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And Presenting…

The words “And Presenting…” are wonderful words. They give you a hint that something amazing or extraordinary is about to take place. The mundane rhythm of life is about to be changed.  In visiting neighbors in blogland, I have come across some great encouragers. So without  further ado I would like to present to you those who have been a particular blessing to this gal here at Byway Blessings…

Tab for the Soul  is written by Rebecca Fussell. She and I went to college together. I always liked to hang out with Rebecca. She has always been a great encouragement to me. During my college years, I lost my mother to cancer. I needed people around me that lifted up the Lord, and their friends when they were going through the Valleys of Life. I remember the little fridge in her room was always stocked with Tab. Stop by her blog for a taste; you won’t be disappointed.

A Prodigal’s Story of Grace is written by Rebekah Grace. I met this dear lady through my friend, Julie Todd.  Rebekah shares her journey through her openness and willingness to laugh. So many times I have visited her blog and left with a smile. Grace and Giggles, she calls it, and you will receive both by visiting this new friend.

The Point Ministries by Leah Adams has been a blessing to me as well. She posts almost every day which is one of the reasons I admire her.  She also has a word from the Lord. Pictures in every day life are used to point the way to Jesus. She is also another Georgia girl like me, and you can’t help but love a Georgia gal. Stop by her place and see how she points you straight to Jesus.

Peace for the Journey is written by Elaine. Her posts uplift Jesus, and I really like that about her. She also is a cancer survivor, and shares the story on her blog.  She has a particular post right now on the Strength of the Word of God that I know will be a blessing to your heart. I know Elaine would love to have a visit from you.

Living in Harmony is written by Amy Boyd.  She has been sharing some wonderful posts about marriage, and her personal story. I have enjoyed visiting her blog and I know you will too.

So here they are loyal readers. I hope you will take advantage of these new blog all-stars. I lift my glass of diet-sunkist and salute you! 

 In all seriousness, I appreciate all these ladies, and I am thankful for the encouragement they bring to me every day. Matthew 5:14-16 reads, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but put on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which art  in Heaven.”  So shine on, Ladies, Shine on!

100 and Counting

I am not sure how or why this post had me “buffaloed”.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have started on different topics for this post, only to delete it within the first 5 minutes.  What is the cause of my duress you ask? It is the fact that I have hit my 100th post in blog-land. I have not been able to decide whether to do as so many others have done and post my top 100 of things “I am” or ” like to do”. I could repost one of my favorite posts from the last year or so. Then I begin to wonder if that is the right option for me.

In the midst of my rambling thoughts, I encounter the question, “Why did I start this blog to start with?” The answer to this is simple. I wanted a voice. I wanted to share what my Lord and Savior has done for me on a daily basis. I wanted to share my life with yours in the area of my thoughts and opinions, and maybe help sort out the in’s and out’s of how we all connect together. 

My thoughts then took a new turn. My best and only option for this post is to exalt the one who is everything to me…Jesus. The Bible says, “… that if I(Jesus) be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.”  So for a moment let me do just that… lift Jesus up. I have shared often of how much the Lord has done for me since beginning my journey at Salvation. Even before then He  influenced my thoughts and drew me to Him. All of the trials and joys I have encountered along the way impacted the person I am today. I know that He has been there for me in all these times in my life. We have cried together, we have laughed together, and we have cheered together.

During my absence from the blogosphere, God has done a work in my church, my family, but most of all in me. I needed this time with God to work through some things I was going through. In all this I know that my God has remained faithful to me. I have had some health issues where God has indeed proved that He is with me.  For all He is, I want to give Him all the praise.

Hopefully, till I reach the next 100 in my posting, I will give Christ all the praise. I pray that as I share my life with others that it will draw everyone closer to Him.

