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Friday, September 22, 2017

Sweet Friends

Lori's  birthday is tomorrow, so Ilene and I treated her to dinner at Olive Garden this afternoon.

We had a busy day. After a late breakfast we went out in search of some yard sales, and we were able to find a few. One in particular was a good find for clothes for Ilene and me. $1 per piece! Better than mega Thrift!

We were out til after 2. Then we decided it was time to go to eat an early dinner since we had not eaten lunch.

Thank You, Lord for the blessing of sweet friends!

After we ate, we went Thrift shopping and then came back to Ilene's where we have enjoyed sitting on the deck talking. It will probably be an early night because it was a late one last night.

It is wonderful to have earthly friends, but there is no friend who could compare to our Friend who sticks closer than a brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't know how the world deals with life's storms without Him!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Answered Prayer

Is it just me, or do you hate dealing with government things, too?  I think it is the RED-TAPE that gives me the negative feelings.....among other things that I won't take the time to address here and make your blood boil!  :D

I had an appointment with the Social Security office today to take care of the "Widow's Lump Sum Benefit" of $255 and whatever death benefit there might be.  First of all, I asked the very sweet young woman who helped me about that ridiculous lump sum amount.  She did not know, but figured that must have been how much it used to cost to bury someone back in the day!  Well, my curiosity got the best of me, so I did a Google search and you can read about it here:  "The history of the Lump Sum Death Benefit."

I asked my Facebook family, friends and associates to pray about my meeting.  When I spoke originally with the gal who set up my appointment, she seemed to think I would have to take my SS payout since it is higher than Tim's amount.  I did NOT want to do that because mine will be considerably higher than it is now by the time I become of full retirement age at 66 + 2 months.  I had decided that IF I was going to be forced to take my amount rather than Tim's amount that I would not take either.  Since I will be living with my girls, I can probably get by with just the life insurance amount.

Well, for future reference to those of you who may come upon this same scenario in the future, just know that the gal I spoke with originally was incorrect.  I will receive Tim's payout and I can continue receiving it until I decide I want to change over to my payout, with age 70 being the latest time to switch over.  AND, not only that, with Tim's birthday being on the 18th of the month, I will receive the payout the 3rd Wednesday of the month, beginning.........wait for it........THIS Wednesday!  I was told it may be a few days late in being deposited to my bank account since we are up against the date, but she seemed to think I would have it by the end of the week at the latest!  Thank You, LORD!  You knew all of this before I ever started worrying about it!

Why do we do that?  Worry about things that we have no control over, anyway?  I told Gennifer (no, that is not misspelled) that I was so worried and I thanked her for the immediate calming effect she had upon me and thanked her for being so pleasant to work with in this sad process.  She immediately gave me her condolences when I sat down.  Looking back, I was so relieved about the outcome that I didn't even ask her if she was a Christian.  If I had to guess, just judging by her demeanor and pleasantness throughout the meeting, I would say she is.  I pray so.  I believe the Lord was in control of Gennifer being my calm in the storm!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for me in this journey of life!  It's not over until He says it's over!  Thank You, LORD, for your blessings on me!

Will Your Anchor Hold

1    Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

2    It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy the blast, through strength divine.

3    It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

4    It will surely hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the veil.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Left Unfinished

I am bad about starting something and not finishing it.  If the project turns out to be too long in finishing, I tire of it and usually leave it unfinished.  If a project is turning out to not be what I expected it to be I usually leave it unfinished.  Most times what happens is that I begin a project and before getting it finished some other project captures my attention and the first project goes unfinished.  I think if you asked most crafty people, they would tell you the same thing.....that they have TONS of unfinished projects or TONS of projects "in the works!"

But, not so with my sweet husband!  He was not crafty, so he didn't have my problem.  (He used to stand in the door of my craft room and begin gazing around the room s-l-o-w-l-y from where he stood in the door around and back to the other side of the door and then would say to me, "I think my eyes are bleeding!")  If you've seen pictures of my craft room, you totally know what he means.....unless you are crafty, that is!  :)

Tim was a brainiac (the red squiggly line under that word tells me it isn't actually a word, but it should be!).  He ALWAYS, always had a book and pen or highlighter in his hand.  He read books for Bible sermons or lessons that he was preparing for, whether it was current or future lessons.  He underlined or highlighted the things that spoke to him and would then transfer those underlined words to his lesson plans or database.  And eventually they would end up in his sermons or lessons.  (Have I mentioned that he was TOTALLY organized, too?!)  My craft room.....not so much!

