Brain Debates and Delusions – Food for Thought

Man considering himself is the great prodigy of nature. For he cannot conceive what his body is, even less what hisspirit is, and least of all how body can be united with spirit. That is the peak of his difficulty and yet is his very being. – Blaise Pascal

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The brain has been deliberated for hundreds of years. The physician Alkmeon of Kroton proposed that sensory information such as sight and sound were more earthly and occupied distinct brain areas.  Thoughts, however were spiritual in his book, so he decided they were part of the soul, and therefore, unable to locate in the physical body.

Plato said that the brain was supreme among the organs of the body, but thought that the lower, rounded part of the brain (medulla) was where God planted and enclosed the soul.

Aristotle thought the heart was the place to find the human soul and the brain was merely a type of radiator or “kettle” that either warmed or cooled the blood.

Today brain research is unravelling the mysteries of the brain.  Just thirty years ago we were able to first ‘see’ the way nerve cells communicated with each other. This is very fascinating to brain geeks, like me! In fact, I have a video tape of one of the very first brain cells captured electronically – yes on VHS. And thank you, Tony Buzan, for sharing it with me!].

I have tossed about food for your brain to ponder.  I challenge you to consider what you think and what you know about your brain and your soul.  Now, I challenge you to dig deeper.  Always seek the Word of God, in conjunction, with trusted research.  Anything that outright contradicts the Bible is false.  Trust me, the more you search scripture the more you will see the great depths of wisdom revealed about the science of our brains.  A few starting points for you: the work of Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf and the book used for this post: Blame It on the Brain? by Edward T. Welch.

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Wood, Stone, and Fire: Beauty, Brawn, and Blazes – Reflections of Worship

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” Exodus 25:8-9

As we study Exodus chapter 25 through 30, we see that God is the Master Planner. In this case, God gives Israel the exact specifications to build the Temple where He will “dwell” among his people  The incredible part of this documentation is that it took place 2000 years prior to the birth of Jesus and each element and requirement laid forth by God, points perfectly to His ultimate sacrifice.  Whether you believe, or not, that Jesus truly lived and died for you – will you read Exodus 25-30 along with 1 Chronicles 21:24; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 8:2; Matthew 1:23; John 1:14; Ephesians 2:19-22.  This reading could change your life. Forever.

The Tabernacle prepared for God’s presence. He provided the stone, the fire, the wood, and the precious gems to make this Tabernacle beautiful and worthy of His presence among his people.

Fireplace 2014

I am so thankful today for the joy I have gazing at the beauty of God’s creation.

I have an unusual love for stones [BEAUTY]. I delight in the colors, shapes, and original designs of nearly every stone I spy. It is a common sight to see me stopping on a walk to bend down and collect yet another rock from the dirt path.

God is the Master Planner and the Master Provider of all the materials and the skilled craftsman of the original Temple.  As I consider this,  I am especially grateful at the place I find myself worshipping God in my home. Here at the foot of my beautifully crafted split stone wall; the work [BRAWN] of my skilled and artistic brother-in-law; and near the warm wood fire, installed by the hardworking hands of my husband, who also laid the slate hearth and chops the wood for us. This place combines many things that are precious to me.  It is a reminder of God’s Master Design in Creation (stone, wood, fire) and God’s provision of family, love, and the warmth of fire [BLAZES].  As we seek Him and worship Him we know that He will show us the perfect plan for our day and give us wisdom (Daniel 2:21, James 1:5) for decisions that affect our future.

And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 16:14 NIV [BEAUTY]

The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Psalm 28:8 KJV [BRAWN]

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 NLT [BLAZES]

Jot and Tittle, Journal and Jar

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:14 NIV

“This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’ ” Exodus 16:32 NIV

Recently I was recommissioned to begin writing my book again. As I sat down to begin, my mind was blank.  I have many ideas, in fact, I have two books started. The trouble is I want to be certain that I am writing on the right topic.  So I went to my knees and asked the Lord for insight and began typing. I wrote out my first sense (or calling) that I was to write a book. I wrote down all of my feelings of opposition and how God walked me through those with various promises, His presence, and major provisions. It was such an encouragement to me.  Of course, I knew these things had happened, but to see them all together in order as a reminder was a huge encouragement to my faith and a bolt to my initiative to keep writing!

