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Friday, April 6, 2018

More Than I Deserve

On 11 mile road between Santa Clara, NY and turn off to Malone, NY.
                    Are you lost in the wilderness of life?
  If you look to Jesus, He will put a bridge over your troubled waters.
          He will give peace to your soul, if you only turn to Him.
               He gives us all so much more than we deserve.

What do I deserve?
What do you deserve?

Do we deserve all the circumstances of our birth?
Did we deserve to be born when and where we were born?

Did you ever look at pictures of the uber rich wonder what they did to deserve all they have? I have at times and wished for a little of what they have.

I have also seen pictures of people in Third World countries where so many have to struggle for the things that I take for granted like clean drinking water or food, let alone medical care or a roof over their heads.
I feel pretty rich compared to those struggling people.

Do I deserve all that God gave me?

Do I deserve enough to eat, clean water and so on let alone the love and forgiveness that He hands out freely?

Did I do anything to earn His graciousness?
Did I earn His death on the cross to pay for my sins so I can spend eternity with Him in Paradise?

There is absolutely no way I could ever do enough or be good enough, righteous enough, to earn the fact that God in the person of His Son, suffered and died on the cross to pay my way to Paradise for eternity.

If I got what I truly deserve, I would be headed to the pit of fire for eternity.

I don’t deserve that He forgives me every time I ask for forgiveness for all the things I do wrong.

I have a Loving Father who has never given up on me and loves me so much that He gives me so much more than I deserve.

He loves you the same. 


Will you accept His love? 

He’s waiting patiently just for you.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
  nor will he harbor his anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
  or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
  so great is his love for those who fear him;
  as far as the east is from the west,
  so far has he removed our transgressions       from us
Psalm 103:8-12


                    Tim took this sunrise picture a couple of days ago.
                   Each day is a new chance to start over and do better.
        God always gives us second chances right up to the end of our life.

                             He knows we will make mistakes
                      He just asks that we keep trying to do better
                                 ask for forgiveness for our sins
                                      and turn to Him for help.


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 on April 21 2018.

            This is the first Bald Eagle that I have ever seen in the wild.
It was exciting when Tim spotted the eagle and his mate and got pictures.
                   Photos were shot also on the 11 Mile Road.
                    A dead deer provides a meal for the birds.
         Many times God uses what we consider to be misfortune
                   to give us opportunities to better ourselves.

                                        Female Bald Eagle.
                             Her feathers look all messed up.
                       Did she loose the fight for the deer meat?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What Was Jesus Thinking?

                         The sun descends in glorious colors.
           The clouds reflect the sunlight adding beauty to the scene.
                            We become incredibly beautiful
                        when we reflect the majesty of God.
                            Jesus death and resurrection
                           opened the door to enable us
                to reflect that incredible beauty for all eternity.


What was Jesus thinking when He rode the donkey into Jerusalem to the shouts of “Hosanna to the son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven.” (Matthew 21:9) knowing that a few days later the same people would shout “Crucify him” when given the choice of freeing innocent Jesus or a criminal? Was His heart heavy?

What was Jesus thinking when He taught His followers those last parables, those final lessons? (see Matthew 21:18 through Matthew 25)
Was He trying to make sure He had covered all the important points, so He could leave knowing He had prepared His followers for the enormous job ahead of them? Was He anxious? No. He knew how well they would spread His word and His Love?

What was Jesus thinking when He went to that Last Supper with His disciples? Did His heart ache knowing that both Peter and Judas would betray Him? Knowing that almost all His disciples who had pledged undying loyalty would run off leaving Him to suffer and die in unspeakable agony?

Did He also rejoice knowing that His words “This is my body and this is my blood” spoken over the bread and wine would be said by millions of followers for thousands of years as they, as we celebrate Jesus precious gift for us?

How did Jesus possibly manage going to Gethsemane? He knew His followers could not follow where He had to go. He said to His Father “Your will, not mine be done” knowing the agony that was to start shortly and last for many torturous hours. (Matthew 26:36-45)

What was Jesus thinking when His betrayer greeted Him with a kiss to identify Him for those who came to take Jesus to His horrible death? He knew ahead of time what was about to happen. Could I, could you have gone through it all? He was innocent, I am not. He knew He could call on God and His angels at any time to stop His death. He chose to continue knowing all those who would deny Him, refuse His love, sinning repeatedly. I could never have done what Jesus did. Imagine His love for us!