Today, I found a book on his computer desk down in the man room.  It was opened to a page that he had obviously spilled a drink on (that happened quite frequently towards the end as his motor control became less and less).  I picked up the book and scanned its pages.  Yes, there was the evidence of his underlining sections of the book to later be recorded in his database.  But, the book was only partially read.  The spilled drink was on pages 54 and 55.  There are 146 pages and then a Study Guide begins and runs through page 202.  This book is obviously a project left unfinished.

The difference between Tim's unfinished project and my unfinished projects is that my unfinished projects were choices I made.  Tim's project was unfinished not because of his choice, but because his health failed to allow him to finish it.  Otherwise, I can guarantee you that it would have been finished!  This is the project that was left unfinished:

After I read the title, I found the book is not at all what I imagined it to be.  I assumed one of the ten struggles of the book would be health related issues.  Well, that may be included in it, but here is what the back of the book states:

"Can the Ten Commandments help you finally break through?  Do you struggle with busyness?  With a temper?  With dishonesty or discontentment?  Whatever it is, find help where it may surprise you:  the Ten Commandments."

"In The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life, Pastor Colin Smith opens up the Ten Commandments to show how there is more to them than meets the eye.  Moving from do's and don'ts to matters of the heart, they become barometers of your love for God.  You'll discover areas of your life that are out of sync with His will, and you'll receive wisdom for living with greater love, strength, and freedom in Christ."

At the beginning of each chapter, one of the Ten Commandments is quoted and then a question is asked.  For example, for the first chapter on the first commandment, this is the quote and question:
"You shall have no other gods before me."  Exodus 20:3  Then the question - Do I love God unconditionally?"  Here is one of the things Tim underlined:

"You will never be ready to embrace God fully until you are convinced that He is good.  You may submit to raw power, but you will never love raw power.  That's why it is so significant that God invites you into a relationship of love."

Another portion underlined:
"The same God who spoke the Ten Commandments to Moses speaks to us in Jesus Christ, who has come down to bring us a greater deliverance than God's rescue of His people from their Egyptian holocaust.  Christ came into the world to set you free from your slavery of sin, death, and hell.  Imagine the risen Lord Jesus Christ holding out His nail-pierced hands and saying, "I am the Lord your God.  I gave Myself to deliver you.  Don't put any other gods before Me."  How could you resist such an appeal?"

The last marked portion in this first chapter:
"When Jesus said, "Follow Me," His disciples did not know where He would lead them, and you can't know that either.  Making Christ Lord of your life could get ou into some tough situations.  The nine commandments that follow describe the life God is calling you to lead.  Every one of them will be a struggle.  But God is calling you to take a step of commitment based on trust, because you know that He is God and that He is good.  Are you ready to embrace the Lord as your God unconditionally?"

I'm pretty sure that Tim was headed in the direction of teaching lessons on the Ten Commandments, but we will never know because this project, this book, was left unfinished.  I think I will take up the mantle and read the book and see what I can glean from it to share with you.

In other news, today I left our church after Sunday School to drive to Rockwell, NC to witness the baptism of our granddaughter, Hannah.  One of the first things Tim asked when he came out of the recovery room after his brain surgery on May 8th was whether or not Hannah had been saved yet.  So, since I'm not totally sure that he is able to see what is going on here on earth, I wanted to witness it for his sake.  He loved his grandchildren and prayed for their salvation!  The four oldest ones have made professions of faith, so almost half!  Thank You, LORD, for Your tender mercies and for Your grace You have seen fit to extend to our grandchildren!  I pray you will continue to do so!  I know it will be a grand reunion for Tim if ALL of his grandchildren come to heaven!

The pastor is in the white shirt.  The youth pastor is in the blue shirt.  Five young people were baptized today, Hannah being the first one.  The pastor would ask each candidate, "Hannah, have you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?"  "Yes, sir!"  "Hannah, do you want to follow the Lord in scriptural baptism?"  "Yes, sir!"  "Upon the profession of your faith, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit."  At this point, the youth pastor would begin to baptize the candidate while the pastor continued to speak, "Buried unto the death of sin, risen to walk in newness of life!"

Trust and Obey

1. When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey. 

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. 

2. Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]

3. But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]

4. Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Widow's Retreat

I've been added to a "club" I hadn't intended to join. But the Lord in His providence had signed me up to be a widow before the foundation of the world. And since He knows what is best for me I will accept His plan for my life. I can't say that I'm happy to be in this club yet, but I know that the best place to be is in God's plan for my life.

