Heart Choices: 2010-01-17

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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ I Give You My Heart


It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I join with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders. Today I chose the song "I Give You My Heart" sung by Michael W. Smith. God desires our whole heart and not just parts of it.


The words are perfect for where I am right now in my walk with the Lord.

Trust and obey is my theme for2010.


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Friday Photo Flashback ~ The Early Years


Friday Photo Flashback

I'm linking up with Alicia for another Friday Photo Flashback. I had such fun last week so I thought I'd join in again today. It's been fun finding old photos.

My photos this week are still ...stuck in the 1950's.

I know that most of you weren't even born at that time; lol.

This is one of my baby photos. You can see how old this one is. I had to scan it into my compter and there's a crease in the center.

Here I am in my Sunday best. Little Debbie is ...all girl.

My mom used to make most of my clothes. She would visit all of the department stores to get ideas and then make them herself. We never had much money but I was always dressed pretty. Thanks Mom!

This is my brother Steve and me. When we were kids it was Stevie and Debbie. I love the smiles on our faces. I'm sure Mom and Dad were posing us for yet another picture and we were probably tired of smiling big. :)


And here we are for yet another photo op. We used to love to go to the beach for some family fun.

I hope you enjoyed my old photos of life in the 1950's.

You can visit Alicia at More Than Words to find more participating blogs.

Blessings,


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Thankful Thursday ~ Love


It's Thankful Thursday and Lynn of Spiritually Unequal Marriage is hosting us for the month of January.

So what am I thankful for today?

I'm thankful for rain. We get so little rain in Phoenix. So it's a major event when it happens. This week has been filled with rain and more is on the way. I love it!

I'm also thankful for the rainbow after the rain. It reminds me that God's promises are true and that ...He is faithful.

I've journaled for years and have so many notebooks filled with my words.

But I'm thankful for blogging because it becomes a ...two way conversation.


And that gives me one more reason to be thankful today.

I'm thankful for ...my blogging friends.

I'm amazed at how the Lord has used so many of you to impact my life.

I would never have imagined that I could love people I never met in person and to actually feel their love in return.

Your love blesses my heart!

1 John 4:11 tells us to love one another. And I'm so thankful ...for that love.

Blessings and love,


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Random Dozen Questions



This is my first time participating in the Random Dozen meme hosted by Linda of 2nd Cup of Coffee.

But I started noticing some of the blogs I follow post answers to her questions. Some of them are serious but others are quite funny. I decided I needed a bit of a break today so I'm joining in.

Here are the questions and my answers:

If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?

I would probably choose the age of 50. I know that sounds old but I'm even older now. And at that age, I think I had acquired wisdom, grown in my faith and I looked better physically. That might sound vain but there were less wrinkles and it was easier to keep the weight down than at almost 57.

What is the best dish you cook or bake?

My spaghetti sauce is my husband's favorite. I add a bit of brown sugar and make it from scratch. He always tells me that if he had a choice for his last meal, it would be my spaghetti. LOL.

When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal?

I try to remember to run to God in prayer. However, sometimes I give in to my emotions and go to sleep.

When was the last time you danced in public?

I was in a dance recital in 2006 and we performed on stage in a Phoenix theater. I had taken an adult dance class from Sheryl Cooper (Alice Cooper's wife) and had a ball.

Do you consider yourself a realist or a dreamer?

It really depends on my situation. At this time in my life, I'm a realist as I'm dealing with some heavy issues. But as a kid, I was definitely a dreamer.

As a parent, what is one thing you've done well?

Well since I was unable to have children, I guess I can't answer this one.

What is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?

It would have to be Opie. He was so adorable.

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr Martin Luther King, Jr?

I'd have to say about a 7. I lived during the time when he made his famous speech and his horrible assassination. I've read many books on his life and those times.

What is your #1 pet driving peeve?

People who drive slow in the passing lane. Come on, just move over since they're probably not going to turn for three more miles. :)

What color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?

It is red for today because I need to be on fire and get moving. I have so much stuff to get rid of. I'm packing up books and selling them at Half Price Books. I'm cleaning my closet and getting rid of anything I've not worn in the past year. It's a time of cleaning up all the stuff.

If your spouse were an animal, what would he be?

I would have to say a puppy. He comes across like a lion at times but he's really quite snugly and playful with me. :)

What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?

I would have to say being on the computer. Blogging is a hobby for me that I've grown to love. But I also work online helping my hubby in his business. So Facebook and twitter are fun byproducts. I always try to make work fun, no matter whether it was as a nurse or in the field of technology and software. A girl's gotta have some fun too. :)

Well, I have to say this was fun answering the random dozen questions. I look forward to visiting other participating blogs too.


