I want to take my time

Hi table mates! I sat down to write my post today and was feeling very fidgety and my hip that’s been giving me problems was causing quite a bit of pain and I simply couldn’t concentrate properly to write the last installment of our three-part series. I want to give it more attention before writing something I could have done better on. So, I’ll be posting the final thoughts in our series tomorrow morning (Thursday) instead.

       I just didn’t want to slap some words together and call it done. You all deserve better than that. I always want to be thoughtful with my words and pour my heart into them. So, I’ll collect my thoughts more efficiently tomorrow and you’ll have the thoughts about the Prodigal son story. Blessings friends and I’ll meet ya back here tomorrow with a cup of Joe or tea.         

Closer

Hey all! It’s good to have you here! Welcome! I’m so looking forward to spring weather and being able to sit on my back porch with you all at my summer table. How about you?

       So until then, we’ll sit at my dining table and start with prayer, okay?

       Father in Heaven, would You sit here at the table with us while we feast on Your word together. Guide us and teach us Father. In Jesus name, Amen.

       We are in the middle of a three-part series here at the table but I’m pausing until next week for the final post on that. I was just really inspired to write this post so we’ll et back to our regularly scheduled program next week okay?  

       So, have you seen car side mirrors that have the little sticker that says “objects are closer than they appear”? Of course, I don’t drive but I know these stickers are on those side mirrors. This is a reminder to the driver that when they use those mirrors to be mindful of things being much closer than they think it is.

       If a driver makes a decision to change lanes or turn into a parking lot, they need to know that this decision needs to be made with the knowledge that another car is closer than the driver thinks. I’m sure that there have been accidents in which a driver has said, “I didn’t think the other car was that close to me.”

       Have you been through some trials in which Jesus felt farther away then He actually was? Did it feel like He wasn’t there at all? Me too.

       I remember a time in my life that I spent three days feeling like God was nowhere to be found. It felt like He had simply abandoned me. But then I realized… God… like objects in a side mirror… was closer than He appeared to me.

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (ESV)

       Friends in those times of fire, God is closer than He appears. We may look in the side mirrors of life and reflect on what has happened and feel that God wasn’t very nearby. But this verse shows the promise that He is!

       God works within our trials and struggles. He walks with us through the fire. Remember the story of the three Hebrew boys who were thrown into the fiery furnace? (see Daniel 3 20 – 25)

       It’s not known if the three boys actually saw the Angel of the Lord for themselves but He was definitely closer than He appeared to be in the midst of that trial.

       Are you going through something so heavy right now that it feels like God isn’t nearby? Do you feel like you are getting ready to be tossed into the fiery furnace? Be assured… God is nearby! He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Simply call on Him and He will let you know just how close He is. He longs to help us on our journey of trials and struggles.

       So, when you look in those side mirrors… remember that God is definitely closer than He appears! Know He is right there in the passenger seat on this journey with you! See you next week. 

Have You Ever Lost A Coin

Hello Friends! Welcome to my table! Pull up a chair and fill your cup with a warm drink for our chat time. Let’s open with prayer…

   Father in Heaven, we gather here together to be blessed with a message from You. Please open our hearts and minds to hear what that message is today. In Jesus name, Amen.

       As a mostly blind person, when I have dropped something on the floor or knocked something off the kitchen counter, my first thoughts are “Great! Now I have to try and find it.”

       If someone is home, then I will ask for assistance finding it more quickly but if I am home alone, I must find the lost item on my own. This could take some time and effort.

       The task begins down on my hands and knees and a sweeping and patting motion with my hands. Depending on what the item is, I may find it fairly quickly or it could take more time.

       If I can’t seem to find it, I’ll wait until someone get’s home or I may even resort to face timing someone to help me look for it. Hey, technology isn’t all bad!

       Once I’ve located the item, I breathe a sigh of relief and send up a little praise to God for finding it. If someone has helped me, I thank them right then and there. If I had to find it on my own, I may call my husband at work and explain what had happened and rejoice for a moment with him.

