Saturday, January 29, 2011
We love to take pictures, and Isolino had seen in the paper, that there were flowers around the Kautz winery in Murphys, CA. So, we took a drive up to Murphys to check things out.
We did not see a lot of flowers, but there were some there at the winery, plus two Canadian Geese and a duck, at a pond they had there. We saw some camellias which were gorgeous, and some cute yellow finches. The main thing is, that we got to spend time together, get a good walk in and take photos, which we love to do.
We went to the park in Murphys, and then walked downtown. We saw Kim and Dave Hamilton, and many others, who we stopped and talked with. At the park, we went across the street to visit the Veterans Memorial that they had put up. As we were there, we saw a complete rainbow around the sun. Such a wondrous sight to see. Isolino got an amazing photo out of it, and I was in awe of God's blessings and love towards us, that He would show us a beautiful sight such as that. As always, I tried to share this wondrous sight with others, but this time, the lady just looked at me funny, and walked on, not even interested in seeing this neat sight. I felt so sad for her. Not to enjoy the beauty that was put there for us to see and enjoy and be encouraged by.
Most people are fascinated to see the wonders of a new sight, that they never before witnessed. I remember sharing a sun rainbow with a friend of mine (sundog) and she had never seen one before in her life, and she was in her fifties. How amazing is God's wonders around us. Isolino has helped me to see and find bugs now, that I never found before, just by getting me to look closer at the leaves and things that they are climbing on. My favorites to find now, are the little ladybugs. Finding ladybugs has become a real treat and like a treasure hunt. I look more closely at the leaves than ever before, because of what I might miss, if I don't.
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I also believe it is in the eyes of those who will take the time to look and see what is out there. I always loved taking long car rides, because I would either go into daydream mode, or I would just enjoy the scenery I would see as we traveled. Seeing deer, antelope, bears, rabbits, buffalo, cows, horses, mountains, streams, sheep, goats, and whatever else was out there, was a real treat and still is. How wonderful for my children to also carry on this tradition. We saw two male deer fighting this year for the first time. What a wonder it was to see that, considering it was so close to the highway, and you had to see it at just the right moment to even see it. Not only did I see it, but my kids and Isolino did too. How wonderful for my oldest daughter to go to Africa, and go on a wildlife safari, and see "twigas" (giraffes), lions, hippopotamus', monkeys, zebras, and so much more. She got this opportunity, by doing what God called her to do, go on a missions trip.
I encourage you, to enjoy the beautiful days that God sends your way. Each day has a blessing in it, just for you. This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lets be glad for the good things that come our way. Lets find that beauty that God has brought our way. Today, was one of those days for me. The beauty around me, the beauty of spending time with my husband, the beauty of seeing friends, the beauty of sunshine and rainbows, the beauty of flowers and nature. But most of all, having joy, because of God's Presence in our lives, so that we could appreciate what came our way. I pray you will be blessed with beautiful days, and precious memories. May your hearts be filled with abundance.
Lord, How they are increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are saying of me, There is no help for him/her in God. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His holy hill. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that].
I lay down and slept; I wakened again, for the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.
Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheek: You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the Lord; May Your blessings be upon Your people. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Hallelujah! The battle is the Lords. I pray for victory! I pray for vindication! I pray for God to bring forth His Power in your midst, to deliver you from the jaws and snares of the enemy. This is for all my dear friends who are going through battles that only God can win. I love you dear ones. God bless you with HIS blessings.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
What makes you get joyful and happy? What brings that heartfelt burst of joy to your spirit? Mine has always been music. Now, my family doesn't like me to sing, so I am not saying that its music because I have any talent in that area. But the Word of God says "Make a joyful noise to the Lord." So, I think that it is my heart that He hears when I sing. He hears my praise lifted up, not because I sound beautiful, but lifted up because my heart is full of a desire to worship Him. That is not to say that if you have a beautiful voice, it is not worship, too. I am just saying that those of us, who don't have beautiful voices,, need to be able to praise Jesus, too. I appreciate good voices, but I also appreciate those who can't sing worth a dime, but who I can feel their hearts in their voices, and it is beautiful to me. That worship is a tone in another spiritual level, that I think most of us don't hear. Human nature wants beauty in all ways, so if the tone doesn't sound good, people don't want to hear you. But, in the spiritual realm, it is not the beauty of the timbre and tone that matters, it is the heart message that comes forth to heaven. In the Bible it says, "God listens to the heart." That is what He judges the beauty of the song on. What was in the heart.