I have a radiant friend who has been faithful to record every jot and tittle of her call to adopt two precious preemies over two years ago.  This journey has been filled with significant challenges and rewards.  She confesses that the ups and the downs are all worth it and God has given her a supernatural love for these two new family members.  They are now legally a part of her family, but they have been a forever part of her heart from the moment she laid eyes on them. Because she was faithful to detail this incredible journey – this Sunday she will stand before her church community and confidently recall God’s faithfulness.  This will prove to be an amazing encouragement to people whose faith is waning or to those who wonder if God still speaks today.  It will be a charge to others who may be sensing the calling to adopt or foster children.  My friend’s journal will be a faith builder and a call to action.  Had she neglected to record all of the little things, the big things may not have had such a powerful impact as they do with the full record.

Journals

Benefits of journaling the journey:

Clarifying direction

Testimony to God’s faithfulness

Ability to look back and see lessons learned and successes

Record for future generations

When the Lord told Moses to “Write on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it” It was to encourage this faithful Army Commander for future battles.  It was a testimony to God’s faithfulness.  It strengthened Joshua’s faith in God and helped him to trust that these enemies were in God’s capable hands.  It was a reminder that God was with Him and his army and rendered not only this victory, but the victories to come.

The Lord also knew that the Israelites seemed to have trouble with memory, so he had it ordered that an omer of manna would be preserved for the generations to come as proof that God was able to sustain about 2 million people in the desert by the miraculous provision of food for forty years!  I mean, come on, how else would they have been able to survive?  Apart from this miracle, it makes no logical sense.  This visual reminder would prove valuable to future generations to remind them of God’s provision and faithfulness to His promises.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18 KJV

Just as we can trust the Word of God, let us show our faithfulness by jotting down all of God’s mercies, leading, and provision so we can strengthen the faith of generations to come.

Marriage: A Work in Progress

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 Two Imperfect People – Perfect for one another

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

As I write this I am keenly aware that some of you have heartbreaking stories of a marriage that has not gone the way you planned and perhaps has ended way before you dreamed.  I do understand that marriage can be a battlefront.   Arguably, marriage is the most intimate and vulnerable relationship we can have with a person.  Marriage requires humility to trust that the covenant made at the Altar will be equally valued to our spouse – no matter the circumstances: “for better or for worse”.  Perhaps we need to start spelling out the possible “worse” case scenarios so that we are more equipped to work toward reconciliation when those days arrive.

If you have had a failed relationship, this article is not intended to shame you, but rather to encourage you.  If you are struggling – it is intended to refocus and strengthen you; if you are in a good place in marriage – to commend you.  It takes work to be married!  Paul even says, “So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows–it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.” 1 Corinthians 7:8  But for those who must marry, it is important to know that the marriage will be a journey of “for better and for worse”.  There will be glorious, blissful days and there will be heart-crushing difficult days.

When our spouse strikes a chord in us, if we let our minds – our creative, active, image-making brains – take over:  we will be taken far away from the Truth in the Philippians 4:8-9 admonition to meditate on truth.  We will let doubt and lies creep in and our husband (wife) will be hung without a jury.  And even if we don’t say anything to him about it, we will have an edge to our voice, we will have resentment in our heart, because in some odd, twisted way we believe what our mind has made up.

Advice for staying married:

Be Forthright – our brains have a need to fill in the gaps.  Do not leave information out or your spouse will fill in the blanks with all matter of possible negatives.  Because in his/her mind, if it were positive – you would have shared it!

Extend Grace – do your very best to think positive thoughts of your spouse, until given concrete evidence, even if you have a history. If there has been progress-extend grace, as much as possible.  Study Exodus 11-17, take note of the forgetful, grumbling, ungrateful Israelites and their persistent, merciful, grace-filled God who continued to lead and provide and did not strike them down.

Empathize. How would my spouse respond to me if the circumstances were reversed?  Does he/she have a different love language or personality style?  Is this conflict a misunderstanding due to our differences versus a conscious breach of trust?

Do something you don’t like to do JUST because your spouse likes it.  This goes a long way to show that you care about her and you are willing to sacrifice on her behalf.

Talk it out.  When there is a cloud of doubt, talk it out.  Ladies, this does not mean ‘whenever’ you feel like it.  Your husband may process things differently than you and may need some time to go to his man-cave to let off steam or to process.  But as you pray you will sense a leading to know when to bring up the soreness and humbly approach your husband.  Men, don’t just stuff it and move on!  Your wife needs to know that you care!  How will she know if you seem like it is ‘no big deal’ – that translates to her that SHE is no big deal.  Talk it out.  Seek first to understand the other person’s perspective and then seek to have your side understood.  Be sure to engage in genuine empathic listening and to reflect what you are hearing.

