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Monday, February 11, 2019

This World is Not My Home


               God filled this world with incredible beauty for us to enjoy 
                                         while we are here 
                                BUT we are only passing through.   
                            We have a different final destination.
                  Photo is of little side road near Waddington, NY Fall 2018.


This finally dawned on me to the point that it’s getting ingrained in my thoughts.

What does it mean?

It means that nothing in this life is my final goal.

It means that I’m in school, in training for a different place.

A place called Eternity.

It’s where we live forever and ever without end.

The choices, the deeds, the activities we choose, the goals we work toward will direct us to our final destination.

Our behavior and choices here will determine if we like our final destination or not.

There are two possible final destinations: heaven or hell.

There are no other choices.

And everyone goes one place or the other, no exceptions.

One place is heavenly and the other absolutely is not.

Our loving Father wants us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven where life will be unimaginably wonderful.

However, He gives us free will and lets us choose to go to heaven or not.

All the while we live, God nudges and encourages us.

He gives us almost unlimited opportunities to live in such a way that we get to go to heaven, but He doesn’t force us to choose Him and heaven.

He wants us with Him in Paradise for eternity so badly that He became one of us in the person of His beloved son who lived to teach us how to live. We can only go to heaven if we are holy as God is holy and no one of us is capable of being that perfect. God knows that and made plans for us anyhow. God loves us so much that He choose that His beloved son, Jesus, would take on all the sins of all men for all time, past, present and future. Jesus chose to be tortured to death to pay for all our sins. God offers forgiveness for our sins if we only repent, tell Him we are sorry and try to not sin again. He knows we will sin again, so He keeps forgiving as long as we keep asking for forgiveness. Our debt is paid.

The road to Heaven, to spend eternity with our Loving Father, who loves us without measure requires us to love Him first and foremost, to love and treat others as ourselves and to repent our sins. Repent means to tell God we are sorry for what we have done wrong.

Somewhere along the way of learning about God and what He wants me to do and how He wants me to live, I figured out that I want to go to Heaven, that Heaven is my final home. As a result, I don’t care as much if I have all the stuff that this world tells me that I need. It isn’t as important to be first or best – except in God’s eyes. It doesn’t matter if I “win arguments”, only that I win souls for God. That does matter. I hope to see all of them and all of you when I do go home.

Will you join me? Our Father is waiting to welcome us with outstretched arms.


But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Philippians 3:20


                     At the end of our toils, Jesus will be waiting for us.


Prayer Requests:
So much is happening these days.  There has been terrible weather.  There was a partial shutdown of our government and thousands of people suffered terrible financial difficulties as a result.  There is a virulent flu going around and the flu shot does not prevent it.  I was very sick with that "bug."  More severe weather is expected this week.  The list of problems goes on and on.  So many people are in need.  Our country and our world are in great need and the only one we can really turn to for solutions is Our Father.  He already has all the solutions.  He tells us: "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. 

Our world needs our prayers and our acts of kindness too.  Every prayer and every act of kindness will light a candle to brighten the darkness in this world and make it a much better place to live.

May God bless you greatly, my friend and thank you in advance for your prayers and your acts of kindness. 

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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends 
    so I may try to post during the week.

                               Here's another one of my sunsets.
                        Sometimes I think God sends so many my way 
                          because He knows how much I enjoy them.
                            The colors are sometimes so glorious that 
                          they are almost like a little piece of heaven,
                                      my little piece of heaven
                               that I share with you, my friend.
                                            Blessings.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

What Would You Have Me Learn from This, Lord?

                             The sky is gray.  Is a storm brewing? 
                     What am I facing?  What's going to happen to me? 
                                         Why is this happening?


Why did that happen?
Why are You allowing this to happen to me, Lord?

I ask and sometimes He lets me see that this world is not my home. I have not arrived home yet. I’m in school, in training. Each experience is a learning event. I am being evaluated by how I react, how I treat others as I would have them treat me. I am being evaluated on my attitude, how hard I try – even when I fail.  Am I learning?

God knows I am weak, but He cares when I keep trying, when I turn to Him for strength. He always knew I couldn’t make it on my own. He has been waiting for me to learn and accept the fact. He’s been waiting for me to turn to Him and make Him my strength. 


My flesh...may fail but God is the strength of my heart.   Psalm 73:26

He’s been waiting for my heart to soften from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh and to forgive as He has forgiven me my many sins – just because I ask, not because I could ever earn His forgiveness and will never deserve His forgiveness. 


