Friday, June 6, 2014

Rejoicing in God's Blessings

The completion of this school year is in the books and the beginning of summer has begun.  During these days, the calendar filled up quickly with end of school programs, concerts, graduation celebrations, birthday parties and more.  Amidst all the busyness, there were times that I slowed down long enough to see and rejoice in God’s blessings and provisions.

* Larry and I celebrated Gordon’s 94th birthday with dozens of his family and friends.  We arrived early enough to the party that we were able to sit and visit with him.  Gordon has served his Lord, country, family, church, friends, and business well.  He is a prayer warrior and I’m grateful that he prays for me.  We arrive early for church on Sunday mornings and Gordon and his caregiver are on my “Stop and give a hug and visit” list each week.  What a special time to celebrate and thank God for the gift of Gordon’s life.

* We attended our grandson’s end of year preschool program. It was a gift to look at the ways David has grown and learned during this year.  Ryen was 2 months old at the last program.  What a difference a year makes. 

* On Saturday we were able to celebrate the life of Charlene at a memorial service; a life characterized by giving and serving with a joyful heart.  Charlene taught children in school with much love, enthusiasm, and encouragement.  Later she did the same as she taught education courses at the university to a new generation of teachers.  Charlene also gave tirelessly and energetically of her time to the Houston Children’s Chorus and led the Girls’ Missions Program at Tallowood. 

* We celebrated a high school graduation for two young men from church.  It will be exciting to see what God continues to do in and through them in these coming years.  At their dinner, we sat by a man from church who is receiving cancer treatments.  He has spent over 100 days at MDA, with many of those being in intensive care.  Texas Bob was so sick when he went in that they had to find treatments for his other illnesses before they could ever consider a protocol for cancer treatments.  There were so many days that he was in such serious condition that we thought he might not make it.  His faith and the faith expressed by his family have been such a blessing, as have the answers to so many prayers on his behalf.

* This week, a friend was going to be on a business trip in the city where Scott and Abby live.  He offered to take a suitcase full of things for them, mostly food that they need.  So with two days notice, Larry made flying trips to stores to get the items they requested.  What a blessing that Scott was able to have a short and encouraging visit with our family friend.  And the hotel where he was staying was only one mile from where they live. 

* After an 11 hour day of errands, her first boat ride on a ferry, and no nap, our granddaughter had a great day of adventure in her new city.    

* Last night we celebrated the wedding of a dear, dear friend.  Wes and Erica, may your lives overflow with God’s blessings as you begin your journey of marriage.

“Father, I know you are always at work.  Thank you for the times when I slow down long enough to notice the ways You are working and the blessings You are continually providing in my life and the lives of others.  Help me to have an open heart, mind, and eyes to see where you are at work.   May I be quick to acknowledge your love, provision, and constant presence with joy, celebration, and thanksgiving.” 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

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