Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Jesus...Our light in the storm


I love lighthouses.
In fact, this is the second post in a row with a photo of one.
I have even transferred this picture into a painting to hang on the wall in my Sims 2 game and packaged it up and shared it with other players... I have so much fun doing that!
(Combining two hobbies, photography and playing the Sims)

What is it about a lighthouse that seems to draw me?
I think its the way that Jesus is seen as a type of lighthouse to us, a promise of light through the darkness to guide us through the storm. During the daytime I'll look at these structures as they stand majestically out in the water, or close by the shore, and I feel a sense of awe...But, I have never seen one during a dark stormy night, not in real life anyway. It makes me think about how I think many people view Jesus. They have a sense of awe and a certain feeling of security knowing that he is out there somewhere standing watch over us ready to guide us with his Holy Spirit...just in case the waters get a bit too rough...But...
it isn't until we find ourselves deep into the storm in the black of night hanging on for dear life as the waves toss us in every direction, threatening to overturn our vessel at any minute...We are truly powerless to control any of it! It is then that we get to see his true light...get to feel his security, to witness his wonderful strength!
Even if the storm take us down...It is then that He will wrap his arms around us and hold us still...calming our spirit until he carries us safely through to the other side.
What if there were no storms in life or on earth?
There would be no need for a lighthouse...
There would be no wonderful witness to the way this earth and sea have always been magnificent and yes, dangerous if we are caught in the middle of it...But...
There would be no need of something bigger than us, something stronger than the natural world...something that can subdue the sea at will...No need for God's help.
How boring would that be?
 I am thankful for Jesus, the light of this world, my help in troubled waters, and the one who holds me through each storm...the hope of shelter and salvation, the rock I cling to, but I am also thankful for the storm, because of it I have seen his light in action, shining brighter because of the darkness...unmoved by the crashing waves!
I can know that no matter what, I will survive...and so will you.

 "I am the light of the world. The one following Me shall not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5


~Blessings & Love~
and always remember.. no matter how big the storm or dark the night, we are...
~NEVER FORSAKEN~

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I Am Thankful...

 
 
Because God gave us...

JESUS!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16


More grace...

 You adulterous people,don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace.
James 4:6



Strength & Victory 

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn." Psalm 18:32-36

Provision

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19
 
Peace

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14.27
The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace." Psalm 29:11

"And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful." Colossians 3:15


 The Holy Spirit

 
 
15 "If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  John 14



If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13



Power, Love, Self-discipline

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31


 
Rest

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29



Great Promises 




And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:4
 
 
 
A Future & Hope



For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
 

A Home in Heaven



“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14



 
 
~Thank you, LORD!~

~HAPPY THANKSGIVING!~

~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...

~NEVER FORSAKEN~







 

 




 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Forty Years Ago Tonight

Whitefish Point, (Lake Superior) Michigan
*Posted at 7pm, November 10th* (to commemorate the time when she sank)

http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/edmund-fitzgerald-36/


 

Edmund Fitzgerald

is42-1256227088-22344.jpeg
Edmund Fitzgerald, St. Mary's River, 1975. Photo by Bob Campbell
The legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious and controversial of all shipwreck tales heard around the Great Lakes. Her story is surpassed in books, film and media only by that of the Titanic. Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot inspired popular interest in this vessel with his 1976 ballad, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior November 10, 1975, 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. Whitefish Point is the site of the Whitefish Point Light Station and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) has conducted three underwater expeditions to the wreck, 1989, 1994, and 1995.
At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society on July 4, 1995. This expedition was conducted jointly with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now on display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum as a memorial to her lost crew.

Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Lyrics

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'gitche gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early
The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin'
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind
When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya
At seven pm a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters
Lake Huron rolls, superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the maritime sailors' cathedral
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'gitche gumee'
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

 

This is an awesome tribute and also plays the song...
Watch video here!

The place in the photo is of Whitefish Point, my favorite place in the world, but also where the ship went down.
Although we've been experiencing warmer than normal weather, in a couple days we are expecting some weather similar to that November day forty years ago.

Hope you enjoyed a piece of Michigan history!



~BLESSINGS & LOVE~
and always remember, we are...

~NEVER FORSAKEN~

Re-cluttered

This photo has nothing at all to do with my post. I just wanted to show off my new haircut!
It's my second hair cut since my hair grew back, and I am blessed to have a friend from
church who is a licensed beautician that cuts it for me.


*NOTE*
I have hidden three words within this text, these words are from three other blogs that I enjoy reading...Can you find them, and recognize if they are from your own blog post, or a blog post you have read recently?

