Quotes to Start the Week

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance.

It is laying hold of His willingness.

Martin Luther

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Psalm 188:17

I shall not die, but I shall live,

And recount the deeds of the LORD.

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If you don’t rejoice, the devil will think he’s winning.

T.D. Jakes

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Joy is the serious business of heaven.

C.S. Lewis

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You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,

and light will shine on your ways.

Job 22:28

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Be loving to those who do not love you and they may change.

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Have a blessed, HAPPY week!

Karen

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A Quick Hello

I say a quick hello because it’s 11:45pm. Yes, time for me to get to bed, but I wanted to say hello. I’ve been super busy in the last few weeks.

I’m in the kitchen cooking a lot more because I now prepare lots of meals and foods for hubby to help him gain weight. He was dangerously low, 123 lbs. Now he’s up to 138. He has a long way to go but we’ll get him there. He’s still using a cane to walk because he gets tired and weak easily. He’s back to work; leaves home at 6am and gets home 6pm, also works 6 hours every Saturday.

Besides working to get hubby back to good health, I have concerns about Mom. She has dementia, macular degeneration and very poor hearing. We’re having issues with her hearing aids. Bought her some new ones but she can’t figure out how to get them in her ear canal far enough so they will stay in. She loses them and we search all over for them. Yesterday we discovered she lost the left one and we never did find it. We fear she flushed it down the toilet accidentally. Four of us searched the house, the garbage :(, her clothes, the furniture and under the furniture, drawers, countertops, deep freeze, everywhere we could think. It is not to be found. AND we’re still paying on the thing.

Plus I’ve been trying to figure out what to do when we sell her property; whether to move her here with me and hubby or to find a senior living place for her. Then I had a talk with a senior living agent who told me it could cost way more money than what Mom gets in social security.

I was so frustrated when I came home.

My blood pressure was up high, not good for someone who takes blood pressure medication. It was one of those days that I wished I could drive to the mountains to a nice quiet cabin, with no problems and only beauty to look at and a few million$$$ in the bank would solve a lot of problems.

On the bright side, I was reading something, or maybe I heard it on the radio, can’t remember, that said to look for beauty in God’s creation. Let me share a few things that I have recently seen.

On the drive down to Mom’s, I saw the most beautiful skies I’ve seen in awhile. Clouds that looking like rolling, billowing puffs that stretched farther than I could see. I wanted to take a picture but I was in heavy traffic and I forgot to bring my camera. The cell phone wouldn’t have done it justice. It’s beauty is in my memory though.

I have seen cardinals flying around a lot.

I saw a red fox run across the road.

Today, I had the pleasure of giving a ride to a big ladybug crawling around on my windshield, right in front of my face.

I decided that since I can’t drive to the mountains, I will look for beauty right here in my part of the world. And I’ll dream about the mountains and look at pictures on Pinterest about mountain retreats.

I have a party to attend tomorrow today, my nephew turns 17.

Y’all have a most wonderful weekend, and look for the beauty of God’s creation.

Love,

Karen

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Praise Report

Just a quick update and Praise Report. Hubby found out he had colon cancer, stage 2. The surgeon took out 19 polyps during the colonoscopy but found 2 masses that were too large to take out. He went back to do surgery and removed 2 masses tumors, one the size of a golf ball and the second the size of a tennis ball. Praise the good Lord, the cancer had NOT spread outside the colon (large intestine) wall nor into the lymph nodes. This means hubby does not have to do chemo or radiation. The cat scan shows no cancer anywhere else in his body. The surgeon removed half of the colon which got all of the cancer. It is gone!!!

Bless the LORD!

We are so VERY thankful for this blessing. God kept that cancer from spreading.

On the way home from the hospital after the colonoscopy, hubby got a call from a man for a job opportunity that hubby had been hoping for. They called him, he had not gone to them. This gave hubby something to hang on to until after the cancer surgery, which we believe was from the LORD! It was that shred of hope, that God was aligning things for Frank perfectly. The timing of all of these things was from God. His timing is always PERFECT. Not always how we would time. We tend to be impatient humans who want everything NOW.

Hubby had his job interview and it’s looking very good. They are waiting on the aptitude test results. I have no doubt that hubby did great in those tests. He has to take tests weekly at his current job and he passes with 100 almost every time so I’m positive he did great in the aptitude tests.

