Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Highway of Holiness

This year my thoughts have been drawn so often to heaven. I lost my father in March and picture him often in heaven enjoying the fathomless blessings God promised to him. Soon after Dad's death, a friend told me to read a book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. I was totally transported into the realm of heaven by that book and it has encouraged me many times this year as I think of the promise of a new heaven and new earth. If you haven't read it, I recommend it highly.

This morning I read a chapter in Isaiah that also transported my thoughts to what awaits me in heaven. I encourage you to read Isaiah 35. In my New International Bible, the chapter is entitled "Joy of the Redeemed". In verse 8 it says: "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it, it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it." But the joy comes when I realize what awaits at the end of the road called Way of Holiness.

Here are some of the promises:

The desert will have water gushing forth in the form of streams, and flowers will blossom and grow.
Feeble hands will be strengthened, and weak knees will be steadied.
The eyes of the blind will be opened.
The lame will leap like a deer.
The ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
The mute shall speak.
Burning sand will become a pool with bubbling springs for the thirsty.
Everlasting joy will be on their heads.
Sorrow and sighing will be replaced with joy and gladness.

My, who would not get excited at what awaits us as we walk the Way of Holiness----the road that leads to Zion---to God!
If you are trampling through the mire and cares of this world thinking you will not get through the sludge of it all, please be reminded that what awaits us at the end of the road will be all well worth it. May you be encouraged to keep on keeping on!

May gladness and joy fill your hearts today!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sin or No Sin??

Have you ever thought what it would be like to live in a world of perfection? Adam and Eve are the only two people who have ever existed as humans on this earth that knew a perfect world. We have never known a world without sin, because the moment our heads popped through our mother's womb, we were born with sin as our nature. There have none been born since Eve without sin as part of their lives.

As I read my devotions this morning from Genesis 3, I was amazed at how many sins occurred in a matter of a short time with one bad choice made by Eve. The moment she ate of the fruit and convinced Adam to eat with her, sins everywhere began to be a part of their knowledge and a part of their reality:

Hard Labor
Knowledge of Evil
Physical Death

God had to banish Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because if they disobeyed his second command that they should not eat of the Tree of Life and had eaten of its fruit, they would've remained forever with their sin nature, as we would who were born after her. In God's mercy, he cast them out of the garden "to guard the way to the tree of life." God had a plan even then to provide a way for man to live eternally with Him as righteous, holy and pure. If he had left man in the garden, and man had chosen to eat of the Tree of Life, eternal life with God in heaven would not have been available to him.

What an indescribable gift God provided for mankind that He sent His Only Son from glory to "become sin for us" and pay our debt so that we might be made righteous and live with him forever in a world without sin. We all will face physical death someday, but no one has to face spiritual death if you make the right choice. Don't be an Eve and make a bad choice.

Just let your minds contemplate a perfect world without sin----No lying, no guilt, no shame, no pain, no weeds or thorns, lions lying down with lambs, no fear, and on and on and on, all because God had a merciful plan to take away our sin that is so deeply embedded into our nature and replace it with "PAID IN FULL" by His Only Son, Jesus Christ and his perfect sacrifice on the cross. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins." Now our existence as Christians is to give God glory and look forward with hope of eternity with Him and tell others that they, too, can take care of their sin nature by accepting God's gift of His Son's sacrifice of His shed blood on the cross for them!

Tell others the good news!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"And hope will not disappoint"

Yesterday in the mail, I was sent a wonderful article from a friend in Minnesota on HOPE. I want to share a few excerpts from that article that I trust will encourage you, especially if there is something in your life right now that is hard to bear.

"Keep the Lights On" by Leith Anderson

"Besides the physical need for food, air, water and shelter, humans require one thing in order to survive and thrive in life. Some people say it's health, and others claim it's happiness. But one thing beats them both: hope. No one can make it through life without suffering...it would be impossible to be constantly happy...but as Christians we can hold on to hope.
Always....throughout long lives and difficult times."

"Hope is all about tomorrow."

"Hope is the cornerstone of the Christian faith and a wonderful gift to every believer who will accept it."

"Christian hope is different because it comes from God, not from our imaginations."

"God puts us on a path to tomorrow but surprises us with twists and turns we would never expect."

"Hope is a precious commodity that needs to be carefully guarded. Colossians 1:23 warns us to 'continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel....Many things can steal hope from our lives: disappointment, disease, poverty, death and divorce are a few.....We may be our own greatest thieves of hope. Although we don't choose to feel hopeless, we can easily and thoughtlessly put our hope in the wrong person, possession, or circumstance.....Our hope must be in God. Money, people, and good health are not dependable, but God is."

