Monday, September 30, 2013

Oh My Word!


And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Ephesians 3:18&20


A few weeks ago my Keurig broke.  I was heartbroken.  Oh how I love my Keurig.  A few days later Scotty and I were walking through Sam's club and they had one on sale for $40 off.  I was so excited!  I grabbed it and threw it into my cart.  As I approached Scott I could tell he wasn't as excited over me "saving him money" as I was.  He asked me to put it back and said we needed to wait.  I outwardly did exactly what he said, but inwardly I was frustrated that we couldn't just get it. I was stuck on the fact that it was "on sale".  


Imagine my surprise when today: 


I had lunch with a precious sister friend and there sitting on the booth was this: 


With tears in my eyes I stood speechless.  She said that the Lord had put it on her heart to bless us with this new Keurig. (She did not know about the Sam's club experience) God loves us so much.  I certainly don't deserve a fancy coffee maker.  But God used this very thing to draw my attention to Him.  HE is the giver of all good gifts.  I'm so overcome with how God moves through community to bring blessing.  This precious gal ministered and mentored to my heart with her selfless love.  Thank you, my friend!


Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen! Ephesians 3:21



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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Basking In His Presence!




I love how God's word feels brand new no matter how many times I read through it.  The Lord is doing so much in my own heart this week.  I feel overwhelmed with the HOPE of HEAVEN.  He has given me a renewed sense of the POWER & PROMISE of HIS WORD!  Thank you, JESUS!



ROMANS 6


For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

WE CAN LIVE NEW LIVES



Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.

WE WILL BE RAISED TO LIFE 



We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.

WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES TO SIN




For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.

WE ARE FREE FROM THE POWER OF SIN



And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.

WE WILL LIVE WITH HIM



14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

WE LIVE UNDER GOD'S GRACE




16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

WE CAN CHOOSE TO OBEY GOD




18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

WE CAN BE FREE FROM BEING SLAVES TO SIN  




19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.


WE MUST GIVE OURSELVES TO SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUS LIVING SO WE CAN BECOME HOLY!





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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Alaska Cruise - Day Six



I don't know if you can see the sea in this picture, but Ketchikan was cancelled on this day.  We were so sad.  It was our last stop in Alaska and we could not make port.  The boat was in the midst of a horrible storm.  We had waves as high as 18 Feet. (eek) 


We knew there must have been something going on because for awhile things were very quiet and then we saw the cruise people scurrying.  


I wish I had video'd what I was trying to capture in this picture, which was the boat rocking so riotously that you had to hang onto the walls to walk.


So, what did we do?  


YAHTZEE!


Love this game!


When we tired of yahtzee, we pulled out scrabble!


This was Scott's word! 


We then took a break to workout.  It made us sick because we were walking on the treadmill, but the ship was pitching back and forth.  We ended up having to go back to our room to lay down until the nausea passed.  (We were not experienced cruisers)



Once we woke it was time for bowling!!!


It was FUN and hilarious.  Because of the storm, the boat would pitch and the ball would slide into the gutter or over to the wrong side.  Our (Mary's) motto was to enjoy the journey (aka: playing) and not to focus on the outcome. (Winner/loser)  


I was very excited to get a STRIKE, but Scott still won the game.  



 We ended our day with a wonderful dinner at their italian restaurant on the 12th deck.  We had to hang on for dear life to stay in our seat.  It was actually funny.  

"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever.  Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever.  Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom."  Psalm 145:13


Stay tuned for one last post.....British Columbia here we come!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Alaska Cruise - Day FIVE


Glacier Bay Day

Glacier Bay is a beautiful state park that we traveled to in our boat.  It's filled with several glaciers, majestic mountains, and lots of wildlife.


There were times you felt like you could jump from the boat right onto the mountain itself.  In reality we were about a mile away from shore.


We were able to get up close and personal with God's beautiful glaciers.  


We went up on the top deck to get perspective.


We then went to our cabin on the 9th floor and took pictures from our balcony.


There was simply no "bad" view of the glaciers



As I look at this picture it still seems so surreal.  


“There is no one like the God of Israel.   - Deut 33:26


He rides across the heavens to help you,  across the skies in majestic splendor.


The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you." Deut 33:27a


After we left Glacier Bay we had the rest of the day at sea.  We put on comfy clothes, had a glass of wine, and spent our time playing games, reading, eating, and connecting.  


Can I just say once again how very thankful I am for this husband God has given me.  He is my exact opposite and exactly what I need to counterbalance those things in me that could cause me to stumble and fall.  He is my deeply rooted oak tree and he says that I am his wings.  I pray that together we will forever make that perfect partnership that can only come from HIM! 



To GOD Be The Glory!




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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Freedom Workshop!


The Lord changed my life forever through The Freedom Workshop!  It's an excellent discipleship course that gives women the tools to have a rich and vibrant walk with their Lord.  


We kicked our time off by getting to know one another.  What a beautiful aroma to the Lord as each woman shared a snapshot of why she was there.


Rita Latimore is a precious woman who I love and adore.  I'm so thankful the Lord has allowed her to be a part of my life the last few years. 



