14 Feb

I Didn’t Know There Would Be a Test!

Hello and happy 2018!

Hard to believe it’s been over six weeks since my last post but alas it’s been pretty “viral” around here the last month or so. Truthfully, I’m still not feeling like myself but I AM feeling a bit better! Prayers gratefully appreciated!

In my last post I shared my “One Word” for the year-ENDURANCE!

Since then, it seems the Lord decided to see how sincere I was about making me stronger in this area! For the first couple of weeks in January, hubby and I kept swapping our cold germs. To make matters more difficult, we are training our new addition, Chester, to potty outside and for most of that time the weather has been truly frigid! I mean BELOW FREEZING, biting, windy cold. Needless to say we soon opted for paper training until at last, it was a bit warmer. Thankfully, he’s gotten it down for the most part! Getting treats after doing his business always helps!

THEN a few weeks ago we had what may be described as a “water emergency”. The garbage disposal water was disposing right into where the washing machine drains—and thankfully our water alarm alerted us. The “enduring” aspect? We forgot we had a water alarm and thought it was our fire/CO2 alarms! If you’ve ever had one go off for no apparent reason, you know how aggravating it can be to get it to stop! Frantically, my poor beloved dismantled them!!! And still the thing blared! Eventually, we figured out what was going on and stopped the blaring annoyance! BUT now we couldn’t figure out where the water was coming from! After mopping up and pulling the stacked washer/dryer unit out of the tight space that is our “laundry closet”, I went back to after-dinner clean-up and AHA! We realized that the problem was a blocked drain. It now being two hours later-and not able to do anything about it. We just left things as they were and prepared to contact the maintenance folks in the a.m.

But wait-THERE’S MORE! It took the guys about 3 hours to successfully unblock the blockage so the water didn’t back up anymore. Great, now I can get back to doing laundry-NOT! To make this saga a bit shorter, after all the jostling of the w/d unit, it seems it also sprung a leak SO more mopping up and now to call the appliance repair person. Keep in mind, this workhorse is 20+ years old! After a few days of mulling it over and a few other adventures (like trying to slide the darn thing in and out of the “closet”, repairing a gap that prevented smooth sliding and a few other things) we decided it was time for a new washer/dryer.

And so, we shopped. At first selecting a unit very much like the one we had. This task including measuring multiple machines just to make sure it would fit in our designated space. My only criteria was that it wasn’t one of those dinky “undies only” washers.  Have I tired you out yet?  Just wait…

After arranging the purchase and delivery of the new machine, hubby was still shopping around cruising the web as we are wont to do. And EUREKA! He found something even better! So back to the store, cancelling one and ordering another (a pretty nice one too. Like those I’ve heard are quite popular in Europe-Washer/dryer “all in one”) . Needless to say, being the “head of laundry” I was a bit skeptical but finally said why not! All is well-almost. It was actually originally due yesterday but now-not for another TEN days. Thankfully we are just two-with a collective bounty of clothing.  So, until then-it’s laundromat for us.

Ok… so what is the point? All through this “mini test” of enduring annoyances I prayed! And I have and am enduring!

A Holy Time

Today is commonly called Ash Wednesday. Especially so in the Catholic tradition, and marks the beginning of the Lenten season. While not a biblical time, it IS a time that prepares us for Resurrection Day (April 1). It has been my practice to give something up that hinders my walk and mission-and this year it is once again TV. More specifically it’s “daytime television” and “news”. Being socially and politically aware , I find myself often upset with what I hear and see going on in the world and especially with my government. Honestly, I think it affects my relationship with God as well as my faith walk with Jesus to the point where it takes up time that could be spent more wisely…. like writing here!

This year I’m also going through a book called “Signs of Life” by Pastor David Jeremiah. It’s an older book I’ve had around for awhile but never got around to working. It has 40 days of devotions so fits right in with this season, too. Essentially, it tells of ways to get “back to the basics of authentic Christianity”. Sometimes a re-set is a good thing.