The only thing I’m concerned about is that he will have to drive a lot further than he does now, and he will have to get on the freeway, which he hates. I know he will do good there too. If I know him, and I do, he will most likely leave very early to avoid most of the rush hour highway traffic. It’ll be worth it though because this company is a family owned business that’s been around a very long time.

What we are working on now is helping hubby to gain weight, so he’s eating about 8 times a day. He also has to drink a lot more water, which he doesn’t like, but now he knows he has to because the doctor told him to. I’ve been asking him to do that for 25 years and he wouldn’t do it. We are eating more salads now and fruits and vegetables. He drinks a lot of protein shakes. He loves the Muscle Milk that a church friend recommended. We’re doing great.

The blessings of the LORD are just pouring in to us and we praise His holy wonderful name. He is our Jehovah Rapha (healer) and our Jehovah Jireh (provider)! We have no doubt. We have faith in our El Shaddai, LORD God Almighty. He is good all the time.

I’m going to try to get back to regular posts. As you can see, I’ve had a bit of distraction, but, like I said, this year is going to be a FANTASTIC year!

Love,

Karen

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Here We Go in the New Year

This is going to be a great year! I am declaring and decreeing it over my family. I am determined to have it be so, no matter what.

Currently we’re going through a small difficulty. Well, I say small. Hubby doesn’t think so because he is the one going through it. I’m the one who is trying not to be scared and trying not to WORRY. Easy to say, not so easy to do. The Bible says 365 times that we are not to worry or be afraid. I have anguished watching hubby lose so much weight and not being able to eat very much and keep it down.

So tomorrow he goes into the hospital to check for ulcers, since his doctor said he is bleeding internally. Plus he wants to do a colonoscopy. And then hubby wants him to check the mesh implant he put in over the hernia back in October. Not a fun day for hubby. We’ve got a prayer team of family and friends at church who are lifting up precious prayers for hubby. Prayer is very powerful and I know it works. It’s very comforting to know we have so many dear people who care and pray for us.

Today, I had to buy hubby a few pair of jeans because he has lost so much weight. Even the suspenders I bought him in November aren’t enough to hold his britches up. He has lost that much weight. I packed away 10 pair of his jeans, which made me cry. I wish this were not happening to my dear husband. In the 26 years we’ve been married, he’s never been sick. Injuries, that’s another story, a bunch of those, yes.

I will trust the Lord. He is with Frank and He is watching over this whole situation. It did not come as a surprise to Him. He saw it before it happened. We know He loves us and wants to help us. We must trust in Him and pray. God is good, always good.

I still have Christmas around the house. We’re having our real gift exchange with my sister and her family somewhere around the 15th of this month. We’re also doing a couple of birthdays. I took the tree down and have put some of the decorations away but not all of them because I want it to still feel like Christmas when we exchange our gifts. Oh goody, that means I can make some kind of baked goods for the party too. I forgot about that. I guess I’d better get a plan for the day. I do love making plans and cooking.

Today I went through my kitchen cabinets again and packed away a bunch of things that I never use. Planning to take it to Salvation Army next week. I’m in the “purging” mood. I have plans to go through my fabric stash (9 totes full) and my craft supplies next week and see what I can give away from that supply. I think because I’m getting older, not claiming to be old – just older, I find I don’t really need so much stuff.

I moved my sewing machine into the guest room, since no one stays in there anyway, so I don’t have to set it up on the dining room table and move it every time we have company. This way it can stay put. I like the table I put it on anyway. It’s lower than the dining table and easier on my shoulders. Yes, I like it in that room better.

I’ve got to get off here and check on hubby. We have a big day tomorrow.

I’d like to wish you all a very blessed year in 2017!

Love you,

Karen

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve 2016

I’ve been enjoying myself so much today. I wrapped some gifts and made some tags for a few of the Christmas gifts. Thanks to the pinners on Pinterest for sharing great photos, which I saved on my Christmas board.

And of course I’ve been taking breaks. Oh, just for some nourishment, you might say.

Just to share a photo of my tree. It’s fairly sparse this year. I got such a late start. Just some red, gold and clear balls and the lights and topper.

Been taking care of hubby who has been sick since his surgery. Not because of the surgery. Because he has ulcers and I’ve had to totally change his diet because it seemed like everything I cooked was making his stomach hurt. I guess when you cook with butter a lot, and tomato products and, well, a lot of foods that upset ulcers, it’s been a different experience. Hubby hasn’t been sick in the 25 years we’ve been married. Now he has to take to bed a lot.

