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Furniture, Stores and Travel

dinnerMay 26, 2016

There are so many things in our life that we take for granted. Stop and think about it. There are so many conveniences that did not exist during biblical days that we have today, that we just accept as being normal. We’ve had them all our lives so we don’t even give them a second thought. They have always been there, since we were born and we have never stopped to think what it would be like without them.

In biblical days, most of the people lived in tents and caves before they started building and settling towns and cities. They moved around constantly from one area to another all year long, never settling in one place. They constantly needed to find grazing grounds for their cattle and sheep because they had not yet learned how to plant seed they could eat. They had to locate water for their herds and their families, and planted crops in certain areas, harvested them, and then moved on.

They slept on the ground or on mats. They sat on the ground, on tree stumps or on rocks. When they ate, they all sat in a circle around the food and dipped their hands into the dishes. They cooked over open fires and often ate just the food they could forage along the way. When they started settling down on small farms and in villages, they lived in huts made of mud bricks but they still slept on the ground on mats, sat on stumps, rocks or the ground.

They didn’t have beds, dressers, couches, chairs or tables. Food would be stored in basket or in carved out shelves in the walls. An oven was often built out in the yard for baking the bread and the animals usually stayed inside the shed with the owners at night time. I guess that is what you could call really roughing it.

Today I am thankful for the furniture we have. Soft beds to sleep on, up off the floor away from bugs and rodents, soft chairs and couches to sit on, tables to put our food on, refrigerators to keep the food fresh, cabinets to store the food, stoves and ovens for cooking and so many other pieces that we have around the house that are just taken for granted because, after all, they have always been present in our lives.

May 27, 2016

People in biblical times would often go to the market. The market was normally situated in the center of the village or town. There you could buy different foods, meats, vegetables, spices and fruits for the most part. You could stop at the carpenters shop to order something fixed or made for you. You might even stop at the silver shop to pick up a bowl or utensil of some sort. You might stop at a weavers shop to see about having cloth woven for you.

Six days a week you could go this market to sell and to buy. On the seventh day everything was closed. No businesses were open of any kind. It was strictly against the law because the seventh day was a holy day, it was a day of rest. It was a time spent talking and learning about god, spending time with family and resting from all the work that needed to be done the rest of the week. Women did not even cook or bake on this day. They would prepare an extra days worth of meals the day before.

Today we are a spoiled race. We no longer have to weave diapers for out children, we can just run to the store and pick up a box of Pampers. We no longer have to go milk a cow so baby can be fed, we just run down to the corner and pick up a carton of milk. If we run out of something for dinner, we can run to the store and grab that missing item or if we just want something special, all the large stores are normally open and in the bigger cities there is a convenience store every few blocks.

Today I am thankful for how much easier our lives are made by convenience stores and grocery stores.

May 28, 2016

It is only 91 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem. It is 110 miles from Egypt to Canaan. If a person walked from Nazareth to Jerusalem at an average of 15 miles a day it would take the 4-5 days, maybe longer because they would have to stop to rest, eat and stay somewhere for the night. If they walked from Egypt to Canaan at the same pace it would take 7 ½ days and more because of all the stops on the way.

When Moses led the people out of Egypt, they could have been in Canaan in just a couple weeks. It would have taken them longer that 7 ½ days because of the herds of sheep and cattle, the wagons of goods and belongings and the number of people traveling, but because they sinned against God by building an idol, they were destined to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the original generation had died off.

If you drove today from Nazareth to Jerusalem, it would only take you a few hours. The same can be said for driving from Egypt to Canaan. If you flew from Cairo, Egypt to Jerusalem it would only take 30 to 45 minutes.

Today we travel at 60-70 miles per hour on our highways and freeways. We can go across the whole state in just a few hours, or visit relatives in another state within a two day ride. We can fly across the country in less than one day.

We have cars, planes, and trains, buses, transit systems, bicycles, and motorcycles. There are services for the elderly and disabled and taxis for those who don’t drive. There is always some kind of conveyance to get you where you need to go.

