Posts from the ‘Thoughts from the Porch’ Category

“Through the Years”

My Dearest Jim,

This year has been quite the year! We have had hurdles to jump and storms to ride out. This year has been one of those mile marker years for us. In a few days we will celebrate  our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. 

As I began to think about our anniversary, I turned to 1 Peter 3:7.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat

them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious

gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Through the years, you have exemplified this scripture in your daily walk with me.  You have done this in the following ways:

You are sensitive to my needs.

You are there to dry my tears.

You  pick me up when I fall  down.

You honor and love the LORD your God.

You love me unconditionally and encourage me in my endeavors.

You have given me insight with such grace. 

You never give me a reason to ever doubt you.

Not only have you exemplified this scripture in your daily walk with me but you also had such an influence on the man our son is today. I know without a doubt Drew walks this scripture with his wife, Megan.  What a beautiful gift you have given me by being the Godly man you are and being that example to Drew. 

Through The Years

Through The Years

Looking back over our life together,  I see where the blessings have shined in the midst of the storms. I see the laughter we have shared with one another. There have been so many precious memories we have created together. 

 When I reflect back I see the oops’ and the uh-oh’s that took place.  I would not trade those moments for anything. It is in those times we learned about each other and we grew stronger as a couple. 

The lyrics to the song “Through the Years” say it all….through all the good and bad, I know how much we have. I have always been glad to be with you. It gets better everyday.

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In the years ahead, I know we will always be strong together and for each other. I know through the years ahead I will learn even more about life. We still have  a few more storms to ride and uh-oh’s and oops’ to experience but will be these experiences where we will experience the greatest blessings.

On our wedding day, we walked down the aisle to the  song, “I’ll Walk With God” with changing the lyric to “We’ll Walk With God”.  It has been a beautiful walk and I look forward to the journey ahead of us.

Jim, thank you for being there for me and with me through the years.  

I Love You, 

April

Your ‘brown-eyed girl”

Happy Anniversary, Jim

November 23, 2014

Friends Take Action

paralyzed man being lowered through the roof

Jesus Heals A Paralyzed Man

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that 

he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left., not even outside the 

door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic., carried

by the four of them.  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an 

opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the  paralyzed man

was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

The Story of the Paralyzed Man Comes To Life

Love God

Years ago this scripture literally came to life for me. Jim and I had a friend, Dennis who was a paraplegic  who desperately wanted to go on the Walk to Emmaus in our community. Yet, there was one problem. Since Dennis was wheelchair bound and stairs were involved in getting him to the fellowship hall to eat and stairs were involved in getting him upstairs where the sleeping quarters would be, there was great concern in the Emmaus community about our friend attending. It was so much a concern that a special meeting was held to discuss how it could work out for Dennis to attend the walk.

As the meeting began,Jim,  my husband who is a physical therapist assured the group that he could work his work schedule out to be there to help Dennis get his wheelchair up and down stairs at the times he would need assistance. A co-worker of Jim’s also agreed to be on stand by to assist.  Deep down inside, Jim knew that once the weekend would be underway, the obstacle that everyone was so concerned with would resolve itself.

Then, it happened. Another friend of ours who also wanted Dennis to have a chance to grow in his walk with the LORD  got up to speak. She slowly approached the podium and simply read this scripture from Mark. After she read this scripture, she simply said; “we have a friend who wants to grow in his walk with Christ and we are the friends that need to get him there.” After she spoke this words, she quietly sat down and you could only hear a pin drop in the room.

Needless to say, our friend attended that walk. Not only did he attend the walk but Jim and his co-worker only had to show up once to assist with Dennis. After that, the other guys on the walk said; you don’t need to come back to  assist Dennis…..we got this!”  On that weekend, Dennis had the opportunity to grow in his faith walk  with friends assisting him along the way.

Preparing to See the King of Kings

eye of love

Not too long after that weekend, Dennis became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. It was on a Sunday evening when Jim and I learned that he was in the hospital. We had just sat down to eat dinner. Instead of eating dinner, we through it back in the fridge and headed for the hospital. There we found that his wife and son had gone home for a respite. Dennis was there alone in the room. He wasn’t able to talk much but in his own way he was able to communicate with us. Jim noticed Dennis had not been able to shave and that his bed needed freshening up. I excused myself out of the room. As I sat in the hall making phone calls to friends updating them, Jim began to clean Dennis up and freshen up his bed and room. Once he was done, I went back in the room where Jim and sat on both sides of Dennis’ bed and prayed with him. Dennis had communicated that he wanted “Bubba” (his nickname for Jim) to stay a little longer. Jim did stay a while into the night before heading back home.

