Inclusive Or Exclusive

 

God’s Word is very clear about this subject.  Just as God includes everyone we are to do the same.  It does not matter whether we are male/female, rich/poor, educated, beautiful, young/old …

Look at James 2.  It’s really clear on the issue.  We are to welcome and love everyone who enters our ‘meeting’.  We are to be inclusive, not exclusive.

God loves us all the same.  So, if we’re truly trying to become more like Him, then, we are going to stop the favoritism game.  There’s a great song out right now by Mandisa, We All Bleed The Same, that says it all.  “…if we’re going to shout, let love be the cry.”

And so, in response to all he has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good. (Hebrews 10:24) 

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sharing this post with many other awesome bloggers at  5-Minute Friday.

True Beauty

Where is true beauty found?  In our looks, our jewelry, our homes/cars, our…   I think not!  Then is beauty in the ‘eye of the beholder’?  To some extent, but even that is based on personal bias.  Confucious said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  In nature, in music, in work, in …  It truly is all around us.  We just have to train ourselves to look.

In the Song of Songs, Solomon tells his bride that she is beautiful because she has no flaws (Song of Songs 4:7).  Our culture is all about that.  If we are thin, rich, youthful, educated and successful we are considered perfect. But is that really what being beautiful is all about?

So what is beauty?   Have you ever met someone that is not physically beautiful but there’s just something about them that draws you in.  I really like the way the New Living Translation says 1 Peter 3:4, “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”  There it is.  The confident, inner glow, that says I care about you, I know your struggle, I’ve been where you are …  The ability to be appreciative, forgiving and loving marks the beautiful person.

Beauty is not about perfect hair, (I’ve not had a perfect hair day in so long I’ve given up on it.) perfect body shape, perfect attire, perfect words, perfect home, perfect children…  It’s not about perfect anything!  It’s about the willingness to take the focus off yourself and place it on Jesus and those around us.  Only then, are we truly beautiful!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I’m delighted to be writing with many others in response to the 5-Minute Friday word prompt.  You can join us, too!  Check it out at http://fiveminutefriday.com

My Story

Are you curious about me?  I certainly am about you?  Every one of us has a story that is peculiar (Yes, that’s the right usage of the word.) to us.  Here is a part of mine.  There is so much more…

aaaa

 

My greatest desire is to teach others how much God loves them and how to use His Word to live the life He has purposed for them.  In my home church, I co-direct Worship and Music, play all keyboards, and sing with the Worship Band.  God has seen fit to give me the gift of teaching, which I use for leading 3 Bible Study groups.  He specifically called me to writing/blogging about 5 years ago.

I have been married to the perfect partner, chosen for me by God, for more than 45 years. It was God’s plan that we would not have children but would be able to love in a unique way our nieces, nephews, and the hundreds of children who touched our lives through the years I spent in Public Education as a Music Specialist and Elementary Principal.  I hold a B.S. Degree in Music Education and Performance from Defiance College and an M.Ed. Degree in Administration and Supervision from Bowling Green State University.

Our family includes two cats named Smokey and Salem, three awesome sisters and one incredible brother, 7 sisters-in-law, 7 brothers-in-law, 36 nieces and nephews and their spouses, and many great nieces and nephews.

Music has been part of my life from my earliest years.  One of the greatest honors of my life was to be invited to sing in the Rose Garden of the Whitehouse with the Ohio Youth Choir at the invitation of then-President Richard Nixon.
As a 25+ year Cancer Survivor, I have been able to use that challenging time of my life to support others.  It was not easy but God knew there would be many who would need a listening ear, an understanding heart, and someone who understands the value of presence without words.

From the time I was old enough to hold needles, scissors, yarn, thread, fabric, you name it, I was ‘hooked’ on crafts, particularly those that are counted.   From painting count by number pictures to my grandmother teaching me to crochet, to my mother teaching me to embroider, to learning to do counted cross stitch, rug hooking, needlepoint and crewel my life has been filled with many happy hours of artful crafting.  I also enjoy sewing and often make my own clothing and things for my home.

I enjoy baking and decorating.  This hobby started when Ray and I owned a coffee shop/bakery called Maggi Raes.  (Maggie for the carved magnolias that were part of the shop’s decorations.)  I am certified in all the Wilton decorating levels and have done many wedding, birthday, and event cakes and cookies.

We love to travel, especially on cruise ships, and have been all over the Caribbean and are planning to go to Alaska for our next cruise.  We also enjoy taking a few days here and there in the Smokey Mountains, believing there is nothing like sitting on a rocker, on a back porch, on top of a mountain and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.

God has given me a great life and I can’t thank Him enough for His love and provision.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

(BTW: The reason this only took 5 minutes is that I copied and pasted it from a much larger article. )

Common

 

common

Such an interesting word.  So many applications.

Common ground — when we are in agreement on an issue

Common sense–the ability to use what you know is right

Common law–personal actions over time leading to common ‘ownership’

Common cold–a health condition

Common chord–musical term

Common property–those items that are shared by 2 or more parties

Common denominator–mathematical term

Common noun–that which is not a proper noun

Common core–academic standards defining what a student should know

In common–a sense of mutual agreement

I am joining Kate Motaung and an incredibly talented group of writers for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Just writing!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

JOURNEY

 

When I saw today’s Five Minute Friday word, JOURNEY, this poem came to mind.

the-road-not-taken

Throughout this journey I have often chosen to take ‘the one less traveled by’ and it has certainly made a difference.

