Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Story of "Amazing Grace"

Got this from a friend - it's too good to not share.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Baby Got Book

Found this video and loved it. Enjoy! :-)

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Golfing Fox

I'm a real softie for animals, especially ones that do really cute things. This little fox not only grabs the golf balls, he prefers the good (and expensive) ones.

Watch the fox getting golf balls on the news

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fall Color at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina

I was at the Cove ( the weekend of November 2 - 4, 2007, for a seminar with Pastor Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Here are two shots taken by me of the wonderful color there that weekend.

View of the mountains from the back deck of the training center

Just outside the entrance of the training building,
along the road towards Pilgrim Inn and Chatlos Chapel

Curriculum Vitae for Jesus Christ

This was a cool e-mail I received from a friend, and wanted to share with all of you. (requires Adobe Reader - free download available at

You can download a copy of this inspiration from my mediafire account:

Love & hugs,
Ruth Anne

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wonderful Tribute

This lovely poem came from a friend on Canine - L ( in memory of Smokey, so I wanted to share it with you.

Smokey, she was our dear girl,
Our blessing, a real pearl.
She wrote us poetry for the ages
With the wisdom of the sages,
A heart pure as snow--
How could she go?!
Be free, dearest one,
Bask in the sun.
Your work here is done.

We'll remember you forever.

Queen Emma
Annie Sunshine

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Smokey ~ 6 January 1996 ~ 31 October 2007

I'm still here in shock, so I'm blogging....can't get to sleep yet.

Today was such a normal happy day for my beloved dog, Smokey. She loved kids, and loved to greet the trick or treaters, which we enjoyed doing this afternoon and early evening. We returned in, and she took a short nap. I started to pack for going to The Cove in Asheville, NC. After a short bit, around 7:30 to 7:45, I went down to get a bite to eat and to get her dinner. She didn't wake up. She had passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

Rest well, my sweet Princess. Mommy will always love you.

6 January 1996 ~ 31 October 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A quote that struck me....

From Quote of the Day on iGoogle:

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.
- Bill Vaughan

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

At the Zoo

Meant to post these two pictures sooner. At work, we had a recognition lunch at Brookfield Zoo, and these two pictures are what I think are my best two.

From the dolphin show:

Up close and personal with one of the snow leopards:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Erich.... 2 December 1988 ~ 23 July 2007

It's been a while, and I do realize that. Life was complicated by the last days of the cat who was there through what seemed like everything in my life, Erich.

I'll copy the note I sent to Canine-L on July 23rd about
it here:

The elder statesman of the Wheelerville Zoo, Erich, went to the Rainbow Bridge tonight at 6:20 pm Central Time.

I knew the day was coming soon. Not only because he was 18 years old, but he had developed a cough (couple times a day) and was getting thin. He could have had cancer, but who wanted to really push him on things and know for sure.

We had his well-check on Saturday, and the vet said it was most likely quite soon, since he was rather anemic. But we did have a wonderful weekend, where Erich enjoyed fried chicken and all his other favorites. He bird-watched, played with Smokey, and did all his usual things.

I came home from work today, and Erich was breathing somewhat labored, very heavy. He was still getting around, but I also did not want him suffering, and some very simple things were getting him winded. We had a talk together, and he let me know that it was time for him to go to the Rainbow Bridge.

So I called the vet, and we made a 6 pm appointment. Like the fighter he was, Erich faced it with his eyes wide open, even after the initial sedative.

Before we left for the vet, we had a while on the bed together, he lay on my chest, and rested, while I petted him.

It was peaceful - but he stayed as alert as he could through the sedative, kept his eyes on me while we waited together for it to take effect. As he lay on the table, I petted him and sang a few last rounds of "You are My Sunshine" to him.
And after the final shot, I know he was playing again, happy and healthy at the Rainbow Bridge.

From Smokey, for her beloved kitty friend, who taught her everything she needed to know....

Ever the companion
Regal in all your ways
Inside love and devotion
Came a blessing
Heaven holds our treasure.

Sleep well, my beloved Erich. When I first got you, you promised me you would be with me at 40 and you did it, sunshine. You never broke your promises and Mommy will always love you.