Pray – there is no greater marital strength than prayer.  I know there is evidence of marriages that make it without prayer, but I know from first hand experience that prayer has been the most powerful ingredient to bring joy and cohesion than any other element in our marriage.

My prayer for you:  Lord, thank you for your provision and leading to pair imperfect people in the perfect way.  Thank you that you use the good and the bad for your glory, and help us to rely more on your strength than our own weakness.  Lord, I ask that you bless each marriage represented by each reader and their extended families.  I ask that you impart humility and grace upon the hearts and minds of each spouse and that your Holy Spirit will unite these loved ones and that you will provide a protective Shield over each marriage keeping the enemy at bay and your powerful grace-filled, love at the center of their hearts and mind’s for each other. Lord, I also believe with those who are estranged from their spouse, that you are able to do immeasurably more than we can imagine – fill each one with faith and hope in You. Amen.

Hassle-Free Holidays? Read and See

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This year, get Christmas all done without coming undone!

My friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer, wrote a practical 7-day free email resource to help you do just that. It is called 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday.

To sign up, simply enter your email address at http://mad.ly/signups/122324/join

And for the next 7 days you will receive ideas and encouragement for taking the hassle-out of the holidays in your cleaning, decorating, cooking and baking, gift-giving, and traditions. You’ll also be given some great out-reach ideas to help your family focus on giving and serving rather than getting and “stuff”. And finally, as an added bonus, Karen and Glynnis share 25 easy and delicious recipes as a PDF that include:

Holiday get-together (or take on the road) dishes

DIY food gifts

Quick and easy dinners for those crazy-busy holiday-prepping days

Fun foods to make with kids

Retro Christmas cookies

Finally, a way to have a holy and hassle-free Christmas!

 

Sometimes Little Things are Frustrating!

Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. James 3:2 NLT


Can you relate?  I sat down to do an activity that I, well, did not REALLY want to do.  My husband asked me to do it, and since he does so many wonderful things for me, I obliged (this time ;-).

I began typing a document with the attitude that I would complete it, but not to the level of agonizing perfection I have in the past, belaboring, changing every little tittle, too many times to count.  However,  I was nearly giggling as I texted a friend that I was almost done and had never had so much fun doing this particular task……and then IT happened.

Somehow I messed up the margins and could not figure out how to correct them in my relatively new word processing package.  So I copied and pasted and recreated the masterpiece, which took another 20 minutes, at least!  Ugh.  Then, I discover that another document is necessary.  I begin happily banging away at the keyboard: “creating” as I love to do.  Job two is now done.  Uh, Oh….another step is required to complete this dutiful task for my sweet man – I must complete a series of online questions.  I am on a roll, that is until I accidentally press enter – prematurely – and have to begin ALL over again.  And again. And finally with the third notice of a ‘system error’….This is really testing my patience.  It is really beginning to RUB me the WRONG way.  I am feeling my insides well up.  I am beginning to start the wrong mental program of ‘blame’, ‘anger’, ‘frustration’, ‘if only’, ‘why me?’, ‘how come?’ NO! Don’t go there, Kim. You have come so far from your “old ways” of reacting to the little stressors of life! Tell yourself that this is just an exercise in faithfulness, there is no serious life altering consequence.  Yes, you are losing some sleep and tomorrow will be rough, but remember how far God has brought you from the way you USED to react to this type of circumstance.  YIKES….those memories are ugly.

But now you are so much calmer.  The dog would have been seeking a place far away….now you are quiet and no one really knows what you are feeling.  You are calm and the effects of the failure will not have a lasting effect on you.  You can see things with a logical lens.  You are at peace.  You are confident in your efforts.  You are entrusting the results now to God because you put forth your best effort.  You do not have to continue to work harder and harder, but only smarter. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

In fact, what seemed like a catastrophe in the technology and timeframe realm, just  inspired this post.  🙂  I hope that in some way, that you can relate and are encouraged and will look to the ways in which God has freed you from old and negative thought patterns in your life rather than continuing down the same old blame game or dangerous anger angle.  God does not want you dependent on your circumstances or your emotions:  God wants you to depend on Him!  He is the only one who is good.  The only one who has the power to change both you and your circumstance(s).  So look up now and give him the credit He is due and ask Him for your next thought, emotion, action and even for success in everything that you do.

As for me, I put forth great effort; I completed every task within my power; the ones that were blocked by technology glitches I will either feel compelled to try again tomorrow or I will have a peace that I am done.  So I go to bed now, well after midnight with a deep, deep sense of peace and knowing that God is in control of all things and that He has changed me in so many good ways from my reactive, emotional past.  I am thankful and go to bed praying for each of you, my readers, that God will do a special work in your life on this day and that you will be ever mindful and thankful.

