Daily Walking with God

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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Just Thinking

This is a section of quick thoughts I may have throughout the day. You never know what you’re gonna get when I’m “just thinking”.

Here, at one of the Five Lakes in Jasper, Alberta, I was one-of-those who enjoyed soaking up some of God's glorious creation.

Here, at one of the Five Lakes in Jasper, Alberta, I was one-of-those who enjoyed soaking up some of God’s glorious creation.

This summer I had a conversation with an intelligent and wonderful woman. She is a retiring from the professional world, and about to enter the life of retirement. During our conversation, she mentioned to me about a letter I should have received in the mail. I stated that I never saw an envelope for me, and if it was from my husband’s company (which it was), I usually leave those envelopes for Tim to open. He’s the financial advisor and I’d rather him open an envelope regarding things of that matter.

She defensively/offendedly/however said, “You’re not one-of-those are you?”

At first, I wasn’t sure how to react, but I truly didn’t let it bother me. Yet…it did get me thinking:

Am I one-of-those who:

  • Shares a bank account with my spouse? Yes. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with those married folks who have separate accounts. From what I hear, some of my friends prefer their own account.
  • Has a man who takes on the role of paying the bills for the family? You bet. I could, and I used to when we were first married, but Tim enjoys (well…not enjoys…who enjoys paying bills) his position of the bill-payer.
  • Has the family meal prepared each night when all arrive home? No way! LOL! I’m grateful that my man enjoys cooking. We cook a lot together. Some nights are like tonight…Pizza Night.
  • Like my late mother-in-law was taught in school…looks fresh, makeup on, and hair presentable for my man when he walks in the door from work? You’ve got to be kidding me! This is my first year in a while not working. I took a leave this year. When working, we would often arrive home at the same time or I was just shy of beating him home. Now, with moving a kid to an apartment in college, running around like a taxi driver for our youngest (for about 5 more months…WooHoo!!!), pulling weeds, refurbishing furniture, all household chores, etc., he’s lucky if I wiped my face and put on deodorant. (Okay, I do at least do that.)

Now these are “feminine” related, as I understood her question to be. And we could go on and on with this list. Although, I’d like to focus on another list…

Am I one-of-those who:

  • Spends time with Jesus each day? Absolutely! Before I seek the face I man, I seek the face of The Man. Not only do Jesus and I spend time in the morning together, but throughout the day. I need him! “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
  • Prays for my children and family each day? Sometimes I think it’s with every other breath. Raising children, no matter the age or the stage, has challenges. Prayer works and calms me. God’s got them! “Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • Hurts when others are hurting, and celebrates others’ successes? Amen. We all need to learn to be empathetic. Wishing ill on someone, or being envious of someone else’s success is often in our human nature. Friend, take it from me, you will be so much happier and at peace when you are just kind to/happy for/empathetic with others. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
  • Is OVER our country bickering, belittling, and being down right mean to each other, all because someone doesn’t agree with our opinion? OMGoodness yes! Talk about hurting for others…my heart aches for our country. Listen, we will not all agree with one another. We are all different (Praise the Lord). R-E-S-P-E-C-T one another. Like the old saying goes, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” We are all sinners. Praise God I’m saved by His grace. This world needs Jesus. (Can you agree with me on that?) We all need to pray, stand strong for our Christian values and principles, without hurting (or killing) one another. “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Again, this list could go on and on.

I guess my point is, it doesn’t matter to me if people think I’m-on-of-those according to worldly standards. Yes, I am a strong, independent, and an intelligent woman, but I am also weak and need my Jesus’ strength each day, dependent on His daily word, and am still learning more about my Savior and His desires for me each day.

Are you one-of-those…a child of God? I hope so. Having Christ in me/you makes the world of difference.

Blessings to you and yours. Love, Stephanie.

Cole will probably get me for using this pic, but...I'm momma, and I think it's great! :)  He was just as excited as me.

Cole will probably get me for using this pic, but…I’m momma, and I think it’s great! :) He was just as excited as me.

Y’all! There is a huge smile on my face, tears in my eyes, and a happy heart right now.

