The Loft Link-Up ~ Week 13 – School Memories

Welcome to The Loft Link-Up. Today our topic is ‘School Memories’.

This is an easy topic for me right now because I am in the throes of planning a high school reunion. This reunion is not a class reunion, but rather a reunion of all the people who played/marched in the high school band under specific band directors.

In 1972 (several years before I was old enough to join) the band at Union County High School consisted of about 30 kids. School administration hired Larry and Marcie Culpepper to be the band directors. The Culpeppers moved to Blairsville and immediately began to transform the band. By the time they moved on to other jobs in 1980, the band had 150 members and was a force to be reckoned with in high school band competitions. Under the Culpeppers, the band was not just a group of kids, but rather a family with a single purpose.

I played the xylophone and bells in the marching band. Those years of high school were some of the best in my life. I was part of something bigger than me. The Culpeppers were strict, but caring. They taught us a work ethic, unity, camaraderie, and so much more. One night each week, this young couple with two small children hosted a Bible study in their home. Kids of every stripe showed up…band members, cheerleaders, football players, kids who were not involved in any extra-curricular school activity. The Bible study was open to any kid who wanted to come. THIS is where my love of Bible study began.

So, on September 12th approximately 100 people will join together to reminisce and celebrate our band days. The Culpeppers have been very involved in the planning of the reunion, and they keep saying that they don’t want the reunion to be about them. What they don’t realize is that the reunion IS about them, and the amazing contributions they made to scores of young lives.

I will be forever grateful to Larry and Marcie Culpepper for allowing me to be part of the best band that Union County ever had.

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the topic. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single topic. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s topic. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

This Week’s Topic: School Memories ~ (share a memory of your days in school. perhaps you are still in school, or you have been out for 50 years. tell us about your favorite teacher, something funny that happened in school, something or someone from school that left a life-long impression. anything associated with your school days.)

Next Week’s (September 2) Topic: Bucket List ~ (what is on your bucket list. what are some things you want to do and see before Jesus calls you home. )

I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.

Now, it is time to link-up!!

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I’ll Be Back

Hello!

I didn’t want to disappear from this space without telling you where I was going. I am going to be taking a bit of time away from the blog. It won’t be long…just a couple of weeks.

You see, I have a couple of writing deadlines that I need to attend to in the next two weeks, and I want to be faithful to meet them. So, except for The Loft Link-Up, I will probably not be writing here for those two weeks. I will be hosting The Loft on Wednesdays, so please stop in for that.

I have two projects that I want to work on over these days. The first is for my publisher, Warner Press. The second is the Legacy Bible study. At the end of April, the publisher that I used to self-publish Legacy closed their doors. I did not find out about the closing until late June. In the past two weeks I have received the electronic copy of Legacy from my former publisher. My plan is to clean it up, write a book proposal, and send that proposal out to various publishers. I’m hoping that one will like it and want to publish it. I stocked up with a couple of cases of Legacy early this year, so I do have Legacy workbooks, Leader guides, and DVDs still for sale here on my website.

 

I would appreciate your prayers over both of these writing projects. Thank you for your patience and support.

 

Leah

The Loft Link-Up ~ Week 12 ~ A Potluck

Welcome to The Loft where today is Potluck Day. Bring any post, picture, video, poem to us and we will gather around it.

On a different note: I am honored to be guest posting today over at my friend, Arabah Joy’s blog. I’m talking about the importance of Bible study. Join me there.

Sometimes less is best! I’m going with that thought today. I want to offer you a picture and a verse from Psalm 91. I hope it blesses you!

Bird Psalm 91

Psalm 91 is a psalm that has brought me great comfort in times of trouble and trial. Our world is in a stinkin’ mess, but our God is on the throne. He cares so deeply about each of His children. I hope you will find comfort from this picture and verse.

 

Want to know about The Loft. Read on, dear one, then scroll to the bottom to find the linky tool and link up your Potluck post for this week!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the topic. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single topic. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s topic. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

This Week’s Topic: Pot Luck ~ (give us your best post. whatever strikes your fancy is what we want you to bring to The Loft this week. a picture, a video, a poem, the written word. we will take it all.)

Next Week’s (August 19) Topic: Back to School ~ (share a memory of your days in school. perhaps you are still in school, or you have been out for 50 years. tell us about your favorite teacher, something funny that happened in school, something or someone from school that left a life-long impression. anything associated with your school days.)

