Single this Valentine’s Day and Looking for Love?

Love sparked like a fire or planted like a seed taking time to grow, calls to our hearts.

We look for love, often in the wrong places, with the wrong people or at the wrong time and find ourselves discouraged or broken – again.

Several of my friends have found that special someone and marriage on the dating websites.  Others have given up due to frustration.

The dating websites are numerous and offer screening buffers.  For the most part, members are honest.  At the same time, others can easily hide the truth behind the screens.

So many people are looking for a relationship leading to marriage.  But, how many of us are truly spending the time to invest in ourselves to understand what the best relationship is for us in order to find “the relationship”.

Does the dating scene, online dating services or loneliness have you to the point where you might consider sending a photo?  Don’t give in so easily.

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Take time to invest in yourself, discover what you are looking for and what you offer to others.

Most of all know that you are loved, just as you are.  You are, first of all, deeply loved by God.  Graham Cooke explains this so well in, “The Inheritance“.

Take time to reflect on advice offered by those who understand healthy, strong relationships.  Pastor T D Jakes, suggests 10 different things single people should do.

Deepen your relationship to God – the emphasis is relationship, honesty, trust.

Seek a whole life as a single person – you are a whole person, complete.  Don’t wait around looking for someone to make you complete.  Another person should compliment you.

Develop interests beyond work, home, school, church – develop new interests beyond yourself.

Exercise your body and mind – take care of yourself for longevity. Read and learn more.

Avoid people who seek to control and silence your personality – domineering people who seek to manipulate, control and smother you won’t let you breathe and be yourself.

Respect marriage – you reap what you sow, do not cross the line with a married person.

Live and budget within your means – stay out of debt.  Debt effects your personality, decisions, contentment and happiness.

Set a guard on your heart – it is the wellspring of life.  The peace of God will keep your heart and mind.

Manage your sexual appetites – don’t go or put yourself in places or situations you should not be.

Try not to make decisions that complicate your life – keep it simple.

Seek good resources to help you understand and build healthy, strong relationships.  “Boundaries in Dating” and “Safe People” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

Boundaries may seem confining, but they can be freeing.

What is a safe person?  Are you a safe person?

Most of all, give yourself to love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16 KJV

Looking for a life of love?  Then, give love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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20th Year Anniversary – Celebration!

2017 – 20th year celebration – I’m ready!

Heart – open, free, faithful and anticipating.

Hands – raised high in gratitude and praise.

Feet – firm, stable and sure in the Gospel of peace.

Eyes – set and fixed on the Word of God – Jesus Christ.

All covered in God’s Truth, integrity and prayer to be watchful, strong, persevering and interceding on behalf of the saints… I’m ready!

The 20th year to celebrate praying my daily  “life prayer”.,

My second favorite book next to the Bible is, Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”.

His daily devotional has been instrumental in grounding my journey of faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

January 2nd my “life prayer” for twenty years.

“Will you go out without knowing”?

“He went out, not knowing whither he went”.  Hebrews 11:8 KJV

Abraham, urged on by faith when he was called obeyed and went to a place destined for him to receive his inheritance.  In faith, he went not knowing or being troubled as to where he was to go. Oh, what faith.  Oh, what rich faith. Oh, what a glorious inheritance!

God knows and sees clearly the bends and curves.

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God knows the deep valleys to climb rugged mountain tops.

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God knows and provides the calm springs.

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But, I do not need to know.  I only need to trust by faith to “go” as He knows what He is doing.

“Take no thought for you life… nor yet for your body – take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you “went out.”  Until, there is nothing between yourself and God.

Today’s devotional – https://utmost.org

More of Him, less of me.  Love not the world.

Love Me first.  Seek Me first.  For I AM with you in every aspect of life, every moment, every thought, every heartbeat… not my heart.  But, God’s heart.

He is my inheritance and the treasure of my heart.

Praise be to God!

Happy 20th Anniversary, to me!  God bless!

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2017 – Goodbye to the Daily Grind?

Did you start off 2016 with hopeful resolutions to exercise more, lose weight or clean out the overstuffed garage?  How did you fare?

Mine was the year of change.  Not necessarily from a resolution, but necessity.  The necessity for more quality time for myself and others.

Was I longing for balance in my life?  No, I was needing change and longing for peace.

Peace of heart and mind to step out and redirect my time and my life.