Yesterday, Cole rode the four-wheeler to get the mail, and when he returned I saw a thin, brown cardboard package on top of the counter. Observing the size of the package, I knew exactly what it was. I excitedly opened it with much anticipation. When my hands touch the contents, I started dancing around.

My Emmaus. That’s the name of the book that MY BROTHER, now author on his way to the Best Seller list, wrote.

My Emmaus is the contents on the cardboard package I received in the mail a day earlier than expected.

My Emmaus is the next book you will want to purchase and start reading.

Now, I’m truly not just being partial here when I tell you how good this book was. Yes, I’ve already read it! It actually took me less than three hours to read it. I couldn’t put it down!

Once it was time to start reading, I went outside to sit in the Adirondack chair with a glass of sweet tea, and got busy. I was only on page 8 when Cole came up behind me and ask, “Is it good?” I replied, “Yea, it is.”

About ten minutes later, Cole returned. “How is it?” I replied, “Yes, Cole, it is good.”

A few minutes later…yep, you guessed it, Cole returned. “Is it still good, momma?” As I took a deep breath, I said, “Yes, Cole, it is STILL good, and I could finish it sooner if you would stop asking me. Now go. I love you.”

The night sky started to settle in, so I moved to my study for more quiet time with My Emmaus.

Y’all, I had goose-bumps several times on my body while reading each chapter. I thought I knew my brother, but he has been keeping some good stories from me.

Mike was very transparent in his writings. The delivery of each chapter was written with conviction and encouragement to others. That’s it, this book is definitely a book of encouragement.

I want to encourage you to purchase this “God is Faithful 24/7” book and recount your own “Emmaus” moments you’ve had in your life. I’m sure you’ve had them, and just didn’t realize it.

When I finished reading the book, I thought it was much later, but it was only 9:30 PM. The first thing I did was go straight to Cole and say, with my hands in the air and enthusiasm on my face, “I’m done! It was GREAT!”

Me and the author...my brother, Mike!

Me and the author…my brother, Mike!

Cole replied, “Was it real good?”

I said, in a drawn-out-southern-drawl, “It was reeaaalll goooddd. I am so proud of my brother!”

I text my brother, Mike, and gave him my approval. We ended up talking on the phone for a little bit, as he gave me more detail to some questions I had for him.

You see, this book isn’t only about encouragement, but obedience.

About five years ago, it was impressed upon Mike to write a book. He knew exactly what the title would be, and the process then began.

Mike has been a teacher and administrator since he graduated from The University of Florida. This past year he became a retired educator. One morning, around the end of February of 2017, his precious bride, Jan, went to work. Once the house was empty of family, and there was no job pressing on him that day, Mike look around and said, “Now, what am I supposed to do today?” He told me that it was as if God whispered to him, “How about starting on that book I told you to write five years ago?”

So…Mike obeyed. Now was the time. For such a time as this.

He already knew the contents of the book. Over the past five years, God had revealed to him various stories that have occurred in his life, for him to include in this book.

Mike sat down and began writing. The whole process, from pen and paper to publishing was less than four months.

Still, through this writing process, the not knowing what step to take next in publishing a book, was another “Emmaus” story in itself.

When we are obedient to God, He provides the way.

The obedience theme is interlaced beautifully throughout this book.

Y’all, did I mention how proud of my brother I am?!

Do me…really yourself…a favor and get this book.

If you get it from Amazon, Mike will only earn 40% of the royalties. But…if you go to their sister site, https://www.createspace.com/7341428, he will receive 100% profit. What? Shut up! Yes! Big difference. Hey, he’s retired…help a brother out. Hahaha.

Remember…”God is Faithful 24/7.”

For speaking engagements and book signings please feel free to contact Mike by email at mikeparker2018@gmail.com. To make bulk orders for My Emmaus for evangelistic purposes and small group studies please go to www.myemmausbook.com for special pricing.

God is good y’all, all the time. God is good.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie.

my emmaus

 

 

 

Thrashing those pesky flies away.

Thrashing those pesky flies away.