I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.

Now, it is time to link-up!!

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In Life, In Death ~ Vicky Whyte’s Faith Story

Many months ago I featured the faith stories of several people here at the blog. Each was unique and compelling. Today I have the privilege of offering yet another compelling faith story.

 

A Faith Story

 

Vicky Whyte lives in Northern Ireland. All she ever wanted in life was to get married, have kids, serve Jesus and love people. Just quietly and without too much excitement. In 2013, family life changed forever. Leah, the second eldest of their four children, was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation and went through a bone marrow transplant. Nine months after her initial diagnosis, Leah developed a rare side effect of her treatment and died shortly after her 16th birthday. Devastated and heartbroken by her daughter’s death, Vicky has found that blogging helps her to trace the rainbows through the rain and see God’s hand in everything. Her favourite spare time activities are catching up with friends or getting lost in a good book. One of Vicky’s favorite quotes is “that there is no pit so deep but that God’s love is not deeper still.” – Corrie Ten Boom

You can find Vicky blogging at https://victoriawhyte.wordpress.com/

and visit her on Twitter @WhyteVictoria

 

Would you please make Vicky welcome here at LeahAdams.org

 

 

Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

My daughter, Leah, had a blood test on her fifteenth birthday that changed all of our lives forever. This was on the 31st December 2012 and it showed that her white cell count was dangerously low. She subsequently received a diagnosis of myelodysplasia and monosomy 7 caused by a rare GATA2 genetic mutation. She needed a bone marrow transplant.

 

Leah at youth rally

Yet miraculously in the following months, Leah was able to live a relatively normal life. She attended school and church, went shopping, ate in restaurants, went to the cinema and travelled on public transport. She even went with the Girls Brigade for a weekend to an outdoor pursuit’s centre where she participated in every activity. By the summer of 2013, thousands of people were praying for Leah and I believed that prayer had created an invisible bubble of protection around her.

On Sunday 21st July 2013 we flew from Ireland to Bristol, where Leah was to receive her bone marrow transplant. My overriding emotions were hope and excitement. I saw this as primarily an adventure whereby Leah would receive the treatment that would save her life. I believed that the combination of the prayers of God’s people and the expertise in Bristol Children’s Hospital would be a winning combination.

 

Leah May 2013

 

The next day, as I pressed the buzzer for Leah and me to gain entry to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Leah said to me “Mummy I don’t feel well.” This just about set the scene for things to come – whatever could go wrong did go wrong.

Within hours Leah was very seriously ill. Within a week Leah had five different bugs growing in her blood – abnormal ones that the doctors didn’t normally see in these circumstances, some were even resistant to antibiotics.

In those early weeks I wrote in my journal about feeling so isolated and so devastated. I wanted to go somewhere where I could cry and scream, or even run away from all this awfulness, but there was nowhere to go – I needed to stay and care for and comfort my daughter. I felt disappointed with God and abandoned by Him and I wrestled in my heart with all of those thoughts and emotions.

Do you know what was especially hard? It was looking at Leah and seeing in her face that she was wrestling in her heart with all of this too!

No matter what though, Leah always wanted me to read the Bible and pray with her. We struggled at times to hold onto hope, but somehow in the midst of it all, we still knew the source of true hope.

The Bible verse that Leah had chosen in June 2013 for the prayer cards that were printed for her by our church was Nehemiah 8:10

For the joy of The Lord is your strength.”

Over the following months, Leah’s joy (and mine) was severely tested. Her bone marrow transplant was successful in curing her myelodysplasia and monosomy 7, but as complication followed complication, it took its toll on both her body and her mind.

It broke my heart to see my normally joyful, faith filled daughter, descend into the very depths of despair. How physical illness and the side effects of treatment can ravage the mind!

Eventually, as Leah’s physical health improved, her mental health also improved. Getting home to Ireland in November helped too. However, her life was far from normal.

