an alphabet of thanks “W”

google images

google images

(Somehow my alphabet wasn’t turning out on schedule so I’m having to post twice today so I end on the 26th as does the alphabet.  What can I say? It’s the holiday season. )

I’m so grateful for ” Wonder”. particularly the wonder of this Christmas season fast approaching. What is it about Christmas that makes cookies taste sweeter, the sun shine brighter, colors more vibrant, coffee better-tasting, experiences lived deeper, people appreciated more?

But why shouldn’t it be that way? Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Wonder. The wonder of a prophecy come true.

But the biggest wonder for me is the wonder that the God I’ve come to know   continues to love me. The wonder that my experience is not unique,; God wants to love everyone who calls him Father. The wonder that no matter what happens in this world, no matter how evil seems to triumph, God remains in charge in the long run. ( I italicized that because one only has to look around them to feel that God that is not in charge. But that’s another conversation.)

Believe me I know that many don’t share my views because Christmas is a nightmare for you. You’re trying to dig out from financial issues, relationship issues, illness…………..There is no wonder in this season for you, except the wondering  why everything is a mess.  I understand that.  Not everything has always been right in my world either, but that doesn’t nullify the fact that the wonder of the season still amazes me.

Starting December first, I will look to see God show up in wondorous ways. It is my prayer that you, too, will be able to see the wonder of this season.

an alphabet of thanks “N”

Steinlausweibchen, frei nach Loriot.
Steinlausweibchen, frei nach Loriot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I’m thankful  for my naiveté. My family is always kidding my about how naïve I am about some things. For example, if a family member tells me something outlandish, (like there’s such a thing as a Michigan peacock) I’m very apt to believe them because of course, they wouldn’t lie. I easily fall for practical jokes therefore  people love to pick on me.

The first definition for naïve in the dictionary is “inexperienced”.That’s not me. I’ve experienced enough of life to know its reality.  Another definition is “youthful”. Young people are generally considered naïve. Young people generally trust and believe in people. Young people believe in possibilities. I’ll take this definition.

I trust and believe in people to my detriment at times. I often walk into situations where I can’t win no matter what because I always believe people can change. I’m naïve enough to believe most people like me. I’m always surprised when people don’t play fair. I guess I really am naïve.

But that’s o.k. I rather be the one picked on than the one that does the picking . I’d rather be easy to play a joke on than so sophisticated no one would dare. I rather be naïve and see the wonder of life, than so jaded I can only see the ugly.

I’ll admit it. I’m naïve. I’m naïve enough to believe that God still performs miracles. I’m naïve enough to believe that my prayers really matter. I’m naïve enough to believe that God is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, that I am who God says I am, and that I can handle anything God allows in my life. Call me naïve want. I call myself smart.

an alphabet of thanks “G”

google images

google images

Today is again easy.   “G”   “G” is for grace, indescribable, undeserved, and unending. 

When I think of all the ways God has “graced” me, I am humbled. And not just me. I read Scripture and see God’s grace to the Israelites time and time again. I see God’s grace extended to others everyday.  But the one thing about grace that needs to be said is this:

While God’s grace may be free, it isn’t cheap. It was paid with a price. A big one.

When God extends His grace, we need to  remember the price that was paid for it and to make sure we  don’t just accept the gift casually.

I don’t understand God’s  grace.  I’m just  grateful for it.

Psalm 18

property of depressions gift
property of depressions gift

There’s a wonderful Psalm (Psalm 18)  that paints a very vivid picture of how God expresses his anger on our behalf when we are under attack.  I’m going to include some verses here but it’s a long Psalm, fifty verses.  I urge you to look it up and read the entire chapter for yourself.  I read it often when I need to be reminded that God hates what I’m going through even more than I do.

Beginning with verse 6:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help;

He heard my voice out of His temple and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.

Then the earth shook and quacked, and the foundations of the mountains were trembling

And were shaken, because He was angry.

Smoke went up out of His nostrils, and fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.

He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet.

He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his hiding place, His canopy around Him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, hailstones and coals of fire. 

The Lord also thundered to heavens, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire.

He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, and lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.”

I just love this. I love this whole Psalm. How unfathomable that the God of the universe comes to our aid with such fierceness. It’s a side of God we seldom think about, probably because we don’t want to. But I like this side of God. It reminds me that while he’s a loving Father, he’s also my protector and avenger.

Then verses 30b through 33:

“He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the LORD? The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds feet and sets me upon my high places.”

Isn’t that wonderful?

God bless.

Lord, keep me humble

North transept rose window, c.1235

North transept rose window, c.1235 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was reading today in II  Chronicles : 16.  The verses before this  tell King Uzziah’s story.  How in the beginning of his reign he did right in God’s eyes. The next verses tell how he built his kingdom and his armies. Much of his war arsenal was designed and developed by other people whose invention helped make his kingdom strong. But then there’s this:

  • “But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. ” (Only the priests were allowed to do this as commanded by God many years earlier.)

I don’t ever want to follow Uzziah’s footsteps.  I don’t think we have to be wealthy or have lots of power to become proud and ungrateful though. Anyone can fall from their pedestal no matter how short that pedestal.

As you know from I am prone to depression.  When I read this today, I couldn’t help but think, maybe that’s one of depression’s gifts. It’s kind of hard to be proud when you’re feeling down. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t fall victim to pride but it certainly appears to be a fence that protects me.

