Monday, January 12, 2009

God Gives Us the Desires of Our Hearts, Ps 37:4

In the believer's life, the Lord is to be the greatest passion. A person who claims to love God should value that relationship with Him and should give Him priority over everything they have ~ their possessions, vacations, hobbies, and even other relationships. Yet some people miss the true message of Psalm 37:4 because they focus only on the part that says they can get what they want. But the qualifying statement attached to that promise is a call for devotion to God: "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart" (emphasis added).

Believers can and should savor pleasures when they are biblical. And the heavenly Father desires His children to use the resources He gives as a way to enjoy and add pleasure to their earthly life (1Tim 6:17). For instance, God has made it possible for me to write and I have written some good works. But, for me ~ and you ~ the key to enjoying life is to first delight in Him above all else. God's rightful place, as the Lord of my life. is to be before and above all things; to put anything else in that position is to be fail to give Him the proper honor He is due.

Unfortunately, the human heart is naturally selfish and quite often destructive. Without God as top priority, without giving Him His proper place and honor, we will most likely be governed by the pursuit of earthly goods. But when He is our first love, those warped and sad cravings are replaced by a proper desire to fit into His purpose and plan for our lives.

King David, a man who faced great tragedy and heartache, understood from experience that a heart committed to the Lord also knows blessings and delights. Psalm 37 was his attempt to encourage us to seek God as diligently as he had done. Let's take David's words to heart and let the Lord be our obsession. I think we will be amazed at how He will bless us and our efforts.


It's been a lazy day around my household today. I managed to get my bed made before I settled down on the couch with my knitting. I knitted until I got sleepy and then stretched out on the couch with my dog and caught a few z's. It felt really good, too. It had been awhile since I'd taken a nap on the couch. M is still asleep in his chair, reclined back and covered with a throw. Speaking of throws, I almost have my first throw finished. I need to knit a few more rows and then bind off. Then the work really begins as I begin to create the fringe on both ends. I'm not looking forward to that but I've promised myself that I will not get down on the floor and do the job. (I did that with the last prayer shawl I knitted and ended up so sore in my muscles that I could barely move for a few days. This time I will take it up to the table and work on it.) But I got tired of working on the throw and decided to knit a pink "fuzzy" scarf for my sister's granddaughter. It's made with that "eyelash" yarn. Hard to work with but fun to create. There's no going back with that yarn. You make a mistake and you live with it. Period. Once a stitch is knitted into place, there's no moving it around. It took me probably 3 or 4 hours to knit that scarf, if it took that long. (It was only 16 stitches and was worked with a size 11 needle so it went really, really fast.) Then I had some blue baby yarn given to me and I decided to start Stacy's baby afghan that I planned to make for her baby she's carrying. This will be her 11th child (all hers naturally except for one) and she gave away or sold everything she had after the last baby. So I thought a really nice afghan would be nice. So I got it started and have worked about 13 or 14 inches of it. It's supposed to be about 44 or 45 inches long but I don't think I have that much yarn and it is from a dye lot so I doubt I could buy more of it to match (but I may try). So I will either make it shorter or see if I can find a match on that color. I was able to do that once. But it is rare. You can usually tell where one skein left off and the additional skein was started. I also have some soft green yarn that is without a dye lot and I'll buy more of that and either make another afghan or blanket. I found the cutest baby blanket pattern. It's mostly stockinette stitch but has eyelets in the shapes of butterflies all over it. It's really cute and I think the green yarn would work really nice in that pattern. We'll be going across the river on Saturday to play games with my sisters and I'll make it a point to go by WalMart and pick up more green yarn and some blue too if the sample I take in matches.

Our weather has been beautiful. We started off the new year with an overcast that hung around a few days and then we cleared up and have stayed clear since then. But it's cold at night. Last night we dipped into the 20s again. We need rain. We need rain really badly or our summer fire season could be disastrous this year. But I'm not ready to give up. One year we were heading toward a drought but had a "March miracle" and got all we needed in just the month of March. So things can still change.

