Blog Posts

“These Are The Voyages . . . “

in-honor-of

THESE ARE THE VOYAGES . . .”

NOW GLORY BE TO GOD, WHO BY HIS MIGHTY POWER AT WORK WITHIN US IS ABLE TO DO FAR MORE THAN WE COULOD EVER DARE TO ASK OR EVEN DREAM OF – INFINITLY BEYOND OUR HIGHEST PRAYERS, DESIRES, THOUGHTS, OR HOPES.” Ephesians 3:20

WELCOME TO THE GEEKSIDE!

And YES, there are cookies! Check out TASTY FOOD on the Menu Bar!

Okay, so I DID warn you all so now I am going to GEEK OUT on you! (Cue maniacal laughter: MWAAAA-HA-HAAAA-HAAAAAAAAA!)

This post is in honor of Gene Roddenberry, and all those who brought “Star Trek” into existence. I admit it – I am a Trekkie; have been since I watched and Loved the show as a kid. However, if you aren’t a Trekkie, or don’t know anything about it, I think you will still enjoy this post. Please keep reading because there are some neat, FUN things here!

launch-partyThis month seemed the “opportune moment” for this post. 50 years ago in September, “Star Trek” first aired, and this summer, the third of the new movies beamed into theaters. Plus, this week is the OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY for this web site!!!! (I know it’s been out a few months already but the Facebook site is now ready, and I WANT TO CELEBRATE!!!! So please come along for the voyage, and Celebrate with me!)

THESE ARE OUR ADVENTURES. . .adventure-guide

The concept of “Star Trek” was always one of HOPE amidst new Adventures. And what could be more adventurous than where you are now? It may not always seem that way, but Life is an ADVENTURE!!!! God has glorious, wonderful things planned for each and every one of us, and He does not want us scared or worried about the Adventure. Instead, we are to trust in Him. He is, after all, the Ultimate Adventure Guide – kind of like a Divine Indiana Jones!

“Star Trek” was the dream child of Gene Roddenberry, airing in the 1960’s when several science fiction shows such as “Fantastic Voyage,” “My Favorite Martian” and “Lost in Space” aired on television. What set it apart from the others was the optimistic vision of a group of Friends Adventuring to new worlds, working together through adversity, knowing that everything would work out in the end.

Isn’t that what we all need? To KNOW that everything is going to be alright, despite hardships along the way? Life is filled with new Adventures all the time. For me, this Blog is a HUGE new undertaking- fun, exciting, but also challenging, and a bit scary. New things usually are, especially for some of us. Whether we’re going off to college, or starting a new job, or moving to an entirely different place, it can be SCARY! “Star Trek” tapped into that universal worry and fear, but left us with the belief that all would turn out well.

As Christians, we have that Hope ALWAYS because God is for us! Though we we go on new Adventures and face adversity just like the crew of the USS Enterprise, we can rest easy KNOWING there is Hope, and that everything will turn out well. Because we have the most powerful Captain of all on our side, and He has given us a crew of Family and Friends that will see us through all things.

BREAKING BARRIERS

The other cool thing about “Star Trek” was that it stretched the boundaries of what was acceptable at the time, and it did so without fanfare. It was just part of the show, a normal, everyday part of life.

st1The crew of the ship was made up of various ethnicities – including Asian, Russian, African- American, and Scottish, as well as good ol’ American farm boy, which was certainly not the norm during the time the show aired. AndHeavens to Murgatroyd!!!!” The First Officer wasn’t even human! Yet all these people worked well together, and became Friends – so much so that those friendships defined who they were over the years, and held true their whole lives through

It is important to note that not only were there various ethnicities represented on the show, THEY WERE ALL A VITAL COMPONANT OF LEADERSHIP, AND EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD! In a time frame when women were just coming into their own, Lt. Uhura was more than just eye-candy; she was an integral part of the crew, and she was uhuraBLACK and a WOMAN! What an amazing positive statement made within entertainment. I had the pleasure of meeting Nichelle Nichols, and she is an amazing and elegant woman. I wanted to tell her what so many others have told her before – that she inspired a generation of young women and girls that they can BE anything they want to be, and DO anything they want to do! All while being who they are! Lt. Uhura loved her short skirts and big hoop earrings; she was proud of her heritage but also proud to part of the crew, and who they were. (Zoe Saldana continues that inspiration in the new movies.)