I am glad for that because I can imagine nothing worse than being unfaithful to God.

God bless and have a good day.

Did I vote my convictions or not? You decide.

(Please read my post here  to better understand this follow-up.  I promised myself when I started blogging that I would never be anything but real. That I would be willing to admit when I didn’t follow through on something. You decide for yourself what you think of how I handled this situation in light of what I said in the earlier post.)

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First of all, I was right. The candidate was voted in before the vote was even taken. It was unanimous except for the two abstentions. (Do you need to ask?) You had to be there to know what I mean.  The chairperson was directing the vote with every word he spoke. I’ve never been in a meeting where the process of deciding on a pastor was accomplished with almost no discussion. Was there a moment when we could’ve spoken up? Honestly, I’m not sure there was and considering how the evening was going, I’m not sure it would have served any purpose. Their minds were made up. My little voice would have made no difference except to plant a seed of doubt. I prefer to be like Joshua and Caleb rather than the ten “nay”sayers.

When the time came to vote, Continue reading

Being willing to vote our convictions

(I am copying this post from ????. That way those of you can read the original post and the follow-up in one post. who didn’t read it can read it with the follow-up immediately. You can decide for  yourself whether or not you think I followed my convictions. I will never present myself as anything but real. When I mess up, I will ‘fess up. I don’t think I did but you can decide for yourself. Here’s the first post.)

Willing to vote my convictions

Our church has been without a pastor for eighteen months. We had a candidate come this past Sunday. My husband and I were excited. We’re ready to start this new phase in our church. We listened attentively and with anticipation. After all, the search committee had been working hard, right? They decided on this man as the first choice to lead our church. We should just go along, right?


As I said, we really wanted to like this candidate. We wanted to give him a resounding “thumbs up”. It was a good sermon. He did a good job. He was personable. But we’re voting “nay”. We just don’t feel he’s the best choice. We wanted someone more challenging. We don’t need it but we wanted it. We could go ahead and vote “yes” so we could be with the majority, but isn’t that what gets people, nations, and churches in trouble? Continue reading

a tough twenty-four

Stress/discouragement/My title/Google Images

(When I published this I was feeling pretty down as you will read. Because of that I didn’t add any tags or categories, so few people ever saw this which is why I’m re-posting. It’s been two weeks since I wrote this and I’m doing ever so much better.)

When I began blogging, especially on “”, I promised to be honest, to let you in on some situations as they were happening. This is one such occasion.

These past twenty-four hours have been a roller coaster ride-although mostly down with only an occasional up.There has been a couple of ongoing situations that have been very stressful. Mostly because they involve people I love deeply. I even took a nap I was so overwhelmed. That is extremely uncommon for me.

During my devotions this morning, I pleaded with God (whined might be a better word) about why he hadn’t answered certain of my prayers yet. I reminded him of Ephesians 3:20 that says that “God is able to do more than we can ever even think of according to the power that works in us”. So I prayed, “OK, Lord if I can’t even think of it, how can I ask for it? So I asked the Holy Spirit to intercede for me and bring these “things I can’t even imagine” to God on my behalf. I feel like the day has been spent on my knees even if it were only in my head.I am exhausted.

It’s getting late and I feel so blessed to report that one of those prayers has been answered. It’s the one that was “time-sensitive”. Now if you think I’m making the point that it was all my hard praying that made the difference, I’m not. Actually, the older I get the less I’m sure of why certain prayers get answered and others don’t. That doesn’t bother me at all to admit that. It means I’m finally learning to trust more, with or without answers.

I’m learning to keep praying no matter what. Or maybe I’m learning patience. At this point, I couldn’t tell you. I’m just glad I’m getting ready to go to bed. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

what comes around goes around

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God can really upset the apple cart, can’t he? As you know I am a Christian. I believe God directs me when I ask but that he also directs me even when I don’t ask. Today was such a day. I was supposed to take my mom to a movie. She hasn’t been out of the house much for months. As it turned out the movie was no longer playing. It was a beautiful day and with this change of plans, I was looking forward to working in my gardens. I shouldn’t say work, because it’s never work to me. But then my mother decided she wanted to go shopping. Still, I thought this won’t take long. She’s usually eager to come home after only a couple of hours. Not today. We were gone most of the afternoon.

She usually buys nothing. Today, she bought three new pairs of pants, three new tops and a pair of shoes. I was so glad she did. It was good to see her show an interest in life and be good to herself. But for the first hour or so, all I could think of was how much I wanted to be playing in my yard. I am ashamed to admit that. Ashamed to admit I begrudged her even a moment of my time. Why I’m letting all of you know this, I’ll never know. Except that maybe you’re feeling embarrassed about something you’ve done as well.

We shouldn’t though, should we? I mean I did the right thing. I just didn’t want to do the right thing, But the Bible says motives are important. I need to have some much needed quiet time with God as my feelings are all over the place. I’m glad I did what was right but I’m not happy my feelings took a while to catch up. I’m also glad God looks at me in love and lets me start all over. Now I need to extend that forgiveness to someone in my life.

Maybe that’s what today is all about. I need to remember I’m human. I don’t always get it right. I don’t have to be harder on myself than God is and he’s already forgiven me. There’s someone in my life I’m having hard angry feelings towards now. She’s human, too. Maybe if I let myself off the hook, I can let her off the hook as well.

I love the saying “What goes around, comes around.” It’s not always true but in the case of forgiveness, it is.