Count It All Joy

blog post FEb 2019 photo (1)

 

 

A scene very much like this one was outside my office window that looks out to the back yard of our house, it was so funny this particular day to watch the birds and squirrels looking for food and chasing one another around the yard, I laughed as I watched them, birds and squirrels chasing each other, the squirrels chasing and fighting over the buried treasures found in our back yard.

My heart had great joy as I sat there watching the scene and laughing at the bird and animal antics, it did my heart good not only to laugh but at that moment to have a fresh joy, Winter has always been hard for me, I suffer from seasonal depression during that season, I think because more days than not it is overcast and cloudy, so to have this scene play out and the sun to be shinning it was truly a gift from God, I know God has given us these season’s just as He has given us life season’s so on this rare sunny day in the Winter God blessed beyond measure for sunshine and fresh joy!

In John 15:11 it says ” I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” God wants in us what is in Him and this passage lets us know Joy is in Him and so it too should be in us. Completely in us, to me that says God never does anything halfway, it’s not just a taste of joy it is full joy complete in us! This reminds me of a song we used to sing at church camp, with our Christian Preschool kids and probably every youth type event we ever had,” I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart to stay.” Yes, I got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart to stay, do you?

Saved To Serve A God Styled Life,

Maggie P

 

 

 

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

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Today is the very last day of a very short month, February 28, 2019, and while this picture above was not taken today it is a reminder that Winter is still here, it also reminds me of what lies beneath the snow and what is to come. So what do cold hands and warm heart have to do with it you ask? well you see outside it may be cold but deep beneath the surface God is allowing growth, Spring is right around the corner and there is so much to look forward to, like the saying right now all we can feel is the cold but we know that the warmth is to come as are sunny days and Spring growth, the same growth that has been buried during the cold season.

So for this last day of February reflect on the Winter’s rest we are experiencing and look forward to the sunshine of the Spring months ahead! God has a purpose and intent for all the seasons of our lives and for the season’s Mother Nature provides, let the seeds that are taking root beneath the surface be like the seeds that take root in our hearts as we rest in God word.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1  it says” There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. The picture above reminds me, while I don’t necessarily enjoy the overcast of a cold Winter’s day, God does give us a beautiful snowy, sunny Winter’s day to enjoy both indoors and out and deep below are the beginnings of the roots that will soon bloom into the beauty of Spring.

Yes Winter to me is a season of rest, a quiet time of reflection and the closing of February reminds me that the warmer, sunny days and the beauty of Fresh joy in the flowers and budding trees of Spring are just around the corner. 

Saved To Serve A God Styled Life,

Maggie P

An Open Love Letter To You

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Today is Valentine’s Day and there is absolutely no money to spend on a gift, so my love this is my gift to you and by the way, the whole wide world will see it! I know that I have been struggling lately and in those struggles, it is easy for me to forget all the reasons why I still choose you, the obvious is that you are a wonderful provider to your family, even when our Daughter was little you have always been a hard worker, sometimes working multiple jobs. 

A long time ago I learned that our faith walks would not be the same, I do know you are a man after Gods own heart and I know you struggle just as I do in that walk sometimes, but at the end of the day I know your priority is putting God first, your wife(me) and family and friends, and then your job.  I love that you ponder the word of God and then share your heart, it is always profound to me the insights God gives you.

Knowing from the moment I first met you that you were the one God had for me, and it was confirmed by our Daughter, you both are the greatest gift from God I have received in this life and I love you both so very much. I don’t want to think of my life without you in it and I know that I don’t always communicate that through my words and actions, but I promise you there is no one else I want to do life with other than you.

One of the most favorite things I love to do with you is to travel, whether it is a day trip, date night/day or road trip my favorite adventure’s are with you! I love how you humor me for a selfie picture, protesting the whole time but like the picture above, those are some of my favorite memories that I can go back and look on.

So, my love, we are not promised tomorrow but as long as I live I will continue to love you, today, tomorrow and forever! thank you for choosing me to be your helpmate, lover, and wife.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2019

Saved To Serve,

Maggie P

 

 

For God so Loved

For God So Loved

Matthew 25:40

Who are the least of these and did God so love them too? Some are obvious, but others are not, we can look around us at people everywhere and make judgments on their lives but the fact of the matter is in some way we all are the least of these, maybe you suffer abuse that doesn’t show outwardly or you hide from the world, a spouse with an angry temper, mental or verbal abuse. Maybe your the man in the picture who is ridiculed for his gay lifestyle, (we are to love the sinner and not the sin). Home from war and not able to cope, fractured in mind, living on the streets with no home to go to. Mentally broken and so paranoid of all people, drunk and/or drug-ridden.

My point is this, these are the very people that God so loved the world for not just the ones who appear normal, let’s face it, Normal is just a setting on your dryer just ask Patsy Clairmont, not only does she believe this, but also that God uses cracked pots. Okay, enough name dropping and quoting, As I was saying the least of these or those we judge on outward appearances, lifestyles, the way they act, etc… just like you and me they too are why God so loved the world, it’s like reading the Bible and believing what it says, you either believe it all or you don’t believe it at all.

Our circumstances and sin is what breaks Gods heart, He so loved us all that He gave His one and only Son while we were still sinners to stand in the gap of our sin, to pay the high price on our behalf, if that is not the ultimate love I don’t know what is because lets face it none of us deserve it. From this point forward let’s leave the judging to God and show the love of God to all because the truth of the matter is this, we will all stand before God someday and answer for our actions, not for the lifestyle someone else leads, not for anything but what we have chosen to do, the good, the bad and the ugly.

If God can work in a wretched sinners life such as mine then he can work in everyone’s lives, those very circumstances are the very things that make up our stories and while God does not cause it to happen(because of free will) He allows it to happen. I think of a classmate of mine who’s life was spinning out of control, she not only did drugs, she sold them, she was a mess, was in and out of jail, recent years, she got clean, gave her life to the Lord and opened a halfway house in the city she now lives, she oversaw all the process to do so and last year was sentenced to a long jail term for charged that had pended for several years ago in her hometown  where she was originally from, they had really been cracking down on the drug pandemic that has been happing in this community and she had to pay the piper, long story short, she accepted what was to be, went to jail to begin to serve her long sentence and God intervened, she is now back at the halfway house overseeing the day to day operations and sharing her message of hope in a God she truly loves.

She is one of the least of these that God so loved the world for, next time you are walking down a street and see the homeless go buy them a meal, get to know them, learn their stories, don’t judge them. Jesus met people where they were, not where He felt comfortable going. The least of these is all of us and that my friends is who God so loved the world for.

Saved To Serve,

Maggie P

 

 

Stillness

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Psalm 46:10

This is by far one of my favorite photos I have taken over the years of Wintery scenes. I remember standing outside on the bridge where this photo was taken and just hearing the stillness, how do you hear stillness you ask? I could hear God in His creation, the snow as it was falling, the creek as it flowed, the snowflakes as they touched the water when they fell. I know it seems like an oxymoron to say still and express it with movement but God is still even in His movements, there is such a peacefulness, a quiet beauty in this Winter scene.

In Psalm 46:10 God says “Be still and know that I am God” His creation and beauty that surrounds me reminds me of this and when I actually stand still and take it all in, His presence is even more clear to me, stillness is not just in an action but in a moment as well. I captured this moment in time by capturing a photo to remind me to just Be Still, our lives go at warp speed most days, stop, slow down and just be still God is all around you and with you always.

Saved To Serve A God Styled Life,

Maggie P