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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sabbath Keeping

"If a man die, shall he live again?
All the days of my appointed time will I wait,
till my change come."
~ Job 14:14 ~

"Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal." ~ Thomas Moore ~

"There are no crown-wearers in heaven
who were not cross-bearers here below."
~ Charles Spurgeon

"For the Christian, heaven is where Jesus is. We do not need to speculate on what heaven will be like. It is enough to know that we will be forever with Him."
~ William Barclay ~

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.
Aim at earth and you get neither."
~ C. S. Lewis

"To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here." ~ Jonathan Edwards ~

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries."
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Heaven will be the perfection we've always longed for. All the things that made Earth unlovely and tragic will be absent in heaven." ~ Billy Graham ~

"I would not give one moment of heaven for all the joy and riches of the world, even if it lasted for thousands and thousands of years." ~ Martin Luther ~

"I would rather go to heaven alone than go to hell in company." ~ R. A. Torrey ~

"Those who go to Heaven ride on a pass and enter into blessings that they never earned, but all who go to hell pay their own way." ~ John R. Rice ~

"I have all this and Heaven too." ~ Sandra ~

"Life, if properly viewed in any aspect, is great, but mainly great when viewed in its relation to the world to come." ~ Albert Barnes ~

"The way you store up treasure in heaven is by investing in getting people there."
~ Rick Warren ~

"I have all that I need here and heaven hereafter! How much richer could anybody want to be?" ~ Lester Roloff ~

"Don't be so heavenly minded,
you're no earthly good."
~ proverb ~

"Heaven doesn't make this life less important;
it makes it more important."
~ Billy Graham ~

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."
~ George Washington ~

"Better limp all the way to heaven than not get there at all." ~ William Ashley ~

"He whose head is in heaven
need not fear to put his feet into the grave."
~ Matthew Henry ~

"Heaven is not a figment of imagination. It is not a feeling or an emotion. It is not the "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere." It is a prepared place for a prepared people."
~ Dr. David Jeremiah ~

"Let heaven fill your thoughts instead. Because when you do, everything on earth gets placed in its proper perspective." ~ Greg Laurie ~

"There is only one way to be certain that you are on your way to Heaven and that is through faith in Jesus." ~ John Stange ~

"Heaven has a road, but no one travels it;
Hell has no gate but men will dig to get there."
~ proverb

"Let your hope of heaven master your fear of death." ~ William Gurnall ~

"The first step toward Heaven is to see ourselves near hell." ~ Thomas Brooks ~

"Joy is the serious business of Heaven." 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
~ John 14:2-4

Please pray for ~ Sissie at Shabby Cottage ~ Jim ~ Diana ~ Katie ~ Alyssa ~ Tammy ~ Stephanie ~ Steve ~ Sandra ~

Friday, February 24, 2017

Jesus with skin on

~ reminding me of the Trinity and how Each care for me ~

It's been a little more than six weeks of the "epic mess" and work continues with Gillespie Construction doing the construction side of things, Eddie doing furniture repair and restoration, Faith doing clean up and I've been doing what all else needs doing.

~ sheet rock, up, taped, mudded, ready for primer ~

~ dining room table ~

[As an aside...there are some who have said, "There are cheaper (and they'd be right!) companies than Gillespie Construction" to which I've replied, "Yes, and have you seen their crews? Even I can tell some of those guys are about three days from rehab and I don't want them in on my farm, much less in my home!" Pay now or pay later and no one, but no one, is coming into my home but Gillespie Construction! A lot more than my belongings are at stake...there are my animals and there's first, last and always. Not only safety, but the knowledge the job has been done CORRECTLY, the parts seen and unseen. GC doesn't cut corners, they take time to explain answers to my myriad questions and they go the extra dozen miles. knowwhatimean? ]

Gillespie Construction consists of William, Cody, Jason and Jackie (maybe more but those are all I've met)...all easy on the eyes, strong smiles, honest eyes and men who chase after God with their whole hearts. We've had some good church while they've been here and I expect it's not over yet. As a matter of fact, I know it's not over yet...because...

