Posts Tagged ‘blessing’

Wow!  Another great devotional from Transformed by Rick Warren, especially the underlined parts, which remind me of the following verses. This reminds me that God is responsible for all the good in my family and our country. Happy Tuesday!

“‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts‬ ‭17:28‬

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
‭‭Col‬ ‭1:16-17‬ ‭



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This was one of our longest hikes on this section of the Vermont Appalachian Trail. It was just my Dad, my Husband and me. We had worn my girls out so they decided to go with my Mom to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Hist. Park, which was all about nature, conservation and farming. They loved learning about the different kinds of farm animals and seeing all the spring babies.

We hiked about seven miles and climbed about 1200 feet. This was our rainy day, so we donned our rain jackets and put our pack covers on. The temperature was in the upper 60s and we were hot from hiking, so the rain didn’t bother us too much. We just kept plodding on up the hills and through the overcast rainy weather.

The Lookout was really cool. You could reach it on a short side-trail. The sign said it was only .1 mile, but we think it was closer to a quarter mile. Of course the fact that it was more up hill may have made it feel longer! This led to a private cabin which the owners allow the hikers to use. There was a platform built on the top of the cabin, which you could reach by (again!) climbing up a ladder to the top. But once at the top, the view was spectacular! We stopped here and had our lunch.

The rest of the hike was very surreal. We passed so many very old rock walls, all that remains of past families and farms who lived in the area. At one point I had hiked ahead of the guys and found a dry place to rest on a rock, when I was surprised to meet an older gentleman. He told us he hikes on the Appalachian trail 3/4 of the year! Apparently he felt quite at home on the trail and had decided to make it his regular lifestyle.

Many of the forests we hike through looked like rain-forests, covered in ferns and moss and often very damp. This day was so wet there weren’t many places you wanted to stop and sit down. But occasionally we’d come to an evergreen grove. Under these not much else seemed to grow and it would be covered in a thick layer of soft, mostly dry needles, which made perfect resting points. I would often hike ahead of my hiking companions and then find one of these unique evergreen groves and sit and rest.

Another tiring day on the Appalachian trail, but looking back, such sweet memories. I feel so blessed that we got to go! I hope you enjoy the pics!

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20130204-100238.jpgEvery good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights… (James 1:17 NIV84)

We didn’t have as much time to hike this Saturday (strangely the house still needs to be cleaned even though we’re training for a hike!), so we just went to a local park. We’d been there a long time ago but had overlooked it since it is so close and only has short trails. But I had found a hike online from this park of someone who had combined three shorter trails into a medium length trail. So it seemed like a good thing to try since we were short on time.

We were pleasantly surprised to find out how many trails this park had, back in the woods that we’d never noticed before. The trail actually passed an old homestead in the woods where I took the daffodil pic above. Then paralleled a pretty country road and led to a small, old cemetery that I had passed many times before by car but never knew how to get there. It had tombstones from 100 years ago that almost couldn’t be read anymore due to century of erosion.

We were all so pleased with the little treasures we found in our hike, so unexpected. We really felt blessed that we had just taken what we thought was an ordinary hike and found all sorts of blessings God had waiting for us! It really makes me excited to see what we will find on our next hike!

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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…  James 1:17

The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.  Psa. 147:11

Oh my God, thank You for how You are blessing us, even now when Dave is between jobs.  Its almost as if Your blessings are Your reassurance that You are still in control and working Your good plan out in us.

Thank You for the beautiful salmon shade of gladiola that You made bloom in our garden.  Thank You for making Your will clear as we wade through a myriad of decisions.  Thank You for blessing us with random food: ice cream toppings from my mom, mean from my brother-in-law, and soda from a friend.  Thank You for the coupons for free kids meals at Chick-Fil-A.  Thank You for the grant you provided for Dave’s training that we did not think we would qualify for.

Lord, You just lavish us with Your provision and blessings because we are so dependent on You now financially, and just because You can!  You love to bless Your children and to lavish good things on us as we learn to trust You.

Thank You for Your love and care, but most of all for Yourself.  You are the greatest blessing of all.  We delight in You, precious God.  xxoo

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And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

My husband will probably lose his job at the end of this month. This is scary, and it has been a struggle to believe that God will provide when we have no idea how He is going to do it. We’ve been trying to cut back on our spending now to make the money we have last longer. And God has not only been providing for our basic necessities but has been blessing us above and beyond what we ever would have expected.

It was my intention to cut back on grocery spending, but I haven’t had to try very hard because God has been providing us groceries from unexpected places! My husband, Dave’s, brother, whom we normally help out financially, found a bunch of meat on sale, including steak, and gave it to us! Normally I wouldn’t even buy steak, but now God, through Dave’s brother, is feeding us steak! Who would have thought it???

I am also trying to cut back on eating out, but I haven’t had to try very hard at that either. One day Dave and I showed up early at a Back Yard Burger and found out that it was Customer Appreciation Day and that the first 100 customers got free burgers. Since we were so early, we were one of the first 100! We got free burgers!

