Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Hi all,
    I hope you have been enjoying this Thanksgiving weekend with family or friends, or at the least, a little time off.  I am grateful for this time to reflect and refocus my heart on all for which I am thankful.
    I am grateful for family and the time we get to spend together, some regularly, some rarely, but the love is still the same.  I am grateful for my church family who care so much and demonstrate it in big and small ways.  And I am grateful for the friends God has given me.  Some are near, some are far.  But either way, they are a blessing.  I am grateful for my customers and students and business associates.  You give me encouragement and hope.  And most of all, I am grateful for my LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He daily gives me strength, peace, love, joy, direction and all I need for life and godliness. 
      May the goodness of the Lord surround you and may He hear your every prayer.  Wishing you a joyful heart of thanksgiving with loved ones to share with along the way this holiday season.
Delightfully beading away,
"The Happy Beader"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Magic Bank Account


The Magic Bank Account

"Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:  Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules: 
The set of rules:
1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you. 
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.  
3. You may only spend it. 
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day. 
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “Game Over!" and can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right?  Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right?


You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
Shocked???  YES!
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*.  We just can't seem to see it.
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds
As a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.
3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING ...
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think. 
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life! 
Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.
Start “spending”.... 
My personal footnote: 
Time is short. 
If you don’t know Jesus
Or haven’t asked Him to forgive you of all your wrongdoing
& to be the Lord of your life, it isn’t too late. 
Do it today, right now. 
He’s waiting to hear from you. 
You could have a heart attack & die today & not get another chance.
And if you are at death’s door, It isn’t too late for you! 
Jesus is waiting to open heaven’s gates for you,
All you have to do is ask for His forgiveness
And mean it from your heart. 
Whatever your state, He will forgive you and accept you as you are.
He loves you so much that He died& rose again to prove it.
I care. 
and so is hell...
I want to spend eternity with you.  Will you accept my offer?
 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His Only Son,
That whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
But have eternal life.
God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world,
But that the world might be
Saved through Him.”  John 3:16-17

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice,
And open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
Revelation 3:20

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Age, Your Age, Any Age Will Do

My Age, Your Age,
Any Age Will Do

by Misti Cleveland
            As I approach 50 years of age, I have had mixed feelings about it.  Afterall, fifty is only middle aged if you live to 100!  I guess the likelihood of that is improving with medical break-throughs, but who wants to be middle aged even? We all want to be young forever. And fifty sounds so old!  

            Some say, “Age is just a number.” 

            Others say, “You’re only as old as you feel.” 

            Those are fine and dandy, well-meaning sayings, but the truth is that doesn’t always help.  What if you don’t “feel” young?  What if you are facing physical challenges in your body that limit or prohibit your activities?  That certainly doesn’t make for feeling young and full of life. But does age really matter? 

            All these things have been stirring around in my mind.  I watch as those around me struggle with that number, and numbers higher than that.  They battle that feeling of insignificance, fear that life won’t get any better than it is right now and that might not be exactly great, or fear of, even, death approaching and life never fulfilled their hopes or dreams.  So, how do we handle our age?  How do we handle another birthday when there is apparently nothing good left for which to look forward?

            My Heavenly Father has been listening, even though I have been feeling okay about it lately, and actually feeling optimistic about what the future holds.  Even so, I realize that my struggle to accept aging has not been mine alone and so He opened my eyes to the truth about age to me as I read my Bible this morning.  He helped me realize the real question, the only important question, “Does our age matter to God?”

            So, I sat down to read my Bible this morning and it fell open to Genesis 7:5 & 6.  I hadn’t been thinking about age when I opened to this, but these verses jumped off the page, so I paid attention.  I knew God was wanting to drop a nugget of gold into my heart.  This is what it says, “And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.  Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.” 

            “600!” I thought to myself.  “Holy cow, that’s old! Good grief, how old was he when he died, if he was 600 when he built the ark!?  And what age would he be according to today’s life span?”  So, I did a little hunting and figuring. 

            Gen. 9:28 & 29 say, “And Noah lived after the flood three hundred fifty years.  So all the days of Noah were 950, and he died.”  NINE HUNDRED FIFTY!!  Yowza!  In our day, looking at Noah’s life-span, let’s say he would have lived to about 95.   That would mean at SIXTY years old, God told him to build the ark to save the animals and his family from the flood—the destruction of wicked mankind.  At SIXTY!  I will be FIFTY in February.  Will God call me to do something monumental at 60?  Probably not.  And what do we know about Noah before this? Gen. 6:8-10 tell us he was a man of integrity who walked in fellowship with God and had 3 sons. So?  This is a wonderful, loving reminder to us that God will use the upright and blameless at ANY age, if they obey him. 