I miss him so.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

All We Like Sheep

All We Like Sheep

It happened in July, 2005, in rural Turkish village. Sheep were grazing in the field on a beautiful summer day. The shepherds had left the herd to graze in the fields while they ate breakfast. As they were eating, one of the sheep jumped off the cliff. Over the cliff’s edge he went, dropping down 45 feet to his death.

I’m sure you’ve heard before sheep aren’t exactly the brightest animals. But even the shepherds were surprised at what happened next. After the one sheep had jumped over the edge of the cliff, another followed. And another. Still another. Another after that. In total, about 1,500 sheep jumped over the edge. Approximately 450 sheep from the herd died. It was reported the sheep at the bottom of the pile started to cushion the falls of the following sheep, which is why only slightly under one third of the herd perished.

How many of us are following the crowd today? “Give up, already.” “Get on with your life.” “You deserve better.” “You have Biblical grounds.” “No one should suffer like you are.” “God wants you to be happy.” Lies, all lies!!! Lies from the very pits of hell, designed to cause you to stumble, to cause you to fall into the world’s way, and not listen to the voice of God calling you to a better way – to His Way.

We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.
We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.

(Isaiah 53:6a, The Message)

As we listen to the world telling us to handle our marriage the world’s way, and not God’s way, we are like those sheep, jumping off the cliff.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
(Hosea 4:6 NKJV)

So many people choose the wrong path, following the crowd. Sadly there are many among those following the wrong path who claim Christ as Savior. Twice in the Gospels, it is recorded that Christ saw the crowds following Him, and they were described as “sheep without a shepherd.”

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36 NIV)

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)

In the story I mentioned above, we see what happens when sheep are without a shepherd. They get into trouble. Quite often, BIG trouble. Who are you listening to? Are you listening to the voices telling you lies? Or are you listening to the voices exhorting you from the Word of God?

If you’re here today, and reading this message today, God has spoken to you in a very powerful way about marriage, and most especially YOUR marriage. He has conveyed to you that His Plan is one man, one woman, for a lifetime. He has you, your spouse and your family in His hand.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27-28 NKJV)

Fortunately, we do have a shepherd – The Good Shepherd. He has told us what to do in His Word. Don’t listen to the voices of the world, or else you may just go right over the cliff to your own peril. Listen to the voice of God, from His Word, telling You how much He loves you, your spouse and your family. Listen to how He is telling you that He heals and restores - not just a wounded heart, but also a wounded marriage and family. Follow His direction, and watch Him be victorious for you.

Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“ Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
“ I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly,
Who are among you,
To whom its reproach is a burden.
Behold, at that time
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the LORD.

(Zephaniah 3:14-20 NKJV)

Passages marked “The Message” are "Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."

Passages marked “NIV” are Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Passages marked “NKJV” are Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Becoming One

Becoming One

When was the last time you were at the ocean? I want you to think about the ocean, what it is like. Can you smell the salt water, and taste the salt in the air? Can you hear the seagulls?

Think about walking on the shore, barefoot. The sand is squishing between your toes. Every now and then, a wave is lapping upon your feet.

Look out over the water. Are you taken in by the immensity of the ocean? How great, how vast it is. It has a power, a force. Continuous and never-ending, always moving, always changing, always living.

As you walk along the shore, the waves come up higher and higher upon your legs. You may come to a point where you decide to walk in the water up to just under your knees, or even go in for a swim. As you are walking in the ocean, or swimming in it, you are becoming one with the ocean, and one with its power.

The same is true with a relationship with Christ. At first, you may have “dipped your toes” into Christianity. Try it a little, as one of your options. Or maybe when you discovered Christ, you just dove right in, like swimming in the ocean. You just went right on in, and never once looked back. Maybe you were gradually taken in by Christ, little by little, like walking on the shore, going a little farther in, bit by bit, and then before you knew it, you were in fully.

Just like with the ocean, as time goes on, you become one with Him. We can even get caught up in the immensity of the family of Christ, how large and vast it is, just as we get caught up in the immensity of the ocean.

