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It Really is a Small World . . . An Amazing Story!

April 1978

Rustling…….Whispering……… I awake from a deep sleep and focus on 3 dark figures in the night, but I’m not alarmed because this scenario is becoming all too frequent.

Another night that the pulled out couch in my room is being used. Now a 13 year old girl needs her beauty sleep…what gives? I settle in and continue my ever so important sleep.When I awake in the morning, there lay 2 small girls sound asleep on the pull-out couch. I ignore them, as I tip toe about getting ready for school, trying to avoid the large couch that occupies more than half the floor space.

When I arrive home after school everything is arranged neatly back in it’s place in my room, like nothing ever happened.  Continue reading

October is National Make a Difference Month

Make a Difference Day is a special day of widespread charity and volunteer work, in which people from all over the country help others in any way they can. Created by USA Weekend Magazine in 1990, this day is celebrated each year on the fourth Saturday in October.

Participants are encouraged to help out in many different ways, but most especially by dedicating time to fixing-up, cleaning, and repairing poorer communities. The success of Make A Difference Day depends solely on participation. It doesn’t matter how you choose to help, all that matters is that you make the commitment to do something.

My church chooses a Saturday in October for our annual “Giveaway”. Each year everyone from our church cleans out their closets, garages, and homes and donates gently used items to the church. Televisions, clothing, books, kitchen items, holiday items, bikes, toys, tools, and much more are donated each year. We advertise our “Giveaway ” to the surrounding community. On Giveaway Saturday our church cooks a hearty breakfast for the community to enjoy before taking the items that they need. The line grows longer every year. All are welcome and everything is FREE! It’s a gratifying experience to spread kindness, walk in the spirit of giving, and make a difference in someone’s life.

If you don’t find a group or charity to volunteer with, Make a pledge this month to make a difference in someone’s life. Here are a list of suggestions:

1. Pay for someone’s meal (Maybe the car in back of you in the drive through)

2. Donate old books to a Senior Center

3. Donate crutches, wheel chairs, walkers to a Senior Center

4. Help an elderly person or a Mom with kids with their groceries

5. Make two lunches and give one away

6. Leave a small, anonymous gift for a person who needs it.

7. Help clean an elderly persons home

8. Deliver fresh-baked cookies to the Fire Department.

9. Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby

10. Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier.

11. Distribute kindness bookmarks, or scripture that you have made to hospital patients.

12. Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person.

12. Buy books for a day care or school.

13. Slip a $20 bill to a person who you know is having financial difficulty.

14. Buy a gift card for a homeless person, or someone you know who’s struggling.

15. Donate old towels to an animal shelter.

A Grain of Sand

Photo credit by Dr. Gary Greenberg's

Photo credit by Dr. Gary Greenberg

I saw the most amazing photo this week of “grains of sand” magnified 100 to 300 times. I’m sure you saw it to somewhere amongst all the trending stuff on the internet. It was breathtaking, and immediately I thought of how amazing our God is to create such detail even in something as small as a grain of sand.

It got me thinking about all the things that didn’t happen by chance.  Here are a few:

earth-full-view_6125_990x742

Breathing the miraculous blend of nitrogen and oxygen that makes it possible for us to live, evolutionists refuse to acknowledge that the precise 79 percent to 21 percent mixture of gases was not created by chance.

Photo by J. Wilson Bentley

Photo by J. Wilson Bentley

Snowflakes have six sides. It is claimed there are no two snowflakes alike, yet all are hexagonal in shape. Photographed by, J. Wilson Bentley, he found no two exactly alike.

Photo credit NASA.gov

Photo credit NASA.gov

The Earth is the perfect distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings on earth, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible.

Sometimes I’ve felt like a grain of sand to God, so insignificant in this vast world, forgotten when things get tough, or life seems impossible to bear. Seeing this photo reminds me that we are all like a grain of sand, but beautifully created, each grain molded and shaped, individually unique, and special in His eyes.

Remember the next time things get tough, that you are important to God. Never underestimate His power. His attention to detail applies to your life.

A Sign from God

This is a guest post from my daughter’s blog:

donutshopbluesQuestioning life and waiting for God to give me a sign that he is still with me, I decided to take a drive. I drove down the Peninsula listening to Agnus Obel’s, Riverside, song as the lyrics spoke to me like a voice in my head. Although my mind was clearer in where I feel God the most, I still was waiting on the sign that he is still with me…

…On my way back home I saw a bright yellow sign that said NEWPORT DONUTS Open 24 Hours. So I pulled right up thinking, a donut would be delightful right now.