Tonight was our very first night.  It was such a blessing to watch families and friends come together to grow in the Lord!



We really are better together!


The team leaders did such an excellent job building relationship, vision, and excitement.


Many women come to know the Lord for the first time!  


But this is also a great workshop for believers who are looking to refresh and renew their walk and be reminded of their FIRST LOVE!


And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. - Galatians 6:9



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Alaska Day FOUR - Skagway!





In my last post I told you that I had begun to get sick as we were leaving Juneau.  By the time we got back to the boat I had chills, high fever, nausea, and could not even leave the cabin to have dinner.  


Isn't it funny that what seems like the worst possible scenario can actually become the best?  You see, I found myself pulling into the Lord in ways I had not been doing in wellness.  I was reminded that HE is in charge and I am not.  Jeremiah 29:13 comes to mind, When you seek me with all your heart you will find me.  Oh how I sought Him.  He led me to use Oscillo and to take it easy that night and by the next morning I felt so much better.  I really feel like it was HIS holy healing because I had been so sick.  


I spoke with my mama that morning and she gathered my boys to pray for me.  Christa had texted me and was praying too!  I am so thankful and grateful to His faithfulness.  


The overriding fear that had plagued me all night was that I was going to let my husband down because we had invested most of our excursion money into THIS day.......Skagway!


You know what the Lord says about fear don't you?  He tells me that HIS PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR.  In sickness, I pulled closely into Him and His perfect love covered me completely.  Skagway turned out to be the very best day of the entire trip.  To GOD be the glory!!!


Hello Skagway!

Meet Jess our amazing and incredible tour guide.  This day is still our very favorite of the whole trip.  Sit back and let me take you with us through our jaunt back in time.



We did a tour called, The Best Of Skagway and it really was.  It began with a drive through town where we saw original 1800 buildings still being used today.


We bought some of the best fudge ever.  This store is owned by brothers who came on a cruise and fell in love with Skagway.  It was definitely hopping with business. 


We then hit the open road and traveled up into Canada to catch the White Pass train.  The railway is considered one of the most scenic in the world.  It was a great tour because we traveled by bus one way, train another, and then back to the bus to finish out our day by visiting Liarsville and The Red Onion.


There is no way these pictures can capture the beauty of what we felt and saw on our drive up the mountain.


It was chilly, crisp, clean, fresh, cool, arctic air that kept us company all day long.


We actually left the Alaskan rainforest and traveled into the desert flatlands.


Finally, we arrived in Fraser Canada to begin our journey back by train.


The White Pass Railroad


Look at the beautiful fall scenery greeting us on our arrival. 
(Though it was in the 40's and very windy)


You could feel the excitement amongst all of us on this adventure together.

Hi mom.


Here we go


One of our favorite parts of our train ride was that we were allowed to stand outside on the platform to take in the scenery.  


Though it was cold it was so worth it.


Historic landmark


Though this is a scenic railway you had to be okay with heights to travel the narrow paths.



So beautiful


This shot reminds me of a Christmas card.



The streams and rivers were gorgeous


 I couldn't help but imagine what those early travelers must have experienced as they camped out in this cold beautiful land.


We actually stopped to pick up hikers who had been hiking for hours



LIARSVILLE


 What is a Liarsville?  It was a real place.  It's where three journalist set up camp and made up stories about the great alaskan gold rush.  They fabricated many of their tales and because of their exaggeration caused thousands upon thousands of men from the lower states to travel to Alaska in search of gold.  It was called the Stampede.  Many of these men arrived to find out they had been lied to and named the camp Liarsville.  


Everyone is always in character and they made you act with them to get photo's.  


Our very first stop in Liarsville was the great salmon cookout


Oh My Word!


We had all kinds of goodies


They told us that even the dogs lie in Liarsville.  They pretend to be hungry.  This was a HUGE husky that loved anyone with food.


Yum-mo!


They even had entertainment.  It was horrible.


After we ate, we explored!

 Notice that beautiful leather jacket.  I was so thankful that Scotty bought this for me.

So FUN!


They had real life tents set up like they would have been back in the day.


These were authentic pictures of people who lived in Liarsville.


Hey!  


And then we stayed for the show.  There was singing, acting, and teaching taking place.


This man was hysterical



Finally, we panned for gold before leaving Liarsville


It's not as easy as it looks.


Scott took his panning for gold very seriously.


 Apparently, he was not the only one.


Yukon Scotty found us some gold!

Ya-Hoo!


WELCOME TO THE RED ONION



It was an authentic historical brothel that has now become a museum.


They have had many ghost hunters come to The Red Onion because it is allegedly haunted.



They had actresses dressed as madame's take us on our tour


These are authentic dolls that the prostitutes would use when "working".  If a doll was sitting up that meant they were available for an "appointment".  If the doll was laying down it meant that she was busy.


This was actual furniture and knick knacks saved through the years


Authentic room


The Madame had the biggest room


Time to head back to the ship.  Look at that view!


Welcome Home!

This tour took us almost 7 hours and I felt GREAT!  I was so thankful for the Lord's healing and restoration.

O LORD, you alone can heal me; you alone can save. My praises are for you alone! - Jeremiah 17:14


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