Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I've heard Sparrows singing and chirping the past few days, a sure sign for me that Spring will soon be here. These small birds amaze me. They don't leave our area, at least I don't know that they do. They stay busy through-out the winter, even when you don't see or hear them. And just when we humans are getting fairly fed-up with Winter, you hear them singing outside your window. It's our Father's way of letting us home bound people know that He's sending warm weather soon. That's what I hear when I hear them sing. Warmth and sun shine are coming. The cold and snow and ice won't last forever. And surely, if these birds can get through winter, and welcome the unseen Spring with song, why can't we?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We received a call late last week that our former daughter-in-law's Dad had died. He was just 61 and had dealt with cancer over two years. We went to his viewing Sunday afternoon. A call came yesterday that a cousin's husband had died. We will go to his viewing tomorrow afternoon and then the funeral on Friday. My husband's Uncle in Florida is critically ill and not expected to live longer than a week. If he's buried in Ky., then my husband will take his Mom down for the funeral. There's no way she could make it to Florida.
We never know what a day will hold do we? Thankfully we know the One who holds all our days.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Arlene & Barry

Arlene's Home-going celebration was one I'll surely remember. The room was over-flowing with people come to pay their respects ... chairs were set up in the halls so everyone could sit and still some were standing. Songs of praise and worship, words of encouragement and hope were spoken. A final letter from her sister was read, telling of her love for Arlene and the fact that it was Arlene's persistence in witnessing to her that helped lead her to Christ. Friends from all walks of life were there. Some have known Arlene & Barry since they were teen-agers.

As one minister said "I can't just say Arlene or Barry, it's always Arlene AND Barry." That's how I've known them too. Most of us have known them that way. Theirs was a very special relationship, one you don't see very often, even in Christian marriages. And as another minister said to Barry, "now you'll learn the comfort that the Holy Spirit can give as no one else can."

May God give comfort to this family. May He walk with each one and give just what they need in the days and weeks ahead. May He remind them that their beloved Arlene is safe and waiting for them. Yesterday they laid her body to rest for a while, but one day, it too will be made new.

What glorious hope we have ... the grave holds no power over those who sleep in Christ. We will live forever with the One who made us His own.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Life goes on ...

This comes from Jeanette, one of my new friends, and she left it in the comments section of yesterday's post:

"Life does go on, but sometimes it goes on differently because of those who reflect Jesus so clearly that our lives are changed forever. Arlene must have been like that."

Who or what is being reflected in your life? And in mine?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life goes on

Life goes on ... I realize that more & more the older I get. Life does go on. Our friend Arlene went to heaven yesterday and those who are still here remember the pain that came with the news of her passing. But we keep on breathing and going and doing just as we did while she was with us. There's some numbness when I think of her leaving, there always is when a loved one dies. But it will pass. It has before and it will again.

I first learned this lesson when my sister died in 1957. I was 10 years old and Janice was 4. Just a baby really. Why her and not me? I wondered back then. Life went on. I lived and grew up and she didn't. My parents buried a 4 year old, blond-haired little girl and they had to go on because they had other children to raise. I can't imagine the pain they endured. I can't.

I learned it again when my Grandmother died. She lived to be an old woman, she died, and life went on.

The hardest was when I knew my Dad was dying. I found myself wondering how I would get through it when it came his time to leave this earth. God prepared me months ahead of that time and I am so thankful He did. I cried more before his death than I did afterward. I was grieving while he was still with us. But it was all in preparation for later. The Lord allowed me to know I would be with him when he passed and I considered that a great honor. He was there when I was born and when Dad died at age 79, I was with him as he left. And life went on.

If the Lord wills, my husband and I will pick up my Mom tomorrow afternoon and go to pay our respects to Arlene and her family. We will give hugs and handshakes to people we've known for years. We will talk of Arlene's life and ministry and will be thankful because we know where she's gone. And if the Lord wills, we'll come home and do what needs to be done here. And life will go on .... until it's our time to die.

And then, praise the Lord above, LIFE will still go on! You see, it never, ever really ends. We were born with the seed of eternal life within us. Where we spend it is the most important decision we'll ever make.