       I imagine the story of the lost coin in Luke 15 about the woman looking for the lost coin…

Luke 15:8 – 9 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying ‘rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’” (ESV)  

       Notice that the coin is lost INSIDE the house. The coin represents a lost soul. The house represents the church. The woman is a symbol for the church in scripture.

       There are precious souls sitting right next to us in church every week that are lost! They are going through the motions of attending church but feel no real connection to their savior. They read bible verses and sing all the hymns but don’t truly know Jesus. It is the responsibility of the church to minister to these lost souls as a church body. We must not assume that because someone is always “at” church that they are always “in” church.

       We should be sweeping the church to look for those lost souls. We need to self-examine to see if WE may be the lost soul. Remember that the woman, AKA, the church, found the coin still in the house, AKA, still in the church.

       Brothers and sisters, may we have our hearts and eyes and ears open to the heart cries of lonely lost souls in our very own churches. May we be the hands of Jesus sweeping the church and lighting lamps to find that lost soul.

       Then… then when we find that lost coin… that lost soul… may we rejoice in celebration with shouts of praise and thanksgiving for finding that soul!

       Now is the time for us to be lifting one another up in prayer, checking in on our church family, keeping in touch with that member we haven’t seen in months. Seek out the lost coins and sweep the corners to find them. Minister to them with prayer and a helping hand. Then rejoice with them and the rest of the church family that the lost coin has been found!

       I so appreciate you joining me here each week. I look forward to chatting with you. Drop me a comment and let me know how you are doing! Blessings table family… blessings!      

Am I A Lost Sheep

Hello table family! Come on in out of the cold! It is currently sixteen degrees here and we have about a foot of snow on the ground. So, pull up a chair at the table and enjoy a hot beverage. Let’s pray huh?

   Father in Heaven, we come before You just now and ask that You would reveal truth to us in a new way. Open our hearts Lord and let us here You. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Well, as I sat and had my dedicated time with the Lord the other day, I reread the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son. I’ve discovered some pretty cool things I’d like to share with you.

       This will be a three-part series with the focus being on each one of the parables each entry. We’ll start with the Lost Sheep. Feel free to grab a bible and turn to Luke chapter fifteen.

       We start off with Jesus responding to the Pharisees condemning Jesus for eating with “tax collectors and sinners”. Jesus of course, has a thoughtful reply…

My paraphrase:

       Jesus asks them, “If any of you had a hundred sheep and one got lost, wouldn’t you go and find it?”

       I like to equate this with having say, ten children and if one of them wandered off or got lost, you would certainly set out to find that one! I don’t know of any parent who would say “eh, I got nine more… I’m good.” I’m pretty sure you would want to find that lost child.

       We see in this parable that the Shepperd leaves the ninety-nine (who are safe) to go and look for the one who is lost. Now sheep are not really known for being observant creatures so this poor little lamb likely wandered off and didn’t even realize what had happened.

       Have you ever wandered away from your Shepperd and one day looked up only to realize how lost you were?

       I’ve been in that place. I’m just sort of doing my thing and I look around at my circumstances only to find that I’ve wandered away from my Shepperd and I’m now vulnerable and alone. A perfect setting for a wolf to come in and attack. But then a beautiful thing happens…

Luke 15:5 “and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”

       When the Shepperd finds us, He doesn’t just lead us back by the rod. No, He picks us up, thereby protecting us from that wolf and carries us in our weakened state and is perhaps singing songs of thanksgiving for finding His lost sheep.

       Don’t miss that in this parable, the Shepperd comes looking for the sheep. God comes looking for us. He is looking for you. He is looking for me.

       When we are found, He doesn’t scold or punish us, He doesn’t even ask for an explanation. He simply rejoices! He is willing to carry us all the way back. Then He celebrates our return.

       Oh little sheep, there is no place you can wonder that is too far for the Shepperd to go to find you. There is no land or country that He won’t travel too in order to find that lost lamb.

       Please take with you that the Shepperd, AKA, God, is looking for His lost sheep. If you feel lost today, know He is looking for you. If you are praying for another wandering sheep, keep praying… God will find them.

       Sometimes us sheep get distracted and we find ourselves wandering. God is out looking. Listen for the Shepperd’s voice and hear His call. Let Him carry you home. Let Him carry His lost sheep home.   