I gave away one of my scarves to a new (poor) woman who's been attending church regularly for several months. They had been living out of their car and as a church, we helped them with the deposits they needed to get into an apartment. She doesn't drive and as far as I know doesn't have any friends. She has her two kids only on the weekend and she always brings them to church with her and her husband. Anyway she asked about getting another scarf and I told her I'd do her one better. I'd teach her how to make her own. I picked her up last Tues night about 6:00 and took her to the knitting group with me. Then I got her started on some practice yarn and had her take it and a book home with her to work all week on it. I talked briefly with her Sun after church and she's been working on it. She actually seemed excited and proud of herself about her knitting (just exactly what I was hoping for!) and she seemed eager to go again tomorrow night. She needs something that will make her feel good about herself and she needs to socialize with the rest of us and that's what we're striving for. I just love that she seemed excited about it. She mentioned that she just can't quite figure out the purl stitch but she'll pick that right up after I go over it with her. I hope she's been trying to hold and "throw" her yarn and isn't letting go of the needles and using her hand to bring the yarn around instead of throwing it with her finger. That will prove to be seen tomorrow night. Annie starts all her girls out by having them drop their needles but I disagree with that method. I think you need to learn to hold and throw your yarn from the very start. Otherwise you're just "putting training wheels" on her efforts. If you're going to knit, you need to learn how to hold your yarn. It was the way I was taught and I've been forever grateful that that's the method used with me.

I have a very busy week this week. I have meetings and knitting and a luncheon and our small group is forming again on Wed morning. I have mixed feelings about that. I want to and I don't want to at the same time. I'm sure you've had the same feelings over something in your own life. Can't put a finger on why I don't want to meet. The only thing is that it means another weekly "commitment" and I think that's where my negative feelings originate. Once I make myself go it will be fun and informative.

I got two new Bibles for Christmas. One is the New Living Study Bible that I had mentioned I wanted and the other a new leather thin line that I bought with my gift certificate at the Christian book store across the river. I also bought a few study booklets too. Boy! those things aren't cheap any more!!! Seven or eight dollars just for a booklet! Prices are really getting out of hand.

Speaking of which... my sister took me to the Social Security office across the river and got me all signed up for my Social Security. It's only about half of what M gets each month but it's twice the money that I was getting on SSI. The money won't been coming in until April but it's already burning a hole in my pocket. I see yarn. Lots of yarn. LOL! It will be so much fun to get more money!!! Yippee!!! And this will be money I have coming to me and no longer a governmental handout. That's gonna do a lot for my self-esteem! I can guarantee it!

Guess this will do it for my blog today. I really don't know if I'll keep it going. Maybe I'll be off until this summer. It's kind of unfair to have you checking repeatedly when there's nothing there for you to read. That was my last written devotional (I thought I had a couple more but can't find them) so I'll have to write more of them before I blog again. Best thing for you to do is not count on anything until around May. And if I've not written anything new by June, you'll know that I've resigned from my blog. That's the best I can do for you at this time. It's just not fair to have you checking and checking and checking. Hopefully I'll see you this summer ...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bye, Bye 2008; Hello 2009!

