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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Till I Go Home

Park in Canton, NY last fall.
God gives us so many ways to spend our days,
so many opportunities to enjoy ourselves.
What should we choose?

                 
My days are numbered, Lord.
What would You have me do with these days?

What is Your will?
Will I look back from Eternity 

    and regret what I did not do?
Or regret the ways I wasted my time?

Please guide me, Father
to make my time productive and fruitful
until the day I go home to You.
     Amen

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
 Psalm 90:12

Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
  a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
  a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
  a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones
     and a time to gather them,
  a time to embrace
     and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
  a time to keep and a time to throw away
a time to tear and a time to mend,
  a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
  a time for war and a time for peace.

 What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13



             
              
This frozen river shines with the reflected beauty of the sun.
                       You make all things beautiful in their time, Lord.
                          Please make me beautiful in your eyes.
                    Teach me to live my days for Your honor and glory.
                        
Help me to follow Your commandments 
                                         
to love You first and best
                             and then to love my neighbor as myself.



Blessing
May you be blessed, my friend with the joy
    of living for the Lord.
May you find peace and fulfillment
    in doing His work all the days of your life.
May you feel His love and grace in your soul
And may you find final rest in the arms 
    of your Loving Father.

                                Sunset on Lake Colby
        seen from my husband's hospital room in November, 2017.
                    When the sun sets on your days, my friend,
                I pray you see the Son coming to take you home.
                       Enjoy the pleasures that God Lord gives you
                         let Him help you through the hard times
                            and make your days count for Him.

All photos taken by Debbie unless otherwise noted.
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 next year on February 24, 2018.


                         Our last "super moon" (1-30-2018).
                            I couldn't see the red tints that were expected
                                  but it was big and it was beautiful
                                       as is all of God's creation. 
   

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I Hope to Sparkle

                      Photo taken on Rte. 56 between Norwood and Potsdam, NY 
                                        at Norwood Pond
                             When we allow and cooperate, 
                         Jesus makes us sparkle with His love.

I looked out the window and saw the sun shining on the fresh snow.  The snow lies flat reminding me of a frosted cake.  The sun is bright and individual flakes sparkle like prisms when the sun reflects on them.  The scene is so bright that it resembles of bed of diamonds shining in the sunlight.

Each snowflake is tiny and does not stand out but when joined with the thousands and maybe millions of flakes in my backyard, each does his part to make a thing of beauty.

These tiny flakes know only one thing, that is to be a snowflake, and each is the best snowflake he can be. 

It occurs to me that we are each very tiny in the scheme of creation and we may not feel very significant since  God has created billions and billions of people.  We may not feel that we stand out.  

However, if we each do our very best, we sparkle.
Our souls shine. 


                            This photo and the following ones 
                     were taken after the ice storm in Feb. 2016.

Each of us shines in our little place and each stands out to our Maker.  He individually chose us.  We were not random any more than the snowflakes that we are told are each shaped differently from every other snowflake.  

God has a special plan for each of us.  He placed us deliberately in a specific place and time with a specific job to do.

How do we find out what our job is?  

Good question.  

We pray. We evaluate out abilities and talents and gifts.  We develop those gifts and pray some more.  We listen and wait for that still small voice to speak through others, through what we read or even thoughts that come in our minds.
We read and study the Bible.  

When something is right for us, we will be at peace with it.  If is isn’t right for us, we will know no peace.


When we strive to find our purpose and then work to achieve it, when we do our very best, our souls will stand out like those fresh, clean snowflakes on the snow outside.

Then we will sparkle.  

I am still very much a work in progress and God has a lot of work to do with me.  

However, in due time, I really hope to sparkle.  

I hope you do too, my friend.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


                                The ice storm was serious and dangerous 
         BUT because the sun was shining, the landscape was gorgeous.
       Imagine what your life will look like when the SON shines through you.














    This and the next picture were taken on the back side of Norwood Pond.


Apologies:
I apologize for posting my blog a week late.  My 
computer wasn't working and had to be fixed.
I hope this is worth the wait.

Blessings:
I pray that God shines through you and your soul so you absolutely sparkle.
Blessings on you, my friend.



All photos taken by Debbie unless otherwise noted.
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 next year on February 10, 2018.

            Even through the bitter cold of winter, there is great beauty.
                   God makes all things beautiful in their time.
                         Imagine what He can do for you, 
               the child that He chose before time even began.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Are You Self-Reliant?

                       On the road to Lake Placid from Saranac Lake, NY at dusk.  
                                         Are you self reliant?  
                         Do you stand on your own like this mountain?
                           Self reliance can be very cold and lonely.  
                    Reliance on God brings incredible peace and security.

Since it is the New Year, are you making resolutions to make you into a better you? Will you eat healthier? Exercise more? Save more money? Clean out and organize your home and your life to be more efficient and better for you?