All that being said, while I hoped to continue the Romans teachings/study, the Lord is taking me in a different direction for now. It WILL happen but not until after Holy Week.  In the meantime I’ll be sharing some of the “basics” I’m studying, reflections on daily readings from “Signs of Life” as well as from “Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections” … a Logos freebie.

Thanks so much for your patience and YOUR endurance during this unplanned hiatus!

As I have chosen to not watch the news until hubby got home I didn’t know the full extent of the latest school shooting. Please pray for the victims and their families! Pray that some day our leaders will choose to stop this carnage. I’ll be writing more on this once I stop being angry!

29 Dec

The End is Near…

…the end of 2017 that is! And of course that also means planning for 2018, goals, hopes, dreams and yep ONE WORD to rule them all… those goals, hopes and dreams!

For me, this is always a key to starting the year off with a purposeful direction in mind. This past year it was JOY… and for sure exercising joy even when I didn’t feel joyful always re-directed my thoughts and my very heart to the joy that is found in the Lord, no matter what! It has been good to find joy in even the most devastating events of the year. In the news especially! Between all the hurricanes, fires, mass shootings and war I felt joy when viewing the people who stepped in to assist, comfort and restore those affected!  In my personal life, a sad occurrence with my son has a bit of light to it in that he may prayerfully be overcoming some life hurdles. Ultimately what I learned about JOY was that even in the darkest times, if one looks for it joy can be found-and there at the center is my God!

Before I share my word and verse for this year, I want to share what my #1 hope/goal is. I’ve had the moniker and web space for Abiding Ways Ministries and this blog for a very long time.  (Since Feb 2002!) and sadly, haven’t done a whole lot except for “Along the Way” in years! My vision back then was to create a Bible study website as well as a place to learn more about theology, history, culture of ancient times, languages and even methods of study. Ultimate goal and still the mission of Abiding Ways is to do what I can to help folks gain greater Bible literacy. If you’ve read any of my past posts you know I also touch on social issues of today as it relates to biblical principles and especially those things Jesus taught. Well, this year, I hope to go beyond vision to actively pursuing this mission! While I don’t desire donations or funding etc, I am considering other “marketing” possibilities to increase readership. You may have noticed the “share” buttons at the top of the page-I hope you’ll use them. I’m thinking also about a newsletter to highlight popular posts (monthly?) as well as a dedicated Twitter and Facebook area. I’ve tried Facebook before and well, didn’t get much feedback. It could be that I didn’t pay that much attention myself. Well, my ultimate plan is to post twice a week for starters and more often as led. Of course, the Romans study, but also timely articles on social issues and sharing my views especially as it relates to my faith in Jesus. So, now that you know all that– here is my verse for 2018—

If you haven’t guessed already, my ONE WORD for this year is ENDURANCE ! 

I am the first to admit that I am not the most consistent person when it comes to blogging, but I do try to be an obedient child of God. And it came to me the other day while praying about this that my focus has really been all wrong. This mission I’m on here on the “inter-webs” hasn’t really been a priority. Call it wrong thinking or just a bit of fearfulness at the enormity of developing and maintaining a website for God and sure, like Jonah, I try to ignore it! However, during that same time of meditation I was plainly told THIS IS YOUR CALLING! Not just as wife, mother, grandma, friend, but as a disciple do what I’ve been telling you-“Go into all the world and get the message out!” and so, as the new year ends, that is what I pray to do! For an older gal like me, endurance isn’t something that comes like it did when I was 25! So, other things are having to go by the wayside. Especially some of those bad habits like cruising Facebook because I don’t want to fold laundry, or turning on the TV during the day instead of writing, preparing my next post or vacuuming the house.

Before I sign off for the year- I did a brief word study on my Word… just right-click and save.  For my verse Strong’s says the following:
5281. ὑπομονή hupŏmŏnē, hoop-om-on-ay´; from 5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:— enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

Now you can’t argue with that can you? And it IS the Greek word used most often in the New Testament.

