Life Verses...Psalm 63:3-5

Psalm 63:3-5
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live.
I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied...and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breathing Souls!

   I have been working on memorizing Psalm 103 with 2 sweet ladies! What a blessing for soooooo many reasons. As we memorize we take time to study each verse. We have memorized and discussed the first 12 verses, so I thought this week would be a good time to review..not just the memorizing, but what God has taught us along the way! I came across a verse in The Message recently in Psalm 42. It says, "When my soul is in the dumps I rehearse everything I know about God!" I have realized what a great benefit this is, and why wait til my soul is in the dumps to rehearse!
   As I began reviewing Psalm 103 today, the neatest thing happened. I planned to rethink all that God had already taught me in the first 2 verses, but instead the word "soul" jumped out at me. Bless the Lord, O my SOUL. So I did a little searching.
   The word soul comes from the Hebrew word "Nephesh" and it literally means a breathing creature.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
As I BREATHE I should bless God!
Like I BREATHE prayer, I should BREATHE blessing...(to bless God is to kneel before, worship, and adore Him!)
   The breath of life is a very precious thing to me right now. It is so easy to take breathing for granted. God continues to give Amber the breath of life!!!  I do not take breathing for granted in Ambers life. I wake up every day and say, "Thank you Lord, for life and breath for Amber today!" And I spent this morning asking the Lord, "Oh please Lord, give baby boy Amick the breath of life!"
SOUL...the dictionary definition...a persons total self
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and ALL that is within me bless His holy name! ALL that is within me...my soul....my total self...breathing blessing to God!!
This is the first time I held Amber. Lord willing, within this next week I will be doing the same with my new grand-son! Thank you Lord, for the breath of life for Amber. I praise You, and thank You, and BLESS You, for she is fearfully and wonderfully made. Please breathe the breath of life into baby boy Amick. I trust You with his little life.
 God HAS given me the breath of life today. I will breathe blessing God!

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Touch.....

"But Jesus came over and touched them. "Don't be afraid." When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus."
...Amber touching my face with her precious little fingers
...Mike greeting me out of the shower, wrapping me in my towel, and hugging me long
...Cindee wrapping her arms around me just when I needed it and many years ago how she tenderly took my hand as we wept and prayed
...the way Mikayla runs her fingers through my hair
...Paula and I holding one another and praying
...Peggy's warm and wonderful hugs
...Sara reaching over in church and holding my hand
...Camey's warm embrace having not seeing her in so long
...The way Noah holds me when he knows I'm hurting
...Mom and Dad's hugs whenever I see them


Live simply...Love Generously...Don't be afraid to touch the people you love! (you may never know that it will be like the very touch of Jesus!)
One Touch!...click here..!







Friday, October 28, 2011

Smack Dab in the Middle!

   I usually run in the country. Today I ran in town. As I was running down Market Street in Bloomsburg, I came upon two older ladies who were out for an early morning walk with their dogs. They didnt see me. I ran up behind them and startled them.. The one dog jumped 2 feet in the air, the lady jumped 4..and here we go again with me frightening people and creatures while I'm running!!!


   I apologized, kept running, smiled about the whole scene, and then behind me I heard loud footsteps! Another woman much younger than I, and MUCH faster than I trotted past . We continued to run down River Road....she far ahead of me. The whole picture of the morning played out before me and just made me smile!! The older ladies walking slowly behind me, the younger woman trotting quickly ahead of me..and where am I in this season of life???? Smack dab in the middle!!!! And it is a comfy, enjoyable place to be!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Best Friend


   It is the most precious book I own, or will ever possess.  My Bible.  God's Word.. King James, NIV, New American Standard, The Living Bible, The Amplified Bible.  These versions all occupy a place on my shelf or in my reading basket.  They get used often. One for the comfort of everyday language, another for it's variety of references, and yet another for it's depth and descriptive wordiness.  But none are treasured as much as my New King James.  It is my best friend.  Not because of the version, but because of how God has used it in my life over a specific period of time.  It has been my comfort, my teacher, my joy, my rebuke, my guide, my strength, me rest, my refreshment.  It is my cherished companion.
   I love to hold my Bible in my hands.  The soft leather...beginning to wear where my fingers have held it so often.  The pages...delicate, thin, and silky.  Pages unlike any other book I have ever opened.  I love the way they whisper as I leaf through to find my place.
   Memories flood me as I notice my markings...penciled words reflecting thoughts and feelings of days gone by.  Words in black and red, underlined so that my eyes will rest quickly on them again.  Words of hope, promises of God's faithfulness and unfailing love for me.  How can these words be new every morning when I have read them so many times before?
   The very pages within teach me to not store up treasures on earth.  Don't place value on things that can be purchased, or items that will fade away when I am no longer here.  My Bible was purchased.  It will one day pull apart at the binding.  The leather will be worn, and the pages may tear.  But it is my earthly treasure whose value can never be estimated.  It's words are written in my heart, and all that has been contemplated within the pages will live within me for eternity!  One day, rather than living by faith according to the words in this book, I will realize the reality of all that has been written!
...Now we see but a poor 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!...1Corinth. 13:12