I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 
  Ezekiel 36:26

God has plans for me, plans to help and not to hurt. He as a job for me to do and I will be here until I complete that job.

He is molding me into the child He knows I can be and really am, deep down inside. I can stop Him with my willfulness. I can choose not to allow.  He did give me free will, but do I really want to use it to oppose Him?  Do I trust Him completely with my life and my future?  Do I trust the Creator of all that exists to make good plans for me?  I’d be a fool not to.

So, I put myself in His hands and when stuff comes up in my life that is difficult, that I may not want to do, I ask “What would you have me learn from this, Lord? and listen for His answers.


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

                           God can change gray skies to blue.  
            There may still be clouds but the outlook is much brighter.  
               The scenery changes from gloom to brilliant beauty.  
            This is what happens to my life when I trust in the Lord, 
      when I trust that He has a plan for me and it involves teaching me, 
                               molding me into His child.
                      View is near ski jump at Lake Placid, NY.

Prayer Request:
There is so much turmoil in our country right now.  Please pray for everyone.  Please sew the seeds of kindness every chance you get.  We can only fight the darkness with God's light.  We can only fight evil with God's goodness.  And guess what?  God has already won the final battle for us. 

                          In the midst of darkness, 
                                 God brings His light and His love.  
                                 We only need to walk to the light 
                                   and to His outstretched hands.


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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends 
    so I may try to post during the week.


As we live our lives and trudge through the problems and heartbreaks and JOYS that life brings, we need to remember that there is a heavenly reward waiting for us when we choose to follow God's way.  God is the golden light waiting for us on the other side. His eternal reward is beyond anything we can imagine.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

And the Clouds Parted


The clouds are gray and threatening.
It’s been raining.
The wind blows leaves hither and yon.

My mood is down-cast.
So much is happening
So many problems at home and in the world
So many issues to deal with.
Sometimes it’s over-whelming.

And the clouds parted.
The sun shone through.
The sky is still gray with patches of blue




But the day brightens
My mood brightens

My father is telling me that regardless of how dark my life becomes, He is with me always, beside me, helping with all my problems, with all life’s issues.

He says “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5
He never has and never will.

I am never alone.

He has a plan for me, a plan to help and not to hurt me – or you.

Be blessed, my friend.


This is the day the Lord had made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24


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



                        God gives us rainbows to remind us 
               that He walks with us through each of life's trials.

Happy New Year dear friend.
It's the time to reflect on what happened in 2018 and think about what we would like to accomplish in 2019.  I would encourage you to pray and ask God what He would like you to accomplish in 2019.
Your true happiness and fulfillment will come when you are working with your Father and living the life that He has planned for you.  I wish that happiness and fulfillment for you and that 2019 is your best year yet.

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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends 
    so I may try to post during the week.

The next post should be in about 2 weeks.

                               I'll close with a beautiful sunset.  
             I am so blessed that God has planted me in a beautiful area 
             and that He sets up wonderful scenery for me to photograph.
                            When I look at His wonderful sunsets, 
                 God seems to be saying "See you in the morning, child.
                                         Tomorrow is a new day, 
                             wait till you see the plans I have for you.
                      "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
                           plans to give you hope and a future. "  

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Shepherd’s Tale

                    Listen, my friend to my amazing story.

It’s so cold tonight. The stars are so bright and seem so close, I could almost reach out and touch one. I snuggle close to the lamb who was born last night. His mother died in the birth and he seems so forlorn. One of the other ewes is nursing him so he should be fine.

The other shepherds are calming their sheep too. Something’s in the air. I wonder if there is a wolf or bear close by. 


                I take the Hanukkah lamb to Simeon

I really enjoy my sheep. I even like the earthy smell. All the Jews turn up their noses to me and how I smell except that holy man, Simeon who stays in the temple. He is ancient but so kind to everyone. When I delivered his Hanukkah lamb, he complimented me about how perfect it was. No one else has ever even given me the time of day. He even took the time to tell me about God’s promise to him that he, Simeon would not die before he sees God’s son. Rabbi Simeon is so certain that God will honor His promise. I have to wonder because the good Rabbi is so old.

I wish I could see God’s son. I’m only a poor shepherd and no one special. But I can dream.


                      The angels come with their message of love.

What’s happening? The sky is getting so bright. The sheep are bleating and running around. There are huge, glowing, flying men with wings coming near us, singing about glory to God and peace and that the Son of God is born. They tell us not to be afraid, but I am terrified. After a while I calm down and so do the sheep. They tell us that they bring good news for all men, including us poor shepherds, that the Son of God was born tonight and is lying in a manger in a stable in Bethlehem. They tell us that we need to go and see for ourselves and to worship him. They tell us that we need to spread this news that will bring great JOY to all men.

