Heart Choices: 2010-03-21

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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Leaning on the Everlasting Arms


It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday when I link up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

I've been studying Ann Spangler's "Praying the Names of God". This past week the focus has been on God as El Elom. He is the everlasting God. He is not bound by time. He is the Alpha and the Omega with no beginning or end.

The song that came to mind was an old one called "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". The memory I actually have of this song (besides singing it as a kid in church) was from the Million Dollar Movie.

Most of you are probably too young to remember The Million Dollar Movie. But in the days before Tivo or DVD's or even videos, channel 9 in New York had one movie that was on TV every day for the entire week. This way if you missed part of it you could pick it up the next day. The theme song was from Gone with the Wind.

I don't even remember the movie but this song was sung in it with all of the verses. For some reason, it stuck in my mind.

Maybe I was reassured by the thought of being able to lean on God. His everlasting arms would surely hold me secure.

Here are the Gaither's singing this song:


Happy Saturday!

Blessings,

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Friday Photo Flashback ~ Late 1950's


Friday Photo Flashback

It's Friday Photo Flashback and I'm linking up with Alicia of More Than Words.

I have to say that I'm loving Facebook.

The photo I'm sharing this week was taken in the late 1950's. I've connected with many family and friends from years gone by. Dale uploaded old Christmas card photos to Facebook. She had cards her family received while she was growing up on Long Island, New York.

Low and behold, there was one from ...the Sumstad's.

Do you notice our Sunday school pins? My brother Steve has several years on his pin. Mine isn't quite so long. After each year completed, we'd receive a pin. Many people had long pins from year after year of Sunday school.

This photo brings back memories for me of my mother. Her distinctive left handed handwriting is so familiar. And she signed my brother's name as "Stevie". How cute!

I also remember she always wrote the girl's name first. Hmm ... a little bit of a libber mom? LOL.

Have a great Friday!

Blessings,

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Thankful Thursday ~ Strength


It's Thankful Thursday and Laurie of Women Taking a Stand is our host for this month. Laurie writes about strength for today on her Thankful Thursday post. To be more specific ...God's strength.

I have to admit that I'm a pretty strong woman. I think it has to do with my Norwegian genes. You remember the Vikings, don't you? Pretty scary, at least according to my husband. :)

I'm not only strong in my body but also in my mind. And that can get me into trouble sometimes, especially when I insist on exerting my own will.

I've been studying Ann Spangler's book "Praying the Names of God" with Jill of Forever N Ever N Always. This week the focus has been on God as El Olam; the everlasting God.

The older I get though the more I realize that I have some physical limitations. I may still be strong physically but it takes much more effort to keep my weight down. There have been days when I'm just too stressed or simply too tired to exercise. And at this season in my life, that's something I really need to continue to do.

But I'm also grateful that I'm realizing my need for God. I need His strength when I don't think I can continue. When I'm so strong in myself, I don't always see that need for God.

As I've been going through a season of trials, I've been depending more and more on the Lord and less and less on Debbie. And that's a good thing!

I'm so thankful that God has provided me with many blessings. My Aunt Ruth (my father's only sibling) was attending a conference at the Phoenician with her sister-in-law Ann. I had the opportunity to meet them at this beautiful resort for the day.
Isn't this place beautiful? The weather was perfect for eating on the patio of The Terraces. Thank you Ann.

My aunt and Ann were attending a conference for the Jewish Voice Ministries. This is a Christian organization whose focus is to proclaim the Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) to the Jews and to all the nations of the world. I got to meet their President Jonathan Bernis.

But then we left to go shopping at Nordstrom. I haven't been shopping in such a long time but it was nice to check out the latest syles and to watch Ann shop. She knows her way around this store, that's for sure; lol.

I was so thankful that El Roi (the God who sees all) knew that I needed a fun day like this.

I'm also very thankful for Greg's sister Amy. She's been such a support and a true friend to me. We've become so much closer in the past year and for that I'm so grateful. Btw, as you can see, Amy is a strong woman too. We even arm wrestled at our family Thanksgiving get together. :) I think it was a draw, if I remember correctly.

I'm glad that I have this opportunity to connect with other thankful bloggers on Thankful Thursday. I'm on the lookout for all that I'm thankful for and that changes my perspective. And I have to add that it gives me strength to continue ...trusting God.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Blessings,

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Wednesday's Walk ~ Family Gatherings



I was looking forward to another Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane where I link up with Jenilee of The Goodwin Family. It's fun to remember times from years ago. And it's also nice that my niece Katie enjoys reading these posts to learn more about her family history.

My Grandpa Sumstad loved his family. He emigrated from Norway to the US with his brother when he was in his twenties. Whenever any of his relatives came to visit, it was a major family event.