A similar process happens in a marriage, a process of becoming one. It’s like taking two pieces of paper, gluing them together, and leaving the paper there for the glue to set and dry. Once that glue has set and dry, you can’t separate those two pieces of paper. Not without leaving little bits of the one piece on the other, tearing and ripping.

That’s the problem we are going through. You can’t separate what God has joined together. No matter how hard we struggle against what God joined, it can’t be separated.

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV)

If we try to separate what God joined, you end up with messy pieces, holes and tears in those pieces of paper, bits of one and the other stuck to the opposite site.

But praise God, despite how hard we struggle against what God joined together, He still can put it back together again. Not only does He put it back together again, it is even better than it was before!

Trust Him. He made us one with Him and He made us one with our spouses. He can and will restore and redeem our situations.

You will no longer be called Deserted,
and your land will not be called Desolate;
instead, you will be called My Delight is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land will be married.

For as a young man marries a virgin,
so your sons will marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices over [his] bride,
so your God will rejoice over you.
(Isaiah 62:4-5 HCSB)

Passages marked “NIV” are Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible ©, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What's In You?

What’s In You?

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV)

One of my favorite Bible teachers is Pastor Bob Coy. He has a wonderful example he often uses in teaching that I’m going to borrow for today’s message.

Picture a Ziploc container. You know the type. Somewhat disposable, yet still re-usable. You can buy them in the grocery store by the plastic baggies. They are durable, functional and handy. You can store food in them, candy, snacks, leftovers, crayons, screws and nails….whatever you would like to store if it fits in there.

So, let’s say you make some tuna salad. You have a nice sandwich, but you have leftover tuna salad. So you put it in your Ziploc container, and save it in the fridge for later. Once you’ve eaten all the tuna salad over the next few days, you place the Ziploc bowl in the dishwasher. It’s now clean, and you go to put it away, and…. sniff… sniff… sniff… What’s that smell? It’s clean, but it still has that faint little smell of tuna. Fishy. Hmmm. It’s clean, but there still is that little bit of odor that lingers. That tuna fish got into the plastic, seeped in, and no matter how hard you wash it, how many times, there will always be that slight, faint smell of tuna fish.

That’s what a Christian is like. Once Christ enters in, He is always there. So as we interact in the world, where ever we may go, someone is watching us as a Christian, to see how we act. So now my question: What’s in you?

Are you leaving a fragrant aroma of offering as Christ did? Or does that person smell a whole bunch of you, and very little of Christ? Do you give the impression that Christians are something desirable, or do you give the impression that Christians are phony and fake?

As a Christian, the world is looking to us for so many things, but most especially they watch us in relationships. The common wisdom in society is that Christians are nothing but a bunch of whitewashed hypocrites, certainly not practicing what they preach. “Holier than thou.” And when you look at things like sins within the church, especially those impacting others around us, we certainly have earned the reputation. And yes, the church is the hospital for sinners, not the haven for the saints. But God is calling you and me to a higher standard of behavior. He is asking us to be His light, shining into a dark world, as it comes to marriage and divorce.

The church as a whole divorces just as much, or even more, than the world does. God has called us to be the ones standing for marriage and saying that there is a higher way – a better way – one man and one woman for a lifetime. He has called us to trust in Him to restore our marriages for His glory. Yes, many of us are called to raise a marriage from the dead. Remember the story of Lazarus? Dead in the tomb for 4 days. Did you know that the ancient Hebrew rabbis and teachers taught that a person’s spirit remained with their body for 3 days before passing on to eternity? That 4th day meant that Lazarus was gone. Dead as could be. And Christ came, on that 4th day. Why did He wait? It says in the Scripture that Christ loved them – Mary, Martha and Lazarus. And He waited…because He loved them. But it was so much more than that. He waited for His glory, that He might be glorified through this situation.

As He came to the tomb, we see Christ and He cries. I can’t help but think that those tears were more than just tears of the situation. I think that Christ was crying for what He knew shouldn’t be. Sin, death, the fallen condition of this world. I think His tears were for far more than the Scripture conveys. But then, He reveals His glory.

He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11: 43b NKJV)

The verse that always strikes me deeply in the story of Lazarus comes but a mere few verses before Christ calls dead Lazarus from the grave.

