Happy Mother’s Day 2013

mothers_day

This is for all of you Moms out there and for all of us whose Moms have already left this world.

The Lord took my Mom home six years ago but this is how I often remember her:

geraniums-in-a-flower-box-laurel-talabere

When I was growing up, one of the houses we lived in had built-in brick planters that bordered the front porch. Every year Mom would plant bright red geraniums in those planters—just like the ones in this photo. They made the entrance to our home look so pretty! I wish I had a photo of her standing next to those gorgeous geraniums but I guess that doesn’t matter because I’ll always have the memories in my mind and in my heart.

Beloved, whether your Mom is still here with you or dancing in heaven, what memory is your favorite about her?

I love and miss you Mom!

AnnaSmile

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Tomorrow, May 12th, is 2013 Fibromyalgia Awareness Day so I thought I’d simply share my previous post about this.

FMS-Day-Aware-for-homepage-2013

Understanding of fibromyalgia as a real chronic illness is recognized on this day each year with events held across the U.S. and around the world to raise awareness about fibromyalgia and its impact on individuals, families and communities.

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA) stands ready to help you and/or your support group create a memorable event to make a difference in your community.

The theme this year is “CARE & Make Fibromyalgia Visible.”  The acronym CARE stands for:

C – Contribute
A – Advocate
R – Research
E – Educate

The goal of this year’s campaign is to engage people outside of the fibromyalgia community to support and spread awareness for FM recognition to the general public.

To help you spread the word, the NFMCPA is providing FREE Fibromyalgia Awareness Day Event Kits for events of all sizes.  Whether you’re one individual person who wants to get a proclamation signed by your legislators or a large group sponsoring a city-wide walk, they have the materials you will need, including posters, signs, instructions, step-by-step checklists and even raffle tickets and receipts.

Big_Purple_Fibro_Ribbon

Awareness Day and Fundraiser Event Kits available include:

  • Community Picnic Events
  • Table-Top Exhibits for Shopping Malls, Health Fairs, Farmers’ Markets, etc.
  • Walk to Cure FM Events
  • State Legislature Visits – Proclamation and Resolution Program

For more information or to order an event kit, visit the NFMCPA’s Awareness Day 2013 Web page.

[Shared from http://www.prohealth.com]

To read more about how fibromyalgia affects lives, please check out the Fibromyalgia Awareness Day tab on my Chronic Illness page.

make-fm-visible-301x156

AnnaSmile

Finishing Well

Here’s another devotional written by my wonderful friend, Patricia Knight. I know you’ll appreciate this one as much as I do!

finish-line-1

FINISHING WELL

By Patricia Knight

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” —2 Corinthians 12:9, NAS

 2Cor12-9-Grace

At the end of his life and his remarkable career, the apostle Paul turned his responsibilities over to Timothy, his friend and co-worker for Christ. Paul expressed self-satisfaction with serving God and promoting His Gospel; he had totally depended on his Lord’s leadership and power. He carried God’s love throughout most parts of the known world, on four missionary journeys. Paul’s ministry work for His Lord was impeccable.

After being stripped and beaten, then thrown in a dark, dank jail where his feet were secured in stocks as an added measure of security, Paul gave thanks and sang hymns.  From inside another jail he wrote letters to encourage fellow Christians, the same Gospel letters that minister to us today in God’s Word.

Paul asked God repeatedly to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” a particularly burdensome physical problem. Instead of curing Paul, God answered that He would convert Paul’s weakness to His sovereign strength.  We do not know to what extent Paul’s physical problem interfered with his endurance, but we are aware that Paul remained steadfast in his faith and service to His Lord, daily buoyed and empowered by God’s strength.  Paul was determined to boast about his own weaknesses so that Christ’s power could be glorified in his life. Today, God is faithful to convert our weakness into His strength, just as He did for Paul centuries ago.

Humble obedience is God’s intent for us.  Whatever our plight in this life, we are   commanded to enthusiastically accomplish God’s work.  Using our unique abilities, God delights in custom designing a personal service plan for everyone who loves Him.

2Tim-4-7-The Race

“Few Christians finish well” is a haunting prediction.  Let us not allow that warning to come to fruition in our lives. By maintaining tenacity of faith and service to God throughout our lives, in the end, like Paul, we can claim, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).  Though Paul readily identified God as his Source of strength, he also persevered during hardship, allowing God’s power to burst through his circumstances.

James2-26

Our gift of eternal life is secured by grace, not by works. As a result, our good deeds for God and our fellow men spill over as a natural outpouring of our faith“Faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26). Paul knew that truth and so do we.  Why not practice with discipline that which we know to be true, and finish our life well, with a remarkable career for Christ?

Thank you again, Pat! What a blessing you are in my life!

AnnaSmile

My Strength

Wonderful Wednesday

Habakkuk3-16

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places. —Habakkuk 3:17-19

AnnaSmile

Monday Lapghan Mishmash

mish mash

For the past couple of years I’ve been keeping busy crocheting lapghans as therapy, plus it serves as a ministry. Somehow the process of crocheting seems to keep me from totally focusing on my pain. I have several patterns—some from actual patterns and some I make up as I go along—but they all have one thing in common: they are quick and easy to work up.

So here are my latest projects, displayed in a collage for your viewing enjoyment.

AnnaSmile

What We Believe-Part 7

believe-3

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #7 of 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here , Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here and Part 6 here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

Last Things: We believe that one day every person will stand before God’s judgment.

1Cor3-12-13

1 Corinthians 3:12-15—“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

GreatWhiteThroneJudgment

Revelation 20:11-15—“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Beloved, thank you for journeying with me through this week’s look back at the foundations of what we as Jesus followers believe—in other words, why we believe what we believe. I hope you’ve enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Here is the bottom line for you to ponder:

Do you know what you believe? Can you support it?

AnnaSmile

What We Believe-Part 6

believe---

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #6 of 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here , Part 3 here, Part 4 here and Part 5 here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

Chuch: We believe in the Church, the body of believers in Christ whose goal is to make disciples.

Matt28-18-20

Matthew 28:18-20—“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

acts2_41

Acts 2:41-47—“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Encourage

Hebrews 10:19-25—“”Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.””

Beloved, thank you for hanging with me this long. We have one more section to go through tomorrow, Part 7—Last Things: We believe that one day every person will stand before God’s judgment.

AnnaSmile

2013 National Day of Prayer

National-Day-of-Prayer-2013

Today is the National Day of Prayer for the United States. The theme for 2013 is “Pray for America.” According to the National Day of Prayer web site,

As our nation struggles with continued economic insecurity, vast healthcare reform, and countless challenges to our constitutional rights, citizens of the United States are preparing to exercise their freedom to gather, worship, and pray.  Millions will answer the call to prayer on May 2nd in observance of the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer.  Organized events will be held in thousands of public venues where intercession will be made for America and its leadership.

This year’s theme, “Pray for America”, is based on Matthew 12:21 which reminds us that “In His name the nations will put their hope.”  National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Family Talk founder Dr. James Dobson, has said that, “The American people continue to be plagued with challenges that defy simple answers, and our hope lies in humbly seeking the Almighty’s guidance, protection, and blessing – not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year.”

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer.  In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

I would like to share a song written by the group Sanctus Real. Read below about how and why they wrote this song.

SanctusReal_Pray_Single

We wrote the song Pray because these are anxious times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the edge of my seat, watching and waiting as tensions rise and markets fall. The 2012 election has left me acutely aware of the fact that we are a nation divided, fragile and in dire need of true hope. From my television screen to my twitter feed, I’m confronted with a minute-by-minute timeline of the latest news from around the world. The awareness that we’re just one thumb tap away from another shocking headline can be stressful. What will come next? We wonder if North Korea will launch a nuclear missile, if another homemade bomb in a backpack will be detonated at a public gathering, or if the mild-mannered kid next door will carry out another mass murder.

For those who cannot view the video for whatever reason, here are the lyrics to this wonderful song:

I bow my head to pray, I don’t know what to say
I’m not sure how to fix the things I’m dealing with
I’m in a desperate place, I need to share the weight
But I just don’t know how, to let it all pour out
Though I’m silent, my heart is crying
Cause I was made to come to You

So I pray
God I need You more than words can say
Right here in this moment
You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray

I’ve failed to find the time, but You’ve been calling out
I let the days go by as if I could live without
But it’s gotta be here now, I won’t be pulled away
Cause it’s just You and I, so let the world around us fade

As I pray
God I need You more than words can say
Right here in this moment
You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray

(Father)
Will You meet me here right now?
(Father)
I surrender, lay it down
(Father)
And every time I close my eyes
I know that I was made
To lift my hands and pray
I lift my hands and pray

You know my heart, You know my need
And every single part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray

You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
All the words and all my life
Take it as an offering

Beloved, please join me in praying for the United States of America. We are a country dealing with so many things, and from my personal experience, prayer is the best way to work through any of this:

  • Pray for our government leaders, for right decisions during these troubling times.
  • Pray for people who are struggling with financial problems, feeding their families, keeping a roof over their heads, and the rising rate of unemployment.
  • Pray for those who have been harmed by terrorist activity, AND for those want to do us harm as a nation.
  • Pray for the unborn babies that are but a breath away from having their lives snuffed out.
  • Pray for all who are disabled and those who live with chronic pain illnesses, who struggle with getting even the seemingly easiest tasks accomplished.
  • Pray for our churches and church leaders, that none of them will forgo what the Bible teaches just to go along with the status quo.
  • Pray for all of those who claim to be Jesus followers, that none of us will forget our first Love.

This is by no means a complete list, so my final thought for you is: 

just pray…

Beloved, please know that I am praying for all of you, that God will bless you as you bless others through your prayers.

AnnaSmile

What We Believe-Part 5

Believe in God

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #5 of 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here , Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

Humanity: We believe that God created Humanity but they fell into sin. We believe that those who trust in Jesus alone are restored to God.

Genesis 1.31

Genesis 1:26-31—“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

Adam-Eve

Genesis 3:1-14—“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.””

Rom3-23

Romans 3:10-26—“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

Beloved, tune in tomorrow for Part 6—Church: We believe in the Church, the body of believers in Christ whose goal is to make disciples.

AnnaSmile

What We Believe-Part 4

believe

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #4 of 7. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

God the Holy Spirit: We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who provides new birth, indwells us and enables us to live a godly life.

Holy_Spirit

John 16:7-15—“”But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:

about sin, because people do not believe in me;

about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;

and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.””

Acts5-1-15

Acts 5:1-11—“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

Holy-Spirit-Seal11

Ephesians 1:13-14—“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Part 5—Humanity: We believe that God created Humanity but they fell into sin. We believe that those who trust in Jesus alone are restored to God.

AnnaSmile