Well, I did it, and post #100 is under my belt. I just want to say thanks to all of you that have stuck by me through the first 100. You know,  I’m not sure why I put this off so long. I might ought to look into “Procrastination” for post 101. Maybe, I’ll think about that tomorrow. 🙂

To My Dear Friends:

Greetings to all of you! I wanted to let you know that I have missed you and to let you know that things have been going  better. I was at  a point in time when I was overwhelmed to say the least. I needed the time away to regroup and refocus on the family and my long list of responsibilities. I have had to let some things go for the time being. I do however appreciate all the contacts and prayers lifted up on our behalf. Thank you my dear friends. You don’t know what it has meant to me to have the support of  Christian brothers and sisters.

This blog has been on my heart for the last few days and I realize how negligent I have been not to let you know what  has been going on. I had hoped that during the upheaval in my life I could continue to share my thoughts, yet I found myself needing to work through my feelings with my heavenly Father and my family. In certain crisis, we may find different ways to deal with emotions and feelings,  and that is where I found myself. 

 Some say hind sight is the best way to look on things and as I look back on the last few months, I see a consistent theme. The love of God and his comfort have been my constant. I have felt compassion and love from friends, family, and even acquaintances. I have been showered with blessings in the midst of this storm.

Psalm 23:1 reads, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” In the midst of the storms of life God is there. He still is leading us through the path of life He has laid before us. He has provided for our needs. He answers our prayers. He loves us when we don’t understand and question His leading. God has shown us that He is there. He has lead us through.

Blessings to you all!

Say Hello!

Thanks to all of those who have visited during the last few days. My lack of posting has been due to my latest encounter with “THE CRUD”. I had chills and fever for about 5 days along with a bad cold. I think I almost wore out the carpet between the bed and my recliner. I appreciate all the prayers on my behalf and think I am on the road to recovery. In the last few days, I  have had a lot of time to think, read and pray. I hope to share with you soon some things the Lord has been teaching me. While I take some time to organize my thoughts, I would like to share with you some new friends I have made over the last few weeks. I have been visiting their blogs regularly and have been encouraged and uplifted by each one of them. So without further ado, let me introduce them to you.

One who I can certainly identify with is Kimberly, from “Planting of the Lord“.  I love to visit her blog. She is a true sister in Christ. Her humor and plain speaking on life is something I can relate to. Her love for the Lord is evident in every post and She shares her life with honesty and sincerity. Kimberly would love for you to stop by for a visit.

If you need information and encouragement on living on a budget, Toni, at “the happy housewife“, is the place you need to stop in. She has tons of great ideas, recipes, and knowledge to help you run a happy household. Lots of ideas are shared by her friends as well.  Toni will gives insight about her life as a military wife. Toni is always ready to answer any questions and give a helping hand.

I found Wendi’s blog, “Everyday Miracles“, and was immediately drawn to her. She freely shares her family with you and has the sweetest, super attitude. I am uplifted when I hang out at Everyday Miracles for a few minutes. I know you will experience the same welcome I did when you stop by for a visit with Wendi.

Sarah at “The Best Days of My Life” is a great place to stop in. I appreciate her openness about her life and journey in walking with the Lord. She also has been sharing about her weight loss journey. I have been encouraged by her and have also gotten some great tips to help me in my own journey with weight loss. Her love for the Lord shines through her posts. 🙂

I have enjoyed getting to know Annette at “Eternal Memories“. She has a sweet spirit and loves the Lord. Annette is expecting another grandchild any time now. Stop in and visit this wonderful lady.

Nicole at “On Purpose” has been a special encouragement to me lately. It tells you something about someone who will take time out to pray with you. It means so much and reveals a special heart for God. Nicole has a great blog and I have always been especially encouraged by every visit there. I hope you will take the time to check out her blog.

I hope you will all be uplifted and encouraged today. With life comes struggle, yet in the midst of the struggle God is near and reveals himself to us. Sometimes He also sends us friends to share in journey. They may come in the form of “A Planting“, “a Happy Housewife“, “Memories” or an “Everyday Miracle.” They can help you to live your life “On Purpose” so they truly will be the “Best Days” of your life.  Blessings.

Life is like a band–we may not play the same part, but we are all blessed by the harmony.

