Finding Assurance

While this post is strongly Christian inspired and maybe not really your thing, I do you will read on a little bit as we all need assurance that we are going in the right direction in our lives, that we are hoping to make a difference and last but not at all the least…that we are loved. While the word love is so vastly over used, it is still the most powerful word God created, after all God is love and he proved His love for us by giving us a part of himself, Jesus. Love is a noun and a verb. It shows up in the most unexpected places sometimes and in many unexpected ways.

It shows up in the beauty of a sunrise of the dainty fragrance or color of a flower.

I comes in the form of many works of art, from writing, to painting, to photography, to music and so many more.

In 1873, Fanny Crosby and her friend Phoebe P. Knapp combined Phoebe’s tune that she could not,get out of her head along with Fanny’s words and came up with the song Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine. Fanny was blind at a young age but never let it stop her form sharing the love she had for God and his wonderful love for us.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O, what a foretaste of glory divine! Can you feel what that says. A foretaste of glory in being assured of Jesus’ love.

Heir of salvation, purchased of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood. An heir is a person who receives items at the death of another. So we are heirs of salvation, purchased by God with Jesus’ blood. What do we need salvation of?? Think about that.

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.  What an awesome thought, lost in His love. I think this pictures expresses that.

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The living water of the First Day.

I have strong assurance of His love for me and I hope you do as well. Fill your selves with His love and let it flow from you to others with kindness reflecting God’s love for all.

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Love is…

What an open ended statement. Love is many things to many people. I have been away from my computer for a few days as I have been busy with one of my loves…gardening. We have finally been blessed with spring weather, temps anywhere form low 60’s to mid 70’s. Awesome. And this is what I did. You can buy the plants and put them in hangers or buy plants already in  hangers. I did some of both. Plus added some to the ground. But in reality, I am just getting started.

I was trying to get it all done before the rain started last night. Thank goodness I didn’t as what we call where I come from, Blackberry winter, has come upon us. Good grief, wasn’t the real winter long enough. Apparently not. Therefore…the hangers are now decorating my living room as temps are expected to drop below 30 with an inch of that dreaded white stuff. Sorry guys that are already in the ground, hang on.

So since there was no loving to do outside I sat down with another love and read. I finished the next to the last book of a 14 book series by Jan Karon called the Mitford Series. It is a wonderful series set in the North Carolina mountains about everyday life, its tragedy’s and triumph’s. Since I am from the south, I was very familiar with the areas she she spoke of and how very true the conditions she wrote starting in the early 2000’s are even today. I strongly suggest reading this series. You will laugh at the absurdity of its richness and cry with the truth of the pain.

Reading this series really brought home to me God’s love for us as people, human beings and how we as humans are just so…lost sometimes. It is astounding how we as a creation of love can cast off another human or animal as discarded trash or a conquest as we strive to what we believe is a higher purpose leaving destruction in our path. I looked through my study bible to see how many time the word love was used – didn’t want to count them as it was a full page and a half. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Do we not love our self? And who exactly is our neighbor. My opinion is we are all neighbors, all brothers and sisters, all family. Do I fail at loving my neighbor …daily.  But if we as humans who can reason with some form of clarity about how we are supposed to be, we should be getting closer to our created purpose, yet at times we are in far left field.

So as I write my blog, I always try to remind all of us about the beauty of life that has been handed to us. Yes our circumstances may be in the bottom of the barrel but we can always CHOSE to have joy. There is a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a feeling we get due to circumstances around but joy is having inner peace. This peace comes from Christ. Jesus says “My peace I give you.” Its a peace beyond all understanding to our human minds but it is a free gift. A gift we often do not use.

As you go through your week next week, remember the inner joy and let the light of it shine through you to others around you so that to may enjoy the light and the joy it brings and always be kind.

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Dark Day of Mourning

cross burden

Today we mourn the pain and sorrow of ourselves and what Jesus did for us on the cross. His love for us is so strong; stronger than a parents love for a child as we are His children.

Jeremiah 13:3 tells us – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

He loves you regardless of how well you think you are doing to be worthy of His love. As Jeremiah says I love you with an everlasting love, a love that flows from eternity with out limits or conditions.

Today’s devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young remind us that on this day he showed us just how much he loved us. He died for us so that we may live. So on this day of sadness and reflective mourning, know that you are loved more than you can imagine and His love will always remain.

Even though this is a day of mourning, lets us feel His love warm us and let us share in  His loving-kindness for others to feel His astounding love.

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Palm Sunday, First Day of Holy Week

Jesus on donkey

For Christians this is a very reflective week. Today is the remembered day of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem  prior to the celebration of Passover. The city was busting at the seams with people. There were zealot groups with their own agenda; Roman soldiers on high alert to anything strange; Jewish leaders on the ready to be rid of Jesus who could disrupt their way of life and then others that were just trying to get through the city and the festival unscathed.

John 12:13  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”

As Christians we believe Jesus is the son of God, part of the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. According to a recent conversation with someone of the Jewish faith, they are still looking for their Messiah to take care of just Israel, not Israel and the rest of world. They know they were originally the chosen people, the beginning people but are not quite ready to be part of the rest of the world. Interesting. From the studies I have done, the Jewish nation was looking for a political leader to rid them of the Roman oppression, a leader that they could see and touch…like the other nations had, a king. Although they knew God was real they could not get over the hurdle of having a leader they could not see.

