We Are His Offspring

Acts17-28

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ —Acts 17:28

As you can see, I am loving me some pink flowers lately! Must be I’m pining away for Spring to get here…

Blessings to you all!

AnnaSmile

Victory

Treasure Tuesday

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It’s been awhile but today I’d like to share with you another special devotional written by my friend and mentor, Patricia Knight.  This is another of the devotionals in her book, REJOICE!

Victory Over Circumstances

Elijah was God’s prophet. The Old Testament tells us that Elijah alone challenged 450 prophets of the false god Baal. God’s people refused to help so Elijah faced the formidable adversaries with only his God on his side. Each opposing team of believers was to offer a sacrifice on an altar but not set fire to it. Baal’s prophets were to call on their god and Elijah called on the Lord. The one who answered by fire would be declared the true God. Baal, of course, was unresponsive in spite of shouting and pleading by his prophets. Elijah then prayed that God would let it be known that He was the only living and true God. “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench” (1 Kings 18:38).

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Elijah had just been triumphant against 450 prophets of a false god. He had believed in God and God was triumphant. One would think Elijah would be praising God and rejoicing after the victory. But, he had just received a message from wicked Queen Jezebel, saying she would kill him. God’s Word tells us Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. Other than being overtaken by fear Elijah was tired—just plain worn out. Imagine the energy he expended in the intense fighting against the vastly out-numbered prophets of Baal.

Elijah-angelWe cannot forget the all-powerful Jezebel, who was at that time threatening to do to Elijah what he had just done to the prophets of the false gods. 1 Kings 19:4 tells us, “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.” With God’s help he had just defeated all those men against all odds. Now we hear him pleading with God to take his life. “Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep” (1 Kings 19:5). Observe how God ministered to him. It appears that the cause of Elijah’s depression was lack of proper rest (vs. 5), improper eating habits (vs. 6), physical exhaustion (vs. 6), and loneliness (vs. 16). In the scene that is created for us of Elijah, God has sent an angel to minister to his needs. God healed Elijah by allowing him to rest, gave him food, and sent a friend for earthly companionship.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. 1 Kings 19:4-9

Interestingly, God didn’t condemn Elijah and tell him to stop his foolishness and get on with life. God, in His wisdom knew that Elijah needed comfort and understanding. God knew that what He had asked Elijah had not been easy for him to do. With his multiple needs in mind, God ministered to Elijah to refresh him mentally and physically. God still had more work for Elijah to do; He needed a rested and nourished man for the days ahead. God even demonstrated to Elijah His presence in a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12).

There is nothing that we experience that God has not been through.

That is why He so readily understands our needs.

There was a time when God allowed Satan to test Jesus in the wilderness for forty days. Though Jesus did not sin, He knew the energy it took to resist constant temptation. That is why He can minister to us and completely meet our needs when we are worn out, over-worked, or have a long list of demands facing us.

Like Elijah, our typical response may be a desire to crawl into a corner and tell God and the world to go on without us.

“And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God does not expect us to be super heroes.

Nowhere does He even hint at that. He only tells us to obey. A concise way to remember the importance of obedience when we can see neither the purpose nor the outcome is to recall this quote:

God takes full responsibility for the consequences of our obedience. —Anon

There will be a day, soon, when you will feel like smiling inwardly and outwardly. For now you need to rest and restore and renew. Only God can accomplish healing and in His precise time. It is not comfortable to be in a dry area. Look at all the great men of the Bible. They had their wilderness wanderings when God took them away from the crowd to teach and refine them. Moses was out in the fields where he escaped to Midian after murdering a man. He lived there for forty years until God called him to do his life’s work. Or, visualize Joseph in prison, wondering why God took him so far, to then have him forgotten by family and those to whom he was devoted. Job teaches us about physical and emotional suffering; he learned that he had no right to question God. In His time, God restored Job’s health and showered him with many more possessions than he had before. Even God’s own Son spent those forty days resisting Satan in the wilderness.

Cracked desert dry tree

I have been in dry spiritual times and I have resisted greatly. It is neither fun nor a comfortable place to be. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going… These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever. So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever” (2 Corinthians, 4:8, 9, 17, 18, TLB).

