Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dance with me

During this season of worship, please enjoy a beautiful depiction of the love between Yeshua and His bride.  My heart overflows with joy as I draw close to Him and glory in the love of my Beloved.  He has truly captured my heart.  There is no joy like the joy He gives.  I pray you know Him like this. 

Shalom and blessings to you and yours.
I'm sharing this at Spiritual Sundays, Something Beautiful, Grati-Tuesday, and  a Holy Experience

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas - unplugged

As I said in my last post, I am blessed to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.  I celebrate Christmas very differently than most, and very differently from the way I did it in years past.   I read a quote this week that sums up my outlook on Christmas celebrations.

"Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ."

Years ago, I read the book  Unplug the Christmas Machine that had a profound impact on me.  I was a young mother at the time, and completely worn out by "Christmas".  I ran myself ragged shopping, decorating, entertaining, being entertained...and you know the rest of the story.  After reading the book, I decided to do Christmas differently, and it has evolved over time.  Slowly, I began to do gifts differently.  I shopped, spent, and decorated less, and began to worship more.

Who is Christmas about, after all?  Isn't it about Yeshua?  Weren't the first gifts brought to Him?  I can remember, as a small girl, feeling like something was missing at Christmas.  Yes, I knew and read the story of His birth...but what was I giving Him?  My little girl heart knew He was being ignored... in spite of all the decorations, presents, parties, and hoopla.  Even as a small girl, I sensed He was grieved.

Somewhere along the line, in my desire to love Him and honor Him, I read about the pagan basis for Christmas.   I learned that Yeshua was most likely not born in the winter because the shepherds were tending their flocks in the hills.  I learned that the Bible says not to put a tree in your house and decorate it (Jer.10:1-5).  And don't even get me started on Santa Claus.  I had to ask myself if G-d is pleased by telling children that lie.  I have a grandson now, and I much prefer that he learn about G-d's appointed feasts and festivals than the world's.  I'm thankful that his parents feel the same.

Yeshua celebrated those feasts, including Hanukkah.  He also said, "I have not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it."  I don't think He meant to stop celebrating His feasts, but to realize in celebrating them that He is the fulfillment of them.  They are all tactile, hands-on lessons that teach us about His character and about our relationship to Him.  Yeshua is, after all, the G-d of the Old Testament, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  If he said we would observe His feasts forever, shouldn't we be doing that and follow His example? 

For that reason, I celebrate Hanukkah - with Yeshua as the Light of the World.  I observe Christmas as the fact that  He was born as a man.  I worship Him - not the Christmas tree, or the presents, or the whole machine that Christmas has become.  I'm much happier doing it that way.

For me, Christmas is a time of peace and of drawing close to Him.  I thank Him that He was willing to become a man and to suffer as we do in this earth, to understand our frailty.  I thank Him that He didn't give in to sin so that He could be that perfect offering for sin.  I thank Him for His light that has shone in my heart and taken root there.  I thank Him for the blessing of being in His family and for the gift of His Word to guide my life.  I thank Him for the Ruach Hacodesh living inside me. I am so glad He came.

What's funny about being a Messianic Jewish believer is that sometimes Hanukkah comes before Christmas, and then sometimes it's just the opposite.  So, mostly, we celebrate all month long -  that Yeshua was born and that He was the Light of the World.  We put up blue and white lights and listen to Hanukkah music as well as songs of Christmas that celebrate our Savior's birth.  We make special foods and fellowship with friends.  Yes, I do give gifts, but they are quite minimal.  No more pushing myself to keep up with the Christmas machine.  I play music, and go to free concerts that focus on Yeshua.  I ride around and look at the lights and worship my Savior.  My heart is so full of gratitude and worship.

This video is so wonderful.  I hope you'll watch it, and stand up with me and praise and worship Yeshua - the King of Kings and L-rd of Lords.   Halelu-jah!  (a great Hebrew word that means Praise G-d!).  I'm shaaring this at           Spiritual Sundays

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yeshua is the Light of Hanukkah

Let the candle-lighting begin!  Yes, Hanukkah started Wednesday night at sundown...and a delightful holiday it is. 

I am so blessed to be able to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.  Granted I don't celebrate Christmas like most people do, but it is a joyful time for me as a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah. 

As Messianic Jewish believers, we celebrate this holiday in remembrance of a great miracle God performed for the Jews.   Each night for eight days, my husband and I place colorful candles in a Hanukkah menorah in remembrance of God’s miracle working power. 

The holiday originated when Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was cleansed and prepared for rededication. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means "dedication." When the sacred temple Menorah (candelabra) was relit, there was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. Yet,  the oil miraculously lasted eight days until more purified oil could be found.  Hence, the expression: “A Great Miracle Happened There”. 

Yeshua observed Hanukkah, as recorded in John 10: 22-23:  “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch.”  He was there, in His Father’s House, to observe the Feast of Hanukkah.  It is also significant that in John 8:12  Yeshua declared, “I am the Light of the World”.  This statement would have great impact during the Feast of Dedication.  The Jews knew exactly what He was saying.  He was declaring Himself to be G-d. 

This week,  my husband, Rabbi Jem and I along with the members of our congregation, celebrate Hanukkah together with  singing, dancing, food, drink, and much talking together.  We remember that our God is a miracle working God. Not just in the Bible, but in our own lives today.   It is traditional to sing the song Rock of Ages.  Most Christians don’t know this Jewish song which commemorates Hanukkah.  As we sing it, we also remember that Yeshua is our Rock of Ages who saves us from sin’s power:

Rock of Ages let our song
Praise thy saving power
Thou amidst the raging foes
Was our sheltering tower.
Furious, they assailed us,
But thine armour veiled us.
And thy word broke their sword
When our own strength failed us

The light (Yeshua) has come into the world, and that flame never dies in the hearts of believers.  That holy oil continues to burn and give hope to those of us who have accepted Yeshua into our hearts.  I can testify that a great miracle happened in my life when Yeshua came in.  In spite of trouble or hardship or conflict, my hope never dies.  That oil just keeps on burning, just as it did at the first Hanukkah. 