As I walked up to the donut shop there was a middle-aged man sitting at a table. He was the only one in the small run down donut shop. He was by himself and he had a helmet with him and a bike outside. He had jagged teeth and a wife beater T on with coffee smudges. He had grey chest hair popping out from the tank top. The hair on his head was a dark grey, somewhat long and curly. It was covered with a mossy green cap set forward over his brow. He smiled at me as I walked inside. I asked the guy behind the counter for a glazed donut and some donut holes, trying to not look him in the eye with my tear stricken eyes.

“One dollar”, he said. I got out my credit card because I knew I didn’t have a dollar. “no cards after seven” he said before I could even pull it out of its wallet pocket.

“Um ok…hold on”, I said scrambling to find four quarters. I found three, and a dime. For the life of me, I dint have another dime and nickel in my whole wallet.

“Can I just go to my car for a second and come back?” , I replied not having any money and feeling like my night couldn’t get any worse. I couldn’t even pay for a dumb donut that was only a dollar!

“Yeah sure”, he said nicely. I walked to the door…scrambled for my keys before I walked past the man at the table.

Before I could get out the door the man stopped me, “mam, how many quarters are in your hand?”, at this instant I’m thinking oh great this homeless man wants my three quarters doesn’t he. He sees it and so he thinks I will give it to him if he asks….

“Um….three quarters”, I replied. “Here, stay here I’ll give you a quarter”, he said as he got up from his chair and limped over to the counter. He not only gave a dollar to the man, but he also rejected the three quarters that I tried to put into his hands….

“You have a nice night ‘mam”, and he walked out, got on his bike and road down Newport Boulevard.

As I was driving back with an enormous smile on my face, in a distance I saw the man down far yonder riding away; I thought to myself, who is this man? And then I knew……

He was my sign.

A melody in your heart

When I think of music that stirs the soul, I think of the Star Spangled banner sung by the late Whitney Houston. The sweet sound of her voice brings bumps to the surface of my skin, but the lyrics mean something also. What we sing about provokes in our hearts that which brings joy.

Christmas brings all the commercial fanfare, along with many songs of the season. American Christmas music flourished in the 1830’s. Many old hymns and tunes were re-populated during this time. But as we sing these
Christmas songs over and over each year, do they really mean something? Do we know what we’re singing about?

Joy to the World The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
(Joy to the world. Lyrics.)

Do you really believe this? When you sing this, does it come from your heart, or do the lyrics pass through your lips like monotone words in a dictionary? Do you worship in spirit and truth?

Christmas season can be a sad time for many. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, or a job. Maybe you don’t have family and friends to celebrate with. Maybe your ill, or going through a divorce. How then can there be a song in your heart?

My joy in The Lord is not based on circumstance. My joy cometh from the Lord. Make a new song in your heart this season.(Psalm 40:2,3). Rejoice in The Lord.

Holiday giving

Operation Grace_logoActs 20:35
In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The holiday season is a great time to give to those in need.  I am particularly reminded of the life Jesus gave, sacrificing for us all on the cross. Although each year at this time we give back in some way through charity, I always feel like it’s never enough. I want to give to make a difference, to personally impact someone’s life. I want people to know that kindness and unconditional love exists in the world even amongst those they don’t know. I want to experience the joy of giving in person. I want others to feel the love of Christ in their hearts as we freely give this season.

I also wanted to involve my church community and my family, so I came up with “Operation Grace”. Next Saturday morning volunteers from our church will shop at our local 99 Cent Store, fill grocery bags with $20 worth of groceries, toys or needed items, and visit nearby low-income housing areas. We will randomly knock on doors, sharing the Good News of Christ, and a bag of goodies!

How can you personally give this season? Here are some ideas:

Pay a chunk of someones Walmart layaway
Gift cards for families on the street
Donate toys to an orphanage or hospital
Donate a shoe box of goodies or Christmas Cards to your local Senior home
Hold a gift wrapping  day at a Senior home
Donate diapers to families at a clinic one Saturday morning
Food donation to your local food bank
Collect old coats and give them to the homeless
Clean off the snow on the car next to yours
Donate needed items to our troops

Fish out of water

indexThere are so many things to be thankful for every day. Thanksgiving provides us an opportunity to take a hard look at life, and all that the Lord provides for us. But how often do we give back? How often do we live the life that God wants us to live. Has life become so busy that we neglect to give thanks daily? Are we fish out of water?

Scientific studies have been conducted on what happens to a fish when it is out of water for too long. Typically the gills slowly dry up and the fish dies of suffocation. Fish can live up to 72 hours out of water, but it’s a slow death. They flip and flounder, not understanding how they got in this predicament. They are somewhere they don’t belong.

In the bible fish are a symbol of faith and abundance, particularly in reference to the biblical story of the fish and loaves in Luke 9:16. This Thanksgiving lets remember to give thanks daily. We need to be fish abundantly thriving in the living water.