Gene Roddenberry believed that all people were the same. Sure, there were personality differences but we all Love, we all dream, we all mourn, we all strive to achieve our dreams. In his universe, they all co-existed together, worked together, flourished together! C’mon- there was even a RUSSIAN on the team!!! Remember the Cold War? Roddenberry was showing the world a vision of what life could be like, and would be like, if people realized that we were all the same!

That’s how God intended mankind to be! We are not made up of “US” and “THEM.” When Jesus came as Messiah to save the Jews, notice how His salvation reached out to encompass ALL OF MANKIND!!!!! If there was anything Jesus was NOT, it was a bigot or an elitist.

GOD LOVES EVERYBODY!!!!!

Jesus supped with TAX COLLECTORS (and you know how people feel about tax collectors!). He healed Romans, He hung out with menial workers, and treated women with respect and honor in a time and a culture when they were considered less valuable than livestock. And He came to save ALL MANKIND! (And that’s the traditional form of “mankind” meaning EVERYONE!)

BUT SOME OF THESE BRANCHES FROM ABRAHAM’S TREE, SOME OF THE JEWS, HAVE BEEN BROKEN OFF. AND YOU GENTILES WHO WERE BRANCHES FROM, WE MIGHT SAY, A WILD OLIVE TREE, WERE GRAFTED IN. SO NOW YOU, TOO, WILL RECEIVE THE BLESSING GOD HAS PROMISED ABRAHAM AND HIS CHILDREN, SHARING IN GOD’S RICH NOURISHMENT OF HIS OWN SPECIAL OLIVE TREE.” -Romans 11:17

If that’s not a message of HOPE and LOVE then I don’t know what is.

That’s what I Love about “Star Trek.” (And so many more movies, shows and stories!) And that’s what I want you to take out of this post today!

heart-2If you’ve watched “Star Trek,” what are the feelings and emotions it has left you with? For that matter, think about whatever your favorite movie, TV show or book is. Why is it your favorite? Is there some message of Hope or Good that you respond to at a core level? And how does it feel knowing that GOD CAMES FOR ALL OF US, FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US because He Loves us so much? Does that affect the way you treat other people who are “different” from you in some way?

Please stay tuned. (Pun intended! Ha, ha!) Our Launch Party will continue throughout the month of October with special tidbits of Joy! Also, I thought I should let you know that you can expect the Wednesday updated posts in the evening.

Enjoy, and “Live long and prosper!” ~Billie

P.S. Don’t forget to go check out the Geekside cookie recipe!

RESOURCES:snagglepuss_1-0

The Living Bible: Ephesians 3:20 and Romans 11:17

Pictures from the original “Star Trek” cast

Artwork created by Billie Cover

I remember the phrase“Heavens to Murgatroyd! from when I was growing up but was amused when I went searching to find WHERE I knew it from! It was from a Saturday morning cartoon called “Snagglepuss” from Hanna-Barbera. I hope the image I found makes you as happy as it did me!

Best Friends Forever!

friend-quilt

FRIENDS FOREVER

THERE ARE ‘FRIENDS’ WHO PRETEND TO BE FRIENDS, BUT THERE IS A FRIEND WHO STICKS CLOSER THAN A BROTHER.” -Proverbs 18:24

WE ALL NEED CLOSE FRIENDS

Friends are so very important in Life! In our last post, we saw how Jesus had Friends, and spent time with them. He even had three, what I would call, Best Friends – Peter, James and John. These are the three who were with Him for His Transfiguration on top of the mountain. (Matthew 17:1-9) And in John 19:26, John referred to himself as “the disciple whom He [Jesus] loved” (the New International Version Bible) or as His “close friend.” (the Living Bible) These were also the three men whom Jesus took furthest with Him into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with Him the night before His crucifixion.

