Daily Walking with God

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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Daily Journaling

Stephanie’s daily journaling after reading the bible through the year.

I love this photo of me and my man walking the streets/alleyways of Sweden.

I love this photo of me and my man walking the streets/alleyways of Sweden.

Come, let us bow down and worship Him! Let us kneel before the Lord who made us.  He is our God, and we are the people He cares for, His sheep that walk by His side. Listen to His voice today. Psalm 95:6-7 ERV

There is so much solid information in these two verses, yet I want to focus on one preposition…beside.

When I read the word, beside, I thought about how a parent walks beside a child or a husband and wife walking next to one another. To me, this indicates a relationship.

Think about it, if someone is walking in front of or behind you, and you are trying to carry on a conversation, you may find yourself saying, “What did you say?”. Our hearing (at least mine, the older I get) isn’t as keen compared to being beside someone.

There is a poem (the author is supposedly Albert Camus, but that is up for debate according to my source) that goes like this:

Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.

Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Ladies and Gentlemen, guess what? JESUS IS your FRIEND.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

Sure, He is in front of…leading and guiding, behind of and above…protecting, but for today, rest in the fact that He is BESIDE you, holding your hand and being your friend. He is the BEST friend you could ever have! Your relationship with Jesus is the most important and valuable bond you could be affiliated with.

Just as the last few words of verse say, Listen to His voice today, grab His hand and walk beside Him and LISTEN to His voice.

Have a beautiful day.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

#jesusismyfriend #walkbesideme #realtionship

Total Overcast Eclipse

Total Overcast Eclipse

The newscasters were giving a plethora of information to all regarding how to prepare for viewing and reminding us to NOT look at the sun.

Social media was buzzing with articles, videos, and excitement.

Schools were either closing, not opening, or excusing students from this day.

Individuals, groups of friends, and families were traveling far distances to catch a glimpse.

What was all the anticipation about? The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.

I wasn’t on the ball to purchase special viewing glasses, so the day of this event three cereal boxes were vacated to create the homemade viewing box.

Once school was out, Tim and Cole came home to partake in this historical event for The United States.

After Cole snickered at my homemade viewing box, we would listen to the NASA television station and observe any shading changes surrounding us. For approximately fifty minutes we would peer into the Eclipse Cereal Box Viewing Apparatus and TRY to see any variations in the sun and moon.

Well, wouldn’t you know that the exact time that our location was to have 80+% partial eclipse, Florida rain clouds decided to give us more of an eclipse than we were awaiting. It was more like total overcast.

For our household, it was an uneventful historical event. According to many family and friends’ photos on social media, their eclipse experience was fabulous! Some witnessed the total eclipse, and others captured the moment by taking pictures of leaves which displayed little crescent sun reflections everywhere. So cool!

Throughout the days leading up to the eclipse, I found myself wondering…“Isn’t it interesting how everyone is excited and preparing for this event. I wish we were this enthusiastic and anticipatory for The Second Coming.”

Could you imagine?

The broadcasters (fake and all) giving a plethora of information as to how to prepare for The Day, and encouraging us to ALWAYS look to The Son.

Social media buzzing with excitement for The Second Coming.

Schools closing due to many faculty, staff, and students who won’t be in attendance because they will be promoted to the wisest place ever.

Individuals, groups of friends, and families eager to catch a glimpse of Jesus’ return, and join Him in the sky.

Oh, what a GLORIOUS day!

The thing is…we don’t know when this day will occur. It could be today, next week, five more years, or even before you finish reading this journal entry.

You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. Matthew 24:44

He is coming again. Do you realize that every promise and prophesy from God in the bible has been, or is being fulfilled? It was foretold that a king is coming to save the world, and He did. It was also said that that same king, Jesus, would die for the sins of the world and will rise again. He did that too. We are promised that Christ will come again to bring salvation to all. Get ready!

