Wednesdays With Winnie

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I think you are pretty amazing. In fact when I look at those around me – family, friends, other bloggers, those sitting in the church pews near me, those I meet each day – it is easy for me to see why you all are well liked and have been positioned in life.

It is myself I have issues with at times. And I bet, you might even say the same thing regarding yourself.

We can be pretty hard on ourselves. We can examine and nitpick with the best of them. It is often said we are our own worst critic and it’s probably true. Now trust me when I say, I am not wanting us to go thinking we are better than and are all that in life either. So where do we find the balance in what we think about ourselves?

In reading a most familiar passage today, I find this reminder:

  1. He formed us Himself. The very Maker of everything our eyes can see, our ears can hear and our noses can breathe in, fashioned every part of us – both inside and out. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13, NLT) Our moms were only the incubator for His creation.
  2. He has made us wonderfully and complexly. God created each of us, with our emotions and personalities. He knit us together like a skilled craftsman weaving together a beautiful tapestry. “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” (verse 14, NLT). Our God does the very best workmanship.
  3. He knows every one of our days. Not a single moment of our lives goes undetected by His every watchful eyes. The length of our lives are all planned and determined. “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (verse 16, NLT).

Amazing to think that the Creator of all things, would choose to dwell within these finite and flawed lives such as each of us. Yet we are precious to our God, every one of us. As a matter of fact, He’s thinking about each of us all the time. “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” (Psalm 139:17, NLT).

Yes I do think Tigger was on to something when he said:

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May we come to realize – we are amazing.

Each one of us!

 

Today I am joining with …. Tell His Story and Three Word Wednesday and Wedded Wednesday and Works for Me and Coffee & Conversation and Women With Intention .

Be Still & Know

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Who knew that one word would constantly be in my face? Sure it’s my #OneWord365 but ever before me, constantly weaving through my thoughts?

I woke up early Sunday morning, poured some coffee and spent time reading this goodness. Do yourself a favor and bless yourself with this post. You’ll thank me, trust me on this. The post narrowed down to this for me:

“Conscientiously “wasting” time with God enables me … to merely be still and know that God is God.”

And there we have it – the question on the table – Do we truly know that God is God?

No exceptions. At all times. In all circumstances. In everything which occurs in our lives. Every single day. Every single moment.

God is God.

We can say we do with a casualness which reveals a shallow understanding of Him. God needed to remind His people of Who He was …

You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11, NIV)

God needed to remind them of who they were and why He had chosen them. They, and each one of us, have been chosen so that we may know and believe Him. Knowing and believing seem to be linked together, sort of piggy back on one another, if you would.

Knowing about Him is not an end in itself. Knowing Him must include recognizing His power and understanding He is Who He says He is and is able to do all that He says He can do. It involves being fully committed to Him and acknowledging He is worthy of our trust.

It is knowing which confidently rests in the truth,  God is God.

I’m searching inside and asking myself, “Do I know and believe that God is God, in this moment, in this situation, in every situation?”

Lifting my eyes upward this morning so I can know and believe God IS God.

Woman Gazing Upward© Michael N. Paras/Corbis

 

Today I am joining … Testimony Tuesday and Unite and Titus 2 Tuesday and True Story and Teaching What is Good and RaRa Linkup .

 

**My “believe” image was compliments of Traci Michele.

Make It A Better World

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Im-Maximizing-My-Mornings-300An entire week spent on the same passage of Scripture. Each day bringing another truth and directive on how to live each day from Colossians 1:9-14 …

  1. Knowledge of God’s will + spiritual wisdom –> fruitful lives. And who of us does not want lives that bear fruit?
  2. Prayer –> being strengthened with ALL His power + endurance + patience. Which are you in need of today?
  3. We can be strong enough. Time spent with Him makes us strong enough to face whatever comes up against us.

Paul prays that “we may live a life worthy of the Lord” (verse 10). This was his desire and prayer for the Colossians and should be our desire as well. We are to be people strengthened by our God so that we live with both endurance and patience:

  • Endurance (hypomene in the Greek) is the capacity or ability to bear up under difficult circumstances. Each of us face circumstances in life which in ourselves, will be difficult to endure.
  • Patience (makrothyme) is the ability to remain calm in the face of being provoked without complaining or getting irritated by other persons. Each of us have people in our lives that we find challenging or who get on our last nerve.

Think about this. We need both patience and endurance each day. Neither the circumstances nor the people are to upset us as we are walking with God, fully depending on His power. As we live with both, endurance and patience, we are able to live lives which exude joy and thankfulness, which in turn, will cause our lives to produce fruit. Not just any fruit but good fruit.

And as our lives bear good fruit, we can impact those around us.

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With that being said… which quality is most needed at this moment in your life – endurance with a circumstance or patience with a person? Maybe both? Spend some time reading these words in Colossians (1:9-14) and let Him give you exactly what you need today.

 

Today I am joining … Inspire Me Mondays  and Small Wonder and Playdates with God and Sharing His Beauty and Making Your Home Sing and Create With Joy .

Fight-Finish-Faith

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Runners racing on rural path© Hero Images Inc./Hero Images Inc./Corbis

 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8, NASB)

“Heavenly Father, You have designed each of us with such tender care, and You know all of our circumstances. I also know You have so much love, wisdom, insight, and strength to give us as You reveal the purposes for our lives. I pray that we will fall more deeply in love with You and will give our lives to follow Your paths for us. May we discover the profound blessing of walking each day of our lives hand in hand with You, the living God. Bless us as we seek You, and favor us with Your grace, strength, and joy each step of the way. We come to You in the precious name of Jesus, with hearts filled with gratefulness. Amen.”