This is definitely been very difficult for him. He doesn’t like to ask for help but since the hernia and ulcers and anemia, he’s we’ve had to ask my sister and her husband and son for help to do some heavy work around here. Hubby isn’t supposed to lift more than 15 pounds for 2 months after that surgery. When you’re so used to just getting in there and doing whatever you need to without any thought about it, it’s hard to think about, how much does this weigh, before I lift, push or pull on something.

Back to Christmas. I have been watching a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies and Christmas DVD’s. This is the part I DO love. The TV has been on almost all day long. We’re going down to Mom’s tomorrow. It’s just an hour and a half away. She lives out in the country so it will be nice and quiet. My sister and her husband and son are going too. It’s going to be so much fun.

I know there is some dispute about celebrating Christmas. But I know why I am celebrating this season. I celebrate the birth of Jesus. I celebrate that my LORD left His home in heaven for that little bit of time to save me and restore my fellowship with God. It’s the most important thing that has EVER happened to me, for me. His love for me (for all of mankind) is so amazing. Wow, He left Heaven. And all that He suffered, for me.

I love Christmas because it’s a time to ponder the miracle birth of Jesus. Yes, when I was a kid it was about Santa and gifts, like most families did back in the 50’s and 60’s. Well, even now non-Christians celebrate Santa. Now, this season is much more meaningful because of Jesus.

Two of the movies I love to watch are Jacob’s Gift and The Nativity Story. I also watch A Grandpa for Christmas and Let It Snow and A Christmas Melody.

I sure wish it would snow, but the forecast is 73 for tomorrow.

Some Christmas links to share and I’ll wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

The Star of Bethlehem

A Baby Changes Everything

O Come Emmanuel

Mary Did You Know

What Child Is This

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Cold Weather and a Few Things

Oh, I do love this cold weather. Round here the high today was 51°. I wore a coat but I saw a lot of people out who did not even have a jacket on and several young fellas had shorts on, the long shorts. Still kinda silly. I lived in Illinois for awhile and I learned not to go out unprepared like that. You never know when the weather will take a turn for the worse. And I’ve had frostbite before, from not wearing socks in 20 below temps, in Illinois, and getting caught out in an unexpected blizzard. Frostbite is extremely painful.

But still, I love this weather. The forecast has us getting down into the 20’s by Thursday. It reminds me of Illinois.

I bought our Christmas tree today and husband set it up in the garage to “settle”. Tomorrow we’ll bring it into the house when husband gets home from work. Which means I need to clear out the corner in the living room and have it ready. We already brought in the totes with the decorations. I’m ready to get to the fun part. Lights and decorating. Most everyone I know already put their tree up the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I’ve been a little out of sorts, with husband still recuperating, but I’m getting into the holiday spirit.

To help things along, I made a Neaman Marcus cake and it hit the spot, as they say. I might need a cup of hot cocoa to finish the night off. And I’ve been watching Christmas movies since Thanksgiving weekend.

I rescued a sweet little kitty. He was an outdoor cat down at my Mom’s. He and his brother had a major fight and this little one fared the worse. His ankle joint was bit hard and had an infection so he couldn’t walk on that leg. I brought him to my city to the vet I use for my 2 cats. They did an x-ray and found out that there was no broken bones, so they cleaned out the wound. I brought him home to live with us. My 2 cats have taken well to another kitty in the house. I’ve been praying peace over them. They hiss at the poor little thing, so I put him in the spare room when I’m not home to watch over them.

I’m doing some sewing for a friend for Christmas presents. I’ve made coffee sleeves for Anna and myself for a few years and she wants some for her friends and family. I love sewing them and they don’t take very long. I altered the pattern in the link a bit for my sleeves and of course I use all sorts of different fabrics. I’ve altered it a few times, the size (small, medium and large) and the width.

I haven’t finished my gift shopping yet but I did go out today. We are doing something kinda fun this year. We are going to have a $2 gift party with my sister and her family and Mom. The limit is $2 and we are going to focus on spending time together, enjoying food and movies and maybe games. We decided to go down to Mom’s for the gathering. It’s going to be so much fun.

I know there’s a lot of controversy about the celebration of Christmas. It isn’t in the Bible. Jesus most likely was born in September, not December. The Christmas season is all about the stores making $billions and people are more into the gifts than they are interested in being thankful to God for sending His own Son for us. Most unbelievers don’t connect Christmas with the birth of Jesus. They think it’s a folklore holiday about Santa Claus.

