Sunday, February 26, 2017

Amazing Grace!

A song that touches my soul:

"Amazing grace!  How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!

Thro' many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace hath bro't me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise than we first begun."  Amen

May you experience the grace that God wants to give you!

Today is a new day and a great day!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

God Has a Plan Even During Troubled Times

This morning I woke up to a temperature of 8 degrees.  Brr!!!!!

After drinking my coffee, I wrapped up in my coat and gloves and cap and went to the Weight Watchers class to weigh-in and to hear what words of encouragement that the leader would share with the group.  The class always encourages me to be mindful in what I eat and how I am taking care of myself, mentally, emotionally, physically, as well as spiritually.  This weeks motivation talk was "be kind to yourself".

It is amazing how we treat ourselves.  We are so nice and empathetic to others as they go through trials and tribulations or make mistakes.  But how do we treat ourselves when we are going through struggling times or make bad choices?

As I reflect on being kind to myself, I also think about how God has a plan for my life. God designed me with His purpose in mind.  I am not an accident.  Jeremiah 1:5 says that "before I was born, God knew me."  I am here at this time because God has a special plan for me.  God's plan does factor in the choices that I make.  I am not a puppet.  God did give me a free will.  Luke 12:7 says "God knows me by name and even the hairs upon my head are numbered."

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says "He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."  This verse is telling me that we can never be satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits.  We are created in God's image, so we have a spiritual thirst.  We need to allow God to work in our lives and to help give us the balance that we need.

There are storms in our lives and these storms are to help us build character.  When God allows a storm in our life, He will use that storm to reveal Himself and to refine our character.  If life is going easy, we don't build character traits such as loyalty, respectfulness; humility; faithfulness; integrity and the list goes on and on.  It is that character that builds who we are and it does influence the choices that we make in life.

God does care about us and He wants to guide us through the storms.  Another favorite verse is Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  This doesn't mean that all that happens to us is good. Evilness surrounds us, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good.

There is a time for everything, a time for every storm and it is used by God.  Allow God to use what you are going through to build "a better you".

This week I will be kind to myself and know that I am unique.  When something doesn't go right or I don't make smart choices, I will remember that I am a Child of God and that I am building character in being the person that I need to be.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Quietness

Just two days ago it was 70 degrees, sunny, warm and a hint of spring was in the air.

Today we are enjoying an overcast, cold day.  There is such a quietness in the air.  The quietness does make you stop and enjoy your surroundings.

After traveling all week, it feels good to be inside my warm home, watching the white fluffy snowflakes as they fall through the sky and hit the ground.

Today was all about quietness.  I read this quote, "quietness is the beginning of virtue.  To be silent is to be beautiful.  Stars do not make a noise."

There are days you need to be still and listen.  God gave us two ears and one mouth.  Today will be all about listening.  As I relax, I can feel my heart as it beeps very steadily and my breathing is very slow.  My eyes are shut and I now can understand the verse "be still and know that I am God".  Only as we are quiet, can we truly get in touch with what God wants us to do.

Take time to enjoy the "quietness".


Monday, February 20, 2017

Rialto Theater/Oscar Documentaries

On Saturday night, Kenny and I and the neighbors went to the Rialto Theater in downtown Loveland to see the "2017 Oscar Nominated Documentaries".

The Rialto Theater was built in the '20s. The first full-length film to play on the screen was "The Toll Gate" on August 29, 1920.  It was a silent western movie.  At the time, the theater had a pipe organ that would accompany the silent films.  The Rialto had vaudeville shows every Wednesday. The theater closed in the '80s.  It reopened in the '90s and then closed again in 2004.  Since then, there has been renovations and it now hosts 200 events and draws over 100,000 patrons annually. The theater foundation is dedicated to preserving the theater and to continue to offer a broad range of performances.

This week at the theater was "Oscar" week.

The documentaries were very emotional.  One of the nominations was "Joe's Violin".  It was about a drive to donate musical instruments to public schools in New York City.  A 91 year old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold donated his beloved violin which he purchased at a flee market outside of Frankfurt after WWII.  He was a 23 year old Holocaust survivor and he had traded a carton of American cigarettes for the violin.  The violin brought back memories of when his family use to sit around and play instruments and sing.  Joseph's mother and brother did not survive the Holocaust.

He left for New York and brought the violin with him.  He enjoyed playing until his fingers could no longer play.   He heard about the drive and he wanted to make a difference.  The lucky recipient was a 13 year old girl in the Bronx.  Joseph did meet the young lady and she performed for him.  She played the song that Joseph's mother use to sing to the family.  It brings great joy to Joseph that a new generation is being exposed to the classics.

The other documentaries were "Extremis", which was about an intensive care unit and others that were about refugees and war-torn Syria.

The documentaries were well done.  It will be interesting to see which film wins.

And the winner is ............................


Sunday, February 19, 2017

God Knows Your Name

Have you ever wondered what does your name mean?  What is the origin?  I have.  So I did a little research into my name.

Movie stars and other celebritities influence parents in naming their children.  I was named after the movie star, Denise Darcel. She was born in France and came to the United States in 1947.  She became a well-known actress and starred with Robert Taylor in "Westward the Women" and also was in the film "Young Man with Ideas" with Glenn Ford.  The year that I was born, she starred with Esther Williams in a swimming musical "Dangerous When Wet".

My name is of French origin and it means "Devotee of Dionysos."  Dionysos is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine.  Maybe that is the reason why I enjoy wine.

There were certain times that my name was popular.  Social Security has recorded that "Denise" was used 372,903 times from 1880 to 2015.  Denise was first given to five babies in the year 1882.  The highest recorded use of the name "Denise" was in 1961 with a total of 15,377 babies.

I found some alternative meanings for "Denise":
D is for desire, your thoughts do aspire.
E is for enjoy, your life can be fun!
N is for neatness, your orderly way.
I is for ignite, the fire in you!
S is for serene, your calm time.
E is for eternal, your spirit will live.

I also know that God knew my name before I was named.

The Bible says that God knows your name.  Isaiah 43:1 - "But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'"

Jeremiah 1:5 says "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

May I continue to live up to my name and to be the person that I need to be!

It is all in the name!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Another Beautiful Day

Two days in a row!  The weather has been outstanding!

In the mornings, the temperature has been in the 20's and by noon, the temperature has been in the upper 60's.  It feels like spring.  The trees are budding and are just as confused about the weather as I am.

February in Colorado has been exceptionally warm.  This time last year, there was snow on the ground and the highs were in the 40s.  I know that the groundhog saw it's shadow.  That means we are suppose to have six more weeks of cold.  I am sure that within the next six weeks, we will have snow and colder temperatures.

In the meantime, I will enjoy this beautiful weather.  It has been wonderful to go outside without a coat, scarf and gloves.  There hasn't been a cloud in the sky and no wind.  It feels great to be in shorts and to get some sunshine on this body.

I will enjoy the weather for the next several days.  As I soak in the sun and get in my steps, I will look to the west toward the snowy Rocky Mountains and be thankful for another warm, sunshiny day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

God = Love

Today is Valentine's Day!  A day of love.  Webster's dictionary says that love is "strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; affection and tenderness felt by lovers; a person's adoration of God and unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another."

How do you define love?  Love to me is God's love.

Some verses that come to mind are:

"A new command I give you; Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another."  John 13:34

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."  John 13:35

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8

"We love because he first loved us."  1 John 4:19

Jesus is what unconditional love is all about.

May you communicate "love" to those around you!

Happy Valentine's Day!