I am so glad my friends Nicole and Liz gave me the encouragement to take this challenge. Finding something to be happy about everyday is something we should all do and each day I am finding myself encouraged in the small things I would otherwise fail to notice.
For instance, I thought this would be an off year for some of my fruit trees. I was going to especially miss the sour cherries. They make such good jam; But when I checked the tree this morning here’s what I found.
The California coast was shrouded in fog the morning of 4th July 1952. Twenty one miles to the west, on Catalina Island, a 34 year old woman waded into the water and began swimming toward California, determined to be the first woman ever to swim the strait.
She was Florence Chadwick.
She had already set the world record for swimming the English Channel in 13 hours 20 minutes, and was the first woman to swim it in both directions.
Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isa. 40:10,11 NLT
Dear friends, you know who you are.This song is my gift to you today. May it light your path for a few hours. Know someone is praying for you.
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
7 So the men of Kiriath-jearim came to get the Ark of the Lord. They took it to the hillside home of Abinadab and ordained Eleazar, his son, to be in charge of it.2 The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a long time—twenty years in all. During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them.
Samuel Leads Israel to Victory
3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”4 So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord.
5 Then Samuel told them, “Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.”6 So they gathered at Mizpah and, in a great ceremony, drew water from a well and poured it out before the Lord. They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the Lord. (It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge.)7 When the Philistine rulers heard that Israel had gathered at Mizpah, they mobilized their army and advanced. The Israelites were badly frightened when they learned that the Philistines were approaching.8 “Don’t stop pleading with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!” they begged Samuel.9 So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him.10 Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them.11 The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way.12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah.[a] He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”13 So the Philistines were subdued and didn’t invade Israel again for some time. And throughout Samuel’s lifetime, theLord’s powerful hand was raised against the Philistines.14 The Israelite villages near Ekron and Gath that the Philistines had captured were restored to Israel, along with the rest of the territory that the Philistines had taken. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites in those days.15 Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life.16 Each year he traveled around, setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal, and then at Mizpah. He judged the people of Israel at each of these places.17 Then he would return to his home at Ramah, and he would hear cases there, too. And Samuel built an altar to the Lord at Ramah.” 1 Samuel 7:1-17 NLT
If you could make a 15 second speech to the entire world, what would you say?
Don’t forget about Jesus. He has never forgotten about you. Oh and eat your broccoli, unless of course you have hematomacrosis in which case avoid broccoli (I had to add that last sentence in order for my speech to be long enough).
If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?
I think I would choose the New England countryside. Oh wait I am already doing that…
If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick?
Why Barnes & Noble of course. You don’t have to remove the product to read it!
If you were given a boat or yacht today, what would you name it? (You an always sell the yacht later)
Tomorrow’s Nest Egg (Since I am selling it much to my daughter’s chagrin)
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am so thankful for the folks who came out to the class on love last week and I am thankful to have the opportunity to teach the next class in the series tonight!
Despite what most people say and think, you really can take it with you when you die. It all depends, of course, on your definition ofit.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The ancient Egyptian pharaohs literally tried to bring itall with them as they built huge tombs like the pyramids to house not only their material wealth, but their loved ones and even their pets. Ouch, if you happened to still be alive and a loved one when the pharaoh died. History shows us how unsuccessful their attempts to take it with them were as the tombs…