   I wrote those words on 1/25/2010. They are penciled in the front of my NKJV Bible.  I was reading them and thinking about them this week, and realized I have a new best friend!!! The Message! Last September I went to a Women's Retreat with my mom at Sandy Cove. The Worship leader used The Message as she spoke.  She read Psalm 100. I loved it. She read other passages...I could relate. While I was at Sandy Cove, I purchased a small copy for myself. I couldn't put it down, and very quickly read through the entire New Testament. It has become my reading Bible. It goes wherever I go....beside me during my quiet times in the morning, to bed with me for reading at night, to the store, to soccer games, when visiting a friend, in the car whenever we go somewhere, with me in a hot bath, and it would go with me in my purse if I had one..ha ha!!
   I love God's Word. I love each and every translation as God has used them in different seasons of my life. I am thankful that during this particular season God has given me a craving for His Word. 

Psalm 63...The Message
God-You're my God!
I cant get enough of You!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
 traveling across dry and weary deserts.
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in Your strength and glory.
In Your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains,
I bless You every time I take a breath;
my arms wave like banners of praise to You!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Bittersweet"

Finished reading a book this week......Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist
I picked up the book because the review and the theme reminded me alot of One Thousand Gifts , which is my top book choice of the year. The book was not at all what I expected, and very different than One Thousand Gifts, but as I read I jotted notes in the back of things that I wanted to think about. What good is reading if it doesn't initiate change in your life?...So here are my bare thoughts - written for me to ponder, and for you if you care to read!
Quotes I'm Thinking About
...."When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.  And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow."
..."It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about.  What's hard is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about."
..."I live in daily, honest, intimate community with a small group of people.  I give my time and energy and prayer to my immediate family and close friends.  To a slightly wider circle of people, I give love and friendship..." 
..."Share your life with the people you love...there is really nothing like good friends, the sound of their laughter and the tones of their voices and the things they teach us in the quietest, smallest moments."
Other Thoughts
...Entertain more..I miss having friends and family and food and fellowship around my table often!
...Show grace to others like candy being thrown in a parade...grace, for you, grace for you, more grace for you....
...Think thru life..What am I good at, what do I enjoy, what are the gifts God has given me and what are my priorities in life?  Then organize life to live in light of that!
..."Thin Places" - the place where the passage between heaven and earth is a short one..where God's presence is almost palpable... places when because of circumstances God is very real and His presence is sooo close.
...SAY Something.....When you know someone is hurting dont just say nothing. And DO something - send a note or make a meal or find some way to show love to the people you care for.
...God meets us at the kitchen table! Cook for people, invite them in, laugh and talk and share life with others!
..Watch or read "The Notebook"
...Work harder on my marriage..it is never too late. Dont slide into the routine of being a couple who live together, raise a family together, but dont have a deep level of trust and dont connect deeply with one another. "The best gifts we can give one another are apologies and acceptance!"
...Quit being consumed by things that waste time and are meaningless.
...Who is my "Home Team"???..the people closest to me - close, comfortable relationships that deserve my openness and my time and energy??
...Blueberries...What will MY children and grand-children remember me for?? What do I convey to them about my priorities in life? I want my family to know that I love Christ, that I want them to know HIM intimately. I want them to know that I love them, pray for them, and that they are a priority to me. And I like blueberries, but I love pizza!
...Share my story with others - What has God done in my life and what is He teaching me now?..leave out the cliches and religious talk and just be me!
...What I need most during the bittersweet times of life is the comfort of Christ. Christ IS my comfort!  God IS good.  His simple blessings are many!!...kisses from Amber, dancing with joy at my son's wedding, giggles with my girls, a call from my boys, catching the breeze on the motorcycle with Mike, 2 new daughters , laughing with a friend, good food and warm fellowship, a grandson on the way.....
.....Dont get caught up in the bitter and overlook the sweet!
Lord, teach me to LIVE SIMPLY and LOVE GENEROUSLY!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Satisfying My Thirst!


