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From the Rising of The Sun….

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“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the LORD is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

Sunsets have always brought to life wonder in me. As a young girl, I would lie in the grass and look heavenward. I considered the mysteries of the world, as a curious observer of clouds in action. Every gaze distinguished shapes that stood out to me as uniquely created for me. I would reach my hand as if to touch the images so very far away only to come up short but better for dreaming, enjoying, experiencing and hoping.

Tonight, at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida keys, I was swept away by the beauty of my surroundings. Inside of me, my heart, resonated the same heart of that little girl long ago with child-like fascination regarding the grandness of the universe and the great things still yet to be explored. Having lived 50 years, I am still growing in wonder and  love with my God. I am still compelled to wander, explore, pray, trust, wait, meditate on the Word, listen, obey and grow in my understanding of my great creator God as He continues to beautifully set in motion His creation for us to enjoy. This brings blessing, honor, pleasure. glory and adoration. A testimony that He is God and there is no other!

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,  and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.” Psalm 16:1-6

The sun-s0aked day welcomed scattered clouds, created as a day for us to treasure. Hiking, walking along the beach hand-in-hand learning about the native culture. slipping our toes into the cool waters, experiencing the coastal elements and relishing in the tropical blue waters. Fair weather, balmy winds and beauty were today at every turn in the Florida Keys. We daily cherish quiet moments, relaxed dinners and have fallen in love with the slow, island pace and enjoy exploring every beautiful corner.

Sunsets, beaches and the natural habitat at Bahia Honda State Park in Florida are filled with well-preserved history.  The coastal setting surely provides interaction with an area that is is almost untouched by unnecessary improvements. Its pristine parks meets the needs of any traveler that may happen upon this oasis of protection, preservation and historic reference for future generations.

At this moment words fail me as I try to paint a picture of my encounter with my Lord, my God and my Savior this night. My heart is full. My mission for relaxation is often complicated by not slowing the pace long enough to communicate with my heavenly Father. I am always going, doing, being, serving, working. Today, after several nights of true rest,  I sat in the sand, knowing that I would have communion with the lover of my soul. My heart was expectant and I longed for His embrace. The need for clarity, love, encouragement and intimacy would meet a felt spiritual need.. The Lord taught me so much in the quietness of those moments. As the Lord always does, when we come seeking Him, He will find us. Tonight He painted a picture of Himself in the sky, just for me. He IS the Light of the World!! Gleaning much from simply being in His presence I renewed a vigor for principles for living as He guided me to Biblical moments and knowledge that challenged me to my core  The darkness of my sin, much like the striations of clouds, shades the brilliance of His light.  My heart is grieved for the times that I have hidden the true light that speaks to hearts regarding the gift of salvation, a hope, a future and heavenly award. My a re-committed life to be a vessel worthy of His light and the furtherance of God’s perfect love come to earth with the purpose of rescue, restoration, reconciliation and renewed hearts.

   Peace, joy, love, hope, and help today.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it  under basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew5: 14-16

God painted a new view of my faith journey with Him in a simple sunset…..L.I.G.H.T.

Life

God’s light shines no matter the circumstances. When our lives seem to be falling apart, God leads our way through speaking wisdom and giving LIFE through the power of the Holy Spirit. His commitment to us is sure and steadfast. Like clockwork, the sun rises and falls in the same way. He is trustworthy, sure, immovable

“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.” John 1:4 NLT

Quote: “I know that life is given us so that we may grow in love. And I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of the flower, the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.” Helen Keller

Invitation

We have been invited into His family and our faith walk continues with an invitation. Are you waiting for the “silver lining? Have you ever posed this question to God? “When will the sun to start shining again”. God is not done. Darkness has no power over Him!! We must accept His invitation to walk every day that we have breath in the Light of His Love!

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” Ephesian 5:8 NLT

Guide

Light is purposeful and directed with meaning. We depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we journey. Imagine one small light in pitch blackness. Faith steps out to take the next step for the Lord, His light shines exactly where we need it to for protection and direction.

“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29 ESV

Harmony

Light shines in spite of us. Tonight the moon slipped quietly behind the clouds just before descending beyond the horizon. Striations of darkness did not obscure the light but it was not fully seen.  No matter how bright the light of God is in us, the power of the light in my walk and testimony is affected by the darkness that I bring to the relationship. God longs and desires to shine in His fullness in our testimony of faith. When I am walking in harmony with my God He is radiant. When our flesh creeps in, the shadows and darkness affects the outcome of light in our lives. His light shines in darkness still and on darkness.  We are affected in ministry because of frail, sinful selves are seen clearly in light of the Son of God.

Read Proverbs 10 regarding to harmony with God!

“Our faith in Jesus brings us into harmony with God. Accepting Jesus’ vision of life, what it can be and how we should live it, aligns our will with God’s will. As a result of this harmony we work for the same goal that God works for.” Rootings Blog

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings hope. While we are all flawed, our testimony of faith will be known by the fruit of our labor. What are we doing for the kingdom? How is He being blessed? Honored? Adored? Refreshed? And how does in shine in our lives. Each one of us uniquely created by God o stand as a correct interpretation of who God is. And what is our message? Jesus loves you without condition, we are partakers in grace and salvation as it is offered to us through the plan of God and sacrifice of His Son.

 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14

GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD!!