Then a friend emailed me that KFC was giving away free chicken meals, which both my husband and I were able to use. Later we got a $10 off coupon from our credit card for Red Lobster. And another friend forwarded me an offer for a free family pass for the whole summer to a local museum, planetarium, and nature center in our city.

I am just so amazed at how God is blessing us with things that are even beyond what we would normally spend for ourselves! I think God delights providing even more lavishly for us when we are dependent on Him and unable do it ourselves.

It is amazing the way God is already blessing us, even before the job is gone. I can’t wait to see what God does when we are actually out of a job! Maybe the provision and blessing will be even more amazing! Even though this is very scary, it is also a teeny bit exciting, just to see what God will do next as we trust Him!

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O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!  Deut. 5:29


No wonder God longed for [a heart devoted to Him], so that we might be the beneficiaries of His blessings.  God cannot, of course, reward evil any more than He can be evil. (Morris, 5)


God desires to bring us good.  He longs to bless us and to bring us joy.  When we follow and obey Him, many times He will bless us, and will take great joy in doing that.  Even when we struggle and when things go wrong, He wants to use it to teach us to trust Him and to ultimately be more intimate with Him, bringing good to us even out of evil things.  We can see this in two examples, Israel and Hannah:


Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the statutes of his father David…The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy…Judah and Israel…lived in safety.  1 Kings 3:3; 4:20, 25


God loves to give good things to His children.  When Solomon was king, God was pleased with Israel because of how Solomon, early in his reign, had followed God.  He delighted in blessing Israel, growing their families, seeing His people happy, eating, drinking, and celebrating.  He loves to see us thrive and bless us when we are in obedience too.


Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.  And she [said], “O Lord Almighty, if You will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me”…and the Lord remembered her…[Hannah said,] “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.  So now I give him to the Lord”…And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters.  1 Sam. 1:10-28; 2:21


In our women’s bible several months ago, the teacher spoke about how Hannah had put herself in a “position to be blessed”.  She was not able to get pregnant, but trusted God and looked to Him to help her.  He honored her trust in Him, and He “remembered her”.  Then after she had her son, she kept her promise and gave him to God.  And again He was pleased with her and was “gracious to her”.  He blessed her with more children.  You can see the sweet relationship here between God and Hannah.  She trusted Him with a child-like faith, and He delighted in blessing her.


God can do the same thing for us.  When we allow His Spirit to work in us, He will change us and give us a desire to please Him.  Then we also will be in a position to be blessed.


I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good…I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.  I will rejoice in doing them good…  Jer. 32:39-41

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I am learning how to die to myself.  A couple of months ago I found myself praying, “I give up all rights to myself.”  After I said it, I was like, “I do what?!”  That wasn’t my idea!  It had to have been the Holy Spirit praying through me.  I had to think about it before I was willing to pray that prayer again.  God has been working on me since then to answer it.  He has been teaching me about it and reminding me of it everywhere!


On my vacation, I read God Chasers by Tommy Tenney, who said in order to be more intimate with God, we must die to ourselves (see The Safest Place).  Then verses like keep coming up like, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3)  Guess what the sermon today in church was about?  Romans 12:1,2.  “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”


There are certain things I want.  I want to do my blog the way I want to do it.  I want my husband to agree with me when we fight.  I don’t want to give in.  I want God to do what I want, too!  But He wants me to give up my desires and wishes for His.  This has been quite a struggle for me, but I know He is perfect and loves me.  I know He has a better plan than I do.  I know that His intentions for me are for my good, ultimately ending in my joy and peace.  And I know that I am often blessed in ways that I could not even imagine if I submit to Him, the greatest blessing being more intimacy with Him.  That makes it all worthwhile. 


He even blesses me in the midst of my struggle with Him.  He so sweetly comforts me and sustains me.  Two evenings ago, I was out on the patio, decorating stepping stones for our yard with glass gems.  I was sitting out there with God, incredibly frustrated with my struggle.  I was talking it over with Him, when I looked up.  I saw the most beautiful view of the sun, shrouded by a cloud.  The sun was highlighting all the features of the cloud with different levels of light.  There were rays shooting out from the sun randomly where a break in the cloud permitted it.  It was so amazing.


I went back to working and talking to God.  Then I looked up again.  There was another variation of the same beautiful scene.  This repeated four or five times.  Finally as I was finished working, I realized God was saying through the awesome clouds that He loved me in the midst of my sin and struggle.  It was so sweet.  I smiled and told Him I loved Him too.  Then I realized how amazing it was that God can give us such gifts.  How many lovers can give their beloved the sun and clouds arranged into a beautiful, artistic scene?  What an extravagant gift!  And how pale in comparison is my offering of the words, “I love you”.  Yet He accepts them with great joy and takes great pleasure in offering His gift of love to me.  What blessing I receive even in the process of learning to submit to Him, as I die for intimacy with Him.


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.  1 Cor. 2:9


Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine… Eph. 3:20

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