Heart Choices: 2010-10-10 -->

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TSMSS ~ Amazing Grace

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

A friend shared this video on Facebook recently and I was blown away.  This little seven year old child has a voice like an angel.  I hope you enjoy listening to Rhema Marvanne.  I have the feeling we'll be hearing more from this little one in the future.  To God be the glory ...

Happy Saturday!

Blessings and love,


Friday Photo Flashback ~ 1960

Friday Photo Flashback

It's Friday Photo Flashback when I link up with Alicia at More Than Words.  If you have any pre-digital photos that you'd like to share, why not join in?

This photo was taken in January of 1960 when my sister Christine was born.  Pictured is my dad and mom, my brother Steve and me and baby Christine Elaine Sumstad. 

I was so excited as I wanted a sister.  My brother was a little disappointed at first since he had hoped for a brother.  But he got used to her. :)  These were the days before ultrasound so you didn't know what sex the baby was until they were born.

I had to laugh as I noticed my dad had a headful of hair; he's bald now.  And check out those curtains. I guess they were in style in 1960?

Blessings and love,


A Prayerful Heart

A prayerful heart is the focus for our 5th week of A Makeover of the Heart.  Tracy Berta provides a downloadable study guide and a video for you to view on her post At the Well.

How thankful I am to be in a personal relationship with Almighty God.  He is Sovereign.  He knows the beginning and the end.  He sees all and knows all.  He is able to see into my heart.  Nothing escapes Him.

I cannot hide behind a mask of being a good Christian doing lots of good deeds.  God sees the true motives in my heart.

Relationship requires communication.  I communicate with God through prayer.  So many verses of Scripture confirm for me that God wants me to pray.

So each morning I begin my day with the Lord. My Bible and journal are open and I sit quietly as I drink my first cup of coffee.  If the weather permits, I love to sit outside on the patio.  In quietness and solitude I come to be filled to overflowing with His Spirit with an open and willing heart.
  • I acknowledge who He is.
  • I praise and worship Him.
  • I tell Him my concerns.
  • I bring my petitions before Him for myself and others.
  • I believe that He hears me and loves me.   
  • I thank Him.
I listen with a desire to hear Him.  I read His Word expectantly.  Sometimes a verse will stand out or there's a strong impression on my heart.  I record what I learn in my journal.

As I leave this morning time of prayer, it's just the beginning.  Throughout the day, I'm more attentive to that still small voice or prompting by His Holy Spirit.  After all, He may have a Divine appointment for me and I don't want to miss it. 

I'm less dependent on others to fill my needs since I've already been filled.  Whatever my loved ones give to me is extra.  I no longer demand that others meet all my needs.

Tracy shared how we live in a world that has come to expect "instant gratification". 

Instant messages, drive through fast food restaurants, microwave meals ...
Photo Credit: Megan Littell

Being still and waiting doesn't come naturally.

As I look back in my prayer journal, I find my concerns and prayer requests.  In hindsight, I can see that God was actively at work in my life.  Sometimes the answer to a prayer might be yes, no or wait.

I've gone through many seasons of trials.  I've seen that in the midst of my most difficult times, He has been with me.  I've learned valuable lessons I would otherwise not have learned. 

I've learned to trust Him even if I don't see the answer YET.

Although I've been tempted to take things into my own hands, when I've waited on His answer ...I've not been disappointed.  Taking action on my own complicates things.

I'm a work in progress, constantly learning and growing. Sometimes I falter and take a few steps backwards.  But the Lord is so patient with me.

How about you?  Do you take everything to the Lord in prayer?  Do you only share the 'big things' or do you talk to Him about everything?

Blessings and love,


I'm Over at Laced with Grace

Laced With Grace
Do you find yourself acting like everyone else when it comes to the uncertainty in  our world?  Have you been impacted by loss of a job, loss of your home, and loss of retirement savings?

If you'd like to learn what Scripture has to say about the the best antidote to worry, come and join me on Laced with Gace.

Blessings and love,


In Other Words Tuesday ~ Reactions to Difficult Times

It's In Other Words Tuesday.  I was originally going to host today but we made an adjustment.  I will host next Tuesday and Loni of Writing Canvas is hosting today.

Here's the quote Loni chose for us to write about:

Difficult times are hard enough to deal with.  But sometimes the reactions of people make it harder.  I think of Job's friends who thought they were being good friends.  Unfortunately they weren't much of a comfort as they questioned why these bad things were happening to Job.

Sometimes difficulties can be the result of consequences of sin and poor choices.  But sometimes life happens.  After all, we live in a far from perfect world this side of eternity.  And our difficulties can't always be reasoned and explained.

I've been going through a season of challenges.  This has caused me to be so much more sensitive to others going through similar circumstances.  In the past, I may have been one to stereotype or consider someone foolish if they found themselves in these circumstances.  But I'm realizing that's not always the case.

The Bible gives us wisdom in this regard.  2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 says:

 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

I'm so thankful for the comfort and help I've received as I go through difficult times.  My prayer is that I would be able to help and comfort others with the same comfort I received.

How about you?  Are you more sensitive to others when you've experienced similar tragedies or challenges?

Blessings and love,


Do You Cry Easily?

Dyan at Deviant Art
Do you cry easily?  Or are you more composed and hold yourself back?

Typically, I've been the latter.  That doesn't mean I don't feel emotions but I'm not the type to just suddenly start tearing up and crying.  

After all, I come from a heritage of Vikings!

And I worked as a nurse for many years.  We were taught to keep our emotions intact in my training.

At the beginning of 2010, I prayed that this would be the year I learned to ...trust and obey God.

God is answering my prayer. 

As I'm learning to trust the Lord, He is peeling back the layers of self-protection that I've placed over my heart.  And as a result, my heart is becoming more tender.

Those layers of protection were preventing me from truly giving and receiving love.

Yes, there's more risk of being hurt but I know it's worth it.  After all, I am trusting my heart to the Lord.

Free Scripture Tags at Rich Gifts Blog Design for Christian Ministries

How about you?  Do you cry easily or are you more reserved with your emotions? 

This is all new for me so I really want to know.

Blessings and love,

Hosting In Other Words Tuesday 10/19/10

This coming Tuesday Next Tuesday October 19th,  I'll be hosting In Other Words Tuesday.  We had a schedule conflict so this date has been postponed for one week. I pray that more of you will join in as we have an additional week to write on this quote.  And I think it's a great one ...

The quote I've chosen for us to write about is from Priscilla Shirer's book entitled
One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land.  What an incredible timely book this was for me to read!

Here's the quote:

The spirit of complaint is born out of an unwillingness to trust God with today. Like the Israelites, it means you are spending your time looking back toward Egypt or wishing for the future, all the while missing what God is doing right now.

I hope you'll return on Tuesday, October 19th to link up your blog posts. 

Blessings and love,

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