While working two jobs for many years, I managed to fit in numerous other activities I needed and enjoyed.  Daily morning quiet time with the Lord, several long distance bike rides, trips and time with family and friends, climbing a 14’er and donating blood are just a few activities.  But, at what cost could I continue to maintain this schedule?

I know I’m not the only one

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At what point does one reach for the courage to step out to change and say goodbye to the daily grind or the ill effects of our daily routines?

Does one reach the serf mentality in a feudal system?

Does one suffer their health and peace of mind to climb the ladder, to accumulate more wealth, to acquire more and more stuff, to fill their houses and storage units?

Does one look back with regrets of lost time with loved ones, never to be regained?

Does one truly look in the mirror to face their ill effects of addictions or bad choices?

I reached exhaustion from juggling too much.

The solution for me – be still.

In the stillness I realized peace was found during my quiet times with the Lord.  Calm and solitude met me on the mountaintops during my bike rides or hiking a trail.

Help was coming and it was not found in the busyness of this world, but unplugging from the noise, the tension, and the distractions.  Stepping out in faith and letting go of a busy schedule was a year process.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1&2 NIV

There are many aspects of healing when we surround ourselves in God’s creation.  Here’s a link to a few.
https://thetrek.co/scientifically-supported-reasons-get-outside/

Is 2017 your year to say goodbye to the daily grind – to pull away, to be still and find peace?

 

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Will this be your first Thanksgiving to pardon?

This season opens the heart, anticipating time with family and friends.  However, not all can or are willing to open their hearts for everyone.

Our great President, Abraham Lincoln, historically set the tradition of pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey.

In 1863 clemency was given to a live turkey that was brought home for the Christmas dinner.

This was reported  in 1865 by White House reporter, Noah Brooks.  A plea was called to spare the turkey’s life by Lincoln’s son Tad.  His son interceded in behalf of the turkey’s life.

Pardon – the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense.

Is it this time, this season to give pardon and forgive an offense from someone you consider a “turkey”.  Defined in the dictionary – The slang word for a person of little appeal; dud; loser. A naive, stupid, or inept person.  Ouch!

Is it this time to set this person free and set yourself free?  

The greatest three words ever spoken were from Jesus Christ as He died on the Cross, “It is Finished“.

He accomplished something we could not do for ourselves.  He reconciled a sinful world back to the heart of God.  His life of love and blood sacrifice interceded on our behalf for what the Father sent him to do for us.

Forgiveness is a great thing.  It releases and sets the captor “free”. The hard part of forgiving has already been done for us through Jesus Christ.

Will this season truly be a day to celebrate with Thanksgiving?

Will this season and Thanksgiving be the day to set your heart free?

Will this season and Thanksgiving be the day to set the captor’s heart free to fly?

Celebrate in freedom and give thanks!

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Pixabay free photos

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What grounds you?

Like so many this time of year, I contemplate what I am thankful for.

Memories of the past can be haunting, but distant compared to the ones which warm the heart.

In my younger days, a reprieve from our home of alcoholic abuse and the heavy, stern hand of my dad was always anticipated.

Excitement and enthusiasm bounced in the car during our drive to the sanctuary of my great grandmother’s house. What joy to spend a day or longer in her house of peace.

When we arrived, the greeting was the aroma of love, of joy and of laughter.  My great grandmother’s hugs were the best.  My great uncle, the fisherman of our family, could be seen in the drive cleaning fish.  His smile warmed the heart.

Besides the aroma of love, the aroma of warm cooked meals were always waiting.  The softest and fluffiest tortillas, green chile cooking, greasy fried potatoes browning in sweet onions to be topped with fried eggs.  The best was my great grandmother’s creamy rice pudding.

All gathered in the kitchen, the heart of her home.  So few chairs, but plenty of laps.  Prayers of thanksgiving were never forgotten.

What made her home so special?

There was a presence, an unseen guest who abided in her home.  One Who was honored with reverent fear.  Not a fear of being scared of Him, but of awe and wonder. He was present at every meal, in every smile and wrapped in every hug.  His peace covered the walls and His love penetrated the rooms.  My heart and whole being melted in His presence – a sanctuary of love.

The big overstuffed chair in the the living room drew you to find rest for body and soul.  I loved to oblige.

Where was the best place?