     Why do I so often question God...about soooo many things? I dont have a book or a guide for the summer Bible Study I am leading. We are studying the Psalms and looking for specific things that we can learn about God...such as God is faithful, He is merciful, He is compassionate, He is to be feared, He is my counselor, He provides for me, He is king, Lord, my friend, my Father, etc, etc.. Each week I have had to ask the Lords direction for what Psalm to study next...boy is this teaching me to depend on Him! Last week the only Psalm that kept coming to mind was Psalm 23.  The shepherd Psalm.  I know it by heart. We all do. It is so familiar and we even discussed it in our first study....so WHY Lord, are You directing us to study it again!???
    Today I came to..."He leads me beside quiet waters". For me that is a picture of rest.  A cool, quiet, peaceful stream. But why would a shepherd lead his sheep to the still waters? Because the sheep are thirsty. And so are we.  Thirsty for water these days, because it is 95+ degrees for days on end!...But even if we dont realize it,we are thirsty for so much more.  We are thirsty spiritually.  We try hard to fill that void in life with so many things...pleasures and relationships and distractions of all sorts.  But what we really thirst for is God....what I really need most is God.
     My favorite Psalm is Psalm 63 because God used it in my life when I was terribly hungry and thirsty. He showed me that what I really needed most was Him.
Psalm 63:1-5...
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You;
My soul thirst for You; my flesh longs for You
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see You power and Your glory.
Becaue Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips!
Why did God lead me to study Psalm 23 this week?  Because He is my shepherd, and I needed to be reminded that He is the one who gives me rest and quenches my thirst. He does that each and every day thru His Word....and it is much more satisfying than a cold glass of ice water on a 95 degree day!
Matthew 5:6...Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled!
John 6:35...Jesus said, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me shall never hunger, and He who believes in Me shall never thirst."
Do you know my Jesus???? I would be glad to tell you about Him! Its going to be a hot one today! I know you will be thirsty...Jesus is the only true thirst quencher I know!....Reminds me of a song....


 



click below for a listen...:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlDe0E0nhBs

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looney-Bird Lewellyns!

The Lewellyn families have always been bird lovers!!  As far back as I can recall, my family has owned birds of all kinds!!  Parakeets, Love-birds, Doves, Pigeons, Mynah Birds, Crows!, Parrots, Cockatoos, and probably others! Some might say we are a bit Looney over birds!!  My earliest memories are of my grand father...Pappy Floyd..who had many birds!  He had a sun-room type addition on the back of his home in Sherwood Village that was home to quite a menagerie of birds!
Pap-pap spent much of his day caring for and talking to and loving his family of birds.  He trained them to talk, raised some to sell to pet shops, could be found feeding them from his mouth to theirs, and sometimes had wounds on his lips and arms and hands from their "love" bites!!  We chuckle because as grand-children began to enter the Lewellyn family, Pappy Floyd talked to them just like he did his parrots!!The following photo and large article were published in the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise about my Pappy Floyd on July 6, 1990.
I can remember my dad telling us stories of birds they owned when he was small.  One particular bird would be outside while my dad and brother played army!  The bird would make the sound of a gun shooting and say..."uhhhhhhhhhh, gottcha!!"  That has always made me laugh as I picture it!!
Somewhere along the way mys sister Cate got the bird bug!! She has a beautiful jungle-like atmosphere on the back patio of her home in Texas...and it is filled with birds who chatter and sing and call the dog and cry and laugh and add fun to her home!  Here is Eli enjoying one of her birds!
Cates bird Dobie is famous for singing the Sponge Bob song!! Dobie is an African Grey Parrot! Check it out....at 1min 30 seconds she sings the song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UX1t9n7IXw
And here Cate is with some of her sweeties!