If you're reading this and you've never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord; if you've never realized you need a Savior and haven't repented of your sins, would you do that now? There are only two places we can go when we leave here ... heaven or hell. We know the choice Arlene made years ago and she's rejoicing in heaven as I write this.

Heaven and hell are real. The choice is ours to make because life does go on.

Isaiah 55:6
Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


In my written journal entry of Jan. 2, 2008, I wrote this:

"Arlene's home-going is to be celebrated - she finished the course that was set for her - don't mourn as those who have no hope."

As followers of Christ, we have hope ... hope that is founded in the cross of Christ ... He died that we might live for eternity with Him. We have hope that we will see Arlene again and she will be free from cancer and chemotherapy and pain. She will be the Arlene God knew she would be as He hung on that Cross all those years ago. We have hope that nothing will separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
Remember the Wednesdays when so many prayed for Arlene? It is not coincidence that she went Home on this day ... Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008.
We love you Arlene! We will miss you here, but we have Hope that we're going to see you again!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

But God Is Faithful

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

God knows our lives. He is very conscious of our weaknesses and our strengths, and He has promised not to allow trials to come to us that are not common to everyone, but will "in" the trial be our sufficiency, strength, and comfort to carry us through. I'm sure you have often wondered, "Lord, why has this come upon me?"

The other day we had our piano tuned, and I was fascinated watching the piano tuner. The first thing he did was to activate his tuning fork, which was the "true standard pitch" by which all of the notes were to be measured. He struck the first note, then again, and again, until the piano was adjusted to correspond exactly to the pitch of the tuning fork. I thought he would never stop hitting those notes! He went through the entire keyboard, making every note correspond in its true pitch. I thought, Lord, the trials that you allow us to go through are like that piano. You are trying to align our lives with your will, plan, and purpose, but so many notes are out of tune. The Lord has to keep "banging away" at our lives to bring them to the "true standard" of His will.

Trials are also needed to "stretch" our faith, to drive our stakes of faith deep with confident trust in Christ, and to challenge us to walk in unwavering obedience. You might say, "I really don't need those trials. I can trust the Lord without them." The truth is, when our way is always smooth, we begin to rely upon "our resources" and finally think, "I can handle this; I'm doing pretty well on my own, and I really don't need the Lord." Paul tells us, "For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son he receives" (Hebrews 12:6). Therefore, our adversities and trials come with plan and purpose. Notice carefully that it is "in" the trial that God makes a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).

"Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was" (Exodus 20:21). It is "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). It was "in" the many adversities and trials that Paul suffered and endured, that he learned to be content. It was "in" his weakness that he was made strong; it was when there was "no way out" and God said to him, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9). What wonderful words of assurance and comfort He gives us in this verse: But GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will IN the trial make a way of escape.

We grow in faith and maturity when we go through the trial with Christ, rather than being delivered from the trial by Christ. In His time, in His way, He perfects His will, and will be our sufficiency! God is never too late nor does He ever come with too little. There are no circumstances that are beyond God's power and there is nothing too trivial for His love. DARE TO BELIEVE GOD "IN" THE TRIAL. HE IS FAITHFUL TO HIS OWN! "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Romans 12:2

Conformed or Transformed?

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2

Paul has presented in the first 11 chapters of Romans the deplorable condition of man, who is lost, without hope, without God, and the victim of his own sinful choices. God made provision for his sin through Christ, and reconciliation with God through His grace. In Chapter 12, he says, because of all that Christ has done for you, and in you, the most reasonable thing you can do is to "present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God." But how can we do this? Paul makes it very clear.

"Be not conformed to this world." What does he mean by that? Simply, don't be conformed to its systems, squeezed into its mold, and fashioned after or confined to its pattern or superficial customs. Don't be engulfed with the evaluations and priorities that the world places on "things." Many things put us in bondage when Satan infiltrates our lives, deceives our thinking, and controls our attitudes. We become victims of worldly schemes that are under his control. This world has as its main goals fortune, fame, power, and pleasure. The problem with these goals is that "man makes them the consuming objects of his life." His life comes under their control and is corrupted by their influence. The goals that he is pursuing cannot satisfy the deep longing of his soul, or glorify God, when He is not the foremost priority. "There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

Paul says, "But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Now, how can we be transformed? How can we have a renewed mind? Certainly not by anything "we" can do. We cannot achieve nor generate a radical change from one nature and life to another. This is solely the work of the Holy Spirit. It is for us to respond to the Spirit's probing and awakening us to the surrender of our will to His lordship. Then, as we yield our lives to His control, respond to His leading, and live day by day in submission to His will, He begins the process of "conforming us to the image of His Son" (Romans 6:29).

