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God is God

I always try to read the sayings on church signs. Sometimes the sayings are funny (or they are supposed to be funny), sometimes the sayings make a point and sometimes they don’t. One saying that probably everyone has seen is: “CH__CH. What’s missing? UR.” There are invitations that have absolutely nothing to do with church, especially close to Super Bowl Sunday. “Come on in – the game is here!”

But the majority of the sayings are serious–the sayings invite people to consider where they will spend eternity. Like the little church down the street from me. Their sign simply says: “Jesus Saves.” Enough said.

Some sayings are true, motivational and encouraging. I saw one of those signs a few days ago as I drove past a church in the neighborhood. The saying; “God is God. He Never Changes.” Simple, common knowledge, yet profound in it’s simplicity. God is God. He Never Changes. When I read this sign, it immediately resonated with me. God never changes. So what happens? If God never changes, why do we feel like he does? He doesn’t change—but we do.

Beaten, battered, worn out from life’s challenges and crises, we feel like God has abandoned us. That He no longer pays attention to us, much less cares for us.

How woefully wrong we are.

He never changes. No. matter. what. He is the same today as He was yesterday, and He will be the same tomorrow as He was today.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not belittling anyone’s crises. Believe me, I’ve had my share. But I wonder if we–okay, I–would have handled those crises better if I had been aware of the constant presence of God, who never changes. He loves us as much today, as He ever has or ever will. He cares for us and He understands our heartaches, our sorrow, our grief. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:4a “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” (emphasis mine).

Psalm 18:2 sums up the protectiveness of God: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (emphasis mine.)

And if we have any question at all about how much God loves us, Jeremiah 31:3 should put our questions to rest: “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

It is easy to believe and trust God when things are going great. It’s not so easy when we are in the middle of a crisis. My prayer today is that this blog, and more importantly, these scriptures will help us all to trust Him more in the midst of our challenges and crises.

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

    • Refrain:
      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  2. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  3. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  4. I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.
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RECIPE MONDAY: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

Every restaurant, every ice cream store, everywhere you turn “pumpkin” in is in the air and on the menu. Not to be outdone–here’s my first pumpkin recipe of the season.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

  • 1 8oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 can pumpkin (plain, no spices added)
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 3/4 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Beat all ingredients in a medium sied mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. Makes 1 1/2 cups. (24 1 Tablespoon servings)

Enjoy!

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On the Road Again

It is Friday, September 25. I don’t usually post twice in one day. Hey, some weeks it’s all I can do to write three blogs a week.

Today is our last full day in Vero Beach. We plan to leave no later than 8AM tomorrow morning. Of course, we planned to leave last Saturday coming down here at 8AM and it was more like 11AM when we left Newnan. But, that’s another blog for another day.

We came down to visit with Dave’s sister, and brother and sister-in-law. We’ve had a lot of fun with them. We had breakfast on Sunday morning at their favorite place for breakfast. Dan (I don’t think I’ve ever heard his last name) is the owner and the family just says “we’re going to Dan’s for breakfast.” That’s not the restaurant’s official name but everyone in Vero Beach knows it by Dan’s. We’ve had dinner out several nights this week and have had some delicious seafood. Last night, Dave’s sister, Jean, cooked a delicious pasta and sausage entree with a fresh green salad and a 7-layer chocolate cake. I’m sure I’ve gained at least 10 pounds this week!

We also came to see what types of housing are available. There are several different options, most with expensive price tags.

Please pray for safe travels tomorrow, that our house in Newnan will sell quickly and that we can find something in Vero Beach (or city close by) that will fit our budget!

Have  great weekend everyone!

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The Light of the Sun/Son

It is Friday, September 25, 2015. I am sitting on the deck of our hotel suite listening to the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash into the shore. I’ve watched spectacular sun rises over the Atlantic several mornings this week. Try to picture it: the sky is totally black, but within a few minutes, light pink clouds appear on the horizon. More light pink clouds come into view and the first clouds darken to a deep rose color. The sky fills with pink and rose streaks until the darkness melts into the sun as it makes its morning debut.