 

Leah ~ 3 weeks before she died

Leah ~ 3 weeks before she died

 

It was only in ICU in January 2014, when facing death, that Leah’s peace and hope and joy were fully restored. The closer she came to death the more joyful and peaceful she became. Leah said that she wasn’t afraid to die. A few days before she died, Leah showed us the words of one of her favourite songs –

One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture

In death, in life, I’m confident and

Covered by the power of Your great love

My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can

Separate my heart from Your great love

Yes, the hope of healing left Leah and me disappointed, but not the hope of eternal life, not the hope of God’s love – there was no disappointment there. When I looked in Leah’s eyes in ICU in January 2014 I saw a different facial expression to the one that I had seen in those early weeks in Bristol. In January 2014, although on a ventilator and critically ill, Leah’s face radiated joy and serenity.

What about me? What about my joy and hope? I miss my daughter terribly and I yearn for her with all of my heart. However, I’m learning that joy and sorrow can coexist in my heart. Two Bible verses have become especially meaningful:

2 Corinthians 1:4 (NKJV)

“ who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

 

Isaiah 45:3 (NKJV)

“ I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”

Do you have a story of faith that you would like to share here. It would be my honor to have you as a guest contributor at LeahAdams.org. If you are interested in sharing how Jesus is working in your life, please email me at pointministries@gmail.com.

Five Minute Friday~ Learn: The Wood Shed or the Class Room?

 

The woodshed.

It is a place I have often gone. Not willingly, nor with delight, but out of necessity.

You see, I am one who doesn’t always learn from the mistakes of others. Oh no, I seem to be more apt to learn God’s lessons by taking the field trip. Which, I might add, is not always the most pleasant way to learn. It is, however, extremely effective.

 

 

Learn

 

 

You too? Are you a field-tripper? Well, you are in good company right here, friend.

God really prefers that we learn the lessons He offers from His simple instructions. Like a good parent, He gave those instructions for our good.

“Do not lie.”

“Do not covet.”

“Humble yourself before Me.”

“Keep yourself pure.”

“Love Me with all your heart.”

He wants us to be obedient, so that we can enjoy the blessings He offers as a result of our obedience. Like a parent, God’s heart is happy when we obey.

But when we fail to learn His lessons from simple instruction, that is when we require a field trip that includes time in the woodshed.

I learned the importance of obedience in the area of lying many years ago. Be warned: I’m going over my five minute limit with this story from my Legacy Bible study.

One spring day a few years ago, I had promised my young nephew that I would come to his baseball game. My sister told me that the game would be starting at 7:00 pm, which is late for me. I am one of those early-to-bed, early-to-rise folks, and by 7:00 pm I am beginning to wind down for the evening. However, I had promised Parker I would come to his game, and so I went.

Halfway through the game, I decided that probably Parker was so engrossed in his game that he would never notice if I slipped out. After all, I’m not the mom; I’m the aunt. So I packed up my chair and began to make my way out of the crowd. I had to pass the dugout where Parker and his teammates were waiting to bat, and I tried to walk behind some other people and keep my exit hidden from Parker. I was almost past the dugout when I heard Parker yell, “Aunt Leah, where you going?”

I walked over to the dugout, looked directly at Parker and said, “Uncle Greg is waiting on me at home to fix his supper. I need to go. You are playing great. Keep it up. I love you.”

Parker said, “Okay. See ya,” and turned his attention to his ballgame.

Before I could get to my car, a wave of guilt washed over me that threatened to completely engulf me. My husband was at a meeting that night which included a meal. I would not even go near the kitchen when I went home. I had just lied to my nephew in order to justify leaving his game. I was crushed at what I had done. What kind of an example was I? The Holy Spirit convicted me so deeply that I cried all the way home. Satan put his two cents worth into the mix as well. He tried to convince me that Parker would never know that I had lied to him. I reminded Satan that it didn’t matter whether Parker ever knew or not. I knew, and I could not live with knowing that I had lied to him. I had to set a positive example of humility and repentance for my nephew.

Once home, I got down on my knees and asked the Lord to forgive me for lying to Parker. He did, but He also said, “Now, you have to confess what you did to Parker.” I said, “Yes, Lord, I do.”

The next day, I asked my sister to bring Parker to my house after school. I took him aside and said to him, “Parker, do you remember me telling you that the reason I had to leave your game last night was because I had to go home and fix Uncle Greg’s dinner?”

Parker said, “Yes.”