As evening approached, the best place was on her front porch.  It faced southwest with a clear view of several of the Colorado mountains.  What a view and a blessing.

I anticipated the setting sun and waited for the best time and place to end the day.  After dark, in full view between the trees stood the magnificent lighted Cross.  Oh, the Wonderful Cross – 393 feet high and 254 feet across.

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In the quiet of the night, a peace settled over me.  My eyes were fixed and steady on the bright light of the Cross that penetrated the darkness on the mountainside.   There was a sense of being home that one cannot explain.

The blessed, wonderful Cross.  A blessing of grace to mankind.  So few understand the power, love and the exchanged life that bids one to search deep within their heart and soul.  The exchange of a broken life to a New Life made whole through this act of love in Christ Jesus.

A grounded memory, never forgotten, forever grateful.

It’s still a place I look for when I stand on my great grandmother’s porch to this day.

But, now the Cross is my sanctuary of love and place of rest.  No other sacrifice of love has been greater than that of Christ Jesus. It keeps my walk sure, steady and grounded.

Where are you grounded?  Where is your sanctuary?

Happy Thanksgiving family and friends.

The Mount Lindo Cross  –  https://cemeteries.wordpress.com/2007/03/16/colorados-mount-lindo-cross/

Oh, the Wonderful Cross – Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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Life is in the Blood

I’m a universal donor –

Last year I received a thank you letter from Bonfils Blood Center along with a congratulations pin for donating and reaching the five-gallon mark as a donor.  The all-time highest donor has donated year after year totaling 90 gallons to help save lives.

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I’m a universal donor of type O- blood.  Any blood type can receive my blood without complications.  Only 6.9% of the population has O- blood.  When my appointment time comes, Bonfils is faithful to give me a reminder call.  New donors of all blood types are welcome.

The procedure is simple:

Personal questions are asked to safeguard the quality of the donation.

Pulse, blood pressure and temperature are taken.

A finger is pricked to check the hemoglobin level for the red blood cell count.

If all qualifications are met – off to a comfortable chair.   The arm is sterilized before poked with a rather large needle.  A pint donation of whole blood for the complete procedure takes about an hour.

The staff thanks the donor after every procedure.  After the blood is drawn resting for 15 minutes is advised and refreshments are provided.

The physical benefits of the recipients who receive the donation are life changing.

The plasma portion is beneficial for sever burns and clotting disorders.

The platelets for blood clotting support cancer therapy, open-heart surgery blood disorders and organ transplants patients.

The red blood cells carry oxygen and beneficial for trauma, anemia and surgery patients.

Such a small sacrifice for the physical benefits of others.  But…

There is only One Who qualifies as The Universal Donor for the eternal, life changing, spiritual benefit of others, Christ Jesus alone –

The procedure was not simple:

It started in the garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus prayed three times, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  Mark 14:36  NIV

He was betrayed, arrested and blindfolded.  While in custody through the night he was scoffed, ridiculed and beaten.

The interrogating questions pulsed, the blood pressure and temperature of  the Sanhedrin escalated in a mock trial.  They asked Jesus, under oath by the Living God, if He was the Messiah – the Son of God.  In Truth He answered, “I AM.”

No guilt was found in Him.  But, the chief priests, rulers and the people shouted out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Crucifixion was Rome’s most agonizing and disgusting death a cruel age could devise.

The giving of Christ’s blood was met with Roman soldiers beating, slapping and spitting upon Him.  Blood flowed from his head and face as they placed the crown of thorns.

He was scourged with a flagellum. A whip designed to lacerate. Several strands were weighted with lead balls or pieces of bone.  The weighted strands struck the skin so violently it broke open.

His hands and feet pierced through and broken as the arm of a Roman soldier holding an iron hammer above his head crashed down on the spike, iron hitting iron.

We can never understand such shedding of blood or the broken heart of Jesus over a sinful world.  The awful mystery of the atonement, why it had to be.

The eternal benefits of the recipients for the atonement (reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ – forgiveness of sins) are life changing.

No small sacrifice given to mankind, something we cannot do for ourselves.

Above all – a gift freely given for all who accept and invite Christ into their hearts.

Don’t wait, there is reason to celebrate!

God bless you.

 

 

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Single – Another Valentine’s Day?

Another Valentine’s Day and no one special?

Don’t give up hope –

There is one who found her perfect mate.  Here’s a bit of her dating advise.