Now Jesus knew that His Friends weren’t perfect, and that they’d fall asleep while He was praying during the dark hours before His arrest. But He still wanted them with Him. It brought Him comfort to know that those He held so dear were with Him during His time of deep despair.

Sure sounds like Best Friends to me. What’s that song from “Toy Story?”

toy-story-buzz-woody “YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME!!!!”

WHAT IS A BEST FRIEND?

Think about some of the closest Friends you have, and what it is that makes them special to you. For example, there are those GREAT FRIENDS with whom you can be BOLD and ADVENTUROUS and HAVE FUN WITH!!!!! (Like when we were little kids!)

My Husband is my very Bestest Friend – which is what I think you ALWAYS need in the person you marry. You need someone who knows YOU!!! Maybe not totally everything about you, but your SOUL – what makes you laugh, what makes you cry, and who wants to be with you rain or shine, and who brings out the best in you and still Loves you in the worst.

There are dear Friends who live so far away that they are practically off the edge of the WORLD! Yet every time you are able to get together, it’s like you were never apart. You are the most YOU when you are with them! (Which for me is all giddy and happy and full of LIFE!)

Then there are those wonderful Souls whom you KNOW from the moment you first meet them that you’re going to be Best Friends with because they are SO LIKE YOU! It’s as if your Soul leaps out to embrace them!!!!!

And then there are the BFF’s that you have known for a TRILLION YEARS!!!!! (Okay, maybe that’s a . . . slight . . . exaggeration.) The dear Friend that I have known longest in my life – 37 years to be exact (ALMOST a trillion years!) – has always been there for me. HE KNOWS ME!!!! My very Soul, my very essence, what makes me ME! We have DECADES of memories together. He’s seen my dreams become realities, and I tease him about silly things from the past. bff-braceletAND WE TALK – ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! Oh, what FUN we have together. For example, several years ago when we got together after a long absence, we sat and talked FOREVER, but then we went and played video games and laughed and had fun and were young at heart. We won enough tickets that he got us matching BFF bracelets – mine was PINK!!!!! (DUH!), and his was purple, and HE WORE HIS!!!!! THAT is a Best Friend!

FRIENDS OF THE SOUL

BFF’s (Best Friends Forever!) know YOU! They know your hopes, your dreams, your vulnerabilities and your flaws. Yet they are always there Loving on you, helping you through hard times, CELEBRATING Life with you and just enjoying BEING WITH YOU! (If not in body, at least in spirit.)

I saw something on Anam Cara Jewelry Design website once that TOTALLY describes what a Best Friend is. Anam Cara: Soul Friend. The Celtic spiritual belief of souls connecting or bonding. Your Anam Cara always accepts you as you truly are, holding you in beauty and light.”

I happen to LOVE names that start with the letter “K” as evidenced by LOTS of game and book characters I have created. So sometimes I spell it ANAM KARA, Kara being “dear or beloved” in Italian. And my definition of Anam Kara is FRIEND OF MY SOUL, LIGHT OF MY HEART, AND KIN TO MY SPIRIT.

OUR BESTEST FRIEND EVER!

GREATER LOVE HAS NO ONE THAN THIS: TO LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE FOR ONE’S FRIENDS. YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND. I NO LONGER CALL YOU SERVANTS, BECAUSE A SERVANT DOES NOT KNOW HIS MASTER’S BUSINESS. INSTEAD, I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS, FOR EVERYTHING THAT I LEARNED FROM MY FATHER I HAVE MADE KNOWN TO YOU.” -John 15:13-15bff-1

So, in light of all this, you do realize, don’t you, that YOU ALWAYS HAVE A FRIEND IN JESUS!?! HE CALLS US FRIEND!!!!!

