A couple of weeks ago our family went to my favorite place for a picnic and a hike, Indian Boundary, Tellico Plains.  Such a wonderful time was spent with goofiness, laughter, resting, walking, eating, sunshine, breeziness, such awesome scenery from the Creator God Himself, and just an overall good time was had by all.  It was so nice to be away, as much as we love being home, sometimes you need a change of pace to revamp, to see things in perspective, and to see, again, what really matters.  

I loved seeing the girls and our guy have a great time being silly and funny; the smiles on their faces are yes, priceless...
Julia's beautiful smile :)

Jenny, of course, as you will see in more than one picture is the one who keeps us laughing with all her antics!

They brought their sling shots Jamin had made for them and had a blast slinging rocks away, way out into the lake.

Such beauty, such poise. :)

We had never been there when snow was still on the mountains, what a sight it was.  God is so amazing to give us the wonderful seasons to experience and keep us out of our drudgery, snow, rain, green trees and grass, colorful and falling leaves, lightning, thunder, all so amazing!

It took us a good couple of hours to go around the lake because some of us wanted to take many, many pictures, :) and enjoy the restful, relaxing time.

I had shouted, "CAR!" just to see what they would do, 'cause that's what we do on our roads, but of course, no cars here, so I got more of a, "What did you just say?" look.

Ok, so, No, Jamin probably shouldn't have been hanging by the rafters, but they seemed strong enough, so I hope it was ok.  He made it a good ways along trying to see how far he could go and hold on.

If you will notice, Jenny, aka, goofiness, is at the right, pretending to be a "bike" at the bike rack!  And,  we did remind Jamin of all the AFV videos we have seen and what happens to most guys when they attempt to walk a rail...Yeah, he was lucky here, it didn't happen, he stayed up, whew!

Yay! A normal photo for Jenny!  Actually, I suppose this is an ABnormal photo :) .  Aren't they just the best looking bunch ever!!!
We had a wonderful time!

"A cheerful heart makes a cheerful face."
Proverbs 15:13a

"A cheerful heart has a continual feast."
Proverbs 15:15b

Oh, what peace when you choose JOY, choose a cheerful heart; there is so much to be grateful and thankful for, always have a joyful heart.

Always Experiencing Him,

Be Still...

"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

Be still, to sit and listen for Him to speak, to hear the Voice, the still, small Voice that speaks ever-loving truth to our hearts, is what I SEEK, yes, to know that He is God.  The One and Only God who loves, blesses, chastises, speaks, wills, urges me on, encourages, lifts me up, commands, and died, yes, He died for me, and FOR YOU, such amazing love from the One who Lives again.  

Seeking...  Do we always seek God's way or do we follow our heart, our feelings.  Feelings lead us astray, feelings come, and feelings go, feelings mislead, and feelings create selfishness.  We should desire to seek His will with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Feelings are worn on shoulders, are easily hurt and damaged, are focused on ourselves, but when we focus on others, when we seek to please others, to serve others, to respect others, and not focus on how we "feel," then we are learning to love as Christ loved, unconditionally, not as we would love, only if our feelings are in tact, only conditionally.

What if Christ had done as He felt He wanted to, NOT to have died on the cross.  He prayed, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."  His feelings were not to undergo the pain, the torture, the humility, the rejection, but He didn't focus on what HIS feelings were, He focused on doing what His Heavenly Father had called Him to do, to die on a cruel Cross, for the selfishness of others, for those who who had rejected Him and, for those who "felt" He had wronged them.

Don't let feelings get in the way of seeking God, of following Him down the narrow path, seek to put feelings and selfishness aside, they will always get hurt, but seek the more important character traits of Christ: respect, love, kindness, grace, mercy, yielding to God's authority, trusting in all He says and does, and seeking God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Thank You, Father, for teaching us Your ways through Your Word, and Your people You have put in our lives.  I give You all the praise, glory, and honor for all You have shown me throughout the years, to put myself aside, to hear Your Words, though I fail You often.  For those older women, I give You praise.  For those who have been there before and experienced life, I give You the glory, and thank You for all Grace.Yes.Just.Grace.