The "renewing" of our minds and the "transforming" of our lives are elements in "becoming" like Christ. And what is the purpose for such a life? It is to be conformed to His image. He has saved us "that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." And how can we do this? By letting CHRIST RULE ON THE THRONE OF OUR LIFE! He wants to live His Life through us. Paul said, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). What was the mind of Christ? It was complete submission to the will of the Father. It is when our entire thinking process takes on a new perspective. We no longer think within the boundaries of pleasing ourselves, but we are wholly desirous of pleasing the Lord. When He is the Sovereign of our lives, He will renew our minds, transform our lives, and control the process of conforming our lives to the image of His Son so "that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission

Friday, February 15, 2008


I've been working on Perri's scrap-book this week. I just love this child and love looking back over the 8 years she's been such an important part of our lives. This photo is of her and her big sister Syd while they were camping. Perri is about 3 yrs old and Syd almost 6 in this picture.

My goal is to do at least one scrap-book per grand-daughter. I'm only a little over 6 years behind so the books should be finished by the time they get married. Then I'll have to start all over again.

I love all my grand-girls and each one holds a special place in our hearts and in our lives. They are all unique, with God-given gifts and traits and personalities. No one could have told me how special grand-children would be and have me believe it before they came. I couldn't see myself as a Gramma before the first was born; and I can't see life without them in it now that they're here. The world without Jackie? Stef? Syd? Perri? Erica? Unimaginable.

I wonder if that's how it is for our Father in heaven when He thinks of us?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

A Happy, Blessed Valentine's Day to all.
Thank you Deena for sharing the artwork.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Complaining, cont.

I'm at it again this evening. I'm not sure I've ever faced this issue quite as seriously in my Christian life. I don't think that's a good thing, but thankfully God hasn't given up on me. I'm learning the value of being obedient to our Father in this area of not being a complainer. I'm learning that the words I speak come from who I really am inside. I'm learning that I can put on a good face when I walk into church, or meet a friend. I can say all the right words without even thinking about them much. It seems we can train ourselves to do that, especially after we're saved.

I have handled major things in my life fairly well I think. I don't go on a rant or lose my religion over the biggies. It's the every-day stuff that strives to undo me. It's the so-called small stuff and according to some books out there, we're not supposed to sweat the small stuff. Leave that be and deal with the larger issues. Not so.

Left unattended, the small things will eventually spoil the whole. Thus I must make every effort to allow the precious Holy Spirit to rule and reign in my life. I must think twice before speaking hurriedly or rashly. I must make a conscious effort not to complain or use words that will hurt someone and damage my testimony as a child of God. I must ever strive not to grieve the Holy Spirit. God, please forgive me for the times I have! I must care more about God's opinion of me than I do of man's. How often we try to fit in and do harm to our witness and our walk with the Father by doing do.

I read this tonight: "Often the hostility in our hearts reveals itself through our words and actions. The word "tongue" is mentioned ninety-three times in the Bible, often referring to its destructive power."

Luke 6:45 says "Good people do the good that is in them. But evil people do the evil that is in them. The things people say come from inside them." - God's Word Translation

In all this I see the work of my Father in me. If I am truly His child, He will not leave me to my own devices for very long. As His child, He will chastise and bring me into line with His character. As hard as I think this may be, I ask Him to please finish what He's started. I want to be pleasing in His sight. I want to be considered worthy to be called "Child of God". I want to be real and really His. I want to be filled with His precious Spirit. I want to cultivate a clean heart and pure speech. I want Him to be seen in me in all I do, all I think, all I say. I want to decrease that He might increase. I want to die to self, help me Father do this, die to self and what I want. Let me want what You have for me, nothing more and nothing less. I want to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant" when I meet Him face to face.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

To Complain or Not?