As we remember the traditions of this Feast of Dedication, we have also added a new one:  to take this time to rededicate our lives to let the “Light” shine through us.  We possess the message so needed by the world. 

Tonight, during our service, we will also sing the song "Yeshua is the Light"  by Zemer Levav.  I hope you will take the time to listen and to remember that His Light can overcome any darkness in your life.  

Linked to Spiritual Sundays (Thanks, Charlotte and Ginger!)
Also linked to Sunday Song, and Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington in prayer at Valley Forge
President George Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving Day in 1789.  Following is that proclamation.

I found it very interesting that he made frequent reference to Almighty G-d and closed it with "the year of our L-rd."  Our Founding Fathers were reverent, men who honored the G-d of Israel and His Son, Yeshua (Jesus).  Our founding documents are full of references to G-d and our L-rd, and our government was based on Judeo-Christian principles. 

I am thankful for this heritage and want future generations to remember our history.  I hope you will be blessed and humbled as I am to read Washington's words:

Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington


This my humble prayer also.
I pray you will all have a blessed day of thanksgiving to Almighty G-d.

Love and shalom,


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The wonderful Silhouette machine giveaway!

Enter to win a Silhouette machine at this link:

The girls at Shanty2chic are giving away a Silhouette cutting machine.  Check it out at this link:

And, believe it or not, the Thrifty Decor Chick is giving one away, too!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


My Mama holding a plaque I made for her a while back.
It says "the heart that gives gathers".
  She has always been a very giving person.
As I've spent many hours by Mama's bedside over the last month, I've remembered all the things I'm thankful for about her, especially this week, as Thanksgiving approaches. 

My mother is known far and wide as a wonderful cook.  Holidays in the past always brought out her famous Southern pecan pie, which I remember well. (I stopped eating sugar over five years ago, but I can still remember how good it was.) 

On Thanksgiving and Christmas, she always cooked a turkey with dressing and giblet gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top (Daddy's favorite), turnip greens and roots (my favorite), potato salad (her granddaughter Melissa's favorite), and broccoli casserole (her granddaughter Amanda's favorite). 

I never understood what a sacrifice it was to make meals like that until I had to start doing it myself.  As Mama grew older, she let us bring some of the special dishes, and then finally gave up cooking all together. 

I'll never forget the year I had to make the holiday dinner all by myself.  I spent hours shopping, then peeling, chopping, stirring, and fussing over all of those favorite dishes.  Wow - it was WORK, and my feet and legs were killing me!!!  I realized then what a labor of love those many years of holiday dinners were. 

This year, Mama will spend Thanksgiving in the nursing home, and it breaks my heart to think about it.  Their food is good, but it's nothing like my Mama's.  We'll eat it together, but it sure won't be the same.  So, if you still have your Mama cooking for you, don't take it for granted.  Thank her for all the hours she has spent in the past to make your holidays special.  It's a gift of love and something to be very thankful for. 

P.S.  Thanks to all who have prayed for my mother and encouraged me in my efforts to assist her during this time. My mother entered a rehab facility about a week ago. She is not well, but is better. All of her heart and stomach tests have come back with good results. The doctor says he can't find any reason for her digestive issues. So, I would appreciate continued prayer for her health.

I'm linking up to Spiritual Sundays at

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Answered prayers

Thanks for the prayers. The blockage was treated and dissolved without surgery.  Doctors said it was due to adhesions.  After the tubes were removed, her heart began to race.  A stress test was done, which turned out well, but they did further tests to determine why it happened.   My mama is home now and re-gaining strength.  She will have to wear a heart monitor for two weeks.    Please continue to pray for her healing and for her strength to return.

Also, please pray for me because I am not a very good nurse.  As a teenager, I was a candy-striper at the hospital, and would cry every time I went into a patient's room who was in pain.  The coordinator realized I was no good at working with sick people, so she assigned me to the hospitality cart.  (This was long ago, so some might not know about it.)  The cart was stocked with candy, magazines, etc. and I would push it from room to room, selling stuff.  That didn't work either, because I still had to see people suffering.  The final position was working in the coffee shop, and I did really well there.  So, basically, I flunked nursing, and found out I was good in sales!  I loved that little pink, striped uniform, though! 

All I can say, is G-d bless nurses. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Please pray

My mother is in the hospital with an intestinal blockage.  Please pray that this will not require surgery.

Here's a picture of my mama.  I show it to all of the nurses so they can see how pretty she is without tubes in her nose (poor, thing).  She's really mad because they won't give her any food, and her IV is causing trouble, which causes the alarm to go off every five minutes.  She didn't get any sleep last night because every time she'd doze off, they'd come in and wake her up.  Oy vey!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reflections on the High Holy Days (Part 2 of 3)

In my last post, I wrote about  the Jewish High Holy Days beginning with Rosh Hoshanah, followed by the Ten Days of Awe.   Now, I will reflect on Yom Kippur, which means "Day of Atonement", and is the holiest day of the Jewish year. Atonement means "covered", so it is the day when all the sins of the Jews of the past year are "covered".

As Messianic believers, we are Jews and Gentiles who believe Yeshua (Jesus) covered our sins on the cross by shedding his blood, once and for all, forever.  So why observe Yom Kippur?  Because G-d commanded it in Leviticus 23:27  "... on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement:   it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and you shall afflict your souls..."

The Ten Days of Awe have prepared us for observing Yom Kippur, and we come to the synagogue with humble, repentant hearts.  The rabbi and congregation wear white clothing as a reminder of G-d's holiness.  The ark curtain and the Torah cover are also white, further reinforcing holiness.

