Monday, September 12, 2011

Devotional-Sept. 2011

A firm foundation when your world has been shaken

When hurricane Irene hit the coast and continued on its rampage, nothing was sacred. The winds and the floods came to uproot lives, homes, yards and trees. That's what hurricanes do so well. They change the landscape of our lives, our cities, and our small towns. They shake our foundation and leave behind a pathway of destruction. People desperately seek the safety and protection of shelter through someone's provision and kindness.

There are times when you experience your own personal hurricane. The winds of change uproot your life, leaving little hope for what tomorrow will bring. You feel vulnerable and alone, desperately wanting someone to understand and to care.

God is your firm foundation when your world has been shaken. He is your shelter, your refuge, and your protection in the storms of life. His arm is out-stretched; His hand is open-waiting to give you a safe place in His arms.

Scripture to Remember:
"Thou has been my stronghold, and a refuge in the day of my distress." Psalm 59:16

"He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken." Psalm 62:2

"I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind...." Psalm 55:8

Question to Consider:
When my life is uprooted with the winds of change, what will I do?

Oh Lord, "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

Thought for the Day:
I will run to Him before the storm hits!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Heart Notes

Dear Friends,

Summer has come and gone now, vacations are over, school has started, and the rhythm of routines and schedules have begun to structure our lives again. Cherished memories of summer with family and friends are etched in our minds, and pictures that captured the moment, or the smile, have become a treasure in our hearts.

The memories I hold most dear this summer were spent with my six grandchildren and their parents. My daughter and I held our traditional "Cousins Camp" in cool northern Arizona at our small retreat center, better known as a two bedroom (plus loft) townhouse. I fixed 12 gallons of lemonade, made 36 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies, found 12 missing shoes, fixed an overflowing toilet 4 times, took 125 pictures, and said "wash your hands," at least 6 times a day.

I do believe my daughter can fix mac n' cheese and chicken nuggets 10 different ways! I set up "Nana's Nail Salon" on our deck, and painted nails for my three granddaughters and their friends for a whole morning. My three grandsons and their friends played board games on our deck for hours of entertainment. Kick-ball was a late afternoon ritual, with a growing number of kids participating every day. Even the parents would gather to watch. Bunk beds and sleeping bags filled the loft, giggles were heard and games were played until "lights out" echoed up the stairs. I could go on and on....

The best thing for you and me to do, now that summer is over, is to pull our memory treasures out anytime during a hectic day, or a busy schedule, and reflect on the special times and people that made the summer so memorable. We can look at our pictures, share them with family and friends, and recount the stories as vivid and real as when they happened.

With September here, I hope you "fall" in love with Jesus all the more. Remember His faithfulness, recount His story, and share Him with your friends.

From My Heart to Yours,
Susan Miller