News and Info

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about a new blog I found. It is  “Real Life” and is written by Sarah.  I have enjoyed reading every time I have had the opportunity to visit her blog. She is a Super-Mom who shares about her kids, husband, life in general and a host of other subjects. I know you will be blessed and encouraged in your walk with God.

As you know, I usually wait to add new people till I have several to introduce to you, but this one could not wait. I hope you will take the time to visit Sarah at “Real Life”.

Clay and Glen were so excited today to be involved in a program at a sister church in our town for “Terrific Tuesdays”.  Every Tuesday for the next 6 weeks, they will be involved in activities at different locations. Today, they are traveling to Tallahassee, Fl. to go to the IMAX theatre and see a movie. This will be followed by a picnic lunch. I can’t wait to find out how their day went. I am sure I will get an ear and a heart full as I hear about their day.

It seems like when you need a little moment of blessing, God is waiting to give it to you. As I was walking through the church where I work to go and unlock the fellowship hall for the senior adults. I walked through the courtyard of the church. The way the building was built in stages and a small courtyard is enclosed in the very center of all the buildings. It is open to the sky and enclosed completely on all sides by sidewalks and closed doors. As I walked through thinking of all I had on my plate today, a noticed a flash of color out of the corner of my eye. I looked closer and saw the most magnificent butterfly. It was vivid in color and large as far as butterflies go. In that moment, I was reminded of God. The creator of the universe chose back in time to create a winged beauty for everyone to enjoy.  He has placed his fingerprint on every part of creation. When I look around, I can behold the beauty and wonder of all His is and all He has done for me. How can I not be blessed? or Why do I go around disheartened by the circumstances of life? I am so thankful that no matter what I am going through God is there with me in the midst of it all. All I needed to do was to look for Him in the small things, and He showed up.

In other news in family life, we are taking Clay back to the doctor this afternoon to have his stitches taken out and receive the results of his tests. I will give you all an update soon.

I hope you all are having a blessed day.

New Sites To Ponder

When I think of April, I think of Spring. The time of all things new. Little plants that grow from the tiny seeds are shooting up out of the ground. All the plants and grass put on that electric shade of green and new life is seen in the blooms of the flowers hidden in the ground for the winter. The same is evident in the blogosphere. Over the last few weeks, I have found some great sites and met some terrific people who have been a great blessing to me. I wanted to share them with you.

I have enjoyed reading Notes in the Key of Life for quite some time now. Cindy Swanson is a blessed writer and keeps you informed with up to information on a myriad of subjects. She has had through radio and her blog opportunities to interview many wonderful people, including Liz Curtis Higgs, my personal favorite person and encourager. She shares many things that will pull your heart strings and/or give you a chuckle. Give her a look. You won’t be sorry.

I always receive something special when I visit Hariette Petersen aka Selah V. She writes a daily devotional that you will want to read over at SBC Impact.  She has a heart for Christian women and it shows with every post. As you read, you will also realize that she has a heart for God. I also enjoy reading her personal blog, Selah V Today. I have enjoyed getting to know this dear lady through her posts and her interaction with me in the comments section. If you need encouragement for your Christian walk, this lady’s writing is for you.

I have visited Danny Kaye over at nothing important  through my husband’s blog.  DK has done some great posts over the last few days that have brought laughter and amazement. The video he shared about Not Vig’s elephant is one you definitely need to see. Prepare to be amazed.

I have enjoyed reading Julie’s writing over at Jewelz Sightings. She has a wonderful style and has been a blessing to me as I have read her recent posts. She has a heart for God and longs to be near to Him. I know I will continue to gain strength and encouragement from her blog, and I know you will as well.

Paula at Grace Reign is a terrific writer with thought provoking posts. Her series on the Song of Solomon is a must read. You will find it located in her side bar.

I recently found Angela at Becoming Me. I can identify with her through her writing. Her latest post on “If only I could eat my words” is one you will want to check out.  Her thoughts on being a wife, and mother are heartfelt and genuine. You can relate also with her drive to be all that God wants her to be as she shares her life experiences with an openness that is truly refreshing. She has blessed and encouraged me and I know you will be too.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend filled with God’s love.