“so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrew 9:28

Are you eagerly waiting? Maybe you think you must get your life right before you can give your life to God. Nope. Only He can make your life right. Give it to Him now. He is waiting for you. Maybe you have received salvation from the Lord, but you aren’t living for Him with your whole heart because you think “the world” is too much fun. Remember, God doesn’t like us to be lukewarm. Live for God with all your heart. Love Him with all your being. When you do this, you will notice a difference in your life. A wonderful transformation. Maybe you are eagerly waiting because you know the hope we have of a perfect life with Christ. Praise Jesus! Now, don’t just wait, but share His love with others through words, deeds, and/or actions.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:1-3

When This Day comes, you won’t have to purchase any special glasses or make any homemade viewing device. You can look up to the heavens with joy.

“Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.  And everyone will see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for Him. Yes! Amen!” Revelation 1:7

Friend, this Total Solar Eclipse event that took place today was exciting to see on television. And, yes, I even got goosies while some television guests were enthusiastically experiencing and explaining the totality of it all. Yet, the true day of darkening will be beyond exciting. Oh what a glorious day!

“The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” Matthew 24:29 (This is Jesus telling about His Return.)

Whether your Total Eclipse Day was eventful or not, prepare yourself for the amazing darkening day which will bring forth a Great Light. And on that day, PLEASE LOOK AT THE SON!

Blessings to you and yours. Love, Stephanie

 

DSCN5144

This morning I knew exactly what I wanted to write about today. Then, God confirmed it as the preacher (Pastor Brian Stowe) practically took the words right out of my mouth. I guess it was God’s way of confirming the thought.

When we were recently vacationing in Canada we decided to waive the chaotic crowds of touring the glaciers (which I hear were amazing!), and decided to take a more private tour via helicopter. The decision was the right one for us. Private, amazing view of God’s creation, landed on a little island in a river, ate by the riverside, drank from the cool water streaming down from the small waterfall, and partook in a small hike. Are you ready to go? Put it on your bucket list.

My camera was clicking away around every turn (bumpiness and all). Within a fifteen-minute time span, I had taken over 150 photos from the sky.DSCN5133

While flying, and being amazed at the views close to you, you can get so enthralled with what is directly in front of you. The pilot said, “Don’t forget to look up and enjoy the scenery off in the distance too. Most people forget about looking up and only see what is in front of them.”

My eyes glanced in the distance. The scenery took my breath away. A smile came across my face in in my heart as I was captivated by not only the landscape, yet the words from the pilot.

How often do we do the same in our everyday lives? We usually get caught up in the busyness of the day or task at hand or problem or ________ and overlook the fact that we need to change our perspective and simply breathe in and look up to God for awe inspiringness. (I think I created a new word here).

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. Psalm 123:1

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.  Philippians 3:14

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Look up. Get a godly perspective. Don’t miss out on the glory He has for you.

Blessings to you and yours. Love, Stephanie.

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Hahaha.  Here is me and one of my dearest friends dressed in cheer uniforms for a pep rally.  The teachers performed. (THAT was hilarious!)  Kerri is no only a dear and longtime friend, but a wonderful teacher whom the students love.  I just thought y'all would get a kick out of us teachers "cheering you on".

Hahaha. Here is me and one of my dearest friends dressed in cheer uniforms for a pep rally. The teachers performed. (THAT was hilarious!) Kerri is no only a dear and longtime friend, but a wonderful teacher whom the students love. I just thought y’all would get a kick out of us teachers “cheering you on”.

It’s that time of year…FOOTBALL!! Okay, well, really…school.

School is not as exhilarating for some as sports, but it is an important process in life.

Being a teacher, even though I’m on leave this year (BIG SMILE and clapping here), I always take time to reflect on the previous year, unit, day, lesson, etc. as well as prepare my mind for the days ahead.

The past couple of days, during my quiet time, when I would read the scripture, those verses appeared very applicable to “this time of year”.

Work with me here:

I enjoy following your rules as much as others enjoy great riches.  I will study your instructions. I will give thought to your way of life.  I enjoy your laws.  I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:14-16

Following the rules. Study. Instruction. Thought. Not forget. All words or phrases that can and should easily roll off one’s tongue the first few days of school. Yet, do those lovely, eager-eyed students always remember their willingness to please and do well throughout the year? (Some teachers too, for that matter.) Hmmmm…for many…doubtful.