During the service the Kol Nidre is sung.  This beautiful, old Hebrew song has tones of sadness and repentence resounding throughout, as a reminder of the attitude we are to have about our sins.  There are special prayers and readings done by the rabbi and the congregation.  At one point, we read through a long, detailed  list of sins. After each sin is read, we pause to reflect on that sin, and to search our hearts for its' presence in our lives,   It is traditional to press our fists to our hearts as we confess our sins, symbolizing the pain sin causes.

Each year during the service, I am always amazed to become aware of some sneaky sin that has wormed it's way into my life.  This year it was "confusion".  How did I forget that I can always come to Him for the right thoughts any time I'm in need?  And, I must admit...I hadn't thought of confusion as a sin until that moment on Yom Kippur.    G-d reminded me that it is through reading the Word I become sound-minded, and will not fall for the lies of the world through people, television, books, the internet, etc.   Forgive me, Father. Thank you  for showing me this, and I'm so grateful that Your blood covered my sins.

Also during the service, we have the opportunity to confess our sins to the congregation as a whole, if need be.  For instance, if our attitude or words have hurt the group.  One person humbly did so this year.  We also are encouraged to go to anyone we have hurt to apologize and make amends.

Yom Kippur is a bitter-sweet time.  It is bitter because we are sad to be reminded that our sins have hurt G-d and others.  It is sweet because Yeshua's blood paid for our sins and brought forgiveness....and sweet because of renewed relationships.   

As a Messianic Jew, I observe Yom Kippur, but growing up in a Christian church, I did not now what I was missing.  In the late 1990's, with a great desire to acquire wisdom , I began to study the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament).  Through that study, I saw what a tremendous amount of blood had to be shed for sins. and gained a whole new appreciation of Yeshua's blood sacrifice.   Somehow, the New Testament teachings about His blood did not affect me the way the Old Testament teachings did.  In the Old Testament we read in Leviticus 17:11  "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul." In the New Testament we read, "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." (Hebrews 9:22).

Can you imagine having to take an offering to the Temple every time you sin?  Now think about that sin that you can't seem to overcome...and having to repeatedly go to the priest and have more blood shed to pay for that sin.  I'd never thought about it that way.  It puts sin in a whole new perspective, doesn't it?   Now think about those sins you weren't even aware of committing.  Those sins are still serious and have consequences. We need to be reminded of these things.  That is why Yom Kippur is to be observed yearly - as a reminder of G-d's holiness, of sin's seriousness, and of the wonderful forgiveness G-d offers through Yeshua

Up until the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, on Yom Kippur, the blood of animals was presented to G-d as an atonement for sin.  Since A.D.70,  no blood sacrifices have been made.   So what's a Jew to do?  Those who do not believe in Yeshua's blood as their atonement, depend on their mitzvot (good deeds) to atone for their sins.  Our mission, as Messianic believers, is to share the wonderful, good news about Yeshua, because His blood covered all sins.   
May His Name be blessed and praised forever!

P.S.  For those who would like more information, there is a treatise on Yom Kippur in the 9th chapter of Hebrews in the New Testament.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
I'm linking to Spiritual Sundays and
to Something Beautiful

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Blog Guidebook

Have you heard about the Blog Guidebook?  It's a wonderful place to find the type of blogs you enjoy.  I love how they break down categories. ( My favorites are decorating and sewing.) There is also an area called "blogging for newbies"  I'm loving that because I'm a newbie!

They have a button up top for "link parties" and "giveaways".  You'll find a whole new world, once you get started with link parties.  Believe me, there is a party for every day of the week.  It's also a great way to win prizes!  Recently I won a beautiful lavender sachet pillow that was hand embroidered, AND two lovely fragrant bunches of lavender tied in pink ribbons.  All of this, just for making a comment on a blog.

You may also list your blog on the Guidebook.  It's a great way bring new people to your blog...and to meet new friends.  

The Blog Guidebook is a great resource for how-to information.  Stop by and check it out. at  or just click on the button above.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reflections on the High Holy Days (Part 1 of 3)

The blowing of the shofar marks the beginning of  Rosh Hashanah as well as the beginning of the new year  in Judaism.  So, my dear friends, "L'shanah Tova" which is the traditional greeting we use to wish each other a blessed and happy new year. The holiday began at sundown on September 8.    Yes, I know I'm late, but better late than never, right?  Happy 5771 (on the Jewish calendar)!!

The Holy Scriptures tell us to observe this holiday.   In Leviticus 23:24 it is known as Zikhron Teruah  or "Memorial of Blowing (of trumpets).  In Numbers 29:1, it is called Yom Teruah "The Day of Blowing (of trumpets)". The Jewish holidays (or High Holy Days) began with Rosh Hashanah, which literally means "Head of the Year".

Our service includes the blowing of the shofar 100 times!  I'd said in a recent post that my husband, Rabbi Jem, would be doing it, but as it turns out, one of our members, David Jackson, took his place.  Rabbi was coming down with a cold (as was I), so this was a great blessing to have someone who could stand in for him.

The holiday reminds us to think about the year behind us and the year ahead, and begins the ten days of awe.  During this period, we are to search our hearts for any sins we've allowed to creep in, and to examine our relationships to see if there is anyone to whom we owe apologies or amends.  Those who are medically able also fast during the ten days of awe, as fasting clears the mind, and enables one to hear G-d's voice more clearly.

This year, on Rosh Hashanah, we also dedicated our new Torah mantle and ark curtain.  Since the High Holy Days are a time of holiness, we use white as a visual reminder of its' importance.  I'll talk more about that in my next post , which will be about Yom Kippur.
As Messianic Jews, we believe our Messiah has come, and his name is Yeshua in Hebrew (Jesus Christ).  In studying about this holiday, I think it is interesting to note that it was not until 1500 years after G-d instituted the holiday that it was called Rosh Hashanah.  When the Jewish Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, Jewish practice changed radically.  Yeshua changed things drastically because He was and is the fulfillment of the Feast.  I can testify that when he comes into a life, it's a whole new world.  More about that change, both in Judaism and in my life,  in my next post.