What was Jesus thinking when the soldiers pounded nails into His wrists and feet to nail Him to the cross after beating Him so badly that the skin was ripped off His back and His bones were showing, bleeding, His lifeblood oozing out onto the ground. The blood had dripped into His eyes from the crown of thorns forced on His head. He was beaten and bloody from head to toe. This was God in the person of His precious son who chose to accept this death, the punishment that we deserve for our sins. What did He say? Did He condemn? He said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

What was Jesus thinking as He died? Why did He do this? His actions say to each of us “I love you more than this life itself. I love you so much that I willingly accept the punishment that you deserve. I want you to spend eternity with me in paradise. Will you take my hand and follow Me? 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

 Matthew 11:28-30

What was Jesus thinking when He did all this? He was thinking how much He loves you and me and wants us with Him for eternity in Paradise. 


Will you accept?

Blessing:
Be blessed my friend, knowing that we do not have to pay for our sins, that Jesus did that for us - if we only accept.


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
on April 7, 2018.


                                      Spring is bringing new life.
                                     Jesus' death and resurrection
                                  bring us new life, everlasting life.
                                  Will you accept His incredible gift?
                                Photo taken at West Stockholm, NY.



Thursday, March 15, 2018

Truly Great Treasure


           In this life you will have to choose what is your heart's desire.
                   You will have to choose what is most important to you.
                   Only one desire can occupy the top place in your heart.
                                       What will you choose?
The more I learn about God, the more treasures I find.  
I’m like the archaeologist who finds an old coin and digs further to seek a greater prize.  As he continues to dig, he hopes to discover a great find.  
As I study God's word, I always discover great treasure.  
The greater my effort, the closer to God I become. When I listen closely, I hear His voice.  
As my relationship with God becomes closer, my happiness grows and my peace increases.  
When we surrender to God, He puts His mighty armor around us to protect us.  
Hardships still occur but they do not devastate to the degree that they did before, because God is in our core giving us His peace.  
He is always on our side, always guiding and loving us. 
This is truly great treasure.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  Matthew 13:44

              Spring is hidden under all the snow we recently received.
Today is the first day that is not gray so I could get a picture of the snow covering.  It was beautiful in that it made all the earth clean and white.

Commentary:
I apologize for the lateness of this blog.
It's lateness is due to my bout with the flu.
I pray this flu missed all of you.
I was able to stay inside for the most part and did enjoy seeing the snow cover on the trees and brush, on the ground.
It's almost like a do over, a fresh start with Spring tagging closely behind it.
My flu gave me an opportunity to appreciate how good it feels when sickness leaves and I feel good again.
I've found that I never feel as well as I do after I've been sick and gotten well.
We will appreciate the good weather even more after the storm.
Is God telling us that we need to appreciate Him and all He does when He allows us to have hardships and then bring us through those hardships?
I hope to learn that lesson without having to live through many more hardships.

Blessings on you my friend and may all the winter woes escape you and yours.

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
on March 24, 2018.

               I'll end with one of God's beautiful sunsets.
                 It seems to be echoing God's words
         Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.
            This is my treasure.  I share it with you, friend.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Springtime Battles

Muddy, muddy, gush, gush
As my feet go push, push
Across the sift and wet, wet ground

Mud tries hard to suck me down
Tries to take my shoes and keep me
But I stand firm and keep on going
Shoes stay on but mud is showing
Remnants of my springtime battle
With that soft and gushy ground

Snow in places still is showing
As my feet do keep on going
Across the muddy, gushy ground

My destination soon I'm reaching
As my feet continue breaching
Springtime muddy, wet, wet ground

I look back and see my journey
Footprints rapidly are learning
Power of the soft and gushy ground

How amazing is the power
Of the mud that makes us cower
When we wage our springtime battles
With the soft and muddy ground.


Commentary:
I wrote this poem the year I broke my leg.  I was getting the garbage can out by the road and struggling with a "boot" cast one one foot and a sneaker on the other.  The weather and the muddy ground was like it is right now and the words came to me as I got to my house.

When I read it today, it seems almost a parallel for the spiritual battles that we wage.  The mud is the sin that tries to bog us down.  It tries to suck us in the ways of the world.  It tries to take our decency and our humanity from us. However, if we keep on trying and keep our eye on our goal, which is our home for eternity, we definitely can prevail.  Most of the time, we need a helping hand along the way and our Father will provide that - if we only accept.
  
Our shoes and feet, our souls get dirty along the way.  Just as we can wash off the mud, our Father can wash away the sin.

We win in the end, just as long as we don't give up.

"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


                             This is the little brook in springtime. 
                  It is located between my house and West Potsdam, NY

            I really enjoy when the grass turns green and new life returns.


                             I even look forward to the dandelions.


                                   And the crab apple blossoms.
                    How God must rejoice when new life blooms in us.

Blessing:
May you be greatly blessed, my friend with the new life that God is about to sow in your life.
May you burst forth with the beauty of His love, grace and JOY.
Be blessed!


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.