UPDATE on epic mess, here and here...a week ago today, the walls had insulation (last month Eddie put in because I got cold!) and GC finished sheet rock (beautiful installation...mudded, taped, primed), finished sanding and cleaning floors then staining and doing everything needed to return Monday and put down poly. Monday arrived, they arrived and BOOM! The dang pipes were leaking and the floor was wet (stain damaged), the ceiling was wet/dripping (section was damp) and it all had to be done least, those two sections, one in bedroom, one in dining room. The pipes didn't leak since Jan 9 so ??? I called The Furnace Man and Charlie arrived to put things right. Apparently someone (me) didn't turn off the correct zone and the pressure build up caused the leak. However, all is well now with the entire system.

~ floor ruined by burst heating pipes ~ 

BOO HOO. I cried for all of us but after they left . I'm telling you, it was enormously discouraging and has been all week. Mildred, here, sent a note to ask how I was doing and I'm afraid I told recap in two words...I'm tired. 

~ a week ago today, Jason, Cody, William ~

I've needed Jesus with skin on.

Daily, someone from Gillespie Construction would check on the progress...or lack thereof as it takes a while for one hundred fifty plus year old wood to dry. I like to think they were checking on me as well and they were.

Jesus with skin on.

Last autumn I tried to sell a camper and wondered why there wasn't a lot of interest from face book. A few nights ago, I found out why...apparently, there is a 'messenger' portion where people send you private notes (Who knew? I certainly didn't! ) and I had a lot of as old as 2015 where some woman (whom I don't know and don't want to know) blasted me because she thought I'd been rude to her. (No clue but I hope her meds have started working better.)

~ William & Cody fixing broken heating pipe ~

Anyhooo...I bought two new tires for the camper and Cody and Jason came over and while here..."We thought we'd get those old tires off the camper." Which they did, and then, "We thought we'd have the new ones mounted." Which they did, and then, "We thought we'd move the camper to the house." Which they did,and then, "We thought we'd hook up the electricity." Which they did...using one of their heavy duty contractor extension cords hooking to my heavy duty contractor extension cord and adaptor (bought specifically for this purpose).

~ Jason riding outside shotgun ~

Are you crying now with me?

Jesus with skin on.

Yesterday, Kristen and James from Thomas Cherokee Farm near Wytheville came to pick up three Curly mares. Since Dave's death (you thought I was going to go an entire post and not say it, eh? ) life has been totally overwhelming. I feel like all I've done is tread water with occasional forays into foreign lands. The horse situation has been my biggest (since the sheep left) concern...they needed to go where someone would care for them and use them in accordance with being stewards, not owners. Kristen and James are those people; Kristen has been training horses, teaching riding and driving lessons for close to two decades. Even though they came with the intention of taking my horses home, had I not been comfortable with them, my horses would have stayed here. 

I was more than comfortable; I'm over the moon happy! I was able to help them and they helped me. Curly horses are hypoallergenic and I've never had anyone come to the farm who could definitely say, "Yes, I'm allergic to your horses." It just doesn't happen so for Kristen to have horses that her allergy clients can ride...perfect! Although I didn't have doubts, any would have been put to rest as, just before leaving, Kristen prayed for me! There aren't many people who will pray, much less pray for someone they don't know while that person stands before them. I know of less than a handful and, you can ask the men above, yes, I am one. If I feel you're in need of prayer, you're getting prayer...right then and there. Bless Kristen, she lives the same way...may God bless her and keep her safe.

Last night, after they left, I brushed HayJ and Tumbleweed and we all enjoyed it. My goal now is to brush all four horses, at least, once a week; it calms me, them and the dogs and cats as they watched the proceedings. Truly, it's both blessing and gift...for all!

So, let me leave you with a few photos of how I'm living...brace yourselves, it's not for the weak hearted!

