Monday, October 28, 2013


Have you ever felt at times like, metaphorically, the vultures are hovering overhead, just waiting for you to give up and doubt God?

I'll have to admit, I have had many moments like that, especially lately! I find myself overwhelmed and worrying about things I know I can't do anything about, yet can't get them out of my head!

My hubby and I were out on the lake this past weekend to have one of the very few fishing outings we may have the opportunity to go on this year, as winter weather threatens to cut our cool fall days short. We noticed, in particularly the birds on our outing. There were the always identifiable Coots that migrate here every fall and stay till the lake freezes. These little black-bodied, white beaked birds feed on the fish in large groupings and are pretty harmless.
We noticed that they were splashing around some and couldn't figure out why.
Then, we looked up. At first, we only saw faint images of some birds soaring way above us.
As we looked more closely, we realized they were turkey vultures,  gliding slowly  and circling above us. Were they waiting for a bird to die or did they see something(that we didn't) that was already dead? We never figured out why they were up there, but it gave both me and my hubby such an eerie feeling.   
 Later, I read an old devotional, written by one of my favorite evangelists, David Wilkerson.
In Genesis 15, God made a glorious agreement with Abraham. He instructed the patriarch to take a female heifer and a female goat and cut them in two. Then Abraham was to take a turtledove and a pigeon and lay them on the ground, head to head. Abraham did as he was instructed, and as these creatures lay bleeding, vultures began to descend on the carcasses. Suddenly, Abraham felt a terrible darkness surrounding him. What was this darkness? It was Satan in a panic.
How do you think Satan reacts when he sees all the promises of God becoming yours, as you give your life to Jesus? The devil goes into a jealous rage. Then when he sees your firm resolve to go all the way with the Lord, there is only one way for him to react: all of hell goes into a panic!
What did Abraham do when the vultures came? Scripture says he chased them away. Likewise, the Lord has shown us a way to deal with menacing vultures. We don’t have to be afraid of the devil’s attacks, because we have been given mighty weapons of warfare.
Whenever any voice of doubt or questioning of God comes into my mind, I have to line it up against what I know about my loving Lord. I can’t accept any thoughts as true if they are based on simply what I am feeling in the moment. They have to be measured against Jesus’ promises to me about himself and about the victory he has won for me.
Simply put, if thoughts come to me that are accusing—if they cause doubt and fear, or are condemning, or bring a sense of rejection—I know they are not of God. We all have to be prepared for such horrible thoughts to come. Even the Lord Jesus was subject to these kinds of thoughts from the enemy during his wilderness temptation.

When vultures come at you, bringing thoughts of unworthiness and insecurity, chase them away with God’s Word. The sacrifice that the Lord has led you to make is pleasing to him, and he will honor it.

Today, I had to do some "vulture chasing". It wasn't easy, for I could feel them circling me and my defenses were down because I wasn't feeling well today and they knew it! I had to go to the Word of God and dwell in His promises. Slowly, they gave up and started to leave. I think, just like the vultures on the lake, they were ready and waiting for me to fail and give up. I found these awesome verses over at Rachel Wojnarowski's blog...

  • From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2 
  • When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me. Psalm 142:6 
  • Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28 
  • But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.       Isaiah 40:31 
  • Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1 
  • There is none holy like the LORD: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. For there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. I Samuel 2:2 
  • The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7 
  • Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5
  • The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;Psalm 37:23 
  • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Eph. 6:2
As we started to leave, after watching the birds awhile, I noticed there was one solitary white seagull flying around the vultures. I'm not sure if he was with them or trying to scare them off, but he was constant and never left. I wanted to believe he was there protecting the Coots. Maybe, maybe not, but it made me think that that is how God is....when we read His Word and seek Him in prayer, He hovers over us with His protection and keeps us safe from the vultures of this world. 
Continuing to give thanks, listing the many gifts from the Lord all week long...  Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays". 
1,526 - Time for fellowship with a friend. 
1,527 - Praying on behalf of my son, who is the source of many of my worries.
1,528 - A quiet weekend at home, with my hubby.
1,529 - Not catching any fish, but instead, having a lesson through observing the birds on our lake.
1,530 - God's protection, when the vultures are circling and hovering over me.
1,531 - Powerful Scripture!
1,532 - A wonderful prayer I also found over at Rachel Wojnarwski's blog site.
Photo: And so I preach to myself once again...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You Will Go Out and Leap...