Those darn horseflies and yellow jackets!

The other day, while Tim and I were enjoying our morning walk on our “private”/thousand plus acres trail (click here for more details regarding “our” trail), I was being bombarded by those irritating flying insects. A couple of benefits during their annoying attacks were; I was challenged to do a little jog on my bummed ankle, and I probably burned a few more calories than originally planned from all the movement I was doing by marching high and thrashing my arms all over the place. Yet, for the most part, my peaceful walk did not end well. I was aggravated and bitten.

The next morning, I was more prepared. I was protected by the spray of insect repellant…from head to toe! I did not want to take the chance of being on the receiving end of the aggressive-blood feeding-pest.

Satisfaction was felt when a few buzzing critters went zooming past my head. It was as if I wasn’t even around and they were on a mission to discover their next target. It was then when I made the following connection:

Those horseflies and yellow jackets are like the sin, or even the temptations of it, in our lives. They end up being irritating, annoying, and can be aggressive hindrances in our lives. The “sin bite” ends up being infuriating.

When we prepare and protect ourselves by bathing in The Word and putting on The Armor of God each day, sin has a better chance of repelling from us.

I pray that you will wake up each morning and say, “Not today, Satan”, by preparing for your day by putting on the full armor of God.

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Matthew 16:23

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20

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

 

 

“Squirrel!”

That’s the word I say in my mind or even out loud when I have random thoughts, one after the other. After about three minutes of reading James 1:21, I thought, “squirrel”. I would read this verse (and the verses surrounding it) in one translation, and a scenario would visualize in my mind. Then I’d read it again in another translation, and another scene would come to the forefront after reading just one variation of a word. Welcome to my world. Yai-yai-yai! See for yourself…

It was late at night, and I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch.   A bowl of cereal is my go-to-late-night-meal. I poured the milk on top of the cereal, and noticed that there was a faint odor. As soon as the spoonful of milk and cereal settled on my tongue, I knew that I should have obeyed my instinct. Let’s just say that the spoiled milk found its way down the garbage disposal.

“Throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.” James 1:21 (MSG)

You should have seen this garage before!  Now it's ready for action...and so was I.

You should have seen this garage before! Now it’s ready for action…and so was I.

This past week my mom and I took a road trip to Georgia. My oldest brother has purchased a home which has been vacant for the past twelve years. Graffiti and dried chemicals were all over the walls. The ceiling and walls had been punctured. Windows had been broken. So, with years of neglect, it was time for this home to be sanitized. We got rid of any mildew and unwanted critters that had claimed residence in the home. Getting rid of the filth felt and smelt satisfying! This once vandalized home is being saved from any more devastation.

“Get rid of filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” James 1:21 (NLT)

“Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:21 (NIV)

Listen, my Christian brother and sister, God’s word is planted in you! See…follow these verses with me:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

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

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  Colossians 3:16

The word planted in you is God…His Son, Jesus Christ…the Word is full of truth and grace…it is a guiding light…the word is glorious…the word is alive and active…it is our “god-conscious” …the word is fulfilling and gives wisdom. ALL THIS IS PLANTED IN YOU.

You have no filth in your life that is too dirty for God to make clean.

I pray that you will allow the word of God, and all its fruitfulness, fill your life. Rid yourself of anything that doesn’t put a smile on God’s face. Grant The Gardner to pull the weeds in your life out and create a beautiful landscape in your heart. He will!

Okay… No matter how many times (and trust me…my mind is still running and going deep) I may have to say “squirrel”, my focus is always on Jesus and allowing Him to teach me lessons in my life through everyday moments. Now, I’ve applied this verse diverse ways from my life (also click here to see another entry titled Weeds in My Life.) I would love to hear an interruption from you as you permit God to reveal Himself to you.

Blessings to you and yours. Love, Stephanie

Click here for more on James 1:21

 

 

Of course I had to get a photo with it.  No harm was done.

Of course I had to get a photo with it. No harm was done.