I'm linking up to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers and Spiritual Sunday

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feast of Tabernacles

Our grandson, Jonathan, playing the drum during worship service! 
So much has happened since my last post:
  •     Yom Kippur - with some wonderful insights I will be sharing soon.  Also will post pics from our service.
  •     Our trip to Washington DC
  •     Our bout with the flu  :(
  •     Sukkot - Feast of Tabernacles preparations
I am working diligently to prepare for our BIG celebration of Sukkot this weekend.  I love this holiday and can't wait to show you how we celebrate.

I'll be back on Monday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

L'shanah Tovah

At sundown today, Rosh Hashanah begins - and with it, the beginning of the High Holy Days.  

As believers, we are commanded in Numbers 29:1  

"And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work.  For you it is a day of blowing of the trumpets."  (See also Leviticus 23:23-25).

The next ten days will be days of quiet reflection for me as I search my heart for hidden sins that may have crept in.  I look forward to setting aside my normal activities to focus on listening to G-d's voice.  This is a beautiful time of drawing close to the Father, feeling His presence, and hearing His sweet and loving voice.

During the Rosh Hashanah service tonight, my husband Rabbi Jem will blow the shofar.  I am always amazed that he can do this because he has a greatly diminished lung capacity due to asthma.  It is  a testimony of his love and dedication for Adonai.  He is  a remarkable man empowered by our awesome G-d.  
After Yom Kippur, September 17, I will return to the blog-world.  Until then, Shalom and Blessings to you all. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I love white

In my home, I decorate with items that are special to me.  Each one has a story.  This vignette sits on a table in my foyer, surrounded by framed photographs of my family. 

The angel was a gift from a friend and reminds me that G-d's angels are always near me, protecting me and my loved ones. The crystal brooch belonged to my mother and reminds me to honor her.

The little girl praying is actually a night light that I disassembled.  Isn't she precious?  She reminds me to pray for my loved ones.

The framed scripture is from Isaiah 40:1-2 and reminds me to pray to be of comfort to all I meet.  It especially reminds me to love the Jewish people and to tell them about Yeshua the Messiah.
Here's the scripture:

 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your G-d.
 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the L-RD's hand double for all her sins.

I'm linking up to White Wednesdays at Faded Charm:
and Spiritual Sundays at:
and Simply Beautiful at

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Exciting News!!!!

Recently I discovered the wonderful Silhouette machine. I have so many projects I want to do for the synagogue.  I'm imagining worship banners, wall decorations, Torah covers,  ark curtains, decorations for costumes for our Davidic dance team.

I am so excited!  There are lots of chances out there in Blog-land to win one. Here's where you can find some Silhouette Giveaway contests.

Kara's Party Ideas

Under the Table and Dreaming


American Crafts

Making it Lovely

You Say Too

Monday, August 23, 2010


A divine appointment in May set two ministers on a path together to restore America to her Judeo-Christian roots.

Pastor Jim Book, of the First Christian Church of Winter Park, and Rabbi Jem Golden of Ma’gen Da’vid Messianic Synagogue of Port St John, met at the Liberty Summit in Orlando where they were both scheduled speakers. Their messages resonated with attendees and sparked a fire that is spreading and leading to speaking requests across the U.S.

Both Jew and Christian have the same message: it is time for ministers in churches and synagogues to lead their members to be politically involved in order to save our country.

Pastor Jim Book speaks about the leaders of the United States being devout Christians and how they quoted Scripture and called on Jesus Christ in prayer. Weaving his message with Scripture, Pastor Jim challenges attendees to return to Godly values and to the Biblical principles of the Constitution.

A believer in Yeshua (Jesus Christ), Messianic Rabbi Jem Golden encourages ministers to trust God to protect them as they lead out to stand up for the obedience God expects of them. Both a Biblical and American historian, Rabbi Jem quotes the Bible as the basis of our founding documents and for the blessings our country has received in the past by applying those principles in government.

These two men of God are prime examples of unfailing leadership as they follow in the footsteps of the leaders of our country who stood for liberty. Pastors and rabbis alike will be encouraged and inspired to talk to their congregations with confidence and courage. Together, these two “gems” give inspiration and instruction on how ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Pastor Book and Rabbi Golden are partnering to encourage ministers to stand firm on Biblical values and to work on these important issues:
• the family
• the sanctity of human life
• religious liberty
• education
• pornography
• national sovereignty

For more information about having them speak to your group, please contact:


I am so grateful to live in America.  I'm grateful for a government that allows me to participate in the election and law-making processI am also concerned abut the direction our country has taken, but grateful, as an American, that I can "put feet to my faith."

Tomorrow is the primary here in Florida. I pray resident voters will consider whether or not their candidate believes in Biblical values. 

Our country has strayed very far from what the founding fathers intended. Those brave men quoted the Bible and invoked the name of Jesus Christ for guidance and blessing. 

Please remember you are a part of the government (of the people, by the people, and for the people) and you can make a difference  with your prayers and when you take action.   

Check out the candidates and pray about who to vote for after checking out these voter guides from Christian Coalition:

Please pray for our country....

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Favorite Psalm (Song)

This is my favorite movie (and song, and Psalm). I watch it over and over again because it expresses greatest desire of my heart - to dwell in the house of the L-rd forever, to praise Him, and to dance in His joy. I hope you'll watch it and enjoy!

Psalm 27

1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

I'm linking up with Word Filled Wednesday at the Internet Cafe:
and Cindy's I Owe It All to Him:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Creative Spirit

I'm linking up to White Wednesdays over at Faded Charm.  Please visit:

Creativity is displayed all over my home, and I'm not bound by any decorating rules.  If I like it, I make it work.  

I like to mix things up and make displays, like shells and rocks, an angel made of soap... you name it.

I like to keep things around me that remind me of lessons G-d has taught me.  The rocks were picked up on my trip to Israel in '96.  The heart shaped rock has a hole in it.  It reminds me of the lesson I learned while in  Eretz Yisrael.

