Friday, January 29, 2010
It's still snowing. Five plus inches and still coming down. I really prefer the warm inside to the frigid outside, but there is just something that is beautiful about white, white snow. It piles up and softens everything it covers. Even sound is softened, quiet, peaceful. Snow slows us down from the hectic lives we live.
Jesus does that to us. He softens the jaggedness of our lives with His love and quiets our hearts with his grace and mercy. He abides in us in peaceful rest. It's good to stop and remember.
Isaiah 30:15 (New International Version)
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
Ice is coming down. Snow is tomorrow. We have prepared the best we can for the worse possible. Flashlights handy, blankets, percolator coffee pot, food, toilet paper, batteries, cell phones charged...all checked off the list. The flicker of the fireplace sends a defiant warm glow around the room as the sleet patters against the window. We are ready. And I am blessed by the feeling of readiness.
Titus 3:1-3 (The Message)
He Put Our Lives Together
Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God's people should be bighearted and courteous.
It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
There is just something majestic about sunsets. There is never one quite the same, yet they all have a quality of beauty within them. I'm sure sunrises have their redeeming qualities, too, but they are placed at the wrong time of day for me.
Isn't it amazing how God never wastes anything in a sunset? Every cloud, every ray of sunlight, every speck of dust that makes up a sunset is important to making that spectacular, momentary event what it is. If God will do that everyday, year in and year out, for however many eons, just to make a sunset, why do we doubt He will use every part of us, good and bad, ugly and beautiful, healthy and sick, to shine for His glory if we just allow His son to surround us with His right-ness? We are much more to our creator than a mere sunset! He will not waste any part of us if we give it up to Him. Just think how majestic WE could be in Him!!
I am blessed to witness the wonder of God...in sunsets...and in His beloved people.
Numbers 6:24-26 (New International Version)
The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Ok, this was just FUN! I had taken a class on night photography and there was a section we never got to on making pictures with lights. So today I decided to try it out. I barricaded myself in my closet and stuffed every piece of stray light with clothes (sorry Pete), set up my tripod with my camera and turned out the lights. I had a red laser pin light and a regular pin light. I set the shutter speed at 20 seconds and then, like I said, just had fun! This was one 'drawing' I really was pleased with.
So I guess I was blessed today in a lot of ways...fun, enjoyment, photography...but I am footnoting a scripture about the subject matter: the Light of the World. He's my Greatest of all blessings!
John 8:12 (New International Version)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
This is my retro swivel rocker that Pete and I found at a garage sale for $5.00. I sat in it and went 'ahhhh'...it was SO comfortable I had to get it, and we certainly couldn't beat the price! It is a fun chair! The kids love it as do many of the adults. I had it put in the front window to catch the sun and it has become my favorite reading place.
Who knew I would find a 'retro blessing'?
Proverbs 10:7a (New International Version)
The memory of the righteous will be a blessing...
We live in Oklahoma...'Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!'. So I am learning to make peace with the wind. Putting up wind chimes at least makes it sound better than the howl it would have otherwise. These wind chimes were bought just for blessing this house, and they have the Lord's prayer on them. So I like to imagine the words of the Lord being sent by the 'breezes' into the air to bless all that may enjoy the wind as much as me!
Matthew 6:9-13 (New International Version)
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'
I am feeling better...finally! So as I thought about my blessings for today, the one that kept coming up before me was: doctors! They take so much of their lives to learn the knowledge of the complex human body, and then spend the rest of it putting up with patients (which are NOT patient!), unreal hours on the job, and continuing education.
Thank you for physicians healing touch!
Psalm 147:2-4 (New Living Translation)
The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem
and bringing the exiles back to Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars
and calls them all by name.
Friday, January 22, 2010
When my kids were little, I remember doing 4 loads of laundry per day. There was even one time I took all the laundry to the laundry mat because I had so much I couldn't do it at home. (We had all been sick for about three days...not a pretty sight!) I counted the washers, we used 32 of them! That must have been some kind of record! Maybe I should have called Guinness. Afterwards, I had tennis elbow from lifting all the laundry out of the washers...like I said...not a pretty sight.
