Monday Love Notes

Monday Love Note

72

Good Morning,

This morning I was typing away at our study for tomorrow.  I knew where I was going and what I wanted to say and my thinking was all organized and my fingers were clicking across the key pad with the sound and speed of ticker tape at the nail-biting end of a race.  And all of the sudden I was gripped with emotion.  I buried my face in my hands and burst into tears.  Because everything I was typing went straight from my teaching head to my learning heart.  Still, I can barely see this screen.  We human beings are so arrogant, aren’t we?  So assuming that all good things should always come to us.  Money, beauty, peace, stability, good health, happy homes.  What’s your bag?  Our eyes wander to and fro across the horizons of our lives and we are constantly wiggling around to make our spaces “just right”.  Well, that’s not what God has in mind for His children.  We are alive in this world because we are called to do something for Him.  We are here for His good purposes.  And truthfully, we need to be disciplined sometimes in order to learn that.  That means suffering sometimes.  It means struggle.  No one struggled like Jesus.  He was tempted beyond our reason yet He prevailed over it and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God so that you and I can do that, too someday.  “The founder and perfecter of our faith”.  Oh, that we would “consider Him”.  I bet the focus and intentions of our lives would command a much different desire.  A desire to be holy, as He is holy.  Well, here in this Hebrews 12 passage we learn that as children of God, we are sometimes disciplined by Him in order that we can learn the importance of who we are in light of who He is.  And I have learned that discipline is a very broad word which can include more than just being dragged to the wood shed for some bad behavior.  But regardless of why we are experiencing discipline the outcome is always for the same purpose.  Hebrews 11:11 “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  There it is.  “The peaceful fruit of righteousness.”  Now, here’s the deal.  The call from heaven’s gate is always the same…. “Consider Jesus”.  Look to Him through it all.  “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”  

Whitney Houston sings “And when all my strength is gone, in You I can be strong, and when melodies are gone, in You I hear a song!  I Look to YOU”!  

Please make every effort to come and share in what I have learned this week.  You, too may find yourself humbled before the throne as you reconsider your drooping hands and weak knees.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

71

Good Morning,

Did you ever see the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?  There was a little girl in Wonka’s factory that was as spoiled as spoiled could be.  Her name was Veruca Salt. She stomped her foot and shouted to her daddy,  “I want it now!”  Comical.  Clearly that child was accustomed to getting what she wanted, when she wanted.  Probably not much discipline in her life.  And she apparently was unfamiliar with patience and humility.  Well, our approaching study in Hebrews 12 reminds us that God, as our Father needs to discipline His children from time to time.  Otherwise, we’d all be running around like Veruca Salt; spoiled brats.  Hardly an example of Christ.  Look here what’s tucked in this chapter “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he received.   It is for discipline that you have to endure.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”  Interesting to learn in my studies that the word “discipline” means much more than I had ever considered.  Of course.  First of all, we find that there are four reasons why the discipline of the Lord happens in our lives. And each reason brings the conclusion that it’s because we are so loved.  God, the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit wants us to understand that this life is meant for just the two of us.  

Will Smith put together the perfect song for us today.  As you push play, listen carefully to the words and meditate on how God feels about you.  And that, should make you feel good about Him.

I’ll see you in the Cottage for another fantastic study in Hebrews.  In the meantime….Rap on!  Just you and God.

I love you, Diane.

Monday Love Note

70

Good Morning!

Down the street from where we lived was an assisted living facility known as Davis Manor.  I remember walking home from high school towards the end of my freshman year, thinking it might be a good idea to see if I could get a job there during the summer months.  I wasn’t sure I was old enough really, I’d only be turning fifteen in July.  But, I took a chance and boldly walked into the office.  Sure enough, they hired me!  $1.65 an hour.  I’d be working in a home that housed five women.  Every evening at 4:30 I was to help serve them dinner and then bring back the dishes to the main kitchen.  That was it.  Or so, I was told.  Little did I know the deep affection that would be developed between these feeble, aged beauties and this young girl.  There was something magical that took place in the exchange.  My evenings which were once filled with mindless television and sometimes pure boredom had been replaced with the joy of “otherism”.  W.C. Gannett says this about “otherism”.  “There is nothing like putting the shine on another’s face to put the shine on our own.  Nine-tenths of all loneliness, sensitiveness, despondency, moroseness, are connected with personal interest.  Turn more of these selfish interests into unselfish ones, and by so much we change opportunities for disheartenment into their opposite.” 

Furthermore, this “otherism” satisfies the Law of Christ.  Love your neighbor for God’s sake, and God for your own sake, who created all things for your sake, and redeemed you for His mercy’s sake.  If your love hath any other motive, it is false love; if your motive hath any other end, it is self-love.  If you neglect your love to your neighbor, in vain you profess your love of God; for by your love of God, your love to your neighbor is acquired; and by your love to your neighbor, your love of God is nourished. ~ The Beauties of Thought.

