faithcounts

Following God One Step at a Time

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Keep your eye on the ball.
This is good advice if you are playing baseball.
It is important advice, because if you take your eye off the ball,
you may get hit in the head with it! Ouch!

Now I never played baseball.
I was a tennis player.
If I took my eye off the ball,

it didn’t hit me in the head,
but it did whizz by me,
making me look stupid. Dork!

There is also the advice to “Keep your eye on the prize.”
This makes it much easier to get the prize,
whatever that prize is for you.
It could be a college degree,
or a promotion,
or a move to Hollywood, or Paris, or New York,
along with the plumb job in acting or fashion.

But the advice I have today for us,
(I needed this today, and I am sharing it with you.)
is “Keep your eyes on Jesus.”
When I take my eyes off Jesus,
I end up all upset over things that don’t really matter.
I get depressed, or angry, and crabby. I hate this!

There is a hymn that says,

” O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face
,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace. “
(from “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”)

If ever there was a prize worth getting,
it is Jesus!

Never take your eyes off Him.
He knows what you really need,
and God provides.
You will find more love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness,
and forgiveness when Jesus is the prize
you keep your eyes on.

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Thresholds

I was thinking about what to write,
and this word came to me “threshold”.
I realized that this word is very important in our lives.
We cross so many thresholds.
There is the threshold into your home
(whether you live in a house, an apartment, or a trailer).
Every building you enter has a threshold.
You choose which thresholds to cross.

Will you enter and cross the threshold?
Will you go to college?
Will you go to work?
Will you go to church?
The grocery store?
The bank?

What do you expect when you cross the threshold?
What surprises will be waiting for you?
Will you see someone you know?
Meet someone new?
Learn something new?
Find a really good deal?

When you cross the threshold,
will it be quiet or noisy?
will it be dark or have bright lights?
will it be warm or cold?
will you feel safe or afraid?
will there be lots of people or only a few?
will you be alone?

We miss great experiences and not find anything new,
unless we cross thresholds.
What will be the next threshold you see?
Will you decide to cross it?

The next threshold you cross,
I hope you find what you are looking for.

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Do You Believe in Miracles?

Do you believe that God still performs miracles?
Do you believe that somewhere today, God made a miracle happen?
Could God bring a miracle for you or one of your family members?
What about tomorrow?
The answer to each question is YES!

To get a miracle, to even see a miracle, you need to believe in miracles.
One man’s story convinced me that God still brings miracles.
This man sees miracles all the time.
His name is Dr. Nemeh.
He prays over people with the Holy Spirit,
and miracles happen.

This video tells about a couple of these miracles –

There are other miracle stories on his website at http://DrNemehTV.com
What convinced me that God still performs miracles,
was the book about Dr. Nemeh, “Miracles Every Day” by Maura Poston Zagrans.
If you are not sure if miracles still happen,
but you hope that they do,
read this book: “Miracles Every Day”

What I want to say to you.
Yes, God still performs miracles today.
Yes, God performed miracles for some people today.
Yes, God can perform a miracle for you, too.
Yes, God can!

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Another Miracle Healing!

Today, I am returning to my “surviving cancer” topic.
God healed me of cancer several years ago.
(See my post on that story at
http://faithcounts.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/answered-prayers-a-miracle/)
Now, a minister at the church I attend,
has been healed of cancer after a five year struggle!

God still grants miracles!
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
If you have an illness, even one as serious as cancer,
you can be healed!

In both cases, these miracles came after much prayer.
There were prayers said by hundreds of people for years.
God chose the timing of the healing miracle.
We don’t know why it took years, but it doesn’t matter.

Both of these healings were declared to be a miracle
by the oncologist
treating them (not the same doctor).
Both have had lab tests that show they are now cancer-free!

I share this story to give you hope for healing,
to let you know that miracles do still happen,
to show that God still heals,
and to let you know that God listens to, and answers prayers.

If you have had a miracle for yourself or a family member,
please share in the comments below.
If you want to read about more healings through prayer,
get the book “Miracles Every Day” about Dr. Nemeh, written by Maura Poston Zagrans.
God has healed many people through Dr. Nemeh’s hands on prayers.

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Everybody Needs Hope

Yes, everybody needs hope.
Do you have hope?
Hope for today to be a good day.
Hope for tomorrow to be even better.

Hope for next year to be amazing!

So where do we get our hope?
I believe that true hope,
comes from God,
and no one else!