WHEN YOU PUT FORTH YOUR BEST, PERFECTION IS NOT ALWAYS THE GOAL.  PERHAPS IT IS MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARN IN THE PROCESS OR…. HOW YOU REACT,,,,,,,, THAN WHAT YOU RECEIVE.

Behind the Smile: Devastating Depression

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I am not one who keeps up with the  Hollywood peeps. However if I were to name one of my all-time favorite actors it would have to be Robin Williams. He made me laugh, he made me cry, and he made me laugh so hard – I cried.

And off the screen he seemed so genuine, always caring and reaching out to others, like when he went to boost morale for our troops when they were far from home. Robin Williams was always trying to make a downcast face uplifted with a smile. He seemed to have an intuitive compassion for fellow human beings.

And now with his death and the great awareness of the funny man’s deep dark sad side we realize that behind the silliness and smiles was a feeling of hopelessness.

where then is my hope– who can see any hope for me? Job 17:15 NIV

Perhaps those of us positively impacted by this man’s life can make a determination to continue his legacy of lifting up the downcast. Perhaps we can learn to look past the smile and look into the eyes of the soul for a gauge of what is really lurking behind the mask of laughter.  And then, we can choose to make a difference in the life of a depressed/anxious/bipolar person.  No, not to be responsible for them, but choose to do at least one thing to make a difference in their life: to be a positive memory, an encouragement or a prod, if necessary. Alert someone in their family, find a counselor or resource at a local church or governmental agency that may offer counseling. Do a little research on behalf of this precious person who may be drowning in a sea of sadness unable to come up for air, let alone have the where-with-all to seek help.

For those of you who have walked this road without a happy ending, my heart and prayers are with you. We cannot change someone else, nor are we responsible for what they do with our loving intentions, but we can do our part to be a part of the solution rather than another mask to hide behind.

Please, let us not ignore the mask. I will do my part and ask you to do yours to reach into the walls of a depressed person’s heart to help break the oppression and lift the burden together.

Depression is not simple.  It is very complicated.  I am not implying that you and I will have a cure for our friend, but we can make an effort to help. Dr. Daniel Amen of Amen Clinics treats depression by first analyzing the physical brain through SPECT scans.  He writes:

Our imaging work has taught us that depression is not a single or simple disorder, but rather like a chest pain with many different causes, each requiring their own treatments. Our scans have taught us that some depressions are manifested by over-activity in the brain, while others show underactivity. Some depressions are caused by physical or emotional trauma, while others can be caused by Lyme disease or brain infections. Still other depressions can be caused by the long term effects of drugs or other toxic substances, such as the chronic exposure to paint fumes. Without looking at the brain, psychiatrists are flying blind, and therefore hurting people by not giving them the most effective treatment as quickly as possible.

If you are battling depression, you are NOT alone.  So many millions of others have had similar thoughts of hopelessness and despair.  King David famously suffered from depression.  It would appear that one way that he battled against this evil is to Praise God.  It will do your heart good to read his testimonies to the goodness and greatness of God in the book of Psalms.  What follows is a tiny sampling of the many pages of poetic words to encourage your heart with hope:

 “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart, I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High…The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:1-2, 9 NIV

Please the one thing I do know for sure is that the longing and almost sure need you feel to be alone: is totally the opposite of what is healthy for you! It is the depression wanting to have a stronghold on you, to choke you, alone in the dark where you have no hope of encouragement.  Please make a phone call to a trusted friend or get outside for a walk or go to a public place until you can meet with someone willing to help.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV

Crazy Calendar? Lysa TerKeurst to the Rescue!

Lysa's Best Yes Webcast Party Image

When your calendar is so full there is absolutely no white space to squeeze in an unexpected friend in crisis or your husband coming home early……”Houston, we have a problem!”

Unrush me Lord……

Do you live with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul? Are there times you dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no? You are not alone!

Hey friend, are you with in driving distance of  Mid-Michigan? If so, I would love to have you join me at my home church August 12th for a viewing party of the live webcast for New York Times best-selling author Lysa TerKeurst’s upcoming book The Best Yes.  {The event is free but you must RSVP. Details below}

Lysa is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. That is why she wrote this latest book. Join us for The Best Yes Webcast Viewing Party as together we learn to live the unrushed life, making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands. {Check out more at:www.thebestyes.com}

THE DETAILS:

(1) To view at your home or with your girlfriends online; visit Lysa’s website and click to register at the top of the page  http://lysaterkeurst.com/2014/08/if-youre-living-with-the-stress-of-an-overwhelmed-schedule/

 

(2) The Best Yes Webcast Viewing Party at Northpointe Community Church

505 E. Webb Drive, DeWitt, MI (Just north of Lansing)

Tuesday, August 12th. Doors open at 5:45 pm.