Always Experiencing Him

The Morning and New Life!

Resurrection Sunday

"Now after the Sabbath, 
as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, 
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary 
came to look at the grave."
Matt. 28:1

 "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.  
Come, see..."
Matt. 28:6a

A new Life in Christ, "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..."  Matt. 28:19

"Buried with Christ in baptism,
Raised to walk in a brand new life"
(Pastor Wayne - Sarah)

(from the archives - Sarah's Baptism)
Have a blessed Easter and Resurrection Day celebrating our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with friends and family!!! 

                                He is Alive!!!
                                     He is Alive!!!

This Holy Week has been about - 
                   Jesus Christs' Resurrection!  
         Without it, the Blood, 
              the Cross would have been incomplete, 
                           but oh, with it, 
                                       we have New Life, 
                      New Hope, 
          a New Name,  
                               we are New Creations in Christ, 
                                      who have accepted Him and 
                            called Him by Name.

Thank You, Jesus, 
for Your Birth, 
Your Life, 
Your Death, 
Your Burial, 
and Your Resurrection!

The Tomb is Empty!!!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who according to His great mercy 
has caused us to be born again 
to a living hope 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
1 Peter 1:3

Always Experiencing Him,

What the Blood is For...

The blood, pure, dripping red.  A sacrifice of sacrifices.  A new covenant for all generations, poured out for you.  Forgiveness.  In times of old, the lamb for slaughter, the laying down, the cutting, and the blood, yes, the blood, as the sacrifice for all wrongs to be righted; then, another day, more lambs, clean animals and clean birds for righteous sacrifices, to appease our heavenly Father.  Draining of the blood to cleanse us from all our unrighteous hearts, thoughts, actions.

                                                    Then, Jesus, the One Sacrifice with The Blood, would lay down, in the most horrid and cruel of ways, would give Himself, God's Only Son, give All He had, give, yes, even Himself to pay the price, the Sacrifice of all sacrifices, so we one day would accept His love, His forgiveness.  To accept Him, living through us, and claiming the everlasting, eternal, never-ending life He offers.

                                                                              No more, the laying down of individual animals for individual sins, no more the dripping of the blood, the draining, the red below the feet.  Now, He gives simply for the asking, for accepting His gift, already given, for His grace upon grace, His mercy.  Having the forgiveness of sins whenever we bow before His throne, before the sink, the laundry, the bed, and lifting our eyes, pleading for strength; freely giving when He hears His child's cry.  Oh, what joy we have to hold onto, the promise of His life living through us...
                                                        "That's What the Blood is For."

True love is this laying down, this giving up what is His for ours, and the total and joyous resurrection of His life, emptying of this life's blood and filled with the everlasting Blood of the God who saves, who lays down and gives the transfusion of His life, taking away our sins of this world.

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, 
the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us."
(Eph. 1:7-8a)

"All things are cleansed with blood, 
and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
(Heb. 9:22)

"Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things 
like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, 
the blood of Christ."
(1 Pet. 1:18-19)

We have been redeemed by the Blood, the Blood of Jesus Christ, and "That's What the Blood is For."

I pray as you reflect on this Resurrection Sunday, 
            you are able to thank Jesus for the Blood, 
                      His Blood, He shed for you, yes, 
                                                        For You.

Always Experiencing Him,

The Deeps

Lord Jesus,

Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;

Help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart
shall be thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in thee,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being.

Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself
as Saviour, Master, Lord, and King.

Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.

Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord,
heavenly Husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no Master but thee,
no law but thy will,
no delight but thyself,
no wealth but that thou givest,
no good but that thou blessest,
no peace but that thou bestowest.

I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.
Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing
with living water.

(The Valley of Vision)

What is your favorite devotional or prayer book?

The Valley of Vision is one of many I love to read through, let me know what you are reading...

Always Experiencing Him,