Do you rely on yourself to make things happen for you and for others? How is that working for you?

For years I thought I had to do everything for myself and prided myself in being very self-reliant. How did that work for me?

I thought as well as it could and settled for that situation.

About 4 years ago, God plucked me out of my situation and led me to the church that I attend now, Knapps Station Community Church. I had been attending a church but had not been walking with God.

At Knapps Station, God led me to take a Bible Study, to read the Bible and to pray. I began fellowshipping with other church members.

I broke my leg and needed help. My husband was very debilitated at the time and could not help much. My church family brought meals for a week. A friend took me grocery shopping and to doctor appointments. One of the church elders took Tim, my husband to his doctor appointments. They prayed for us and loved us. We could not have managed without this wonderful church family.

Gradually I came to realize that it’s ok to let others help and that I can’t do everything. I started realizing that God’s hand was working in all of this and that everything really is in His control. I began to see how helpless I am without Him and His love.

I think I had always had a measure of insecurity and thought that was just the way it had to be. I never felt much peace.

I didn’t realize what was happening until it changed. It took a while for me to progress on my walk with the Lord and look back to see where I had been and where I am now.

Now I feel incredible peace. No matter what happens, God is in control and He works all things for my good.

I still have problems and things still break down. The oven of my kitchen stove quit last night and I am waiting for a repairman to call back. God will lead me to food that doesn’t need baking and it will be great. If I can’t find what I’m looking for in a store, I ask God what He wants me to try and it always works out.

He has led me to write this blog and share my thoughts with you. I pray it has blessed you as much as it has blessed me.

I cannot read your mind and don’t know all your circumstances BUT I do know that when I surrendered to Jesus and rely on Him, my life changed greatly for the better.

My new relying on God self, wishes you the peace and blessings that you will find when you give up self-reliance and rely on the only secure Rock that truly exists.


Blessings, my friend.

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. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:27-31





       Most of these photos of flowers were taken at Montrose, PA last summer.
                  Today is bitterly cold and very difficult for us.  
                             It is important to remember 
            that our Heavenly Father will get us through this difficulty 
                and every other problem that life will send out way.

When relying on your own abilities isn't working, remember this:
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26

All photos taken by Debbie unless otherwise noted.
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 next year on January 20, 2018.

Hopefully the weather will be better by the next blog post 
                 and I'll be able to get outside and get some new sunsets.

May the Lord bless you 
   with brighter and brighter tomorrows 
   and may your New Year 
   be filled with His unending blessings and JOY.

Friday, December 22, 2017

What Are You Searching For?



          As I zoomed in for closer shots of the "supermoon" in November. 
                  as I searched for clarity, I found what I was seeking.
                          Jesus told us "seek and you shall find, 
                     knock and the door shall be opened to you."


What is your heart’s desire?
It is money, fame, power?
How about good health?
A good marriage?
A happy life?
One without worries?
Satisfaction and success in your job?
What else would you really like?

How can you possibly achieve all this in your lifetime?

And what about eternity?
What do you want there?

So many questions.
Where do you find the answers?
Where do you even start looking for answers?

I strongly suggest the “Good Book”
It has answers for everything under the sun.
It only guarantees results if you follow the Son.

I am studying the Good Book myself and have learned that Jesus is my heart’s desire.

The problems still come, things break down, I have relationship problems with family and friends from time to time. I still make lots of mistakes.

However I now have new priorities and I make more choices based on God’s Word.

The satisfaction and inner peace, the Hope and the JOY that I have, show me that I am now heading for what my heart and soul truly crave.

The Wise Men followed a star searching for the King of the Jews.

If you are still searching for peace and happiness.
If you want an eternity of bliss.

Follow your heart and seek the Christ Child.
It is the season to seek and find the only One who can satisfy your deepest desires.

Reach out and take the out-stretched hand that has been waiting to give you the inner most desires of your heart and soul.

In Him, your search is over.



For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."  Luke 19:10


You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Romans 5:6

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Matthew 7:7-8


                          Near Saranac Lake, NY
                   I gaze to the mountains and wonder what lies there.
                   We think about tomorrow and wonder what it holds.
                     When we trust in Jesus, we can rest assured, 
                                   regardless of what happens 
                    never will he leave us, never will He forsake us.

Blessing:
 May the Christ Child bless you greatly with His       Peace, Love, Peace, Grace, Healing and
       never ending Joy.
And may your New Year be filled with His Hope.


            Route 458 between Nicholville and Saranac Lake, NY
                       Even on a frigid winter day, there is beauty. 
                  Our Father has decorated the world for our pleasure.
                                Do you enjoy His handiwork?

All photos taken by Debbie unless otherwise noted.
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 next year on January 6, 2018.  
                 

          O Come let us adore Him, 
               Christ, the Lord!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

What Will You Choose?

