Monday, November 16, 2015

"Ordinary Women - Extraordinary God"

Ordinary Women -- Extraordinary God

I started this book a little over two years ago.  It was a thought planted into my head by the Lord, I'm sure, because during these two years, I've stopped and started up again on the writing - always feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit when to move forward.  It's truly been a labor of love.  I also believe God chose the 12 women who shared their stories with us and that He will use what He's done in their lives to encourage His children and to glorify His matchless name.  Here's the blurb on the back cover of the book:
What do we do when life throws us a curve? How do we react? Does our view of God change? What is the secret to surviving crushing loss or sorrowful circumstances and still praising God?  This book contains stories of 14 ordinary women (and one ordinary man) who have gone through various degrees of difficulty or tragedy. These women have come through their trial (or in some cases, are still going through the trial) with a prayer on their lips and praise to our extraordinary God in their hearts.
Along with these present-day sisters in Christ, there are enlightening stories from a few Biblical sisters in the faith.  There are also messages from God’s word on such topics as fear, tears, His all-sufficient grace, and beauty from ashes.
Read the stories of ordinary women like you and me.  You’ll cry over their pain and loss, laugh at their humorous tidbits, rejoice in their victories and, hopefully, whisper a prayer for those who are still going through the floodwaters.
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord…” Habakkuk 3:18
The book is available in print and ebook through Amazon.  I've tried to price it to be affordable to readers so that God's message will spread.  All praise to King Jesus!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Flowers & Fruit

     Beautiful, giant hydrangeas in soft pink and pale green/pink were in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
     Larry always asks why I take so many flower and fruit pictures.  The answer - because they are so pretty - it's that simple.  I hope you enjoy this lovely bouquet of flowers and fruit from around the world as seen on our recent trip to Europe. 
Morning Glories cling to an ancient wall in Lisbon, Portugal
Two views of delicate pink flowers blooming on a tree just outside
the ancient stone wall of the Alcazar in Seville, Spain
Both the pomegranate and the grapefruit were growing
on trees just below the stone wall of the
Castle of St. George in Lisbon, Portugal
A single tulip stands at attention in a flower market in
Amsterdam, Netherlands
"For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all of the nations" Isaiah 61:11.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Glimpse of Seville, Spain

One of our port calls in October, was Huelva, Spain, the same port where Christopher Columbus sailed his three ships in 1492 on his way to America.  We took a private excursion (18 people) to Seville, about an hour bus ride away.  It was a warm, sunny day and we enjoyed seeing all the beautiful old and exotic architecture in the city of Seville.  Flowers, gorgeous tile work and Moorish designs were all exquisite.

On our walking tour through the old city, we saw this ornate black, iron cross above a fountain in a plaza.  It reminds me of a verse in 1 Corinthians 1:18:  "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God."  And what power it holds!!

One of our main stops was the ancient Alcazar, a Moorish style palace built in the 14th century.  You can see from the elaborate archway above that it is intricately carved.  We walked through room after room after room, and archway after archway of amazingly beautiful design.  I was oohing and aahing through the whole building.  As far as I'm concerned, it's every bit as beautiful as the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

Our last stop was the grand cathedral in Seville, a gothic 15th century masterpiece, it's the 3rd largest church in the world.  Since we've also visited the 1st largest - St. Peter's in Rome, and the 2nd largest, St. Paul's in London, we were surprised this was only 3rd.  It seemed bigger than the other two to us.  It's really huge inside - it just kept going and going.  Ole Chris himself is buried in an elaborate tomb inside (he died in 1506).

This stained glass window inside the cathedral is not only lovely, but offers a wonderful reminder to us of the amazing day of Pentecost that occurred shortly after Jesus ascended back up to heaven.  He promised He'd send the Holy Spirit to His followers and that's just what He did on that momentous day.  It was a unique day in the history of the world.

Acts 2:2 says, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them."

WoW!  How exciting would that be!!  Although the Holy Spirit had visited various people in the Old Testament era, it had never been a permanent filling as it was on that day.  From that day forward, each of us who are born again, are immediately -- and permanently -- filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and He has promised never to leave us.  "Lo, I am with you always..." Matthew 28:20.

Although we tend to take it for granted, being filled with the Holy Spirit is a huge -- and I might add -- supernatural wonder that is the biggest blessing God gives us on this earth.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" Romans 15:13.