Three groups of people come to Nehemiah with their complaints. They are all coming from a position of powerlessness. There is a unique fear that only the powerless experience. Most of us have no knowledge of it, but, like Nehemiah, we must find the courage to look at it squarely, for it is all around us.
On August 24, 1996, I married my soul mate, Brandon, in front of all of our family and friends. As I walked toward him down the long aisle of the church, butterflies swarmed in my stomach. My palms grew sweaty as I realized every eye in the sanctuary was on me at that precise moment. I smiled as I glided along but on the inside, my nerves threatened to conquer me.
Change is around us everywhere! By now the New Year is well underway, and we remember to write 2017 on our checks and correspondence. Our nation has a new leader who has promised all kinds of change that will affect Americans and countless others around the globe. Change in our personal lives occurs, embodying both joy and pain.
As snow falls from the cloudy skies
the cold winter winds blow
as tiny snowdrops rest below
the soft blanket of snow.
Soon at the bright morning sunrise
cold waters start to flow
from snow that melts above the bulbs
that rest below the snow.
that rest below the snow.
Life goes too fast. We get caught in the fast lane of life, taking bits and pieces of God’s Word as we rush by, barely able to taste the goodness given before we zip off to the next task. It’s so easy to follow in the wake of others in the fast lane. Do you have a Microwave Mentality or a Simmered Soul?
Are you listening to so many voices all around you that you can’t hear God’s voice? “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given …
February may as well be called the Love month. Valentine’s Day demands that we declare our love to our intended.
Then there’s President’s Day—which is, apparently, the best time to buy a mattress—and who doesn’t love a sale? If you live in a colder climate, the opportunity for snow days abounds. Kids love those. Moms, maybe not so much. I love so many things. Should I celebrate them all this month? I love my husband, but I also love ice cream. I love my children, but I have a few favorite television shows that I also love. Are they two different kinds of love?
Sometimes people find my shopping strategies humorous when I tell them that I always pray before I embark on a little shopping trip. Seriously, I pray that God will help me to be a good steward of the money I have, that I might find the best bargains, and to realize what I do or do not need. I also pray that God will make me a blessing to sales clerks or anyone I meet in the stores.
Last month I enjoyed introducing you to the “vintage voice” of poet, writer, editor, Margaret Elizabeth Sangster (1838-1912). From a volume of collected writings published when she was 65 years old, her ruminations on the celebrations of Christmas in her day captivated my spirit with a sense of familiarity. Though removed from her world by well over 100 years, our sisterhood in Christ and as women connects timeless truths. She spoke to me and for me in her musings. As the dawn of 2017 is upon us, I visit with Mrs. Sangster in another chapter from, The Joyful Life, published by the American Tract Society in 1903. We listen in on a “vintage conversation” between the author and her intimate friend from school days, Miriam.
Marilyn Lesniak of Marilyn’s Treats has so generously shared some of her amazing recipes from her blog with us, so that we can pass them along to you. Be sure to visit her at Marilyn’s Treats for even more of her amazing recipes!
Cinnamon Sugar Cannoli: If you like sweet finger foods, then you have probably tasted a cannoli. A lightly fried shell rolled and filled with a cheesy cream filling is just the beginning of this heavenly treat. Sometimes chocolate chips or nuts are dipped onto the ends. This recipe though is a bit different. Cinnamon and sugar is added to the filling as well as being rolled into the shell.
Although the snow begins to fall with bright heavy flurries,
the cardinals lift up their heads and sing with no worries.
They cast all their deep fears aside – they trust God will provide.
As they shiver their soft feathers, the snow and strong winds blow.
They seek for shelter in the woods within the silent snow.
In birdhouses and trees they hide – they trust God will provide.
Your apple cart is filled with a bounty of blessings. Good stuff is happening in your life and things are running as smoothly as they possibly can.
Family life is good, work life is good, and your social life is good. All is well with you, God, and the world.
Then God upsets your apple cart, spilling all of your shiny, fresh apples all over the road. “Why did God do that” you wonder. Everything was going so well!