Heart Choices: 2010-05-09

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Prescott Blogger Getaway


What happens when three bloggers get together?

...a whole lot of laughter!

Ecclesiastes 3:4
A time to weep and a time to laugh
A time to mourn and a time to dance
Kathleen of Sassy Granny invited me to join her on a day trip to Prescott, Arizona to meet Mary of Pile of Smiles.  Of course, my answer was a resounding YES!

I met Mary once before at an Arizona blogger get together.  I sat between Mary and Charlotte of At Home in Scottsdale but since it was a large group we didn't have much time to chat one on one.  But I really liked her so I jumped at this opportunity to spend more time with her.

The morning Kathleen was picking me up, Greg was too funny.  He was playing 'prison break' music for me.  Since I don't get out much these days, I guess I was so excited about having a day off to simply ...have some fun.

After posting that on Facebook, Kathleen came back with ...I'm playing 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'.  That's so Sassy Granny!

But fun we had.  Time flew by so fast on the 90 minute drive north as we talked and talked.  We were supposed to meet Mary in front of the Prescott courthouse across from Whiskey Row.  :)

Here are a few photos of Prescott, Arizona.







It was a beautiful day as the sun was shining and the temperature was about 60 degrees; a welcome relief from Phoenix.

Once we found Mary and after plenty of hugs and smiles, we headed off to eat at the Gurley Street Grill.  God bless our waitress as we spent four hours talking nonstop. 

We had such an awesome time of sharing, praying and even Bible reading.  Kathleen read Scripture from Isaiah to encourage Mary and her daughter Carrie.  There is such a bond that is formed between bloggers who have already gotten to know one another from sharing our hearts on our blogs.  Add that to the fact that we each love the Lord and you have the recipe for ...life long friendships.

I know that Kathleen, Mary and I will be smiling for a long time as we remember our fun day in Prescott.  There are so many challenges in life today so it's healthy to have time like this to:

I hope that many of you will have opportunities to meet other bloggers in real life.  I've never been disappointed.  I appreciate and value these friendships that began in the virtual world.  I'm amazed at how our faith brings us together and the Lord can use us to touch others.  How amazing is that?  A vessel used for His purposes!

You can read Mary's post here and Kathleen's post here on our Prescott blogger getaway.

Blessings and love,

QuickEdit

Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ Holy



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 book "Praying the Names of God".  This week the focus was on God as Holy One or Qedosh Yisreal. 

In Thursday's devotional, Ann wrote a bit about the way we interact with those who don't know Jesus as their personal Savior. 

It can be tempting to avoid people who behave in ways that are not pleasing to God.  Christians have often been described by unbelievers as unfriendly and 'holier than thou'. 

How can you grow in holiness and yet still care about people who are not YET believers?  Can you interact without compromising your beliefs and becoming like them?

Ann wrote:
... why on earth would I expect someone to act like Christ when they don't have a relationship with Him?

As we grow in holiness, may we separate ourselves from our own sinful attitudes and behavior.  We can still love people to the Lord ...without adopting their lifestyle.    

I love this old hymn called "Holy, holy, holy" as it is sung by Michael W. Smith.



QuickEdit

Computer Crash


I had the best time on Wednesday with my blogging pals Kathleen of Sassy Granny and Mary of Piles of Smiles.

However, when I sat down to write a blog post about our fun day in Prescott, Arizona ...my computer crashed and burned!

What kind of timing is that?

Hopefully, it will be repaired later today. 

All I can say is ...I love our bloggy world.



QuickEdit

Word Filled Wednesday ~ Psalm 23



It's Word-Filled Wednesday and I'm linking up with Lori of All You Have to Give.

I love the Grand Canyon.
I took this photo on a visit several years ago. 
The beauty and majesty of God's creation is on display at the Grand Canyon. 
The contrasting colors are awesome. 
But as I gaze out and downward I see the valleys below. 
It reminds me of Psalm 23:4.


The valleys of life can be challenging. 
I tend to struggle with fear and anxiety when dealing with the unknown. 
 I like to plan and then work my plan. 
But walking by faith requires ...trust in God. 

