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Friday, May 22, 2020

But the Greatest of These is Love

                    As the sun shines through the clouds 
                             and reveals the beauty 
                            that only God can create, 
         His love is shining through the COVID clouds of life 
                            and revealing His love.  
             You can see His love in the eyes of those 
             who are sacrificing to take care of others.  
             So many people have stepped up to help.  
                          There are so many heroes.  
                     "Greater love has no one than this: 
            to lay down one's life for one's friends."  John 15:13



There is no greater calling than to love.
We love because God first loved us.
We are living in a time of great change.
So much is unknown.
The rug was pulled out from under us.

This COVID has totally changed our lives.
It may never be the same in my lifetime.

Everything is in God’s hands.
It always was.
We just had the illusion 

that we were in control.
There is no longer that illusion.

However, we do have control 

of how we conduct ourselves.
We can choose how we behave.
 

We can choose positive.
We can choose negative.
God wins or Satan wins.
It is really that simple.

We can choose to be courteous and loving.
Or not.

We need to think about our choices because they will have eternal consequences for us.

Our choices also have immediate consequences for those around us.
Our choices matter so much to others and to God.

Think about each choice and each action as though it were your last and what legacy you 
would wish to leave. 

Choose love.


“If I speak in the tongues of men 

or of angels, but do not have love, 
I am only a resounding gong 
or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy 

and can fathom all mysteries 
and all knowledge, 
and if I have a faith 
that can move mountains, 
but do not have love, 
I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor 

and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, 
but do not have love, 
I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. 

It does not envy, it does not boast, 
it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, 

it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil 

but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails....

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 

1Corrinthians 13: 1-8, 13


I know this is a very long quotation, 

but I really love it 
and it completes this piece. 
I loved it 
long before I started my walk with God. 
It has always touched my heart. 
I pray it touches your heart too. 
Nothing is more important than love. Especially in this COVID time.


                           Spring is here 
       along with the beautiful sunsets that I love.
                 The Canada geese are back.  
               It is a time of renewal and hope.
                   I hear the peepers at night.  
                I hear the birds singing all day.  
             They don't know it is COVID time.  
              They only know it is springtime 
             and time to rejoice in being alive.  
                     And they do rejoice, 
                 giving glory to the Maker 
             who loves them and loves us.  
       "This is the day the Lord has made, 
           let us rejoice and be glad in it."  
                     Psalm 118:24


        There was a very red moon in the wee hours 
              of the morning about 3 weeks ago.  
             I had never seen one so deep a red.  
                   It appeared even redder 
            than the camera's eye captured. 
                          Is this an omen?
              Or just a beautiful phenomenon?
     Is God saying that His heart is bleeding for us 
        and for what is happening in the world?


            New grass and tiny leaves on the trees 
           greet us as we stop by the bend in the river 
       on the Potsdam Norwood Road near Norwood, NY.  
            I love the "veils" of new leaves on the trees 
                that almost hide the sky in spring.  
      God is speaking His language of love and of hope.  
                We only have to look and listen 
   and wait expectantly for what He has in store for us. 
                  God is love and God loves us!!! 



Blessings on you dear friend.
I pray you have enough to eat, 

a roof over your head 
and whatever you need to live.

I pray you can feel the love of our Father who is always close to you, 

watching over you 
and caring about everything about you.

I pray you and yours are healthy and safe and stay that way.

If you have suffered tragedy, 

if you lost your job 
and are struggling,
I grieve with you 
and know our Father is sitting beside you and grieving too. 
Our Father weeps when we weep. 
Only He can help us through this time.

Regardless of what the world says, 

God brings JOY in the morning!!

And there will be JOY again in your life!!


                These are my grandsons: 
             Mark, Luke and Kodda
               God is my first JOY.
     My grand babies are a close second.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

You Just Don’t Know

                        T


You just don’t know when or how what you say or do affects someone.

You just don’t know when you may have made someone’s day with a smile or a compliment.

You just don’t know how being positive around negative people can change a situation or even a life.

You just don’t know how the little things that you do without thinking can affect people.

People are watching.

People are waiting to see what you will do.

People are thirsty for something good.

People will gravitate to the negative but soak up the positive which feeds their souls.

You just don’t know when a word said today will influence someone’s life years in the future.

You just don’t know but the angels are also watching and cheering for you to do the good things.

The demons are also watching and cheering for you to make the choices that Satan wants. You know, the negative, sinful choices.

You have free will, so you get to make that decision.

You need to know that it will follow you for eternity so choose well, my friend.

Each word, each deed matters and you just never know how much.

But now you know so think carefully and make each choice count.

Otherwise, you just don’t know…….



Blessings on you dear friend.
I pray for your safety during this most difficult of times.  I pray that this different season of our lives bring you a chance to grow in your faith.  We can only rely on God.  He alone is our rock and refuge.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Are You Hopeless or Hopeful?

            I discovered this beautiful petunia growing out of the asphalt in front of a restaurant in Waddington, NY.  It didn't worry about where it was growing.  It just bloomed for all it is worth and gives glory to God in the process.  We need to bloom with all that is in us in spite of our circumstances and God will bless us.

Lately I’ve been moping a lot. It’s been difficult to focus and get much of anything done. We are confined to the house most of the time due to this coronavirus and it’s pretty scary.

I think I’ve been a little depressed. I know I’m not supposed to worry but I really think I was worrying a lot about family, friends, shortages, the economy, the country, the world. The poor, the helpless, the little children, the elderly. And the list goes on.

Yesterday I put a name on my feelings and decided to tackle them head on. I will make To Do Lists and cross off stuff as I get it done. I will listen to upbeat music, especially good worship music. I will read the Bible more and pray more. I will watch movies with happy endings and limit how much I watch updates on the virus.

This mess is in God’s hands. He is so much stronger than this or anything Satan can dish out. And I do think Satan played a part in this virus. It’s tearing apart the country and the world. Satan is laughing and rejoicing at our problems and our terror.

We can fight back. We can go to God and acknowledge our powerlessness and ask for His help. God is in control and always has been. I don’t know why this pandemic is happening, but God knows, and I trust Him. We can always trust our Father.

I know that my Father loves me and you dearly. I know that He does all things to help us (in the long run) and not to hurt us. Jeremiah 29:11.

In life we go through many trials and this is one of them. We are being tested and tried to bring out the good in us. 


A diamond is found in the ground bound to lesser rock. That lesser rock must be cut away. A diamond in the rough is not pretty. It must be cut by a master cutter to show its facets and beauty. All of this cutting would have to be very painful to the diamond – if it had feelings. 

We are being cut and prodded to try to remove things that do not form our eternal souls in the image and likeness of God. If we cooperate, and it’s not easy, we will shine with the beauty that is God and give glory to Him in the process. We will enjoy God’s company in paradise as reward for our cooperation.

If we do not cooperate, we will still be cut and prodded but will end up distorted and our souls will not enjoy the company of our Father for eternity. That will not be a happy ending.

Right now, all extra activity is cut out of our lives. We must get back to basics and back to God. 2Chronicles 7:14 says “ if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 


God is calling us to return to Him. In Him there is HOPE.

God said “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 He’s not going to forsake us now. He’s just waiting for us to turn to Him and ask for His help.

Outside the ground is bare. The grass is dull green and brown. It looks lifeless. However, in my garden, there are shoots poking out of the ground with the promise of new life,

Somewhere there is hope in this crisis. There are stories of people helping people. Strangers helping strangers. 

There is a shortage of some medical supplies. I found a pattern to make face masks that maybe our hospital can use to protect our medical staff. I sew so I think I can do this. I called our local hospital but since today is Sunday, I must call back tomorrow and speak with Infection Control to see if they can use the masks. A friend told me her daughter in law is making the masks for her local hospital. Businesses are donating supplies to hospitals.  Schools are taking meals to kids who might go hungry otherwise.  There are certainly negative things that are happening but there are so many stories of people reaching out to help those in need.  

And that makes me very hopeful.

How about you??



   The ground may be brown and dull but when the        Son shines  on us, it makes us sparkle like the          sunshine on the water. 
                 He gives us HOPE and JOY.

I have never lived through a pandemic before and sometimes really don't know what to do.  Am I staying far enough away from other people?  Am I washing my hands and whatever I bring in my house enough?  Am I being careful enough?  Only God knows and only God can get us through.  I pray we all do enough to protect ourselves and our families and those who are vulnerable who cannot help themselves.  And leave the rest to God.  He really is in control and He will get us through this.

Blessings on all of you, dear friends.  


      I took this picture after an ice storm 
             in February, 2016.
     The sun shining on the ice covered trees 
      is quite beautiful despite the danger and                   devastation that an ice storm can cause.
   God makes all things beautiful in their time.
                  He will bring beauty 
       out of the ugliness of this pandemic.
               Just as He brought beauty
       out of the ugliness of His Son's crucifixion.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Is This World Broken?


                                      This rock is called "Split Rock" 
                     and it is located on the Split Rock Road 
                               near Saranac Lake, NY.
                     It reminds me of how our world is broken
                          Nature has grown around this rock
                     making it  quite attractive and interesting.
                                 If we give God a chance 

                              to work on our broken world
                       He will make it and us beautiful too.


Is it beyond repair?
Is it hopeless?

Hurricane Dorian is raging 

in the Carolinas but has at least diminished to a Category 1.

The Bahamas are absolutely devastated, leveled, beaten to a pulp with the death and destruction of Dorian when he was Category 5 raging through the islands.

There was another mass shooting in Texas.
Then there was the horrible boat fire in California.

This is the news for the United States just this one past week and does not include what is happening abroad.

There is so much heartache.

So many people’s lives are broken. Both the victims and the perpetrators.
Is it hopeless?

I don’t believe it for a moment.

Believe it or not, I firmly believe that God is in control.

I don’t know why God allowed all this to happen.

I don’t know why so many people had to suffer and so many to die.

But I do know God has a plan.

And I know in my heart of hearts that if we all turn to Him, He will guide us through the storm of this life.

I know He wants us to love and honor Him first in our lives.

I know He wants us to reach out to the people He puts in our paths to treat them as we want to be treated.

I am certain that if we can do these, which are the commandments that Jesus gave us, that we can turn this world around.

And remember to pray, the power of prayer is incredible. God does love us and really does answer prayers in the way that is the very best for us.

There will still be storms, there will still be problems, but if we follow God’s laws, the world will no longer be broken.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2Chronicles 7:14

           This swamp is located near Waddington, NY. 
                     It joins the St. Lawrence River
                       I took this picture last fall.
                      Some of the trees are bare.
                       The colors are past prime.
                    But it is still a beautiful scene.
                   God makes all things beautiful,
                          at the right time,
                                His time.
                 Another beautiful swamp scene.
               This one was located near Lisbon, NY

It has been almost 2 months since I posted a blog.  I have been busy and had a couple of major illnesses.  I apologize that it has been so long.  This piece obviously was written last month.  The message is at least as vital today as it was a month ago.  Our country is in turmoil today and desperately needs our prayers to unite us.  We need to put our differences aside and become one nation under God.  I'm not saying that there are not issues that need to be dealt with because there are. I pray to God that they are dealt His way. We need to return to decency, manners and consideration for all our brothers.  Who are are brothers?  Are they just Americans? What would Jesus answer to that question?  Listen to your heart and follow what it says.


            The moon is covered with craters.
          Sometimes we can see "the man in the moon"
                           in the craters.
              It has been seriously damaged by meteors
                       that caused those craters.
                 Our land has been damaged 
                          by so much turmoil
                         from so many sources.
                    If we all turn to God and pray,
                        He will heal our land
                     and we will be whole again.
*************************
All photos taken by Debbie McEwen
All bible reference from the NIV
     unless otherwise noted.

If you are interested,
    you can click on the Blog Archive
    dates on the top right side of this post
    to connect to previous blog posts.
I would love to hear from you either 
    on the comment section of this blog post
    or through my email.
    debbieamcewen@gmail.com
I have not posted regularly and I apologize 
to my followers.
Life, health issues and grandchildren 
continue to interfere.

Blessings on you, my friend.
May our Loving Father bless you 
   and all your endeavors
May you see Him in the colorful leaves 
   from the changing season
May you see Him in the eyes 
   of your loved ones
May you feel the peace, love and JOY
   that only comes from the Great I Am.
And may His grace mend our land
   as only He can


                As the sun sets on our day
         God gives us hope for our tomorrow.
              
            



         




Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Thank you, Father

                       "This is the day the Lord hath made
                           let us rejoice and be glad in it."
                                            Psalm 118:24
                This is a picture of my backyard and the fields behind.
                     I greatly appreciate where He has "planted" me.
                      God is so gracious with His many blessings.


Thank you for this opportunity.

A pending surgery doesn’t sound like an opportunity
   to say thank you
   but it is.

You are giving me the opportunity to surrender
   to You and Your love,
   Your grace and Your peace.

You are giving me the opportunity for spiritual growth
   and for You to work on my soul.

You are the potter
   who is constantly tweaking His work to improve it.
I am the clay that is being tweaked.

I started out as a big lump that needed shaping.
You had a plan and started working on me.
You poked and prodded. You nudged.
You removed the excess that is not part of Your plan.

Sometimes it was painful for me.
Sometimes I didn’t want to give up that excess.

However, You are the Master Potter. 

I am only the clay.

Who knows best?
You, of course.

This upcoming surgery is another opportunity
   for You to work on me.

I am learning to trust. I am learning to have faith. It’s not always easy.
Sometimes I have control issues.

However, I need to remember
   that You made everything that exists.
You absolutely know what is best
   and how everything will turn out.

I need to remember that You are my loving Father
   and that I rest firmly in the palm of Your hand.
I need to remember that You will never let go,
   never drop me,
   that You said,
   “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

I need to remember that Your love for me is limitless
   and that You suffered a horrendous death
   to pay my way to spend eternity with You
   in Paradise.

Therefore, I know I can trust You with my surgery.

Thank you, Father. 



                         "Consider how the wild flowers grow.             
                              They do not labor or spin.
            Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor
                     was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27


                              I found this "arrangement" 

                        growing wild beside my garage.
                        I've never seen the two color lily before.
                     It must be one of those little "God surprises"
                                 that God uses to bless us.


As I was putting this on my blog post, a tremendous storm came up.  The skies opened and the rain poured.  The wind blew hard and the thunder roared.  A very large limb broke off a tree that is against my house and the limb with all the adjoining branches fell against my house.  It partially blocked the entrance BUT there is absolutely no damage to my house.  There will be a lot of work to clean up the mess but no repairs to make.  God is so good, all the time.  He takes care of us through everything that life and Satan can throw at us.


                      This is what I saw when I opened the door 
     after the branch broke.

                   This is what it looked like from outside the house.

This is my husband starting to cut up the branch.  
We got it cleaned up in less than an hour.
"It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, 
and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain."  
Isaiah 4:4


I wrote the "Thank You, Father" prayer because I am facing abdominal surgery that may be laparoscopic or may need to be major surgery if the polyp that needs to be removed is in the "wrong" location.  I came away from the surgeon's office frazzled.  I know I'm not supposed to worry, but I was.  I called to ask for prayers from my church family and I wrote this prayer.  I am now at peace about the surgery.  It is in the hands of a very good surgeon but ultimately in the hands of my Loving Father who will take the very best care of me.  I am fortunate that the surgeon believes in prayer and I asked that he pray for me.  I am so blessed that God put me where He did, among so many Godly people who are my church family and friends.  I am loved and cared for.  I can only wish and pray for this blessing for all of you.


        Another beautiful sunset from my backyard.
              I have so many things for which to say
                                  "Thank you, Father."


****************************
Save the date.  Mark your calendar.
YUMMY  YUMMY  YUMMY
Knapps Station Community Church will have its
Annual Chicken Pie Dinner 
Thursday,  September 19, 2019 

Times:  starting at 5 pm for the dining room
     take outs will be available starting at 4:30 pm

You can call ahead for take outs if you wish
  Call Barb at 315-212-9771 
      or June at 315-244-3149 for take outs 
Or to order a whole chicken pie for $10.00
Whole pies must be pre-ordered by Sept. 12.

Menu:  Chicken pie, mashed potatoes and gravy,  squash, green beans, rolls, and for dessert either apple crisp or pumpkin pie

PricesAdult (ages 12-90)  still $8.00
            Child (ages 5-11)    still $4.00
            Free for those under 5 and over 90
            Take outs are available at the same prices
           
****************************

Prayer Request:  I ask everyone to pray that God softens all hearts.  There is so much division, so much hate in our country right now.  Some of you may already be praying for all the victims of the horrendous shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio from this past weekend and I encourage those prayers. I also ask you to pray for everyone who has hardened their hearts and would wish to harm anyone else.  God loves all of us regardless of the color of our skin, where we came from, how we choose to worship Him or who we love.  All lives matter.  God listens and He answers prayers.  If we all pray every week for all those with hurtful intentions, I wonder how many shootings might be prevented, how many lives might be saved and how much heartache might be prevented. Let's call this Preventive Prayer and pray with all our might.  Pray for love and peace and God's JOY to fill the emptiness of those hardened hearts.