The decisions we make as we journey through life are like a tree as it grows its branches.  If you can imagine with me the start of the tree, just a little sapling, no branches yet. Then as the years go by growth allows branches to grow on branches from the original sapling.  As this tree of life, if you will, grows year after year, there is new life from the old.  Sometimes winter takes it’s toll and a few branches fall off.  Spring and summer storms may remove a few branches here and there.  The tree continues to withstand the buffeting of wind, maybe a few lightening strikes, perhaps a few children climb and play in it…  The journey continues…

My journey has been much like the tree.  Each new branch has been a fork in the road, a life change or decision has presented itself.  I’ve often chosen ‘the one less traveled’ and yes, it has made all the difference.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Words

Words…Seven of them…From the cross…

1    Luke 23:32-38

2     Luke 23:39-43

3    John 19:26-27

4    Matthew 27:45-49

5     John 19:28-29

6    John 19:30

7     Luke 23:46-49

five-minute-friday-4-300x300I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. All of us writing on that same word.

A Satisfied Spirit Cares

A Caring Mom

A Caring Mom

I care!  Perhaps too much.  About things that matter, things that don’t matter, and things that should matter.

I care that this world is a scary place and so many people can’t see the beauty of for the fear…

I care that so many marriages are ending before they’ve really had a chance to flourish…

I care that churches, families, and businesses are struggling under political correctness…

I care that violence and hate are so obvious everywhere…

I care so much that I want everyone to know that all can be overcome with time spent in the Word, in Prayer, in fellowship with other Believers, in worship!

Yes, I care!

5-Minute Fridays are an internet flash mob of bloggers who write for 5 minutes on a specific word.  Come join the mob at Heading Home.

 

Whisper

prayerI’ve heard Him whisper my name…

I’ve heard Him say no more shame….

I’ve heard Him whisper be brave…

I’ve heard Him say you’re saved…

I know His voice whether whisper or shout

He Has a plan that covers my life

He knows my name and calls me His own

He gave His all with all that He had

I’ve heard Him whisper my name……………………

Click on the picture and you’ll get to here a delightful old hymn.  Sing along if you like the words are printed there.  Blessings to you and yours!

 

I’ve written this with a flash mob of other bloggers for 5-Minute Friday.  If you would like to join the group just head on over to Heading Home and have fun!

5 – Minute Friday TELL

Before I actually start the 5 minute writing segment I have to say I had what I thought was the entire piece written and ready to post yesterday.  For some reason I thought the word was ‘fill’ and even though I knew it was almost the same as ‘filled’ from the week before I thought OK here goes.  I even wrote a poem for the 5 minutes.  But guess what?  That was not the word (But, of course, you already know that.)  I really apologize to those who clicked on the post, before I took it down.  It took you into la-la land, I’ve been told.   Alright.  Enough.  Here’s the real post…

Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law by artist Rembrandt

Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law by artist Rembrandt

Any time I hear the word tell my mind goes to an Adult Sunday School lesson I did on the commands of the New Testament.  We all know there are are 10 Commandments in the Old but I wanted to discover what the New said.  So here it is…When asked what the greatest Commandment is Jesus clearly gave two, love God and love others.  But I just knew there had to be more…

In Matthew 28:16-20 we find the Great Commission.  In it, while telling the disciples how to teach new disciples He clearly says, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…”  Along with the commands to love God and love others there are two more in this passage.  Go and tell.

STOP

Now I have to finish because there’s a bit more that needs to be said past the five minutes.

Mark 16:15-18 gives the same  command.  Go into all the world.  Tell them the Story.  And, so, the 4 Commandments of the New Testament are; 1-Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37) 2-Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39) 3-Go and make disciple of all nations. (Matthew 28:19) 4-Tell the Good News to everyone. (Mark 16:15)

Ah, Lord, God, You have given such a simple set of commands.  Father, help me to love You, love others, go and tell.  Stop me from procrastinating on this issue.  Give me strength and courage to do what only You can do through me.  Make it so in Jesus Precious Name.

 

5-Minute Friday

I am joining the flash mob of writer/bloggers for 5-Minute Friday.  Today’s word is – fill.  If you’d like to join in the fun head over to Heading Home, Kate Motaung’s blog and join in.

jar-106855_640Immediately my mind goes to the Professor who brings a glass jar filled with rocks to a lecture and asks the class if they believe the jar is full.  Of course, the class says yes.  He then proceeds to fill in the empty areas with small gravel.  When asked if the jar is full the class says yes.  After adding sand he asks again and gets yes.  He then adds water and asks is the jar full.  Well of course it is, so he asks what is the significance of this exercise…

Unless we put the large rocks in first we won’t be able to fit them in later.

I have found this to be true in so many areas of life but nowhere more so than in my relationship with Jesus.  The basics have to be put in place each day to be filled to the brim with life nourishing water.

Look at it like this;

The rocks are the early morning times of prayer and praise.

The gravel is reading and studying the word.

The sand is asking for His help, encouragement, love, and forgiveness in all of the day’s situations.

The water is His response to my request…filled to the brim…overflowing…adding more as necessary…never letting the jar (me) run dry.

My 5 minutes has run out but …

Wonderful words from His Word – John 4:4-14

Fill My Cup, Lord

Heavenly Fill me to the fullest with Your Living Water.  Let it wash over not only me but everyone I come into contact with.  Hear my prayer, Lord, in the Precious Name of Jesus.