When I made Aliyah (ascent to Israel),  I understood for the first time what "covenant" meant.  I saw G-d keeping His covenant with Israel by bringing His people back and making the land bloom.  Until I saw this, I had a hole in my heart about marriage.  He healed me there in Israel, and  I learned there are those who do keep covenants.

For the next ten years, I learned to love Yeshua as my Kinsman Redeemer (see the book of Ruth in the Bible).  I learned what love, tenderness, kindness, patience, caring and faithfulness in a man meant by spending time alone with Him and  in His Word.  

Then - surprise, surprise!!!  When I least expected it, he brought a wonderful man into my life.  I recognized him as a G-dly man from the time I'd spent with Yeshua.  

Rabbi Jem and I were married in 2006, and I am so happy!!

We're both very creative.  You should see the pics from our wedding!! 

I'm linking up to Cindy's "My Creative Spirit" Challenge at:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You CAN make a difference

Are you as concerned as I am about the direction our country is going? Do you think, "but what can one person do?" 

As a member of Concerned Women for America, I've learned there is so much one person can do.   First, please understand that CWA does not promote any political party or candidate.  We work to bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy. There's a cultural battle raging across this country and CWA is on the front line protecting those values through prayer and action.

We focus on six core issues:

  • the family
  • the sanctity of human life
  • religious liberty
  • education
  • stopping pornography
  • national sovereignty 

It would be an honor for CWA to speak to your church, or any other group you may be a part of, about what we, as individuals,  can do to preserve America.   Please pray about this, talk with your leader, and let me know if you would like to have a member of CWA share how one person can make a difference.


Gail Golden 
Publicist, Concerned Women for America of Florida
P.O. Box 140063
Orlando, FL. 32814

Please consider a monthly donation to CWA of Florida.

We have to do what we can, where we are, with what we have
 to retain government of, by, and for the people...before it is too late.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Favorite Word - Sh'ma

"Sh'ma" is my favorite word. It is Hebrew for the word "Hear" and the first word of a very important Jewish prayer. This prayer is both a daily prayer, and one we say weekly in our liturgy on Shabbat (the Sabbath). The prayer is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) Chapter 6. You can read the entire passage here:

Yeshua (Jesus our Messiah) referred to the Sh'ma in Mark 12:28 - 34. Also, in Luke 10:25 - 37, He expounded on it and explained how love of G-d is exhibited in caring for our neighbors. Following G-d's commandments is loving to God, to ourselves and our neighbors. His laws are loving and protective of us and society.

The Sh'ma is a call to obedience. Hashem is not telling us just to listen, but to "hear". In the Holy Scriptures, to hear is to obey. Yeshua said "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15).

photo from Wikipedia
The Sh'ma is printed and rolled up inside a mezuzah, then placed on the doorpost of our home. As we leave the house and come back in, we touch the mezuzah and then kiss our fingertips. This is a reminder that G-d's Words are like honey to our lips. They are so, so sweet.

Recently, Rabbi Jem and I went to the homes of several of our congregation to affix the mezuzah, and bless their homes.  One little boy touched the mezuzah, kissed his fingertips, and said, "It really is sweet!"  We wholeheartedly agreed.  

What is your favorite word? I'd love to hear about it and why it is so special to you.

I'm linking up to Cindy's blog today:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Count Your Blessings

A song from the 1950’s is one of my favorites: “Count your blessings, name them one by one - Count your blessings see what G-d has done”. That song helped me get through some tough times in my life by always focusing on the good. That song, in addition to three gratitude mentors, helped to shape my attitude of gratitude.

First, my grannie, Fannie Griner, comes to mind. Grannie reared 11 children on a farm during the Depression. Although poor by most standards, she always expressed a thankful heart, and shared what she had with others. One of my fondest memories as a child was visiting her. At night, I’d crawl into her big, old, creaky iron bed with the cloud-like feather mattress. As Grannie sank wearily down on her side of the bed, she’d breathe out a whispered, “Praise the L-rd.” She closed out every day that way, no matter how difficult that day had been.

Grannie also taught me to count my blessings. Each night, we’d make a list of all we were thankful for, and I’d drift off to sleep feeling so content. I think her influence helped me to always feel like I am rich, no matter what my bank account says.

Second, my father, John Wesley Griner, greatly influenced my attitude of gratitude.
Daddy taught me to be thankful for little things, like the shoes on my feet. He told me how shoes were the usual gift he and his ten brothers and sisters received for Christmas. Those shoes had to last all year, and if they pinched later on, they went barefooted. He grew up in the Depression, so having enough food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over his head were not taken for granted.

Daddy worked outside in road construction all of his life, but always thanked G-d, whether it was rainy or sunny, and never complained about it. One of Daddy’s favorite sayings was, “These are the best years of your life”. Funny, he told me that as a child, a teenager, and as a grown woman with children of my own. He was right in every instance. My father worked extremely hard his whole life, but when he passed away at 75, his last words were “I’ve had a good life.” I feel the same way, even though I’ve faced some daunting challenges along the way. Daddie’s counsel and example made it easier.

Carmita, in Jerusalem on the Mt of Olives

Third, my elderly Jamaican neighbor, Carmita Poulson, was perhaps my greatest influence in learning to be thankful. As a young woman, burdened with all kinds of problems, Carmita taught me to be thankful in prayer. Once a week, we’d get together to pray, and Carmita would start out praising the Lord and go on for 30 minutes, thanking G-d for everything under the sun. At first, I grew impatient, thinking my problems were more important than praising G-d. But, I learned from her example.

At 80, she was healthy and strong, loving and giving, and excited to be alive every day. I can still remember her radiant, smiling face and tearful voice as she said, “Thank you Lord, that I can see, and hear, and walk, and talk, and think, and that I have strength to work for You!” Carmita’s influence of gratitude lives on in me, as I now pray that same prayer every day myself.