Following the rules: Now, my classes weren’t always perfect, but some came pretty close. Those other classes (few and far between)…I think I’d win the Academy Award for dramatics. One thing my students knew that was a requirement for our classroom was respect. When I’d show respect, even to those who I would have to take a deep breath before doing so, the students would often follow suit. Respect for self, others, property, and their work would make for a more organized and enjoyable classroom. Students, follow the rules. They are there to guide you and make you a better student, and in turn a respectful person. Teachers, don’t slack on those rules. Be firm, loving, and hold students (and yourself) accountable. You should lead by example too. So, don’t set unrealistic rules and guidelines for your students. You were in their shoes once.

Study: Ugh… “Do I have to?” Yes!!! Each year I share with my students, and own children, a story/advice which my step-dad mentioned. Long story short: He would share about a friend he had when he was in school. This friend was involved in clubs and athletics, had an after-school job, and made excellent grades. When asked how he maintained his high GPA, the friend would state how even when he didn’t have homework in a certain subject, he would take at least 15 minutes each night to look ahead and study for what is to come. This helped the friend stay disciplined, prepared, and earn the grades that he desired. Point is…Students, STUDY even when you have “no homework”. Always challenge yourself to do your best and know all you need to know. When you struggle, ask for help. Teachers, peers, tutors are willing. Heck, You Tube it nowadays. I even do as a teacher. There’s often more than one way to get an answer, so do what is best for you. Think smarter, not harder. Stay ahead of the game. You never have “no homework”…create it and study.

Instruction: Teachers, especially those who teach the same subject upteen times a day, or those who teach the same grade/skill/lesson year after year, remember that even though the lesson isn’t new to you, it is to the group of students you are presenting to. Keep it fresh. I often say teachers are under-paid actors. Act like it is the best lesson ever and keep it interesting for your audience. Also, remember that we all learn differently. Accommodate when needed. Yes, it is tiring, but these students deserve your best. They are our future, as scary or encouraging they appear. Be the greatest encourager for them through your instruction. Students, LISTEN. Listen, take notes, ASK QUESTIONS, practice, and apply the instruction you are given. I’m sure some may say, “My teacher doesn’t really teach us, and I have to learn on my own.” Well, first of all, shame on that teacher. Secondly, do what you must do to become the most educated you can.

Thought. Not forget: Ponder each day on what you learned. Take the time to reflect, even on the mundane things. Those mundane things will become foundations for something great. Students, if you do this it will make for easier studying. When you cram in the knowledge just for a test, you will most likely forget later what you learned. So, allow me to encourage you as a teacher and a forever student of life, ponder…soak in your knowledge…don’t wait until the last minute…remember what your teacher/You Tuber/tutor/peers teach you. Read James 1:22-25 below:

Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. Hearing God’s teaching and doing nothing is like looking at your face in the mirror and doing nothing about what you saw. You go away and immediately forget how bad you looked.  But when you look into God’s perfect law that sets people free, pay attention to it. If you do what it says, you will have God’s blessing. Never just listen to his teaching and forget what you heard.

So, please don’t forget. Do it. Pay attention. Apply.

Now, to ALL of us (students of life), God’s word is clear. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Be equipped. Do good. Read the bible (Life’s Instruction Book) and allow it to teach, rebuke (ouch, yes), correct, and train you in the right way to live.

I pray for a successful school year, and a thirst for a life of learning.

Enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are.

Love, Stephanie

 

Hmmm...is this Canada of Plant City, Florida? LOL

Hmmm…is this Canada of Plant City, Florida? LOL

While vacationing in Canada the air was refreshing. It wasn’t so obvious until we arrived back home in Florida.

When we gathered our luggage, and exited the airport, we had to inhale deeply. The humidity dangling in the Tampa atmosphere and the excessive heat (even at 11:30 at night), was causing the air to feel weighted and making it difficult to catch our breath.

Holly commented, “The air is sooo heavy! How do non-Floridians come down here and enjoy breathing?”

That got me thinking; I compared the analogy of Holly’s comment to “When people are burdened in life, how do they make it without Jesus?”

Burdens are heavy loads that we have the choice to hang on to and allow its solidity to weigh us down, and eventually tormenting us, or we can lay it at the feet of Jesus and rely on Him to lighten our load.

Yes, people do choose to conceal their problems with alcohol, drugs, becoming a bully or the opposite and being totally submissive to someone or something that isn’t beneficial for them or even become withdrawn. Their solution to denying or delaying or (in their mind) conquering life’s quandaries will not bring glory to God or complete peace in the end.