The light of the sun dispels the darkness from the sky, just as the light of the Son dispels the darkness from our lives. No matter what you did in your past, no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve said, the light and life of Jesus will disburse the darkness. The blood of Jesus will wash away your sins, and you become a new creature in Christ.Your part in this drama? Very simple. You confess your sins to God, ask for and receive His forgiveness and allow Him to take up residence in your heart. If you have not done this already, why wait? We are not promised a certain length of time here on earth. You may live another fifteen to twenty years or longer. But you may not. No one knows. Here is a prayer that you can pray for forgiveness and for asking Jesus to come into your life:

“Dear God, I come before You today as a sinner. I have sinned against You by doing the things I’ve done, and things I’ve said and even the thoughts I’ve had. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins. Let Your light dispel all the darkness in my life. Come into my heart, into my life and make Your home there. Thank you, God, for saving me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

If you have comments, please leave them here. If you prayed that prayer, please leave me a comment. I would love to know that you’ve asked Jesus into your heart and I would like to pray for you as you begin your new walk with God.

Blessings,

Edwina

SAM_0419

SAM_0424

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Decluttering of Eleven Years of Stuff

A few years ago, my husband, Dave, and I began to talk about where we wanted to retire. At that time the discussion didn’t progress too far because it seemed as if retirement was a long time away. Guess what? Retirement came sooner than we thought it would. Dave’s health has not been as good as we would like for it to be, and my bones will occasionally creak and groan as I go up and down the stairs of our home.

We bought this house about eight years ago with the idea of building out the partially-finished basement, making it a parent/in-law suite and having my parents move in with us. For various reasons, that didn’t work out. We finished the basement anyway and enjoyed using it as Dave’s office, A TV room, library and even a full kitchen. We’ve loved living here, but it’s time to downsize and move into our retirement home.

Over the eight years we’ve lived here, we have fully furnished this house and have accumulated massive amounts of “stuff.” We have enjoyed and appreciated the blessings of being able to do this. Now we are downsizing from a 4,500 sq. ft. house, to a 1,000 to 1,500 sq. ft. house/condo/apartment – we’re not sure yet. The magnitude of this job is overwhelming. I kid you not when I say that there is something in every nook, cranny and corner of every room on every floor. There are also walls covered with pictures, plaques, mirrors. In my office alone, I have 17 things hanging on the wall. We’ve already started packing things, even though the house is not on the market yet. We are planning to stage it ourselves so we need to get a lot of this “stuff” out of here.

The purpose of this blog? If you have an inkling, a passing thought, a blip on the radar screen of your brain, that you might move in the next few years, start decluttering NOW. And for goodness sakes, don’t buy anything else for your house!

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RECIPE MONDAY: Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

This is a wonderful casserole – great to take to your next women’s fellowship!

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 C finely chopped celery
  • 1 C chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • 1 C chopped seedless red and green grapes
  • 3 t finely chopped onions
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 t salt or to taste
  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/2 – 1 C grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 C crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 8 ingredients and transfer to a buttered baking dish. Top with cheese and crushed potato chips. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. 4-6 servings.

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Happy Anniversary to the Love of My Life

An open letter to my precious husband, Dave:

Eleven years ago today, I said these words to you:

“I, Edwina, take you, Dave, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”

These last eleven years have been an amazing journey through health and sickness, through good times and bad. Yet, you’ve never changed. Always the steady, solid, calm person against my frantic sometimes near-hysteria. You have grounded me, taught me to “go with the flow.” Well, most of the time . . .

Your love has and continues to give me security. I love to come home every day, knowing that you are here, waiting for me–sometimes with dinner cooked.

Your encouragement and faith in me have motivated me to do things I never thought I could do and to become the person that God created me to be from the very beginning.

I love you with all my heart, forever and always,

SW3