Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Let Your Light Shine Before Others

There is just so much about which I want to write. Do you ever get so many thoughts in your mind there is mass congestion and the ideas are all clogged up, stacked on top of each other? I guess, let me begin with
4 Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4. ESV.)

Born and raised a Florida girl, I set out as a young adult to make a life for myself elsewhere. I ventured to Oklahoma for a year and a half then returned to Florida. Next, while working overseas for nine months, I met an American man, ten years my senior, and followed him to California. We lived in Long Beach for a year, traveled abroad with work for a year, returned to Fairfield, CA for a year, moved to Rio Vista for eleven years, and then Vacaville, CA for two and a half years. All the while pursuing relationships with his children from his first marriage.

Unfortunately, California fell grossly short of the life I was seeking and needed. Hubs had been unhappy at his job for many years. He spoke of being anxious for his older children to graduate high school so we could move to a different state. We discussed Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, and Washington. Although I have some amazing friends in California, the negativity there far outweighed the positive and I prayed earnestly for God to provide the way for us to move to the state of our choice, Texas.

Selfishly, and perhaps pridefully, I feel I deserve this move to Texas. I am almost fearful to admit those words out loud but God knows my heart. I cannot keep anything hidden from Him. Nothing is a secret to Him. I begged and pleaded with Him, through cries so incomprehensible the Holy Spirit had to intercede on my behalf, for this move and I am so insanely, my words cannot express, thankful He has given me the desire of my heart. I am His and He has delivered me. I was in way over my head in California and now I have peace. Tears of heartache have turned into those of joy! Thank you, Lord!

Switching gears, now. I saw a quote by Billy Graham, this past week, which said,
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.
Yes, I know as a believer I am called to go to my brother or sister in Christ when he or she has sinned against me (Matthew 18:15-20) and I am to go out and tell others about Christ Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20), and we in the family of Christ are like iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17). I also know I am instructed to choose my partners in crime carefully (1 Corinthians 15:33), not marry outside the church (2 Corinthians 6:14), and not hang out with those who are “hot tempered” and struggle with anger (Proverbs 22:24-25). Admittedly, I have disobeyed God on some of those and am reaping the consequences. But I also know, I cannot change a person’s heart. No matter how much I beseech, implore, or urge I cannot reveal God and his glory to anyone. I cannot remove the veil and give them eyes to see and ears to hear. I can, however, tell them about Him. I can live my life according to His word. I can endeavor to be a light in darkness (Matthew 5:14-16) but I cannot and am not anyone’s Holy Spirit. Further, trying to be such will only cause strife, heartache, and resentment. I must love and give grace but also stand firm in the word of God. I, personally, cannot be moved.

A storm is rolling in so I had better wrap this up. In conclusion I would like to close with a piece of scripture the pastor touched on this past Sunday.
4For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” (John 7:4. ESV.)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Then Shall the Trees of the Forest Sing for Joy Before the LORD, for He Comes to Judge the Earth: 50 Things I Am Going to Miss About California (#50 - #1)

We have been in Texas for a week and a half, now, and there is so much about which I have been meaning to write. We packed up all of our stuff, loaded it into a moving truck, and drove it out here ourselves. The pets, kiddos, and I were in one vehicle while hubs and his friend were in the moving truck. I took one route to get here while they took another. I made the drive in three days, they pushed through it in two. But, that is not about which I wish to write.

As I was killing time, waiting as patiently as possible for the move, I started this list. I did not finish it, though. I do, however, want to leave you with a completed lineup. In celebration of our move from California to Texas, I am listing 50 things I am going to miss about that state. They are as follows:
50. Earthquakes
49. Traffic

48. The freeways
47. The crazy expensive cost of living

46. The Oakland A’s
45. The Sacramento River Cats
44. The Stockton Ports

43. Disney’s California Adventure Park
42. Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Diablo

41. San Diego, CA
40. Los Angeles, CA
39. Long Beach, CA

38. The Redwood Trees
37. The Beautiful Drive Along Highway 1
36. Big Sur/ Carmel

35. Boating on the Sacramento River, Lake Berryessa, and Folsom Lake
34. Wine Country

33. Big Bear Mountain
32. Hearst Castle

31. Hollywood Blvd.
30. Rodeo Drive
29. Knott’s Berry/ Scary Farm
28. Second Street, Long Beach
27. The Boardwalk in Long Beach

26. Disneyland
25. Western Railway Museum Pumpkin Patch
24. Monterey
23. Pier 39
22. Alcatraz
21. Apple Hill
20. Bass Festival, Rio Vista
19. Pete’s Coffee
18. Six Flags Magic Mountain
17. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
16. Hiking Yosemite’s Half Dome
15. Evangeline’s in Old Sacramento
14. Joe’s Crab Shack in Old Sacramento
13. Old Sacramento
12. Japantown in San Francisco
11. The diversity.
10. San Francisco
09. Santa Cruz
08. Going to the snow around Christmas time.
07. The beautiful scenery.
06. James Drips Vocal Studio
05. Solano Christian Academy (SCA)
04. The AMAZING instructors and fellow students at Tracy’s Karate, Fairfield.
03. Union Baptist Church (UBC)
02. Great friends!
01. The College Kid (who decided to stay in California).

32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
34Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(1 Chronicles 16:32-34. ESV.)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Biblical Virtues Parents Can Pray for Their Children

Mankind as a majority tends to travel away from God, but for the minority, for the Christian, we seek to get closer to Him. The battle for parents today, is to have homes that, God intended and not as the world has fashioned them to be. Truth is, the will of God for the parents toward their children is the same today as it was in the 1st century, as God’s nature does not change with each century.

Here are 31 Biblical virtues to pray for your children: (Click here to continue reading.)

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