 

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Good Days,Giving it to God and Tests

Hands holding the worldMay, 23, 2016

I am amazed at how busy I am as a retired person. It seems like there is something almost everyday that I have to run out and do. Visits to the hospital, doctors appointments, refills on groceries, gas in the car, paying bills and sometimes doing something I want like thrifting seems to take up the hours of my day.

There are some days when I get home and just ache all over, usually compounded by a migraine so I am usually pretty cranky too. Since I like my house clean, I have to rush around straightening things out, cleaning up dishes and maybe throwing in a load of laundry. I don’t call those good days.

But, some days everything just runs smooth, everything falls into place just like I want it too and my stress level stays a whole lot lower. Those days, when I accomplish everything I need to in a timely fashion without any interference I refer to as my good days.

Today I am thankful for good days

May 24, 2016

My mother used to say that I was so strong willed that there was nothing I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it. Some people call it stubbornness but I like to call it perseverance. Because of this trait I have often found myself struggling to do something that is just impossible for anyone to do.

I thought by example, by preaching, by pushing I could get the people I cared about saved, I could get them on the right track to living the way they should. I felt like it was my responsibility to see that this happened, therefore I was really upset with myself when I found out that I couldn’t save anyone, not that I really thought I could save them as only Jesus does that, but if I could get them to listen they would be saved.

I’ve heard many people preach about giving it to God, but so many of us are not good at that. When you give something to him, you are supposed to wait on him, but we tend to get impatient and take back what we gave him.

Over the years I have learned that if I want him to do something in my life or a loved ones life, then I have to be willing to totally give it to him and wait on him to act. Today I am thankful that he has been teaching me how to be willing to completely give something over to him.

May 25, 2016

Yes, we are tested by God. He allows things to happen that are unpleasant, down right bad and sometimes even dangerous. He allows us to reap what we sow in the mistakes and errors we make in our life. Once we understand this, then we learn from our mistakes and strive not to make the same ones over and over again.

Sometimes bad things will happen without them being the result of something we did. The loss of a job, the death of a loved one, the loss of a home through a natural disaster or injury caused by an accident happen everyday and most times are not our fault.

God didn’t say life would be perfect on earth. He did say he would bless us and provide for us as long as we served only him, as long as we lived by his commandments and as long as we shared his love with everyone.

He will test our faith from time to time, and sorry to say that I have seen several people turn from him when they have been tested. They have called him a mean God, uncaring, vengeful, and hurtful because they didn’t understand the test, and they failed.

Today I am thankful for every test he has put me through because my faith has been increased with each one, I have passed each one and I have learned from each one.

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My Natural Friends

robinMay 22, 2016

Sometimes we get so busy that we overlook the small, somewhat insignificant things that are present in our everyday life. These are things that we often ignore, but if we took the time to notice them, they generally uplift your spirit and make your day much better.

Since I don’t work anymore, I have time to notice these things and I often wonder why I didn’t notice them before. It was because I was so busy working a life instead of living a life. I was more concerned about what people expected out of me, what I thought I had to do that I didn’t take the time to notice some of these small but wonderful things that God puts in our everyday life.

I’m talking about things like a gentle breeze hitting your face when you are over heated, and beautiful cloud wandering across the sky, a row of brightly colored flowers alongside the road, a bird landing very close to you, or even a squirrel scurrying up a tree.

I stand out on the back deck several times a day and watch all the nature in my back yard. We have somewhere between 4 and 6 Doves out there, innumerable varieties of Sparrows, a Blue-jay, a Red Cardinal, a Northern Cardinal, many Robins, Several Starlings, a couple Squirrels, a Possum and some little fat brown unknown brown birds.

The yard has sprouted little white flowers, little lavender flowers, dandelions, some roses, flowers on the Formosa Tree and plenty of vines and grass. Although we have to mow every two weeks, they seem to pop back up just to say hi.