Finally I am finding time to blog. Christmas and the New Year celebrations have gone by and I'm facing a brand new year with its challenges and disappointments and its successes and surprises. The last of the company left this morning then we did what needed to be done. We bundled up against the cold and wandered out to do our shopping. God has been so good to me lately I just can't tell you of all the times He has stepped in a rescued me from myself. Even today when I backed into another car in the parking lot at CostLess. Not a ding on her car. Thank you, Jesus! And only a little bit of chipped paint on mine. I don't know where she came from. I had just looked and the way was clear. The thing is, I hit her hard enough for damage and there was none. She could have been a very nasty person with grounds to yell at me but she was very nice and simply told me to drive more carefully in the future. This was a blessing from the Lord. A reminder that I should not be looking anywhere else except WHERE MY CAR IS HEADING! I should not have been backing up if I wasn't turned around and watching. That's the key. We all get that way. I watch my husband all the time when he looks and then just turns away and continues to back up. But I was unaware that I too do that at times. But we get lazy and forgetful and try to cut corners, forgetting that those "corners" are put there for our protection. Anyway the Lord was definitely with me this morning. And I made so many MAJOR knitting errors in the last couple days and He stepped in and fixed them. A couple I was able to figure out after awhile (even though one mistake still shows if you look closely enough) and then there were a couple that just disappeared in the process of going back to see what I had done right. With one in particular I know I was visited by the Lord one of those times because I fixed what I didn't even know was wrong. We have an awesome God! And you may think me silly for believing God intervened in my knitting but I don't care. I know He did because He made the problem go away without me doing anything. My God is so big He even cares about my knitting. Everything I knit is for His glory and He knows that I know that. What an awesome God!!! He really does care about anything and everything that happens to us in this life. I am especially thankful that He took care of the "fender bender" in the parking lot this morning. I really did hit her hard enough for some damage (especially considering how our cars are made these days) but there wasn't even a scratch on her car. Thank You, Father! I won't have to explain to my son (who pays for my insurance) how I managed to create another insurance claim against his account. I felt so bad for hitting her. The Lord knew it was an accident and He protected me. She said she honked twice but neither I nor Michael heard her do it. There was no one behind her so she could have shoved it in reverse right quick and saved me from having a heart attack. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not shifting the blame. I BACKED INTO HER, not the other way around. But I couldn't count on both hands the number of times I've backed out of someone's way to avoid a crash.) And truthfully, I don't think she honked. I mean, chances are I wouldn't have heard her honk but Michael has good ears. He would have heard her I'm sure.

It has been cold and dreary for the past couple days. And we got a half an inch of rain yesterday which was a surprise for me. I didn't hear that we had rain coming in. I went to Sonora across the river and into the next county yesterday afternoon with my sister and it was raining when we came out of the SS office building. I don't think we're due for rain again for a few days. The river was really low under the bridge. I sure hope we don't go into another drought problem like we had a few years ago. We stayed in that pattern for several years. Way too long and I'd just as soon not do it again.

Well we have the shopping all done for now so we won't need to worry about that. Although WalMart was out of a lot of things we normally buy and chances are we'll have to make another trip later in the month. I got a $30 gift certificate for the local Christian bookstore and I forgot to take that with me so if we do end up going back, I'll spend that money before it burns a hole in my pocket. I love Christian bookstores, don't you? The only problem I'll have is too many books to choose from. I had thought about buying a new Bible but my son and daughter-in-law bought me the one I was thinking about buying. I still need a good "formal" Bible for Church. Mine is falling apart but those things are like $75!!! Ridiculous prices, if you ask me!

We had to buy a new toaster today. Our old one just almost gave completely out. It only got hot on one side of the bread and it took forever and a day to make a simple piece of toast. We bought that one to replace another one we had that was as slow as molasses on a cold day. This time we bought a Hamilton Beach. The one before the last one that was so slow was a Proctor Silex. When we got tired of waiting all day for toast we bought a Toastmaster toaster. We thought it would be a good one but it was every bit as slow as the old one had been. Then when it died on one side we thought we'd check out a new brand. We thought someone named ToastMaster would make good, quick toast, wouldn't you? Well it was as slow as the 7-year itch and I'm glad the heating elements finally went out on one side so we'd have to get another one. Of course we haven't tried it out yet to see how slow it is. Maybe they're all slow these days. I'll let you know how well it works, if it works well. The thing is, we won't know until we use it and then we can't take it back once we've used it.

Well, I'm going to go to my knitting now and see what kind of shape it's in. I don't remember leaving it a mess to be worked out so hopefully I can just sit down and knit and rest awhile. The sun is coming out!! Here it is after 4:00 and the sun finally sticks its head out. We don't have many dreary days up here in the foothills. Just enough to be bothersome. And it's time for me to feed my cats so I better get on the stick and get them taken care of so that I can knit in peace. We're warming up left-over lasagna for dinner so there's no real cooking required. Just a min or so in the nuker and we'll be set. I hope you had a great New Year's holiday and I hope you also have a great new year! Until next time...