Life is ever changing.
Once again I am laughing at myself!
It's Ok...I'm actually laughing with me, not at me, lol!
I did an earlier post where I was very excited about the idea of de-cluttering my home, but once again I had forgotten that I am not the only inhabitant of this home, and the sparser environment is not necessarily favored by the other.
Having said that, I will now attempt to explain why I think we humans tend to want to change our environs from time to time...
We may feel the lack of control over things that are happening in our lives. I have noticed in my own life when things are not going as planned or I am at a low point, I want to take action, some action, ANY action in order to feel like I have some control over SOMETHING.
So, I start rearranging the tangible things in my home...the things I can put my hands on. The truth is, the things that I constantly rearrange, are not what is bothering me. The fact that I have two, three, or five throw pillows on the sofa is not the issue...The problem is that I sense there needs to be some change in my life, but I am not trusting God to take care of the details. I am not willing to patiently wait for the answers, or to accept that sometimes I may never know what the answer is to why things are the way they are.
So, I turn to the one thing I THINK I can accomplish on my own...CHANGE the furniture, the décor!
Well, I'm not saying that is wrong in and of itself, not if we are doing this in order to clean things up, or make room for something new, but if it becomes a nearly daily thing...Well, then something is not right! And that is where I am now. I have literally worn myself out, and worn out my poor husband's patience in the process!
 The truth of the matter is, I cannot affect the change that I want, that I am seeking, by changing my exterior world...I must decide that only God has any real control in my life, and I must be patient and willing to listen and hear from the Holy Spirit on what gives my life meaning, and what I must work at in order to "accomplish" anything worthwhile....And...
I mustn't stay busy tinkering around with unnecessary distractions all the time, I MUST get busy with the things that the Lord is putting on my heart; things like Bible study, listening to the Word, and to good Christian music, listening to the elder Christians who are wiser...gleaning from their godly counsel the things The Lord wants me to learn....I must learn prudence!
 Looking around on the internet, I see clearly that it's not just me. It's actually quite a trend lately...Just Google the word 'De-clutter' and you will see many websites and many books or items being sold on the subject. Another key word is 'minimalism'...The idea is that by emptying our environment of clutter, the clearer our minds become...only this can be taken to the extreme when the goal is to rid your house of most of your possessions, many of which are actually necessary items, items like furniture...a bed for instance. Well, I suppose some people don't need a bed, but most of us do. The point I'm trying to make is that there are folks out there making money by trying to sell us an idea that living in a bare room somehow makes us mentally or spiritually healthy. This is just another way of replacing a relationship with Jesus with some type of religion or spirituality. The scary thing is...I have seen this in some Christians, myself included!
 The Lord doesn't want me to abandon my domestic responsibilities, but He is showing me that I must learn contentment, and temperance when it comes to my home and that begins within my spirit...not on the outside environment. It is within that He wants to change and rearrange in order to make me more mentally and spiritually healthy.
 My body has grown weak, too weak to rearrange the furniture, but I am growing stronger spiritually in Jesus...for He alone is my strength.
So whether my home is cluttered, or bare...My mind is full of treasure from the Lord, and my heart is content to be under His control

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.…
Phil.4:11-13

*The words are:  "tinkering" from 'Sharon Sharing God', "strength" from 'Lighthouse Vision" and "prudence" from 'Crown of Beauty'!
Thank you, ladies for your inspiring posts this week!
(All of these gorgeous blogs can be found on my blog roll below)

 ~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...

~NEVER FORSAKEN~
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Summary

 
 
It's a chilly rainy day here in Northern Michigan, a good day to stay home and blog. The photo above was taken last month while camping at Reedsburg Dam in Houghton Lake.
It was supposed to be a four day or more camping trip, but it rained all that week so we came home early...and now we are getting ready to wrap up the camper for the winter, but may take it out for one more trip first...and it is raining. But, with what folks just went through from the hurricane down south...I'm not going to complain about a little rain here!
It's funny how I can get all sorts of ideas to blog about, but when I sit here in front of the screen with the curser blinking on the page...I can't think of anything!
So...Here's a few photos that were taken through the summer...Kinda like a 'summary of the summer' lol!
Enjoy!
*(just click on them to see bigger)*


Beautiful spring sunset





A bored Buddy...C'mon, Mom n Dad...I'm tired of doing puzzles!

Sunrise over the Saginaw Bay

Probably the biggest thing that happened to us this year is that WE SAW A BEAR!

Our home away from home








 

This pup's got the right idea...Camping = relaxing

 
This is not Buddy...He is a pup we rescued from the middle of a busy road and kept him for a weekend until his owner was found...His name is Moose...and we absolutely adored him and would have kept him forever!
 

 

This is the first baby cardinal I've ever seen. There was a nest next to our bedroom window. I felt honored that the parents trusted us enough to place their nest there

An inquisitive little calf

Sasha and Bud exploring
A busy little beaver

Not the best picture, but I like how this hummingbird looks kind of ghostly

 
 
 ~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...
 
