Esch Road - Lake Michigan Beach

Esch Road - Lake Michigan Beach

Monday, June 11, 2012

Did I Just Say That....

I just read a devotional from one of my favorite blogs and wanted to share it with you, to get the word out.  I don't know about you but there are plenty of times that I can remember when I wish I could reach out and grab my words.
How deeply our words can cut those who we love and even those who we really don't know.   One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of James.  James 3 talks about the tongue,  even though it is small, can boast great things.  It also says in verses 6-9   

....And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  

Wow, I don't know about you, but that's a mouthful...literally.  Our tongue can be the most dangerous member of our body.  That's why I really liked this article.... I'll just let you read it and see if you see yourself anywhere in it, because I sure did!  

God Bless Everyone....and remember to bite your tongue....lest you might hurt someone!

Click this link to read Devotions | Proverbs 31 Ministries by Wendy Blight

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It is Finished....The Kitchen

It has been a work in process for 2 years.  But it is finished...the kitchen is done!  There were just those little things that needed to be completed, but they just lingered.  But today, my hubby, finished the caulk around the tile after installing the switch plates and sealing the tile ... and it is done. 
This is just a glimpse of the journey....

Before & Demolition.....the bottom right is the "hole" exposed!  

This is the beginning of the demo.  It all began because of a "hole" in the wall and wallpaper that just wouldn't come off with taking the drywall with it!  First we decided to open the "hole" that was discovered when doing some electrical. Wasted space, covered over with drywall...seriously!  So to see what we could I went to my sketch board and started drawing with the dimensions.  After we had a plan, we found cabinets online and purchased just enough for the opening.  

We fell in love with the built-in.  Chuck installed lighting to display my china and special pieces of dishware. What a beautiful display and the space is now being used.  We then decided that we would order enough cabinets to complete the redesign of the kitchen.  With cabinets ordered we agreed that we needed to have hardwood floors installed in the kitchen and that they would then be throughout the whole house.  That meant removing everything on the 1st floor so that the floors could be refinished at the same time of the new install.  Wow...what an undertaking that was.... we should have just moved, because we moved EVERYTHING out of the house to get the floors done.  So this wasn't a kitchen remodel, it became a whole house remodel!  

But as you can see it turned out beautiful.  I love my Tuscan styled kitchen.  It has an old world flare that I just love. The tumbled travertine tile and glass block accents accent the cabinets.  I have never had a tile backsplash in the kitchen.  I love it!  

My cabinets are beautiful and it's hard to believe that they hold everything that my other ones did.  We bought them online for a portion of the cost when we were looking at different places.  We did our entire kitchen, including the purchase of new appliances, brand new hardwood floors, and for the cost of just what cabinets would have cost us from area home builders.

From the floors to the new appliances and the wonderful plan of functionality!  I know it doesn't have a lot of counter space, but I have had large gatherings, raised a family and it was always enough!  I love my added sideboard cabinet that was bought after everything else was done and I am pretty amazed how it looks like it belongs.  Thanks Paula Deen for the perfect design!

So it is finished....we have no future plans of any more remodeling....okay, yes we do...we always are thinking of what we can do next.  Maybe getting that pergola built over the deck...

Next project....stay tuned! 

Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.  Matthew 7:24-25

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Be Encouraged 2012

Chuck and I went to a conference today at the Fillmore in Detroit.  The conference was called Be Encouraged (hence the sign).  It really couldn't have been a better conference for this day, this time.

Have you ever heard the phrase "God's timing is perfect timing"?  I have, not that I have doubted it, a matter of fact, I have believed that since I was able to understand the phrase.  You see,  God's timing is perfect.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says ... "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" (NIV)

This morning we rose early to go to the conference.  Chuck doesn't like traffic, so we decided to get up earlier, travel downtown before the rush and get parked and have breakfast at a nearby coney island.

Our plan was going good, until we arrived downtown and tried to find a parking spot.  Parking is expensive in Detroit, especially when there is Tigers game the same day as a conference.  We tried a few lots and we couldn't park there because it was saved for the Tigers game...that's another subject for another day!.