I believe that is why Darlene Zschech became so famous with Hillsongs music. She worships with all her heart. You not only see it, when she is singing, but you feel it with your spirit. She is giving it all to God. So, it is with what is in us. Our lives are not just about the outward appearance, how we braid our hair, or what we wear, or what nice jewelry we have on, or how well our make-up is done. It is about what is coming out of our hearts. Jesus told the disciples once, that it was "not what they ate that would defile them, but what came out of the heart, because that is what the mouth would speak." In other words, what is inside of you, is going to come out and if it is not godly, that is what will show your "soulish realm". You'll get caught "heart handed" so to speak.
So, we know our lives are not our own, when we come to Christ, and if He lives in us, we should be "little Christs". You see, that is what "Christian" means, "Little Christs". That is humbling. I am to be an example of Christ. I am to live Christ. I am to breath Christ. I am to speak Christ. A daunting idea in our hurting world. Am I perfect? No way. I wish I were, but then I am sure most of you wish that too. How can I live the life of Christ, when I am so imperfect? How can that encourage us today?
Remember one of my recent blogs talked about how our righteousness is far short of God's level? Remember the only thing that makes us clean is the blood of Jesus. Well, the only thing that can make us shine and live for Christ, is the Holy Spirit. We learn to let Him lead us and guide us and we stay in step with Him, and He will bring to our minds, what Christ would do. Really! The Bible tells us this is so. That is encouraging, right?
So, I encourage each of you, to do a little listening. Stop your busyness for just a few minutes, maybe 5 or 10, and just ask God to send the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to what He wants you to do. Ask Him to speak to you in a way that you will understand. Here, I have a wonderful verse that you can pray. It blesses me, each time I read it. Now bear with me, because it is a long passage of Scripture, but I believe as you read it, you will be blessed too, and that it will increase your faith. "[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory; that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation[of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him.
By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set apart ones],
And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places].
Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church].
Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself." Ephesians 1:17 - 23
As you read that, emphasize different things in the passage, to get a different feel each time you read it. Let it minister to your spirit and soul. Speak it out loud. It needs to be spoken aloud to have a greater impact. Shout it, if you want to. Let that light that this verse speaks of, shine through you. Let God pour forth from you, as it says He completes you. You are whole in Him. Your failures don't matter in Him, because He takes them and makes them opportunities for greatness. Let His Light shine. Let your little light shine, as you allow Him to make it a bigger light than you ever thought was possible. I used to notice, that as I was doing something God laid on my heart to do, or spoke what He led me to speak, that whatever necklace I was wearing would get really hot. I actually noticed this, because a friend of mine touched my necklace as I was ministering to her, and she exclaimed out loud, "Your necklace is so hot". It was very warm to the touch. I believe God allowed it to happen for a time, so that I could be encouraged that He was indeed using me, for His purposes. It was a sign for me at that time, of His Presence. Did I look for a sign? No, but God gave me one, because He knew how hurt and broken I was, and He knew I needed something from Him to hold onto, in the midst of the battle I was in. He will do the same for you. It might not be heat, like that, but it may be a verse that will crop up in your head, or a song that will play at just the right time you need it, or something, that He will give you, to hold onto Him more completely with. God bless each of you, as you SHINE!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I lost another dear friend this week, in my accountant Robert Miller. He and his wife have been helping us with the shop accounting ever since we have had the business. His wife Joan, helped him so much in his business, and kept him on track. My heart was heavy, as I know Bob just kept going forward, even when he should have stopped. He really worked until the day he died. He loved doing what he did, so very much. He personally called me, two weeks ago, and told me he wanted to do our books, one last time. I told him he didn't have to do that, but he said, "Yes, I want to do that for you." His dear wife, called me Tuesday, and said, "she just wanted me to know they were doing all they could, to get the books done for me, and they wanted to do that for us." How do you repay a kindness such as that? How precious is their friendship, that in the midst of their pain, they cared so much for us? I am humbled by such devotion to duty. Such kindness in broken hearts.
