In His Service

I pray my words will always reflect my love for & service to God.

25 November 2009

Prepared for the Unexpected......

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the only holiday I go all out for, as far as cooking goes. Those who know me also know its the only holiday I cook for.  I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner since I was 20, as a newlywed.  Suffice it to say, there have been quite a few dinners prepared and often, a 'catastrophe' involved. 
One year, I was carrying gravy from the kitchen to the living room and SPLAT!! dropped the entire bowl all over me, the carpet, get the idea. Let me tell you, hot gravy burns, not to mention getting gravy out of carpet!  Dinner was a bit late that year.
Then there was the year we had Thanksgiving early, before Josh shipped out to Okinawa.(at least I think thats where he was heading)....thats the one and only year I used stove top stuffing instead of making it from scratch.  Judging from the reaction by my children (teens and above) one would have thought I had grown a second head, trust me, that mistake was never made again!

Many Thanksgiving mornings I have bustled in the kitchen, stressing over this or that, snapping at my family and then no one is happy, kind of defeats the entire purpose of the day, doesn't it? This year, I have prepared many things ahead of time.  The only things that will need to be made are the mashed potatoes & gravy along with the turkey.  Everything else will just need to be reheated. If some unexpected event happens, I will have the time to handle it.  Perhaps, I will even watch the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade with the family.

Praying all of you are able to enjoy an enjoyable, stress free Thanksgiving Day.

18 November 2009

'An Unexamined Life'


This was the title of the sermon our pastor gave on Sunday. God really spoke to me through this message, I felt it was directed right at me. For the last few years, one of my yearly goals has been to serve God in my community. I've been telling myself I'm waiting on God to direct me to where He wants me to serve. The reality is, He has shown me several opportunities and it just hasn't been a priority. I make excuses. Period.

The pastor gave 4 areas of our lives that should be examined:

1. Money - Luke 16:1-15 is a parable Jesus shared about money. Now I've read this passage several times over the years but always thought it was about loving money more than Him. On Sunday, God opened my ears to another message in that passage. Money has no value in itself, but is to be used in this world to make preparation for the next. The Bible views wealth like other special gifts, as a resource to be used in serving God & others. Jesus reminds us that nothing we possess is truly ours, but loaned to us by God to be used His service.

2. Time - Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us how to use our time, not like those who do not know Him (fools) but 'making the most of your time, because the days are evil' (verse 16 NASB). There are many things that consume our days, many of them necessary and good, many of them serve no purpose in furthering God's Kingdom.

3. Gifts & Abilities - 1 Peter 4: 7-11 Peter describes a lifestyle which reflects the will of God for His people: self control, prayer, mutual love, hospitality, serving wholeheartedly, using the gifts God has given us for the benefit of others. ' that in all things God may be glorified through Jesusu Christ.....' (from verse 11)

4. The Message of Salvation - 2 Cor 5:12-19 Christ died for all humanity. It is God's desire that every single person be given the opportunity to have eternal life with Him. It is our privilege & responsibility to convey that message to others. There are many times in our daily lives that others can see the grace of God, if we let them. We probably have more opportunities than we realize to share the gospel with others.

This sums up the message God conveyed to me: we are called to live our lives in service to God, ministering & witnessing to others so they will see the love of God through us & be brought into His Kingdom.

11 November 2009

My week in California

I was asked to write about my week in CA so here it is.
I arrived in Palm Springs last Monday morning, my daughter in law & granddaughter were already there waiting. We gave a marine a ride back to the base with us, so I sat in the back with Miss O. She just brings joy to my heart! It was wonderful to see my son, when he came in for lunch, gave him a big ole hug as I hadn't been able to do this since Feb, when he deployed. I must admit, I never get tired of seeing him in his uniform and marveling at the wonders of God and how He has worked in my son's life. (If only he would acknowlege this.)

The weather, dare I say, was absolutely perfect....not too hot, sun shine & a bit of a breeze.
The grandchildren are wonderful, my grandson spends his hours after school playing outside with the neighborhood boys. My granddaughter, spends her waking hours entertaining the rest of us.....she never fails to make me laugh. Her new response to any statement is 'why'. I often forget that Miss O is still 2, she seems so much older. We spent time outside each day, she showed me how well she can ride her tricycle, and played hard at the playground.
Each morning we would take J to school, then come home and have breakfast. We would play, color & play with Play Do. I was introduced to her favorite cartoons..... Mickey's Playhouse (who writes his scripts, 'You Betcha')? and whatever the cartoon is with Oso. We read books, 'Jungle Book' 3 nights in a row....and many others. Miss O, J & I played Trouble, what a fun time for this Grandma! For those of you who are blessed with grandchildren, you know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who have children still at home, this is the reward you will receive for enduring days that seem to be endless.

My son loves to rough house with the kids and whatever he does with J, Miss O expects too. 'My turn, my turn' she will say. It is so much fun to see them laugh and carry on.
On Sunday, I was repacking my suitcase & Miss O wanted to know what I was doing. When I told her I was getting ready to leave, she wanted to know why. I explained to her I needed to go home and take care of Grandpa & Aunt Missy. 'No, you need to stay here at mine house' as she wraps her little arms around my neck she said 'I will miss you'. She really knows how to melt my heart.

It was with a heavy heart that I left early Monday am, before either of the children were awake.

05 November 2009

This & That

I am spending a couple days with my grandchildren while their parents are away for a couple days of much needed time alone together. Its a tough thing, being grandma, I want to be fun but I don't want to contribute to 'brattiness'. Being a parent was easier in a sense, I wasn't really worried about being a 'fun' mom, I wanted my children to be respectful, responsible adults.

Yesterday Justin told me I was meaner than his mom because I wouldn't let him have a 2nd glass of iced tea. I think I redeemed myself when I let him play x-box for 30min after his bath.

Olivia and I had our first 'falling out'. I told her to stay out of the kitchen while I fixed dinner.....she told me 'no'. Off to the naughty step she went. She definitly was not happy!
However, she was her usual cuddly self before bed.

Justin continues to try and educate me on the xbox games, I think I'm a hopeless cause! I think tonight I'll suggest a board game instead, at least I have a chance with Trouble or Candyland!

I need to seek God's guidance on how to teach the kids about Him, to be effective in the limited time I am with them. I do not understand how my son & dil can be raising their children without teaching them about God. Both of them were raised in the church, they met at church camp as young teens. How much does a mother say? I've talked to both parents about taking the kids to church....and while they agree they should, they don't. There is no grace before meals, no bedtime prayers.....I've never heard mention of God, His Creation, the many wonderful things He does. Maybe I just don't see it? My dil prayed while my son was deployed, she shared that with me. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile, I continue to struggle with my walk. I do not understand what has happened, why it is so hard for me to pray, to study, to feel God's presence. I know in my heart that God is real, that He has not left me. I know satan wants me to feel otherwise. If I know these things, why is it so hard to believe them? How can I pray for others and feel so far away?

I am reading an interesting book 'Cashless' by Mark Hitchock it is very interesting and thought provoking.