There’s only One who can bring complete peace and comfort in the midst of trials, and His name is Jesus.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Burdens are bound to occur in life. When they do, Jesus desires for us to go to Him and He will give us rest.

Notice in the verses above that our difficult situation may not dissipate completely, but when we call upon the name of The Lord, He will lessen our season in life as we learn from Him in and through the process.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22

When you do choose to cry out The Savior, give Him your problems.   He’s got the problem and you. You may feel wobbly and weak, but He will not let you fall.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

He warned us, but He didn’t leave us empty-handed. God has given us so many instructions in His word as to how to handle life’s problems. Turn those pages in the bible, or click away on your bible app, and find peace and comfort in His word. Remember…He has already defeated this world, so be an overcomer with Him.

So…when you breathe a deep breath, inhale God’s radiance and peace. Feel the heaviness of the world dispelling from you.

Blessings to you and yours. Love, Stephanie

Addendum:

Before I hit the “publish” button on my computer, my handy-man came in to say good-bye. We sat down, as I was writing him a check, and he proceeded to tell me about his girlfriend of twelve years and what happened to her. He said, “I guess you heard about my girlfriend.” I shook my head and told him that I hadn’t. He informed me that she hung herself last Thursday.

My heart sank. Talk about choosing to solve your problems on your own.

I was able to give testimony about a suicide that occurred in my family and how we totally leaned on Christ through it all, and still do today. It is not a conversation that we discuss often with others, yet God does give us opportunities to be a witness for Him through our struggles.

Jackson allowed me to hold his hand and say a prayer for him.

Wow! The timing of our conversation, as I’m writing about the heaviness in life.

Will you please pray for my friend, Jackson, and the days, months, and years to come for him. Pray for all who suffer with thoughts of suicide and the family members and friends who are affected by it.  I have tears streaming down my face now, as I am typing this.  Ugh…the heaviness.  Lord, I need you!

Thank you.

 

 

 

DSCN4792How appropriate! Last week, we were on the road from Banff to the Calgary International, to return home from a stunningly beautiful Canada vacation, and the song “Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave came on the radio.

The lyrics include phrases like:

  • I see the work of Your hands…all that you are is so overwhelming.
  • I delight myself in You. Captivated by Your beauty. I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You.
  • You are beautiful!
  • You are wonderful!
  • You are glorious!
  • There is no one more beautiful. God you are the most beautiful!

Amen and Amen!

As I was gazing out of the car window at the magnificent mountains, brilliant aqua rivers, and blue skies above, I said out loud, “How appropriate this song is!”

While on that weeklong trip, I captured over 600 photographs. Around every bend, it was as if God was saying, “Wait…there’s more.” “Hang on, get ready for the next scene around the curve.” “PANORAMA!” “God (oh that’s Me), I’m good!”

“For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

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I just love and appreciate God’s handiwork.

At one point during the week, I reminded my kids that all the surroundings are spectacular and a beautiful reflection of God’s creations. Yet, above all the animals, mountains, streams, and waterfalls, He thinks WE are more beautiful. We are His masterpiece!

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Back home.

Back home.

When we returned home, God reminded me that His beauty isn’t just in Canada…He says, “Look up…put on your God Goggles…take a glance at the sunrise I’m giving you today.”

I’d like to encourage you to not just appreciate the beauty “in other places OR people”, just simply look up and smile at the beauty God provides us each day. Look up, look out, look in the mirror, look for the good in others, and as always…look to Jesus.

“We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete.” Hebrews 12:2a

Have a wonderful day soaking up The Son wherever you are. Love to you and yours, Stephanie

I‘m Overwhelmed:

I see the work of Your Hands Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You Captivated by Your beauty I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms Unashamed because of mercy I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God And all that You’ve done is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You In the Glory of Your Presence I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

And God I run into Your arms Unashamed because of mercy I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

You are Beautiful, You are Beautiful Oh God, there is no one more Beautiful You are Beautiful, God you are the most Beautiful

You are Wonderful, You are Wonderful Oh God, there is no one more Wonderful You are Wonderful, God You are the most Wonderful

You are Glorious, You are Glorious Oh God, there is no one more Glorious You are Glorious, God you are the most Glorious

I delight myself in You In the Glory of Your Presence I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

And God I run into Your arms Unashamed because of mercy I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You There is no one more Beautiful You are the most Beautiful

https://play.google.com

The pines in Canada (from our helicopter tour).