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NKJV)

Did I not say to you that if you would believe… If you would believe, God can and will do anything for you. As dead as things may seem, God can turn it around. He set the universe into motion. He created absolutely everything we can see. Therefore, in His time, in His way, He will call our marriage out of the dead to be restored for His glory. In the meantime, He is asking us to be faithful. He is asking us to be leaving His aroma everywhere that we go. He’s asking us that when the world sees us, they see Him in us.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
(Psalm 45:7-8 NIV)

Passages marked “NIV” are Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Passages marked “NKJV” are Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Who Am I, O Lord God?

Who Am I, O Lord God?

How often have you ever asked God that question – Who am I? Well how about turning that question around for a minute…How does God see you? Are you His faithful servant, believing and trusting in Him? Or are you trusting in something else?

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."
(Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV)

One day, I counted the number of times the word “trust” appeared in the Psalms. It was 69 times in the New King James version. We know the majority of the Psalms were written by David, and we also know of David being the “man after God’s own heart.” How much of that had to do with the fact David trusted the Lord, no matter how dark it got in his life, no matter how many enemies came after him? David trusted God to deliver him, and each time, God came through for him when he trusted the Lord.

Faith is a large part of trust. In Hebrews 11, we see the many people of the Bible, and how they had faith in God. And in many of those verses, you can even replace the word “faith” with “trust” and find the meaning is similar. Faith makes trust, and trust makes faith.

God says to us in His Word that we are more valuable than the sparrows, and He cares for each and every one of them. He tells us in His Word He knew us before we were born. He came through for so many men and women in the Bible who trusted in Him. Will He not come through for you and me if we trust Him? Of course He will!

So who is God telling you who you are? He’s telling you that you are valuable:

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:30-31 NKJV)

He tells you He knew you – and your spouse – before you were born:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16 NIV)

He loves us with an everlasting love:

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
(Jeremiah 31:3b NIV)

And most of all, He rejoices over us:

He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17b NKJV)

I often wonder why He chose me, and why He gave me the gifts He did. Most certainly, I wonder why He allowed what is happening with me and my beloved, and what He will do to redeem it for His glory. But I know this: He is faithful. He does not forget His promises to His children. I see it as I study His Word, and read it each day. I see the many ways He brings me encouragement at just the right time, and how He has given me gifts of some incredible people along the journey. I know that there will be a day when, my marriage is restored for His glory, for He has shown me in His Word. Like David, I will be praying to him in thankfulness as recorded in 2 Samuel 7:

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord GOD; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord GOD, know Your servant. For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. Therefore You are great, O Lord GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name—and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land—before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods? For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, LORD, have become their God.

“Now, O LORD God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You. For You, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.

“And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant. Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord GOD, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.” (2 Samuel 7:18-29 NKJV)

We are His Israel, for we believe and trust in Him. He longs to bless us. Make David’s prayer here your own. Trust God, see yourself as He sees you. Nothing is impossible with Him!

Passages marked “NIV” are Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Passages marked “NKJV” are Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Stones Of Our Lives

The Stones Of Our Lives

(originally published by me in Hope4Marriages ministry newsletter, 4/9/07, sent on 4/8/07 at 9:16 pm)

I'm writing this on Good Friday night, knowing that I am sending it out after Easter Sunday. I wanted to share with you what the church where I serve does traditionally on Good Friday.

As one enters the sanctuary, each is given a small stone, pulled from one of the local rivers here, smoothed by the rushing waters of that river. If one were to break that stone open, you would have the rough hard jagged edge of rock. But that stone has been washed smooth.

That stone is quite a bit like sin. On the outside, it is smooth, polished, even attractive. But if you were to break it, inside the stone, it is rough, jagged, hard and cold.

The stone given to each person is a representation - A representation of our sins, our burdens. And as each person comes forward to the Lord'
s Table on Good Friday, they lay that stone they were given at the foot of the rough wooden cross on the communion table, and the table is draped in black. They place their sins, their burdens at the foot of the cross, and then take on Christ's yoke, as each person after laying down the stone takes the bread and grape juice, the symbols of Christ's body and blood, given for us, for our forgiveness, for the washing of our sins.