Think about it! He is ALWAYS there for us – Loving us just the way we are! He knows all the bad parts about us and LOVES US!!!!! He knows the beauty inside us, and He helps us become who we are meant to be. As Henry Ford said it, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” God is there to help carry us through the hard times, comfort us in our despair, Celebrate in our Joy! HE IS OUR ANAM CARA AND WE ARE HIS!!! We are kin to His Spirit (because it lives in us), the Light and JOY of His heart, FRIENDS OF GOD!

HOW TOTALLY COOL IS THAT!?!

heart-1Do me a favor – when you’re talking with God this week, talk to Him like you talk with your Best Friend here on earth. Dump on Him all the stuff going wrong, cry out to Him your needs but also be all bubbly and excited about whatever it is that makes your heart sing! Because God is the Bestest Friend we will EVER have! And just like all BFF’s, He wants to share in ALL of your Life!                  Remember, God thinks of YOU as His Best Friend!!!!! –Billie

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mike! We’ve been Best Friends for over two thirds of our lives, and I am always Blessed by our Friendship! It’s a Joy and an honor to see the Light of God within you, and to have shared our journeys together. Be Blessed my Friend. Love Always, Billie

RESOURCES:

the Living Bible: Proverbs 18:24

the New International Version Bible: John 15:13-15

Toy Story” from Disney Pixar

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” written by Randy Newman

artwork by Billie Cover

PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

beloved-health

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Because YOU are important to God!

COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” Matthew 11:28

Is This You? Are You Tired and Weary?

If you’re like me, (and oh, so many other people in the world!), you don’t take good enough care of yourself. As a result, we are constantly worn down and tired. Part of it is because God made us to be loving and caring so we want to take care of other people. Often times, though, it is at the expense/sacrifice of our own needs and care. Plus, our society seems to think that EVERYONE should be a SuperHero who can do it all! not-a-superheroAND MORE!!!!

Let’s put this all in perspective, shall we? JESUS WAS THE GREATEST SUPERHERO that ever lived, and EVEN HE took the time to take care of Himself!!!!

Never thought of it that way, did you? Yet Scripture is clear on this. Jesus DID NOT heal everyone, nor was He on call 24/7. He took time away from His “job” to do the following:

  • Get away from His “job” and people so that He could renew and refresh His Spirit and His soul. (John 6:12-15)
  • Spend time with God in prayer. He needed time to Love on His father, be Loved on, and to hear what God wanted of Him. (Matthew 6:7-8, Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12)
  • Spend time with His FRIENDS and LOVED ONES!!!!! And not just to teach and instruct them, but to BE with them and ENJOY them! (Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. GOD IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS!!jesus-joy And isn’t one of the ways we see God’s Love so powerfully is through our time and relationships with others?) (Luke 10:38, Luke 22:14-15)
  • Hung out relaxing and eating and having FUN with people! Jesus went to weddings to celebrate, and to festivals, and banquets and dinner parties with friends. So He was eating well, socializing and having fun! Coolness! (Matthew 9:10, Mark 2:15, John 5:1, John 10:22, John 12:1-2)
  • And finally, and VERY, VERY IMPORTANT – Jesus rested! JESUS SLEPT!!!!! (I know, right!?! Jesus needed sleep too! And if He did, SO DO I!!!!) If Jesus was SO TIRED that He took advantage of sleeping while on a boat IN THE MIDST OF A MAJOR STORM, then he obviously needed sleep! (AS DO WE!!!!! I emphasize this so much because it is a major problem for me, and for lots of people who think they CAN’T sleep because they just don’t have the time!) (Mark 4:37-41)

It’s important to notice that Jesus slept on the boat even with chaos raging all around Him – because He knew His father had it under control. We would do well to take that message to heart. As a matter of fact, Jesus trusted God in all these endeavors as He took care of Himself, knowing not only that it was good for Him to do so, but it was what is Father WANTED him doing! That was part of His job, given to Him by God!