I met June and Jake after going to some meetings, and they shared about their ministry to the people at the local rest home (it is no longer there). I went a few times, to be there, as I have a heart for this type of ministry, too. At the time, both Roy and Jolynn were pretty young, so they had to come along with me. The people there loved seeing young children, and they would always want to talk with us afterwards. June and Jake poured out so much love upon these precious people. They were patient, and kind. They helped me so much and they, too, enjoyed having the kids there to be a part of these services. I always felt bad, when I could no longer keep going, but we had moved and it was harder to co ordinate the time factor. I always prayed for their ministry, because it is so very important. They continued going to the rest home in San Andreas, when the local one shut down, due to the highway bypass going up.
But do you know how June remembered me today? By our business. She was so touched by how we had taken care of them the two times we worked on their vehicles, and when she saw me, her face lit up, and she said, "I know you, you're from Gold Rush, and you took care of our vehicles for us those two times we needed them fixed. You know when the last time when the car was so crushed. Thank you so much for coming today." I about cried. I had thought she'd remember the times I had been with them with the rest home ministry, but instead, she remembered us from our business. I took that in such a positive light. You see, a friend shared a passage of Scripture with me today, from her Bible reading, that I had thought of a while back. It is in Colossians 3:23 & 24 "Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men. Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah)." What a privilege to know that in doing our work, we had shown Christ shining through. Thank you, June, for that precious compliment.
So, I remember these two men, men who shared the same last name, but as far as I know, were no relation to each other. Men, who did their best to be upstanding and righteous in how they did their work. Men, who left a legacy behind them, of integrity and love. I find it interesting that the heritage of their names, means that at some point in time, someone in their family was a miller. That is someone who ground up the grains people needed to live on. They gave them their "daily bread" so to speak.
I want to live my life in such a way, that the "daily bread" that I give to others will be Life giving bread. Just like my friend shared with me, the Life giving Bread of God's Word today. I want others to be lifted up and encouraged to find hope and healing, life and abundance through the words that I speak. I want those words to be Life giving from God's throne of grace. I pray that each of you, want to live your lives the same way. Giving something good to others, so that in some way, each of us will have a part in touching a hurting world with the Life of Christ. Our lives don't end at death, it is just the beginning of eternity. Where we end up is our choice. How we live our lives now, does count for something. What you choose to do, does matter. You touch someone's life every single day. Your choices affect others, either for good or for ill. Two little girls made the difference in the life of the woman, who Roe vs Wade was about. They brought the light of Christ to her hurting heart. It changed her. They didn't know who she was. They just wanted to love her, like Christ loved them. "Love covers a multitude of sin." God's love covered the multitude of sin we on this earth had brought forth. Let us cover each other with the love of Christ. I love you all. Thank you for sharing these memories with me. God bless you all.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Yet have I anointed (installed and placed) My King [firmly] on My holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, You are My Son; this day [I declare] I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron: You shall dash them in pieces like potters ware.
Now, therefore, O you kings, act wisely; be instructed and warned, O you rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling [lest you displease Him].
Kiss the Son [pay homage to Him in purity], lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for soon shall His wrath be kindled. O blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are all those who seek refuge and put their trust in Him!
May you be blessed tonight and tomorrow and the rest of this week. God loves you. Trusting Him, not just because we'll be blessed, but trusting Him, because He is everything, knows everything, holds everything together with His mighty arm of righteousness.
As you soak in the beauty of His Face, may you be treated to a special touch from His Presence. May you feel the Son kiss you, and hold you close, as you share your hopes, your fears, your worries, and your pain, with Him. Be comforted by His Love.
Monday, January 24, 2011
I was convicted this week, of not really letting him know how important he is to me and to our family. No, it isn't an anniversary or a birthday. It is close to Valentines Day, but no, it is not because of that, either. It is just that sometimes, when life is stressful and busy, we tend to forget to tell those who we love and who are important to us, how much we love and need them.
So, tonight, I am letting Isolino know, through this blog, just how special he is to all of us. You see, on Saturday, Isolino became a certified ICar welder. Now, that might not seem like a big deal, but it was a very big deal for us, because even though he has been working in the body shop business for more than thirty years, and knows the business very well, it is becoming more and more of an insurance driven business, and they are getting tougher on certifications and how shops are run. So, for us, this was a critical issue and important to qualify for. Also, at this time, very expensive. Of course, you have to do, what you have to do. So, Isolino was able to get into a class, and get the certification. He did a great job, and I, for one, am so proud of him.