~NEVER FORSAKEN~

Friday, October 23, 2015

When I grow up.

 
These are some of my current art projects...The last one I made with the intention of coloring them someday.





What kind of grown up do you want to be?

That is a question reserved for children isn't it?

Hi friends, I was listening to 'Family Life Radio' on my way to Bible study yesterday when they asked that question...It was meant for those of us who are already grown ups, and the question was actually about what sort of person you wanted to be when you become an older adult. Well, I know a lot of my friends who read this blog are older adults, and since I was on my way to Bible study where most of the ladies are older adults, it made me think about the attributes that I so admire about my older and wiser friends...and the many valuable things that I have learned and am  still learning from them....Things like patience, gentleness, kindness, respect for others, humbleness, and loving the Lord and others.
Daily I pray that God will help me to be like this...
 (1 Peter 3:4):
 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

 God has truly placed many precious older women into my life since I was very young, and now that I am growing older myself I hope that I can be an example to the younger women too. This is scriptural...

 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2: 3-5)

Having raised three daughters, I do have some experience with teaching younger women...But now that I am back in church I realize that when I left I was still considered a young woman and now I have returned as an older woman which means I have a new responsibility within my church family to be a good example to and to teach and encourage the younger wives and mothers.
The question posed by the radio station was two-fold. The second part of that question was: What are you doing now to become the older adult that you feel the Lord wants you to be? I can't honestly and completely answer that yet, I am doing this one thing for now though...I am patiently  waiting to hear what the Lord is trying to say through His Word and through the older friends who He has placed in my life, and I am learning to be a kinder, more loving person who resembles the Savior more as I grow older. At least that is my goal!
*But this doesn't mean that I must be a grown up all the time...Me and my best friend Deb are arranging a play date real soon...We are both pretty artsy fartsy so we're gonna get together and draw and color like a couple of little girls!

So, my dear friends...
How would you answer the questions?


~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...

~NEVER FORSAKEN~

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

De-cluttered living room and more views from my Venture van!

BEFORE
                                                                                   AFTER





I can't believe how dramatic the change is by just removing a couple items!
I am loving this de-cluttering. ♥ 
Here is close up at a better angle
 
 
Now for some pictures I took on the way home from my daughter's house today...
 
 

 

I'm so glad I decided to explore a new road!
This barn sure caught my attention...
Here's some details of the art work:



 
While I was taking pictures of the barn...
Someone was intently
watching me!

 
I almost missed him and nearly drove away.

 
More autumn beauty to behold 
 


Well friends, The appraiser has come and gone. She was a very nice lady who is a fellow dog lover. I took Buddy to my daughter's house before she came though because I didn't want to have to deal with his anxiety at having a stranger walking through the house...My own anxiety was enough to handle! I kept Sasha home though because she has been acting as though her arthritis is bothering her and I didn't want to stress her out. She is much more easy going than Bud is anyway.
 
The lady got a kick out of this rock that I painted for Jeff last July!
(He is infatuated with Big Foot)
 
Well, that's about it for today...I will be back soon, Lord willing...and maybe with a few more pictures as I continue to de-clutter some other areas of the house and explore some more in the Venture van...weather permitting.
 
~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...
 
~NEVER FORSAKEN~

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AdVentures in my Venture van...

I was late for Bible study last week because I kept pulling over to take pictures on my way to the church...


 
These two are normally always side by side whenever I pass by them. This was the first time I seen them apart. If they were standing together it would be obvious that the one in the second picture is actually a tiny pony! I see these two twice a week on my way to church and Bible study.


 

This trail seemed to beckon to me...Sigh, I cannot follow it on foot anymore, so I must be content to view it from my van.
 
On our way home from dinner Friday evening...

 
Love the vibrant splashes of yellow in the sky

 
...And in the trees!
 
Autumn is indeed in full color here in Northern Michigan, and I am trying to soak it all up before it is gone. I have been very busy de-cluttering the house this week in preparation for an appraisal because we are in the process of refinancing our mortgage! At one point I had to call my best friend Deb to pray for me to be able to continue the job as the chilly fall weather has settled into my bones, and the arthritis has been nearly unbearable!
Well, her prayer really helped...Thank the Lord! I was able to press through and get the last room finished...it was the room where everything seems to get dumped into, but it is very neat and tidy now. After clearing out so much clutter from this house (mostly decorative objects) I am determined to keep it clutter free. I have better things to do in my spare time than to constantly clean, maintain, and rearrange stuff...Life is just too short. I am making more room(and time) for the people and activities that I enjoy instead :-D 
 
I pray you are being blessed with time spent doing what you enjoy with the people you love!
 
Whoever loves money never has enough;
    whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
    This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase,
    so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
    except to feast their eyes on them?  Ecclesiastes 5:10-11
 
~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...
 
~NEVER FORSAKEN~
 

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