I would joke to my friends that if I didn't make it to heaven I knew what Satan would have ready for me...I would be sentenced to work throughout eternity in the laundry room of Hell!
Now that season of my life has passed...I only do laundry twice a week now and sometime just look for stuff that needs freshening! I no longer mind doing it and find a feeling of accomplishment in having all the dirty piles neatly put away, smelling nice and clean.
So as weird as it sounds, my blessing for today is doing laundry! Isn't it strange how God takes the very things we feel are awful and makes them into blessings?
Isaiah 49:22-23 (The Message)
The Master, God, says:
"Look! I signal to the nations,
I raise my flag to summon the people.
Here they'll come: women carrying your little boys in their arms,
men carrying your little girls on their shoulders.
Kings will be your babysitters,
princesses will be your nursemaids.
They'll offer to do all your drudge work—
scrub your floors, do your laundry.
You'll know then that I am God.
No one who hopes in me ever regrets it."
I love flowers! I can't grow them, but I love them! There is just something special in the way God made such a variety of colors, textures, and shapes in flowers. I never get tired of photographing them, and I will probably have a few more in my blog this year when Spring arrives. Until then, the $1.50 special at Reasors will have to do.
Psalm 50:1, 2
The Mighty One, God, the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Books. In all sizes and shapes. And this is really just one area of our house that has books. Since we only moved a year ago, we still have boxes and boxes of book stashed in the closet and who knows where else! All of these, whether fiction, non-fiction, reference, or picture books (yes, picture books...and we DID find Waldo!), cannot replace the most read book of mine. My Bible...or Bibles, rather.
I find the reading of the Holy Script to be the best of non-fiction. And although the Biblical fiction is debated by the Messianic Jews, I will have to say that Jonah pushes the limits into fiction in my head most of the time. Reference book? Oh Yeah! And picture book? Well, some of mine DO have pictures...especially the children's Bibles. It has been a best seller since mass printing started. And it is my most read book. But words fail me when it comes to explaining my deep, deep love for the Word. It has brought me to my Lord, my Father, and my Comforter. And it continues to shine in all newness every time I open it. It teaches me how to really, really live and makes my life so, so valuable and exciting!
Be blessed as you read the love letter from God...your Bible. And give thanks to Him who wrote it!
Psalm 119: 105-112 (The Message)
By your words I can see where I'm going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I've committed myself and I'll never turn back
from living by your righteous order.
Everything's falling apart on me, God;
put me together again with your Word.
Festoon me with your finest sayings, God;
teach me your holy rules.
My life is as close as my own hands,
but I don't forget what you have revealed.
The wicked do their best to throw me off track,
but I don't swerve an inch from your course.
I inherited your book on living; it's mine forever—
what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
I concentrate on doing exactly what you say—
I always have and always will.
Water (again). This time specifically HOT water. A friend of mine came back from a mission trip to Central America, and the first thing out of her mouth was "We don't know how blessed we are to have hot water!" She had spent a month taking showers with cold or at best tepid water and although she found the trip a priceless experience, it made her realize how truly blessed we are in this country.
So once again my blessing for the day, in it's warmed, relaxing state, is water...and I will probably have a cold water blessing sometime around August!
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There is a place of quiet rest, Near to the heart of God,
A place where sin cannot molest, Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of comfort sweet, Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our Savior meet, Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of full release, Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace, Near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Today Zach turned 3...although if you asked him how old he was, he would answer with anywhere from 3 years old to 6 years old! He delighted in each and every gift he got and the expressions on his face were....well...delightful! It was hard to narrow down today's photo, but not the blessing.
Zachary Wyatt Bowers is my curly haired, wide eyed blessing for today! Happy Birthday, Zach. I love you!
Psalm 90:15-17 (New Living Translation)
Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
Replace the evil years with good.
Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory.
And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.