The next afternoon I receive a phone call that Dennis was asking for Jim.  Jim and I get to the hospital as soon as we can but we were too late. Dennis had gone home to be with God. Jim went into the room where he saw his friend laying there lifeless. As heartbreaking it was, Jim was at peace. You see, when Jim met Dennis, Dennis was ready to give up.  Each time Jim would see Dennis, he would encourage Dennis and tell him there was hope. As time went by, Dennis and his family started coming to church and soon after joined the church. Thus, we are back to where this story began. A friend desperate to be healed who wanted to walk closer with “The King of Kings”. Friends picking him up and carrying him up and down stairs for three days to help him grow in his faith walk. Then, a friend taking time out to clean him up not knowing he was preparing him to go see “The King of Kings” within a matter of hours.

How Desperate Are We?

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Desperate. There are people desperate for hope and that are ready to give up. Yet, are we desperate enough like the friends of the paraplegic to rip a hole in the roof of a house and lower them  just to see Jesus?  It is my prayer that we all become friends of  action and be willing to rip a roof off or take time out to help someone get cleaned up to meet Jesus and to know that there is hope.

Watch the Video

Take Me To The King

Cross at Lake Junaluska, NC

Cross at Lake Junaluska, NC

The Doorway to a New Season

Fall Drive

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

This afternoon, Jim and I took a little ride through the back roads of our community. As we rode and enjoyed the scenery, we noticed that the Seasons are changing from Summer to Fall. The air is turning crisp. The trees are beginning to show signs that their leaves will be turning soon. Before too long, the leaves will fall. Fall will soon be fading out just as Summer did and Winter will set in. However, we anticipate the newness that next Spring and Summer will bring us.

Season of life

As we go through life, we go through our own personal seasons. Some seasons are brighter than others. Yet, when we have Christ in our lives, no matter how rough a season,  we have the affirmation that Christ is with us. We also know that there is a Season more beautiful than we can imagine promised to us. It is the season where we enter into our eternal home.

kneeling at Jesus Feet

If you are reading this and have not given your life to Christ, why don’t you receive him this moment. Lay all the old life and all that burdens you at the feet of Jesus. Then, ask Christ to come into your life and make ALL  things new. After all, as I read in my bible today, it clearly reminds me that Christ is the doorway to a beautiful season.

light of the Lord

May we walk in the light of truth and embrace the newness of Christ.

Have a blessed Fall.

Blessings

Time Out

blog vacation

 

 

Dear Reader:

It seems that everyday we are glued to our computers and/or phone. No matter where we are and what we do social media seems to be the core of our being. I have decided to take a break from social media for a bit and take time to take care of things that need my hands on attention. As I take this break, I will be keeping a journal of  ideas/thoughts for future postings on Thoughts From The Porch.

Please take time to visit my archives and to check out the other chairs on my porch.

Thank you for visiting my porch and may your faith journey be filled with God’s blessings.

 

Blessings

April

I See The Moon

 Girl looking at the moon

” I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.” Each evening when Mom would be putting the supper dishes away, I would sit on the sofa in the sitting area by the kitchen looking out the window at the moon. As the sun would set, the moon would become even brighter.  Mom would remind me that the man who made the moon made me.

“I see the moon and the moon sees me” is a reminder that God is watching over me and sees all that I do. Not only does he see me but he sees my heart.  It also reminds me that in all that I see around me I am seeing God, hearing God and experiencing God in all things.

God bless the moon. God bless me”,  reminds me that God has given me blessings throughout the day. It is also a gentle reminder that God has more blessings planned for me. All I have to do is be thankful for the ones given and keep my heart open and prepared for God’s blessings in the days ahead.

Each night I look up and see the moon and all the stars in the night sky. I  still recite the simple little rhyme my mom taught me as a small child.  It is a gentle reminder for me that the one who created the moon and hangs the stars is taking care of me.  There isn’t anything in life that I can’t handle as long as I have faith in the one ‘who made the moon.’  As I said in a previous post, ‘we are not promised perfect days but we are promised A PERFECT DAY in his time.”  

It is on that PERFECT DAY where I will meet the one ‘who made the moon’.  Until that day comes, I will continue to share thoughts and words in hopes to encourage others and show others the marvelous wonders and love of the one created the moon and created us. And, each night I will continue to count my blessings and continue  to look up  at the sky and say:

I see the moon.