THE BIG THREE

“LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND. THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT. THE SECOND IS SIMILAR: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS MUCH AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.” -Matthew 22:37-39

Think about it this way. God LOVES US SO MUCH that He doesn’t want us wearing ourselves thin. Don’t you tell your kids and spouse and friends NOT to overdo it, and TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES!?! DUH!!!!!! If we Love ourselves, shouldn’t we be taking care of ourselves?

And honestly, how can we love and take care of others, which is part of our jobs, if we are not taking care of ourselves? Before a big trip, don’t you make sure that your car is in working order? Otherwise, it could break down along the way. It would not be able to finish the task set before it. Same with us.

Have you ever been so worn down and exhausted that you don’t even have the desire to be with God, let alone make it happen? I have. After a series of MAJOR events, I found myself so worn down that I could barely even find it in me to ask God to keep me going, let alone spend time worshiping and loving on Him. And that is our PRIMARY purpose in life – TO LOVE GOD!!!! I cannot fully give my Love and attention to God when I am ignoring the way He made my body, heart and soul to function.

God Blessed me during that dry spell in my life. While sitting in the Christian section of a bookstore, I looked over, and a title LEPT OUT AT ME!!!! “The Worn Out Woman” by Dr Steve Stephens and Alice Gray. That was me- a WORN OUT WOMAN! And this book helped save me! Please consider reading it. Even if you are a guy, trust me! It says things we all need to hear so that we can Love God to our fullest, and do the tasks He commissions us to do.

Why I am Telling You These Things

I tell you these things now because I know them, and to an extent, I try to follow them. But I don’t always make it the priority I should. And God keeps escalating the 2×4’s He’s using to try and get my attention with. Usually I just get sick, and have to cancel everything I am trying to do. But the illnesses, and their duration keep ramping up. Fortunately, this time when I had to make a trip to the ER for chest pains, it turned out my heart was in really great shape- Praise God! But next time, I might not be so lucky. So how about I avoid a next time by . . . hey this is a novel concept! . . . TAKING CARE OF MYSELF, and not just the rest of the world!?!

Please learn from my mistakes, as well as the examples of Jesus that are included in the Bible for us to see how important it is to take care of ourselves!

heart-2Here are your thoughts for the day: Did this post give you a new perspective on Jesus? What do you think about Him being so human that He needed the same things we do – Love, rest, Joy, time with God and fellowship with Friends? What thoughts does this bring to mind about how God might be feeling about YOUR needs?

Remember, God wants you taking care of yourself because HE LOVES YOU! -Billieprayer-for-leisure

P.S. God even tries GENTLY to reiterate His lessons to me. In “At Home in Mitford” by Jan Karon, the lead character is pushing himself to his limits, and God (and his Friends) are trying to get him to take care of himself. You might want to read this lovely book for inspiration. Blessings.

P.P.S.S.  Wanted to let you know that from here on out, new posts will be available on Wednesdays!  And, PLEASE feel free to comment!  I LOVE hearing from you.  This site is still in its newborn becoming stage so all feedback is welcome!  Love in Christ’s name, Billie

RESOURSES:

New International Version Bible:  Matthew 11:28

The Living Bible:  Matthew 22:27-29

The Worn Out Woman by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

3 John 1:2 artwork created by Billie Cover, verse from The English Standard Version Bible

Prayer for Leisure artwork created by Billie Cover, prayer from The Book of Common Prayer (according to the use of the Episcopal Church.)

All Around Blessings Abound

DSC08425

LOOK FOR BLESSINGS ALL AROUND!

For It’s There They Can Be Found!

