Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pray as if Your Life Depended on It.

                                   



                                 The glory of God surrounds us.
                          Stop, stand still and know that He is God!
                           Adore Him as you admire His handiwork.


Pray as if Your Life Depended on It.

It just might.

Did you ever hear about King Hezekiah? In the Bible, in the Book of Isaiah chapter 38, Isaiah’s son Amos predicted that King Hezekiah would die in 3 days. The king prayed to God. God listened and gave him 15 more years to live. At that time Assyria was trying to conquer Israel God also defeated the King of Assyria.

Prayer brought down the Berlin wall, the Iron Curtain and prevented a total bloodbath in South Africa when the oppression of the blacks was ended.


                    Just as this fog blocks our vision of part of this scene, 
  Satan and the world try to keep us from seeing the glory and grace of God.

God knows everything we think and everything we are going to ask for so why pray?


This baby egret (near Black Lake, NY) knows that his mother will feed and protect him.  However, his cries let her know what he wants and needs.  She responds accordingly.  How much more will your Heavenly Father respond to your prayers.

Because God wants a relationship with us. He wants us to ask. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him.

In the Old Testament, people yelled, begged, haggled with God and He listened. He often gave what they asked. 

He wants to hear from the “real you.”  

No wishy-washy prayers. 

What is your heart’s desire? 

Tell Him, ask Him, beg Him, yell at Him. He’s listening. He really cares. Ask without stopping. 

Jesus told the parable of the woman who went to the judge to ask for justice. He kept ignoring her and she kept going to his court and asking until he gave in because she was wearing him out with her petitions.

Since Jesus told this parable, it must be important information for us. 

If there is illness, financial woes, kids who live terrible lives, a spouse who is causing all kinds of problems, a broken-down car or a broken-down life, call out to Jesus without ceasing. He will listen and He absolutely cares. 


The sun shining through this sky broken by many irregular clouds makes for a beautiful sunset.  Our turning to God in our brokenness causes His light to shine through all our turmoil and makes us beautiful IN SPITE OF all our problems. 

He knows what is best and may not answer when or the way you want. However, He will answer when and how it is in your best interest. 

Pray like your life depends on it because it just might.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7



This woodpecker is enjoying a snack someone provided so she could enjoy his company.  Our Father provides for us and wants our company too.  That is a major reason why we need to pray.


What is the Best Way to Pray?

Should you use formula prayers?

There are some great ones.

Should you make up your own prayers?

Both are wonderful ideas.

Which way works better for you?

Which one lets you tell God what is on your mind and in your heart?

What is your heart’s desire?

What are your deepest concerns?



These birds pray and worship by being who and what they are.  They squawk to make their needs and wants known.  We pray by asking and seeking as best we are able.  Our Father always hears.  He understands and answers.  All creation came into being just from the love of God!  Imagine how He loves us who are made in His image and likeness!

Addressing the Lord of Lords and the Great I AM can seem overwhelming.

He is also the one who loved you so much that He deliberately chose you.

That mean He really loves you.

He is your Heavenly Father, your very best friend, the one who is anxiously waiting for you to speak to Him.



       This lily tells our Father what is wants by its behavior and He provides.  
            We only need pray as best we can.  God will hear and answer.


You might say He’s dying to hear from you. He actually did die just for you and me so He could have our company for all of eternity.

When you think about all that love and caring, what do you think is the best way to speak with Him?

Whatever is the best, most helpful for you is the way for you to use.

Just remember that He really wants to hear what is in your heart and on your mind. He wants the real you.

The secret is that He wants a close relationship with you.




We can be in a very dark place and God's light will shine through the darkness if we only look up and walk to the light.  Remember: Jesus told us "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Start praying, talking to God and don’t forget to listen for His answers. He actually will answer. It may be through another person, through something your read, something to see on TV or any number of ways but He will answer what you ask. 

When that happens, something in your mind will click and say “That’s it, that’s what I asked.”

What’s important is to start somewhere, some way talking to God.

And don’t forget to thank Him for all the things He does for you, just as you would thank your best friend because that is what He is.

Jesus gave us this prayer:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
Matthew 6:9-13

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Commentary:
My friend Jean Oathout and I leave on Sunday July 16 to once again attend the Montrose Christian Writer's Conference in Montrose, PA.  This is my third year attending. We will return on Friday July 21.  Please pray for us that we have a safe, healthy trip and that we return better equipped to do God's work.  We are both hoping that some publisher likes our writing well enough to publish.  
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Knapps Station Community Church 










  


                       Pictures of Operation Arctic Vacation Bible School 
                                      as it was being set up.
                 I will include more in the next blog post showing 

                                      the action and the fun.


                             This is me, Debbie and Bashful Little Bear.  ****************************

Voice of the Martyrs 


Please pray for our brothers and sisters who do not have the freedom to worship as they choose.
Many suffer and die for their faith.

We are so blessed to worship as we choose.
Many died to give us this freedom
May we never lose this freedom.

And may we never take it for granted.

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The Power of Your Story  is a recent post by my friend Jean Oathout about the power we have when we tell our own stories about how Jesus has impacted our lives.

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Sometimes I Walk in the Light is Jane Aults's post about being open to all aspects of our existence and seeing the positive qualities that so many people can bring into our lives.

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Blessing:

May you find your best path to converse daily with your Father God.
On your path, may you find the peace that surpasses all understanding.
And may you be blessed forevermore with His loving JOY each and every morning!

May God bless you greatly, my friend!


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 post every other Saturday 

The next post will be July 29, 2017

This beauty is growing next to the barrier between our lawn and the road work. I think God planted it there as a surprise.



We had another surprise this past Tuesday evening.  A mother skunk and 5 babies came to visit us.  Fortunately they did not leave their "calling card" even though they went under our porch.  Unfortunately they did not stand still long enough to get clear pictures.


Friday, June 30, 2017

I Can Hardly Wait For Tomorrow


This beautiful sunset promises a beautiful day tomorrow.  When we walk with our Father, He promises "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

When I started my walk with the Lord, I saw that He was already walking beside me, waiting for me.
He held out His hand and said,“Come follow me.”

I took His hand gingerly because this was a new experience.

The longer I walked with Jesus, the more I saw evidence that He had always been there, always loving me, always taking good care of me.



Wild flowers grow amid rusty barbed wire.  Jesus is with us amid all the chaos and ugliness that the world throws at us.  He makes all things beautiful in His time.

I remember the car crash when I fell asleep at the wheel. My 2 older grandsons were in the car.

The car was totaled but no one got hurt.

I hadn’t started my walk yet and only thought I had been very lucky.

I remember having pains, finding out I needed my gallbladder removed and in the process the doctor found Crohns. Since it was discovered so early, I do not suffer the terrible effects that so many have. Again I thought I was lucky.

Recently I again had abdominal pains only to discover an inflamed appendix and a cyst on an ovary. Surgery removed both. The ovary contained a benign tumor.

This time I knew how very blessed I am and knew exactly who to thank for my blessings.

As I have continued my walk, I see His hand in so many areas of my life and in the lives of others.



Just as this doe is protecting her fawn, Jesus has been protecting me and you. We may have troubles but Jesus is always with us, helping us.

The longer I walk with Him, the more I realize that I need to reach out my hand and firmly take His outstretched hand to help me.

The older I get, the more I realize that I cannot manage on my own. I make messes on my own.

When I allow God to lead, He takes me where I need to go. I may not realize it at the time. Sometimes it really seems like a wrong turn but it never is when He is leading the way.

I finally realize that when I hold His hand tightly, that I am safe and so secure. I may have troubles, pains and serious problems but with Him at my side, I will never be alone and He will lead me along the right path.

I have come to see that He is working on me, shaping me into the child that He will take home.

I look forward to the next steps on my walk. I have come to see that every step leads to an adventure with Jesus.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

This is what the road in front of our house looks like now.  We keep wondering what's happening next?  When will it be done?  What will it look like?  Will it be the improvement that we were led to expect?  When Jesus works on us, there is no question that we will be perfect when He gets done with us.


I Just Don’t Understand, Lord

I just don’t understand, Lord, why bad things happen to good people.

I just don’t understand why such bad things happen to innocents, especially children.

I don’t understand why You answer some prayers but not others.

I don’t understand why such terrible people sometimes truly prosper.

There are so many mysteries that my little mind cannot fathom.



The sunset through dead branches and leaves.  When we die to sin, we are born again in the light of the Lord.

I also don’t understand why You love us so much all the time, even when we are rotten to the core.

I don’t understand why you give us limitless second chances for redemption in this life.

We are so imperfect and I really do speak for myself.



Milkweed flower.  God sees the beauty in all of us.  Remember, we are all made in His image and likeness.

Yet I feel Your incredible love and caring.

You are my father and I guess I don’t have to understand everything to feel Your love and know You are working in my life.



It's difficult for me to care for outside flowers but I like my orchids.  When one door closes, another opens.  God give us limitless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of His creation.

In my heart of hearts, I know You work in my best interest and in the best interest of everyone else.

I know that sometimes it’s our job to right a wrong or help someone in need. You put us in a situation to fix something that is broken, to do our part to fix a world that is broken.

I am confident You will give us whatever we need to accomplish what You want us to do.

I know You see the big picture from beginning to end and know how it all turns out and what needs to happen to get there.



God can see everything from the beginning to the end of time just as we can see all the craters of the moon at the same time.  We can have absolute confidence that He will make everything come out right in the end.

I know You love us so much that You became one of us to teach us how to live; how to love You first and best and to love one another as we love ourselves.

I know You, the Lord of all Lords and creator of all that is was tortured to death by Your creatures to redeem us from our sins and give us a way to eternal paradise with You.

There is so much that I just don’t understand but I know enough to know that I can completely trust You and Your way.

I will accept my lack of understanding in the areas that are too much for my little mind and be confident that my Loving Father has everything under His loving control.


Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.
Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.

Psalm 37:2-10


Spirea bush after the blossoms have fallen off.  There is such beauty in all of creation.  God is making all things beautiful - especially YOU!

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Knapps Station Community Church

Operation Arctic - Answers in Genesis
Operation Arctic Vacation Bible School.
Mark your calendars: 6 to 8 pm on July 10 to 14 (Monday to Friday)for a really cool time.  Come for the fun, the snacks, the crafts, the great music, the fellowship and learn how much God loves you.
  
Come to the puppet show and meet Bashful Little Bear, the baby polar bear, Ditty the husky puppy, the musk ox, Toothpick the Narwhale, Artie and Brownie the bunnies and more. Learn about the original Operation Arctic where the men and sled dogs traveled 600 miles across the frozen arctic to rush medicine to very sick children.

As an added bonus, there is NO CHARGE for your child to attend.

Friday night is Family Fun Night and the whole family is invited for fun and a barbecue. 

                     *************

Come and see our float at the 4th of July Parade in Norwood, NY.

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Rejoice With Your Friends is Jane Ault's latest blog post to share with us how she has learned to find Restful Living and JOY in the Lord while enjoyng her friends at the same time.

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Prayer, the Nemesis of Satan is Jean Oathout's new blog post about how we can actually become an effective opponent of the devil through prayer.

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Please pray for our brothers and sisters who do not have the freedom to worship as they choose.
Many suffer and die for their faith.

We are so blessed to worship as we choose.
Many died to give us this freedom
May we never lose this freedom.

And may we never take it for granted.

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Blessing:

My friend, may you always know that your Heavenly Father has your back.
You can absolutely trust Him.
When you follow Him and His ways, you can rest assured that you will end up in paradise for eternity.
May you be blessed in the assurance of your 
   heavenly "insurance policy."
It pays incredible dividends!!

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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 post every other Saturday 

The next post will be July 15, 2017


The orange "thing" on the blade of grass is a snail in the field behind our house.
We have interesting "wild life".


                                                   Peonies.


Some kind of wild flowers that grow near our house.  Something (maybe that pretty doe that was in the earlier photos) ate the tops of my stella dora lilies and hostas so Tim has to photograph the wild flowers!

Friday, June 16, 2017

I Can’t Do This but You Can, Lord


You can see the power and might of the upcoming storm in this sunset just as you can see the power and might of our Maker in all that is around us.

I can’t make this happen but You can

I can’t get well on my own, 

   only You can make it happen

I can’t improve my relationship with friends
    and family, on my own
You can make it happen



                        Life can be dark and foreboding.  
                We can fear what is lurking in the shadows.  
              Jesus is the light shining through the darkness
                who will lead us to safety, love and peace.

I can’t improve my finances on my own
Only You can make it happen

This blue iris has never bloomed before.  God makes all things beautiful in their time.  It is very welcome this year.

My friend is very sick,
   the doctors can only do so much
You can heal her

I was very sick and had surgery
You guided the doctors and support staff
You brought me where I am now,
   well on my way to complete recovery


You are in complete control



After the rain comes the rainbow.  God is there through every storm that life sends our way.  He makes all things beautiful in their time.

I know when I put my life in Your hands,
   I am completely safe


When I put my situation in Your hands,
I have complete trust that You will manage everything in my best interest


I make such messes.

When I give it all to You, You make my messes 
  into something beautiful.

Actually You make all things beautiful in Your time

I am so weak, You are completely powerful

How blessed I am that You are so loving and caring

You do not squash me like the annoying bug
   that I am.



                    Lord, thank you for seeing the beauty that is in me
                        and for loving me even when I am at my worst.


Instead, You are the Master Potter who is shaping me    into the perfect child that You will take home
   to paradise

I can’t do this on my own, only You can

And I know You will

Thank You, Father.


For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome...Deuteronomy 10:17

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 
1 John 3:1

Please Lord

My friend is so sick.
Her poor body has endured so much.

Only You know what is best right now
But if it be Your will, if this be in Your time
  and Your way
Please heal her


                  Please give her the love that only You can provide.  
               Please let her feel the wonderful JOY of Your healing touch

If You take her, I know she will go to heaven
  and have no regrets
But I will miss her so much if You take her home now
  
I cry for myself and for the others who love her
We need her
She is such a loving soul who cares so much
  for so many people


As Jesus, said, Your will not mine be done

But I know You listen and You care
So I’m asking, I’m knocking and I’m seeking
And pleading with my Loving Father
Please Lord, heal her.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7


                         Racquette River on Miner St.  Canton, NY


The Lord is My Shepherd

{A Psalm of David.} 
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  
Psalm 23: 1-4  King James Version

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Book Reviews


Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis   Mr. Lewis argues and explains many aspects of Christianity such as why 2 people become the 2 halves of a whole unit when they marry.  He discusses that there is a universal understanding of right and wrong, of fairness that all people have though often do not follow. 
This is my first time reading this book.  There is so much meat to digest that I must read it at least one more time to fully appreciate the great insights that Mr. Lewis offers.
This is a book to be read slowly and digested in bites.  I recommend this highly.

Product Details

This gem is a lovely poem by a great preacher as well as a book of lovely paintings.  It is the story of Esther, Queen of Persia who just happened to be a Jew. She risked everything to save her people.


Product Details


Just what is a "sin eater" and can he save your soul?
This historical novel by master story-teller Francine Rivers is a riveting tale of a young girl with a very guilty conscience.  She seeks the sin eater to take away her guilt and finds her heart's true desire.  I borrowed this page turner from the Knapps Station Church Library.  Please note:  The book jacket on the book I borrowed is different from the picture above.

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Please pray for our brothers and sisters who do not have the freedom to worship as they choose.
Many suffer and die for their faith.

We are so blessed to worship as we choose.
Many died to give us this freedom
May we never lose this freedom.

And may we never take it for granted.

****************************************************

Our Strawberry Shortcake Dinner was a great (and delicious) success as evidenced by all the happy diners who told me as much.

Upcoming is 

Operation Arctic - Answers in Genesis
Operation Arctic Vacation Bible School.
Mark your calendars: 6 to 8 pm on July 10 to 14 (Monday to Friday)for a really cool time.  Come for the fun, the snacks, the crafts, the great music, the fellowship and learn how much God loves you.  I help with the puppet show at the opening and closing of each day and have so much fun with the kids especially the little ones.  
As an added bonus, there is NO CHARGE for your child to attend.
Friday night is Family Fun Night and the whole family is invited for fun and a barbecue. 

                     *************

Come and see our float at the 4th of July Parade in Norwood, NY.

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Seven R's of Restful Living - Resist Resentment


Seven R's of Restful Living - Reduce Committments

My friend Jane Ault has written 2 excellent blog posts that give us great advice to help us live more restfully with more time for ourselves and for God.

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We are Most Godlike When We Share God's Travail

My friend Jean Oathout's blog discusses the importance of putting your passion and deep-down care into your prayers.  God does not want wishy-washy prayers.  He wants you to pray like it's really important to you.  I think when it becomes really important to you, it becomes really important to Him too.

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Blessing:

May you be blessed in the knowledge that you have a Loving Father who is all powerful and all loving.
He is capable of creating the universe and a butterfly - at the same time.
He is the voice of thunder and the voice of your newborn child.
May you always know that even when you are powerless, you have a Father who always has your back and He never turns His back on you!
Your prayers mean the world to Him.
He always listens and answers.

The friend who was so ill that I wrote "Please Lord" for is on the mend.  Thank You and Praise You Lord!

Update:  I got word today that she has yet more complications.  Please pray for her and all the people on your heart.  God really does listen.  He's just waiting for us to ask.  God bless you greatly, my friend!
              With God all things are possible.
               His mercies are never ending.


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 post every other Saturday 

The next post will be July 1, 2017


Playground at Knapps Station Church

The Girl's Club made this a couple of weeks ago.




More pix of the road construction in front of our house.



                A deer in our back yard.