Yes, make our efforts successful!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Tomorrow is Zach's birthday. He will be three and wanted a 'Herbie' cake. It has been a few years since I tried to make a birthday cake for one of the kiddo's, and I had never attempted a car one before. So I surprised myself. I tried something new and it was...good!
I wonder how God felt when he tried His creative hand in making us. Did He have a brainstorming session with the Spirit and Word? Did He have to redo things a few times before it was just right? Was he excited when he picked up the dust and started to fashion arms, legs, fingers, and toes? Did he have to play rock, paper, scissors to choose hair and eye colors? I have no idea! But I DO know the end product was proclaimed to be VERY good. And we are a part of that 'very good'!
Creative. It is what our God is. It is what our God does. And he passed it on to us with His blessing to continue being creative.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day.
Friday, January 15, 2010
The fog rolled in today. And watching it made me feel rather melancholy. I prefer sunshine. Period. But the fog was a reminder that not every day is sunshine. And the fog is very temporary. Give it one good ray of light and poof, it's gone.
Kind of like life (oooo...this thought is deep). We are walking through fog in our short vapor-like lives. But when the Son appears, these vapor bodies will disappear in His light and become like him. (Told you...deep.)
My blessing in the fog is the reality that life in this body is short. God made it that way. And just like the fog, our bodies won't last long. The pain and suffering we experience is very, very temporary and shows the wisdom our God has placed on us with mortality in these bodies. May we never, ever take for granted one day. But oh when the Son breaks thru.....!
He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
The reason I named my blog 'Thoughts from a Brain in a Blender' is because I spent over 3 years battling migraine headaches sometimes on a daily basis. They were both optical migraines and strange ones that occurred in my brain stem. Together they really scramble my thought processes and affected my body like a stroke would...except the symptoms would gradually go away. Only to return with the next migraine. I really felt, at times, that my brain had been taken out, put through a blender, and poured back into my head leaving me with not only a headache, but trying to sort out every piece of information coming in and trying to connect with memories that I knew were there.
After finding a really great doctor, she found the medication that would control the migraines. They haven't completely gone...but they are much less frequent. I will take that!
So why is my blessing today my glasses and contacts? My eyesight was so affected by the migraines my prescription changed 5 times in 3 years. I brushed it off as old age until my eye doctor connected it with my migraines. Now that they are under control, my eyesight has not returned. So...my glasses were a lifeline to ALL my photography and computer work. And recently I found contacts that would work with all the differing aspects of my eyes. Eyesight is something I took for granted. Now, it is a precious, precious gift from God.
Thank you, Father, for blessing me with eyesight that can see your handiwork in people, my doctors, nature, and just absolutely EVERYTHING!
Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord;
the man you teach from your law;
you grant him relief from days of trouble...
Thursday, January 14, 2010
My feline companion, Luke, is such a comfort. Last summer when I was confined to bed, he was right there with me. Every morning while I drink my coffee and study, he's on my lap (or trying to get on my book!). He provides me warmth during the cold, cold winter days at no cost to me...well, except for an occasional head scratching, and there is nothing quite so calming as rubbing a purring cat's tummy.
The blessing of being owned by a cat...I love it!
2 Corinthians 1:3,4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Five boys and a Mema. We had fun! Eating cupcakes, playing Mario Cart, doing homework...(ok, I thought it was fun), reading books; we had fun! So here's to the blessing of just kicking back and having a good time!
The blessing of being a child!
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
The SUN!! One good thing about cloudy, dreary days? They make me appreciate the sunlight more than ever! One day we will stand where there is no need of sunlight. Our Father, creator, provider, King will be our sun and He will never let dark, dreary day intrude again. I can't wait!!
Thank you, Father, for the sunlight today! What a blessing!
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
We had our small group Christmas party today. Yes, it was a little late...the snow is just now melting enough to safely get together. We had food, fellowship, food, games, food, gift exchange, and yes, more food! The gift exchange is always fun! We all bring a wrapped gift and put them in a pile. Then each of us choose a number and from 1 to 17. We go in order and randomly pick our gift from the pile. The catch is, that gift can be taken away by any person who picks after you and then you choose another gift...or steal another person's gift. Confusing? Oh yeah! But a lot of fun!!