And so, let’s wrap this up! I suspect you’ve now endured enough – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

21 Dec

Things on My Mind as Christmas Comes…

Can you believe that Christmas is in FOUR days… and a new year begins less than two weeks from today!?!

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I love all the love that comes with the holiday spirit and I hate it because I review my good and bad of the last twelve months with a view to improving on the good stuff and maybe letting go of some of those goals and dreams that seemed so right this time last year. It’s a time to remember those who are no longer with us as well as to rejoice in new friends, new interests and maybe, just maybe accomplishing what might otherwise seem impossible.

As I’ve mentioned before, being more disciplined and consistent about posting here is in the top three for 2018. I love writing and posting. I’m not in it to sell anything or make it a business. My primary purpose is, and has always been to give witness and my personal testimony of Jesus work in my life. A secondary vision, especially in 2018 will be to prayerfully increase interest in studying scripture and teaching what I’ve learned in my studies. I find it sad that so many who are called Christians have so little personal knowledge or interest in studying what He taught and what His apostles and disciples spread throughout the world. Sadly, some accept without question whatever preacher, pastor, or teacher they follow is telling them without benefit of reading and studying for themselves. Indeed my hope is to encourage anyone and everyone to be Berean-Minded( Acts 17:10-12). Needless to say as I continue to tweak the blog, I hope you’ll share on your Twitter and Facebook pages if you find anything worthy.

While I do a lot of personal study I also have a few select devotionals and teachers I follow. My favorite is Chuck Swindoll and “Insight for Living”. I’ve always found his teaching deep and with practical applicable lessons for those of us in the 21st century. John Piper is another favorite and you can find him and an abundance of resources, many of them free at Desiring God website. Others include Richard Rohr and James McDonald. Click as you will for their websites. I find Rohr especially deep. While I am not of the Catholic tradition, this Franciscan monk has insight that goes beyond the basics.

My daily devotions recently changed and include the “Book of Common Prayer (1979) Daily Office Lectionary”. I found a website that provides the liturgy and worship for these readings and use Life Application Bible notes to gain greater understanding of the readings especially as it may apply to me!

Well, now you know a little bit more about where I go for outside help and direction. There are many others I read including Christine Caine, Beth Moore and of course my pastor Craig Groeschel! Again, I encourage you to drop in at Life.Church during the holiday. Our Christmas message and worship begins tonight and through next week!

I will be celebrating my first year of “winter season” as I now have to apply for Medicare… and it is good. What I’m learning (Yep.. ol’ gals can learn new tricks) is that much of what used to seem important even a few years ago isn’t such a big deal. In fact, there isn’t much that is except loving others, and serving God as He leads. As I grow older this truth becomes more and more apparent… the world needs Jesus! And it is up to those of us who follow Him to get out there and share His love.

As we anxiously await the day of His coming into the world, keep this in mind. Our duty as believers is to first, love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That means not just believing there is a God but doing what He says in complete obedience-relying on the strength given to us by Him in the power of the Holy Spirit that now lives in each of us. Secondly we are to love our neighbors-ALL OF THEM-as we love ourselves. Yes, that even means the grouch next door, the Muslim down the street, the immigrant who just moved here from another land. It means your boss, your co-workers and of course, your family!

I may or may not post before New Years Day… don’t know yet what the plan is. My beloved, in his Grinch-y way, will be working for his co-workers who have family for both Christmas and New Years. He’s pretty giving of himself for an unbeliever… and there’s always hope in my heart that our Lord will grab him where it counts-in his heart and mind! Me? I’ll be sleeping in the spare room or in the living room as he goes to bed earlier for these workdays. At midnight or right before, I read Luke 2 and worship and pray.

Until then, I hope each one of you has a very Merry Christmas and a most joyous and blessed Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to digging deep and wide into the Book of Romans with you!