Live one-hour webcast begins at 6:15 pm

Door Prizes         Light Refreshments        Coffee and Chocolate              

Live Webcast    Details on The Best Yes Bible study coming soon

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To RSVP email Amy at Asmith@northpointecc.org Please put “The Best Yes” in the subject line.

Is it Really Possible to be Too Heavenly Minded?

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You have heard it said, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.”

I challenge:  Is this even possible?  Those who are sincerely heavenly minded: choose to live like Christ.  Study Christ’s life and you will see that He spent His life serving the people of the earth with the Kingdom of Heaven at the forefront of His mind and heart.

The Bible says, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Colossians 3:2 NLT

I watched my sweet friend, Leigh, live the last months of her life boldly living with a heavenly mindset while doing this earth such good.  She learned in the late fall that the cancer had returned.  It had been 27 years since the first occurrence and then about three more bouts of various “C” reports over her short 64 year life span.  But this last bout was to be her last.  We all rallied together after the first indications cancer had returned.  We encouraged her.  We prayed with her, for her, and over her.  We were ready to do spiritual battle.  We pleaded with the Lord to cure her and to sustain her.  Ultimately, He did both of these things but the curing was not to be done on earth.

As the months progressed it seemed that this may be the last time she would ever have to battle cancer or any sickness.  She began to ‘know’ that this was her time to let go and let God take her to be home with Him, in His perfect timing.  You see my friend, Leigh, she loved the Word of God and she came to have full confidence in it.  She knew that when she died it meant that she would be restored to her Savior.  That she would also be fully healed and whole in every possible way.  There would be no more sorrow or sickness or emotional trials or even any effort to take place to overcome the past or the present trials.  She had full confidence that Jesus is the Risen Christ who Redeems those who believe that His blood was shed for all.

The day before Leigh slipped into unconsciousness I said to her, “Do you feel Him (God)?” And she said confidently, “No. No, I don’t feel Him.  But I just KNOW He is here. I just know.”  And she said it with her infamous bright and beautiful smile.  It literally warmed my heart to watch my friend who, at times, had been plagued by the enemy with doubts.  Doubts that she was ‘good enough’ to be restored to Christ.  And on this the very last day of her conscious life on earth God gave her the FAITH and the full confidence to stand on all that the Word of God said to be True.  It gave her a joyful expectancy to pass.  This makes no sense to a person without faith.  But to those who believe in the Resurrection power of Christ; we rejoice with our friend.  Because now she is whole and she is WITH Jesus.  She did not die afraid, alone, and weak.  She passed from this world into the next; into the eternal presence of Christ and we know from His Word that there is no better place to live. It is a place with no more tears.

Leigh taught me so many valuable lessons by living these last few months with a full-blown heavenly mindset.  I will just share the last lesson and that is to live every day in confident faith that He is with us, no matter what we ‘feel’, ‘think’, or ‘see’ – He is here. We just need to execute the faith He has given us to believe in Him.

So what does a Heavenly minded life look like?  Well, you will have to open your Bible to be abundantly supplied with examples.  Study Abraham’s life (Genesis, Romans 4, Hebrews 11), and the life of Moses, and the Faith chapter = Hebrews Eleven.  Most importantly take a look at Jesus’ life example.

A Heavenly Minded Life Looks a Lot Like This:

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Mark 6:34 NIV

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22-25

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:26-27

Emphasis added in bold and italics to these scriptures by this author.

I am so grateful for Leigh’s life example.  Her smile and beautifully bright eyes linger on in our memories as an encouragement to keep smiling through it all and to live in the hope of Heaven while doing earthly good.

Until we meet again, LoveLeigh, we miss you and cling to the hope you had, and have strengthened in us.  Thank you for showing me that there is no such thing as being too heavenly minded.

Free Fridays

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is that time of the year again!  Time to break out the summer attire, take off your shoes and jackets and enjoy the sweet smell of fresh air!

I begin every morning with some quiet time to set my day on due course.  If you are not in the habit of doing this, will you give it a try today?  We will call it Free Friday because the more we open the Word of God – the more free of old habits we become.

Let the chains fall off.

Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Romans 6:18 NLT

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