Am I A Lost Sheep

Hello table family! Come on in out of the cold! It is currently sixteen degrees here and we have about a foot of snow on the ground. So, pull up a chair at the table and enjoy a hot beverage. Let’s pray huh?

   Father in Heaven, we come before You just now and ask that You would reveal truth to us in a new way. Open our hearts Lord and let us here You. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Well, as I sat and had my dedicated time with the Lord the other day, I reread the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son. I’ve discovered some pretty cool things I’d like to share with you.

       This will be a three-part series with the focus being on each one of the parables each entry. We’ll start with the Lost Sheep. Feel free to grab a bible and turn to Luke chapter fifteen.

       We start off with Jesus responding to the Pharisees condemning Jesus for eating with “tax collectors and sinners”. Jesus of course, has a thoughtful reply…

My paraphrase:

       Jesus asks them, “If any of you had a hundred sheep and one got lost, wouldn’t you go and find it?”

       I like to equate this with having say, ten children and if one of them wandered off or got lost, you would certainly set out to find that one! I don’t know of any parent who would say “eh, I got nine more… I’m good.” I’m pretty sure you would want to find that lost child.

       We see in this parable that the Shepperd leaves the ninety-nine (who are safe) to go and look for the one who is lost. Now sheep are not really known for being observant creatures so this poor little lamb likely wandered off and didn’t even realize what had happened.

       Have you ever wandered away from your Shepperd and one day looked up only to realize how lost you were?

       I’ve been in that place. I’m just sort of doing my thing and I look around at my circumstances only to find that I’ve wandered away from my Shepperd and I’m now vulnerable and alone. A perfect setting for a wolf to come in and attack. But then a beautiful thing happens…

Luke 15:5 “and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”

       When the Shepperd finds us, He doesn’t just lead us back by the rod. No, He picks us up, thereby protecting us from that wolf and carries us in our weakened state and is perhaps singing songs of thanksgiving for finding His lost sheep.

       Don’t miss that in this parable, the Shepperd comes looking for the sheep. God comes looking for us. He is looking for you. He is looking for me.

       When we are found, He doesn’t scold or punish us, He doesn’t even ask for an explanation. He simply rejoices! He is willing to carry us all the way back. Then He celebrates our return.

       Oh little sheep, there is no place you can wonder that is too far for the Shepperd to go to find you. There is no land or country that He won’t travel too in order to find that lost lamb.

       Please take with you that the Shepperd, AKA, God, is looking for His lost sheep. If you feel lost today, know He is looking for you. If you are praying for another wandering sheep, keep praying… God will find them.

       Sometimes us sheep get distracted and we find ourselves wandering. God is out looking. Listen for the Shepperd’s voice and hear His call. Let Him carry you home. Let Him carry His lost sheep home.   

Informational Announcement

Hey all! I’m so sorry for the late post. I want to tell you all about the event I’m part of on Facebook called the “Virtual Christian Business Expo”. It is an awesome on-line event with over thirty venders. There are teas, art, make-up, authors, musicians, speakers, handmade journals and so much more! I want to take this opportunity to invite you to check it out. In runs from now until February 20.

       There is giveaways and book signings galore! I too will be doing a give-away! Just head over to Facebook and search “Virtual Christian Business Expo” to get in on the fun. If you follow me on social media, I’ve shared a couple posts there as well. See you at the Expo!!! Oh, and I’ll see ya next week here at the table with our regularly scheduled chat!

That Unneeded Tool in the Toolbox

Hi and welcome on in! The table is set and ready. Let’s pray together…

   Father in Heaven, please help us to glean from these words the message You have for each of us. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Most of you know that my husband is a master carpenter. He has many many tools that he uses for various jobs. Of course, not every tool is needed for every job. He knows which tools are needed at each job and takes those along with a few extra things just in case he might need them after all.

       Well over the years he has upgraded, scaled down, or just reorganized his tools according to what season of work he is in at the time. There are also tools in his toolbox that he needed frequently once upon a time. Then there came a time that he didn’t need them as much and those tools found their way to the bottom of the toolbox.

