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Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Flyer

A Mother’s love is like sunshine on a rainy day–-it’s warm and welcome.

A Mother’s love is like medicine for the heart, it makes you smile;

A Mother’s love makes you see through rose-colored glasses;

A Mother’s love causes you to laugh out loud at the simplest of things;

A Mother’s love inspires and motivates;

A Mother’s love fills your head with happy thoughts, your heart with song, and your feet with dance and your soul with peace;

A Mother’s love is unconditional.

Remember, Mom, this Mother’s day with a book of Love Letters from God — click the Mother’s Day flyer link. 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

sky heart2

You make our hearts glad because we trust You, the only God.  Psalm 33:21

How many of us love, love? I love, love:  holding hands, that special look, a warm embrace, romantic dinners—it makes you feel good, does it not, to spend time with Someone who reciprocates and demonstrates their love to us?

Do you know God loves, love? The object of His affection is you. He continuously demonstrates His love for us. I’m sure each of us could list a myriad of ways He has demonstrated His love for you when you least expected it—from that parking space that opened up just when you needed it, to kind words and encouragement that came at the perfect time, to healings.

God has His hand on us every day. He is in the background of our lives like antivirus software, always protecting us and working on our behalf to provide a safe environment. And, every so often God sends us personalized reminders of His great love for us. Today was one of those days.

My desk faces the window so that when I sit down to write I can, from time to time, look out to see my little corner of the world.

As I glanced up at the sky, I saw a formation of a sky-blue heart outlined in white puffy clouds. It was God’s love reminder to me. God knows I like hearts, and I especially like the hearts He gives me to remind me that even when I haven’t taken time to be with Him, He still loves me and is thinking of me. How sweet and thoughtful is He?

Thank you, Lord, for the hearts you place in the sky and for heart-shaped stones and so many other ways you display Your affection and love for us. You meet us where we are and find ways to remind us how much You love us. Thank you for all the little ways every day that You show us Your love. Help us not take You for granted. Help us look for and recognize Your hearts of love.

Excerpt from 50 Shades of His Love by Linda Irene available on Amazon

A Birthday to Remember!

For my birthday, I decided to take advantage of an email special I’d received for Matthew’s Restaurant, 2107 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL

I couldn’t have made a better choice! I began my celebration with an Italian sidecare cocktail. A delicious combination of biscotti liqueur, a fennel/anise type flavor combined with something delicately citrus , served with a lemon twist–very delicious. 

My waiter , Jason, was very attentive to my needs, most often meeting them before I asked. He did little things that were over and above what a typical waiter would do. He helped me with menu choices by patiently explaining my options and answering my questions. Even though he was busy, he never made me feel rushed.

I finally decided upon the Prime Beef Tenderloin with heirloom tomato salad, feta, basil, manodori balsamic, done medium rare,  which was moist and tender. I opted for the Ginger Summer Vegetables, brushed with Coconut Oil as my side and topped the meal with their Sassafras Soufflé, fresh cherry compote, vanilla gelato dessert.

Since it was my birthday, the dessert chef wrote Happy Birthday in what appeared to be chocolate sauce on my serving dish–a very touching and pleasant surprise. 

I had the opportunity to observe and interact with Chef Art. He is amazing to watch as he preps food with the upmost of care –particular that each morsel is diced or chopped to perfection. He plates food with creativity and beautiful expression. He took the time to interact with me personally, adding to my overall enjoyable experience.

In general, the staff was friendly, polite and eager to please. It was a wonderful evening and I could not have asked for anything more. The food is of the highest quality with emphasis on presentation and flavor, although pricey, definitely worth it. The food was excellent and the company moreso.

Bon Appetit

My Secret Place At Jesus’ Feet

Jesus_Christ_Image               My Secret Place At Jesus’ Feet

By Linda Irene

 

What does it mean to rest at Jesus’ feet?

I discovered it accidentally one morning. I had been feeling vulnerable and lonely and wanted to curl up with Jesus for comfort. I didn’t know how to do that, but I got back into bed, pulled the covers up over my eyes to block the daylight, placed pillows around myself to give the feeling of someone beside me, closed my eyes, cleared my mind of all ‘should do’ stuff and drifted to a place somewhere between nearly asleep, yet awake.

In that space I felt connected, warm, and peaceful. In that place I prayed, not with my intellect, but with my spirit. It was a wonderful experience.  I don’t know how long I stayed there, but when I came away, I knew I wanted to do it again and again—to meet Jesus there, in that secret place where love and healing resides.

I realized God already knows what I want from Him. I’ve prayed about them so many times. But in this place, I get to be quiet, remove myself from my needs and wants and listen for His voice and allow Him to pray His prayers for me, through me. It took away the stress of asking and put me in a position of receiving.

I that place I understood what Jesus said to Martha when she complained that she was doing all the work while her sister sat at His feet, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42 NLT)

All the busyness of life distracts us from the one thing that matters most.

I hope you find my secret place at Jesus’ feet where the cares of life melt away and you come away renewed; filled with His love and peace.

 

Want a Miracle? Only Believe

lazarus raised from deadLazarus Experiences

 

We face Lazarus experiences all the time—you know those times when the desire of your heart seems so out of reach, so impossible that you are at the point of giving up and letting go of your dream.

 

Remember the story of Lazarus? Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that his beloved friend was sick. Jesus deliberately waited until Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days before going to them. When Mary saw Him, she said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus said, “Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?”