I am no longer afraid. I am so excited that I hurry with the other shepherds to Bethlehem. There is a star that seems to be guiding us to a stable behind an inn. We slowly walk into the stable. There in the center of the room is a tiny baby wrapped in cloths lying in the manger. His mother sits beside him, smiling at him. She is so young and looks so tired. A young man stands guard over the mother and child. He looks so proud and reverent as though he too heard the angels’ message. 


                          I bring my lamb to the Son of God.

Each of us shepherds slowly approach the mother and baby. Each has brought a present of food or an animal. I brought my orphaned lamb to keep the baby warm on this cold night. As I offer it to the mother and baby, the mother smiles at me and tells me it is a wonderful gift and that she really appreciates it. She says her son does too.

As she says this, the tiny baby wakes and smiles at me. I am dumb-founded! The angels told us this is the Son of God! I cannot believe that the Son of God would appreciate a gift from lowly me. This is a moment that I will treasure forever! I can hear the angels singing and see the brilliant light of the star. I can see the animals in the stable. Each is blurring as the tears come to my eyes. I am so happy to be here right now. Never in my life have I done anything as important as this, not even when I married Merriam. Not even when my children were born. 



I slowly leave with the other shepherds. We hate to leave but our sheep must be tended. The man tells us it’s ok to leave and the baby seems to wave goodbye to us. We hurry back to our flocks.

I can’t wait to tell my Marian and Jacob what I saw.

I can’t wait to run to the temple tomorrow to tell Rabbi Simeon that I saw the Son of God!


In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.


I cannot imagine the joy that the shepherds must have felt to know that they were actually seeing the Son of God and to know that God trusted them to be the first visitors.

That JOY can be yours and mine if we just open our hearts to Him and let Him fill us with His love for eternity.

Thank you for reading my blogs!  You bless me when you do.  

Be blessed, my friend for a most JOYOUS Christmas and 2019.

Remember to keep Christ in Christmas.  He is indeed the reason for the season.  And remember those less fortunate.

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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends 
    so I may try to post during the week.
The next post should be in about 2 weeks.

   River in Winthrop, NY.  There is a halo or "sundog" around the sun that I did not see but that the camera picked up.  There is so much that God will show all of us if we just open our eyes and hearts to Him,  especially at this JOYOUS time of year.





Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Pieces of My Life

               Sometimes my life feels like a jumbled jigsaw puzzle 
                                with no picture and no directions 
               - until I look to my Father and His guidebook, the Bible.

Here are my pieces, Lord.

Here are the pieces of my life,
the pieces of my family and my friends,
with health, relationships and all the other issues.

Here are the pieces of my church
with all our issues, needs and prayers.

Here are the pieces of my country
So many issues, Lord.
So many problems
So many people trying to do their best
and then there are the others, Lord

Here are the pieces that don’t fit into any category

I give you all my pieces, Father.

I know you will sort them out and make sense of them.

When you are done, this puzzle will be a masterpiece
because You know the best way to put everything together
and how to make sense of it all.

Only Your way is best.

Only Your time is right.

It can only be Your will, not mine, Father.

And the pieces will fit perfectly!


“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.   Matthew 7:7



           Picture was taken at Fobare's near Chase Mills, NY.
                     When I give all my problems to my Father, 
                 He will handle them and make everything right 
                                    - in the end.

Prayer Requests:  Please pray for all the less fortunate, especially those in Alaska where there are earthquakes, those in the war torn zones, the refugees who are seeking asylum at our Mexican border, those guarding the border and all those in need.  There are so many needs in our world and the only good answers are from our Father.


        Our Father is the light through the trees.


           He is the shelter in the storm.
        He doesn't take all our problems away
      but He helps us find a way through them
            and guides us to the solution
               -when we turn to Him.


    He is the glorious sunset at the end of the day.

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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends 
    so I may try to post during the week.
The next post should be in about 2 weeks.

This post is a little late.  Sorry.  My husband had knee replacement on Nov. 13 and I am late posting.  He is recovering nicely but still in a lot of pain.

If you like my photos and would like prints, I have started printing my pictures and I am selling them.  If you are interested, please contact me 
at debbieamcewen@gmail.com 
or call at (315)265-7469.

