I hope that you are reading this in great health and are eager to read what will be shared here today. I am so excited about this post! I thank all of you for your prayers. I really appreciate them very much. Dave is still a bit ill, mostly at night, but has returned to work. I still have it this in my bronchial tubes and sinuses, and I tell you what...this has just exhausted me at least as much as when Joshua was a newborn, and was nursed every hour for twenty minutes the first year! That was pretty exhausting! This weekend one or both of us had been resting on the recliner sofa watching something on TV just about every hour of the weekend. We didn't have energy for anything else. We couldn't even see clearly to read. If you were to visit, you would love the smell of our home. Some people light candles...we just wore a lot of VICKS!! lol
You may not know this about me, I always have at least 10 pages of stamped images ready to be colored! I take with me when I go to the doctor and have a wait, or if we go to see any of our family, I color in the car, or if I am watching a movie, here at home. It occurred to me, that I didn't even think of coloring over this entire weekend. Now, THAT worried me about my condition!
For those of you who were not here on Friday...I hope you will take a look at Friday's blog! There was a SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT on the post. And, I shared a couple of cards that I made last Saturday.
Below, you will see a card that I had made for my friend Grace's birthday. I wanted to make something beautiful...for she is such a beautiful woman! She has a beautiful heart for the Lord and for people...so beautiful!
This card was made using a sheet of paper I have had about 20 years! I have been waiting for a special occasion, and this was it! I put it on a pearlescent sheet of paper by Crafter's Companion. It is gorgeous and has a luster to match the top sheet. The Calla Lilies I found at a store near Washington, DC, and they had a matte finish. I wanted them to have the same finish as the papers, so I painted them with Creative Inspiration Paints that were gifted to me by a dear friend. (THANK YOU!) I LOVE this paint! I had a piece of sheer ribbon with a swirl from Paper Wishes left over, and wrapped it around the flowers, and attempted to make a bow. I am the only person with a Bow Easy who can make nice bows...but not attach them nicely at all! I would love any suggestions on this! Please. I wish I had a light cream embossing powder and a more elegant stamp for the sentiment...but you use what you have, right? The other ingredient added was a lot of love. I hope you and she can see that in the card!
Last week we were reading about Pleasing God by Trusting Him. I am getting many of my thoughts and information from the book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. And, from the Bible and prayer and thinking of course!
"Without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6
Pleasing God is knowing that you can trust Him wholeheartedly. Mr. Warren wrote this: "If God asked you to build a giant boat, don't you think you might have a few questions, objections, or reservations? Noah didn't. He obeyed wholeheartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You do it without delay. Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience. " God doesn't owe us an explanation or reason for things He asks us to do. Instant obedience will teach us more about God than a lifetime of discussions about the Bible. Mr. Warren states "In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding."
Obedience unlocks understanding. I said it again, because I think it is such a wise concept. As an adolescent and young adult, I hated to follow rules. I hated to be obedient. I wasn't a bad kid. I just liked to have my way.
I have had a person that I really disliked immensely in my life. Basically, I felt he deserved my "hatred." ( I really dislike that word, and have only used it in this case. I am sorry I could not find another word to use. I apologize.) He had caused me much distress and pain. I had been learning about forgiveness from the Bible, from other reputable author's books, and from conversations/emails with my friends.
Well, I woke up one morning with a heavy weight on my heart. I actually felt like there was a stack of books or something upon my chest. I immediately realized...I don't know why or how...The Holy Spirit is what I think moved me. All of a sudden, I knew I had to forgive this person. Not because I was okay with what had happened, but because He commands us to Forgive.
If we are to be obedient to the Lord, we can't pick and choose which commandments we want to follow. Which commandments we will obey. Right then, I chose to forgive this person, through prayer. I told the Lord that I didn't forgive what had occurred, but that I was forgiving him to be obedient, because I loved Him that much to put away my feelings of hatred, and get on with things. Because He said so. I hated that answer when I was growing up. "Because I said so," an adult would answer me. I'm sure some of you heard it too. Well, I am learning to love that answer when the Lord tells me, "Because I said so!" It gives me an opportunity to show Him how much I love Him. How I want to be be obedient to Him. To show Him that I know He knows whats best for me. To follow Him blindly. To trust Him completely. I feel closer to the Lord than ever before. I am sure it is because I am actually looking for ways to be more obedient to Him. Not as a contest, or a challenge. I almost didn't want to share this here, because I didn't want my reason for doing it from this point, to be because you may be looking to see if I am being obedient. However, I know my intentions. I know why I am doing this. I have forgiven this person many times now. One day, I will mean it because I mean it, rather than wanting to be obedient as the main reason. (Make sense?)
Is this an area you may want to work on--being more obedient to God? It will please Him, and He will smile.
In the Bible, David said, "Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I'll wholeheartedly obey." Psalm 119:33
Psalm 100:2 reads, "Obey Him gladly."
Will you join me this week in being consciously aware of being obedient to Him? In ALL things? Joyfully? I would love to know if you are working on this along with me this week. How about letting me know in the comment section?
Thank you to those of you who have started sending your favorite Scriptures about LOVE. I challenge every person to please email me with what LOVE means as a Christian, or your favorite Scripture about Love, or how He shows you He LOVEs you, or how you show Him that you LOVE Him, or how your family shows LOVE to others. It could be a poem, a quote, or anything about LOVE in the Bible, or in your actions...I would LOVE to have a post to share from everyone...if you want, send more than one. It can be anonymous. (I will assume it is ok to use your username unless you state so otherwise.) It could be one sentence or 6 paragraphs. It could be in Honor or Memory of someone you LOVE.
This blog exists to Glorify God. What a great way to do that! There is another goal of this blog, and that is to encourage each other as Christians to know more about the LOVE of the Lord, and in our Lives. To help each of us get excited or re-energized in our walk with the Lord. So, please take a moment and share. I am excited about this! I will post them throughout the month of February....which starts tomorrow! My email is TraciStarkweather@gmail.com Don't worry. Don't think too much. Just share from the heart. If I need something clarified, we will do that afterwards. We are here for each other. We are all-- together, the body of Christ. And, maybe it will encourage a non-Believer to give their life completely to the Lord, Jesus the Christ. Thank you for serving Him in this wonderful way!
Have a blessed and obedient week! You may be surprised at the joy that will enter your life!
He IS Able,
p.s. Please put either LOVE or He IS Able in the subject area when you send your LOVE-ly message! Thank you so much!