EVERY DESIRABLE AND BENEFICIAL GIFT COMES OUT OF HEAVEN.  THE GIFTS ARE RIVERS OF LIGHT CASCADING DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHT.  -James 1:17

“FOR JEHOVAH GOD IS OUR LIGHT AND OUR PROTECTOR.  HE GIVES US GRACE AND GLORY.  NO GOOD THING WILL HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHO WALK ALONG HIS PATHS.”  -Psalm 84:11

      This week while trying to decide what to share with you, my Bible Art Challenge was for James 1:2-19.  There are so many great things in those verses but what leapt out at me was verse 17 from the Message Bible.  It was such a visually stunning image of the Lord literally ENGULFING US with a cascade of Blessings!  As I was painting, the colors began to BLAZE across the page, and I could just feel God’s immense Love and Blessings all around me! wheelbarrow What a powerful reminder that God’s gifts are everywhere, if only we have eyes to see.   I like how my sister, Candy, once put it.  It’s like every day, God has a wheelbarrow FULL of gifts for us.  Not only do we need to see and REALIZE that they are there, we need to be open to receiving them.

      For example, how many of us race through our days, never even registering the exquisitely beautiful work of art that God creates for us each and every day, twice daily with sunrise and sunset?  As you know, I Love color, and it just takes my breath away to see such AMAZING sunsets!  (I’m not a morning person so I don’t do sunrises very often.  But I do Love sunlight shining through my windows when I wake up in the mornings.  It’s like God’s own personal hug to me!)  I was going to find you an gorgeous sunset picture, then realized that even magnificent artwork and photos of sunsets are NOTHING compared to the REAL thing!  So, PLEASE, go outside and share God’s creation with Him!  It will Bless you both!

PRAISE THE LORD ALWAYS

     DSC08344 Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.  (A Blessing is also the term used for a group of narwhals, as I found out when me daughter adopted some stuffed ones of all colors!  They certainly made her happy!)  Some packages come in GINORMOUS ways- the birth of a child, the dream house that you have been saving to buy, the visit of a dear Friend.  Yet there are SO MANY Blessings that seem almost minuscule to us.  When you think about it, though, isn’t it sweet of God to give them to us?  Whether it’s the parking space close to the store while it’s pouring down rain, or a hot cup of tea to start off our morning, our days are FILLED with TONS of little “I Love You!” notes from God.  And He likes when we send Him “Thank You Notes.”  Ever notice how the Bible is full of verses telling us to Praise the Lord, to thank Him for all He has done for us?

IT IS GOOD TO GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, TO SING PRAISES TO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH; TO DECLARE THY STEADFAST LOVE IN THE MORNING, AND THY FAITHFULNESS BY NIGHT.”  -Psalm 92:1-2

     One thing I like to do is make Praise Lists, or write in a Blessing Book.  It’s exactly like it sounds- I record things that I am thankful for.  My husband, my kids, my health, those are always there, of course.  It’s usually pretty easy to come up with10 things you are thankful for, maybe even 25.  But what about 50?  Or a 100 things to praise God for!?!     dp roses 2 Sounds impossible?  Think you can’t do that?  THINK AGAIN!  Sure- list the BIG things, but also thank God for the things you think are small and unimportant.  BECAUSE NOTHING IS SMALL IN GOD’S EYES!!!!!  Remember, He knows the number of hairs on your head!  He cares for the sparrows, and robes the flowers in splendor!  And He DELIGHTS in YOU!!!!!  Every aspect of you!***  That’s why I know it makes God happy when I praise Him for Dr. Pepper, roses, PINK and fairy gardens! 

PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM

      Maybe you’re in a rough place right now, though.  (Been there; done that.)  Sometimes it’s hard to get up and even make it through the days, let alone be grateful along the way.  Yet it is in the Book of Psalms that you find many, many praises to the Lord.  These “Thank You Letters” were written by David.  Remember him?  The one who slew a giant and won the war for King Saul?  The same one who became friends with the king after calming Saul’s troubled spirit with music?  Then Saul started trying to KILL David because he knew that David was to take his place as king.