“I lied to you about the reason I left your ballgame early, Parker,” I confessed, with tears flowing down my face. “Uncle Greg was at a meeting, and I did not have to fix his supper. I was just tired and wanted to go home. I am sorry that I lied to you. It was wrong of me, and I hope you will forgive me.”

“That’s okay, Aunt Leah,” Parker replied.

Wanting to make sure he understood the gravity of my sin, I said to him, “No, Parker, it isn’t okay. It is never okay to tell a lie. Never. Please forgive me.”

“I do, Aunt Leah.”

 

God had said, “Do not lie.”

I had chosen to lie. There consequences to my lying. Painful consequences. The woodshed was a tough place for me that day, but oh, the lesson I learned. A lesson that I will never forget. Today, I can say with the Psalmist that:

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Psalm 119:71 (NIV)

What about your, friend? Are you a field-tripper or a classroom learner?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to Friday! Five Minute Friday! FMF is a glorious time of craziness where a group of bloggers gather around a single word prompt tossed out by Kate Motaung. Want to know more? Want to join us?

Linking up on Wednesday with Jennifer Lee at #TellHisStory.

The Loft Link-Up ~ Week 11 ~ A Funny Story

Welcome to The Loft

Today at The Loft our topic is Funny Stories. We are looking for things to make us laugh. So here are my funny stories.

 

Several years ago my BFF, Cindy, and I decided we should have a girls weekend in Atlanta. So, we booked a hotel room in Buckhead, kissed our husbands good-bye, and off we went. We have traveled far and wide together, so we are totally comfortable staying in the same room together.

Cindy had the menswear look going on that day with black jeans, a white cuffed shirt, and a black and white striped vest. Plenty of jewelry and makeup. Cute as a button. We shopped a bit at Lenox Square, then went next door to check into our hotel. When we got to the registration desk, we were told that the only room they had left was a king bed room. No problem, we said. The desk clerk might have looked at us a bit odd, but we didn’t think anything about it.

We had a great weekend shopping and eating dinner at a nice restaurant. We attended church on Sunday morning at Mt. Paran, then returned home. Later in the afternoon after settling back in at home, I turned on the Atlanta news to find that it had been Gay Pride weekend in Atlanta. Yikes, I’m sure as we checked into that hotel we looked like we fit right in. We have laughed about that for years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more funny story: When I was a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s, leisure suits were very popular for men. In case you are too young to know what leisure suits are, picture the tackiest polyester material in hideous patterns made into pants and a blazer for a man. They were bad. My daddy had several of them, as did most men in that day.

One day, after leisure suits had gone out of style (thank you, Jesus) my Mother decided it was time to go through everyone’s closets and clean out a bit. So, she cleaned house in every closet. One of the things that she gave away from Daddy’s closet was a particularly ugly leisure suit. Brown, gaudy patterns…just ugly. She didn’t tell Daddy she was giving the suit away, but did tell me.

Months after the big giveaway, our family was eating dinner in a restaurant about 25 miles from our hometown. Mother and I were sitting facing the door, while my Daddy and my sister had their backs to the door. A man walked into the restaurant with the leisure suit on that my Mom had given away!!!!!!!!!!!! Mother’s eyes got as big as saucers. She looked at me, and we promptly burst into laughter. Not just a little bit of laughing, but spit-out-your-food, cannot-catch-your-breath kind of laughing. Daddy and Leslie did not have a clue what we were laughing about. It was several minutes before Mom and I could re-gain control of ourselves and tell them. The Great Leisure Suit Debacle!!!!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the topic. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single topic. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s topic. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

This Week’s Topic: Funny Stories ~ (give us something to tickle our funny bone. tell us the funniest thing that has happened to you. share a joke, a funny video, a funny picture. laughter is the best medicine, so let’s laugh today. please keep it clean, and do not share anything that would cause pain or hurt to another person.)

Next Week’s (August 19) Topic: Pot Luck ~ (give us your best post. whatever strikes your fancy is what we want you to bring to The Loft this week. a picture, a video, a poem, the written word. we will take it all.)

I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.

Now, it is time to link-up!!

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Stumbles

I blew it!

I messed up. Oh, it was not a big thing, but enough to make me feel like a failure. In life. In my marriage. In my faith.

I failed to have a servant heart.

I failed to love my husband well and serve him.

I was prideful and self-serving.