As I grow older, I am more and more thankful for Grannie, Daddy, and Carmita as mentors, and for their lives that exemplified gratitude. I pray I will set the same example for those who know me.

Do you have gratitude mentors?  I'd love to hear about them.

Always be joyful. Pray regularly. In everything give thanks, for this is what G-d wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

I am linking up for Gratituesday - Hope you'll stop by the blog below
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Favorite Bible Verse

I'm linking up to Cindy's challenge to share my favorite Bible verse.  That is such a difficult challenge.  There are many verses of Scripture  I could list.  God' s Word is my lifeline, my strength, my food.  It quenches my thirst, comforts me, guides me, counsels me, and daily
intrigues me anew.

In Judaism, we read the Torah through every year.  I never fail to be amazed that I can read a passage over and over again, and still learn something new.  I also read the book of Proverbs monthly, reading the chapter that corresponds to the day.  In example, today I read Proverb 15.  Today the first verse jumped out at me, and spoke, "Share this with her."  I had been talking with someone about how important our tone and facial expressions are when speaking.  G-od's Word is alive!!!

But I digress!  Back to my "favorite" verse:   

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters
He restores my soul.

Does your soul ever need restoring?  Mine does.  The pressures of daily life can wear me out.  I need time in nature (green pastures) and  to sit by the water.  Being still, watching birds and butterflies, listening to the wind in the tress, looking at the river or a pond calms me down and enables me to hear G-d's voice again.  This is one of the places I go to be still and be restored.

This spot is on the Indian River in Brevard County, Florida, near where I live.  When I can't visit there, I sit on my patio and look at the pond my dear, sweet husband made for me.  He knows how I need still waters.

A part of being restored is feeding on the green pastures.  No, not grass, silly!  That's what sheep eat.  My green pastures are G-od's Holy Scriptures.  I read His Word, and meditate on it as I sit still in the wonders of His beautiful creation.   Soon, I hear His tender, sweet voice and my soul leaps with joy.  My fellowship with Him is so sweet, I don't want to leave.  I walk away encouraged, strengthened and at peace.

If you've never tried being still by the water, reading the Scriptures, and  listening to G-d's voice, please try it.  I know you will be blessed and restored.  

I hope you'll visit Cindy's blog and read other's favorite verses.

Shalom Ya'll

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Only in the dark

I want y'all to see a beautiful flower that grows here on Florida’s Space Coast. For years I thought this plant was so ugly. It looks like green snakes growing on the palm trees along the Indian River. The flowers looked like dried up flamingo heads covered with grey hair. Ugly!

Well, one evening just after dark, I discovered that the ugly flamingo head had bloomed and it was spectacular! Some of the blooms are the size of soccer balls. Who knew something that I perceived to be so ugly could be so beautiful?

(See the ugly flamingo head between the blooms? Proper name night-blooming cereus)

G-d spoke softly to me that the cactus is a picture of surrender to Him. Often hard times come into our lives. Hurtful things happen. Pain (both physical and emotional) visits us. We cringe from the ugliness of it. We run away from it. We want it taken away. If we surrender to G-d, something wonderful happens. The thing we thought was ugly becomes beautiful. We learn something about G-d that no one can take away

As an example, years ago I owned a house in another city. I wanted to sell the house and put it on the market. The house would not sell, however. I prayed, I cried, I told G-d I "needed" it to sell. I became angry and told G-d I felt He was doing me wrong. (Yes, G-d can take it when I don’t agree with Him.) It still didn't sell. I surrendered it to Him and accepted whatever the outcome might be. I put the house up for rent, and was blessed with an excellent renter who paid on time and kept the property in good condition.

Several years later, I desperately needed money, and put the house up for sale again. I prayed for it to sell quickly, and thanks be to G-d, it sold in one week.

I learned from this situation that what I thought was "ugly" was really beautiful. The house was preserved for my truly desperate need years later. G-d knew what he was doing. I learned also, that He knows my needs and provides them. I often think my "wants" are needs, but He knows best.

When troubles come into my life, I’m learning to surrender them to G-d. Surrender during dark times, like the cactus flower, seems ugly and frightening. Once I let go though, I discover a beautiful thing – something about G-d that no one can take away from me. I remember, that only in the dark, does the ugly cactus become a beautiful flower.

Shalom Y'all,

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love G-d, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Scent of Lavender

A couple of weeks ago, I entered a drawing at The Centsational Girl's blog, and I won!

Yesterday, I received my prize in the mail. My husband brought the large box from the mailbox and said, "Here's a package for you, sweetheart, and it smells sooooo good!"

With great excitement, I opened the package, and found a fragrant gift wrapped in white tissue paper. Nestled under the wrappings were a beautiful hand-embroidered eye pillow, and two bunches of fresh lavender tied with pink ribbons. Soooo Delightful!

I love lavender, and this gift was heaven "scent"!!! Thank you, Kate!

I hope you all will stop by Kate's blog to see more of her beautiful creations. You can visit her at this link: Centsational Girl

Friday, June 25, 2010


I'm joining a sorority! Yes, at my age... it's the Bloggerette Sorority. We are a sisterhood of creative ladies.

This week our assignment is to use the picture on the blog button on the left in a creative way. I made a decorated basket, which I will show you further down in the post. But, first I wrote a poem:

Sisters we are...
Committed, all...
to follow Thee Creative Call.

I believe creativity is a God-given gift. He is the great Creator, after all. For many years, I have studied Proverbs, and I found this very interesting verse:

Proverbs 8:12 (King James Version)
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

To me, "witty inventions" speaks of creativity. I've also heard it said that if we do not follow our creative call, God will find someone who is willing. How many times have you thought of doing something, and found out later that someone else had done it?

Okay, here's my creation(drum-roll please!):

(I wanted to use sepia tones for the photo, but couldn't figure out how to do it. If you know, please tell me in comments.)

And, another part of the assignment...
Here's a pic of me with my creation.
I'm glad Karen is encouraging us to band together as sisters to be creative and to support each other's creativity.