When the contractors needed to begin, they moved my bedroom contents every where they could; this is the spare bedroom. I wasn't home so couldn't provide direction but am fine with what they did. No need to get in an uproar.

Yep, there's furniture there...somewhere.

Another room holds the king size mattress and box springs along with "other stuff".

The bedroom the dogs and I are sleeping in (but not with stain and poly fumes going on) holds the king size bed frame. We just walk around and over stuff and make do until life returns to "normal" or, as they used to tell Dave while he was in cancer treatment...your new normal.

God is, perhaps, taking me out like He brought Dave and I rough. During the first eighteen months we lived here, each morning I would walk through the house, banging a pot with a wooden spoon to drive out the red foxes, racoons, possums and other varmits that sought shelter overnight. It was, and remains, a Peaceful Kingdom although the only varmits in the house are the dogs, cats and myself. Dave and I even lived in a camper while the floors were being done. just arrived and are going to finish cleaning, staining and putting poly down on floors today. Looks like dogs and I are in the camper for the next week or so. can't begin to poly until the stain has dried for 8 hours so we're back in the bedroom...for tonight. Fellers will be back tomorrow to begin poly so we'll move to the camper. When one lives in a construction zone, it's best to be

Y'all take care and ponder this...Christians explain Jesus by daily living out the's that going for you?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sabbath Keeping

"Call upon me and I will answer you..."

For those old enough to remember prefixes, God's phone number is JER333. Prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue; God hears the prayers of His righteous people but the only prayer God hears of a sinner is the prayer of salvation. Tennessee Ernie Ford sang a great song, Give Me Jesus On The Line, here.

"We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us. He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there. Whenever God inspires, the initiative is a moral one. We must do the thing and not lie like a log. If we arise and shine, drudgery becomes divinely transfigured.
Drudgery is one of the finest touchstones of character there is. Drudgery is work that is very far removed from anything to do with the ideal-the utterly mean grubby things; and when we come in contact with them we know instantly whether or not we are spiritually real. Read John 13. We see there the Incarnate God doing the most desperate piece of drudgery, washing fishermen's feet, and He says--"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash another's feet." It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it. Some people do a certain thing and the way in which they do it hallows that thing forever afterwards.It may be the most common-place thing, but after we have seen them do it, it becomes different. When the Lord does a thing through us, He always transfigures it. Our Lord took on Him our human flesh and transfigured it, and it has become for every saint the temple of the Holy Ghost." ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

"Do not forget to meet all your difficulties with love and laughter. Be assured that I am with you. Remember, remember it is the last few yards that tell. Do not fail Me. I cannot fail you. Rest in My love.
How many of the world's prayers have gone unanswered because My children who prayed did not endure to the end. They thought it was too late, and that they must act for themselves, that I was not going to act for them. Remember My words: "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."
Can you endure to the end? If so, you shall be saved. But endure with courage, with Love and laughter. Oh! My children, is My training too hard?
For you, My children, I will unlock the secret treasures hidden from so many. Not one of your cries is unheard. I am with you indeed to aid you. Go through all I have said to you, and live in every detail as I have enjoined you. As you follow implicitly all I say, success-spiritual, mental and physical-shall be yours. Wait in silence while, conscious of My presence, in which you must live to have rest unto your souls, and Power and Joy and Peace." ~ God Calling

The above are today's devotions, along with the last five chapters of Romans, the book of Romans being the story of God's relentless grace. I try and pay attention to God's whisper, His guidance and direction. I don't always know what He means by what He's saying but I do recognize His voice and, these past few days, He's been speaking to me through God Calling, Oswald Chambers, Romans and C. S. Lewis' Narnia and Prince Caspian. There's a point in the film where Lucy alone sees Aslan and he bids her come. Her siblings cannot see Aslan and they deride Lucy, eventually persuading her to turn and go with them and, almost immediately, things begin to not go well. To hear God's call and ignore it is a frightening thing with unknown circumstances, but in even those circumstances, God will be with us.

