Heart Choices: 2009-07-12 -->

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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ To God Be The Glory

Today is Saturday so it's Then Sings My Soul Saturday. You can link to Amy's Signs, Miracles and Wonders to join this fun blog hop. You'll find a variety of songs to listen to and sing along ...if you like.

I have to share a little bit before you see the video I chose this week. I hope you don't mind.

I was working in my backyard this week. I live in Phoenix and we're having triple digits temps right now. All of the flowers around our pool had died and the backyard looked terrible. So, I pulled out the old and planted the new.

What a difference! Although this photo was taken in my backyard, it's an older photo. My camera has been acting up lately and the photos I took of the new flowers were blurry.

The whole time I was trying my bit at gardening, a song was playing over and over in my head. I don't sing very well but I couldn't seem to help myself. After all, nobody else could hear but the Lord and so I sang aloud as I worked.

By the time I finished, I was so hot that I jumped in the pool with my clothes on!

But I kept singing "To God Be The Glory". I knew I needed to post this older hymn on TSMSS. I checked out YouTube and found this version which for me ...is perfect!

Sissel is a famous Norwegian singer who comes from Bergen. She has a beautiful voice and is accompanied by the Oslo Gospel Choir. I hope you will enjoy this song and that ...it will play over and over in your head too!


How's Your Vision?

I'm over at Laced with Grace today. And I'm writing about dealing with suffering and trials.

Life can be hard but we need our eyes opened in the midst of our challenges. We tend to focus on what we can see and feel now but what about our spiritual vision?

I hope you'll hop over to Laced with Grace and read the full devotional.


Thankful Thursday ~ Bloggy Friendship

It's Thankful Thursday and Lynn of Spiritually Unequal Marriage is our host this week. You can link there to add your thankful list or find other participating blogs to visit. I'm always blessed when I read Thankful Thursday posts.

Lynn chose random heart as our theme for this week and she focused on how thankful she is for her blogging community of friends. I have to say that I'm very thankful for Lynn. We share a few things in common and pray for one another and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to also say how thankful I am for all of my awesome blogging friends too! Because of the work I'm doing, I've not been able to get out much lately to do fun things with my real life friends. My hubby and I have been glued to our computers working nonstop lately. So, it's not left much time for going out and having fun.

But how thankful I am that the Lord has provided me with a group of awesome bloggers that I've come to know in such a unique way. I may not have met them face to face ....but their hearts most definitely reveal who they are.

Writing provides a way to share much about who you are. The loving and supportive comments I've received have provided me with so much love and encouragement ...during a time when I espeically needed it.

I hate to mention names because I know I'd miss someone. But I just want to mention a few bloggy friends that touched me especially this week.

  • Lisa Shaw of Sharing Life with Lisa has prayed with me, loved on me and been so generous with me. I'll share more at a later time but she has blessed me abundantly with her friendship.
  • And Edie of Rich Gifts is just so wonderful, kind and gifted. You must check out her blog designs.
  • Lori of Lori's Reflections was my first blogging friend and sticks by me through thick and thin.
  • Jill of Forever n Even n Always has become such a source of inspiration to me and can't help but share the love of Christ with others. She has prayed for me and with me online and I'm so thankful for her friendship.
  • Debra of Clothed With Scarlet has the most sensitive heart and prays continually for her bloggy friends. I'm so thankful to be considered her friend.
  • Mary of Piles of Smiles is an Arizona blogging friend. We have yet to meet in person but I know she's a friend who prays and cares for others.
  • Jennifer of Smelling Coffee is sensitive to those going through difficulties and reaches out and prays. She has blessed me this week.
  • Vicki of Windows to my Soul has provided encouragement and love as she deals with her own challenges at this time in her life.

I know I'm forgetting so many but these are the people who have touched my heart especially this week. I could mention Sandy, Kate, Felisol, Denise, Lisa and many more.

This is the blogging life and it's good. And for this I am ...so blessed and thankful.


Lexi Jumps 4 Joy

I was very touched yesterday as I read about a new blog called Jumps 4 Joy.You see, the author of Jumps 4 Joy is Lexi and she's a teenager. She has such a heart for the hurting children of the world. Lexi realizes how blessed she is. Lexi lives in a home where she doesn't have to worry about where her next meal will come from. She doesn't have to worry about finding shelter or water. And Lexi is loved by her parents.

Lexi has 7 brothers and sisters and 5 of them were adopted from places like Guatamala and Ethiopia!

Lexi has been exposed to parts of the world where children are suffering and don't get to live with the luxuries so many of us have. She's seen first hand orphanages where children are anxious to have a mommy and daddy. And this has impacted her tender heart.
Instead of thinking that her family has done its part through adoption, Lexi feels strongly that she can do something ...even if it's one child at a time.

Lexi has lots of wisdom for one so young, don't you think?

She's jumping rope to raise money to help the children.
I follow her mom's blog Forever n Ever n Always. When Jill was doing one of her vlogemotions, I noticed someone jumping rope in the background. That got me curious. And then I learned about Lexi's project. You've got to visit Lexi's Jumps 4 Joy and read about what she's doing.