We could be negative but I think there is enough negativity in this world so I choose to be positive and be thankful for my Lord. I am thankful every day for Jesus and I don’t see any harm in celebrating His birthday, even though we don’t know exactly which day He came to earth. I have several prints in my home of different versions of the “wise men” and I set up a small nativity on the mantel. I don’t “do” Santa Claus stuff. I do love snowmen and I have a collection of those.

The older I get, the more I enjoy reflecting often during this season of Jesus and reading the story in Luke. I have a couple of movies about the great event, the birth of Christ, which I enjoy watching, especially the closer we get to Christmas eve.

And I love the goodies that we girls make during the season. We talk about the candies that Mom had when we were little and the sweets she always made; fudge, divinity, pralines, pies, cakes. Wonder why it is that at Christmas I think more about the sweets and Thanksgiving is about the food?

I have to get this post finished and get myself to bed. I have an early appointment tomorrow to take the injured kitty for a checkup at the vet.

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday and keeping warm and finishing your shopping. I wish you all the very Merriest Christmas! Really, Slow down and make time and be purposeful about enjoying every minute of this season.

Love ya,

Karen

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America, I Love You

Just a few things here today. Then I’ve got to finish a couple of fall projects. It’s already getting Christmasy festive around town. Even I’m getting into the spirit of the season, and normally my favorite time of the year is AUTUMN.

Husband and I agreed last night that we would bring out the totes with the Christmas lights and get them checked and see if I need to get some new bulbs or strands. We didn’t get around to putting any up last year. No one else on our neighborhood did either. Maybe if we put ours up, it might inspire others to do it too. When we moved here 14 plus years  ago, almost everyone on our block decorated for Christmas but so many of them stopped or moved out of the neighborhood.

Ok, just talking about the lights makes me want to get them out and get it started. What? It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. How many times have I said that and heard others say it. There was a day, way, way back when no one even bought a tree until 2 weeks before Christmas. Now they start selling trees (real trees) before Thanksgiving. The fake trees come out in stores about the middle of October.  🙁

On to the main topic of this post. America!

I do love America. Our pastor told the congregation that he has been all over the world (he’s a missionary’s kid) and he can honestly testify that there is no other nation on earth as good as America. We enjoy wonderful freedom and blessings that no other country has, because we were founded on Christian principles and our God was always the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And because we always stood with Israel. Remember God said He would bless those who bless Israel and curse those that go against Israel. This current president and administration has put us in jeopardy of losing our freedom and blessings and if a certain person (H. C.) wins the election tomorrow, we will lose them.

Still, I keep reminding myself that God is on His throne and He has a plan and not even a king, dictator or president can stop the plans of God.

I wanted to share the lyrics of some of our nations patriotic songs. It seems like few people ever sing or play these songs anymore. Instead of singing it this time, just read the words as they were written before they were put to musical scores. It seems to have more meaning that way for me.

O Beautiful for Spacious Skies

Katherine Bates 1859-1929, Samuel Ward 1847-1903

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown they good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet, whose stern, impassioned stress. A thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine till all success be nobleness and every grain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown they good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

The Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key 1779-1843

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that Star spangled Banner yet wave o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep, where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, what is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, as it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, in full glory reflected, now shines on the stream; ‘Tis the Star spangled Banner; oh, long may it wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

And where is that band, who sat vauntingly swore that the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, a home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood had washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution; no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave; and the Star spangled Banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war’s desolation; blest with victory and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just; and this be our motto: “In God is our Trust!” And the Star spangled Banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

My Country, “Tis of Thee

Samuel Smith 1801-1895

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing: Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love: I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills; my heart with rapture thrills like that above.

Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song: let mortal tongues awake; let all that breathe partake; let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee, Author of liberty, to thee we sing: long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light; protect us by Thy might, Great God, our King!

The words are a prayer to the God of our nation. That’s what we need to do. We need to pray to God to save this nation, to have mercy on us. We  need to repent of becoming lethargic and complacent and indifferent. This is what happens when a nation and a people get so blessed that they think they don’t need God any more because they have jobs, money and possessions, they have everything they need and they (or we) forget where it all came from and that if we disconnect from our God Who is the giver of those blessings, we can also lose the blessings. Yes, He wants us to have our needs met, but more than that He wants relationship with us. That is more important to God and it should be most important to us too.