I got back today from a retreat for widows. It is sponsored by our sister church in Statesville, Damascus Baptist. People from as far as California come to help pamper the widows for the week. It is an amazing ministry. The ladies build such a great friendship, one that is eternal.

The schedule for each day looked something like this :
8:00 breakfast followed by devotions. Then we met for a time of sharing, or a message. Then we had some free time until lunch.
12:00-12:30 lunch began. The afternoons were free.
6:00 supper was served followed by devotions.

The food was delicious, too! I didn't take any pictures but I should have. I will post some of the pictures I took this week in another post.

During one of the sharing times, we told our love stories. I will share it with you in another post. It was a teary time.

New friends were made, sweet fellowship was had, hugs were shared and everyone is looking forward to next year.

Thanks You, Lord, for the blessings of the week! Thank You for the ones who sacrificed their time to be a blessing to us.

Monday, September 11, 2017

In Times Like These

I went to check out some apartments today that base your rental on your income.  There is a waiting list and she took my name and will call me when something becomes available.  I saw a couple of pictures that looked pretty nice.  If it is the Lord's will that I move there, He will open the door.  If not, He will open a different door.

I stopped at Walmart for some things on the way back to the house.  Then after I got home and checked the mail, I had received the insurance check.  It is not available til the 20th of the month after I deposited it.

I also got a couple of love gifts; one from my church (they continue to do for me above and beyond what they need to do and I am so grateful!) and from a church in Cincinnati.  So, I went back to Walmart to make the deposit and get it into a safe place.

The weather was dreary and sprinkly all day.  I didn't feel like doing a thing!  So, basically, I didn't do much.  I took some things out of the chest of drawers here in the craft room and put them into my last box I have until Joy brings me some more.

We had the Mallard Ridge services tonight.  Everyone missed Tim being there.  Joy sang a beautiful song:

In Times Like These Lyrics (no matter what you are going through)

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these, O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Here's to your health!  This not-so-green smoothie was pretty good!

Here's the recipe if you are interested:
Strawberry Spinach Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yougurt
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana, broken into chunks
1/2 T honey
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (My yogurt had vanilla in it, so I didn't add this ingredient)
1/2 cup of ice (did not use)

Place all of the ingredients in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Serve in two glasses immediately.

I didn't sleep well, so I'm going to bed.   Nite!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Fount of Blessing

I really missed being with my church family while I was gone last week!  Such sweet fellowship with them and around God's Word, too, today!  Spent the afternoon with one of the other widow ladies.  Then after church was invited out to McDonald's with some of the other members.

Sharon told me about a man she knows who said he really liked the church sign that was up last week, "God is a great friend, but he is the worst enemy."  She said, "my pastor's wife takes care of those signs."  She said, "I'm sorry, but you will always be my pastor's wife to me."  That made me tear up!

Bobby preached from Psalm 78 tonight and two verses really spoke to me (well, lots of them did, but these especially):  V.38, 39 "But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not:  yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.  For He remembered that they were but flesh....."  Is that not amazing!  Just like the children of Israel, God forgave my iniquity instead of destroying me.  And not just once, but MANY times He turns His anger away instead of destroying me!  All because of His compassion and he knows I'm just flesh!  I will never understand why He chose me to be one of His children!  But I am so glad and thankful that He did!

".....who hath blessed (me) with all spiritual blessings..." Ephesians 1:3

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount - I'm fixed upon it - Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.

Thank You, Father, for each and every blessing that, on a daily basis, I take for granted!

Here's the boxes I have packed from my craft room so far!  I absolutely CANNOT believe how much stuff I had packed into that room!  I'm still not done!  OY VEY!

Yes, 17 boxes so far of craft "stuff!"
Time to read for a bit and then go to bed.  More errands to run before heading off on a Widow's retreat in the mountains of Boone, NC.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Happy Birthday, Elisabeth!

A Godly Woman

A woman of beauty
A woman of grace
A woman of excellence
Beholding god's face
She walks with the lord
With integrity
Knowing her purpose
And destiny
No matter what happens
She walks in god's love
Reflecting the beauty
Of her Father above

M.S. Lowndes

It is such a pleasure, and always has been, to be your mother!  So thankful for God's workings in your life as you allow Him to make you the godly woman He wants you to be!

A precious little girl with a birthday dolly as big as she is at 2 years in 1985

A spunky part of our family in 1987

Personally, I like the bangs!  :P

Still maturing into a young woman

Now God has given you a beautiful family!

And the sign that fits perfectly on your birthday!

I love you, Elisabeth Rose Day Palmer!