While walking the wooded trails, Tim and I came across a softshell turtle. He was heading in the opposite direction of the nearby pond. Tim said, “You’re going the wrong way, buddy.” So, we decided to help him turn back around and head towards the watering hole.

It was quite comical at first. We would attempt to pick it up, but it would jump forward as he was trying to escape our gentle grasp.

The turtle would jump, and I’d let go and start laughing. Finally, Tim said, “It’s not going to hurt you. Get a firm hold and pick it up.”

Do you need someone to help guide you in the right direction? Maybe you’re just hoping that God will reach down from heaven, pick your body up, and turn you in the right direction.

Well…He will.

Turn to Jesus in all circumstances of your life. Trust in Him to know what is best for you. He does!

Sure, you may want to jump out of His hands and try to escape, but if you know what is best for you you will allow God to get a firm hold and move you.

God knows every detail of your life. He will watch over you, and never leave you.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Direct my footsteps according to Your word; let no sin rule over me.  Psalm 119:133

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.  Isaiah 58:11

Have a beautiful day soaking up The Son wherever you are. I pray that you will seek the Lord and His will for your life. His way is best.

Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie

 

 

Burn, baby, burn...and I'm not just talking about calories or the land.

Burn, baby, burn…and I’m not just talking about calories or the land.

For the past couple of weeks, Tim and I have been walking the Blackwater Creek Preserve and the Lower Green Swamp Preserve. First of all, I’d like to say, “Thank you!” to Hillsborough County for maintaining the thousands of acres for us two to enjoy walking all to ourselves. Yes! Every morning, we’ve been to either location, we are the ONLY ones there. Sweet!

Last week the county began a controlled burn, or as others may call a prescribed burn. The view of the land that was burnt got me to thinking…you know me…I’ll find a “God lesson” in just about anything.

Controlled burns are beneficial to the land. When you read up on its advantages you will discover words or phrases like:

  • Rejuvenates
  • Boosts productivity
  • Enhance
  • Stimulates and prepares for new growth
  • Manages unwanted growth
  • Reduce competition from undesired plants and shrubs
  • Enhance appearance

These sound like the joys, you heard me…joys, of when WE go through the fire.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7

Then I will test those survivors by giving them many troubles. The troubles will be like the fire a person uses to prove silver is pure. I will test them the way a person tests gold. Then they will call to me for help, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘You are my people.’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9

It’s not pleasurable being burned. Troubles and are unpleasant! Yet they do have their advantages. Hey, we aren’t supposed to live the “comfortable” life. That’s when we don’t grow and mature in our faith. Be challenged.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

When you remain close to God and rely on Him in and through your troubles, you will sense rejuvenation occurring in your life. A transformation/renewal that can only come from Jesus Christ.

God is preparing you for something, my friend. Whether your character needs growth (and we all need improvement building our character to be more like Christ), or the struggles you are going through are assisting you in how to be compassionate with others as they go through similar situations…He is working in and through you!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Father who is full of mercy, the God of all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. If we have troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is so that we can comfort you. And this helps you patiently accept the same sufferings we have. 2 Corinthians 1:3-6

We all have areas in our lives that needing some “getting rid of”. Unwanted/undesired traits need to be managed. That’s what God does when we “feel the burn”. You have a choice, you can flounder in sin or you can flee from it. What’s it going to be for you…flounder or flee?

I pray that you will embrace the season of “controlled burning”/refining that you may be going through, or the one that is yet to come. Allow God to be your anchor and be strong in the Lord.  God IS in control.

­­We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Have a beautiful day Soaking up The Son. Find those “God Lessons” throughout your day. They are there, just open your eyes and permit Him to speak to you.

Blessing to you and yours, Stephanie

 

 

 

 

One year ago...Holly received her USFSP c/o 2020 tassel.  Go Bulls.

One year ago…Holly received her USFSP c/o 2020 tassel. Go Bulls.

Over the past week, I’ve had friends who have moved their first born to last born into college. Emotions are rampant. Smiles from some and tears for others. New adventures for first time parents and empty nesters “been there done that” moms and dads.