The Psalmist David was named “a man after God’s own heart.” What a distinction and honor! Yet this is what he admitted, “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” (Psalm 63:1, 2). It is wonderful that God chose to write examples of very real and flawed people in His Word so that we can relate to those about whom we read and apply the lessons to our own lives.

When God sees us in the “pits,” He reaches down and lovingly rescues us, lifting us up to higher ground. Through Him, we are triumphant, like Elijah of centuries ago. Trust Him because He has already won the victory!

REJOICEPat, once again I thank you for allowing me to share your writing with my readers. You’re the best and once again, your writing has blessed us all! If  anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of REJOICE! please let me know by commenting in the section below this post.

AnnaSmile

Brace Face

Tidbit Tuesday – Edited Version

Even though I feel like the days are speeding by, I guess I was trying to make it go faster by posting this Tidbit Tuesday post today. Go figure…

Last night I pulled out some old photos of me and scanned them into my computer this morning to add to this post (that I thought was still scheduled to publish tomorrow). So when I saw that I was a little late, I decided to do this edited version and republish it now. Sorry for the confusion, but here we go!

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I was fairly awkward as I was growing up. Some of that is still with me today. But when you are a teen, everything seems to conspire against you. Even things that are “for your own good” often feel anything but that!

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Include me in the ranks of having to wear braces when I was young. Not once, but twice! I don’t have any photos available that show me with braces on, but then I rarely smiled big with a mouthful of metal and here are some photos to prove it.

As you can see, I absolutely did not like to smile with a mouth full of metal. But when I forgot that the camera was there and did smile, here’s what I looked like:

Anna19yo-2

Actually, someone must have said something that made me laugh big and then caught me just in time with the camera. I can’t recall the details, but there you have it!

“Brace face” was only one of the names I was called. How about “tin grin” or “metal mouth”? Even one of my high school teachers teased me about it!

These days braces are very common so they’re not a big deal. You can even have “invisible” braces these days that do a great job. But I had an intense love/hate affair with my braces. I had terribly crooked teeth, especially my upper ones. My eye teeth were so crowded out of alignment with the rest that they looked kind of like fangs—I kid you not. So I was thankful that my teeth would look much better and prettier after the braces, but I hated everything else about it: all the the visits to the orthodontist, the ELASTICS that kept popping off and shooting across the room, the pieces of food that would get gunked up in all that metalness.

When I finally got them off, I was so relieved and happy… until a year later when they had to go back on. Apparently my stubborn eye teeth did not like their new home and tried to migrate north again. And this second wearing of braces really caused some angst. Here I was a “cool” 19-year old working as a receptionist for an orthodontist at the time (my own orthodontist referred me to him). Whenever a teenager came in for a consult with his parents and seemed less than delighted at the thought of all that metal in their mouth, my orthodontist boss would point to me and say, “See? You’re never too old for braces!”

Oh. Joy. Let’s just draw even more attention to my brace face, shall we?

Anna21yo

And here I am about a year after my braces were removed the second time. I was more than willing to smile for the camera then!

I hope you enjoyed this little journey through my brace face years. I am so thankful for my Mom and Dad who worked very hard to pay for those braces. Unlike today, it was a huge deal back then to have braces and compared to the typical income back then, they were very expensive. I don’t ever take my straight teeth for granted!

AnnaSmile

Excited…thankful…humbled by awards

I have been so blessed by all my bloggy friends and today I want to share with you several blog awards I recently received:

These awards are such fun to receive and share with you!

I need to thank Ginger from Daily Life with Fibromyalgia and Peter from PJ Grace Community: Identifying Evidences of God’s Grace .

THANK YOU BOTH!

Peter nominated me for the Lovely Blog Award, the Shine On Award, and the Very Versatile Blogger Award.

Interestingly, both Ginger and Peter nominated me for the Blog of the Year 2012 award so I get to display the image that includes 2 brightly shining stars. [See explanation of this below.]

Peter, I know I am supposed to share 7 things about myself here, but I’ll save that for a few future Tidbit Tuesdays. I only have so much energy these days, and most people would probably be able to just dash off this post quickly, but it literally takes me hours to prepare, compose and schedule this kind of post.