      Being turned on by your friend and king, being hunted to DEATH- those are not the best of circumstances.  Yet David kept singing praises about God, and to God.  Sure, there were times when he gave in to despair, or when he got angry and raged at God.  (We all do; that’s part of being human.)  But he could still praise God because he KNEW that God had ALWAYS taken care of him, and always would, even when there were many, many times that he could not see God at work.bj psalm 34

I WILL PRAISE THE LORD NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.  I WILL CONSTANTLY SPEAK OF HIS GLORIES AND GRACE.  I WILL BOAST OF ALL HIS KINDNESS TO ME.  LET ALL WHO ARE DISCOURAGED TAKE HEART.  LET US PRAISE THE LORD TOGETHER, AND EXALT HIS NAME.  FOR I CRIED TO HIM AND HE ANSWERED ME!  HE FREED ME FROM ALL MY FEARS.”  -Psalm 34:1-4

      God was there for David, and He is here for us.  When my kids were little, we’d end each day saying 3 good things about our day.  There were times when besides my family, the only thing I felt like thanking God for was for making it through the day.  That’s okay.  It also made me ponder what WAS good about my day.

    guess what Here’s my challenge for you: consider writing a Praise List or in a Blessing Book.  If that seems too daunting for you, try at the end of the day to think of 5 things you can thank God for.  (I know- the quota’s gone up!)  Another option is to look back at your day and think about the good things that happened and what went well with the day.  Those are God’s Love Letters to you!

      I’ll end this post with a picture of one of my Special Blessings from God ~ a sunrise from my porch.  YES, sunrise does happen even to me upon occasion!

Enjoy God’s Blessings!  –BILLIE

BUT TRUE PRAISE IS A WORTHY SACRIFICE; THIS REALLY HONORS ME.  THOSE WHO WALK MY PATHS WILL RECEIVE SALVATION FROM THE LORD.”  -Psalm 50:23100_5233

RESOURCES:

     Paraphrased James 1:17 Picture inspired by journal from PaperandDust on deviantart, and a painting by Jimmy Lawlor on pinterest.

     Psalm 34:1 picture from glorycardskjv.com

     *** Luke 12:7, Matthew 6:26-30, Luke 12:27-28, Zephaniah 3:17, and Psalm 149:4

     The Living Bible Paraphrased:  Psalm 84:11, Psalm 34:1-4 and Psalm 50:23

     The Message Bible:  James 1:17

     The Revised Standard Version Bible:  Psalm 92:1-2

There is Hope!

Dept of SandR

THERE IS HOPE!

For you, for me & for the world!

So MAY GOD, THE SOURCE OF HOPE, FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING SO THAT THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT YOU MAY HAVE HOPE IN ABUNDANCE.”  – Romans 15:13

GREETINGS, SALUTATIONS & WELCOME!

      I am so very glad that you have found your way here to my Blog!  The sign above is based on a poster I saw 30+ years ago in an Abbey Press catalog, and it pretty much sums me up!  It is my hope and prayer that you will find wonderful stuff here, and that you will be Blessed and encouraged by it.

      First and foremost, let me reiterate: THERE IS HOPE!  And that is a glorious, wonderful thing to know!  This Blog is to ENCOURAGE you, and to remind you of how very much GOD LOVES YOU! I am here to share with you some really cool things.  We are all on a magnificent Adventure with God, and I want to share my enthusiasm and passions with you on the Journey!

      God loves us so very much!  He doesn’t want us scared or worn down or frazzled or angry or apathetic.  What He wants is for us to LIVE with a Spirit of Joy, Love and Hope.  That is His Spirit within us- His gift to us.

