Christmas: God's Pursuit Of Man

"At the heart of the Christmas message is the wonderful truth of God's pursuit of every one of us."      -J. Stowell (Our Daily Bread)

"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son,
born of a woman,
born under the Law, 
so that He might redeem those 
who were under the Law,
that we might receive
the adoption as sons. 
Because you are sons,
God has sent forth the Spirit
of His Son into our hearts,
crying, Abba! Father!” 
                         -Galatians 4:4-6 (NASB)

How thankful I am for God's relentless pursuit of me. He did His utmost to provide for my salvation, to bring me to Himself. What love! What grace! What an unspeakably beautiful gift!

Every December I am saddened and gladdened all at the same time. The beautiful truths of the Christmas story are more than enough to gladden the heart and soul of all who take the time to think of it. But the ignorance and neglect of those truths are so very obvious as we mingle with the Christmas shoppers, watch TV or even look for items that refer to the real meaning of Christmas! However, we don't need to dwell on the sadness but, rather, on the joy of the Good News of salvation which is for all.

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to all who are reading this!



The blessing of forgiveness from God is beyond description. I was touched this morning by a devotional about this from Spurgeon's writings, part of which I quote here:

Can there be a sweeter word in any language than that word "forgiveness", when it sounds in a guilty sinner's ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite?...For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of His substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to Him who of His own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through His blood. What riches of grace does free forgivenss exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, is to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering, worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.
                                                                                                            -Charles H. Spurgeon

"And He said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven."
(Luke 7:48)


Little But Lovely

I'm sure some of you know the name of this little flower but I don't. However, it has brought me much joy during the past few months and I have been drawn to it many times, just admiring its perfect beauty.  Since I could not decide which photos were my favorites I decided to post several. I played around a bit, editing a couple of them but really prefer them in their natural setting.

I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, this next one might be my favorite. Which one would YOU pick?

So simple yet so lovely. Isn't that just like so many of His creations?

Today after I began this post I came across a sermon entitled "Little, But Lovely". How appropriate, I thought. So I would like to copy a couple lines from that, just a little something to complete this collection of pictures of the little, but lovely flower.

  “Fear not, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:32)

 But far surpassing woman’s love, outvying all maternal instincts, our Savior’s strong affection can no rival know. In accents mild, he seems to say,  Never mind how few you are, or how despised; your feebleness gives you a warmer place in my heart, and makes me press you more closely to my bosom. Hush, hush; be still; fear not, little flock.  -C.H.Spurgeon


Thanksgiving Reflections

Your goodness to me is abundant, O Lord,
Your love is beyond my comprehension,
Your power is more than I can fathom,
Your patience is...well, amazing,
Your salvation is free and beautiful,
Your gifts are beyond measure,
You are more than I deserve...
From the depths of my heart I lift my song to You,
The only One who deserves such praise.



With a grandson in 2008, during
the first months of chemo.
By the grace, mercy and power of God, I am a five-year suvivor. This month completes five years that I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and I am happy to report to you that I am still clean 'n clear. Thank you SO much to the many of you who prayed for me during those months and to those of you who are still praying for me. I consider it no small thing to have been prayed for by so many, it truly is a gift from Him. He chose to use those prayers, together with His unlimited power, to cure me. And I don't doubt one bit but that He is also using my diet!

I've wondered "what can I do to truly celebrate this victory and blessing?" and I've decided that the best way is just to declare to the world (after all, this blog has entered 43 countries in just the past 5 months) that God has done this marvelous thing for me!

My oncologist had told me that I had probably a 50% chance of seeing the cancer return within 5 years and, in researching recently, I saw where that number can be even higher. I am so very thankful that God does not have to act according to statistics!

My heart is full, I am amazed and grateful for this extra-special blessing.

"This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." (Psalm 118:23)


Wings Of The Dawn

This song has been such a blessing to me for
the past several months as I have heard it
once in awhile on AbidingRadio.com.
I was thrilled to finally come across it online to be able to post it here.

Both the music and lyrics (from Psalm 139) are beyond beautiful. You can hear it below...


Oh Lord, You have searched me and known me,
You know when I sit and when I rise,
Where can I go from Your Spirit, Where can I go from Your presence?

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say surely darkness will hide me,
and the light be dark around me,
Not even dark is dark to You,
night will shine like the day.

(photo: D.Bodlien)
And if I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.

So I'll praise You, praise You,
 praise You, Lord.
Father, I praise You, praise You,
 praise You, Lord.

You created me within,
You knit me in my mother's womb,
I praise You for I am fearfully made,
Your works are wonderful!              

And if I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
                                                                             -Linda A. Spencer


Miscellaneous Moments

These days are rather busy for us as we prepare to travel to our homeland for a year of furlough. So much to do, so little time. However, I've been amazed (cough, cough) at how I seem to have time for other things. I mean, should I really be taking the time to make a bookmark out of 3 things that I found and couldn't bear to part with? A rectangle of cardboard with rounded corners, a paper with a 5-line quote, a pretty picture that I'd torn out of a magazine who-knows-when. It made a very lovely bookmark, in my opinion. Anyone need a bookmark?

Our lives are made up of moments, moments of every shape, color and flavor. God, in His grace, mercy and love gives us these-to do, to speak, to think, to be and...to notice.

In my "spare" moments recently, I have noticed different things which prompted me to take a picture so that I could record it "forever".

Here are a few of them...
                       The reflection of the basketball backboard behind the drops of water on top of the car.

Morgan soaking in some morning sunshine.

Bubbles that I (yes, I) was blowing. I'd found the little bubble-blowing bottle left from a daughter's wedding of over 9 years ago...

The moon. Need I say more?

Three vultures flying high. Did you know that vultures are graceful?

And every sunny morning I notice the bright colors of the green cedar and pink rose as the first rays of sun hit them. I'm restraining myself by only posting ONE of the several pics I've taken of this one scene, I want you to know. For some reason, I seem to think that I'll get a better photo and truly capture what it really looks like. Crazy, no? But beautiful, yes!

I can't speak of "moments" without thinking of the hymn "Moment By Moment":

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
                                 -Daniel W. Whittle


I Look To The Shepherd

Yesterday I was playing the piano and came across this song in a book which I had not played from in several years. Memories of the first time I heard this quickly came back to me...I was sitting in our car with a friend and we were just listening to music on the car cassette tape player (remember those?).  The beauty of it caught me by surprise and I was moved to the depths of my soul. It quickly became one of my favorite "praise" songs.

Having it brought once again to my attention, I searched for it on youtube and was so happy to find it so I am posting it here. Please allow it to be a blessing to you!

I Look To The Shepherd
Walt Harrah
© 1987 Maranatha Music ASCAP
                                                                        PSALM 23 (NASB).
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


Lovely Lines In Pleasant Places

I love the shapes and lines of every flower but recently I have been duly impressed with the lovely, graceful lines of the calla lily. In Portuguese these are called copo de leite or "cup of milk". Very appropriate, yes?Without further ado, I would just like to post several of my favorites photos of these beauties, at different phases and from different angles.

       I adore those daring drops of water on the tip of the little squirrely-gig thingie. Fascinating!

To those of you really interested in these beauties, here's an interesting and helpful site that I found:
http://www.callalilyguide.com/ I learned that a calla lily is neither a calla nor a lily. Go figure.

I've chosen this next one as my favorite. I asked my husband if this didn't look just like milk being poured out but he seemed to think it looked like milk going down a drain! Honestly.

                              These lovely lines of the calla lily remind me of a verse in the Psalms
                                             which speak of our "goodly" (beautiful) heritage.

"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places;
yea, I have a goodly heritage."
(Psalm 16:6)


Fresh Home-Made Ricotta

I have never posted a recipe here on my blog but I think I need to start. That's what blogs like mine are supposed to do...post recipes. Well, once in awhile. Maybe just once?

ANYway, I was sorting through some papers (oh, those mountains of papers!), getting ready for furlough, and found a couple pages of recipes that I'd torn out of a magazine in some distant, foggy past and this one caught my eye: Fresh Ricotta. Only 3 ingredients and 30 minutes, that's all I needed. Well, it took about 15 minutes more than that but, considering everything, I think this is a very good recipe. If you like ricotta, that is. And I do. And fresh, home-made ricotta is SO good and yummy!

I think that I will be making more of this. It only cost around $2 p/lb. That's a very rough calculation, using our ever-changing dollar exchange and my not-totally-dependable food scale.

So click on the pic, notice the creaminess, read the recipe and, if you like all of that, then make it and let me know what you think!
(After posting this, I noticed that the recipe isn't easy to read ("new & improved" Blogger stuff, I guess). Anyway, here's a link to a site that has a similar recipe with only slight differences in the number of minutes. And I made mine using low-fat milk for part of it. Neither did I use cheesecloth. I've never used cheesecloth. I don't know the reason for using cheesecloth. Any clean cloth will do!)


"180" Has One Million Viewers!

I don't normally use this blog for promoting certain agendas (except the spiritual) but I just wanted to give an update about the 180 Movie, for those who are interested. Today the number of viewers reached one million! I'd been waiting for this news, just so I could post it. If you missed the original post, you can see it here. I am trying to keep a running update about it on this page so from now on I will only post them there.

I'm including this photo because, somehow, it seems to depict the feelings of a child, seeing its mother go away but unable to do anything about it. May we forever be sensitive to the feelings of the little ones, even the unborn.

"Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 8:14)