Dad got the love for birds too.  He raised Homing pigeons, and I can remember watching dad release them and waiting for them to return home! We had many birds over the years..dirty as they are, they are fun! Dad would train many of them to talk by recording something he wanted to teach them, and playing it over and over on a tape recorder thru an earphone that was attached to the birds cage.   Dad recently purchased a Double Yellow Headed Amazon Parrot!  Her name is Harriet. She is young and by far the best talker I have ever seen in the family! When she came to dads home a few months ago she would call..."Lester!!" (who was her previous owner), say, "Back to work", "Hello Harriet", goodbye Harriet, I love you, cried like a baby,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okwQFYCRToE
and a few other things including singing "I'm a Yankee Doodle Parrot!"
video
Recently Dad has taught her to sing Jesus Loves Me, play Peek-a-boo, talk when she wants a bite of food, say "will ya look at that!", and much much more.  Harriet loves Sara and will dance and chase Sara around the kitchen table.  And Harriet also loves to play cards!!  Amber enjoyed meeting Harriet for the first time when she was visiting in May! And on that same visit Harriet surprised Schuyler by flying and landing on her head!! WE missed the picture of that one...Skyes expression was priceless!!!
 
Monday is laundry day at my parents house, and Harriets favorite day! She likes noise and talks the entire time the washer and dryer are running! And here is Harriet hamming it up at dinner time!
Little by little Harriet is learning to trust Dad, and can often be found snuggled up around Dads neck or giving him gentle kisses! 
These videos do not do justice, as Harriet talks sooooo much more than you have seen here!! I am sure there will be videos to come as we capture Harriet saying new things!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

God's Ways are Unsearchable...and Questions for Heaven

Studying Psalm 145 this week for our summer Bible Study.  Came to this verse this morning...
Psalm 145:3...Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;  and His greatness is unsearchable.
It led me on this rabbit trail of verses about Gods ways being unsearchable...
Job 5:9...Who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.
Job 9:10...He does great things past finding out, yes wondrous without number.
Isaiah 40:28...Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth neither faints nor grows weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.
Romans 11:33...Oh the depth and the riches of both the wisdom and knowledge of God.  How unsearchable are His ways and His paths past finding out.  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?  Who has ever given to God that He should repay Him?  For of Him and thru him and to Him are all things!( ...written from memory thank you to mike who encouraged our family to memorize this 11 years ago!!)

I melt when I read these verses.  It humbles me...Gods ways compared to my simplicity.  Who am I to question God and why do I worry about the things in life that I cant figure out? It brought to mind a song by Chris Rice..Questions for Heaven.
...Like why did You bother with so many stars?
Do You ever play tricks on the angels?
And what happened to all of those dinosaurs?
Where's the Garden of Eden?
And what causes de ja vu?
I guess in Heaven I'll learn
I'll be waiting my turn
To ask about quasars and feathers
I hope the line isn't long
I hope Your patience is strong
It's a good thing forever's forever
Do our jokes make You laugh?
What's Your favorite cartoon?
Can you tell me what's out past the edges?
And what about UFOs, taste buds, and tornados?
Why do we dream?
Oh, and what causes de ja vu?
Time to call it a day
Time to turn off my brain
It's already half past eleven
Reach to turn out the light
And close my sleepy eyes
And save up the questions for Heaven
I'll save all the questions for Heaven
I'm saving up questions for Heaven
  My questions for heaven are a little different than Chris's...but the same theme of How do you do the things that you do God????  and sometimes, WHY do You do the things that You do? ...which for me comes back to the humbling point of saying who am I to question You???  Cant I just trust You..trust in the promises of Your Word and rest about all the things in life that worry me? I came to a final verse of comfort this morning.
1Corinth 2:11...For who among men knows the thots of a man except the spriit of the man which is in Him?  Even so the thots of God noone knows except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God...

I cant possibly know the thots of another person, but God reveals His thots to me thru His Spirit.  Is that awesome or what!!!  I still have alot of questions for heaven.....but I am humbled that God loves me, His presence is real to me, and I can rest about the things I dont understand . My soul shall be satisfied not knowing everything.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_rTX23V7Q

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Watercolor Ponies...The Pleasure of Watching My Children Grow!

Exactly one year ago today Noah asked Sarah Jean Yarnell to marry him!  And exactly 4 weeks from today they will become Mr and Mrs Noah Amos Amick! Yeeeehawwww..this makes me happy! A few weeks ago Noah asked me what song I would like to dance to with him on his wedding day.  At that time I wasnt sure what to answer....but now I know exactly what my choice is!!! Watercolor Ponies, by Wayne Watson...here are the words that are so appropriate for many reasons! I wanted to share the song but could not find a good link to it.