       He knows they have served him well and he knows he will someday need them again so he holds on to them. They will always be valuable to him.

       I’ve been feeling a bit like those unneeded tools lately. My Son moved out last July and my daughter has one foot out the door. I know this is the natural progression of life and it’s a good thing to watch your children spread their wings and fly.

       But you see, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last twenty-one years and to be perfectly honest… I don’t know how to be anything else. My kids don’t need me like they used too.

       They needed so much from me through their growing up years; meals, snacks, dressing, bathing, homework, emotional support, advice, friendship strife, broken hearts… now, they are grown and don’t need these things from mom.

       It feels bitter sweet. I am grateful they are equipped to move into the next phase of life, yet I’m not quite ready to let go. As they tout their new toolboxes with their own set of tools, I remain at the bottom. Underneath the shiny new tools sits the old trusty but rusty tool. But you no what brings me a little comfort? I’m still in the toolbox.

Job 19:23 – 24 “Oh that my words were written, oh that they were inscribed in a book! Oh, that with an iron pen and led they were engraved in the rock forever.” (ESV)

       My husband may not need his old tools on every job, but he keeps them in the toolbox in case he needs them… and you know what? He is always grateful he still kept that old trusty tool in the toolbox.

 I pray the tools I’ve given my children will be helpful and that they find value in using those old tools. I pray the words I taught them will be engraved on their hearts forever. I pray that their mom tool will still be kept in the toolbox even if it’s only needed now and then.

       I just want to be used by God in whatever capacity He has in mind. I’ll just be here in the toolbox if anyone needs me…    

I Did not Want to do What God Asked

Hi everyone! Welcome to the table friends! I have a confession to make to you all. But let’s start with prayer…

   Father in Heaven, I pray that You divide this message several ways for each of us to receive what You want us to receive. In Jesus name, Amen.

       So, I have a question for you… was there ever a time you knew God has asked something of you but you fought that calling? How long did you fight it? Well, I have a confession… I have been fighting something God has been asking of me for many years.

       I most definitely feel the call to write and preach God’s word when invited. But there is another calling I’ve been avoiding. I actually felt this calling back in high school, but I didn’t know the Lord then so I wouldn’t have labeled it a “calling”. It’s something I wanted to do then and now it’s come full circle and I consider it a calling today.

       I’ve always been the kind of person who wanted to think outside the box. I didn’t ever want to do the things in life that others expected me to be able to do because of my blindness. I always seemed to want to do what others didn’t think I could or should do. This of course is referring to a career or job. This is assuming others thought I’d be able to do anything in the way of a career. Well, I knew that I would fall into the expectant category of working in the field of disability so I fought that for years. That’s changed recently.

       I have had a passion to be a voice for the disability community when someone feels they have no voice. To be an advocate for fair treatment. To fight for the ones who don’t think they can fight to be treated with dignity and respect.

       I’ve had many many situations in which I was talked down to or disregarded when it became obvious that I was blind. I don’t want this to happen to other members of the disability community.

       But you see, this is the very thing I fought against for years. The expected career path in the disability field. However, I am reminded of a bible verse that changes my thought process on this…

Colossians 3:23 – 24 “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (ESV)

       You see friends, if our calling is from the Lord, then we are serving the Lord and it doesn’t matter what “men”, AKA other people, expect us to do. Now this doesn’t mean we simply cast aside a boss’s expectations in a job or ministry leadership requirements or our daily tasks within our home. But if you are fighting a calling from God because of how it may look to someone else, then I hope you will consider the words in these verses.

       I am moving forward with the knowledge that God is calling me and I’ll build my career path with tools that He will equip me with. He will also equip you my friend, with the necessary tools needed for you to follow His calling for you! I’d love to hear the ways you feel God is calling you now, drop a comment and share what your calling is. Blessings dear friends and I’ll meet ya at the table again next week.   

Feasting on Junk Food?

So, we are here in the middle of January, how’s the new years resolutions coming? Oh, you know the one about eating better and getting healthier? Well, I’ve had a bit of a revelation on this matter.