From one of our Founding Fathers and our first president, George Washington: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, to humbly implore His protection and favor.”

From William Penn: “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”

2 Chronicles 7:13-14: When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

God Bless America!

flag waving

Karen

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SFSG!

I was cleaning off my desk, organizing and dealing with all my sticky notes and I came across one that had this verse, 1 Samuel 7:12 with the words, So Far So God. I don’t even know the source of where I found it.

When I read Bible verses, I like to read the entire passage containing the verse so I get the full context. I started in Chapter 7 verse 1. For 20 years the ark of the Lord was kept in the house of Abinadab in Kirjath Jearim. Israel lamented so the prophet Samuel told the people “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreth’s from among you, and prepare yours hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

So the Israelites did what Samuel said and put away the Baal’s and the Ashtoreth’s and served the LORD only. The Philistines did go down against them and the LORD thundered so loud that it confused the enemy and Israel went after them and drove them away.

Verse 12, Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

So far, so God! God has helped me so many times, especially in recent days and weeks. My husband had a hernia operation and isn’t able to do a lot of things around the home place. He can’t lift, push or pull anything heavier than 15 pounds. He hurts when he bends over. I don’t want him to damage the surgical mesh so I’ve been trying to do all of what he was used to doing around here.

And wow have I been exhausted. I sure have a much fuller appreciation for all that stuff he does. And guess what? He wanted to drive around with me on one of those days before he returned to work, to keep me company and spend time with me. While I ran the errands and did shopping, he got a chance to see all the stuff that I do around and for the home place. He got a bit of appreciation for me too. 🙂

Anyway, during all this with hubby, I’ve also been driving an hour and 15 minutes down to help Mom pay her bills and do her errands, and drive an hour and a half to take her to Ft Worth to doctor appointments, then back to her house and then on back home to my house. It’s pretty much an all day deal when I’m having a day helping down there. Being in the car 6 hours and sitting in doctors office takes a lot of energy, for me anyway.

Through all of this, the good Lord has helped me and strengthened me. It’s so amazing to see what all He does for me. All I have to do is call out to Him and He’s right here with whatever I need. I know that He loves me and He wants to help me. I give Him all the praise and glory for His great and awesome goodness to me and my family. I know that He will always be here for me, all through today and tomorrow (no matter what is going on in the world).

Let me share a little something that came to me as I was reading this passage.

In chapter 7 of 1 Samuel, it tells of Samuel offering a lamb to God as s burnt offering. When I read in the Old Covenant of a lamb being offered as a sacrifice, it is a foreshadow of Christ Jesus who was the lamb that took away my sins, our sins.

I was reminded of something so magnificent. Jesus always was there as God, before God created us and the universe. Jesus existed before creation. The Father sent Jesus to earth to save us. We all (believers) know this. How did this Jesus God who is everywhere (in every place), all the time (past-present-future), who is bigger than the universe, fit Himself into the tiny microscopic sized sperm and into the human being Mary to grow into a human body Himself?

How did He put Himself into the small human shell of a body, when you compare a tiny human body to the size of the entire universe, comparing our limitations to His infinite person? We human beings, in comparison to the universe, aren’t even a drop of water in the ocean. He was unlimited before He came to earth, no boundaries. When He came to live in human form, He took on the same physical limitations that we humans have.  It is just beyond my comprehension how Jesus did that.

What is more astounding to me is, why He did that. Why He left His home in heaven to come down here to a tiny planet in the cosmos and live in a human shell of a body – to save me?

That is true LOVE! We don’t even know the full extent of what LOVE really is. LOVE IS this God we serve. We love Him because He first LOVED us.

This is why we get to spend eternity praising and worshipping our God. It will be so wonderful to throw off the concerns and restraints of this life to go to heaven and be with the Lord forever.

Back to my story of Samuel. He set up a stone as a memorial to remind Israel that the LORD helped them. I think I might find a nice stone and write on it – So far, so God 1 Sam 7:12. I will set the stone out for us as a reminder that God is ever present helping us and we should always say “thank You Father”. When family and friends ask about the stone, it will be an opportunity for us to declare the goodness of the Lord to them. But mainly we will remember our God Who loves us, even through all our difficulties but also through our good times.

Remember, So Far So God!

Karen

 

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