It makes me ask myself the question...when and how have I gone my own way and, in doing so, missed out on God's blessing, protection, promise? While I never question my salvation, I'm always questioning how I can better follow Him, hear His voice, do His will. 

If you're a Christian, I strongly encourage you to read and watch all of C. S. Lewis' books, especially the Narnia series, either chronologically or published order. When you do, hear God's whisper through the books and apply to your own walk.

The epic mess, begun January 8, continues but the contractors have sheet rock in place and primed and, on Friday, the floors were stained. Since then, my body has all but shut down from the horrific odor. Today, I went to WalMart pharmacy and asked for help; they sold me allergy meds and eye drops and I can see a little improvement. What frightened me most were my eye balls (and lids), irritated, weeping...but the eye ball swelling and the headache since Friday is most frightening. Please pray people men will come tomorrow to work on the camper (yes, the one that's for sale) so it can be moved to the house, hooked up to electric and I can live in it for the next week or two. At least until the poly odor, putting down poly tomorrow, abates. (The dogs and I tried staying at Super 8 but the dogs were good watch dogs...every time someone walked down the hall, the dogs barked...not so good.)

Friends, these more than five years since Dave's death, I have leaned on God as never before in my life. I know God keeps me, the animals and the farm safe; I know He's gone before me, carried me at times and yet, sometimes, I feel abandoned. That lie is from the father of lies and has no place in my home or in my life! You are being lied to as might be health problems, a wayward child, marital difficulties, financial, job, vehicles on the fritz, know your difficulties but, better yet, God knows them. He will never leave you nor forsake you; He has written your name on the palm of His hand, you are the apple of His eye. Do NOT listen to lies; focus on God...His promises, mercy, grace, love, forgiveness. Feed yourself on those things that will encourage you and give you life and a future both now and in eternity.

"For God so loved the world 
that He gave His one and only Son
that whoever believes on Him
should not perish
but have everlasting life."

Please pray one for another.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Sabbath Keeping

"Lord, the God of our ancestors, 
are you not the God who is in heaven? 
You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. 
Power and might are in your hand, 
and no one can withstand you."

"The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender."

"There is no such thing as a great man of God,
only weak, pitiful, faithless men of a 
great and merciful God."
~ Paul David Washer ~

"God is in charge of His universe. That He desires to use our prayers to accomplish His will is breathtaking. Without our assurances of God's sovereignty, our prayers would be weak. How could we count on a God who isn't sovereign to offer us help in time of need? Our great strength in prayer, then, is not dependent so much on us as it is dependent on our God who, because of His sovereignty, is able to answer our prayers." ~ Nick Harrison ~

"Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance.
It is laying hold of His willingness."
~ Martin Luther ~

"Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? What are we
saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, "God, Your law is not good. My judgement is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do." ~ R. C. Sproul ~

"When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head." ~ C. H. Spurgeon ~

"In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery."
~ Augustine of Hippo ~

"That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-power and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good."
~ Jerry Bridges ~

"God removes the sin of the one who makes humble confession,
and thereby the devil loses the sovereignty
he has gained over the human heart."
~ Saint Bernard ~

"Behind Calvary's cross
is the throne of Heaven."
~ James Stewart

"Divine sovereignty is not the sovereignty of a tyrannical despot, but the exercised pleasure of one who is infinitely wise and good! Because God is infinitely wise, He cannot err, and because He is infinitely righteous, He will not do wrong. Here then is the preciousness of this truth. The mere fact itself that God's will is irresistible and irreversible fills me with fear, but once I realize that God wills only that which is good, my heart is made to rejoice."  ~ Arthur W.Pink ~

"With God all things are possible."

Please pray for ~ Diana and John ~ Bonnie and family ~ Jim ~ Sandra ~ the house is still in total disarray, please pray for people to come together, in agreement, so we can begin ~ 
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