This morning’s bible verse was not an unfamiliar one to me. I knew I had written about it before. When I searched the verse on the website, to my surprise today marked the one-year anniversary weekend to when we moved our middle child to college. This scripture was the verse-of-the-day then as well.

I’m reposting my journal entry from 2016, just with less photos (click here if you want the full deal). I hope that the words and verses that God gave me then will help some parent-with-a-college-bound-kid…

6/2/16:

“Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24

Yep, that was the bible verse that I woke up to on the day we were moving our daughter to college. Appropriate to share with her? You bet! And…I reminded her that just because we don’t know what she’s up to, GOD DOES. (*wink*wink)

I am grateful that God is watching over and protecting Holly. I pray that she will have a God confidence in herself as she moves forward in this new adventure. I pray that Holly will cultivate new friendships and that they will keep each other accountable. I pray that she will develop a love for learning, be passionate about her studies, have a blast getting involved in campus life, and embrace all that USFSP has to offer.

“My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.  I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:3-4

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

Wise people want to learn more, so they listen closely to gain knowledge. Proverbs 18:15

What a rollercoaster of emotions the past few weeks have been. I invested in waterproof mascara and tissues, and knee pads for praying knees (JK about the knee pads, but serious about the praying.)

Change often brings challenges and may (usually) take us out of our comfort zones, but when we fully rely on God each step of the way, there will be victory in the end. It’s my desire for Holly step out in faith, face those challenges head on with confidence, and always look to God for guidance.

We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We often don’t know what to do, but we don’t give up.  We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Praying for all you parents and newly-college-bound-kiddos. Trust in the Lord. Share these verses with your children and talk about what they mean too. They may not only need these verses as reminders, you too.

6/25/17:

Update on Holly…she survived her first year, and we did too! Holly changed her major three times (much like I did my first year of college), and she is excited about her choice now. Daddy wonders how she will make money with her degree, but I’m grateful that she is stoked about her future (wherever God may lead her). She learned a lot by trial and error, and has grown more independent. We are proud of the woman she is, and can’t wait to see what God has forthcoming for her. Glad to have her home, yet ready for her to continue her journey. (You feel me parents who have been there done that? *another wink wink*.) Holly loves her college town, and enjoys exploring downtown and the beach.  I’m sure I will remind her of these bible verses before she goes back to college, and will probe her for her insight into them. Advice…pray, pray, and pray some more.  God’s got this!

Blessings to you and yours. Love, Stephanie

This photo was taken in her college town, and when she posted this on Instagram, she stated, "St Pete is an aesthetically pleasing place to live."  That makes momma happy knowing her girl is happy.

This photo was taken in her college town, and when she posted this on Instagram, she stated, “St Pete is an aesthetically pleasing place to live.” That makes momma happy knowing her girl is happy.

 

 

 

You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him.  Deut. 10:20a

You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Deut. 10:20a

Within the past week I’ve had some heartfelt conversations with three different friends. Each word was being conveyed with deep distress. The struggle was, and is, real.

Each person felt as if they’ve hit rock bottom. I believe that when we are in that state is often when God reminds us that we have no place to look but up to Him.

I shared Romans 5:3-5 with each friend. Not only because I believe in His Word and trust the bible for correcting and teaching me, but because I have had to use these verses several times in my own life to just make it through the day or the situation I was in. These are verses to have in front of me daily.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Listen, troubles and trials WILL come our way. Hold on! Hold on to Jesus! He is The Hope that WILL get you through your circumstance.

Satan just loves to play puppeteer with us here on earth. But do you know what? He won’t give up, yet he has ALREADY been defeated. Yes! Rejoice in and through the suffering. Don’t allow the evil one to get a good grip on your weakness. He knows them, and he sure will weave his way into your psyche, but remember…God has you in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16). He is not letting go of you. Sure, you may have a foot of finger dangling on the outside, and Satan will try his best to pull on you, but your Heavenly Father is NOT letting go of you. So hold on to Him as well.

Satan has one purpose in life: The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 Did you notice Jesus’ purpose? It’s the total opposite of that sneaky evil one’s.