The moon sees me.

God bless the moon.

God bless me.

May you see the moon and know the moon sees you. The creator of the moon has many blessings waiting for you to receive. This evening look up at the sky and soak in the amazing beauty of our wonderful creator.

My mom and me. This is the age when she taught me the rhyme.

My mom and me.
This is the age I was when she taught me the rhyme.

 

An Angel In My Path

 Keep loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, 

for by so doing some people have entertained angels without know it.”

Hebrews 13:1-2

Smokey

Smokey My angel who reminds me of God’s unconditional love for me.

In the last month, Smokey and I have begun volunteering at our local hospital.  When I adopted Smokey I didn’t dream at the time that there would be a ministry for me with this pup that has become joined at the hip with me. This past January, we had him certified as an Emotional Support Assist dog. We primarily had him certified for me.  However, over the last couple of years, he has shown us the gift he has in bringing comfort to other people. Thus, my adopting him has evolved in to a ministry of sorts.

Love God

This morning as Smokey and I finished up our visits at the hospital,  we encountered a couple of the family members sitting outside  that we had encountered earlier  in one of  the family waiting areas.  I stopped once again to say hello and let them love on Smokey one more time. The conversation progressed and  this one particular family member began to share her story  and  journey.  The more she shared the more her story resonated in my heart and mind.   I heard the  echoes of events that have taken place on my faith journey. This past week had been a week of emotion and my spiritual wellness being drained.  Tears welled up in my eyes because I was not only listening to her story  but through her sharing she was ministering to me.

In our conversation, we shared how important it is to count our blessings especially in times of trials. I told her that the first blessing we receive every morning is that God wakes us up. She went on with that thought and said; “you are right.”And; ” if God wakes you up in the mornings he has a plan and purpose for you for the day.” This lady went on to say that it is important to not only count your blessings every day but because we are blessed to do at least one kind thing for someone during the day.  We both agreed that among the trials in life there is hope and there are blessings.

God's blessings

As I wrapped up my conversation with her,  God placed the following words on my heart to share with this sweet lady. The words were; God doesn’t promise us perfect days but he promises us A Perfect Day in his time.”

Earlier this week, I was struggling with exhaustion, with hurt and the yearning to be lifted and healed emotionally and spiritually. And, here I was at a hospital for where the sick go to be treated and hopefully healed. Yet,  I was being healed by someone right outside the hospital  doors by a sweet lady with kindness and love in her eyes and voice as she talked to me.   Needless to say, I walked to my car feeling wrapped up in the Holy Spirit’s arms with tears of healing streaming down my face.

feather

I truly believe God has his angels walking among us. This morning, I was blessed by an angel.  This person may not realize the impact they made on my life in those few briefs moments but she was my angel with the words I needed to hear.

God is good!

All the time!

May you be showered with blessings in the days ahead.

Press On

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

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It was Labor Day Weekend of 1983 when I first pulled into this driveway with Jim. I had flown up from Atlanta to spend the weekend with Jim and to see where he grew up. As soon as we pulled up into the driveway, the door flew open with his mom and dad  running out to greet us. This particular weekend was only  the beginning of many years of experiencing a home with doors that were open to all. A home  that was full of laughter and love.

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This past week Jim and I walked through this home and the yard one more time. The rooms that were once full of furniture are now empty.  Jim’s dad passed away earlier this year and his mom has moved to a condo. The house is in the process of being sold. As we walked into each room, tears filled our eyes. In the kitchen, we recalled the aromas  of many meals Jim’s mom had prepared not only for the family but for friends and strangers who soon became dear friends. Throughout the house there were echoes of children playing, people laughing and you sensed the walls were  saying: loved was lived out here.

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Before leaving, we walked out to the barn and to his dad’s garden spot. Although Jim’s dad did not feel well, he had planted a garden last year. Jim and I reflected on how much we enjoyed the tomatoes his dad had grown and how they tasted even better last year because we knew his dad had to crawl on his hands and knees to pick them for us.  All around us we saw nothing but love and the labor of love put into action.

10578230_726466007418080_1170647241_oJim and I slowly got in the truck.  As we  pulled out of the driveway one last time with tears in our eyes. We took each other’s hand and looked at one another knowing that his dad would want us to press on toward  the goal and continue to share this legacy of love and grace with others.

All of us experience the ending of one chapter and the task of beginning a new one. These transitions are not always easy. However, we must know that it is all a part of God’s plan and it is all a part of our journey to our eternal home.  May we  press toward the goal of Christ Jesus.

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