Wherever you are in your mood today, high, low or somewhere in-between, it will be elevated to new heights when you spread your love around.  

Tomorrow night we are privileged to come together as a group and spread some big love to the residents, their friends and family of Harbor View Senior Assisted Living – 2360 Albatross Street, SD 92101. www.harborviewsandiego.com. If you are part of the program, please be at the facility no later than 6:00 pm.  And, if you are part of the program, PLEASE text me today at 619-861-2441.  I will be contacting you privately with more information. 

Well, before you push play on this cheerful video, let me leave you with this: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:12.  You know, people get a glimpse of God when we let Him love others through us.  So let’s get busy.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

69

Good Morning,

I guess it was late afternoon, early evening I made my way to the back bedroom, picked up the remote control and climbed up on the made bed to relax a little.  I was relishing the good memories of my favorite, annual holiday, Resurrection Day.  And as I mindlessly ran through the seemingly endless choices of programs, I happened on “The Bible”.  No question in my mind, I would settle down with this.  I watched it through to the end and solemnly returned to the kitchen.  Oh, the wondrous plan of God; oh, the wondrous provision of the Son; and oh, the wondrous power of the Holy Spirit. The love of the Triune God! To think that Jesus came and said to Peter “I’ll make you a fisher of men.”  “What are we going to do, Jesus?”  “Change the world.”  And so He did.  Jesus is still changing the world.  

I got to thinking about all the people He appeared to after He had been resurrected.  I mean, have you ever thought about that?  Talk about a shocker!  Each recorded story holds its own glory but tomorrow night we are going to consider just one.  It happened to a couple of people making their way back home after learning that this Jesus of Nazareth, the One whom they believed was their King, had been crucified.  All their hopes and dreams were shattered.  In their minds, He was dead and gone.  And then, “While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.”  Let me tell you, there was a sudden reversal. “And their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”  Luke 24.  Now here’s a question; how can you and I think that Jesus doesn’t do the same thing with us?  He’s walking down my path way, too.  Everywhere I go, He is there.  I can’t see Him, but I can know Him and I’ll go as far as to say, I can feel Him, for He lives within my heart. He’s there to cheerfully guide and direct my path so that I too, can help “change the world”.  It’s surely, not about me.

Some years ago, I made the decision to rise up from my broken road, and follow the voice of my Good Shepherd. I had wandered off on my own for way, way too long.  I recall specifically running into this song and every time I played it, the tears would flow from my grateful, redeemed heart.  “Rise up, follow Me, come away, is the call, with the love in your heart as the only song; there’s no such beauty as where you belong; Rise up, follow Me, I will lead you home.”  

We all have our own Emmaus Road.  Never, ever forget, Jesus walks with you.  Always. Even when you’ve walked away you will be led back to beauty.

Tomorrow night we meet at Canyon Villa, 4282 Balboa Ave, SD 92117.  Join us for this inspiring and encouraging study and also for the sweet fellowship with one another. 

I love you,

Diane

P.S. It’s doughnut Tuesday 

Monday Love Note

68

Good Morning,

Several months ago I made a decision to do something and because of that I have spent many unsuspecting moments thinking about the history of my life.  For the sake of this format let me just throw out a few highlights. At five years of age I asked Jesus into my heart, at twelve I accepted Christ as my Savior.  I believe that happened for the Lord Jesus when I was five, but for me in my mind, I knewit at twelve.  Hope that makes some sense here.   Well,  I walked with Him and served Him, went to church, and read my Bible from time to time, mostly hunt and peck kind of stuff, if you know what I mean; the ebb and flow of devotionals and the panic search for comfort verses in times of storms.  That was the standard method of operation until sometime in my very early thirties. I never opened my Bible.  At all. There it sat on the shelf.  Soon after, my prayer life dwindled away to never and all the sudden I made the decision, I’m doing things my way.  No consultations with God. No more church, no more choir.  I knew I was a Christian and I knew where He was but I walked away from His side and took off on my own, just like the prodigal son.  In one of those precious phone conversations this morning, my dad reminded me that mental attitude sins lead you to make bad decisions which eventually destroy your options. I know that, first hand.   Well, now’s not the time to go into those painful examples, because this is a Monday Love Note and they always come with good news.  Here it is.  In the Spring of 2005 my heart began to long for Jesus.  I can’t explain it, but I know that what I once enjoyed with Him, I suddenly missed and just like that young man in Luke 15, I “came to” myself and made the decision 15:18 “I will arise and go to my father.”   I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it was to be “home”.  I began to read my Bible again.  But this time, every day.  And in the living Word of God, I would pass through Scripture that reminded me that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  I was reminded that I am to be a “fragrant offering” and an “imitator of God”, to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Oh, so much that it’s silly for me to take up your time when you, too can find your own treasures in His Word!  But here’s the point of all this.  God’s Word changes lives.  It takes what’s wrong and makes things right. It brings a message of  love, peace, incomparable joy and unexplainable purpose to our lives and is filled with promises to help us carry on until He calls us home to His side.  There is nothing in this world, like Jesus.  