I also want to recommend a great book titled "The Creative Call" by my friend Janice Elsheimer. You will love it, Sisters!

Shalom Ya'll!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All The Wrinkled Ladies

Have you seen it? Anita Renfroe's take-off on Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies"? Oh my goodness. I laughed so hard - because I so relate to it. Here's the video:

Leave it to Anita to make us laugh about our wrinkles. She always makes me laugh, and she always makes me think, too. Since I'll be turning the big "6-0" this year, I have to face facts..."Face Lift" facts. Like - I'm probably not going to ever get one, so I have to learn to love those wrinkles, right?

Back in the day when I sold Mary Kay, I used to tell the ladies (as they looked in their magnifying mirrors), "Don't worry honey. If your husband is that close to you, he's not thinking about your wrinkles!" And I'd tell them to use upward strokes for their skin care saying, "Ya'll know everything's going south, so you have to start early." Which reminds me. The other day I put on a belt and looked at myself in the mirror. Would you believe there was no space between the belt and my bosom? What's up with that?

Last weekend I went to a reunion of my high school graduating class, where we all celebrated our 60th Birthday. I walked in and thought who are all of these old people? I did not recognize anybody! The lady doing registration gave us name tags, but you couldn't see them without your glasses. (No one had on glasses, so I didn't wear mine either...well, not until I absolutely had to.) So, people were coming up to me saying, "Oh Gail, it's so good to see you!" I was so embarrassed because I didn't know who they were and couldn't read their name tags.

Another thing I noticed was that there were very few grey haired women there. One lovely friend (also named Gail) had beautiful grey hair just like Paula Deen's, which I aspired to emulate. Well, I am so glad I decided to color my hair before I went. Just three days before, I was as grey as a possum. Both of my daughters told me, "Mom, you need a makeover", so I finally agreed. You've heard of going grey over night? Well, I did just the opposite. I finally faced the fact that my hair would probably never look like Paula Deen's because my mother is 80 and is still salt & pepper grey.

So, there we were...all of us without our glasses (some probably had contacts) and our freshly colored hair. We were looking good! I especially admired one gal's color of red. It was just like I Love Lucy's. I admired her courage - and it looked great, too! I think I'll do that color next!

But boy, you could tell how old we were when the dancing started. The band (named Mid-Life Crisis, appropriately) was outstanding. When they played "Give Me Some Lovin", the dance floor was full. That was "the" song to dance to back in the late 60's.Well, by the next song,"You Say It's Your Birthday", the crowd had thinned out considerably, and gasping for air was heard all around. I really related to that line in Anita's song, "thought I'd do a dip, but don't wanna bust a hip!" By 9:00 PM, most of the old folks had gone home to get ready for bed. Trust me, I was ready, but determined to stay till 10:00, I persevered.

We had a really, really good time. Jem and I danced almost every dance. As a matter of fact, Jem danced every dance. There was always a wrinkled, single lady ready to be his dance partner (and sometimes multiples). One friend said my rabbi husband was so much fun, that she thought she might become Jewish! He's always the life of the party, and I am one lucky gal, I tell you! After a two hour drive home that night, by the next morning, we were in bad shape, believe me. While that song, "Give Me Some Lovin'" was running through my mind, I didn't mention it.

Hey, like my daughter, Melissa, said, "You're not dead yet!" That's exactly right. I'm at peace with my wrinkles, my grey hair (underneath the dye), my bi-focals, my poochy stomach, lumpy thighs, and all that. I keep telling myself, "Self, you are not getting older, you are getting better!" Most days I believe it! Others, not so much.

Like one of my 80 year old friends said, "Getting old is not for sissies!" Well, there's only one alternative, honey, so we've got to make the best of it, right?

I'm thankful G-d has let me live this long. I've had a good life so far, and I'm very happy and content. My husband tells me I get more beautiful every day and I believe him. I feel the same way about "all the wrinkled ladies" at the Lee High 60th Birthday Party Reunion. Every one of them looked beautiful...wrinkles and all! (Especially to me, 'cause I didn't have my glasses on!)

Here we are - and I think we all look really good for 60 year old ladies!!! Don't you?

Writing prompt from Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop: A Happy Reunion

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Upper Room

I am so excited! This week I received my copy of the July/August 2010 issue of Upper Room magazine. My article appears on page 48, and my photo is on the back cover. The article will also be online at on Saturday, August 10.

My prayer has always been to help people understand and draw closer to God through my writing. It is both exciting and humbling to know that people all over the world will be reading this story.

Writing for Upper Room is not easy because the articles are translated into over thirty languages. One must be very careful not to use phrases, words, and ideas that do not relate to those in other countries. For instance, in the first draft of one of my articles, I mentioned "snow-birds", referring to northerners who come to Florida in the winter. The editor said I must rewrite the article, removing those references, because people in other countries would not understand what a "snow-bird" is. Interesting, huh?

The writing for Upper Room must also be very tight. Every word on the page must total no more than 250 words. Believe me, I worked hard for that money. It feels good to reach this milestone, and I feel renewed excitement about working toward my other writing goals.

So, if you subscribe to Upper Room, look for my story, and let me know what you think. I hope you will be blessed and helped.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The chewing tobacco diet

Click on this link to see how I lost 90 pounds. Yes - it really does involve chewing tobacco....
And - check out my book Girl Gab at the link on the left.

Why I started blogging

Discipline - plain and simple. I wanted to discipline myself to write consistently. There is so much I want to write and think about writing, but don't ever get around to actually writing. So, I started this blog to regularly capture some of that stuff running through my head.

As a published writer, I know I can sell my work when I market it. I hope to use these musings as springboards to articles and/or books, and then market them. Here is a link to one of the stories I've published:
The Chewing Tobacco Diet -

I've published a book, called Girl Gab, which has some of the articles I've written in the past. The book is $8.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling. E-mail me at if you'd like a copy.