Yes, Miss Piggy found her perfect Kermie.

 

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What should a woman do until her true love comes along?

Circulate, circulate, circulate!

What should a woman do if a man stands her up on a date?

If the man is genuinely apologetic, I would let him off with a  large bunch of flowers an expensive present and a lavish makeup dinner.  On the other hand, if he treats it as an offhand manner, he is obviously the kind of person who is not going to knock himself out for you, and you should do it for him.

What do you do if a man you like, and who likes you, still wants to see other women?

Although, this is by definition a somewhat emotional matter, you should approach it in a calm, reasonable, mature way.  What I would do is calmly, reasonably, and maturely explain to him that if he values his life, he should change his behavior.

Well, it worked for her, but there is another way.

Seek advise, pray and wait –  

A thoughtful gentleman shared with me the following advise.  For me, it is preferred.

On His Plan for Your Mate

“Everyone longs to give himself completely to someone:  to have a deep soul relationship with another; to be loved thoroughly and exclusively.  But, God to a Christian says, no, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being loved by Me, alone.  With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me.  To having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me, alone.  Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I plan for you.

You will never be united with another until you are united with Me, really united with another, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires and longings.  I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing… one that you cannot imagine.

I want you to have the best, please allow Me to bring it to you.  Just keep watching Me – expecting the greatest things.  Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I Am.  And keep listening and learning the things I tell you.

You just wait, that’s all…wait.  Don’t be anxious, don’t worry, don’t look around at the things that others have gotten or I have given them.  Don’t look at the things you think you want.  Just keep on looking off and away to Me or you will miss what I want to show you.  And then, when you are ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than anything you would dream of.

You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, and I Am working even at this moment, to have both of you ready at the same time.  Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepare for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me.  And this is perfect love.  And, dear one I want you to have the most wonderful love.

I want to see in you, in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me.  And I want you to enjoy materially, the everlasting union and beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.  I know that I love you utterly.  I Am El Shaddai-most loving Father, God Almighty.  Believe it and be satisfied and I will satisfy you.”

Author unknown

Regarding Miss Piggy’s advise – she’s moved on from the nicest guy in Hollywood to the second nicest guy, Josh Groban.

My advise is pray, wait and watch what the Lord does –

In the meantime, live your life.  Gift yourself with the everlasting, perfect love and union only God Almighty can offer through a relationship in Christ.  He will satisfy you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  

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Ending 2015 In a FunK, DeeP FunK? – Restart

 

Yeah, I know what you mean –

I was there for a couple of years.

The weight on my shoulders became too heavy to carry.  The barrel walls so deep, thick and high crushed in on every side.  Digging, scratching, screaming or crying my way out did not help.

Depression – my poor family and friends. Surely, they felt like screaming to hear one more thing.

I realized relief into addictions can be very appealing at such times.

Pop another pill prescribed or otherwise to help fall asleep.  Drink another glass or bottle of liquor to numb the pain.  Escape into a marital affair.  Hide in emotional eating binges/disorders.  Delve into unhealthy extended work hours. Seek others to help reason your way out to bring any kind of relief.  All these may bring relief for a while, but the deeper problem still exists.  A deeper problem embedded in the heart.

Oh, where can one go to truly heal the heart? –

It can be healed through our weakness and intentional turning into the Lord,  surrendering the heart to Him.

As God’s promises were true to Israel to give them a new heart, so He does for those who turn and trust in Christ.  The process can be wrenching, but the healing complete if you’re willing to go there.

“I’m going to give you a new heart, and I’m going to give you a new spirit within all of your deepest parts. I’ll remove that rock-hard heart of yours and replace it with one that’s sensitive to me.”  Ezekiel 36:26 ISV

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A heart sensitive to the Lord, not to the world for answers gives Him room to peel away the layers of hurt, sorrow and pain.  He opens the eyes of the heart to His mercy, grace and love.

It all begins with a prayer and a whisper. –  

Begin by pulling away from the loud, worldly distractions.

Repent and offer up to God your broken spirit.  A broken and contrite heart, God, will not despise.

Invite Christ to live in your heart, to transform you from the inside.

Make time for quiet moments as God whispers to your heart and soul.

Daily, read His Living Word – the apples of gold in settings of silver.

The #1 best seller, the Bible, breathes life into the soul and opens the heart to God’s intimate wisdom, revelation and deep mysteries.

Pray, wait, and watch with Him.  In quiet, listen for His whisper as the transformation begins.

Instead of a New Year’s resolution for 2016, resolve in your heart to seek the Lord through the year.

His promises are true.  The God of second chances will restart your heart and move it in a new direction.

Happy New Year!

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Anticipation – Do You Believe?

Anticipation and the hustle and bustle season is upon us, again –

Anticipation – to meander through less traveled routes from the heavy shopping traffic to get home.

Anticipation – to drive down the streets to view the beautifully decorated homes hoping to see, at least, one Nativity scene.

Anticipation – to be greeted with a smile and hear “Merry Christmas”, instead of “Happy Holidays” or simply “Thank You”.

Anticipation – of a white Christmas, not just dreaming.

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Anticipation – of family and friends gathered together to gift each other, break bread and give thanks.

Anticipation – “do you believe, Santa Baby” will come down the chimney to deliver the goods?  A sable, a yacht, a duplex, checks and don’t forget the ring.  Oh, the anticipation for things that eventually lose their luster to fill the heart.

This year while filling the stockings, with care fill your hearts –

Selah – Pause and think, “What Child is This?”

…that the heavenly hosts proclaimed to lowly shepherds,”Glory, to the new-born King.”

…that wise kings followed the star and sought out to travel miles to worship and gaze upon His face, the King of kings.

…that the son of Mary, Immanuel (God with us), he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, would choose to be born in a lowly and humbled stable.

…that, Jesus-Immanuel, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, divine and of greater power than any other ruler, would choose to come and dwell among His creation to save and draw us to himself.

What child is this?

This, this is Christ the King, Son of Mary – God in the flesh.

Merry Christmas.

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Are You Strong Enough?

A tremor of excitement and peace overwhelms the senses when standing on the mountain peak of a 14’er, bathing in God’s beauty.  How amazing to stand in awe and breathe in His calm and experience a small piece of eternity and breath of heaven.

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One year ago  –

The text message asked, “Can you climb a 14’er?”

Was that message really meant for me?

Lord, do I have the strength to do it, to be moved and changed forever by this mountain?

Before responding, images of sweat, pain, and faltering the steep uphill climb and descent flashed in my mind.  Could I do it?

I loved the challenge –

Throwing aside the negative I welcomed the opportunity of fellowship, beauty, fresh air and something new accomplished on my bucket list.

The challenge began –

At 1 am, eyes wide opened and little rest was found.  I thought I would sleep through my alarm.  This placed a different meaning for “early to bed, early to rise…”, but I made the 5:30 am meet-up time.

The drive in the Colorado mountains was peaceful and pleasing to the eye and made the early rise worth it.  We anticipated the serenity of the early morning at the trailhead.  Instead, the challenge was to find a parking spot among 150 cars on either side of the road.

Along with many others, we double checked to make sure we were prepared.  Once started, there was no turning back, only forward.

Each person claimed their own journey and challenge to reach the top – knowing their goal was not beyond their reach.  But, none of us were left alone – to climb alone.

The ascent was steep.  Enormous obstacles appeared impossible to climb.  Spots of shifting sand caused backsliding, faltering and falling – pushing one to climb again, but with redirected steps.

Discouragement, wanting to quit, retreat and turn back brought thoughts to return to the familiar and more comfortable surroundings.

That’s when you heard from others or extended words of encouragement to keep going.  Don’t quit, hang in there, you can make it, or let me help.

The Challenge Continues –

This summer the text message asked, “Do you want to climb another 14’er?”  The question made me realize, through the last year, I was already climbing other 14’ers.

What 14’ers in life are you forging?  How prepared are you? –

How does one prepare for the sting that penetrates the heart in betrayal and deception?  When does one find the willingness to descend into the valley before climbing the steep mountain of forgiveness?

How does one battle the tremors to overcome a fatal illness, isolation and loneliness during this time of year set aside to celebrate the holidays?

How does one forge through and overcome the mountain of letting go and move forward to find peace in the death of a loved one when the loss and separation are never truly overcome?

They may be a personal journey or challenge, but never to be climbed alone.

The Bible says, “For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.”  Isaiah 54:10 AMP

Sometimes, we are not as strong as we think we are.  Many times our faith moves mountains.  Others times, the mountains move us to grow in new directions by faith.

God bless you.

 

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