 

Mary and Martha thought Jesus arrived too late; but Jesus was on time to perform a miracle for their benefit and for ours.  If Lazarus had not died, how would we know that Jesus not only heals, but He does the impossible? He did something far greater than raise Lazarus from the grave. He showed us how to believe Him for the seemingly impossible things in our lives.

 

What are you hoping for? Can you believe it’s not too hard for God to accomplish? He not only can do it—He wants to do it. Do you not know, child of God, that He put that desire within you and since He put it within you, He will accomplish it if only we will believe? Then, we will see miracles and the glory of God.

 

God says, “For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].” (Mk 11:24 amp)

Nothing is impossible with God. He is on your side. He adores you. Can you believe Him for your miracle?

 

If You Want to Change the World…

Navy Admiral Wm McRavenNaval Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduates at the University of Texas, Austin 2014 with lessons he learned from his basic SEAL training.

His encouraging words could apply to all who want to make a difference:

#1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

#2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

#3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

#4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

            For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand… known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.

#5. But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.

            A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.

#6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

#7. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

#8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

#9. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

            —one person can change the world by giving people hope.

#10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. 

See full article

Do You Have Hamster Love?

hamster

 

Did you know that hamster love is Biblical?

When my children were small, we had hamsters. What we did not know until it was too late, was that we had male and female hamsters. Hamsters are nocturnal and since I tend to be a night person, I had the opportunity to observe them while everyone else slept.

What amused and fascinated me was how the males and females interacted with each other—he pursued, she allowed him to.  The process went something like this: He showed interest by sniffing her tail. She’d put her tail down, make one lap around the cage to flee and then after she got six inches past him going into the second lap, she’d stop and put her tail up to allow him to catch up and approach her. As soon as he thought he was home free, she’d take off again. The process repeated several times until she was ready, only then did consummation happen.

God designed men to pursue—it’s in their DNA—their primal nature to hunt.  Today’s women very often do the pursuing. While it strokes the male ego, it partially robs him of his identity and the satisfaction of a successful chase, and it robs her of feeling special, sought after, and desired.

While I do not advocate tail sniffing, I do think we need to get back to nature and do things the way God intended. What do you think?

Anger: friend or foe?

 

loveiscaringforeachotherevenwhenyoureangry

 

 

 

 

 

Most people express anger in one of five ways.

  1. The avoider.
  2. The passive-agressive.
  3. The exploder.
  4. The retaliator.
  5. The high-seeker.

The avoider buries anger. They insist that it takes a lot for them to get angry and that it is better not to get mad, but eventually they explode at the smallest infraction because anger builds.

Passive-aggressives don’t get mad–they get even without ever showing that they are or were angry. They may withhold whatever the other person wants, use the silent treatment or become stubborn and difficult.

The exploder blows his top, rages at everyone in sight then forgets about it and wonders why people are upset with him.

The retaliator deliberately plans when they will become anger. The use anger as a weapon to get what they want. They use it to control, manipulate, threaten and overpower others.

The high-seeker is addicted to the strong feelings that come with anger. They pick fights to get a high–it gives them a rush and a sense of power.

What is anger?

  • Anger is an emotional response to personal violations–when we don’t get what we want, or when our expectations are not met, etc.
  • Not all anger is bad.
  • We should be stirred to anger when we see injustices.
  • Unresolved anger raises blood pressure and other health issues.

God’s Way to deal with anger:

  • Don’t let the sun go down on your anger
  • Pray about your anger. Ask God for clarity as to the root cause to deal with that issue.
  • Communicate. Talk things through when everyone’s emotions have calmed down.
  • Ask God for healing of unresolved, stored anger from past wounds to experience love, joy and peace.

Never Give Up

Biblical fishing boat Remember the story about Jesus and the fishermen?   Jesus was teaching the crowds who had come to hear Him speak. Pressed in, He climbed in Simon Peter’s boat to continue teaching. When He had finished, He told Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

Simon Peter (a professional fisherman) had been out fishing all night and caught nothing.  So when Jesus said, cast out your nets, Simon Peter’s initial reaction was—it’s no use. We fished all night and caught nothing. It is the wrong time of day to catch fish now. I’ll have to dirty my nets again—for no reason…

Simon Peter was looking at circumstances—at the past, at logic and professional experience. But Jesus was saying, Look to Me, not circumstances. I know you have been striving a long time. I know you haven’t gotten what you were toiling for yet, but if you keep your eyes on Me and My word, you will. I want to bless you.

Against his better judgment Simon Peter gave up all he knew to be true to do what Jesus’ said. And soon there were so many fish, nets were beginning to tear, and two boats filled with fish, were on the verge of sinking.

What I learned from this passage (Luke 5:1-8 (NLT)):

  • God knows my struggles and wants to give more than I need
  • Listen and do what He tells me to do, even when it doesn’t seem logical
  • Don’t allow past failures to cloud my thinking and prevent future blessing
  • If God said it—He will do it!
  • God not only equips and empowers me to do what he says, a blessing is the end result.
  • Invite Jesus into my boat (life) and trust Him to take me into the deep
  • It’s my responsibility to believe, and God’s job to do the impossible
  • What God has done for one, He will do for all
  • God is limited only by my thinking
  • Do not rely on my knowledge, wisdom or strength for success, but on God’s