Hopefully, another book will be published this year containing stories, poems, and drawings.

I'd love to hear from you when you visit, so please leave a comment. And, if you'd join as one of my followers, that would be the cherry on the top!!! Let me know about your blog, and I'll stop by for a visit.

Friday, May 14, 2010


"How are you?" people ask. "I'm blessed!" is my answer, because it is so true.

The Bible says in Psalm 1:1 - "Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful." I am blessed because God's Word is my final authority. I have learned not to take counsel from people who scorn God's Holy Word. If someone says, "I know the Bible says that, but..." run, don't walk, away from that person. That person is a sinner and ungodly - they have scorned God's Word.

Verse 1b says of the blessed person: " But his delight is in the law of the Lord (Torah); and in His law (Torah)doth he meditate day and night." Yeshua (Jesus) did this. The New Testament had not been written.

Meditating on Torah blesses me because it is the way of Life and God's instruction manual for success on earth. Everything Yeshua said and did was living out the Torah. He showed us how to walk in obedience to the Father. He was the Father, in the flesh, on earth.

Every time we take the Torah out of the ark and parade it around the synagogue, we are reminded to keep our eyes on God's Word by following it with our eyes around the room, kissing it, and never turning our backs on it. Yeshua never turned His back on the Torah. He lived it, and said, "I did not come to do away with the Law (Torah), but to fulfill it (Torah)."

Verse 3 says, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper." What a blessed promise. I know that because I obey God, He will cause me to prosper. Now to the world that means wealth, but that's not it. Prosperity means success in the place I am planted, bearing fruit for His kingdom, by obeying Him.

Many didn't think Yeshua a success. He was hated, accused, killed and buried. But that's not the end of the story. He rose again with victory!

Obeying God sometimes means being hated, accused, and can often cause the loss of wealth, friendship, position - even life. Again, that's not the end of the story. God sees and rewards His chosen ones in ways the world often does not see or understand. He knows the fruit being born for His kingdom and He is pleased.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Mushy Mother's Day

I always get mushy on Mother's Day because I love being a mother. When I was about five years old, I asked my mother, "Mama, do you have to be married to have children?" She said, "No." I said, "That's what I want to do." I loved babies, even at that young age, and knew I wanted to be a mother. Other little girls I knew wanted to be nurses or ballerinas. I always said I wanted five children.

When I married at 17, I wanted children right away, but had to wait a while. I lost a baby through miscarriage four years later, and it broke my heart. My first daughter, Melissa, was born when I was 22 and I'll never forget my first glimpse of her. I felt she was an angel dropped straight from heaven. I loved being a stay at home mom, and kept her looking like a living doll every minute of her life, decked out in bows and ruffles galore. I rocked her to sleep every night of her life till she was six years old. In the mornings, and after her naps, I used to stand by her bed, hoping she'd wake up so I could hold her and play with her. She was an easy child to raise and never gave me any problems. Her happy, outgoing nature led her to never meet a stranger and light up a room just by walking in it. Melissa was and is to this day a joy, and I thank God for giving her to me.

Amanda, my second and last child, came along when Melissa was six. Her first year was rough, with sickness and several trips to the hospital. I don't think she slept through the night till she was six years old. Instead of praying she'd wake up, I prayed for sleep - for both of us. I look like a drunk in most of her baby pictures, always from lack of sleep. Amanda was a challenge to raise with her strong will and determination. Many days I cried because of having to discipline her "one more time" for the same disobedience. But, she turned out great! That strong will was channelled into artistic creativity and after that, I just had to hang on to her coat-tails and enjoy the ride. She, too, is a joy, I am so thankful for her!

As a young mother, I read a book that asked me to write down my goals. I couldn't think of one. My goals were met: I had two beautiful children. What more could I want? As I seriously considered this question and prayed about it, I did set some new goals.

I prayed to be able to afford to stay at home with my girls without working outside the home. God helped me have a home-based business, and then part-time jobs for 27 years to accomplish that goal.

I prayed for my girls to accept, love, and obey Yeshua (Jesus Christ). Goal accomplished!

I prayed for my girls to marry godly men who would love them like Yeshua loves the church, and that they would be godly wives and mothers. Goal accomplished! My girls have wonderful husbands and are good wives who love their husbands and their homes. Amanda will celebrate her first Mother's Day this year, and she is such a good mother.

So, my heart is full this Mother's Day - my first as a "Grandmother"! I love my little grandson, Jonathan, so much, and cherish every moment with him, my girls, and my sons-in-love. I love them like my own. I even reached my goal of five children - my girls plus their husbands, and now Jonathan - that makes five! Thank you, Lord!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stops and Starts

"God leads by stops as well as starts." A wise woman told me this years ago. It was a new thought for me, but I considered it a word from the Lord and I took it to heart. The statement has become a touch-point for my life. God taught me a lesson through her words that has helped me through the years.

Recently, I happened on a great big stop sign. It was not just red, it was neon red with flashing lights and sirens. STOP! DON'T GO ANY FURTHER. I've learned to follow the signs, so I stopped and prayerfully considered the path I was on. To everyone around me, this path looked good, but in my heart I knew God was telling me to get off it.

This stop involves big changes in my life and a great loss. It involves disappointment. It involves grieving. It will take a while to work through the sadness. I've been through similar stops before. One thing I've learned with the Biblical character, Job, is that God gives and He takes away. And I can say, with Job, blessed be the name of Lord.

I'm reminded of the time, years ago, when I tried to sell a house. No matter what I did, the house would not sell -so I gave up and placed the house as a rental. Five years passed and when I put the house on the market, it sold within the first week. Looking back, I realized it was much better for me that it hadn't sold earlier.

Over many years, I've learned that I can trust God to lead me, so I mind the stops. I'm taking a rest to seek His face and His will, asking Him for knowledge of His will and His power to carry that out. I know His way, and His path is perfect, holy, and pure....and that walking His path brings peace.