       Welcome to the table! Get comfy and let’s start with prayer…

   Father in Heaven, would You speak to us in these words and help us to see Your message within. In Jesus name, Amen.

       One of the enjoyable things about the holiday time is all the goodies we don’t normally have around the house. Fudge, candies, cookies, chocolates… In my family, we have a tradition of having “Bake Day” about a week before Christmas. Some of the ladies in our family will bring a few recipes and their ingredients and we just bake all day. We then divide up all the sweets and each take home several Christmas tins full of sugary treats. Oh my… these treats keep us in dessert heaven for the whole Christmas/ New Year’s celebration! Oh, and don’t even get me started on all the yummy hot coco flavors that come out at the holiday time.  

       As much as we enjoy these sweet treats and special times of the year, we simply couldn’t feast on these things exclusively and expect to be nourished. Our bodies need protein, grains, fruits and vegies to keep us healthy.

       I thought about this “getting healthy” resolution that inevitably comes around every January. Why do we make this commitment at the turn of the year? I suppose it’s just the mindset of a brand-new year so make a brand-new commitment. We want to feel better, look better, and have more energy for life. Well… how about our spiritual life? What do we consume to be healthy in our spiritual life?

       Do we spend the majority of our time consuming the news and all the negativity it has to offer? Do we binge watch the latest Netflix series? How about the latest podcasts that serve to stir up conflict and dissensions?

       Maybe feasting on that kind of junk food isn’t so good for our spiritual lives. It doesn’t nourish us with what we need to be spiritually healthy and strong. We need the Living Water to hydrate our souls. We need the Bread of Life to fill us up.

John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (ESV)

       The things we sometimes feast on in our daily lives don’t nourish us but can actually deplete us. But Jesus seeks to feed us with His food. Spending time with Him daily, texting a prayer or bible verse or even a thoughtful word to a friend who is hurting or checking in with a neighbor are much more nourishing things to feast on.

       Instead of flicking through Netflix, try Flipping through the pages of God’s word. Grab a great book designed to help you grow in your spiritual journey. Perhaps subscribe to an uplifting podcast that serves to inspire you.

       How about spending a little less time on social media so as to not feel beaten down from everyone’s Pinterest worthy homes and lives? That’s a trap that can really make us feel less than. It simply doesn’t feed our souls with good nourishing sustenance.

       Jesus has so much more filling, soul-sticking spiritual food for us to enjoy. It leaves us filled with peace and comfort, hope and strength, joy and happiness. It is a kind of food we couldn’t grow, can, preserve, or cook up. It is only served by the one who IS the bread of life. Feast on Him and the life-giving nourishment that He offers!

       Make it a new day’s resolution to eat healthier spiritual food!  The good news is… you can’t over eat!!!

Our Greatest Weapon

Hey all! How is everyone doing these days? Lot’s of things happening right now huh? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed about what has been going on in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, our homes, our own personal lives?

       As a blind person, it can sometimes feel like I can’t do as much as I would like to do for others. Mostly in the ability to bring a meal to someone when they are hurting, take someone on their errands who may not be able to do them alone, drive across town to visit a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on…

       However, there is one thing that I can do that my disability cannot prevent me from doing and no matter anyone’s circumstances, they can do it too! That’s praying for and with someone. Prayer is our greatest weapon. We are in a spiritual war zone and we need to arm ourselves. Prayer is that most needed weapon.

       With that said, our discussion today will be a prayer. I’ll start and please feel free to comment with your own prayer or please let me know how I can pray for you!

       Father in Heaven, we come before You Lord with hearts that may be heavy or discouraged. We bring our fears and failures to You Father. We bring our desires and needs to Your throne. We bring our praises and thankfulness to You as well oh Lord. You have seen the turmoil going on in this nation Father and we ask for peace. You’ve seen the conflict in our streets and homes and we ask You for guidance. You know the tension and stress in our own hearts Lord and we ask for resolution. Father we need You! Step into all these situations Lord and settle them in ways that only You can. Help us to show You to others by example and share our love for You with them. Lead us Lord so we may serve You better. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Okay, it’s your turn… let me know how I can pray for you as well as dropping a prayer here to encourage others with…