In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Stepping Out in Faith

Today I'm participating in the meme In Other Words Tuesdays. Nina of Mama's Little Treasures is our host today. The quote she chose for us is:

First of all, Anne Graham Lotz is one of my favorite Christian speakers and authors. I've had the privilege to hearing her speak in person on several occasions and ...even got to introduce myself and shake her hand. I'm sure many of you have done the same but it was such a thrill for me.

You see, Anne was a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) Teaching Leader for many years before she began her itinerant ministry. And I was involved in the same international organization as a BSF Children's Leader for 8 years and ...loved it. So, I guess she's been a role model for me.

OK, so back to our quote. I have a natural tendency to stay within my comfort zone. My husband has constantly tried to coax me out of it as we've worked together for the past few years. But I'm slowly learning that to grow you must step out and it's not all that comfortable at first.

On a spiritual level, I'm also learning much about this too. It seems that I tend to learm more ...through difficulties.

Each morning I pray Romans 12:1-2 (with my personal paraphrase):

"I (Debbie), in view of God's mercy, offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is my spiritual act of worship. I will not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then I am able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

When I start my day with this beginning, I am reminded that I have choices to make during the day.
  • I can satisfy my flesh (which still rears its ugly head too often this side of eternity) OR
  • I can submit to the Holy Spirit's leading.

And to be sensitive to His leading, I need to spend time with the Lord everyday. By the way, I must give credit to Scott Samter of Opening His Word Together as I've been listening to his teachings on Romans. Great stuff and he's Jill's husband of Forever n Ever n Always.

So, how does this relate to Anne's quote above?

When I submit to the Lord, He is able to use me as a vessel for His purposes. He often provides me with those divine appointments that I can think are interruptions. But when I'm tuned in, I know it's what He would have me to do. And what He has me do is often what I'm not all that comfortable doing ...at first.

For years, I thought He was calling me to teach people about heart disease. It made sense since I worked as a cardiovascular nurse specialist for 25 years. It was what I knew and in my comfort zone. But life happens and instead I went to work with my husband and had to learn ...about technology.

And in the process, I happened upon blogging. What do you know?

Instead of simply teaching people about heart disease, I have an audience where I'm free to write about the REAL HEART ISSUES. Yes, heart disease may be a part of that but the true message and the need of every heart is to be filled with Jesus. I would never have imagined doing that years ago when I was planning a different path. I may be able to do this only in my spare time now ...but it's a start.

I'm learning that when I allow God to work in and through me, life can be an adventure. I'm discovering more and more as I learn to walk by faith and not just by sight. It takes trust but each day I'm growing ...and so thankful.

Now don't forget to hop over to Nina's blog to find other participating posts for today's quote.


Blog Hop ~ 3 Things You Did Not Know About Me

I'm participating in MckLiny's weekly Blog Hop. This week's theme is "3 things you did not know about me".

So here's my 3 things:

1. I went to high school with Pat Benatar. Yes, the rock star! In fact, I introduced her to her first husband Dennis. We were on a class trip to "the city" (NYC) and she and I were partners for the trip. Dennis was in my biology class and he really liked Pat. So, I introduced them and for the next few years in high school, they were an item. They eventually married and so her name went from Patti Andrzejewski to Pat Benatar. They've since divorced but I guess eveyone knows her by Benatar.
Pat has always been good to her Lindenhurst High School classmates (many of my friends on Facebook). I've heard many others say that they also got backstage passes to have the opportunity to say hi and catch up before her concerts. She was so great with my niece Katie, giving her advice to do well in her studies at school. Thanks Pat; Katie's doing well and living in NYC now!

2. I've had the opportunity to do much traveling with my husband Greg over the years. I've been to England, France, Italy, Rio de Janiero, Norway, Canada, Mexico, among other places. I haven't done much traveling lately but ...I really enjoy it.

3. Although I've lived in Phoenix for 25 years, I miss the ocean. I grew up on Long Island across the street from the boat docks. But one of my favorite places to be is Carmel, California. I've had the opportunity to spend time there with friends who rent a house each summer. Things have been so hectic that I haven't been able to go lately but ...I do miss it. There's nothing like the sound of the surf; so peaceful and calming to me.

MckLinky Blog Hop

What Makes You Smile?

Smiling is good for you! It can actually change your mood. It can be contagious. I have to warn you that you might catch it by the end of this post.

Did you know that the act of smiling helps to relax your body and can even lower your blood pressure? Hmm ...better than expensive blood pressure medications with side effects.

And the muscles we use to smile tend to lift our faces. Hmm ...cheaper than a facelift.

As Phyllis Diller says, "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

And Mark Twain, "Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."

There may be some very real stressors in your life and of course, you can't ignore them and pretend they aren't there. But we have a moment by moment choice ...as to how we respond.

A simple smile can impact those around you and even light up an entire room. I want you to spend a few moments and take a look at a few of these smiles.

And I dare you ...to not smile!

See, I told you it's contagious. So, tell me the truth. Are you smiling?

For me, there's nothing like a child's face that brings a smile to my face. I can also think of a few other things that cause me to smile:

  • A rainbow
  • A sunset
  • My family
  • Knowing that God loves me

Now, it's your turn? What makes you smile? I'd love to read your comments.

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