 

Do you not know?     Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,     the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,     and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary     and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary,     and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord     will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;     they will run and not grow weary,     they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Look to the God of hope. He will give you strength.

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.2 Thessalonians 3:3

I pray that you will rest in His arms and feel God protecting you through it all. He will. Yes, He will!!

Blessings and love to you and yours. Stephanie

Romans 5:3-5 has been a source for many journal entries for me.  Click here to view:  http://soakinguptheson.com/?s=romans+5%3A3-5&search=Search

 

 

He really is a "ray of sunshine" ;)

He really is a “ray of sunshine” ;)

When my daughter finished her first year of college she said, “This year has flown by.” I agreed and mentioned to her that the older you get the faster time seems to fly.

Life is but a breath.  Cherish each moment.

“They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” Psalm 144:4

I remember when Tim and I were dating, our time for that night together had come to an end and we just wanted a little more time together. (Oh, those young-love days…and BTW…they continue.)

Recently, my sweet friend, Billie Jo, sent me a text which simply said for me to listen to Scotty McCreary’s new song, Five More Minutes.

I obeyed. I cried. I shared with Tim and Cole, who were with me at the time. What a powerful song!

From what I understand, Scotty wrote that song after his grandfather passed away. Here’s the chorus, then click here to see the video. You may wish you would have done or said some things differently in life, but you won’t regret it listening to this song.

Time rolls by the clock don’t stop
I wish I had a few more drops
Of the good stuff, the good times
Oh but they just keep on flying
Right on by like it ain’t nothing
Wish I had me a pause button
Moments like those Lord knows I’d hit it
Yeah sometimes this old life will leave you wishing
That you had five more minutes

Are there times in your life you wish you could have hit that pause button? I know I would.

Of course, I think about if I just had five more minutes with my mother-in-law, granny and grandpa, our friend Doug and Paul, and so many more family and friends who have passed away. Heck, for some it’s not just five more minutes, yet five more seconds.

It doesn’t take long to say:

  • “I love you”
  • “I’m sorry”
  • “Please forgive me”
  • “You are beautiful”
  • “I’m so proud of you”
  • “Let’s go fishing, hunting, or walking on the beach”
  • “Let’s dance”
  • “Hold me”
  • And on and on…

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Yes, life is brief. Be wise in how you speak and what you do for others. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving. (Ephesians 4:32)

I pray that you will seek wisdom from our Heavenly Father, be tender in your speech, do for others out of love, say what you need to say to those around you with a gentle spirit, and cherish each breath you have.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

I love you! Thank you for spending a little time with me (pushing the pause button) as we soak up The Son together. Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie.

 

A Father's Day spent on the water is always a good time for us.   Tim with his babies:  Hunter, Holly, and Cole.  I love y'all!!!

A Father’s Day spent on the water is always a good time for us.
Tim with his babies: Hunter, Holly, and Cole. I love y’all!!!

 

He changed diapers. He was even christened a few times along the way.

He rocked babies to sleep, and maybe dosed off himself.

He gave them some of his characteristics, especially his to-die-for dimples.

He held the children when they were sick.

He helped teach the kids how to ride a bike, and ran along beside them to help them when they fell.

He taught them how to fish and hunt and play ball.

He provides for all their needs, and even a few of their wants.

He spoils them with fabulous vacations.

He makes them laugh with his dance moves, jokes, and quick wit.

He disciplines when needed, yet…

He loves unconditionally.

He kneels by our bed every day to pray.

He soaks up some Jesus daily to start his day off right.

He is…the father of my children, the love of my life, my man of integrity, and so much more.

He is…daddy, daddy-o, dad, Tim.

Tim had wonderful example in his life by his earthly father. The greatest example of all is his Heavenly Father.

God­:

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Father who is full of mercy, the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge.With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way. Proverbs 3:5-6

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Psalms 37:13

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  1 Corinthians 13:7

I pray that whether your father is/was of good character, that you will always look towards our Heavenly Father for guidance and example as to how to live.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all!

I am grateful for my man and the father he is to our children.

I am grateful for my man and the father he is to our children.