The birds have gotten so used to me coming out that they don’t always fly away from the bird feeder, in fact the Red Cardinal, the Doves and the Starling just look at me for a minute and go back to their feeding. The Robins don’t use the feeder, but there are plenty of bugs in the grass, and they actually hop over in my direction when I come out, give me a once over and then go back to their hunting and pecking.

Today I am thankful for all my natural, woodland friends who seem to know that I mean them no harm

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Trials and Temptations, Anger and One Truth

older woman prayingMay 19, 2016 – Trials and Temptations

A trial is a test of faith, a temptation is an enticement to do something wrong. We are in training, God is training us to be good Christians so we can bring more sheep into the fold, so to speak, training us for the next life, our eternal life. That is why he allows us to go through trials and temptations. On one hand we are learning to walk, talk and act in a Godly fashion, and on the other hand we are learning to resist evil.

When you go through a trial, you must have faith that the Lord will see you through it, you must believe that he is standing right by your side, fighting with you to get through these trials. Rejoice when your trials are because of your belief in the Lord.

Satan puts temptations in our way, tempting us to do something wrong, say something wrong, think something wrong. He trying to get us to believe that indulging in these temptations will satisfy us, make us happier, make life easier and more enjoyable, but it is not this life we should be worried about being happy in. It is the next life, the life where we will come back to live with Jesus as our king here on earth. This is what we must strive for.

Today I am thankful for the trials and temptations that I have gone through and for the ones to come.

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

May 20, 2016 – Anger

When it happens you feel all tied up in knots. You may even experience nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations. You might get a headache, you might feel like you are going to explode if you don’t do something quick. You can’t breath, your blood pressure rises, you can’t think straight and your voice is elevated to the point of screaming yet what you are saying really doesn’t make much sense. No, you are not having a stroke or heart attack although this can cause those. You are angry!

It takes over your whole being. You can’t find the words to express what you want. You don’t seem to have any control over your situation. You can’t function right. You can’t make yourself understood. You may stomp your feet, throw something or actually physically strike out at someone, and the more you yell or strike out, the worse it gets. Anger is one of the most used tools of Satan.

It is one of the strongest emotions and always causes negative results in our lives, not just with the possible physical problems it can induce, but with the emotional and mental problems as well. It can alienate your friends, your family, your co-workers, and others in your vicinity. It can make you feel like you just want to crawl in a hole and pull the dirt in over you, make you want to hide from everyone and everything.

I have gotten angry in my life, many times, but it doesn’t happen anymore like it used to. This is another “God” thing that seemed to happen almost immediately after I took Jesus as my savior. Sure, there are times I can feel it rising again inside me, but I strive to diminish it as quickly as I can. I don’t like to feel anger, because when I do, I also feel hate and these are two emotions I can do without.

Today I am thankful that the Lord has taught me ways to keep from getting angry.

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.


May 21, 2016 – One Truth

There are many diverse beliefs when it comes to the Rapture and the return of Jesus. Some denominations teach that the Rapture will occur before the seven year tribulation period and that all believers dead and alive will be caught up in the sky with Jesus. There are others who believe that all Christians, all believers in Christ will go through the first 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation before they will be taken up to heaven. The third belief is that the Rapture will occur near the end of the Tribulation period, a few days or even a few hours before Christ returns. The last belief is that everyone will go through the Tribulation and the Rapture will occur when Jesus reappears to fight Satan.

There are also different beliefs in different denominations when it comes to speaking in tongues. The Pentecostal Church is the main denomination that believes everyone can be baptized in the spirit and speak in tongues. They believe it is a gift that not everyone receives, but it has no bearing on your salvation. There are even those that believe you are not saved unless you speak in tongues.

Some people believe that speaking in tongues is just another form of mass hysteria and that everyone is making up their own gibberish while others believe that it was reserved only for the apostles or it only happens to clergy, priests, preachers or other officials in the church, and yet, there are also those who believe it is from the Devil.