Anyway, we finally parked in a lot a few blocks behind the Fillmore and then off to find the coney island for some breakfast.  We walked and couldn't locate it.  So I looked it up on my phone and called to find out their location.  It was inside of Comerica Park.  REALLY!  I'm hungry and we are downtown at 7:30 AM and not sure what we are going to here we stand at Circus Park looking for something to eat.  We both just looked at each other and said "we should have just stayed home"... it was just that kind of a day (well really it's been that kind of weeks).  Just then we decided we would just hope that there was something to eat inside the Fillmore, and lo and behold...the angels began to sing (not really, but they could have)...we turned around and their was a SUBWAY and it was open.  I had forgotten that they serve breakfast, but at this point who cares, we were starved and patience was growing thin due to the drop in "sugar levels".  So we ate, felt better about our day and we were off to get seated for the conference.

We signed up for this conference just after the District Council in May.  Life wasn't quite as busy, hectic or stressful...and as always we were pumped and ready for anything following District Council services.  But that was certainly not the circumstance during the end of May and beginning of June.  Chuck had taken on a lot responsibility at the church, becoming the interim pastor on May 1st, after our lead pastor retired. We were thrusted into a position that was not familiar to either of us. So today was going to be a much needed day of replenishing the tanks of two very tired  and frustrated people!

Did I expect the morning to run smoothly, traffic to be just perfect, and us arrive on the "high" of one other thing on our already busy calendars....Yep, I sure did!  But I can tell you that the enemy knew what God had in store and if he could keep us from making it to the conference, that would be his plan.

We finally went inside of this magnificent older theater and found it to be filling up, everyone was trying to find just the perfect seat up close and near the speakers.  But I myself like to sit near the rear and feel in control of my surroundings, and noticing the folding chairs and thinking about my back at the end of a day sitting in them, I began to search my options.  Well, just like the breakfast spot, God supplied some comfortable high-top chairs that were at the rear of the arena!  Perfect, and really I do mean perfect.  We sat down and claimed our seats, which to me, were the best in the house!

So time for the conference to begin.  The worship team was awesome!  From the moment the first note was hit, you could feel God's presence.  Both Chuck and I have been working long hard hours.  We work with people all day and after awhile we just need to escape.  This was our escape.  Yes, we were surrounded by people, but all of these people were like-minded and needed to Be Encouraged.

Pastor Jim Cymbala spoke first.  He spoke about how the culture is changing and how the world is moving further from God which is evident in the church today.  Pastors are leaving the ministry at an alarming rate, because they are wore out, tired of fighting the fight.

He talked about our calling and what that is, that it isn't to write books, to teach or to even preach, but our calling is to "be with him".  The same calling of the disciples, that were called to be with Jesus to learn and know his ways, we are called to be with God and spend time with him and learn more about him and to get to know the comforter that he sent on the day of Pentecost.  Pour yourself into learning more about God by being with him and he will pour his love into your life.

Pastor Cymbala gave this thought...

  • If you pour oil on the Bible, it will just weight it down
  • If you pour water on it, it will just be wet
  • If you blow air on it, the pages will just fly around 
  • But if you light it on fire, it will burn to the very core! 

No, he wasn't telling us to set our Bible on fire, but as we spend time with God, then He will become our very core, burning into our very souls!

The next speaker was Dr. Tony Evans.  He said that we our told that if we come to Lord Jesus, that it won't rain!  But when you come to Jesus it is going to rain...even storm!  He talked about the foundation that we build upon and the parable of the man who built on the sand and the man who built on the rock.  Both men attended the same church, heard the same sermon, but the difference was not knowledge, but the refusal to apply the biblical truth they heard.  We can't just go to church on Sunday and come home and live our life and repeat next Sunday.  We need to spend time with God allow him to build that foundation upon the rock so that when those storms come, because they will, you can stand.

He used this analogy.  Imagine you have a boxing bag and you hit it...again and goes back and forth further and further down with each force, you think it's knocked down....BUT...DING it comes back up!  Just like when we are knocked down, if we have built our foundation on the Rock by spending time with him and building on His truths, he will help us stand the storms of our lives.  Because there will be storms!

One of my favorite sayings by Dr. Evan's for the day was
           "God has spoken and He did not stutter"!  
He doesn't ponder his decisions, he knows, he makes it and it is done!