The pines in Canada (from our helicopter tour).

Pine tree in FL.

Pine tree in FL.

 

Small puddle...Big lesson

Small puddle…Big lesson

In life, we will have obstacles. Some obstacles are easy and we could hurdle right over them, while other hindrances we encounter may make us feel defeated before we even attempt to persevere through them.

While Tim and I were walking the Lower Green Swamp trails, after days of rain, we came upon this small puddle of water in our path. Approaching it, I scanned the land surrounding it to evaluate the best path to take. It was slightly obvious where the higher ground was, so…we took the high ground.

This reminded me of how we need to take “the high ground” in life with any obstacles/hindrances/difficulties in life.

Your deterrent may be a situation or a person. Whatever it is standing in our way of moving forward in life, how we respond to the situation/person is important.

Someone may say or do something about/to you that isn’t nice…take the high ground. Rise above.

Someone may get that promotion at work that you’ve been desiring and working for…take the high ground. Rise above.

You’ve had a crappy season where nothing seems to go your way…take the high ground. Rise above.

When you read Romans 12, Paul is giving us guidelines for living as redeemed people in a fallen world. (Read it! Good stuff on living!) In verse 14 he penned the words (from God) “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.Yikes! Isn’t that often difficult to do? Well, do it any way. God said so. Take the high ground…Rise above.

Romans isn’t the only place we see evidence of an instruction on taking the high ground. 1 Peter 3:9 reminds us, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.Take the high ground…Rise above.

I’m sure we can dig deeper into God’s word and we would see numerous times when we are encouraged to respond with a heart like His.

That’s right. Jesus took the high ground often. He showed mercy beyond. You don’t have to look very far to see an example of His mercy and grace. Just look in the mirror. We didn’t deserve it, yet He loves and desires a relationship with us. So… For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Remember…when you respond to that obstacle, you’re not facing it alone. Jesus has been there, done that, and is with you through it all. Persevere with God.

On the hilltop along the road, she (wisdom) takes her stand at the crossroads. Proverbs 8:2

I pray that you will be an overcomer. Stand on the hilltop of Christ and stand firm. Be strong, my friend. This too shall pass. Take the high ground…Rise above.

Blessings and love to you and yours, Stephanie.

 

Shirt from my friends at Front Porch Apparel.

Shirt from my friends at Front Porch Apparel.

crayfish“Evidence of rain.”

Those are the words that Tim said when we came across a crayfish on our walk in the woods. Wait…did I saw crayfish? Found on a wooded trail in the middle of central Florida, Plant City to be exact? Yes sirree. Actually, after doing a little investigation, I discovered that our lonely trailblazing crayfish is called a Black Creek Crayfish.

The day before, we had Tropical Storm Emily visit us. I was sure that when we went on our morning hike that we would be sloshing through the path, but I was proven wrong (in most areas). As we were rounding the bend to head towards the parking lot, Tim just happened to look down and see this crayfish trying to join us on our walk. Of course, I had to take a photo. (And…in my investigation, I also discovered that this creature is protected as a State-designated Threatened species. http://myfwc.com).

This got me to thinking (shocker)…do we have “Evidence of Reign” in our life?

Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before Him. Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly. Psalm 96:9-10

Can others see you and know that you worship the Lord of lords and King of kings? We are taught to do so. When you have accepted Jesus as the Boss of your life and have a personal relationship with Him, you should desire what God desires for you, and try to live a life that will put a smile on His face.

“The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.Psalm 93:1

Can others see you wearing the Lord’s robe of magnificence and equipped with the strength that can only come from God? Go ahead, He wants you to put on His best dress and be prepared in life to fight those giants. He desires for you to be recognized, secure, and safe in Him.

“The Lord reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment.  He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.  The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You. Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what He has done.” Psalm 9:7-11

The Lord will be The Judge for all in the end. We are accountable for our own actions. (“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God”. Romans 14:12) So, be respectful to your Heavenly Father.