"Be patient. Don't give up easily. Don't surrender too soon. Don't think God has forgotten. Hold on to hope with the conviction that God will do good no matter how long it takes. Romans 8:25 reminds us, "But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

"Expect surprises when God turns hope into reality. Remember our hope is not in good outcomes....Our hope is in God."

"Keep the lights on. When illness strikes, when loved ones die or when you feel swamped with discouragement, hold on to hope. Don't let anyone talk you into putting out the lights of hope. Keep your hope bright through faith in God."

May your hope in God spark hope in those around you,

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Worms for Brains

I thought I would pass on to you mothers who have small children this cute idea I saw in this month's Taste of Home magazine. If you are a mother of boys, I think they would think this is really cool! If you are a mother of little girls, they probably will think... "Gross!" If you want to try this idea one evening for lunch or supper and have some fun with the family, I bet it will jazz up the evening's conversation!

Worms for Brains

Find 8 to 10 medium sweet orange peppers (If you can't find orange peppers, I'm sure the green, red, or yellow ones would work as well).
Cut tops off peppers and set aside; remove all the seeds and membranes inside. Then have the kids carve a jack-o-lantern face on one side of each pepper. They should have fun making their own faces.
Cook 1 package (16 oz) spaghetti as directed on the package.
Take 1 pound of ground beef and brown until no longer pink, drain.
Drain spaghetti, and add to beef.
Stir in one jar (26 oz) of spaghetti sauce (choose the brand that your family likes, such as Ragu, Prego, etc.)
Heat through until hot.
Spoon spaghetti into the carved peppers.
Replace the tops on the peppers.

I think this should add some pizzazz to your evening meal for Halloween, and the kids will think "my mom is so much fun."

"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13
"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours." Psalm 128:2

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sowing Seeds

Yesterday my husband went to Lowe's and brought home to me an amaryllis bulb and a kit to plant it. The kit contained two pots (one for draining), dirt to put in the pots, the bulb, and directions. As I was planting the bulb according to the directions, I pictured my beautiful red flowers that should come into full bloom around Christmastime. Also, the parable of the sower came to mind as I planted.

Is there someone in your life that you have prayed to find salvation? Maybe it's your husband, your children, parents, a friend, a co-worker. We can be a "sower of seeds" in a person's life through our prayers, a word spoken to them in a timely manner, and/or by our life lived out in obedience as a testimony to those around us! We can dig into the soil of their hearts and tell them the good news of Jesus Christ: that He came to earth from heaven to die for our sins and paid the ultimate sacrifice on the cross by His shed blood, and rose from the grave and ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us so that we might live eternally with him. We are the planters of those seeds into the hearts of those we care about. God is the reaper! It will be between God and your loved one how the seed grows and develops. But as you pray and plant the seeds, picture your loved ones as whole and complete in Christ---beautiful flowers in full bloom in God's garden!

Today I pray that you may give the life-giving message of Jesus to your family and friends so that the seed you plant will grow into full assurance of faith for them. "..the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Luke 8:15

Happy planting!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Do you want a little something different to liven up your dinner table? I was given this recipe by a friend years ago, and it's always a hit with my husband. Lavosh is a flat crunchy bread---you find it often as an appetizer at restaurants before the meal comes. It's also a great appetizer for your own parties. It was first introduced to me with curried egg salad that you spread on the lavosh, but it is just as good with a little butter spread on it, or with nothing at all. Yummy! The lavosh takes a little time to prepare, but it's worth it. If you have children, they will love helping you roll it out! It will make dinner a little more interesting and fun, and bread is the "staff of life", so they say!


1 cup buttermilk
1 cube margarine, melted (1/2 cup)
3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Mix altogether in Cuisinart. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Divide into 6 equal portions. Roll very thin (paper thin where you can almost see through it). Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Serve it in a pretty little bread basket and I assure you the family will love it!

Jesus said in John 6:35: "...I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

May Jesus nourish your soul today!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Crossword Puzzle

Anyone that knows me well knows that I love to do the crossword puzzle in the morning paper every day. Some days I whiz through it---other days it's a real struggle to complete it, but complete it I must! If I can't do it on my own, I consult my husband, a dictionary, even go to the internet for answers, but I'm very determined to fill in all the blanks!

Life is like a crossword puzzle! Some days you get up and the day goes beautifully---no problems! Other days it's a real struggle with a problem around every turn. How do you get through those kind of struggle days?

We can consult a friend and pour out our frustrations to them. It's special to have a good friend that we trust to carry our burdens with us. Friends are a very special gift from God.