I can remember the first time I was gifted with speaking in tongues. I wanted to tell everyone, I was so excited. My Jewish bosses just kind of smiled and changed the subject, the former office manager was Romanian Orthodox but was interested in all the different beliefs and wanted to know all about it, while the present office manager, who was Catholic, called down to my office to tell me something, and before she hung up very rudely told me she didn’t believe in speaking in tongues.

The bible is used in almost every denomination, but it has been twisted around or just certain parts used to teach the people what the minister decides they should hear. Some belief systems have taken parts of the bible and added their own verses and teachings to create their own source of reading for their members. Some evangelical ministers, especially those on television, have used sermons and verses to try and convince people that if they give to that ministry, the Lord will increase their finances.

Today I am thankful for one truth that holds no matter how often the bible is perverted, no matter who believes in the Rapture and no matter who believes in speaking in tongues, and that truth is that Jesus Christ is Lord and someday he will be returning.

Matthew 24:27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 25:13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh

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Protection, Understanding and Patience

hen and chicksMay 16, 2016

I look back on my life often. I think about all the places I have been, all the trials and tribulations I have gone through. I try to sort out where I made mistakes and why I made them. I can’t change the past but I can learn from it. I can learn a lot. I can learn not to make the same mistakes, not to make the same choices I did before. I have learned to evaluate people, to stop, look and listen to them. So many people are so concerned about themselves that they don’t have room to learn to love someone, to really care for them. So many people, today are controlling, selfish, mean and abusive.

I spent over 15 years in an abusive relationship. At first it was a good relationship, until that person was able to alienate me from all my friends and family. When he was sure I had no place to go, no one I could turn to for help, that is when the abuse started. I won’t get into all the gory details here, but at times my life was in actual danger. I have had guns pointed at my head, his hands around my throat and at one time he actually tried to run over me with a car.

Even through all of this, Jesus was standing by my side. He always made sure that I survived. He always protected me. These weren’t the only times his protective love surrounded me. There were times when the weather was bad and I was supposed to drive out to the courts. Something told me to turn back, and I found out on the news later that there was a bad accident on the same road, around the same time I would have been there.

There have been times when something has fallen, right after I have walked under or past it. There have been times I would change my mind about going down a certain road only to find out later that it was severely flooded. I have had these instincts that hold me back at times from going certain places or doing certain things, and each time I have found that I was protected from something disastrous or dangerous.

Today I am thankful for the Lords protection all through my life.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

May 17, 2016

I hear many people say they don’t understand God. I, myself, have had moments when I didn’t understand him either, but reading his word, letting it soak in, letting it talk to me has helped me over the years.

I didn’t understand when he allowed Ken to die. I wanted him to heal him miraculously, and in fact he did that. I prayed on the way home the night before he passed away that God would heal him or take him home. It took a non-christian friend to point out to me that God did just that. He took him home and healed him by giving him eternal life in a body that would never get sick again.

I didn’t understand at first why he let my son die a few months ago, but it only took a few days to understand that he was answering another prayer. My son had some huge problems he was trying to overcome and then he was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. He was fighting addictions, cancer and major depression. Again I believe God took him to stop his suffering, to save him from the horrible death that cancer causes and to heal his broken heart.

People come and go in our lives. Some die and others move on. We go through different levels in our life, so good, some bad and some just so-so. If we let the world pull us down, if we don’t try to understand why things happen the way they do, we end up miserable, hateful and mean and we blame every circumstance on someone else, including God. We need to understand that many of the things that happen in our lives are the result of the way we choose to live, the things we choose to do or not do, the people we choose to be around, the decisions that we make that might not have seemed good at the time but we didn’t really think them through.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve made rash decisions that have been life changing, but I understand all of that now. I understand that what I do, the way I choose to live, the way I choose to act, the people I choose to be around all has an impact on how my life turns out.

Today I am thankful for understanding.