I see hope in the eyes of Christian friends,
and in their words,
and in their prayers.
I see hope in each person at the YMCA in exercise class.
They hope they can get in better shape.

So, maybe you noticed that my title says every “body” needs hope.
So how about a squirrel? A squirrel has a body. LOL

I saw hope in a squirrel one day.
That squirrel was eyeing my birdfeeder.
Yep, he was hoping to get some seed to eat.
He climbed up a small tree and onto a big banana leaf.
He jumped from that leaf …
and he fell short of the bird feeder.
He ran back to the tree, and onto that leaf again.
He jumped again and fell short again.
I was watching him and laughing a lot!
How long would his hope last?
He tried one more time.
Falling short, he gave up on that tree,
but next he tried another tree, and climbed out on a branch …

This squirrel had a lot of hope. Maybe he had some recklessness, too.
Maybe he had some courage and daring.
Most importantly though, he had hope,
because without hope, he would not have even tried to jump for that birdfeeder
.

I learned a bit about hope from that squirrel.
Without hope, I won’t even try to be a better person.

Without hope, I won’t try to talk to a new person at church.
Without hope, I won’t talk to anyone about God.
I am so glad, I believe in God, and I have hope for each and every day.

Now I just need to get some of that courage and daring, too!
How about you?
Do you need some hope? Or some courage?
Have you learned something else from this squirrel?

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We all need Encouragement !

In a conversation with a wonderful photographer,
I was reminded that we all need encouragement,
even when we are very talented.

Even though someone seems to be very confident,
they will need encouragement to stay that way.
We all have doubts.
We all have hard days, down days.
A simple word of encouragement can make such a difference.

What is great about encouragement,
it also helps the encourager.
Try it! Encourage someone.
It will make you smile.

If you need words of encouragement,
but no one is there to help you,
go to the Bible for encouragement.
Here is one verse –

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Encouragement is a form of love,
Whether it comes from a friend, a co-worker,
a parent, or God.
It shows someone that you care,
because you took the time to encourage them.

So, don’t wait !
Call someone today.
Send a card (mail or e-card).
Give a small gift.
Stop them at lunch, or in the hallway, and give them a compliment.
You will feel happier, and have more confidence,
and so will they.
Smiles all around!
:)

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How to Get It

Everybody has something they want to do,
or something they want to achieve.
But, how do you get it?
It is something different for me than it is for you,
but whatever it is, how do you get it?

Maybe you have been waiting for it to arrive?
Of course, we know it won’t just come knocking on our door.
Right? We know that, right?
Even though we might wish it
was that easy. We know.

So, that means we have to do a new thing to get it to our door.
That new thing
is different for you than for me.
But still, we need to do a new thing to entice it to our door.

For example, the early bird gets the worm.
If you were a bird who wanted a worm,
you would need to get up earlier than most birds.
You also might have a way to entice the worm closer to you.
Or you might know a special spot to stand where there are lots of worms.
So, the bird’s new thing would be “get up earlier”, “jump on the ground” to make vibrations,
and “stand” in a really good worm spot.

So since we are not birds,
we might still get up earlier, so we can do our new thing.
We might need to drive to a good spot,
or take a walk in the neighborhood and talk to neighbors.
We might need to go to a park,
where there are more people to talk to.
We might go to an assisted living residence,
to find more people willing to listen to us.
When we talk to them, we might find out things these people need,
maybe things that we could help with.
Boom! We just got our worm!

I hope you understand my strange allegory.
My point is that I just had an “AHA” moment today,
reading a new book, which is a new thing,
and I wanted to share the “AHA” moment with you.
My “AHA” moment is –
— If I want to achieve a goal, I need to do something new,
— and I need to go someplace new,
— and find ways to attract people,
— so I can share things with them.
— What kinds of things do I want to share?
— A poem. A song. An idea. Or even an “AHA” moment.

The new book I am reading is “A Million Little Ways”, by Emily Freeman–
which you can see at

I also today went to one of my favorite blogs to follow,
and found amazing pictures of blue poppies,
that I never heard of before ! That is a great reason to get up early,
and share this all with you,
and be thankful that God made blue poppies.
So enjoy her blog today! –
http://rosemarywashington.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/ahhhh-amazing-blue-poppies”

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Mother’s Day

Yes, it’s Mother’s Day! –
A day to give thanks for mothers everywhere,
A day to appreciate the many different ways to be a mother.