We can go to God's Word and find answers. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105
The Bible is our instruction manual that shows us the path through life that will lead us to the answers to our problems. Just as I consult my dictionary for the answers to my crossword puzzle, we can go to God's Word and find answers to lighten the load that we carry, to give us hope, to refresh us when we are weary and lonely. "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Our next resource is to go directly to God Himself in prayer. "If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him." James 1:5 God is always there waiting for us to talk to Him about our burdens. "Cast your cares upon me, for I care for you." We always have a direct line to God and He delights in giving us the answers to those things that cause us to struggle.

So I trust that today will be a "whiz" day for you, but if you are struggling through the day and need help to find answers, there are resources you can turn to in order to find them, and our best resource is God Himself. He's always there waiting for you!

Happy day to all of you!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Independence or Dependence?

Yesterday I went with my husband to his eye doctor's appointment prepared to work quietly on my crossword puzzle while waiting for him in the waiting room. Shortly a beautiful white-haired lady spritely walked toward me and started talking. How interesting that women can open up to each other so freely. I learned that she was 91 years old, she was at the doctor's office because of macular degeneration in her eye, that she lived alone, had lost her husband and two sons and neither son had married so she had no grandchildren. She said she was from a family of 10, and only a sister remained in Texas. The sister had begged her to come to Texas to live with her, but this dear old lady said "But I LOVE my independence." At the time, I thought "What Spunk!" Hope I am that spunky when I'm 91!

Throughout the day, however, my thoughts kept returning to that dear 91-year-old. I kept wondering---what if she lost her eyesight because of macular degeneration? What if she had a stroke and couldn't walk or speak? What if she fell and broke a leg? Would her independence be of any value at all to her then? Did she have means to handle catastrophes, or would she be alone to handle the hard trials that eventually will come? I don't know the answer to those questions for her.

As I pondered this lady's "independence", I thought, how much better to be dependent---dependent on the promises of God that assure us that HE will never leave us or forsake us, that we can DEPEND on Him to be with us through all circumstances of life, that we can DEPEND on him to provide us what we need to meet the circumstances we are in.

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

How much better to have the Lord to lean hard upon when life becomes difficult! How much better to have the Lord to talk to during lonely hours! How much better to turn over to the Lord my problems, my questions, my concerns, my burdens. If I could desire any quality for the younger women who are just beginning their lives with the Lord, it would be to learn to LEAN, learn to DEPEND on the Lord and the people that HE places in your path. We are not an island meant to go it alone! We have a God who cares and wants to walk alongside us in the good and bad times. He provides people in our path that help to bear our burdens---we are never alone, when we are dependent on HIM!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stop------and Be Refreshed!

For many years, I have loved to journal, to write down my thoughts, to meditate and mull over things that are brought to my attention through God's Word, or through authors, and put my own slant on what I hear and learn! I have books of journals that I have written over the years. As I am now considered "mature" at the ripe old age of 66, I wondered aloud with my son that maybe I should find a way to share my thoughts with younger women who might glean some little tidbit of wisdom to help them in their personal walk with God, or just with living their daily lives. Being the technological son that he is, my son suggested starting a blog----so here goes!

I chose the title "Refreshment Spot" for my blog. Websters' Dictionary defines "refresh" as:
1) To revive with or as if with rest, food or drink; give new vigor to.
2) To give new freshness or brightness to; restore.
3) To make cool, clean, or moist; freshen up.
4) To replenish.

My desire for those that read my blog is to share what I have learned through God's Word, and through my years of experience as an older woman to refresh other younger women, to give new freshness and brightness to what they already know or may not know in order to encourage and give them new vigor to keep their faith fresh and growing!

God's Word tells older women in Titus 2 that they are the ones to train the younger women "to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be submissive to their husbands, SO THAT no one will malign the word of God." As an older woman, it is my responsibility to pass on what I have learned to the younger women in my life to help them become the women that God desires them to be. With this blog, I will try to fulfill my responsibility.

I am not claiming to have attained greater wisdom just because I am older. I know that in the 66 years of my life, God has taught me valuable lessons through many avenues: through His Word, through older women in my own life; through life's experiences, some of them quite hard at times; through other teachers and authors that I have read, etc. God has many ways to teach us lessons in life that we would not have learned unless a particular person or experience had not been sent our way.

So---I am looking forward to using this avenue to pass on "refreshment" to those that read it. Refreshment comes in many different ways, so be prepared for variety! Take time from your busy day, to stop by my "refreshment spot" to bring a new vigor, restoration, replenishment, or revival to your day!

I leave you with this verse: "I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong....that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith." Romans 1:11, 12

See you later!