(from Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson, page 242)

 

Today I am joining … Give Me Grace and Still Saturday and Scripture & A Snapshot and Sunday Stillness and Spiritual Sundays .

5: Women, Words, Letters, & A Donkey

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We are settling in for a Nor’Easter here in Boston. We shall see what it amounts to as the day goes on. In the meantime, here are five posts which grabbed my attention this week:

1) Women. We so need one another but often find it difficult to maintain relationships. In this post, we have some wonderful ways in which we can link arms with other women.

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2) Many of us picked one word on which to set our focus this year. Here is one woman’s journey almost a month in and what she is learning.

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3) So many write letters to address what is wrong with The Church. In this post, one blogger explains why these letters may wound rather than heal. May this cause us to pause, pray and remember, “Our {the Church’s} best days are ahead because the days are getting darker.”

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4) We should never underestimate the power of a word aptly spoken. In this post, we learn about the power of words, and prayer, to lighten the burden of those around us. And we’re encouraged to send a text, make a call, or send a card. You just might be “the thread in someone’s cocoon.”

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5) Here’s a story about a city boy, a farmer, and a donkey. In this post, you’ll read about integrity – both the principle and the promise which goes along with it.

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Grab a blanket, snuggle under and sit a spell. All five hold such wonderful truths and lessons for us to learn. Have a great weekend!

Love,
Joanne

 

Today I am joining … The Weekend Brew and Faith Along the Way and The SITS Sharefest and Faith ‘N Friends .

Share … a recipe

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Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. All of us writing on that same word.

Today the word prompt is … Share.

So funny that this would be the word prompt. My mother-in-law passed away this past April. Not yet a year. One of the things I have is all her journals. Her recipe journals that is.

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She loved to listen to her cooking show on the radio each afternoon. I always knew better than to call when Gus Saunders was on. There was no competing for her attention as he was sure to get it!

I have been slowly trying out her various recipes. Sort of like a test before I share them. The next generation is now getting them on recipe cards to try out for themselves. And so, today it is my joy to share the one I tried yesterday.

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Melt-In-Your-Mouth Blueberry Cake

2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon flour

Beat eggs whites until stiff while gradually adding 1/4 cup sugar – set aside.

Cream margarine with vanilla – add sugar and cream well.

Add egg yolks and beat until smooth.

Sift flour and baking powder together and add, alternating with milk, to the creamed mixture.

Fold in egg whites.

Coat the blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour. I put them in a zip lock sandwich bag to do this. Fold them coated blueberries into the mixture.

Pour into a greased and floured 8″ pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. When cooled, sprinkle with confectionery sugar.

Enjoy!

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“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)

 

Today I am joining … Five Minute Friday and Fellowship Friday and Everyday Jesus and Faith Filled Friday and Faith & Fellowship and Blessing Counters .

Leaky Tires & Cisterns

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The text came the other night …

“Hi! Could I ask a favor? My right rear tire is leaking. Would Danny be able to take a look at it?”

Not an uncommon question as my husband works for a car dealership. As we continued texting, she shared how she had been adding air to the tire to nurse it along a little bit more but the tire wasn’t holding the air very long.

He took the car, repaired the tire, and returned her car to her. But the incident kept nagging at me until this morning I read:

“For my people have done two evil things. They have abandoned me – the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” (Jeremiah 2:13, NLT)

The people had become much like the leaking tire. I wonder how many times this has been a picture of me?

As people, we can so look to fill our lives up with other things and sometimes, those things are not necessarily bad. But they don’t fill us up. They don’t complete us. They sort of scratch at the itch a little but never ease the itch. We still long for more.

And in longing for more, we abandon Him. The word abandon “has the connotation of leaving behind something or someone that originally was held dear” (from the NLT Study Bible).

Cisterns were dug by those living in deserts and dry areas. They basically were reservoirs which they dug for themselves. The problem was the water often became stagnant and dangerous to drink. Cisterns did not hold water which remained fresh, or life-giving, for very long.

Only One can be our true source of life. “For you are the fountain of life; the light by which we see” (Psalm 37:9, NLT). When we are filling up from the wrong source, we will find ourselves going through our days aimlessly, without purpose and passion.

Water is critical to life. We need water every day in order to survive and for our bodies to function in a healthy fashion. May we come to the right source and discover for ourselves –

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14, NLT)

I want to hold Him dear each and every day. May I not leave Him behind in search of a different source. I want to come to Him – the source of that which is fresh and bubbling so that I will not desire anything apart from Him. And I want that this fresh and bubbling spring splash out on those around me and point them to Him.

We so need to be filled with His truth and His Word in these troubling days we live. We cannot face the day trying to keep a cistern full which will only continue leaking. The problem the people faced in those days was in the midst of a drought, when their souls were parched, the cistern was bone dry.

May we only come to Him – the continuously fresh and bubbling spring.

Completely able to quench all who thirst.

Geyser Strokkur, highlands, Iceland, Europe© Günter Lenz/imageBROKER/Corbis

 

Today I am joining with … Coffee for Your Heart and Hearts for Home .