I know without doubt, I can stand with billions who are grateful to the men and women in history who were faithful servants to the One, True, Living God and followed Him in obedience to the calling on their lives for Christ’s sake.  Clearly one can’t read the New Testament and overlook the profound impact of one man, the apostle Paul.  Penning thirteen of twenty-nine Books we find him to be the feature event for tomorrow nights “study”.  Rock Steady Sisters is going to the movies.  For the background of the film, I’ve attached a short video.  

For the rest of you readers, I’m encouraging you to take time to see this film.  It’s not easy to be a follower of Christ.  Never has been.  But here’s the Good News John 16:33 “In me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  And one more, just to personalize for you believers! 1 John 4:4 “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  Carry on, Soldiers.

Can’t beat that!

See you at the movies!

AMC Mission Valley  7:00

Options:  Rubio’s for dinner between 5:30 and 6:00 (foot of Texas)

I love you,

Diane        

Monday Love Note

67

Good Morning,

I come bringing good news.  No, let me rephrase that – I come bringing GREAT NEWS!  Hebrews 11.  I’m reminded of the illustration used in Hebrews 3 when the author harkens the attention of the reader back to an historical reality of when the Lord brought those weary and newly freed Israelites to a place of no water.  Do you recall?  Rephidim. Here now they had an opportunity to trust that the Lord would provide for them.  Instead, they wined and complained, worried, griped and fret.  They quarreled with themselves, with Moses but more than this, with the Lord.  No faith. They rejected an opportunity to rest in His abilities to provide in a place of no water.  Well, the warnings were made clear and only a fool chooses not to have faith in God.  Here we are now in Hebrews 11 and we find ourselves face to face with the Hall of Fame characters from the Old Testament who “by faith” completely trusted and obeyed a calling to do something that they felt completely unqualified or unable to do. We meet Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses and many more who were given opportunities to exercise faith.  Now watch this, here’s the great news.  Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”  Can you believe that?  Troubles give us opportunities to please God.  What a plan.  

I know many of us are having our troubles today.  What an opportunity for us all to simply decide, to choose that we are completely satisfied with Jesus as to commit our lives to Him in loyalty, faithfulness, allegiance, submission, duty, fidelity and so much more.  Delighting in Him during the troubles and trusting Him to unfold the details as He sees fit.  He will.  Hall of famers are good proof.  

We’ve been called to be the “hall of famers” in our world.  You can choose to believe today.  Something happens in our confidence when we do; it gets strong from deep in our inside and works its way out to the realities of our lives.  

I hope you show up tomorrow night in full force to walk with me through this amazing study on the aspect of faith.  In the meantime, don’t overlook this incredible video I’ve included.  You’ll be inspired – to believe.

I love You,

Diane

Praying for all of you and many specifically for the struggles that are in your path today.  Turn them into opportunities.

Monday Love Note

66

Good Morning,

A few days ago I sat in the back bedroom of our home and opened my daily devotional and Bible.  I’ve come to learn that the best way to start the day, is with Jesus.  Can’t spend time with Him if you don’t spend time in His Word and by taking time to pray.  It sets the tone for the day, if you know what I mean.  Well, I came across this from Dr. Baxter’s, Awake My Heart, “We Christians have found spiritual joy and peace; yet because we live in the consciousness of eternal issues we take life more seriously than others.”  Now, I don’t know how true that is for you….but I know that it’s true for me.  I leaned back in my chair and gazed out the dirty window panes in that room and looked out into the beautiful, eastern skies and thought to myself that time is nothing but a big parenthesis in the reality of eternity.  Time wasn’t always and someday time will be no more and all that we know as reality will be gone.  A new reality will be set in place and one that has no end and no opportunity to change.  And of course the big question for all mankind is, do you think about your eternity and if so, what are you doing about knowing what it is you believe about it?  According to Pew Research Center, most Americans believe in heaven and hell.  And not all of them are “Christians”.  As a matter of fact, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, and the nothing in particular.  Well, I wonder what in the world is it that they think will determine in which direction they will go?  I would hate to leave such a critical answer left unaddressed.   