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26 NIV)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)

It is the blood of Christ that smoothes out the rough edges of our life, washing the rough edges of our sin away. But unlike the stone with rough edges when it is broken, when we are broken, our light shines through. Our brokenness and our broken marriages are a part of God's light in a dark world. In a world where marriage is disposable, we are the ones saying it is a love for a lifetime, as God designed.

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (2 Corinthians 4:6-11 NIV)

After the services on Friday, the sanctuary is made ready for Easter Sunday. Those same stones placed at the foot of the cross become part of the Sunday morning celebration as well, as they are placed throughout the display of all the potted lilies, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. They are a reminder to us that the story doesn't t end on Good Friday, that Christ rolled away the stone from the grave, so that we could see He was no longer there, but had raised from the dead, conquering sin, death and hell on our behalf.

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words. (Luke 24:2-8, NIV)

Place your marriage at the foot of the cross, along with your spouse. You know that by doing so, it is not the end of the story. Then take up Him, and still more of Him, daily. Your light will grow and increase, shining brightly for the world to see. In God's
timing, your faithfulness to your spouse and your marriage will be rewarded.

Be blessed, and be a blessing this week. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Love in Christ,
Ruth Anne

Scripture marked "NIV"
taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Love You Forever

There is a wonderful children's story about a mother who rocks her child to sleep with the words, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

If you haven't had the chance to read the story before, the it can be read online here.

I've been thinking about that story lately. A mother's persistent love is just like God's love for us. I have a feeling that a devotion will be coming out of this...that is usually what happens when I get one of these things stuck in my head.

May you be blessed and refreshed the rest of this Lord's day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daylight Savings Grumpies

I will admit it - I'm one of those people who doesn't think the time change is a good thing. It throws off my sleep for a couple weeks after the change.

But it is more than that this year. What will work right, since it starts three weeks earlier? Many software patches, all kinds of problems. Just for an hour change in time.

What I want to know.....Why can't we just pick one or other time and stay on it year round?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I recently returned back from a trip to New Hampshire, and was struck by the beauty present in the mountains there. Spending time in worship one night in the quiet stillness there, I heard in my head the words from Psalm 84:

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;

Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Thank you Father, for hearing the prayer of my heart. You have shown me a vision of what is still to come, and I am in awe of Your glory.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dog Park Dog Killers

This story totally breaks my heart. I have a dog named Smokey, and she is such an absolute love. (Please see my Smokey below)

When I first heard the dog's name was Smokey, it sent a chill right through me. To the left here is Smokey Mock, who died in Grant Park.

Chicago Tribune article about Smokey's senseless death in Grant Park on Saturday evening.

he city of Chicago puts in this dog park, into Grant Park in the heart of the city. There are electrical access panels in the asphalt. Why? Especially with snow and rain and all the types of weather we get here in Chicago, that seems to be far too hazardous. Did they not think something like this could happen on the paths? How can this possibly be allowed as normal building of park pathways? What if it was a small child who stepped on this panel? What if it was several children? This is unimaginable to think that something so very dangerous was just right there in the middle of a very public area with no warning signs and nothing to indicate any kind of a possible danger could be so close nearby.

As I enjoyed my sweet Smokey this evening, playing with her with her toys, as she would bring each one and drop it by my side, I couldn't help but think of a family who can't enjoy the same thing with their dog tonight.

My heart breaks for this family and their tragedy. Dogs truly are a member of the family, and to see a beloved family member die in such a horrible, tragic way has to be extremely difficult to bear. They are in my prayers as they grieve their loss.

Smokey Wheeler

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What Greater Love?

Our Lord loves us so much, from the day He created us. He knows every detail about us, for He made it:

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV)

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16 NKJV)

And He loved us so much He came to save us, and nothing can separate us from Him:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:

“ For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NKJV)

There is no greater love.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Remember What Love Really Is

There is a real love, and it is a love that comes from God. On the day before Valentine's day, this real love is the love that lasts, and the one I am thinking of today. It will be the love I am celebrating on this "Hallmark Holiday" tomorrow.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13, NKJV)

~~Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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