If ever there was reason to complain, I'd like to think I had one this morning. But I was quickly reminded of what I had written yesterday and of what the precious Holy Spirit brought to my mind earlier last week ... Don't Complain! I was tempted to give in and do it anyway, thinking "After the morning I've had, why not tell someone about it? After all, I have that right." But then I thought "To what end?" Would my words of complaint glorify God? Would they edify the one I was lashing out to? No. A thousand times No. And I don't have the 'right' to groan and moan and complain either.

As Christians we sometimes think we are 'owed' something ... recognition, honor, thanks, whatever it might be. Truth be told we are the debtors and aren't owed a thing. While these things may be good and right at the proper time, we aren't to expect them if we're serving for one purpose only ... the glory of God. What we do should reflect Him and what He's done in our lives. We are but servants of the Most High God and we didn't put ourselves there, He did. We have the honor of being called His friend and not because of something spectacular that we've done ... again, because of Him. While we were dead in trespasses and sin, He loved us. He brought us from death to life and all we are, all we have, is due to His mercy and grace to undeserving sinners.

So, rather than tell anyone but God about my morning (He knew before I got up this morning what it would be like), I will pray and trust Him to work all things out for my good and His glory. I am so thankful we serve a loving God who doesn't leave us to our failings and shortcomings. I am so thankful He will get me safely Home and will teach me valuable lessons along the way.

"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Don't Complain." Just the other night, those words came to me as clear as anything I've ever audibly heard. "Don't Complain". They have stayed with me and I'm doing my best to heed them. I've also done some contemplating about what they mean. I do that when I really want my way in things: I'll contemplate, or, in other other words, try to find a way out of it.

Do they mean never, ever complain again?
Do they mean never complain about anything?

I sort of think they mean just what they say "Don't Complain". It's been interesting as I attempt to put that into practice. So for the past couple of days I haven't complained about: Weather, Housework, Hair, Aging, People, Husband, Children, Family members, Church, The price of gas, Who's running for president, Mayors, Taxes, Aging, Neighbors, The price of groceries, and on and on and on.

It seems such a waste of the breath God gives me to use it in complaining about something or someone. If I don't like what's going on, pray. Use this precious breath I've been given to pray, not complain.

It has taken many years to reach this place ... by the grace of God, may I stay here for whatever time I have left. And it will most likely be a challenge, because it's way easier to grouse and complain than it is to be quiet or pray. Why is that? Because we so easily give in to what the flesh wants rather than fight the good fight of faith and do things God's way. Maybe there's hope for me yet. Hey! I know there's hope for me! God promises to get me all the way Home and I want to get there without any more complaining!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I've been scanning old family photos this afternoon. Going through my mother-in-law's pictures and copying them to a disk. It's good to look back and remember where we've come from.

This photo is of my husband's Maternal Grandparents and 11 of their 13 children.
My Mother-in-law is the lady standing on the right. Her Father, Bud, was married twice before he married third wife Darkie and all total, he fathered 23 children.
There are only 6 siblings alive today.

This is Grandma Darkie hanging out clothes to dry. Anybody remember days like this? I sure do, we did it when I was growing up as my family didn't have a clothes dryer 'till I was in my early teens.

This is my Father-in-law holding my brother-in-law, JR. My Fred is sitting next to them.
Fred had one sister who died when she was just 18 months old. His Mom was pregnant with him when her baby girl passed away and she's never really gotten over her death. I guess you don't when you've lost a child at such a young age. At any age for that matter.

This is my Fred when he was a little guy. Hard to believe any of us were ever little.

My in-laws right after they got married. Photo taken in Floyd Co., Ky

There are way more pictures to scan than I remembered, so it looks like this project will take a while. Once I finish this one, I'll do my family. That should be fun as my Dad was the youngest of 9; my Mom the oldest of 5 and I'm the oldest of 8. Have mercy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Growing in Grace...

Grow in Grace

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18

One of the pitfalls Satan uses in the lives of many Christians, and especially new Christians, is to get them involved with spiritual activity in the ministry of the church. Now, many of these ministries are essential, and we should be active in them, but they are not to take precedence over our need for growing in grace. The problem comes when what we do is more important than what we are. The focus is on outward activity at the expense of inward spiritual growth. This results in having an abundance of Christians not grounded in the truth. They accept concepts of truth without question, and follow without knowing why. They are satisfied with the status quo, no hunger for the Word, a shallow prayer life, and no roots of faith to hold them true and steadfast when adversity comes.