                                 Sisson Road near Potsdam, NY
                          Which way will you choose for your path?
                                      Each one looks desirable.
                        Which one will get you where you need to be?
                          Only the Divine Navigator knows for sure.
                              He always directs us on the right path.

Life is a series of opportunities.
A right or a left turn.
A good or a not so good response to a situation.


For me it’s been a lot of mistakes and often the opportunity to resolve those mistakes.
A time to reflect that if God forgave me all the wrongs that I’ve done then I must forgive whatever and whoever has wronged me.

Nothing done to me could ever compare with the wrongs that I have done to God with my sins.

However, God made me and He knows I’m not perfect.
He sees deep into the innermost parts of my heart, soul and mind.
He sees my intentions, my efforts and the results.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that He regards my efforts and intentions as most important.

I can never do anything perfectly but I can keep trying.
I can try to do better today than I did yesterday.
I can pick myself up and brush myself off when I fall down or I can lay there and cry “poor me.”

I can try to do the right thing even when it’s killing me to do it.
And it never does kill me.

I can tell God I’m really sorry for all the bad I’ve ever done and continue to do – or not. My choice.

Either way, I’ll live till I die.

Then I’ll face eternity and the consequences of all my choices.

If I choose Jesus and ask forgiveness, all my sins are forgiven, never to be thought of again.

If I don’t choose Jesus, the consequences are too terrible to consider.

Knowing that, colors my thought processes these days and brings to mind the question, “What would Jesus do?”

I may forget this message from time to time but a little voice always comes to mind gently reminding me and encouraging me to choose His way.
He may give me consequences to my choices but never forces His way. It’s always my choice.

I’m really trying despite my many failures.

I certainly need all the prayers and help I can get to make the good choices, so please pray for me.

How about you?
What will you choose?

Please know that I’m praying for you too. 

None of us can make it on our own.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21



               The weatherman said we had a "supermoon" last week 
                       meaning that the moon seemed very large 
                    because it was closer to the earth than usual.
                    At first it was partially hidden behind clouds .
     Then I zoomed in and got a better view when the clouds passed. 
     Life can seem one way when seen through the eyes of the world.
                       It is amazing what it becomes 
                when seen through the lens of God's word.

Commentary:

Right now the world seems a mess.  Our politics are filled with turmoil and scandal.  
The massive wildfires in California are burning out of control.  
Shootings and terrorist attacks are almost commonplace.  
The news is very depressing.  
Is there anything to give us any semblance of hope for our future?

A little baby boy was born two centuries ago into a world that had great similarities to our present one.
He grew up in an extremely oppressed society with almost no rights.

He sacrificed everything He had to teach us and model for us how to live and to know that HOPE is absolutely not dead and buried but alive and vibrant today and for every day to come.

As we progress in the Christmas season, look for reasons for HOPE.  
See the good that is around you and complement those people to encourage them.

Spread little seeds of kindness each and every day.  Make someone else's day a little brighter.  

Know that each act of kindness and love that you do will make the Christmas star shine a little brighter and help crowd out the darkness that is filling our world.

Rest assured that your acts of kindness and love will point others to Jesus who is the one true HOPE for this broken world.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11






                   This icicle appeared on a power line in my backyard. 
                         I have no idea how it formed and hung on 
                              in such impossible circumstances  
                 Even nature gives us reason to HOPE for a brighter future.

May God bless you greatly, my friend!

  All photos taken by Debbie and Tim McEwen unless otherwise noted-          
     used with permission.
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 December 23, 2017.  


                   I will close with a beautiful sunset. 
                    May you always have HOPE for bright tomorrows!     

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Would You Be Washed Whiter Than White?

          The snow covers the brown earth and making it appear clean.  
              The blood of Jesus actually washes away all our sins 
              and makes our souls whiter that the whitest snow.
                             Jesus takes our twisted lives
              and turns them into something absolutely beautiful.


Original sin muddied the water that we are all bathed in. No matter how hard we try, we make mistakes, we sin. The blood of the Lamb washes away that mud, those mistakes, that sin.

How can blood wash anything clean?

When I first heard about blood washing us clean, I turned my nose up. Yuk. Who wants to be bloody? Not me.

When I read about the Old Testament priests killing sacrificial animals and sprinkling the blood. My nose again turned up. Yuk.

Somewhere along the line, it dawned on my brain that the sacrifice of those animals took away the sins of the Israelites.

It the Old Testament, people repeatedly had to pay for all the sins they continued to commit.

Jesus, the Lamb paid for my sins once and for all.

I used to think that St. Peter would meet me at the pearly gates when I died and that he would weigh my good deeds against my bad.



                         Cemetery located near Saranac Lake, NY.           
            When eternity comes for you, how will you measure up?
                  I could never be good enough on my own.
              Only the blood of Jesus can pay my way to heaven.
                                      How about you?