                   This is the church at Paul Smiths.
      A good path to find your way to your Father
     is to join a Bible based church of your choice
           and fellowship with other people 
                 who are seeking Him.
              I attend and recommend 
        Knapps Station Community Church 
                      Norwood, NY

Saturday, November 10, 2018

What Will You Do to The Walls You Meet?


                                              Each of us is "under construction".                                       


If you think of everyone you meet
   as a wall under construction, 

   what will you do when you encounter them?

Do you add bricks and mortar?
   Do you smooth the mortar and settle the bricks,
   or do you 
loosen the mortar 
   and knock down the bricks?
  

In other words, do you build up
   or do you knock down?

Every time we interact with other people,
   we do exactly that.
Our words and actions will either build up
   or knock down others.
We can either brighten someone’s day or darken it. We can bring Jesus’ light or Satan’s darkness.


It costs us nothing to give a store clerk a kind word       but may take the sting out of
   someone else’s thoughtless remark. 

A misbehaving child may need a hug 
   more than anything else. 
He or she may have been acting out 
   just to get attention. 
An act of love can turn around a life.

Our lives consist of a series of choices
   and each choice leads us to our final destination. The love we show may be passed on.
The bricks we lay make that wall stronger. 

The lack of love only tears down walls and lives. 

When we build up, it strengthens someone else, 
   it also shores up our souls against the darkness 
   that fights every moment to take over. 
Our building up, our laying of bricks can be small 
   or large actions. 
Even a smile can brighten a day 
   and spread Jesus’ love.

Sometimes we think we don’t matter, 

   that what we do really isn’t important, 
   but it is. 

There is a battle waging in the heavens 
   for each of us. 
Light versus darkness. 
What we do, gives ammunition to one side 
   – or the other.

I choose to lay bricks. I choose light!

What will you choose?

Ephesians 4:29 tells us ”Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give good grace to those who hear.”



  We've lost the brilliant reds and orange colored trees but the sun shining on                     these golden trees is beautiful on this glorious day.
   This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
                   Psalm 118:24


                  This is a side road near Paul Smiths, NY a week ago.
                              I can choose to dread the snow
                 or choose to see the beauty that God places in my path
                     and edify others with the beauty that I see.


     The image of the trees on the water is only a distorted image of reality.
                                Do we only see the reflections of life?
                    For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; 
                                then we shall see face to face. 
                      Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, 
                    even as I am fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12


                           I challenge you to choose the light
                and to soar above the evil that tries to fill this world. 

                 When you fly to the light, your heart will sing.
       Your choices to build up others will give strength to your wings
                                   and JOY to your soul.
                  When you fall short, as we all do, keep trying. 
                    God sees your efforts and loves you for it. 

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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends 
    so I may try to post during the week.
The next post should be in about 2 weeks.
                           
                Be blessed, my friend 
       and may your life reflect the beauty 
                of God's love in you.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

This is the Day!

This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Psalm 118:24
My 4 year old grandson Mark and I took a ride to see the beautiful day and take pictures.  We stopped at a playground in Waddington, NY.  Here Mark jumps for joy, just to be alive and enjoy the day. Our Lord wishes us to become like little children, to jump for joy and to delight in Him and all He has done for us. 


Something startled the Canada geese and they took flight.  On a day like this one and every day, my heart takes flight when I see the wonders that God has made for my delight.


A ship traveling somewhere between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic.  This part is the St. Lawrence River.


There is still some beautiful color on the trees at Brandy Brook at the McGuinnes Road Waddington, NY.


There is so much beauty to be see around each bend in the road if we are looking.  (McGuinness Road)


              The beauty that the Lord has created 
              makes my heart sing.
            This photo was taken at Fobares near Waddington, NY.


              I zoomed in on still brilliant trees across a mown field.


                                                      More of Fobares


                                                   More of Fobares
Did God compose this just for me to find today?
How many other JOYS
are waiting around the next bend,
waiting for me to say: 
This is the day the Lord hath made, let us  rejoice and be glad in it!  Psalm 118:24

Notice, Notice

Knapps Station Community Church
Women's Bazaar
Saturday November 3, 2018
8am to 3pm
There will be a bake sale and lots of great stuff.
Something for everyone!
Another one of those Knapps Station events that is not to be missed!

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 usually post every other Saturday.
Lately I have been very busy with Grandma duties on weekends so I may try to post during the week.
The next post should be in about 2 weeks.

As all grandparents know, there is nothing more special than our grandchildren, especially when they are being silly.  I believe that God also delights in us, who are His children. Especially when we are enjoying His wonderful creation.