Princess BillieABOUT ME:

      So let me tell you a bit about myself.  That way you will know where I am coming from as I write this to you.  My name is Billie, and I LOVE GOD with my whole heart!  I am His Beloved daughter, and He created me to Love Him and to Love people!  AND I DO LOVE PEOPLE!  This has always been my ministry- loving on people, and sharing God’s Love with them.  (Oh, and I do cutsie, little drawings that help me visualize God’s Love and His message to me.  Plus, I LOVE PINK in case you couldn’t tell!  Don’t spaz about it- I like other colors too.)  I have been married to my Bestest Friend for over thirty years, and we have two great adult kids.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and when I turned 50, I received my Master’s Degree in Ministry.

      I tell you these things so you can understand a bit more about why I am writing this Blog for you.  People would ask what I was going to “DO” with my Degree- perhaps be a church youth director, or keep working in women’s ministry, or maybe even start my own church.  The answer, though, was that I ALREADY was doing what God wanted me doing.  I was using the information I learned about God, and the training I received in Ministry to continue loving on people just as I have always done in every aspect of my life.  I encourage them when they are down, I comfort them when they are hurting, and I celebrate with them when they are happy.  Now I can do the same for you with this Blog.

      I also Love writing, and stories of all kinds- the ones we live, the ones we watch or read, and the ones we create.  And I freely admit it: I’M A GEEK!  What does that mean to me?  I enjoy all kinds of wonderful, eclectic, varied things in this life such as fantasy books, Star Wars movies, games, pop culture, Disney, COLOR, dancing, crafting, creating, and so much more.  I see God in all these things, and Celebrate Him in them.  I think it’s cool that God made each of us unique because it gives us a hint of how creative and diverse He is.  We’re each made in His image, and we are all made to glorify and Love Him.

THERE IS HOPE!

      One thing we all have in common is that we all get scared.  Our world can be a terrifying place.  Terrorist attacks, political upheaval, intolerance for what is different, hatred and crime and natural disasters are just a drop in the bucket of things that we fear.

But take heart!  God promises that through it all, He is with us and will see us through.

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED.  YOU ARE TRUSTING GOD, NOW TRUST IN ME.”  -John 14:1

AND BE SURE OF THIS – THAT I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD.”  -Matthew 28:20

      We can see God at work in our world in many ways.  His Presence and majesty are all around us.  I am especially fond of the Bible Devotional called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  She writes, “I [God] created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being.   A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor – all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world.   Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought.”

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     Another way we see God at work is through people!  Think about it.  Whenever there is disaster or tragedy, PEOPLE are there – helping, encouraging, loving on those in need.  What an encouraging thought.  In the Bible, we often see people working some of God’s great miracles by being His hands and feet on this earth.

     Take the story of Ruth, for example.  It is through the actions of the three major characters that God’s happy ending comes to be.  Ruth chooses to stay with her mother-in-law, to Love on her and console her and give her aid during her time of grief and despair.  As Naomi began to recover, she in turn begins to watch out for her beloved daughter, looking ahead to the future for her.  And Boaz cares for his kin with Love, honor and respect.  As a result, all three were Blessed by God.  And Blessed God!

      When you get discouraged, remember that God is at work in the world, and FOR YOU!

FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, SAYS THE LORD.  THEY ARE PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR EVIL, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.”  -Jeremiah 29:11

  heart 3   Look around and remember His majesty, but also look at those around you who RADIATE with God’s Love. 

     In what ways do you find Hope in fearful and discouraging times?   How do people inspire you to be hopeful?

Until next time, Be Blessed!  -BILLIE

P.S.  Special thanks go out for making this blog possible.   To God- for making my dreams of Sonshine Celebrations a reality and for His Love!   To my Loving Husband- who has ALWAYS believed in, and encouraged my writing!   To my daughter- who inspired me by getting her blog and books published, and showing me that I could too!   And to my son- whose hard work and generous gifts of time and Love have brought this website into being!   I Love you all very much!

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RESOURCES:

“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

Bible translations:  The New American Bible, and the Living Bible Paraphrased

*Photo courtesy of Ben Pinner

Banner inspired from artwork by Shadi Desjardins  www.sharidesjardins.com