Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday Feature ~ One Voice by Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

One act of kindness can warm the heart like a yellow rose does a chilly day

One act of kindness can warm the heart like a yellow rose does a chilly day

Today’s Friday Feature is a guest post by my wonderful blogging friends, Sadie and Sophie Cuffe.  Please check out the links to their blog and some of their published works at the bottom of this post.

I hope that their words warm your heart as much as they did mine! 

One Voice
by Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

According to the weather forecast, the temperature might make it to zero for the daytime high.  Nevertheless, yesterday morning we braved the 25-below-zero wind chill and cleaned off last night’s light snow from the car windshield.  The sun had only been up an hour-and-a-half, yet the snow on the window had started to melt.  Some still remained in the shape of Antarctica, but the edges had thawed and short sparkling rivulets ran into the sunlight.  We quickly scraped away the remaining snow and went about our business, but throughout the long, cold hours the image lingered in our minds.

After an overwhelming day, we returned home and let the quiet warmth of wood heat seep into our souls and bodies.  Grammie used to say, “It’s a hard old world out there.”  Sometimes we know where she was coming from: it’s hard to remember we’re not in this alone.  There are days you wonder if anyone really notices or cares.  On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes it’s hard to keep from becoming as frozen in heart as the snowdrifts, as we wonder how much more we can give before we have nothing left.

And then we realize life is like the sun on the frozen windshield.  No matter how cold and lonely it is in the wilderness of this world, we’re never left twisting in the subzero wind.  Time and time again, God has sent the warmth of a voice in the wilderness into our life just when we need it.

Today it was His voice in our hearts whispering across the chilly organ with a steady warm mother’s love that has enveloped us since our first breaths.  His voice melted the frosty selfishness in us and we answered, “Thank You for letting me be a daughter today.”

It’s not about how big life is, it’s about the power of the small kindnesses in our lives.  It’s about listening and seeing the effects of one moment and one voice.  Sometimes that voice is as quiet as a smile drying our tears, or as gentle as a soft rain filling our parched souls.  As writers, that voice in the wilderness of criticism is often the gift of a simple comment that gives us the strength to keep on trying.

The older we get, the more we see the vital need for the heart-shine of kindness and encouragement in every encounter, every word we speak.  Not only will it spread warmth to our relationships, it’ll keep our hearts from growing cold.  This year we want to be one voice for the Son.

*Posted with permission from the authors, Sadie and Sophie Cuffe

For more of the Sadie and Sophie’s writing, check out some of their published works:

Arrow that Flies:
Blood Brothers in Christ Book One

Warrior’s Journey
Blood Brothers in Christ Book Two

Faith in the Shadows
The Wainright Trilogy Book One

The Seekers
The Wainright Trilogy Book Two

The Heart Knows
The Wainright Trilogy Book Three

Hard Country: A Western

It is also not too late to jump on board with the Cuffe sister’s newest serial fiction series:
Children of Promise
(Josie just keeps landing herself into more and more predicaments!)

*****

Please check out other Friday Features here

Feature Friday

Winter Scenes ~ Snowy Landscapes

A little creek bed draining into a small lake near my home.

A little creek bed that drains into a small lake near my home

I took many photos on our snow days this past week.  Thought I would share some landscapes today, then feature others later.

Same creek ~ vertical angle which shows the reflections better

Same creek ~ vertical angle, which shows the reflections better

Some of you live in areas that get tons of snow, but this is about as much as we get here in Mississippi!

A pond at a park in town

A pond at a local park

I might add Scripture to one or more of these later.  If I do, which one of these do you like the best?

This one was a little underexposed, but is probably my favorite of the landscapes

This one was a little underexposed, but is probably my favorite of the landscapes

“He directs the snow to fall on the earth
and tells the rain to pour down.”
Job 37:6
NLT

Sue Nash/2014

Shackled by the Cold ~ Outside God’s Embrace

Frozen Nandina berries

Frozen Nandina berries

Shackled by the cold
  Hearts callously unaware
Outside God’s embrace

It snowed in Mississippi yesterday, which it rarely does.  I got outside and took some photos, but had to bundle up due to the extreme cold.  When I uploaded this photo of these Nandina berries encapsulated by a frigid shell, it reminded me of the coldness of a heart separated from the warmth of God.

Of souls shackled in sin’s callous grip from rejecting Christ.

Frozen nandina berries
God loves everyone, but we must choose whether to embrace Him.  It is when we draw near to God that He responds by drawing near to us.  The light of His presence brings warmth; His embrace ushers in the healing our cold hearts so desperately need.

Nandina with berries on a sunny morning

Nandina with berries on a sunny morning

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
James 4:8

Sue Nash/2014

For more of my poems, go to Poetry Corner

Morning By Morning

A sunrise on my way to work last week

A sunrise on my way to work last week

Unlike some, I have never learned to depend totally on the Lord to awaken me, especially when I need to get up for work on time.  On those days, I set my alarm, with a back up!

