Grateful For The Small Things

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To see small things you have to slow down in life and over the last year especially life has greeted me with pace that has had me appreciating the small things on a whole new level. This all came to a sweet understanding just the other day as I sat in my Nanna's home remembering her life and sitting in memory of the days just gone. My darling Nanna passed over to eternity just a couple of weeks ago and as I was going through her handbag I found the tiniest little bible. I mean this thing was crazy small and could sit like quarter in the palm of your hand. It was quite thick, after all it was the entire bible, but here it was a little token of my Nanna's faith that she carried around with her everywhere. It really got me thinking about the small things in life. Of course, this tiny little b...
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Have Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone

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We love our readers! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Thankful for Dementia

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May God the Father and the Lord Jesus the annointed surround you with grace and peace. Ephesians 1:2 I am grateful for dementia. I can't find the words. So, I remain quiet.  The holy resilient don't just  endure, they become more: more compassionate, deeper, simpler in their desires and more focused in how they use their time. It's not about adjusting but transformation. It's about becoming a NEW person.  They let go of long-cherished dreams, set aside life patterns that are harmful, jettison practices that once worked well, but no longer do so. They take hold...of any fresh graces they see growing within them. They seek new glimmerings of God's love. The rhythm of the holy resilient, is Jesus is sacred, life-giving.  The take-up questions repeated in order to...
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Thankfulness Under Brown Leaves

Thankfulness Under Brown Leaves
Red, gold, burnt orange, and toffee-colored leaves. Denim fleece-lined jackets. Plaid shirts. Pumpkins. Gourds. Cinnamon apple cider. Pumpkin-spiced lattes. Bonfires and blankets. Thanksgiving. It's not surprising fall is a favored season among so many. A time to start slowing down. A time to reflect. A time to be thankful. A time for family. But what if this fall season finds you in a valley, and the beautiful yellow, red, and orange leaves feel like they are swirling around you out of reach? While others laugh on hay wagon ride through the apple orchard, your life feels like raking up unending dead brown leaves only to have them re-scatter across your lawn. How do we in these seasons as Christ followers practice, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesu...
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Interruptions of Jesus

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 The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life — the life God is sending day by day.—C.S. Lewis Interruptions: to be stopped or hindered by others with remarks or questions. From the start of his ministry to his death, Jesus couldn't finish a sentence, attend a dinner, a Wedding or even find time away without being interrupted. When Jesus was teaching in a house, four friends couldn't get their paralyzed friend in, so they climbed up on the roof with him in tow. They decided to let him down from the roof. So, they tore a patch big enough to lift him down and because of their precious faith, Jesus healed him. Desp...
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Gratitude

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 Gratitude Before you get started, find a comfortable spot where you can sit quietly with your Savior. Spend a few minutes in silence. Ask God to meet you there in the quietness of this moment and to speak His heart to you as you sit with Him. Have a journal and pen/pencil ready to jot down any thoughts that come to you during this experience. Take a moment now to read through the following Scripture passage slowly. You may want to read it out loud. As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border of Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were healed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw th...
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God's Gentle Hand

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Only when you create space for your dark parts to speak, and you listen to what they have to say, will they truly begin to lower the volume of their screams. They need to trust that you will listen to them rather than attempting to shut them up. Attempting to shut them up will, in the end, only make their screams louder; begging to be heard. Even in your shame, even in your fear or your darkness, God is bending down, trying to gently lift your head so He can look into your eyes. This is what I believe he may say… "Even in your shame or darkest moments, I still love you, no matter what. Nothing about you is too much to handle. You are beloved. Your shame will be drowned out by my love if only you let me in. I will shine light in those dark places, and you can break free from the chains that...
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Caring Father

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I was feeling pretty blue. As I maneuvered my car on the winding road with the wind blowing leaves all around, the tears trickled out. I knew the country I had grown up in and loved was in a very bad place. I said out loud, "God, will you fight for us? That's the question. Because maybe you're sick of us, and it's time we get what we deserve. I wouldn't blame you at all. Wickedness keeps increasing, and we the church have let it. We have not been the shining lights you called us to be." Immediately the song came through the radio, "You're the God who fights for me, Lord of every victory, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. You have torn apart the sea, You have led me through the deep, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…" (Egypt, Bethel Music & Corey Asbury) My sadness turned to peace and joy as the creator of...
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Walking With God