Proverbs 2:2-5 Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

May 18, 2016

There was a time in my life when I was a difficult person. I was mean and nasty. I was inpatient. I wanted everything done the way I wanted, when I wanted and I was very rude and nasty if I didn’t get it. I didn’t care about the feelings of others. I only cared about me. I used the excuses that I was just trying to survive in this world or I was trying to assert myself, show that I couldn’t or wouldn’t be under anyone’s thumb, but I definitely went about it the wrong way.

I have learned that being mean and nasty, demeaning someone else, being rude and offensive is no way to get anything done, is no way to accomplish what you want to accomplish. This enlightenment definitely was an overnight “God” thing that happened almost immediately after I gave my heart to Jesus. Almost overnight I became the most patient person I could have been. I’ve had others tell me I have the patience of a saint. I don’t know about that, but I do know it was not my doing. I also know that life has been a whole lot easier and better since this transformation.

Today I am thankful for the patience God has given me.


Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Romans 8:25 – But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

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Rain, Windows and Fire

I know that some of my posts may seem silly or boring, but the plan is simply to show that there is something in this world to be thankful for every day of the year. Its a lesson in thinking positive, it is a lesson in working toward a goal and reaching it and it is a lesson in recognizing the blessings of God.

lighteningMay 13,2016

I used to play outside in a Summer rain. Some times mom would throw us a bar a soap and tells us to get clean while we were out there playing in it. I have always loved to sit on a porch and watch the lightening flashes and the pouring rain during night thunderstorms. I used to sit there and think, what an awesome God who has the power to create and control something like this.

As I have gotten older, I don’t appreciate the rain as much as I did when I was younger. It triggers my migraines, it makes my joints hurt, it hinders me from doing activities outside and the grayness of the day is depressing.

But, I understand that the rain is a needed occurrence. It fills the water tables that helps to give our town water, helps the farmers water their crops, helps the plants and flowers to grow and gives the animals plenty of water to drink and bath in. Without the rain, we would be living in a dry, desert area where nothing would grow and many animals could not exist.

Today I am thankful for the rain.

May 14, 2016

I’ve lived in many different apartments and houses in my life. I’ve lived in motel rooms, efficiences, small one bedroom apartments and huge, whole houses. I’ve lived with my sisters, both at different times and I lived with my son and his wife of and on for seven years. I’ve lived with whole families, one person and by myself.

Most places I lived in had ample windows. Usually there was one in the living room, one or two in the dining room if there was a dining room, one or two in the kitchen, one in the bedroom and often one in the bedroom, but I have lived in basement apartments that had one forward facing window or no windows at all, and I lived in a house where almost all the windows were boarded up because the landlord was to cheap to replace them or fix them when needed.

There are two windows in the front bedroom, two windows in the back bedroom, two windows in the living room, two windows in the kitchen, and one window in the dining room where I live now. This is great because I am claustrophobic and have panic attacks if I am in an enclosed space for too long.

Today I am thankful for windows.

May 15, 2016

Have you ever enjoyed sitting around a camp fire? Or maybe lounging in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold winter’s eve? What if we didn’t have fire? What if God never allowed man to discover how to make fire?

Imagine eating raw meat or fish? Imagine how many layers of clothes you would have to wear in the Winter, or how cold your bath or shower would be. Imagine not being able to have that hot cup of coffee in the morning or heat your babies milk before bed.

Fire can be dangerous, when it isn’t handled right or when the wrong people use it to destroy, but for the most part it has been something that has made living for the human race so much easier, so much better. It was fire that heated us, cooked our food, warmed our bath water before electricity was discovered.

It was fire signals that have save stranded people in the woods or on islands out in the ocean. It was fire held in oil lamps that used to light our houses or gave us light when we had to walk outside. It was fire that burned out garbage and allowed us to eliminate having trash strewn all around us.