Well, it's mid-week and I just cannot comprehend where the days go! Maybe it's just the older I get, the faster time seems to speed by. Maybe it's just that my life is so full that I don't have time to think about where the time goes. The weekend was definitely a full one.

The Sun of Righteousness will rise withhealing in his wings for you people who fear my name. You will go out and leap like calves let out of a stall.— Malachi 4:2 —

This verse just jumped out at me (literally!)

I'm personally not a very good dancer, but I was thinking about the different ways we worship the Lord. This past Friday I saw  a lot of dancing(and leaping) and felt like dancing, too. I went to a Chris Tomlin concert. If you have been to one, you know what I'm talking about. If you have never been, you are truly missing out on something totally, wonderfully Spirit-filled! 

 Sure, there was music and singing, too. Some beautiful worship music by a very gifted singer/songwriter! But, the dancing took the cake for me!

The problem was, we got to the concert late and had to sit(or really, stand) in the balcony...not the sturdiest place to be jumping and dancing. I also have a bad knee that tends to go out from under me, so I'm a bit leery about jumping too high. But, I couldn't help myself, but get into the worship and praise atmosphere that was taking place down on the main floor. 

 I think about how we will rejoice and praise God in heaven one day and I believe dancing will be a big part of giving God praise! Watching those who danced and singing along with the music reminded me of just how that will be in heaven!

Lots and lots of leaping, dancing, and rejoicing!!!

 I got part of the concert on video.
To see that video, go to my Facebook page HERE

I also continue to give thanks, listing the many gifts from the Lord all week long...  
Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays".  
1,518 - A safe trip to the concert and back home, at 3:00 a.m.
1,519 - Getting to see Chris Tomlin, again (this was the 4th time for me!)
1,520 - Music! Especially, worship music!
1,521 - Getting to go visit our son in Bloomington, IN, even though it was a short visit.
1,522 - Praying and trusting God to provide for and bless our son, as he pursues trying to get into the prestigious music program, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
1,523 - My brother, who recently got to retire from our hometown fire department. Last year at this time he was very, very sick. Still not 100 percent better, but they let him retire early because of his illness.
1,524 - Spending a day with my mom, shopping and having lunch.
1,525 - Our first snowfall of the season, very brief and unsubstantial, but all the same, SNOW!!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Funny Thing About Joy. . .

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ~Marianne Williamson

I continue to give thanks... Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays".  
1,505 - Ordering takeout pizza for a late night dinner!
1,506 - Talking on the phone with my mom.

(I said last week that I would post the pictures of my granddaughter's volleyball game, we attended.)
 "Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life." 

It had been many years since I attended a school volleyall game. It brought back some good (and some not-so-good) memories of my school days, playing volleyball. She is in the bottom right of the picture, below.
She only played a short time, but enough for me to get these pictures. My favorite moment was when she spiked the ball over the net(below) and scored for the team!!
1,507 - Getting extra hours at work to help with costs for our son's college/being able to visit him. 
1,508 - A beautiful weekend on the lake and catching 76 fish in one day!!
1,509 -  The love and special attention my dogs give me every day when I come home from work or town.
 "One reason a dog is such a comfort when you're
feeling blue - he doesn't try to find out why."
 "Dogs bring companionship and joy to any family."
Black Divider No Background Clip Art
A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-- and how good is a timely word!  Proverbs 15:23
Black Divider No Background Clip Art

Every day, it seems like God is showing me something new to learn about joy and gratitude. I've had to learn the hard way, sometimes these simple, but true facts about joy:

1,510 - Joy and love cannot be truly experienced without having each in one's life. They go together.
  • "A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love." -Mother Theresa  
1,511 - A little joy goes a long ways.
1,512 - Thankful that I'm learning to continue to choose joy in my life, in spite of hardships and hurts.
  • "Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."
    --Henri Nouwen  
1,513 - I can stay focused on the positive and good that comes into my life.
1,514 - The Lord has been showing me where I can find joy, even when everything else may be dark and dismal. 
  • Joy is found where you least expect it.
1,515 - Only through Christ is true joy found!
  • It starts with a “J” and ends in “us”.                        
  •   Jesus is our joy, in this life and the next. But Jesus too is our guide in finding joy. His life is map to finding real and (ever) lasting happiness.
1,516 - love... is something to be shared.
  • The more you grab joy for yourself, the more you lose it, the more you give it away, the more it comes to you.

1,517 - Love this small framed plaque my friend gave me for my birthday awhile back.
  • "The funny thing about joy..."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Week Almost Gone!

Another week is just speeding by! Here, it's almost Thursday and I have been trying to write a new post since Monday. Between working extra hours at my job and attending the grandkids' volleyball games and entertaining unexpected guests, it has definitely been a wild ride!! I still have several pictures I've been wanting to share here. Ones that I took a few weeks ago, while I was able to go out in the boat, fishing with my hubby. I haven't taken the time to add to my gratitude list either....which isn't a good thing. This is the second week in a row! Last week, I had the time, but my mind was backed up with so many swirling thoughts, I just couldn't write. I wanted to just take a break and get away. So, I did for a few days....maybe not away from home, but away from the daily grind. I knew this week was going to be a strenuous one, so I laid low.
I looked back at some of my pictures from my camera and the peace I felt on the day I took them came flooding back and I relaxed...
I am so thankful for peaceful, happy memories!! Yes!
I thought of something to add to my list....good memories!(#1,501)
All week, I've been working in a different department, doing some new tasks and working with some new co-workers I'd not worked with before. I work at my church, so it is a Christian environment. Every day I have gone into work, at least one of my co-workers have said "thanks, so much, for coming in, Ann." That wouldn't be unusual, if I was volunteering, but I'm getting paid to go to work. Yet, they all appreciate me being there!
Another 'thanks, Lord' is going up....for kind and friendly co-workers! (#1,502)
My hubby and I have been wanting to attend some of our grandchildren's sporting events. Our granddaughter is on the 6th grade volleyball team. Last week, we were ready to go, and then the game was cancelled. But, we got to go see her play this week! It was SO awesome! Not only did they win the game, but she scored a point with a spike over the net!! Of all the times we didn't get to go before, this time she did awesomely, and I got a great photo shot to prove it!! (I'll be sharing those pictures in a future post, I promise!)
So thankful for getting to watch my granddaughter play and win!!  (#1,503)
One evening this week, my hubby wanted to go out fishing, just for a short time, to see if the fish were biting. It was really a pretty evening, so I went with him. The fishing wasn't that great, but we just enjoyed being out in the boat. Before we knew it, it had gotten dark and we decided to go back to the house. We went to start the engine, though, and it was dead. We had motor issues in the past, but not after dark. We even had a back-up battery, but it was dead also. We prayed. Then Ken got an idea to put the two low batteries together and see if there was enough juice to start the engine. It was touch and go, but it worked. We were SO thankful for God getting us back to shore! (#1,503) It would have been a very long night for us, if we hadn't, as we would have had to float to shore and make the LONG walk around the lake, home.
A friend from church called me today. We get together now and then, just to chat and give emotional support to each other, as we have shared some similar hardships in our lives in the past. She was feeling alone and needed a friend to talk to and a shoulder to lean on. She wanted to come visit for awhile. I was tired. I worked all day and came home to a cluttered house. Should I say "no, not today. The house is a mess and I'm tired," or do I say, "Come over, friend, and let's talk. Don't mind the mess. I'm here for you." I chose the second and am so glad I did. She left refreshed and thankful for our friendship. 
I'm SO grateful for having an open heart and home, (#1,504) letting God comfort and encourage others through me! 
 Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace..."
Acts 2:28 "You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.

How has your week been? Have you been able, in the daily grind of activites, to see how God has blessed you? What are you grateful for today?
Linking over to these blog hops: