Saturday, May 18, 2019

This Time of Year In Arizona

I love spring in Arizona.  March is my favorite month, but this year I had such bad allergies in March, it was hard for me to be outside.  April and May allergies started to lift and we have been enjoying our back yard before it gets too hot to enjoy.  I love the cool mornings where the grounds keepers are mowing the lawn on the golf course, the water fountains are splashing in the pool and the birds are chirping.   My fruit trees I planted last year are starting to grow beautifully, thanks to my hubby's coffee grounds.  :-)  
Fruit Tree Beside Palm Tree
This time of year, I get a little zealous in having friends over, as I know the heat is coming and we will not be able to spill into the back yard.  So, we have had a few BBQ's with friends.   I tend to get busy hosting and do not take any photos but here are a couple that I had photos from . . .
Friends - before it gets too hot!
Cousins
The Kids
This just cracks me up . . . on Mother's Day my husband and cousins all posed for this super cute photo under the pool fountains.  Had a great mothers day! My kids wrote me poems, my husband even had a gift . . . super sweet!
Mother's Day
And tonight I invited all our neighbors over for dessert.  Cobbler is cooking in oven, chocolate brownies and ice-cream are cued, coffee pot is ready to release it's most wonderful aroma.  Deliciousness is filling the house.  Tomorrow we'll put chicken on the grill and have a friend after church . . . yep!  Love this Arizona time of year.  Then in the hot months we will hibernate.  Ha!:-)
Cobbler Ready For Neighbor Dessert Night
A few cactus' are still blooming.  The one in our neighbors yard was gorgeous!  Arizona has a different kind of beauty all it's own.  We have learned to love it.  My husband and I walk in the mornings together and so I have been able to see the cactus bloom, the flowering bushes bloom, and feel the change from the cool days to warmer ones.
Neighbors Cactus
 Hope each of you are enjoying spring and the beauty it brings.  Hopefully you too are able to thaw out from the winter months and enjoy friends and family in the cool of the evenings or warmth of the spring rays.  God is good to us . . . All the time . . .God is good! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Doxology Remix

I grew up in the Mennonite Church until I was thirteen and my dad became a pastor of a non-denominational Christian church.  I have great memories of being in the Mennonite church as a kid.  One of those memories is singing the Doxology out of the Hymnal. How can you sing the words, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below" and not be moved by the wonder and awe of our creator.  Love it!  I just found that Elevation Worship released a remix of this hymn that takes me back to my childhood.  Enjoy . . .

"Paradoxology Video" by Elevation Worship
https://youtu.be/MGPtYkaT6-o

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Things We Live For


Friends, let's live a life and lifestyle, where Jesus gets the reward of His suffering.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Responding vs. Reacting





I’ve been pondering lately some aspects of prayer taken from practical parenting and life situations.  As a parent I’m continually challenged with my strong-willed children to respond and not react.  It used to be temper tantrums and now as we enter the teen years, motives can get more calculated. Often as a parent I will find myself in what I call a “swirl” and I am reacting to a situation instead of responding.  Responding tends to pause, take a breath and listen to the voice of wisdom. 

Have you ever thought of this concept in regards to prayer?  Sometimes the enemy of our souls, will throw something cruel at us or those around us and we react even in prayer. We may begin to pray out of anger, or anxiety, unbelief or fear.   These prayers will seldom produce good fruit.  But what if instead, we respond, and our response was focusing on the redemptive work of God.  We pause, take a breath and listen to the voice of wisdom, the voice of God and partner with Him. 

What could this practically look like? For me, I will begin to focus on the opposite of what is coming at me.  For example, say hate is manifesting itself around me.  I, in response, begin to pray and release love. Thanking God for His love, meditating on His love, declaring scriptures that illuminate His love. I begin to thank God for who He is and what He does that is the opposite atmosphere and circumstance of what the enemy is releasing.  God must get big in my mind and heart.  I must see my circumstances and that of those around me through His lens of what He accomplished on the cross in His death and resurrection.   When I keep God in the forefront of my mind, my confidence in His bigness and greatness increases and instead of reacting to circumstances and needs, I will respond.  This releases faith in my heart and I begin to pray from a place of faith and confidence in who He is instead of reacting in the heat of the moment.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Grace

"Grace never gives permission for sin to be expressed.  
Grace always positions us to be empowered to live 
outside of human reach.
Grace is the enablement of God to live as Jesus would live."
~ Bill Johnson

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Love This Song

We just started singing this song at church and I absolutely Love it!  It's one of those deep intimate songs between us and Jesus . . .

https://youtu.be/4BhTAJ49MQ0

Video:  Cody Carnes - "Nothing Else"

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Julie's Spring Break

Our Julie got to visit from Washington for her Spring Break this year and we had a fabulous time together. There were tears when she left.  Aside from our memorable trip to Mexico, here are a few memories from our time together . . .









Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mexico

We just got back from a  little family get-away to Mexico.  It was one of those wonderful trips where we were upgraded to a seventh floor suite with panoramic ocean views, three bedrooms and four bathrooms, an entertaining kitchen and an extra free night.  We took in the local shopping, food, spent hours on the beach, laid in the sun, fireside chats and trying to drum up a melody without a guitar, picked up sea shells . . . .so fun!  I have this thing for infinity pools and the place we stayed at had a beautiful infinity pool that started surrounded by cactus and day beds and ended at the ocean - so beautiful!  Loved the favor surrounding our time together.  It's always been Julie's dream to go to Mexico and so this was a "first" for her.  Here are a few family pics I thought I would share now that I am finally figuring out how to use google photos on my blog. :-)


























Friday, March 15, 2019

He Bore Our Grief & Sorrows


“Surely, He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”  ~Isaiah 53:4

I have been soaking in this scripture lately, especially the part that says, “He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.”  I believe the word “grief” in this verse, can also be translated pain.

Recently I have been working on a project, for my non-profit, that includes viewing a lot of video content on sex trafficking atrocities.  As a result, my heart can be deeply broken.  I have also, had a lot of friends and loved ones, suffering with pain and affliction.  This combination has moved my heart regarding the grief and sorrow surrounding me.  The other day when I read this verse, I was reminded that Jesus bore our grief and sorrow on the cross. What a comfort.  In the previous verse in Isaiah it says that Jesus was a man of suffering and familiar with pain.  We do not know even half the stories of Jesus’ life, but we can be assured from this scripture, that he was familiar with suffering and pain.  He was surrounded by it daily and was continually moved with compassion driving Him into the action of healing the sick, casting out demons, and releasing the Kingdom of God. 

If Jesus bore our grief and sorrow on the cross, then we don’t have to hold onto it.  Like anything else in our walk with Christ, we can cast our grief and sorrow on Jesus. There are times my heart feels like it’s going to explode with the sorrow around me.  At those times, I get alone with Jesus, and invite Him into the pain, because He sees it, He’s familiar with it, He does not run from it like so  many of us do, instead, He runs towards it.  He was a man of suffering and familiar with pain.  He’s ready to come into our boat and calm the storm (Matthew 8:23-27).  Because of all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross in His death and resurrection, we can invite Him into those places that are filled with hopelessness and ask that He release hope and faith.  We can invite Him into suffering and ask that He release comfort and healing.  This is the great substitutionary work of Christ, the heart of the gospel.  Instead of increasing grief and sorrows in our life, Jesus bears and carries them. He took these on Himself that we might have peace.  We don’t have to understand all the intricacies of how this works, we can just receive His substitution by faith. Jesus wants to be fully present and central to everything we encounter in life.  And when He takes and replaces our grief and sorrow, He will often give us a path forward in the midst of it.

“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” 
~ Psalm 23:3

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Thought . . .


I shared this quote I heard recently, in yesterday's blog . . .

Shame says, "I AM something wrong."
Conviction says, "I DID something wrong." 

I would love to delve into the subject of shame some day and write and study and share, but that is not going to happen any time soon.  So, a thought for today . . .

"The one who trust in Him (Jesus) will never be put to shame."  ~ Romans 9:33  

The beautiful truth about a walk with Christ is, He is not a shameful God.  He does  not shame us.  He invites us into conviction, that if we submit to, will transform us.  He took our shame on the cross - He became shame for us so we could be honored and esteemed.  When God looks at us (those who are in Christ) He sees Jesus and He approves!  Today, I invite us to put all our TRUST in Jesus and see shame dissipate.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


Shame says, "I AM something wrong."
Conviction says, "I DID something wrong." 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Alignment

The following is a blog I wrote for Extreme Love Ministries:
www.extremelove.com/alignment/

Have you ever thought of your life in terms of alignment?  The need for your life to become properly positioned?  In different seasons of my life, I will pray and ask God to “align” me, position me correctly in relationship to Him and His will.  It seems like sometimes with the busyness and the wear and tear of life, I can become mis-aligned and need a reminder to be aligned afresh with my Father God. 


Recently I had about two months of down time.  A disc had ruptured in my back and I was unable to go about my normal daily duties.  Day after day, I would lay in bed or on the couch and just ask God to “align me”.  Align my back physically with healing and health, and align me spiritually with His purposes.  Align me with His heart.  Algin me, that I may be totally centered in Him. 

I have a metaphor in mind for alignment – many times our cars need a wheel alignment.  This is part of standard automobile maintenance, that adjusts or squares, a car’s wheels and axles with each other so that they’re moving in the same direction.  This is so imperative in life, that we be moving in the same direction that Holy Spirit is leading and guiding.  I love being about my Father’s business, squared up with Him. 

A car needs to be aligned typically every two-three years and this is so true of me.  Periodically, I need to just steal away for some undivided prayer focus or communion with God and check in and see if I am correctly aligned.  If what I have on my plate is what is on His heart for me.  If I am seeking Him first above all others, etc.

Here are some common car signs that you are dealing with poor alignment: Vehicle pulling to the left or right. Your steering wheel is off center when driving straight.  Ha!  I’m smiling because this week I was driving to into Phoenix and my SUV was strongly pulling me to the right.  I had to keep two hands on the wheel and call my husband and ask him, "is our car out of alignment".  His answer, "YES!"  Smile! This can be so true of our lives when we are misaligned.  I can feel a pull to other things, instead of focusing on what God has put in front of me.  I will “drive” along through life and find that something is just “off”.  My center, my core, where I am fully aligned in Christ, just needs  a little attention. 

Driving a vehicle with improper wheel alignment can cause uneven wear on the tires.  If your car's alignment is bad, driving becomes more expensive and can even be dangerous.  A bad wheel alignment can be dangerous because it may cause your car to pull or drift out of your lane or hydroplane on wet pavement. And, uneven tire wear can lead to a blowout or make you lose traction.  Wow!  Isn’t this a perfect metaphor of how it is when we are out of alignment – we can have “expensive” life mistakes and even cause harm to our own lives or those around us.  We can drift out of our lane that God has called us to and head into someone else’s lane, which inevitably causes us to lose traction, momentum and purpose. 

Practically what this looks like for me, is just asking God to align me and position me rightly with Him.  I will protect my time with Him and make it a priority, so I can hear from Him and give Him space to speak to me and move in me. I will read my Bible and let Him highlight scripture and then I will pray it back to Him.  I will worship, by faith believing that as I focus on Him, everything else will fall into place.  I will mentally go through my daily routine and ask Holy Spirit to highlight anything that needs to go and is not His will for my time commitments.  I will yield!  This is a big part of being aligned is yielding to the will of God and obeying what He is speaking. I will ask Holy Spirit to speak to me what the Father is highlighting and then I will listen to Him talk to me about those areas.  Sometimes this process can take days or weeks, as things fall into place in my heart and mind.  I am on high alert to the voice of the Lord in my every day life.  There is an expectancy that He is going to speak to me and that He is aligning me.  When I hear even a faint whisper, I take it to heart and begin to ask questions and pray into what I am hearing.  God is faithful.  He loves that our hearts are turned to Him and He wants to speak to us. 

When I am aligned, I call it the "cream and butter of heaven", like Job mentions in Job 29:6.  Some translations say, cream and others say butter, referring to Job’s blessed life.  That place in God where you know you are doing what He has called you too and there is a peace in being faithful positioned.  As we prepare to enter a new year, maybe you, like me, need a new positioning and alignment so that you can be fully focused, bearing much fruit for your Father’s glory! 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Perfect Gift

The perfect gift for anyone!  Satin Hands Pampering Set for both feet and hands!  Comes in three different fragrances.  www.transformedskin.com  OR  www.marykay.com/nitaweldon


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving From Our Family To Yours
Happy belated Thanksgiving blogger friends!  I love thanksgiving and have so very much to give thanks for!  This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with our Aunt & Uncle visiting from the  Midwest and all our cousins who have been slowly migrating to Arizona.  What a great time we had, hanging out together, talking, laughing and eating amazingly delicious smoked turkey, Iowa corn and a smorgasbord of pies.  There was no lack around our Thanksgiving table. What a beautiful day! We love our Arizona family!!  Then we stopped in at our friends that we normally celebrate Arizona Thanksgiving with and hugged on them and then off to another friends house for more pie and games.  I fell into bed exhausted but so thankful for the family and friends that God has so graciously blessed us with.  Also, this Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for continued healing in my back after surgery. 

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving verses . . .

Psalm 107:8-9 "Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing Love and His wonderful deeds for men.  For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."  

I found myself praying this verse throughout the weekend, especially the part that says, "He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry".  There are so many people physically and spiritually thirsty and hungry and I pray that God satisfies them with Himself this holiday season. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Believe In Jesus


Some friends and I were a part of a little project for people who are new to a walk with Jesus. We are attaching our faith, to the days ahead, when God will (and is currently pouring) pour His spirit out on all mankind (Joel 2:28).  The Bible says in Romans 14:11 that "every knee will bow and every tongue will acknowledge God." So, if you stumbled across this blog and are new to knowing Christ, take a look at the videos we put together:

http://www.shilohfellowship.com/media21554374

I love talking about Jesus.  In fact, He is one of my favorite subjects.  I also love learning about Him.  I remember sitting around the table at Starbucks planning what subjects we would cover and talk about. The videos we put together are just a couple subjects.  We could fill pages and pages of interesting thoughts and experiences of getting to know Christ.  I love the subject of Grace, so that is the subject matter I talked about.  Many of my friends, work in a TV studio and are used to camera's, but not me.  It was a new experience for me to sit in a TV studio and have the film guy adjusting everything.  I probably would have done a lot better with just my phone in my living room, but it's fun to try new things!

I hope something from these videos touches your heart today and spurs you on in your faith with Christ (Hebrews 10:24) if you are just getting to know Him.  And if you have followed Christ for awhile, maybe some of these videos will be helpful as you disciple others.  If you have not made a decision to put your faith in God, let me encourage you . . . BEST CHOICE I EVER MADE!  I can't imagine life without a relationship with God.  https://youtu.be/Rj_n-uiC7nc