:
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
But, God had a better plan! (Doesn't He always?!) At the end of a sales appointment, my customer asked about the garden, and told me about an organic solution, a repellent plant called "Gopher Purge." I picked Steve up, we headed to Parkview Nursery, and by 1 p.m., 6 of those plants were set in our plot! And by 4 p.m., so were 6 more "Early girl" tomato plants, 6 bell peppers, I'd planted cantaloupe and watermelon, and harvested a large bunch of carrots and bag of salad greens.
On to Heidi's wedding! A family wedding is a natural non-stop exercise in problem solving, but God performed several acts of mercy for us yesterday afternoon:
- Groom Pavel's mom called to make arrangements to host the rehearsal dinner
- Our homeowner's insurance will cover the wedding at no additional cost
- My Mother-of-the bride dress will be in at Dress Barn, in my size, this week
God wasn't done yet with blessing and handling the concerns of my heart! While studying I Samuel for next Thursday, I picked up a voicemail from Pastor Brad Ormonde from Harvest Christian Fellowship. He and Pastor Jeff Lasseigne had reviewed Galatians, and I should expect a call from the bookstore manager soon!
So now both my church, Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley, and Harvest will make the Bible study available to their fellowships! How I thank the Lord the Holy Spirit for leading, inspiring, and training me to write Galatians in 1987! And I thank Him for giving decisionmakers confidence in the Lord's working, as well as grace toward me.
I had a big pile of anxieties and concerns, but I have a much bigger God!