That is what Isolino is like. He is a take charge kind of guy. He sees where we need something, or how something can be better, and he goes and takes care of it. He is our computer guy, our Mr. fix-it guy, our bread winner, and the one who plans our fun trips and adventures. He always tries to make sure each of the kids has a good birthday. Our tradition is the one he started, so long ago. We take the birthday person out to dinner wherever they want to go. It is a nice way, to let someone know they rate high in your heart. He does all this, as if it comes so easily for him, but you know, he has to work at it, just like anyone else, but his gift is, he just does it.
I am more blessed than I can tell you, with a husband who cares about my needs. He always surprises me with something that I will really like. He thinks of what will help me out in my creative places. He is very technologically tuned in, so we know who to ask about gadgets that are out in the market, and he puts up with my "non-techno" self. He just shakes his head, and shows me again, what I couldn't seem to remember, from the last time he showed me something on the computer or with my camera.
Isolino takes the most amazing photos. You would think that his talent alone would have gotten me into photography, but the truth is, I didn't think I could ever take as good of a picture as he does, so why did I bother to? After he showed me Flickr and the wonderful things "I" could do on it, that is when his love of photography gelled for me, and I knew I could at least join him on the trips he took to get those fabulous photos. I am more eclectic than Isolino in my photography, so we always have a variety of photo's to choose from. He has even blessed me, with using some of my photos in his videos and Flickr pages. That blesses me, to know I made him proud of my pictures. He has taken his photos to a whole new level, with his video clips, and if you haven't received one, just ask for one, and we'll send one out to you. He puts those photos to music, and it is so soothing and peaceful to your soul. Of course, I mentioned his web sight," Inspirational Bible Verses.com", in which he has been putting some of his photos to Scripture, for free usage to others.
Isolino has been a hard worker all his life. He did so many different things, and I found out just recently, that his dream was to be in the Forestry Service. I never knew that. See, you can learn new things every day, from someone you thought you knew so well. Always an adventure, if you allow it to be. He has always loved nature, and being in nature, brings him closer to God. I feel that way too. I see so much of God's handiwork out there, to be savored and enjoyed in the deepest parts of our spirit and soul.
The best thing I love about Isolino, besides his strength of character, love of God and family, and his faithful heart, is that he can make me laugh and smile, and that is so important to a relationship. If you can't laugh in the stressful times, then you really have a problem. You see, God brings freedom and release through our laughter and through our willingness to find joy in the midst of trouble. My husband can brighten up my day with his jokes, his smile, his humor, and just being him. He speaks a word of truth, and bam! That lie just flies away on the tail ends of our laughter. God's Word says, "Darkness may last for a night, but joy, comes in the morning." We need to remember that JOY is coming, when darkness surrounds us. We need to find those funny things that happen in our midst.
I am so blessed, that God brought Isolino and I together. We have learned so much and been through so much. Our children have been blessings in our lives, even with their unique individualities. Each has gotten a double dose of stubbornness from both Isolino and I.Isolino is stubborn in a very good way. He has stood for our family, stood for his job, stood for his church, stood for his kids, stood for me, his wife.
God said that marriage is a good thing. He wants us to live and learn in love. To learn to forgive, to compromise in a good way, to appreciate the differences and celebrate the ways we are the same. To find common ground. To be willing to let go of our own needs and meet the needs someone else has. I truly believe marriage is a way we can learn to know God better. It is in giving of ourselves freely, to someone else, that we learn how much God loves us individually. He wants that intimacy with us, that we share with our spouses. To be vulnerable to someone else. To be willing to open up our wounds and share our pain. Soon, as we learn to do these things, we begin to think alike. Isolino and I did, and there are times when we are talking, and we both say the same thing, at the same time. I never thought I'd have that, but God brought it about, as we both surrendered our hearts to Him, and learned to love and forgive, to appreciate and applaud.