While I don’t have a gas stove, it is fire in my furnace that keeps me warm in the Winter. It is a fire I would light in the wood burning stove if the electrical grid went down. It is fire in lamps and on candles that I would carry around with me to see where I was going and to light my home.

It was fire that lit the lamp-stands in our holy places and it was fire that burned our offerings when the Lord still required them of us.

Today I am thankful for fire.

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Fresh Fruit and Veggies, Closed Doors and the Color Blue

fruits and veggiesMay 10, 2016

When Gods chosen people were wandering through the wilderness with Moses, their diets were scant. They had herds of sheep and goats with them, but these animals were their livelihood. They got milk from the goats, and the meat was only cooked and eaten on certain occasions such as weddings or religious days. During their time in the wilderness, it wouldn’t be logical for a family to kill and eat a goat because they needed it to have babies, there would have been no way to preserve any left over meat and they needed the milk for the children.

The sheep were the main source for wool for their clothes and many were kept as sacrificial lambs. They were only eaten  during certain religious festivals and again, if any meat were left over, there would be no way to preserve it. They also need the sheep to breed so that their flocks would grow.

Traveling through the wilderness, they may occasionally come across some wild fowl or deer, which they may have hunted if they were going to be in a certain area long enough and had enough people to eat the food so nothing would be wasted, but they kept moving around so they probably didn’t concern themselves with the hunt. They more than likely harvested nuts, wild berries, figs, fruit from trees and made their bread.

Because they moved around so much, they were unable to plant crops or hunt which is one main reason that God gave them the Manna and later on the Quail.

During the time of Jesus, the people’s diet consisted mainly of wine, bread, legumes, fish, wild fowl, pigeons, duck and geese if they were available. Most meals consisted of bread, wine and whatever vegetables were in season, such as leeks, radishes, dandelion greens, cucumbers, wild herbs and mushrooms. The meal may have been followed with seasonal fruit such as figs, dates, mulberries, melons ore apples.

I don’t eat red meat or pork. I eliminated these items from my diet but may eat them if we go out to eat for a special occasion. I love fruits and vegetables, along with seafood, chicken or turkey. Fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms and squash are my favorite. I love grapes, oranges, especially the clementines, apples, cherries and all the berries.

Today I am thankful for the variety of healthy fruits and vegetables that are available to us.

May 11, 2016

I have gone through many different levels in my life before and since I became a Christian. There were many times in my life that I was going down the wrong path, hanging with the wrong people and making all the wrong decisions.

Things changed almost overnight, very rapidly when I accepted Jesus as my savoir. That doesn’t mean that everything was just hunky dory. There were many times of hardships and mishaps. Life goes on even when you are saved.

It is said that when God opens one door in your life he closes another, but doesn’t often seem that we can keep looking over our shoulder at that closed door? Maybe even wondering if we were supposed to walk through the open door before us?

There will always be questions and periods of doubt in our life. We will always be moving on to the next level, going through the many doors that God opens for us in our walk with him. Today I am thankful for all those closed doors that I cannot turn around and walk back through.

May 12, 2016

I used to love to just sit at the beach in Clearwater and stare at the ocean. Clearwater was named after the color of the water in that area. In some places it was so clear and blue you could sea every fish that was swimming through. Sometimes when you stare out where the water and the sky seem to meet, depending on the time of day, it would look like they blended together.

I have seen many beautiful lakes, streams, and rivers in my life, and it has never ceased to amaze me the many different shades of blue they are, depending on the time of day or the season. I went across Lake Champagne several times, live around the Great Lakes for many years, cruised the coast line of Florida on several occasions.

I used to love to lay on my back on a clear day and just stare at a crystal blue sky. In the morning it would be one shade of blue and towards evening it would turn to another shade. Have you ever noticed that the blue of a cold, crisp Winter sky is a completely different color of blue from that of a warm Summer sky? Even a blue autumn sky is different from that of a clear Spring Day.

Silly as it may seem, today I am thankful for the natural and always changing color of blue in our world.

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