Are we any different today? I don’t think so. Some find it hard to believe that Jesus was anything but a prophet. In today’s culture I am afraid we are too caught up in being “us” than believing in the true meaning concerning ‘good and evil’. My challenge for anyone interested in what this week is about, to really understand the significance of today, Thursday, Friday and then Sunday. It is a strong emotional roller coaster of love, caring, encouragement and acceptance.

John 15:13 says – “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus counts us all as his friends for those who accept him. He died on the cross for us friends to keep us safe from the second death. The second death is the final judgement death from God at the end of time. But to believe any of this you first need to accept the reality of Jesus as the Christ, the son of God.

I wish you all a blessed holy week. May you feel his presence in all that you do. And as you go about your week, remember as always to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love.

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Undying Love

Again I have been inspired by a photograph from  Heaven’s Sunshine. Irene Tron takes wonderful pictures of nature which I have used several times to write about. Her photo called Holding On amazed me as the petals of one flower seem to wrap themselves around a fellow flower as it died. It spoke of the fellowship we should all have in taking care of each other as we go through the trials of life. If you have not visited Irene’s blog, I suggest it. It is a good read and has wonderful photography.

Holding On

 

MY DEAREST, MY DARLING

My dearest, my darling, I will always love thee

When remembering the beauty we both loved to see.

The swaying of the wind as it moved through our lives

Through good times and bad, we managed to survive.

I wrap my fingers tightly around your growing limp hand

In hopes to keep you from falling down to cold hard sand.

I reach back in memory of all that we had and share

Thinking those who don’t know us may not even care.

Remember this my darling as you are taken away from me

You are my dearest my darling, I will always love thee.

                                    -Anita Neal-

 

And as always I close in reminders to always show your kind side. The kindness you share may be the only kindness felt by the one recipient.

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Pets = Stress Relief…at my house

I saw this definition on adogslove.com and thought it very appropriate for my house and a good source of my stress relief.

“Canine Paralysis – The condition of a person’s inability to move due to a dog being in  their lap.”

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Partial paralysis – only holding down left leg under plaid blanket
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Full on ‘You ain’t going nowhere’ paralysis

They make us laugh, cuddly us when we are sad, sit with us when we are quiet and understand us better than anyone else. There is just something special that our pets do for us, whether is be a dog or a cat. For me, I prefer dogs, they seem to be more in tune with what I need.

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I found several pictures on Pinterest that I have saved as they touch my heart strings and I thought I would share. Its Friday, after a cold icy week, and we all need some warmth. And even if it is not icy where you are, puppy love is always a comforting warmth.

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So very true

I don’t go to shelters when its time for a new love without abundant support as I would bring them all home.

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True

And one last one…

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Just something about dogs

I could post picture after picture after picture but I think you get the idea and my love for dogs. And if a dog can be that devoted to its person, think how much more God is devoted to you. Both are His creations and both deserve abundant love…as God gives. So I remind you to carry the devoted love of a dog to those strangers you meet on a daily basis and be kind.

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Always Be Kind

 

 

Treasures Found Cleaning Out

Winter is usually a time to rest with spring being the time to clean but this cold has just about done me in so I took the time to go through a closet I have not open since we moved in 6 years ago. In it I found a framed picture of a drawing and poem I wrote for my mother. Now I loved my mother but she was…a mess.She was an alcoholic and as an adult I understand why and that is probably why I don’t touch alcohol, other than it taste gross. I guess it is an acquired taste and I have has some of the better and more expensive to taste and I just as soon leave it be.

Sometimes God puts people in our lives to help us heal from issues we have faced and He did so with me with Miss Mary Lou. Miss Mary Lou is well in her senior years but has the most gentle soul I believe I have ever met. The first day I visited the church I am currently worshiping in, she came and sat me as she said she didn’t want me to sit alone. I am one of those weird people who to sit up front, second pew. With ADD, I don’t need any distractions. But the wonderful stories I had heard about Miss Mary Lou and her ever gracious husband never seemed to surprise me as they were always sharing God’s love.

The other thing about Miss Mary Lou that shocked me the most when she first sat by me was how much she looked like my mother, or rather how my mother would have looked had she lived the same age as Miss Mary Lou. They were probably within 10 years of each other in age. I look at Miss Mary Lou and believe this is how my mother could have been if she had been close to the Lord as she also loved people.

So I post this poem I wrote for my mother, probably for Mother’s Day, in May of 1986, along with the tea rose I bought for me. I send it to mom again in heaven in her honor and also with love and honor of Miss Mary Lou for giving me peace from a matronly figure.

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Like A Rose

Like a rose’s sweet fragrance that floats through the air,

So does a mother’s love as it flows through the home.

Like a rose that reflects its rich vibrant color,

So does a mother when she is loving her children.

Like a rose’s thorns that beckon you to beware,

So does a mother who safely guides her children.

Like the velvety softness of the rose’s soft petals,

So soothes a mother’s hand and voice calms a fear.

                                     Anita Neal   5/11/1986

And in closing as I always remind readers to do – Be kind. Share your gentle softness with the fragrance of God’s love.

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