Peter challenges all Christians to grow in grace. You may say, "I go to church, tithe, am active in missions, and I'm even a Sunday school teacher. Am I not growing in grace?" My answer is, only if your relationship with the Lord is maturing, your prayer life is meaningful and consistent, you have a growing hunger to study the Scriptures and gain a greater knowledge of the Word, and you have compassion to reach out to others with your witness. When you yield unto Christ the will to control your life, then you begin to grow in grace. Our spiritual journey is one of becoming like Him. We never reach a point in our spiritual growth where we can say, "We have arrived." Our spiritual journey is a continual growing in faith and spiritual maturity.

Gary Collins, in his book "The Soul Search," gives a wonderful spiritual exercise he goes through during his morning jog. His desire is to focus on who God is, the greatness of God, the nature of God, the characteristics of God, what God is like, the attributes of God, and much more. In his mind, he goes through the alphabet (except Q and Z). For each letter, he tries to thank God for WHO HE IS and WHAT HE IS LIKE. In this way, he expands his vision of the greatness of God. Why don't you take a pen and paper and make your own list, then get your concordance and begin a Bible study by looking up as many verses as you can on each thing you list. Your heart will "well up" in praise, adoration, and worship as you begin to realize the magnitude of WHO GOD IS! It will be exciting. You will begin to see what it means to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is no shortcut to maturing in the faith, to developing an intimate relationship with the Lord that will radically change your life. The study of His Word is inexhaustible. You will never spend time that will be more rewarding or will enrich your life more! Jesus said, "Draw nigh unto me, and I will draw nigh unto you." Through communion with Him in prayer, searching the Scriptures, walking in obedience, appropriating by faith His promises, and applying the truth and principles of the Scriptures to your everyday life, your spiritual journey will take on new life. You will begin the exciting adventure of "growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Man struggles daily trying to adjust his priorities to enjoy life to the fullest and to take advantage of all that life has to offer. He expends his time and exhausts his energy pursuing goals that constantly elude him, that are beyond his reach, that are unrealistic. Or he simply becomes inundated with the frustration of it all. Our priorities have roots in our values. Our values play a significant role that determines the focus of our spiritual journey.

As never before, we are overwhelmed with advertising for products we do not need but "cannot possibly live without." Things and possessions rule our lives, consume our time, and rob us of the quality of life we let slip by. Our thinking is cluttered with having more of what we don't need. Our decisions are influenced by secular values focused on satisfying a selfish lifestyle, ever drawing us away from God. We become the victim of the world's system of materialism and greed and wind up living within the bondage of our own making. You say, "I'm not like that. I have my priorities and try to focus on them with much effort." Let me tell you about an experience I had not long ago.

Flying from California to New York, I was seated beside a well-to-do farmer who was anxious to let everyone know how successful he was and the vast amount of land he farmed. We were fairly high off the ground when he turned to me and said, "We are now flying over the 10,000 acres I own and farm." Then he said something very profound that surprised even him: "It doesn't look so big when you see it from here." His perspective on life was from ground level. God wants us to view life from HIS PERSPECTIVE.

All of these things are but "fuel for the fire" in God's sight. The proper perspective, when founded on the proper relationship with God, gives life its proper meaning, its proper fulfillment, its proper purpose, and its proper value. We covet what we don't need and probably won't use, trying to satisfy needs that those things cannot meet. Our deepest need, craved by our heart and soul, is a personal relationship with God that will set us free from sin and the bondage of things that bind us. This is found only in Jesus Christ when He is our Savior and the Lord of our life. How few consider the sobering fact that life is short at best. Life is uncertain, we have no promise of tomorrow, and we are only a breath away from eternity.

With renewed purpose of heart, we should live each day to the maximum for His glory. We should buy up every opportunity He places in our path, seek to encourage and strengthen others, and be a blessing to everyone we meet. We should align our lives with the current of God's love and live each day with eternity's values in view. We have but one opportunity to make our life count for eternity. Don't abuse that gift with the encumbering fallacies of this world. Make God the priority of your life so that "out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission