Friday, December 1, 2017

November in Retrospect

Because Advent doesn’t start until December 3rd this year, I have chosen to again update you on the events of my personal life in November.

The big one for Hubby and me was our 49th wedding anniversary. We went out to eat at Cracker Barrel. He bought me one dozen long-stemmed roses. To mark the occasion, I had purchased flowers for the church altar.

Our Drama group at church presented a short play entitled “Thankfulness.” This was one I wrote and directed. The congregation received it well; we heard lots of compliments about it.

I had two book signings. The first one was at a local gift shop. This was a learning experience for me. For the second one, I participated in an Artisan Fair at our local library. The weather did not cooperate. I was able to talk to some people about my book and sold a few. In spite of the weather and the low turnout, this was my best event.

My table at the Artisan Fair
I took my blogging friends with me to the Artisan Fair

Just past the middle of November, I received Hearing aids. They help with some issues I have had that caused me some concern.

I started doing research on a new book. I call this project, “My obedience project.” It is in a genre that I thought I would never write in. More about this project later.

A few years ago, I participated with some fellow bloggers in a small group that once a month would pull out old journals and post an entry, adding updates if we chose to. The group went by the name “Random Journal Day.” The one who started it, Dawn Paoletta, Enthusiastically, Dawn has published a book entitled “Journaling for Discovery and Delight.” Here is the link to it, Journaling for Discovery and Delight  I'll have more on this later.

During the month of December, I will post thoughts about the Advent season. I will also plan for 2018 for my monthly themes and confirm my choice for my word of the upcoming year.

Please be in prayer for me this winter as I consider more effective ways to market my book.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How Can We Give Praise?

In doing research for graphics for the blog posts this month, I came across words with a spectacular message.

As forms of giving praise we can:

                         P Pray continually.
                         R Read the Word every day.
                         A Acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
                          I  Invest ourselves in mentoring.
                          S  Serve and share your faith.
                          E  Encourage one another daily.

As I look at these, I find I have some work to do. Being retired and spends a lot of time at home, I don’t see a lot of people through the week. Even when I was a young mother, I did not see many people. I have learned to speak words of blessings to those who attend me in the marketplace. Some of them even thank me after they hear, “Have a blessed day” or “Be Blessed” After a recent Sunday school class, I overheard our teacher say, “Since I retired, I don’t see people like I did when I worked.”

As our population becomes more insular, we have to present Christ to others whenever we can. I realize we have to always be kind, gentle, joyous and loving in order to present Him to those in the world. I also know it can be difficult to do. But Jesus commands us to go into the world, be a witness to others and make disciples of those we meet.

I intend to search the Word and find scripture that I can use to help those who search for God. I intend to spend time listening more when I am out and including those I meet and interact with in my prayers.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Rejoice, Praise, and Be Glad

This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

On most days, I repeat this verse while I am still in bed. Doing this helps me have a good outlook on my day. However, this does not guarantee me a perfect day or a day without trials.

I heard a friend of mine preach a sermon on living in the moment. In it, she told us about taking each day as it came and not to look ahead to the next one, especially if we may have fears about what lay ahead for us. I have found that I am a happier person because I have practiced living in the moment.

Living in the moment also means I can’t dwell on the past. Yes, there are memories I have that, if I often rehashed them, would wreck my emotional balance. I only speak of those past events when I believe someone’s knowledge of those times will make a difference for him or her.

God gives us each day as a gift. When we learn to use that day wisely, we honor God. (As I write this, a close friend of mine has been ill for over a week.) Sometimes, how we spend ourdays as a change from what we call normal. Some days and even some weeks are busier than others. 

We can learn to find joy in whatever God sets before us. (James 1:2) There are times we have to search for the glimmers of joy as we go through a trial. Some of the lessons we learn because of those trials have great value to us.   

The psalmist, then tells us to be glad. Gladness sometimes comes easier than we think it would.  Someone receives a promotion or a raise at work. Someone gets a new car. Are we happy for them? Suppose you had been interviewed for that promotion and that someone was your friend? Yes, we are to be glad for them.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...