If you adopted a child, you are a mother.
If you gave birth to a child, you are a mother.
If your child died soon after birth, or died before being born,
you are a mother.
Your experience as a mother may be different from most,
but being a mother is really about a woman’s love for a child.
If you work in daycare, you are using your mother’s love to care for someone’s children.
If you help a mom in your neighborhood by watching her kids, or helping her kids,
you are showing a mother’s love.

We women have a nourishing love in us, for caring for children,
and it can apply to anyone’s children, not just your own.
We differ from men in this way.
Men have a provider love for the children in their own family.
Some men have a protector love for children.
But we women have a love for children that nourishes them.
Our love encourages children,
and we give them a safe place to get a hug.

Think of all the women in your childhood that nourished you with their love.
I had a grandmother, and aunts, as well as my mom.
Although my grandmother died many years ago, I still have a special place for her in my heart.
Some of you maybe had a special neighbor, or babysitter.
Cherish those memories,
and give thanks for each one of those women.
God has truly blessed us with women who show us motherly love.

Is their a special woman in your life you would like to tell us about?
Please tell us in the comments section below.

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A Vacation

I have been on vacation for two weeks. I missed you,
but I enjoyed this trip so much.
Not only did I go on vacation traveling,
I also took time off from emails, blogs, Facebook, twitter, and texting …
It was so restful.

For two weeks, I was focused on the most important things in life –
my husband, family, hugs, fun, talking face to face, music, nature, prayer and praise …
What’s more important than all that? NOTHING!
I hope you understand how important and enjoyable this trip was.

I came home tired, but full of joy.
I realize that I need to take a break like this more often.
Not traveling necessarily, but taking a break from the computer, the internet, and the cell phone.
My focus switches to the world around me.
I can spend more time listening to music and singing along,
especially music that praises and worships God.
I can look around me and enjoy this beautiful world God gave us.
I can spend more time praying with God and giving Him thanks.
I can spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine, the flowers and trees and birds …
I definitely need to put some break time on my calendar every month.
How about you?
Have you ever tried taking a break from the computer, the internet, and your cell phone?

You may be surprised by what you have been missing around you.

Some things around me that I enjoyed this vacation –
kids playing, laughing, singing, trees in bloom (dogwoods, redbuds, tulip trees),
blue skies, music on the radio, peace and quiet, talking with family,
real hugs and smiling (not smiley faces)…

I enjoyed going to different churches, and singing new songs there.
I enjoyed visiting cities I had never been to before.
This trip it was Nashville that I spent a few days in just for fun.
Nashville is full of music, history, and lots of cowboy boots.

Yes this was a vacation I will always remember.
It will remind me to spend more time focused on what is really important

God, family, sunshine, fun, giving thanks …
What else would you put on this list?

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Ready for Easter?

So how do you get ready for Easter?
Do you go traditional,
with Easter baskets filled with candy?
Or maybe cook and color eggs to put on the table?
Maybe you have fun hiding the eggs or candy,
around the house or in your backyard,
for the kids to find.
I did all these things at different Easters,
when my kids were in grade school.

Do you go to church on Easter Sunday?
If you go to church,
do you and the family dress up in new clothes?
My family always goes to church for Easter,
and we dress nicely, but not in new clothes.

How about Lent?
Do you practice Lent,
and choose a food or activity to give up for 40 days?
Lent is the 40 days before Easter.
It’s a great time to use to get ready for Easter,
not just in the ways I have listed so far,
but to get ready spiritually, internally.

Easter is my favorite holiday.
Although as a kid, I preferred Christmas,
as an adult I put Easter on top.
It is not as commercialized as Christmas,
and it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
which is why Jesus was born in the first place.
Easter is the reason we get to spend eternity in Heaven.
You might say that the crucifixion is, but
without the resurrection, the crucifixion is powerless.

Easter is a joyous time!
For me Easter is a time to be thankful to God.
Easter is a time to think about the gift Jesus gave us,
through his death and resurrection,
and also His forgiveness and healing.

Easter is a thoughtful time,
or at least it is for me.
I like to read a book about preparing for Easter,
or read some scriptures.
This year I joined with Margaret Feinberg and others,
in reading the entire New Testament during the 40 Days of Lent.
I loved doing this!
It is inspiring, and opens my eyes to all the things that Jesus did,
and what the Apostles and Paul did after the resurrection of Jesus.
Somehow, reading it all in a short amount of time,
has made it more real to me, and more awesome.
I am really ready for Easter this year!

How about you? Are you ready?
If not, at least I have given you some ideas.
You still have a week to get ready.
Tell me about your Easter in the comments below.

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