His two sisters Agnes and Haldis came to visit him on Long Island, New York in 1971. So the whole family was invited to meet them, work on speaking some Norwegian, spend time getting to know them and of course ...to eat. This is a photo of Haldis, my Nana (Grandpa Sumstad's wife), and Agnes. I remember Haldis worked as a nurse in Trondheim, Norway and this interested me since I would be starting nursing school soon. My Aunt Ruth left Long Island and moved to southern California. She married my Uncle Bob. When they had their first baby they came back to Long Island for a visit.

This was the first time we got to meet Rodney Squires, my new cousin. My mom, dad, brother and sister are also pictured. I'm the one in the front right with the very short dress. After all, it was the style in the 70's; lol. Here's a picture of Rod. He looked so much like my grandfather; too cute! This is my grandfather holding Rod in his arms. My little sister Christine is standing next to him in her very short dress; lol.

It's very sad when I realize that not long after this gathering, my grandfather died of a sudden heart attack. He died at home in his favorite chair watching the news. I still miss him but I'm so thankful that he is in heaven where I will see him one day. Fast forward 39 years and here's a photo of Rod all grown up with his two children; Kate and Jake. Jake looks so much like the baby photo of Rod.

Believe me, life passes quickly so enjoy your family while you can.

Blessings and love,

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Be Your Unique Self


It's In Other Words Tuesday. Our host for this week is Deborah of Chocolate & Coffee. She chose the following quote for us today:

After years of trying to figure myself out, I've given up.

I've taken personality tests.

When I took the Myers Brigg test, I came out as equally extroverted and introverted. I could have told them. I like people but I also need time alone. Too much of one or the other and I'm not in my ...happy place.

I attended CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors and Speakers Seminars) one year with the Littauer's. We each had to take their Personality Test as part of the conference. My dominant type was a popular sanguine but I'm almost equally a peaceful phlegmatic. I guess it depends on what I'm going through in my life.

Several years ago, my husband needed me to help out in his company. I really didn't want to sit at the computer all day learning about social media and tools like Twitter and social networks. But in the process ...I discovered blogging!

If I had insisted on doing what I wanted to do, I would have missed out on a wonderful opportunity of growth and learning.

You see the Lord knows me better than I do. After all, He created me (El Elohim) and sees everything about me (El Roi). God knew exactly what I needed to learn and what I do best.

Helping my husband is honoring him and showing love to him. After all, Greg's love language is acts of service. When I help him, he feels loved by me. BTW, he's always thanking me for my help. :)

In my obedience, the Lord has blessed me with awesome blogging friends. I've even had the opportunity to meet several of them including:

I get to interact with these wonderful ladies online and occasionally meet them in real life too. How much better does it get?

I may not fit into a perfect gift box but I am becoming the woman God created me to be. I find such joy when I have the opportunity to encourage others and share from my heart. Only God knew ...

He's not finished with me yet. And I have to say I'm very grateful for that.

I almost forgot to tell you that I'm over at Laced with Grace today too. I wrote on the topic of ...focus.

With so many challenges and distractions in life today, it's important to remember where our focus should be. I hope you'll stop by and add your comments.

Blessings and love,

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Monday Morning Reflections ~ El Olam




I'm linking up with Jill of Forever N Ever N Always as we continue to study Ann Spangler's book "Praying the Names of God". This week our focus is on God as the Everlasting God or the Eternal God; El Olam.

El Olam is a Hebrew name for God that tells us God has no beginning or end. He is everlasting. His Son is called the Alpha and Omega. His love endures forever.

The key Scripture for this week is Genesis 21:32-33:

After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

I read the earlier portion of Genesis 21 and noted that in verse 22 Abimelech and Phicol said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do".

This passage tells me that Abraham was living out his faith in front of others. He didn't hide the fact that he worshiped God. The people living in that area probably observed Abraham worship God. Even Abimelech, who was the leader of the Philistines, heard about Abraham's God.

They also noticed the outcome of his faith in God. God was with Abraham in everything he did.

The same God who was faithful to Abraham is the same God that I worship. He is faithful to me too. His love endures forever.

I pray that I would live out my faith in front of others and that they could see how God is in everything I do. I know that my part is to ...trust and obey.

It's easy for me to gather with like minded people and worship and praise God in church on Sunday. But during the week in my daily life I have to ask myself if others see that God is with me in everything I do?

The Scripture also said that Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. I guess he was planning on staying awhile. He continued to call upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

In the book "Praying the Names of God", Ann wrote a prayer that touched my heart:

Lord, your love and faithfulness endure forever. Help me to live my daily life with the strength that comes from knowing that I am going to live with you forever.

What do I know?

  • The God who was with Abraham is also with me.
  • God is faithful.
  • God's love endures forever.
  • God is eternal, everlasting, forever.

I KNOW a lot of Scripture. Head knowledge is one thing but heart knowledge is another. I desire heart knowledge so I will live out the Truth every day and apply what I learn and know to be true.

I choose to place my trust in God. He is El Olam. He is the same God who was faithful to Abraham. He always keeps His promises.

Blessings and love,

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