Pastor Tim Delina was the final speaker.  He spoke on God as our father and just like kids, we keep asking God the same question.  He talked about his blunders as a young pastor and how he planned and didn't take time to ask his Father if it was his plan.

As children of God we need to ask him, just as young children ask their father.  But remember God is a father and father's say "NO"!  When God says no, it is for your protection.  The enemy will always say "yes".  He doesn't have anything to lose.  As a parent we tell our children no, to protect them.  When God does say NO, it is because he has something better for you.

Something that spoke to my heart is that when things in your life are hard, the enemy will send offers your way.  But I need to remember that God knows best for me.

Jeremiah 29:11 says ...  "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". NIV

The Be Encouraged 2012 conference was a time of encouragement for both Chuck & I.  A time of rest and renewing being those who are like-minded and struggle also, have given us that encouragement to go on once again. We both will remember that storms will come...but as we continue to build our foundation on the truths of God, we will stand in the midst of the storms... that will come!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Night of Awards

Tonight was a night of awards presentations for the Missionettes & Royal Rangers for the kids at our church.  Rainbows thru Discovery kids and Stars received awards for their achievements of study for the past year.  Nathanael & Faith both received accolades for their accomplishments.
Faith has finished with her time as a Prim and received an Honor Prim pin and will be a STAR next year, (where has the time went).  Nathanael received several badges for his studies in Discovery Kids.  He has learned so much and will continue next year with the same unit.

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Congratulations to the Missionettes & Royal Rangers class of 2012!   

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dreamers, Doers & Defenders: Part One I go again.  I am going to do little entries, nothing in-depth, nothing hard.  Just quick thoughts and things worth writing.  So let's see if I can write this blog and keep it going.  I thought about just starting a new one, but decided against it.  I need to just start again.  Thanks Wendy for encouraging me to just write ... again!  So here is goes....

Oh, by the way, you can listen to Chuck's sermon from last Sunday ~ Dreams & Visions, part one of a 3 part series called Dreamers, Doers & Defenders.  I hope you enjoy it and that you may know the dreams and visions that God has placed in your heart.  I have placed a media player link to his sermon on the right of my blog. 

Acts 2:16-18 NKJV

"But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Jennifer

Today I celebrate my daughter.  In just about 2 hours from now she will have been placed in my arms for the first time.  I was in love!
I can't believe that she is 36 years old today.  How did that happen? Isn't she suppose to be 10 years old and still playing with Barbies?  But instead she is a wife and mother herself.  Time sure does fly!  So today I pray that she feels loved by her family as we celebrate the day she was born!

Chuck & I are so thankful to God for the blessing of having Jennifer celebrate her birthday this year.  Last year was a difficult birthday celebration.  Jennifer was beginning to recover from a life threatening illness and we almost lost her to the battle of undiagnosed Hypopituitarism and Addison's Disease.  But God is faithful and he lead us to the doctor with a "fresh set of eyes" who put her in touch with the right set of specialist.  And we are thankful that she is continuing to be on the road to recovery. 

Happy Birthday to our amazing daughter....

Celebrating Jen's birthday at work!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

He's 12 today...and Scripture Memorization!

I can't believe that we just celebrated my eldest grandson, Andrew Mycale Thomas's  twelfth birthday today.  I can remember so vividly the day he was born.  I was his mom's coach for labor since we weren't sure if his dad would be able to make it home before his birth.  He did make it home, but he insisted that I still be the one to help her through the labor.  I am still thankful that I have been able to be in the room when my three eldest grandchildren were actually born.
What a blessing Andrew continues to be.  Who would have known that a grandchild would bring such joy to your life.  Andrew smiles, always.  He never complains, at least not to me, I am sure that his parents would have a different story, but after all I am grammie!  Happy 12th Birthday Andrew!  He is already counting how many days until he turns 13!

Tomorrow is back to work for me.  Not that I had a break for the whole 2 weeks, but I didn't go in as early and did take a few days off to be with family.  I work at a school.  I am not a teacher.  I work in administration.  I really am not looking forward to it, not that I don't like my job, I just am getting used to living a little more laid back life.  Oh wait, what exactly is that?  I am sure that is another blog posting sometime.

Good Night...6:00 AM comes early!