Ginger, I am following your ‘rules’ for the Blog of the Year 2012 because it basically only entails my copying from your post where you listed your nominees. Now that I can manage, so here it is!

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

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Here are my blog nominees for the Blog of the Year 2012:

Chief of the Least

God’s Word for Women

I Hope 4 Him

Meeting in the Clouds

Peaceful Wife

Tammy Kay’s Corner

Teshuva~Inspirations for a Better Life

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

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Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

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Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page.

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

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‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails

Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star thumbnail

Please visit the blogs I’ve nominated to show your support. You never know—you might be inspired to follow one of them too!

AnnaSmile

I Will Help You

As some of you know, I have been struggling with health issues for years but the past several months have been worse than normal. Right now I’m trying out a new treatment that is either making me worse before I get better or—as has been typical for me for many years—my body is reacting in completely the opposite way than is usual for this med.

As I’ve been heard to say more than once, it’s not easy being me!

I love connecting with my readers but have been unable to keep up with my blog as much as I’d like to. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some Bible verse or famous quotation images that have special meaning to me. Here’s the first one. Enjoy!

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AnnaSmile

Fireproof

Tidbit Tuesday

FireproofMovie

When the movie “Fireproof” first came out in 2008, I wanted to see it because my son is a firefighter. Simple, huh?

Actually, not so much. Seeing this movie greatly impacted Rick’s and my marriage and we decided to buy the DVD as well as the “Fireproof Your Marriage” Couple’s Kit Bible study. And I also bought the paperback Fireproof to read. If I like something a lot, I want to know as much as I can about it! That’s how I roll.

Our 10-year anniversary was in 2008 so we decided to have a private ceremony—just Rick and me—in which we renewed our covenant vows and exchanged new, matching wedding bands that have three etched crosses on them. Now, please understand that our marriage was not in peril but seeing this movie reinforced in both of us the need to tend to our relationship in a new, special way. Every. Single. Day.

It is so easy to let things slide in order to avoid conflict, but that just causes the little things to pile up into a huge mountain and then watch out! Here’s where a full-on blow-up can happen. One of the things we have learned is to let go of what doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things and yet make sure we talk over what does make a difference in our marriage. We make sure to be constantly and consistently vigilant to not let the embers of our love die out because of something we said or didn’t say. Or did or didn’t do.

I shared that I would be writing about “enough” this year, but let me clearly state that our marriages are not to be taken for granted. We need to nurture our marriages and our marriage partners every day. This is a case where “enough” is NOT enough!

Here’s a video trailer of “Fireproof” to whet your appetite in case you haven’t seen it. And if you have seen it, I’d like to challenge you to watch it again with a new frame of mind for how much more your marriage can be… even if—as was the case for Rick and me—you think your marriage is already the best it can be.

AnnaSmile

Enough

I know many people pray for a word from the Lord for each new year. I have never thought to do that but this year God apparently has other plans for me. During the last couple of months of 2012, He kept placing the word enough in front of me in various ways. Sometimes it was in my Bible reading, other times in a devotional I was reading. And other times it was something in the news or online.

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to use that word this year or how God wants me to write about it. But I do know that it is to have significance for me this year, and I am to share what I learn with you. I don’t know if I’ll be writing about this subject every week or every month, but please know that I will be in prayer about how and how often to share what God gives me.

For now, let me start with a story that maybe you’ve already read. It has been taken out of context a lot but here it is with the proper acknowledgement to the original author. I’ll let the story do the telling.

IWishYouEnough'

“I wish you enough!”©

By Bob Perks

I never really thought that I’d spend as much time in airports as I do. I don’t know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I’m not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports.

I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to “hello” and “goodbye.”I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.

I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye.

Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.

On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, “How are you today?” I replied, “I am missing my wife already and I haven’t even said goodbye.”

She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, “How long will you…Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!” We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye.

But I learn from goodbye moments, too.

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.”

They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.

So I knew what this man experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.”When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friends, I wish you enough! by Bob Perks

http://www.bobperks.com/wish.htm

AnnaSmile