It’s a New Day!

Hello, Everyone. It has been a little while since I have posted. Since my last post, the family and I have been to South Carolina (to Randy and Sara White’s Home, Gordon’s Aunt and Uncle), Virginia (Cameron, Gordon’s brother, and Lynn Cloud’s Home), Washington, DC (just for fun), North Augusta (to Kelley Murphy’s Home, who is a dear friend of mine from grade school), and to the Georgia Baptist Convention held in Augusta, Georgia. (Are you tired yet? Me too.)  🙂   How we managed to cram so much into our vacation I will never know, but It was one amazing trip.  The fellowship we shared with family and friends was great, and seeing the fall colors of those areas for the first time was beyond belief. 

The Tuesday evening of our homecoming I felt myself a little under the weather.  This turned to a terrible cold which I have fought the last 8 days. I Guess I shook to many hands at the GBC and didn’t wash off the fellowship enough. lol!!!  However, I am beginning to feel a lot better which is wonderful because My dad and step-mom are coming to my house this afternoon for the holiday.

During my respite to the couch and bed this weekend, I had the opportunity to watch a movie I hadn’t seen in several years.  “Anne of Green Gables” has always been one of my favorite movies. It is a beautiful story of an orphan girl, the family she finds, and all the scrapes she endures. I have read all of the books in the Anne series, and own most of the others that Lucy Maud Montgomery has written.  She is by far my favorite writer also.  She is truly a “kindred spirit”.

In the movie, Anne is walking a path with her teacher discussing a situation. Anne declares, “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.” To which Mrs. Stacy replies, “Well, there are no mistakes in it yet.” This line gives hope to each of us who have numerous day fraught with mistakes. We have been given a fresh new day today to do with it whatever we wish.  We have so many opportunities to love, share, and just be what God would have us to be. We may make mistakes, but God’s forgiveness is close at hand if we confess it to Him. 

What will you do with your day today. It may be busy getting ready for tomorrow or you are preparing to travel. In the midst of it all take time to thank the Lord for this new day. Take advantage of sweetness of His Word and talk to Him about this day.  Then, Let him shine through you and all you do.

I would like to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you all have a wonderful day today and tomorrow.

Have a “fresh” new day!!!

What’s Up With Us

Vacation Bible School at our church has started off with a bang. We have had good attendance and most of all, there seems to be a good spirit among the coaches and the atheletes. The theme this year is Lifeway’s GameDay Central which as you probably already guessed is a sports theme. We have had a great time and are ready for day 3 this evening. We have been praying for lives to be changed and strengthened in the kingdom of God.

Clay, our 10 year old son, was selected to play in the all stars for baseball in our county recreation league.  He has been so excited and has been to several practices and 2 practice games. He  is learning alot and Mom is sure proud of the way he has played and his attitude on the field. He has a tournament the end of this week and one next week also. 

Yesterday, Gordon and I celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary. God has blessed me with the most wonderful husband in the world. I know several of you might disagree, but that is your prerogative. I just know God picked out the one who was tailor-made just for me. He has been my help and encouragement through the years and I love him more today than the day we became man and wife.

I have been overloaded with the blessings of God through my friends in blogland and abroad and my family. Each one of you has been a special encouragement to me in the last 2 weeks. I just wanted to say thanks for all the propping up and prayers sent up on our behalf. I thank you for your patience on my lack of posting. I have had an overload of ideas as well and hopefully will be sharing more in the next few days. 

God is so good even when we don’t feel up to speed. He is so faithful and gracious with us. More times than I can count he gives me so much more than I deserve. This is “Great Grace”!

I came across some quotes you might like:

WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.

Plan ahead — It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.

Exercise daily — walk with the Lord.

A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

Never the less the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.   ~2 Timothy 2:19a
 

Blog Updates

Yeah!  It’s finally Friday.  We made it.  It has been an extremely busy one for me and I am ready for the weekend to kick back with a diet coke and some popcorn, and relax.  I am also planning to see the Cairo High School’s production of Brigadoon.  Before I do however, I wanted to let you know about some great blogs that I have come across in recent days.