“Sunrise, sunset Sunrise, sunset Swiftly fly the years. One season following another. Laden with happiness and tears.” Fiddler On The Roof

Samaritan’s Feet….Changing lives one pair of shoes at a time!

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Making friends......one pair of shoes at a time!

Samaritan’s Feet volunteers & staff, Gaston County Commissioner, Tracy Philbeck and I washing feet and giving a new pair of shoes at Rhyne Elementary in Gastonia, Making Friends, one pair of shoes at a time!

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern,  you understand, is holiness,  not hygiene.” John 13:10

Spending time at the feet of others was the example Jesus set for us to follow as He bowed in subjection to the disciples for the purpose of washing their feet as an act of honor and service. Nothing can be greater, than knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to the position of servant. As we put ourselves in the position of service, we look up into the eyes of the ones that we have come to serve and say. “You are the most important person at this very moment. I want you to know that you are loved by God and by all of us. We are here today simply because of our heart to love and serve you just as Jesus did.”

Today, I was once again blessed to participate in a shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet. The mission and heartbeat of founder, Manny Ohonme, is 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children in the next 10 years You can read more about Manny’s story of how a simple pair of shoes changed his life and led him to follow what was exampled to him by the love of  one who came to serve him.

http://www.samaritansfeet.org/who-is-sf/mannys-story/

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie since 2005 and have nothing but the utmost love and respect for this man and his family who daily live out what they believe. While we do not often share the same schedule, we are often in contact and communication. Today, however, Monty and I were blessed with a most special opportunity; to give back to children, teacher’s and staff at an elementary school near our hometown of Dallas, NC. We rallied and gathered our friends to help us support the effort of Samaritan’s Feet in our Jerusalem. Gastonia, NC

On this day, 400 plus children, teachers, and staff would receive our undivided attention as we spent time getting to know them, focusing our hearts and attentions towards them, washing their feet and providing a new pair of socks and shoes for each one of them. The event was a surprise for the entire school and spear-headed by their caring principal, Rebecca Huffstetler.

The day started as usual with the younger children filling our stations. So, precious. Timid. Embarrassed and confused by all these people taking off their old shoes, putting their little feet in cold water, washing them and putting new shoes on their feet. Refreshing, but in time the older children would fill the chairs and their disbelief was often verbalized.

My breath-taking and life-joy moment happened near the end of the day when a less than thrilled tough 5th grade boy sat down in front of me. What would become my favorite conversation of the day began with, “So, lady, how much are they paying you to wash my feet, be nice to me and give me this new pair of shoes?” And with attitude and no smile, I might add. He was not rude. Simple putting it all on the table and in all likelihood, wanting to call me out and say, yep, told you so, they don’t care about me.

“Nothing.” I replied. “God loves me (us), we love you and I came here today to tell you how very special you are to Him and to me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” A cynical 10-year-old smile ensued. Our moment together ended within five-eight minutes and toward the end a new-found, whimsical, wry smile appeared. I held his hands, looked him square in the eyes and ended by letting him know that every step that he takes in these new pair of shoes, that I will be thinking of him, praying for him and trusting his life to a God that wants to do great things in and through him. His name will be written in my prayer journal and I will believe God for His very best until heaven.”

I continued as the Holy Spirit kicked my heart into gear and shared the gospel message of hope, a future, and of surrendering his heart to receive the free gift of life now and eternal through Jesus Christ. The promise of forgiveness, new life and God’s perfect plan for his life. You see, we get moments like these on occasion and I felt the urgency to seize the moment while it was sill today! I continued. “God’s plan for you is perfect. Your story is still being written. When you want to give up or you struggle, think of the silly lady who said, you can do it through complete surrender of your heart to the Lord and the power of God which is greater than your mind can conceive.” God wants you to know that you matter and that He has a plan for your life!! An, sweet friend, I pray for you, I will claim each step for the rest of your days for  God to do “exceedingly, abundantly in your life above all that you can ask or think.” HE IS ABLE!!!

He sheepishly, smiled. I said there is just one more thing. “Can I get a hug?” I have yet in my life until today, felt a more genuine embrace than from his big ole size 10 men’s shoe bear hug that I received from Gods most precious possession.
You see, God spoke directly to his heart today. The Holy Spirit penetrated the deepest part of this young mans soul and there is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe will make good on a prayer prayed forward for a life in the balance between the god of this world and our heavenly Father’s will for his life.

So, when you wonder if God still uses the smallest of opportunities for His good and His glory, remember the hardened heart of my friend today. And when you pray, you need not know his name but that his heavenly Father is well acquainted with the matters of his precious heart and life. Next time you think, I should do something to help….just do it. Don’t wait. The true blessing will be yours. And when you wonder, does God really still open hearts in the least imaginable ways….like through a pair of shoes, a smile, a hug, a word of affirmation, a touch or a smile? May you see my face smiling back at you and saying….Oh yes He does!! Remember, Jesus said it best….”My concern is holiness…” May we walk simply on this path of righteous living….and trust God for life-changing results! For His glory! Amen and Amen!

Caring for God’s beloved!

Simple Life Heartenings Pin Of The Day

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Mason Jar Love! 50 Fabulous Ideas To Inspire

Simple Life Heartenings Pin Of The Day

Take time to slow life’s pace. Prepare in every moment to create an atmosphere for memory making. Every party is a beautiful chance to celebrate life and living.