However, God does very often awaken me during the night:

To remind me of something
To prompt me to pray for someone
To bless me with His presence

Some of you may question how I know that it is the Lord waking me and not just from something that I ate before bedtime.

The only way that I know how to explain it is that when it is God, I just know.  He usually does so in the wee hours of the morning.  I hear that still, small voice and feel His gentle nudge.  Even if I feel tired and have to get up for work that same morning, I try to obey.

When I follow through, by either praying silently in bed or getting on my knees, God is so faithful to make sure that I still get a good night’s sleep.  As soon as I feel the prayer burden lift, He very lovingly puts me back to sleep.  I wake up feeling rested enough to make it through the day. 

On mornings when I never do go back to sleep, it is typically because I start fretting about the day, or decide that I just want to get up to busy myself with something on my mind. 

Perhaps one day I will learn to trust the Lord enough to let Him awaken me every day.  I would love to throw away the alarms!  In the meantime, I value knowing that He loves me enough to waken me to spend special time with Him alone.

In reality, though, the very fact that our eyes open each day is a blessing from God; this alone is reason enough to praise Him for awakening us morning by morning. 

“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned,
t
hat I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

Do you have times when the Lord awakens you?  If so, how do you respond?

Sue Nash/2014

God’s Peace Is So Dear

A peaceful scene close to home

A peaceful scene close to home ~ taken last spring

Our time of fasting together as a local church body is over.  As I pondered what God did in my heart, I realized that although the many urgent prayer needs I sought Him for show no signs of change, He did do a work in my heart.  I found a level of peace in the midst of the battle that I desperately needed. 

I rest assured knowing that God has seen every tear and heard my supplications.  While I wait for Him to reveal the work wrought on my knees, I rest in His peace that is beyond comprehension.  A peace that makes no sense in the natural.  Given by the Spirit, the peace He brings is sufficient for the journey.  It is near and dear to the heart.

God’s Peace Is So Dear

No trepidation
Nor furrowed brow;
God takes our worries
Away somehow.

A peace that lingers
Though troubles stay;
Past understanding,
How peace remains.

Every fretting heart
His peace will change;
By the power of Christ,
Distress does wane.

But to find such peace
One must seek Him.
Only on our knees
  Does anguish dim.

It is when our cares
To Christ we bring,
That He lifts us up
On eagle’s wing.

As we plead for help
With prayers poured out,
He will heed each cry
Without a doubt.

We can thank God now
  That He does hear,
  And for peace He gives;
It is so dear.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6, 7

Sue Nash/2014

For other poems, go to Poetry Corner

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition ~ Choose One

Weekly Challenge ~ Juxtaposition

These two buildings are in juxtaposition across from each other in downtown Denver.  I stood between them to capture this photo.

By showing just its reflection, the lovely old tower looks like it is now a part of the new building.  Like they are one.

Throughout life, two options are continually in juxtaposition before us, and we must choose.

The Bible says that we must choose either life or death.  Following God’s ways leads to life, whereas rejecting Him brings death by eternal separation.  It is only by accepting the way back to God, that Christ offers, that we align ourselves with life.  We then become one with Him.

Choose this day whom you will serve.
Joshua 24:15

Sue Nash/2014

To see similar posts, go to Weekly Photo Challenge

From The Daily Post

Friday Feature ~ Rhonda K. Holland

Feature FridayIllustrations about the truths from God’s word can come from almost anything, even inanimate objects.  As shown in her latest book, Pots, Pans and Prophecies, my featured author does just that.  She explains how just like ordinary cooking utensils do not dictate the process, but are instead the containers for producing delicious meals, we must likewise yield our lives as vessels, in order for God to fulfill His wondrous purposes through us.

Today’s featured author, speaker, and longtime friend of mine is,

 Rhonda K. Holland
*Rhonda’s books and DVD studies are available for purchase by clicking the links.

u1.1389810393.PPP-FRONT

Pots, Pans and Prophecies is the third of Rhonda’s books in the Kindle the Power series.  Using her engaging writing style, Rhonda takes participants on a journey with Mary, the mother of Jesus.  In it, she shows how Mary’s life precisely modeled that of a yielded vessel of honor for God’s use, and how He chose for her for this marvelous calling because she was clean, accessible, willing, and able to take the heat

However, Mary’s call was not without problems.  Like her, after receiving a promise from God, we may face delays or difficulties.  These hard ingredients can bring discouragement, causing us to lose sight of the revelation.  As sour or bitter ingredients are often necessary components of tasty meals, though, life’s hardships are many times needful lessons God uses to grow our trust in Him.  Just like for Mary, He wants us to continue believing, as we wait in anticipation of the promise fulfilled. 

Written as studies, Rhonda travels extensively in order to present her books as seminars and minister to groups about each one.  However, they are also great when studied alone or along with her DVD’s.