I thought speaking my mind on a matter would make me feel better…would make right something that I perceived as a wrong toward me. It did not. And I felt terrible about it afterward.

Pride! Selfishness!

I am never more like Satan than when I allow pride to creep in and convince me that I am all that and a bag of chips; when I allow selfishness to engulf me.

 

Stumbles.

We all blow it from time to time.

We all mess up. It may not be a big thing, but then again…it might. In life. In our relationships. In our faith.

 

Stumbles.

You want to hear some good news, friend?

 

Stumbles

 

God is not surprised at our stumbles. Nor is He disgusted by them. When you and I have a heart that longs to please God; when we have a will and a desire to walk in His way, God is pleased even with our stumbles.

So, hear this friend….deep into the recesses of your heart…hear this:

 

You are not defined by your stumbles.

 

You are NOT DEFINED by your stumbles, any more than a 1-year-old baby is defined by its stumbling efforts to learn to walk. You may feel that your stumbles define you, but that is a lie from Satan. Do not believe it.

If you are a blood-bought follower of Jesus Christ, you are His precious treasure, His beautiful one, and His beloved. You are not your stumbles.

Would you take a moment, wherever you are, to repeat aloud with me:

 

I AM NOT DEFINED BY MY STUMBLES.

I AM DEFINED BY WHO I AM IN JESUS CHRIST!

 

Say it again:

 

I AM NOT DEFINED BY MY STUMBLES.

I AM DEFINED BY WHO I AM IN JESUS CHRIST!

 

Say it until you believe it. If you have to go outside and shout it over and over until the neighbors think you have lost your ever-lovin’ mind, then go shout.

If the will to walk is there, God is pleased even with our stumbles. Believe it!

 

If you needed to hear this today, I would love hear from you so I can pray for you. Leave me a comment or email me at pointministries@gmail.com.

Linking up this week with Jennifer Lee for #TellHisStory.

Feed Them Well ~ Grace Table

A year or so ago I began to hear about a new project that was being created by Kris Camealy, a beautiful soul with a heart for hospitality. The project would be called Grace Table, and the entire focus would be on hospitality. If you know me at all, you know that I adore cooking and feeding hungry souls…feeding them not only physical food, but also food that nourishes the heart.

When the invitation went out to follow Grace Table and receive the posts on their blog, I immediately signed up. Instinctively, I knew that I would find blessing at Grace Table. I have not been disappointed. Today, I count it an honor to be a guest at Grace Table. When Kris asked for guest posts, I hesitated. The writing at Grace Table is beautiful and compelling. I was not certain my writing fell into the ‘beautiful and compelling’ category. Yet, my heart kept being nudged by the Spirit to offer a post. I did. They accepted my offering, and today Grace Table and I offer it to you.

 

Feed Them Well

 

Grace Table post

 

I am a Southern woman, with a Southern Mother, Grandmother, and Greats as far back as the family tree extends. The thing about Southern women is that we feed our people…and we feed them well. Food is how we do hospitality. It is also how the Lord gave me a heart for young adults.

In 2011, my friend, Sandi, phoned me one day asking if I would mind helping provide lunch for a group of international students who were studying at a large school in the Atlanta area. They were coming to our north Georgia Mountains for a hike, and their leaders wanted them to experience an American home. I was happy to help, and totally oblivious to the fact that my world was about to be rocked in a major way.

 

Join me at Grace Table. Pull a chair up to the table and allow me to serve you the rest of my ponderings. Click here to enter Grace Table.

 

The Loft Link-Up ~ Week 10 ~ A Picture Prompt

Welcome to The Loft!!

Hello! It’s Wednesday, which means it is time to head up to The Loft Link-Up. Before I move on to today’s prompt, I have to tell you that I had the privilege of meeting one of our Loft friends this week. Suzanne Murray’s mom is my neighbor. Suzanne was in town this week visiting her sweet Mama, and we sat down to lunch on Tuesday. What a treasure Suzanne is! I love getting to meet face-to-face with my online friends. Thank you, Suzanne, for taking the time to have lunch with me. Let’s do it again!

Today we have a picture prompt for anyone who cares to join in. Let me remind you of the picture about which we are all writing today:

Max Road Diverge

Here are a few of my thoughts on this picture that was taken by my cousin, Max Pate.

Life is always offering us choices.

Get out of bed or stay there.

