Ephesians 3:20-21 (New International Version)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Study of James

     Just before Christmas, I mentioned to my dear friends, Marti and Vicky, that Beth Moore had a new study out.  The book of James seemed intriguing and the two girls happened to be in the book store to glance through the materials.  Marti's consistent persistence brought me to a point that was inevitable, we were going to start a new study.  The question was simply "when?" and "where?". 

     Looking back now, I suppose God already had a plan.  We were fortunate enough to find it...not because I spent time in prayer asking Him to reveal His plan, but because He was gracious to lead us in the right direction.  My daughter, Lauren, was interested in the study, too.  It is difficult for  her to attend with a three year old, it is a wonderful solution to have the study in her home.  This way, the baby is bathed and in jammies when we get there and the study is over just before her bedtime.  As participants, we can show up in sweats or pj's.  Isn't God good!
    We are only two weeks into this wonderful study.  Each week, we are totally surprised at what mysteries are revealed to us as a group and as individuals.  I am thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity laid out for us.  The group consists of whomever shows up...the members are a small close knit group of women from ages in their 20's to their late 60's.  WOW, What a wonderful group!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A New Year...New Goals...

It's been a very long time since I've blogged.  I've kept up with other blogs...sorta...my time really got away with me.  I don't know where the days actually went.  One day simply ran into another and before I knew it, 2011 was over. 

Do you ever find that the things you really like to do, somehow get put on the back burner?  I almost feel guilty for taking time to do the things I enjoy.  For example, I like to work in my flower garden, yet when I'm out there in the sun, the dirt, and the flowers I am constantly reminded of the things I need to get accomplished.  Laundry is always piling up, the dishes always need to be washed, and the front doorway seems to need cleaned on a constant and consistent basis. 

Reading books is another thing I like to do, yet I didn't find much time for it during 2011.  I read how much my blogging friend, Joy, gathered from a book written by Ann VosKamp.  I searched the book out at Barnes and Noble.  After picking the book up, thumbing through the pages, reading the back panel, and looking at the cost, I put the book back on the shelf.  Now, I am certain that was a mistake.

Here we are in 2012, my husband bought me an IPAD for Christmas.  We weren't supposed to get each other anything, we really can't afford such gifts.  Yet, he did it and I love it!  When looking into books I could read from my handheld computer, I found Ann Voskamp's book and a computer application to accompany it.  This discovery has changed my outlook on the new year.

Ann Voskamp's life, recorded in her poetic artistic style, connected with me.  Ann lost her love of life through tragedy.  On the other hand, I don't know if I lost the love for life, but I felt myself moving through it in a desperate search for something more.  Of course, I have been taught and fully believe where my focus is set is what grows.  If I look at what I don't have, that will grow.  If I look at what I do have...that will grow.  Ann's book takes this thought and goes much deeper.  If I look at the gifts God has given me, I will actually learn how blessed and rich I am. 

So, my journey begins.  I have started collecting pictures and thoughts...a journal of sorts...to record the wonderful gifts my God gives me.  Wow, this is such an eye opening experience!  It is my sincere hope that life doesn't get in the way, that I don't let myself down and feel that something else is more important.  This is one new idea that I want to stick with; it's better than a New Year's Diet! 

The first gift was given to me in the form of an IPAD and an application to record 1,000 gifts!