            Consider Abraham and Sarah.   We know a little bit more about their lives of obedience, and even their mistakes.  And yet Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, and both past child-bearing years when we see the miracle God did for & through them.  Now, that was in the days when men lived much longer than they do now and Abraham lived substantially longer than Sarah, almost 50 years.  So, being mathematically inclined, after doing a little math, I figured that would make him in our day about 71 and her about 66 when they had Isaac.  Yikes!  Can you imagine?  And consider that they weren’t perfect—Sarah laughed when God said she’d have a baby, and that was after giving her husband her concubine so he could have a baby with her.  And he did it!  So, God obviously didn’t give them Isaac because they were free of sin.

            We cannot forget Samuel.  Samuel was given to the temple by his parents as a baby.  It wasn’t his choice to go there.  But 1 Samuel 2: 18 says, “But Samuel ministered before the Lord, a child girded with a linen ephod,” and 1 Samuel 2:26  “Now the boy Samuel grew and was in favor both with the Lord and with men. And yet as a boy, the Lord called to him and spoke to him what was to come of the priest Eli’s wicked sons and had him tell Eli (Chapter 3).  Then “Samuel grew; the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.  And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.  And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the word of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 3:19-21  So, Samuel only knew church life and was only a mere child when God began to speak to and through him.  Did he earn it?  Was he simply chosen by God?  Was it because he was a child?

            Hmmm…Noah 60, Abraham 71, Samuel a boy, me 50.  What age are you?  Does it matter?  I think the point of all this is that AGE REALLY IS IRRELEVANT.  God made us to interact with whom He chooses for our mutual good & growth.  He has designed us for His purposes to be fulfilled in His time, no matter what age we are.  “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Eph. 2:10  So whether we are living a day to day life of integrity in fellowship with God like Noah, wandering about thinking we have to take matters into our own hands even though we trust God like Abraham & Sarah, or are raised in the church serving Him like Samuel, if our hearts are for the Lord and we are walking with Him, we are at His disposal to fulfill His purposes at whatever age He wishes. And THAT IS what matters.       

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I am vs. I do, part 1

July 17, 2014

Something I have been contemplating of late is the difference between "I am" & "I do".  As you all, I'm sure, have heard before, we are not "human doings" but rather, "human beings".  I can put out a fire, but that doesn't mean I'm a fireman.  I can prepare a meal, but that doesn't mean I'm a chef.  Those are just things I do.  I may act in a certain manner, but that doesn't mean that's who I am. 

I see two applications regarding this subject:  what it means to be a Christian and what it means that God is the Great I AM.  I will tackle the former in another blog.  For now, let me elaborate on the LORD, the Great I AM. 

In Exodus, God speaks to Moses and tells him to say, "The I AM sent me."  Have you ever heard anyone talk about what that really means?  I haven't.  But lately, God has been revealing Himself to me as the Great I AM. 

The first thing I've been mulling over is that He IS my guide.  It's not just something He does, it is Who He is.  He cannot stop being my guide, it is part of His unchanging character.  He will always guide me, because it is who He is, not just something He does.  It is part of His "I Am"-ness, His BEING.  In contrast, consider human guides.  If you go on a vacation & pay for a tour guide, that person you hire shows you around  temporarily & tells you about the sites you are seeing.  Unlike our Heavenly Father, they act as your guide for a specific amount of time for which you have paid him or her.  They may be great at their job, but when the time is up, that's it.  They are no longer your guide.  It is just something they do.

This morning, as I was thinking about my schedule and feeling rather overwhelmed, the first part of the 23rd Psalm came to my mind.  "The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in lack.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me.  Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."  He IS my Shepherd.  That is part of His nature.  It is Who He IS, not just something He does from time to time when I ask Him to.  It is Who He always IS, the unchanging, Great I AM.  And what does that look like?  That means, because He is my Shepherd, I will never lack.  He will always take care of me.  Always.  That's because it is Who He is.  That means He will always provide for my needs physically, emotionally & spiritually.  That means He will always guide & correct my way with His rod, & with His staff, pull me out of the messes I get myself into.  And that will never change.  He will ALWAYS act in that manner because it is Who He is, not just something He does.  That's truly comforting. 

Thank You, LORD, for letting us know You are the Great "I AM".  Thank You, thank You, thank You!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I hope this post gets lots of hits.  Please share it on your google accounts, facebook, pintrest, twitter, etc. 

I received an email today that just seemed a little off.  I shrugged it off at first as language barrier issues, and replied.  Then I decided to google the name & eail address & found out it is a SCAM!!

Here is the email:

"My name is Eric Anderson,I want to place an order in your store,I will like to know if you ship to Singapore. Do you have credit card facility?Get back to me with your website.I will await your prompt response.

Best Regards,

Eric Anderson"
It is from "Eric P. Anderson:"
The Return-path (jiii @ -- I added space so it wouldn't hyper link) in properties on the email was different from the email address listed.  It should be the same.
I'm including a link to the blog I found on it so you can see how widespread and how long this guy has been at it.
Please be careful.  Trust your instincts when you sense something is amiss & do the research.  Save yourself some trouble!  And save others, too, by sharing this post.  Thank you!