There are watercolor ponies
On my refrigerator door
And the shape of something
I don't really recognize
Drawn by careful little fingers
And put proudly on display
A reminder to us all
Of how time flies
Seems an endless mound of laundry
And a stairway laced with toys
Gives a blow by blow
Reminder of the war
That we fight for their well-being
For their greater understanding
To impart a holy reverence
For the Lord
But, baby, what will we do
When it comes back to me an you?
They look a little less
Like little boys every day
Oh, the pleasure of watching
The children growing
Is mixed with a bitter cup
Of knowing the watercolor ponies
Will one day ride away
And the vision can get so narrow
As you view through your tiny world
And little victories can go by
With no applause
But in the greater evaluation
As they fly from your nest of love
May they mount up with wings
As eagles for His cause
But, baby, what will we do
When it comes back to me an you?
They look a little less
Like little boys every day
Oh, the pleasure of watching
The children growing
Is mixed with a bitter cup
Of knowing the watercolor ponies
Will one day ride away
Noah, it is indeed a pleasure to watch you grow and I am sooo excited to celebrate with you and Sarah on your wedding day!  If it is not too late to ask, I would love our dance to be "Watercolor Ponies"! I already miss your sweet drawings on my refrigerator door, but I am ever so pleased with your direction in life and look forward to seeing God's plans for you and Sarah in the years to come! I love you Noah and Sarah!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Counting to 1000

I started counting on April 16, 2011.
1. God's Word
2. Amber's sweet expressions captured in pictures

19. A warm hug from a friend
55. Sunshine beaming through my window
61.  My 23 year old wedding dress that still fits!
63. Morning songs from the birds at my feeder

64. Gage sliding across my kitchen floor
103. My quiet, warm, comfy chair..a place for thoughts
What am I counting?...I'm counting gifts.  Simple pleasures of life that come wrapped up in small packages each and every day...so easily overlooked and not appreciated for what they are.  Gifts from my Father, blessings from above, God revealing His presence and His goodness. It all started when I picked up the life-changing book, "One Thousand Gifts-A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are". My perspective on life is shifting.  Shifting because it a process and I'm not there yet.  I'm learning to refocus. "To learn to how to be grateful and happy whether hands full or hands empty.  That is a secret worth spending a life on learning." I dont plan on stopping at 1000, I want to count for the rest of my life.....
74. Sara breathing sleep beside me
81. Running on a warm spring evening
99. Early morning breakfast with my son
102. A day with my hubby
115. Life, breath, a new day
116. God's care for Amber
117. Antibiotics that bring healing
122. Fresh sheets and a good book
128. Sara's choreographed dance in the kitchen in Spandex
139. Music to remind me of the coming wedding
146. Late night girl chats 153. The love of family 157. Mikayla growing up  163. A Night-time visit with my sister  183. Walking and talking with Skye 190. Tiny tootsies
217. God's Word and the comfort of being held by Him  222. Children to do laundry for 235. Sweet smell of Honeysuckle  243. Tomorrow, the day my first child was born 22 years ago 252. Eli becoming a man and being responsible 268. Black Raspberry Jelly 270. Early morning prayer..............

"Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks and Frisbees!

I love the 4th of July! The nearby country parade...with popcorn man who yells, "Hey, hey, hey" and has his own built in mega-phone, dancing man with feathers, bands, tractors and floats who throw smiles and candy, family, friends, warm breezes, and sunshine!!  Simple pleasures of a summer day! Yesterday we added a picnic with friends, cooking shish-ka-bobs and hot dogs over an open fire, and fireworks to end the day!
As we were waiting for the fireworks to begin we played Frisbee...Mike and me, Trish and Chris, and my dad.  I dont remember playing Frisbee with my dad before, although I am sure we have.  As I smile over it today I do remember baseball...many, many times of playing catch with my dad.  Dad loves baseball..especially Little League.  When I was younger he encouraged me to play, and I was on the Lightstreet Little League Team the very first year they allowed girls !!  The coach had a hard time adjusting to this new idea, so he gave all the girls boy names so we would fit in...I was "Fred". Dad called me Fred for many years and still does sometimes!  I cant say that I excelled at the game.  I did love it, but was so shy and would get so nervous in the outfield or when up to bat!
Got out the ball and gloves and bat today.  Sara is already 12 and I cant remember ever playing catch with her. I played catch years ago with Noah.  I threw the ball hard, he turned his head and missed catching it, and CRACK the ball went right in his ear.  Scared me so much I put the gloves and baseball away for 12 years!!!  Sara is a natural, she can catch, she can throw and she can hit!
Memories today...old ones with my dad revisited, and new ones in the making. Thanks for playing Frisbee Dad!