I studied her recent book alone, but included my mom when reading another,
Coins, Covenant and Character, which is a study about restoration based on the woman with the lost coin.  Rhonda’s insights from the Lord in this book are remarkable.  She describes, then shows how He wants our own lost coins restored to strengthen our covenant walk with Him.

u1.1389809126.coins-cover-front-ONLYI have not yet read her first release, Giants, Grapes and Grasshoppers, but am looking forward to doing so.  From the description on the website, this study, on facing our personal giants by abiding in the shadow of the Most High God, is sure to further equip us for spiritual warfare.

 Rhonda is not only a wonderful author, speaker and minister, she is also a delightful person and friend.  Although we attend different denominations, we are like-minded in our passion for Christ, and for seeing a mighty move of the Holy Spirit in these troubled times in which we live. 

Whether from reading her earlier books or her newest, Pots, Pans and Prophecies, Rhonda is sure to alliterate her messages straight to your heart, through her encouraging insights and life-changing messages of truth.  

Sue Nash/2014

*Images and information given used with permission from Rhonda K. Holland

 

Light My Way

Light My WayRecite to me your worries
I have the answer for each one.
You may not understand your problems,
But for each the victory’s been won.

Share with Me your sorrows.
Don’t hesitate to pour them out.
You may not see a way through the night,
But there’s light ahead, never doubt.

You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
Psalm 18:28 NLT

Sue Nash/2014

For other poems, see Poetry CornerLight My Way Poetry

A Tribute to Lucy, My Friend

Day lilies were Lucy's signature plant  ~ this yellow color is one of the first she shared with me

Day lilies were Lucy’s signature plant ~ this yellow color is one of the first she shared with me

*I lost a treasure this week.  My ninety-six year old best friend went to heaven last Saturday.

When I met Lucy several years ago, it started as me thinking that I would spend time with an elderly widowed neighbor; instead, she instantly became one of the dearest friends I have ever had.  She was confidant, mentor, gardening instructor and friend.

Lucy taught me that a person is not determined by age; the real person is on the inside and that doesn’t change by growing old.

I already miss her, but am very happy for her.  She is finally home with her loving husband of over fifty years, her only child and beloved daughter, and all her other family and friends.  Most importantly, she is in the arms of her Savior, whom she both loved and served faithfully. 

This poem is written as a tribute to her. 

Lucy, My Friend

Why did you have to be
So perfect and so sweet,
Those many years ago
When at first, our hearts did meet?

 I knew that at your age
Your years left could be few.
That losing you would hurt;
Was risky, befriending you.

 But I could not resist
Your love, it drew me in;
Your gentle ways, they beckoned,
And calmed my fears within.

 We shared countless visits,
Sipping cups of brewed tea;
Swapping many a tale,
Quietly, reminiscing.

 More often times than not,
Our stories made us cry,
But we’d end up with a laugh
Before we bid goodbye.

 And no matter the day,
No matter what the storm,
Your door, it stayed open;
Your friendship, always warm.

 Yet, not only was your home
A welcome mat for friends;
The flowers in your yard,
Caused your blessings to extend.

 Your gift of gardening,
Of sharing what you grew,
Has left a part of you
With everyone you knew.

 With every passing spring
Or summer’s warmth anew
Each day lily that blooms
Reminds us all of you.

 Though we will miss you so,
Hope springs like violets blue.
For in heaven things won’t fade,
But will be forever new.

 One day we will join you,
Up there on streets of gold,
And Him whose face you’ve seen,
Our eyes will too behold.

 Together, we’ll rejoice,
Of pain and sorrows free,
We’ll dance ‘mid rows of roses
You’ve grown for us to see.

 How you lived while on earth
Only God did measure,
But what you left in our hearts
Is a priceless treasure.

 Tho’ losing you brought tears,
I have a joy un-end;
Knowing while down here below,
You chose to call me friend.

Sue Nash/2014

This English dogwood plant will always be special, because I tried transplanting one from Lucy several times before one finally made it

This English dogwood plant will always be special, because I tried transplanting one from Lucy several times before this one finally made it

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family ~ Couldn’t Resist

Our only grandaughter

Our only granddaughter ~ those eyes!

Sorry readers.  I know that you probably get tired of me posting about my grandkids, but since this week’s photo challenge is on family, I couldn’t resist!  It’s a grandma thing.

Posing adorably, while trying hard to get out of taking a nap!

Posing adorably, while trying hard to get out of taking a nap!

Our sweet little rascal

Our sweet little rascal

Our miracle grandson ~ born weighing a little over 1lb.

Our miracle grandson ~ born weighing a little over 1lb.

Cute to the core

Cute to the core

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged
Proverbs 17:6

*Proof that my husband and I are aged!

Sue Nash/2014

For other challenges, see Weekly Photo Challenge

From The Daily Post