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Sumstad Farm in Norway


How would you like to be raised by a couple of Vikings? Is this picture enough to scare you? Only kidding Mom and Dad; LOL.

Both of my parent's families are from Norway so that makes me ...100% Norwegian.

One of the benefits is tracing my family history. And it's helped since I've been blogging and on Facebook. I've reconnected with many relatives and even discovered a few that I have not YET met. It's been such fun!

Henrik Sumstad, my grandfather (my dad's father) came to the US with his younger brother Tomas Konrad on the Bergensfjordin ship departing Kristiania, Akershus, Norway October 15, 1923. They arrived in Elllis Island.

These are some photos of the beautiful land they left behind to come to America.

This is the Sumstad family farm. My grandfather was born and raised here. My parents have visited several times. I had the opportunity to visit once in the 1980s when cousin Kjell accompanied us. This is the boathouse in Sumstad. Several of these photos were sent to me by my relatives. No wonder I love mountains and water. It's in my blood. I think this photo looks so calming and serene. This is a close up of the Sumstad family farm. It was redone since I was there and looks really nice. I'd love to take my husband Greg to visit one day.

This photo came from Grethe Hagen's album. Hagen was actually my family name. But it was customary to take the name of the town for a last name when emigrating to the US. This is the tombstone of my great grandparents, Helga Hagen Sumstad and Kristian Hagen Sumstad. We visited the cemetery in Sumstad.
Isn't this a great view? My dad is always so happy when he visits this place.

I'm so thankful for the connection to my family in Norway and also many now in the Seattle area and also Minnesota. I've been told there is going to be a family reunion this summer. How fun that would be!

I hope you enjoyed a little bit about my family history. I'm so glad my grandparents made the choice to come to America. And yet, I'm also glad our family has remained in touch with those who stayed behind.

Blessings,

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Anne Graham Lotz in Phoenix


Have you heard of Anne Graham Lotz? She's Billy Graham's daughter and I have seen her several times in person. In fact, my friend Helen and I went to see her about 15 years ago at Scottsdale Bible Church and what a weekend that was. We became prayer partners at that time!

Well, Anne was in Phoenix this weekend. Helen called to tell me and even invited me to see her in person. I was unable to go but I was so thankful for the internet. I stayed home from my bible study (sorry Marcia) because they had a live feed from Calvary Phoenix Church where Anne was speaking. I didn't want to miss it.

Anne spoke on Isaiah 6. She cautioned the church not to be asleep. There are alarms going off in our world. Are we paying attention?

Think of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and now the earthquake in Haiti. God didn't cause these disasters to occur but He certainly is aware. We are getting warnings on many levels. When will your life end? It could happen tomorrow. We just don't know.

In our churches, are we so focused on the style of worship, getting the best parking spots or the other unimportant stuff. But with all of these alarms going off at this time in our world, the church cannot afford to be asleep.

There are too many people who don't know Jesus as their Savior.

Focus on Jesus.

Is He living in us and through us? Are our lives being transformed? Do people know us by our love?

Isaiah was a prophet who preached to the people of his time. There are many "woe to you" and "woe to those" in Isaiah 5. He saw how the people in his time were living and he was giving them a warning. But then in chapter 6 verse 5 it says "woe to me". Isaiah had encountered the living God who is holy and he realized that he was no better than the people he had preached to.

What is your standard? Do you look at your friends and co-workers and think that you are not as bad as them? As Christians, our standard is Jesus. He is perfect and holy and He is the only way we can come before God. He covers us in His righteousness. Without Jesus, we have no standing before God.

Anne spoke about the church today. She called us to account for how we are living in front of an unbelieving world. Are you so involved in your church activities that you've no time for that woman who needs someone to listen?

Sometimes, we can rationalize our sin. After all, at least I don't do this like so and so. But do you know God sees it all? He knows our innermost thoughts and desires.

Is there something in our lives that we are hiding and need to confess? 1 John 1:9 is our spiritual bar of soap. Come before the Lord and confess our sin. He already knows it. Why hide behind it?

The church needs to get right. The world is watching.

Anne has a new study called "I Saw the Lord" based on Isaiah chapter 6. I've read the book and it's excellent. But her study is available in DVD. The great thing about it is that it's not very expensive. The leader guide with the DVD's is only $20. I hope you'll check it out today.

No one knows the time of Jesus' return but we are one day closer than we were yesterday. I for one, want to be ready and not be ashamed.

"For it is written: Be holy, because I am holy". 1 Peter 1: 16

What is your standard? Are you judging yourself by others? Or is Jesus your standard?


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