I came to realize that I could never be good enough to make up for all the sins I commit and continue to commit day after day. I could never possibly pay my debt.

However, the Perfect Lamb, who never committed even one sin, sacrificed His precious life for everything I ever did or ever will do.

He died for me - and for you.

He offers a free pass to bliss for eternity.

He loves us so much that He holds out His wonderful hand and asks “Would you be washed whiter than white? Will you join me in paradise for eternity with all your sins forever forgiven, buried, never to be heard from ever again? I paid the debt that you owe. Come join me, My love for you is limitless.”

Will you take His hand?



       View of Lake Colby from Adirondack Medical Center window
                where my husband was recently in-patient.
         Just as the setting sun and the cloud formations reflected on the lake                                     create a magnificent image,
                       so too does God's love reflected in us 

             create something beautiful beyond our imagination.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 
 1 Peter 1:18-19


Update:
Many thanks for all your prayers.  My husband's total knee replacement surgery was a success.  He is still in lots of pain and had to be re-admitted to "iron out" a couple of issues but he is well on his way to recovery and much better mobility than before surgery.  His readmission to the hospital is the reason that this blog is late.  My apologies.  I do appreciate your understanding and faithfulness in following my blog.


                   Another view of that sunset from Tim's hospital room.


May God bless you greatly, my friends for all you do for His honor and glory.

In light of all the horrific events that are taking place in the world, I challenge you to sow at least 7 acts of kindness each day.  (Why 7?  7 is the perfect number!)  If we each counter hate with our love, the world has to be affected in a positive manner.
And pray like your eternal life depends on it because it truly does and so does the eternal life of everyone you know!

                  We were blessed with a wonderful view of Lake Colby.


All photos taken by Debbie and Tim McEwen unless otherwise noted-          
     used with permission.
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 December 9, 2017.



                         And yet another beautiful sunset on Lake Colby.
                              In the midst of any adversity,
   God always gives us reason to give thanks and praise His most holy name.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Do You Ever Feel Discouraged?

                           Have you ever noticed that the sunsets 
                           broken by clouds are the most beautiful?
                                  When times are at their worst,
             Jesus takes our pain, our problems and turns them around.
              He truly makes us beautiful, if we just allow Him to do so.
                 

Stressed?
Down in the dumps?
Overwhelmed?
Broken?
Like you messed up your life?

Fall down on your knees and look up.
Jesus is calling to you,
He says “Take My Hand, I’ll help you.
I’ll take your broken life and make you
   and your life beautiful.
I love you more than you can imagine.
I have loved you from before the beginning of time.
I know you are hurting.
I feel your pain.
My heart hurts so much when you are hurting.”

Jesus says Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Open your Bible and visit the church of your choice.
Get to know the One who paid for your sins
   with His life.
Put your life in His hands.
Tell Him you are sorry for all you ever did wrong.
He dying to forgive you
   and He will every single time you ask Him.

Life will continue to give you problems, difficulties, stress and turmoil but when you follow our Gentle Lord and Master, you will have peace in your soul, in your core.

When you turn to Him,
   Jesus will be with you every step of the way.
He will take your hand and walk with you
   through the rough patches of your life.
He will even carry you when you can’t walk anymore.

You will feel peace that defies the world’s logic.
You will learn the true meaning of the word JOY.
And you will never be discouraged again.
Because, with Jesus at your side, you are never alone.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Dear Friends:
I just finished writing this last night and then read about the shooting at the Walmart in Colorado.  My heart was broken.  I hurt so much for all the victims and the perpetrators who are hurting so much that they feel they must strike out.  We have had way too many tragedies this year.  One tragedy is too many but there have been so many more. 
What can we do?
We can be extra kind to everyone we have any contact with, especially the ones who may not behave like they "deserve it."  They just may need it the most and our act of kindness just might prevent them from doing something that they shouldn't.

Love with abandon.  Sew the seeds of your love and kindness.  And pray, pray, pray. You will make a mighty difference whether or not you ever see the results.

I would be grateful if you would pray for my husband, Tim who is having knee replacement surgery on Tuesday Nov. 7, 2017.  Thank you!


May you be mightily blessed, my friend.

Knapps Station Church will have their
Annual Bazaar
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017
9 am to 3 pm
There will be a food sale
and a donation white elephant sale
.

All photos taken by Debbie and Tim McEwen unless otherwise noted-          
     used with permission.
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 November 18, 2017.

           Jesus is the light that will bring hope and peace for tomorrow. 
                       Turn to Him and be blessed, my friend.

P.S.  Have you noticed how much I love sunsets?             God has given me so many beautiful ones.                       Through these beautiful sunsets, 
    He gives me great hope for my tomorrows 
                  - and yours too!