As I continue studying Ann Spangler's book "Praying the Names of God", I learn who God is. 
I've learned that God is trustworthy and faithful. 
I'm in His capable hands even when I walk through the valleys. 
I know He is with me.
So I choose to continue to ...walk by faith.

Blessings and love,

QuickEdit

Peace for the Journey Released



"Peace for the Journey" was released last Monday.  Tell me this cover isn't awesome!  I was so excited for Elaine Olsen when I first heard the news. 

I first 'met' Elaine when she visited Heart Choices about two years ago.  I remember clicking on her link to check out her blog posts.  I immediately recognized that Elaine had been given a talent for writing.  I knew that every time I visited, she always gave me something to think about.  I couldn't just read quickly, add a comment and move on, if you know what I mean.

Then I got to hear Elaine's voice.  She posted several videos.  I laughed as I realized how different we each sound.  After all, I'm from New York (although I think I've lost my accent until I'm with others from NY) and Elaine has that southern drawl that is so cute.  I love to hear this gal pray.

Without further ado, I'm simply going to post the promo video of her new book so you can see for yourself. 



Elaine gets it.

Peace isn't the absence of problems.

Peace is a person and ...His name is Jesus.

I encourage you to get this book.

If you want an autographed book, you can link to Elaine's blog here for details.

I have to add something else about Elaine Olsen. 

On the day of her book's release, Elaine visited Heart Choices. 

I had written a post about God as Consuming Fire and how He does not want us to have any idols.  You can read the post here.  Elaine added the following comment:

It's no mistake that my morning devotion took me straight to the passage about idols and the Sabbath day and keeping it holy! Long before the craziness of this day arrived, God knew I would need a stern lecturing about idols...

It could have easily gone that route for me today, but it didn't. I kept perspective and am actually worn out with the entire process! And get this, long before today, I arrived at the point of being mostly over myself, so all the more. Honestly, God surrendered too much on my behalf for me to go walking around thinking I'm something when all I really am is a sinner saved by a his gracious grace.

That I am, sweet friend. That I am.

peace~elaine

If that doesn't reveal the heart of Elaine, I don't know what will. 

Elaine ~ I'm thrilled for you.  May you be a blessing to so many who need to find their peace in Christ.

Blessings and love,


QuickEdit

Praying the Names of God ~ Holy One



I continue to study Ann Spangler's "Praying the Names of God" and linking up with Jill of Forever N Ever N Always

This week our focus is on God as "Holy One of Israel" or "Qedosh Yisrael".

Qedosh is Hebrew for Holy One.
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.'" Leviticus 19:1-2

Holiness is grounded in God's nature.  He exists above and apart from the world He created.  Ann writes:

It is important to realize that God's holiness involves not just separation from sin but his absolute hostility toward it.
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments for the people of Israel to obey.  This was their standard. 

Believers today are called to be holy; to reflect the character of Christ.  We've been given the Holy Spirit to enable us to grow in holiness.



My desire is to grow in holiness but ...my flesh gets in the way. 

I've asked the Lord to search every area of my life and reveal the areas that are not pleasing to Him. ( I challenge you to do this because He will reveal things to you.)

I've learned a secret to growing in holiness.  It's called ...abiding in Christ.

It's a moment by moment 'heart choice' I have to make over and over throughout my day. 
  • Will I give in to my flesh and do what I want to do?
  • Or will I listen to the Holy Spirit and trust and obey God?
My desire is to reflect Jesus.  But if I continually satisfy my flesh, I'm not abiding and growing in holiness.  There are some areas of my life that still need lots of Holy Spirit cleaning.  But I'm learning that His way is the best way for me.  Believe me, I've made way too many mistakes in my life. 

I want to be right in the center of God's will for my life, no matter what that is.

How about you?  Are you willing to abide in Christ?  Do you struggle with this too?

How thankful I am that He is a God of grace, love, patience and mercy.

Blessings and love, 

QuickEdit
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