I got the gift Jenny H. brought...but not by randomly picking. She refused to let anyone pick it up until my number was called. The she told me to pick hers. (We call her 'Mom' for a reason!) When I opened it she whispered to me, "I thought of you when I found this and really wanted you to get it!" ...LIVE... she really wanted me to get it. What a message!
So my blessing? Jenny. With her precious message to me. Live. What a blessing!
...I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth.
...you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
...Because I live, you also will live.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
All who know me are snickering at my blessing for today. The gallons and gallons of water my friends have seen me consume is...funny. Coffee and water are my beverages of choice for anytime. And as soothing as I find coffee, I find water refreshing anytime, anywhere.
So my blessing today...water. A gift from God for quenching thirst, cleansing the body, dedicating the soul, and as a reminder of the river of life we long to see.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Well, it had to happen sooner or later...of course my grandchildren are a very great blessing to me! Kaleb is first, only because he happened to get his picture done first...or maybe not. When I am with Kaleb I am reminded how God works in different ways than I do. I would never want children to suffer. I would never want them to have to grow up before their time. I would want them to feel like they had all the time in the world to be a kid, and then they could look forward to being an adult...later. But every day with Kaleb is a blessing unto itself. Precious. Valuable. Something to be cherished. And if it is one thing God has taught me through him, it is to value life and the time we have with each other. Yes, I look forward to being with Jesus and at the same time hold tight to my life on this earth. While I am here I know I have a job to do. There IS a purpose for me, a task that only I can do. Just like there is a purpose for Kaleb, and everyone. God doesn't put people here to take up space, we are here to fight a battle. A battle for life...and to win that battle by dying to self, living in Christ, and following Him to the throne room of our creator at just the right time. So I chose Kaleb first, I suppose, because he has given me the blessing of living in the 'today'. Because none of us are promised a tomorrow.
Be blessed, right now, because right now is such a blessing.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today...
Thursday, January 07, 2010
With the wind chill below freezing it is easy to see why I chose this photo. But there is even a deeper blessing in it than just a scarf and gloves for warmth. The scarf was my grandmothers. It was said at her funeral that she was an elegant lady at all times...and she was. There was never a day, even when she was sick, that she didn't have her hair, face, nails and clothes looking good. I remember as a child, sitting on a chair by her vanity table watching her put on her makeup or do her nails. Don't get me wrong, she worked hard! Grandma was not a fragile thing! She kept a full sized garden, canned the vegetables, worked at my Grandpa's gas station keeping books and filling the candy machines, and helped her neighbors any way she could. But the thing I will always remember about her, is the table beside her chair. She always had her Bible, a devotional book, magazines or papers of some sort to read there. And she always had a pair of scissors there too. She would cut out articles from the local newspaper that had something to do with prayer, love, or some other special characteristic she was studying, and she would stick them in her Bible or devotional. I was given more than her scarf when she died. I was given her Bible. And it was full of a woman that was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.
So my blessing today is warmth. The kind of warmth that comes from knowing a truly Godly person. I miss you, Grandma.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
This looks like a Bionicle. Feels like a Bionicle. But in the hands of a three year old that has just watched a Disney movie...it is....Mary Poppins! I love the way children's minds have the ability to imagine. Adults are built to think too much in reality. Kids...well their thought patterns, in my opinion, must be a lot closer to God's. Our creator has the greatest imagination possible! There are things yet undiscovered that our God imagined, put into play, and hid just for us to find.
So the blessing given me today? The freedom to imagine! To imagine a world in peace, ruled by our Lord. To imagine pain and suffering...gone. Sickness and death...history. To imagine a place where love is the only law and worship of the Father and Son is around the clock, 24/7, all eternity. Truth and joy are 100 percent real. And relationships? Unimaginably sweet! I can only imagine...
Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message)
God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, YES!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Pete and I were asked to help facilitate a new class on Wednesday night at Memorial. We have only had a few days to prepare for the first class, but what a great few days! Already I have been blessed not only with the readings and study, but the encouragement of our fellow facilitators and just the joy of studying with my husband.
The fear factor that we are all facing daily is not by accident. It was never God's intent that we be fearful. By the power of deceit and our willingness to accept that deceit we find ourselves wringing out hands in despair at the state of our families, our jobs, our country, our whole world! Fearless - Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado has allowed me to see how I have given up something very special - a view of life from God's perspective. He knows the beginning. He knows the end. We are his beloved creation that He loves SO much He died for us. How can we fear anything when our creator is so powerful and caring? I may not know how things will work out, but I DO know the One who does. I can rest in that, for sure.
I can't wait to get further into this study and see how the Father grows me in this one!
II Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear, KJV),
but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Monday, January 04, 2010
This blessing is of no surprise: a hot cup of coffee! My dearest husband starts my day off by bringing me one in bed (now THAT'S a blessing!) Some of my dearest memories are having coffee with friends and family. I study my Bible with coffee in hand and a phone call usually requires one, too. Now before you think all I do is drink coffee...I usually only have 2 cups a day. I just reheat the one I don't finish until it is all gone! Besides, part of they joy of coffee is warming my hands with the cup.
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine (coffee*) with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
This time last year I was busy adjusting to a new house: putting up pictures, moving furniture around to suit my taste, unpacking and running around with all the craziness that goes with making a place a home. By April I had decided to paint and redo the living and dining room in a more warm color. Getting samples of paint, I was just ready to start putting some color to the wall when my back started aching. Then there was pain that started down my leg. Within a few weeks I couldn't stand upright without extreme pain in both my back and leg. Walking was a real challenge and after two or three doctor visits, surgery was the only option to stop the pain. I took it. It has been seven months since surgery and I am better but not able to even think about painting the living room. I still can't lift more than ten pounds and have a constant 'funny' feeling in my legs and feet. I keep hearing..'it takes time'...and I keep thinking...'but I have so many things I want to do NOW!'
This morning I was talking with a friend who had endured many back surgeries. I complained about how the cold was awful, and the pain was a nuisance. He said quite bluntly, "You're upright aren't you? You're walking, aren't you? I figure any day I can get up and walk is a good day. The pain doesn't quit, but I can walk. And I will make the best of each and every time I can do that..and smile about it!"
Ok...he is right. It took someone pointing out this blessing in a very blunt way to realize how big a blessing it really is. Walking. I can walk. I am very, VERY blessed.
Isaiah 35:4, 6, 10
..."Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,"...
Then will the lame leap like a deer...
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Blessings are SO hard to narrow down today! So I chose one that has many layers to it...working on the KPC song books for this year. First blessing: Being able to work on projects with my very best friend. Pete has to be my second greatest blessing on earth (second only to my relationship with my Heavenly Dad). Second: My relationship with a friend who has blessed my whole family richly...Brenda...and her very had work of teaching kids to follow directions. Third: The joy of song and singing, especially with the children involved in our Kids Praise Chorus. Over and over again I hear the comment that they sound like angels singing...and I totally agree!
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
Friday, January 01, 2010
With the encouragement of my daughter, the two of us are going to do a picture a day for a full year of the blessings in our lives. For me, this will be a year of discipline to see what God is providing every single day. I will be doing this to consciously and deliberately grow my faith in Him. I know He is powerful. Now I will add to my knowledge an assurance that He works in everything, everyday.
The first blessing I am posting is my family. We have been through a lot the past few years and this photo means more to me than all the money in the world. It shows that our God heals, rebuilds, and upholds those that trust in Him. He grows us the way HE wants us to grow, sometime only in small baby steps. But each tiny step brings more forgiveness, shows more how He is in control and not us, and allows us to know deeply His grace and mercy. We are learning to give that grace and mercy to each other now...and becoming more like His son, Jesus. For that, I am truly humbled before Him...in awe and gratitude.
In that day they will say,
"Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in Him;
let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."