So, tonight, maybe you have someone who needs to hear from you, how much you appreciate them, how proud you are of them, or how much you love them. Don't waste the time you have. Let them know what they mean in your life. Let them hear how your life is richer and better, because they are in them. I know, I am so much better today, because I have Isolino in my life. I am better today, because of my children being in my life. I am better today, because of my family being in my life. I am better today, because of my good friends in my life. I am better today, because of my church family being part of my life. I am better today, because Christ came down to earth, to die on a cross, so I might be free, to accept Him in my life, and grow into a more whole and balanced individual, than I ever would have been, without His great, deep love, flowing over me, as I repented of my sins, and asked Him to be Lord of my life. He gave Isolino and I to each other. We both have been blessed, because He Lives. God bless each of you, too. I love you, Isolino. I love you kids. I love you friends and family.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Sometimes, we need a little help from our friends. Sometimes, we need to ask for help from our friends. It is much easier to receive help from someone, when they offer to help, before you ever need to ask them. Most of the time, though, we need to swallow our pride, and ask for that help we need.
In most of our moves from one house to another, we have had the help of friends. I tell you, without that help, it would have been so much harder. In the house we are now living in, our children have had to help us move furniture a few times, and I tell you, I am thankful they were here, because some of our furniture is very heavy.
But, I am not just talking of getting help when you move, I am also talking of getting help when things are tough. In this economy, there are so many hurting people out there. Even people who have steady jobs, are finding it hard to make ends meet. Rising interest rates, financially poor choices being made, just to get by, and a materialistic society gone out of control. All of these things, and more, have made the average person, looking over their shoulder in fear of what might be coming their way. These are the times, that swallowing pride is important, and asking your friends to pray or help out in some way, may make the difference between making it, and at least having someone in your corner, cheering you on to the goal.
I am so thankful to those friends who offered us help in the many different places, that we needed help in, whether it was financial, physical, or emotional support. Having to admit we needed that help, was never easy, but we always saw God help us through. I heard of a church, that helps their people get out of debt. They have a program, where they will pay off all the bills, but then the people they help, must be willing to go through a class to help them make wise financial choices for the future, and also help out others in the future. I think that is a wonderful thing to do. The world will tack on so many "burdens" to their help. In Israel, there was a time when the person owing the debt was released, from their bondage. I think this church is the closest thing we have in modern times, to answer this age old dilemma
God says in His Word, "That He is an ever Present help in times of need." Do we rely on Him? Do we really believe that? I know for me, having to trust Him day to day for physical strength is a must. I do what I can, but without the prayers of support in this area, and God's help, I would not be able to do what I do each day. He has healed me of so many things, and I say, "I am a walking miracle". I believe that. Just recently, I had a kidney stone. Now, the last time I had one, I ended up in the hospital, and I had to have a special surgery to break the stone up. This time felt just as bad, and without insurance, I was so concerned of what would happen to me. I went to the dr., and he was very good. He did the necessary tests and scheduled me to see a urologist, but first I had to have an MRI. Well, I was worried about what that would cost, and sure enough, it was going to be a pretty penny to do this. I had to walk out of there, crying, because I could not afford it. I knew this was a time to trust God. The dr. was going to see if he could get a cheaper deal somewhere else, but I was praying that we wouldn't even have to do that. I was praying, my friends were praying, and some even helped us financially, to take care of the extra medical bills, due to dr. visits and medicine. I had to have the pain pills, because the pain was tremendous. Finally, I was given some great advice on an herbal remedy, and it worked. I didn't have the pain anymore, and even though I couldn't tell if I passed the stones or not, the pain was gone, so that usually means the kidney stone passed. God did this. He healed me. I know it was a combination of " all things working together, for my good, because I am called by God, according to His will." I thank everyone who was a part of praying, advising, and just being an emotional support for me during this time.
He is able to do that and more, for our finances, for our physical needs, for our mental and emotional health. I don't know where you are today in the needs in your life, but God is still a miracle working God. He touches us with His Presence in very real ways. Let Him minister to you. Let Him send people your way to help you. Be willing to be humble enough to accept whatever help He sends your way. It may not look the way you wanted it to, but" His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts." You can trust Him to know exactly what is best for you. Believe for miracles. Believe for God to be real in your life. I remember a story I read about a church, who began to believe God for healings
Don't give up hope, if you have prayed for something a long time. Keep at it. God does hear, and He does answer. Maybe look to see whether you are praying in God's will or not. Begin to test the waters of hearing God's Voice in your life. Find out how He talks to you. In pictures, in nature, in a still small voice, in the words of friends, in the Bible passages that you read, in the pastor's sermon, in songs? However He talks to you, begin to listen more intently, and see what great things He has in store for you. God bless you my friends. He is our greatest friend, isn't He?