Can others see that you have put your trust in the Lord? When we live with fear/respect for God, others will be able to see His reign in and through us. When you feel burdened and overwhelmed, allow God to be your sanctuary. He will protect you, and He will never abandon you.

“The Lord reigns for ever and ever.” Exodus 15:18

The Lord reigns! Is His reign evident in your life much like that crayfish was evidence of much rain on our land?

I pray that you will seek Him and all His wisdom and glory. That you desire what He desires for your life. Allow Him to rule over your life. His ways are so much better than our own.

Enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are. Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie.

 

 

Hiking The Valley of the Five Lakes

Hiking The Valley of the Five Lakes

After spending a week of hiking in Canada, we arrived home last night around midnight, before Tropical Storm Emily decided to hit land and dispense an abundance of rain on us. While visiting Jasper and Banff, Alberta, we hiked trails (and some off-trailing for Cole) that were rocky, smooth, filled with tree roots, and over streams. The trails ranged from easy to moderately challenging. No matter the level of difficulty, the end result was always rewarding.

Last night, I dreamt of hiking through the woods and reading trail maps. Really? Hadn’t I had enough? I believe I dreamed about hiking because I had immersed myself in this routine of seeking trails, reading maps, and taking on the challenge daily over the past seven days.

When I awakened, I thought about how our thoughts and dreams would be if we did a daily hike with God. Think about it…I had occupied myself with a routine of seeking, reading, and taking the challenge (obeying) with hiking trails that were unknown to me.

Listen, life is FULL of unknowns. If we just “wing-it” and do life our way, things probably (okay, definitely won’t) turn out as we planned it, or if it does, it’s not best for us. But when we seek God’s guidance, read His word, and obey His commands, life will be so much more rewarding in the end. To God be the glory!

My handsome hiking guide/lumberjack/husband.

My handsome hiking guide/lumberjack/husband.

DSCN5046“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15

Seeing God's glory as we hike.

Seeing God’s glory as we hike.

I pray that you will strap on your hiking boots and enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are.  Wouldn’t it be pleasant the dream about hiking with God???

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie.

God blows me away!

God blows me away!

 

 

Walking in nature...God's creation...Ahhh!

Walking in nature…God’s creation…Ahhh!

Your word is a lamp that guides my steps, and a light that shows the path I should take. Psalm 119:105

As I’m walking along the path for my morning walk, I often look down to make sure I’m stepping on steady ground, looking up to make sure I’m not walking into a spider web, or even scanning the area for wildlife.

Although the hike is filled with uncertainty for stable footing, there are those moments when I look ahead and see rays of sunshine beaming through the trees. This luminescence assures me of the hope that glory is in the end of trails of trials we may walk through, and is a guiding force to my final destination.

Walking through life can be like that as well…trying to be alert and cautious to hazards, yet when we look to Jesus (The Light of the world) we are replenished with hope and navigated by His comforting and protective hand.

You know those times when you walk smack into an uninvited spider web, and you begin the delirious/kung fu motion dance. Yikes! I’m cringing just thinking about it.

I know a precious lady who is seeing her child literally go through hell right now. A horrific experience their first year away at college has led to a total change in appearance and behavior. This once stunning, tranquil, heart-for-God, confident young lady was violated in a way that is most women fear. She now has drastically changed her appearance, is self-harming her body (inside and out), has attempted suicide, been Baker Acted, and is now in a rehabilitation facility. Satan is doing his best to clutch her in his hand, but we know that God won’t let go. I pray that the Father of Lies will flee from her and release her fragile body and mind! I do believe that the Lord can and will do mighty things through this lovely young lady for His glory. Lord, please let her see Your radiance and run towards You.

I’m sure you know others, or are walking through hazards yourself, who need to look up and see the hope and guiding force of Jesus Christ. Even if you must squint, keep your eyes on Jesus.

“We should live in the light, where God is. If we live in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God’s Son, washes away every sin and makes us clean.” 1 John 1:7

I encourage you to pray for my sweet friend, and others who are going through a season of difficulty. Thank you!

Blessings to you and yours. Enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are.

Beware of the webs in life.

Beware of the webs in life.

He is my anchor, Stephanie