Coffee or tea.

Toast or biscuits.

Work or play.

By default, choices have consequences attached to them. Just as in life, there is no way to know what lies at the end of each of the paths in the picture. One path turns right, the other left. The end of each path may hold danger or delight. As you and I travel down the path of life, we have no idea what consequences are attached to our choices.

But, God does.

Friend, are you at a spot in life where you are pondering two paths? Perhaps they both look exactly the same from where you sit, and you have no idea which to choose. Perhaps one path looks easier than the other; less rocky and flatter. The other path looks steep, narrow and winding. The reasonable choice would seem to be the easy path. Our human nature wants to choose the easy path. Yet, that is not always the path that yields the most stunning views at the end. Sometimes God allows us to struggle along the path in order to appreciate what lies beyond the struggle. Let us not despise the struggles, friend! Oftentimes, those struggles build spiritual muscle, strengthening our hearts for yet another journey.

As you ponder the path that lies ahead of you, bend your knee before our Father in heaven, and ask Him which path you should choose. Don’t be surprised if He points toward the steep and rocky path. My advice would be for you to respond in obedience, lacing up your hiking shoes and hitting the trail! If that is the path God has for you, you can rest assured that He goes before you, and is your rear guard. Hike on, friend! A beautiful vista awaits you.

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way….. Psalm 142:3 (NIV)

Now it is time to link up! Scroll to the bottom of the page and share your post about what the picture prompts in your heart!

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the topic. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single topic. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s topic. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

 

Next Week’s (August 12) Topic: Funny Stories ~ (give us something to tickle our funny bone. tell us the funniest thing that has happened to you. share a joke, a funny video, a funny picture. laughter is the best medicine, so let’s laugh today. please keep it clean, and do not share anything that would cause pain or hurt to another person.)

I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.

Now, it is time to link-up!!

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Finding Quiet Time

Is your life loud?

Does the noise of your world crowd out the peace that should be in your heart as a follower of Jesus Christ?

Today I am pondering the benefits of quiet time. I am not speaking of having a quiet time with Jesus. I’m all about that, and strongly encourage you to have one! Rather, I want us to think about times of quiet, where there is no television, no electronic media, no radio…just quiet solitude.

 

Quiet Time

 

 

I sent this page of pondering out to my newsletter subscribers last week, but was urged by the Spirit to offer it to you today. So, if you are a newsletter subscriber and have already read this, you are excused.

In my day job as a pharmacist, I am constantly bombarded by noise…telephones ringing, employees asking questions, patients wanting my attention, printers spitting out labels, the door chime ringing, sounds of tablets being poured out of and into bottles…constant noise. By the end of a ten-hour day, when I get home, I am DONE with noise and activity.  In the past, my end of the workday routine was that I would get in my car, turn on The Message (Sirius SM Radio), and drive the 40 miles home. My husband would be waiting for me, wanting a hug and a chat. I, on the other hand, would NOT be wanting a hug and a chat. Instead, I just wanted to eat a few bites of supper and hide for about 30 minutes. Needless to say, that is not a great prescription for happiness in a marriage.

Now, I’m a slow learner, so give me some grace here. It was just in the last couple of weeks that I realized that I had the power to change how I reacted to my Man when I walked in the door after a day at the pharmacy. I know….DUH!!! 
Jesus gave us the example in Luke 5:16 (NIV)

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

 

The words ‘lonely places’ are often translated as the wilderness or the desert. Most of us cannot traipse off into the desert at the end of a wild and wooly day. All of us can, however, find a quiet place somewhere in our everyday life where we can withdraw. It might be a closet, a bathroom, the car, or behind a bush, but there is a quiet place for every person, if we will hunt for it. For me and the situation I am sharing about, my quiet place is in my car.

Since the revelation hit that I have the POWER, I have made two changes.

First, I DO NOT turn on the radio when I get into my car to come home. I’ve had mental and sensory stimulation all day long. I need a quiet time to let my brain calm down. That means no radio.

Second, I pray and ask the Lord to give me a gentle and calm spirit when I get home. I ask Him to help me love my husband well in those moments after arriving home.

Guess what? It has made a huge difference.  Friend, if you are like me, and have a job that is high stress and high stimulation, consider carving out a few moments of quiet. I promise it will change your life. YOU have the POWER.