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My dog Tasha loved to go for walks. Well, we had to call them "W's." If the word WALK got mentioned prematurely, she would start yelping and spinning in circles. But the truth is, I loved going for walks just as much as she did. A walk around the neighborhood was a wonderful opportunity to breathe in the fresh air and scope out the various flower gardens along the way. But, sometimes when Tasha and I would saunter along, I would get so preoccupied looking around me that I'd forget to keep my eyes on the path. As you well know, every now and again you will come upon a spot in a sidewalk that has either sunken down a bit or has risen up slightly. If I wasn't paying attention, I could find myself tripping, twisting an ankle, or worse yet, sprawled out in an embarrassing heap. Someti...
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Our Best-Laid Plans

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Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go… we will stay… we will do…"But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist.You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. So instead you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-17 [New Century Version] Most folks in the 21st century live by their daily, monthly, and yearly planners. I admit that even before my new calendar goes up on the wall each January, I have already penciled in plans as far out as October! We funny little humans seem to schedule ourselves into oblivion, running from one thing to the next. Yet, we rarely stop to think about the fact that all of our best-laid plans could come screeching to a halt in a blink of an eye. Sadly, when those roadblocks eventua...
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"I’ve got you Covered"

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The biblical festivals written out in detail in books like Exodus and Leviticus are full of invitation to embody God's eternal calendar in real time here on earth. Each festival offers the individual, and the faith community as a whole, the opportunity to leave slavery, celebrate revelations, and receive the shalom of being fully seen, loved and covered by their creator. Each festival is a learning environment encouraging the student to live more wholly (and holy) and with a sense of the original purpose of God's Kingdom on earth; which leads me to telling you we are in the festival season of Sukkot, or you may know it as, the Festival of Booths. The festival of Sukkot is marked by Jewish families setting up little tent like structures in their gardens or on their balconies and decorating ...
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Strength of Her Heart

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"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." Psalm 73:26 My dear friend, Julie, and founder of this site is living out this verse. Diagnosed with a severe health prognosis, she continues to exhibit peace and joy. She chooses to focus on the beauty of nature around her and share it with others in her amazing photos. God remains the strength of her heart. How does she do it? I don't have all the answers, but I believe I know some of the pieces of the mosaic, having known her for many years. First, she has spent years walking with God. She has been faithful in loving him and walking out his guidelines for right living and loving others. She has walked with God faithfully through the good and the hard soil. She knows who ...
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Never Forget 9/11 2001

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 We cannot forget the terrorist attacks on 9/11! On the Pentagon and Shanksville!.  LuAnn, Julie and Sally
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Happy Labor Day to our readers!

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Happy Labor Day! LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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At Every Moment

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At every moment and every situation, God is the intimate, attentive and encouraging friend. — John O'Donohue/ Anam Cara I love my precious Savior… You are acquainted with all my ways… —Psalm 139:3. He walks so intimately with me; on this journey I am on. A journey with dementia and primary progressive aphasia. I love this quote by Frederick Buechner, "If we keep our hearts and minds open, if we listen with patience and hope…then I think we come to recognize, beyond all doubt, that however faintly we may hear him, he is indeed to speaking to us…his word comes to each of us is precious beyond telling." "Like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship." ― Anne Lamot...
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He Leads Me Beside Still Waters

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He leads me beside quiet waters… he restores my soul. —Psalm 23:2 I am sitting by still waters today, but there is a party on the lake. People having fun; diving in and dive-bombing into the water. Someone is tubing on the lake as well, and jets skis too. It is not exactly quiet, but it does restore my soul. Just when I was going to write that it is calmed down now, there is another whoop from the party boat. It is so peaceful here by the water, despite the party. I took my shoes off and dangled my feet in the lake. I love the sound of water lapping up on the shore. It is so soothing. It reminds me of the Allegheny River when I was young. My Grandpa Simey would take us out on the rowboat. We would pack a lunch and I remember the waves lapping on the shore of the river as we parked our boat...
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The King of the Field