My friend, Sarah, over at That I May Know Him  has a wonderful inspirational blog. She shares her heart and life in every post. I have been encouraged and uplifted everytime I have gone to her blog. I have enjoyed her interaction here as well.  She is a person you will want to get to know.

Bro. T. A. Blankenship at Fire and Hammer  shares some great sermons that will draw you closer to our heavenly father.  He has a wealth of knowledge from years of studying the scripture. He uses a verse by verse study and it is very helpful if you need help in understanding a certain passage. Don’t forget to check out his archives. You will be blessed.

Jadasgigi over at Cheryl’s Treehouse  has been a frequent commenter on my blog, and she always adds to the topics we have discussed.  She shares her insight and her life with others and I admire that about her.  She has a darling granddaughter who she shares about often. You must go check out the pictures she shares. (she is such a cutie!)  🙂

Janice at My Place  is a beautiful picture blog.  Janice has a knack for sharing thoughts that  go  so well with the lovely picture she takes and shares.  Her series on the clouds have been interesting to see. (Clouds in the sky not Clouds that you may see lurking around here!)   🙂  Go and check it out you be encouraged.

I have enjoyed immensely the thoughts and challenging questions over at  KC’s blog,  Just So You’ll know.  The articles that he shares stretch the mind and heart. He is an avid student of the Bible and it shows.  You will be encouraged in your walk for Christ and be challenged to walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.

Last but certainly not least is Beverly at Lacoochee Kid. She shares her life in Florida with us with country charm and enthusiasm for the simple life.  I have enjoyed the articles that she has shared and all the pictures as well. She will bless you and encourage you.

I hope over the weekend you will take the time to check out these sites and take advantage of the wonderful people I have encountered in my short blogging history.

You won’t be disappointed!

If you please…

The buzz surrounding ministry has been spreading around the blogosphere over the last week or two due to items in the news and the full lives of the people involved in ministering to others. Several of the articles I have read have been an encouragement to me.  This has caused me to reflect on my own journey in the ministry where God has called me to serve. 

When my husband and I began our ministry, I was what you could consider a “newbie”. I didn’t know anything about what it meant to be the wife of a minister let alone carry out what I thought would be expected of me. I wanted to please everyone all the time, yet I didn’t realize at the time how unrealistic that really is. Did I tell you I didn’t know anything? I really didn’t.  Because of my drive to please others, I found that the more I tried to please others the more people became critical and “not pleased” with my actions. I found myself in a very frustrating place. 

I was a stressed out woman with perfectionist tendencies that was wondering what to do next. I was trying to be the “perfect” minister’s wife and I was failing miserably. Didn’t God call us to be perfect? I didn’t realize at the time that we can only be made perfect in Christ. It is only in and through his righteousness.  My husband shared a quote in one of our church services that I needed.  “If you please God it doesn’t matter who you displease, but if you displease God it doesn’t matter who you please.” My focus was misguided and I needed to get it back on track.  First and foremost, I needed to please God not only with my actions, but also with my heart.

This does not mean that we are to respond negatively to those who have done the same to us, nor walk in such a way that we are a hindrance to their drawing close to God themselves. In ministry we must reach out to those that God has placed before us, but remember that pleasing God comes before pleasing man.

Before I am wife, mother, minister’s wife, friend, or any other title, I am a Christian.  My focus must be on pleasing the one who did so much for me. In Exodus 33:13, Moses cry to our Lord reads, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in they sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight…”  Moses wanted to know that God was pleased with him. I think this is the cry of every christian’s heart. We all want to hear, “Well done thy good and faithful servant”. This comes by walking in the way of the Lord. The Bible also says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in the way.  We please God by walking in obedience to him.

I wish I could say I have it all figured out, but I don’t.  The journey toward my ultimate goal, heaven, will sometimes be hard and I may grow weary. I will press on. I know there will be trials to endure and joys to celebrate. I will keep on searching for truth and do all I can to live a life that counts for Christ.

I will live to please my God!