              Just as the wax will soften 
                   when the flames melt it,
              so too will hardened hearts soften 
                 when we pray and God acts.


All photos taken by Debbie McEwen
All bible reference from the NIV
     unless otherwise noted.
If you are interested,
    you can click on the Blog Archive
    dates on the top right side of this post
    to connect to previous blog posts.
I would love to hear from you either 
    on the comment section of this blog post
    or through my email.
    debbieamcewen@gmail.com
I have not posted regularly and I apologize to my followers.
Life, health issues and grandchildren interfere.
Mea culpa my friends.
I will try to do better in the future.

Blessing:  
I pray for God's blessings on all of you.
I pray that you experience
    His many "God surprises" 

    on a daily basis.
I pray that you experience 

    the JOY of having
   God touch your heart and soul.
You only have to allow Him in.
Blessings, my friend!!!

           This dragonfly (I think that is what it is)                       
                    is so delicate and beautiful.
          God made us all in His image and likeness.
                      Just imagine how much He loves us.
                     "For You formed my inmost being;
     You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
                             I will praise You,
        for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
                      Marvelous are Your works,
                  and I know this very well."
                                 Psalm 139:13-14
                     
                                 Thank you, Father.








Saturday, July 6, 2019

Each One Counts


                 These young barn swallows hatched in our garage.  
     My husband was using an impact wrench today and they never moved.  
                         One even seems to be sleeping.  
                      They have grown up in this garage 
             and know they have nothing to fear from my husband.  
                 Our Father is always near and watching over us.  
                      We are each so precious in His sight.
                              (Photo by Tim McEwen)

Every individual, every person, every soul,
every one of us that God created is precious 

in His sight.

He thought up each one of us 

long before we were born.

And He loves each of us without measure.

God desperately wants each of us 

to spend eternity with Him.

He loves us so much that He forgives us 

when we do wrong,ask for forgiveness 
and try our best not to sin again.

Just as we forgive our children 
when they say 
“I’m sorry” and mean it, 
when we do the same, all is forgiven. 

Regardless of what happens or what they do,
we never stop loving our children.

Neither does God.

God left nothing to chance.

He loves us so much that He sent 

His precious only Son to teach us how to live 
and love each other.

This Son paid for our sins and opened the door 

to heaven so each of us could spend eternity 
with our Heavenly Father.

After Jesus died, He sent the Holy Spirit to help us.

God gave us His Word, the Bible, the ultimate guidebook 
on our road to the greatest treasure, 
which is heaven for eternity with our Father.

God has provided everything we need
to follow that road leading to heaven.

We only have to choose to take that road.

God loves us so much that He wants to give us 

the opportunity to choose.

He does not force us.

But He is anxiously waiting for each one of us.

Will you join Him for eternity, precious child?


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31


             This petunia was growing out of the asphalt 
               in front of a restaurant in Waddington, NY.
                    God never ceases to amaze me 
        in that He showers blessings on me - large and small
                  Some, like this flower, just to please me.


Requests for prayers:
My dear friends, yesterday and today, we received news of 2 major earthquakes in California.  We need to pray for everyone involved.  This is so serious and so dangerous.

Also, my heart is breaking for the migrants who are living in cages in terrible conditions.  Children have been separated from parents.  Can we put politics aside and pray for all these people?  Most are here to escape even worse conditions in their home countries.   When asked who is our neighbor, Jesus gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan. Doesn't that make all these people our neighbors?
Please pray that this situation is resolved and made right.  If you can do more, please do what God leads you to do. 

James 1:22 says "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says."
Verse 27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world."



             This is some of the group from 2018's Vacation Bible School
         Splash Canyon 
     Vacation Bible School

  for children ages 4-12
when:  July 8-12, 2019; 6-8 pm
Knapps Station Community Church
3035 County Route 47
Norwood, New York  13668
Registration begins @ 5:30 pm
      Monday July 8
Come for the fun
Come and bring your friends.
Come for the games, snacks, crafts, songs and dances, puppet shows
Come to learn more about God through Bible Stories and verses
There is no charge for this fun time.
Friday night will have a hot dog cook-out with a bouncy house and more.



















These are just a few pictures of the fun from last year.  Come and be in next years pictures.