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The season of summer is still warming our bones, the fields are looking good for harvest, and we will soon be welcoming the biblical holidays of Rosh Hashanah, the biblical New Year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and Sukkoth, the festival of booths. These are known as The High Holy Days of the Judaic / Hebrew calendar and as believers they are our inheritance too. I have marked these Holy Days for at least the last ten years and they have been such a gift to my spiritual and physical journey, often with no need for a binary division, as it seems that the physical and spiritual truly are ONE, if we have eyes to see it. Before we arrive at these Holy Days God invites us to participate in a process of preparation which is marked by the 12th month of the Hebrew / Judaic calendar, Elul. (The...
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Inspiration

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Her hand slapped the edge of the pool. Then her head emerged from the aqua blue water, and she turned around to look at the results; her mouth became an uppercase O as she pulled her goggles up in case she was seeing it wrong. But she wasn't! Seventeen-year-old Lydia Jacoby became the first gold-medal swimmer from Alaska, and the first swimmer to receive gold at the Tokyo Olympics. She beat out defending gold-medalist Lilly King and other favorites in the 100-meter breaststroke. Her fans in her hometown erupted with joy and celebration, a favored scene replayed many times. We all celebrated with her in spirit. This story was just one amazing rose in a bouquet of many exciting and inspiring moments this Olympics. Stories of athletes overcoming severe sickness, devastating injuries, pov...
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The Bride

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We were all intrigued. All eyes were riveted on them as the Wedding Day approached. The would-be King of England had a found a bride. Through the miracle of television, we were invited to join them tuned in early that Wednesday, July 29th, 1981. I happened to one of them. We had just arrived in the States from France with our two-week-old son. I, like the rest of world, was curious how the Royals live. I wanted this for myself. We saw Diana riding in a horse-drawn carriage to St. John's Cathedral. Trumpeters heralded her arrival. Diana's incredible gown was forty-six yards of silk to match her complexion. One hundred yards of netting to poof her crinoline skirts. It took her three-and-a-half minutes to walk down the aisle of the church and to her groom. What we didn't w...
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The Bridegroom

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Jeremiah 33:11: "The sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying,'Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever." Matthew 25:1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom." I had been feeling a flood of loneliness. There I was pregnant with my first child, and I was so far from home. Rey and I, through series of events, found we were living Southern France. It was a thrill of a lifetime. Rey was getting a chance to play European Professional Basketball. The president of the team and his family extended an invitation to us; maybe it will take the edge off my...
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Happy Summer!

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We love our readers! LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Happy Summer!

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Thank you to our readers,  LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Hello July!

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We love our readers,  LuAnn, Julie & Sally
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Happy July!

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Happy July! We love our readers! LuAnn, Julie and Sally 
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Happy July!

Happy July!
We're going to take July off...LuAnn, Julie and Sally "Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."― Henry James"it's a smile, it's a kiss, a sip of water ... it's summertime!"― Kenny Chesney Summertime is always the best of what might be…  Love in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air. - Ralph Waldo Emerson  If it could always summer…always lonely, the fruit always ripe. -Evelyn Waugh
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Julie has been inspiring children, youth, and women as a speaker, teacher, silent retreat leader, author and mentor for over 30 years. She was the Director of Women's Bible Studies at Eagle Brook Church, is a certified Spiritual Director and the owner of Heart Matters Publishing Company. She is an alumnus of Bethel University and Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. As an author she has written Bible Study Curriculum and Devotionals, including her latest collaboration, Whispers of God's Grace. Julie draws on her wide range of life experiences, humor and love of God's Word and His creation for her writing. When she is not writing, you will find her absorbed in a good book, puttering in her garden or dreaming of France. Julie and her husband, Rey, live in White Bear Lake, MN and are the parents of two grown sons, Erik and Kyle.

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