Well, my fellow Bible students, tomorrow night we reach a critical question posed to this small community of Jewish Christians and non-Christians.  10 ½ chapters of reasons why they should believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and let go of their unbelief that has them shackled to a system that has no eternal value. Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Me.” And we come face to face with the disastrous consequences of unbelief in Christ.  Ready?  This is hard truth.  We all love the love of God and have a hard time grasping the wrath and justice of Him. Hebrews 10:26-27 “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”  There it is.  Tomorrow night I’m going there.  I’m taking our class into a study of what the Bible tells us of Hades/Gehenna/Hell.  It’s real.  And just as we believe in heaven, we must believe in hell.  

What is your hope in today?  What do you place your faith in all of your eternity?   As for me?  All my hope is in Jesus and I pray that will be your answer, too.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

65

Good Morning,

Before you open the gallery of attached images, I ask you to read this email.  Let me begin with one of several thousand promises that God has given to us in His Word.  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny himself.”  2 Timothy 2:13.  I’d also like to present this verse which we have recently come across in our Hebrew journey, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”  Hebrews 10:22. Life rolls on and it’s important to stop and pause for a minute or two and consider where you’ve been, where you are and to be sure, where you’re going next.  

Now then.   About these pictures.  All of them are Rock Steady Sisters.  Three of them are new mothers.  First is Emily with her new baby, Kathryn Naomi.  Next to her is her eldest daughter (#1) Hazel Rose.  Moving on down the row, we see Jacci Bacca.  She’s holding her beautiful, new son Dominic Julian.  Next to Jacci is Judy Farrell.  Judy is holding her new baby boy, Reis Alexander.  How life has changed for them since they first walked in to the Cottage.  In the last picture we meet Debi Baczynski.  This was her just about 47 years ago. No doubt she’s experienced a lifetime of change and you’re going to hear a little bit about that if you show up for our Tuesday Night Bible Study at Canyon Villa.    Now, you may wonder what in the world all these women have in common.  I’ll tell you there are certainly plenty of things, but the most influential component, is Jesus.  Each one of these gals committed their lives to Jesus Christ and if you were to ask any of them, “Is God faithful in your life?” Their answer would be a resounding “YES!” The next question you would ask “Were you always faithful to Him?”  The answer would be a resounding “No!”  Oh, the love of God.  How He loves you and me, carries us through the ups and downs the triumphant mountain tops and the lonely, isolated desserts.  Forever He is faithful.  

Now let me just say one more thing here.  God has prepared for each one of us a pile of blessings to be experienced when we are faithful to Him in the moments of our lives.  Up and triumphant or down and lonely, the blessings are there. 

Years ago my dad presented to his congregation an unlikely situation but it left a profound impression on me.  Jesus is escorting you through the hallways of heaven and you come across a closed door with your name on it. "What's in there, Lord?" "Oh I can't take you in there." "Why not?"  "My Child? There is no sorrow in heaven and should I open the door you'll see all the blessings I had waiting for you to redeem. All reserved for you." There's a long, silent pause. And He looks intently at you and says "But you never showed up to redeem them."

Don't waste a second of your life to not be faithful to your relationship with Him. Don't miss the glory. 

I love you. And if you know any of these new mommies, cheer them on and celebrate their new blessings!

D

Monday Love Note

64

Good Morning,

Early in March of 2009 I opened a work book that my dad had passed on to me.  I now had the great privilege and responsibility to take on a Bible study of my own and share what I would learn with any who would show up to those Tuesday night classes. One of the first things I read from the opening page was this;  “The physical experiences of Israel is a picture of the spiritual experiences of the believer.”  Well, that helped me tremendously as I made my way through those Old Testament books.  One story in particular that I’m mindful of this morning comes to us from the Book of Numbers.  Moses had led the people free from Egypt and now they were on the border line of their promised land.  So, Moses calls for 12 men, one representative from each of the tribes. (Hebrew C.I.A.)  “Go northward into the hill country of the Negeb, and see what the land is like, see what the people are like who live there, strong or weak, many or few.  Tell us about the land, fertile or not and what are the cities like?  Don’t be afraid and bring back some samples of the crops.”  So they spied out the land and cut down a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two them to carry it on a pole between them. Land of milk and honey, indeed!  They’d been gone for 40 days.  Finally they made their report to Moses and Aaron and well, their report is found in Numbers 13.  Here’s the bottom line.  The place was magnificent.  A dreamland.  But, the people were giant, formidable and there were plenty of them.  The cities were big with big walls around them and ten of the twelve spies shouted to the crowd “We felt like grasshoppers before them, they were so tall! They would crush us!”  Only two men, Joshua and Caleb reassured the people as they stood before Moses, “Let us go up at once and possess it, we’re well able to do it! God promised He’ll go before us and we will know victory.”  Well, the people went with the majority.  They never did go and they never did conquer simply because they didn’t believe.  They lacked faith in God and sadly that whole generation died in the wilderness.  They never did enter into the promised land.  What a sad story.

Here we are now, nine years later and my Bible study continues.  Hebrews 10 takes us to these Jewish people, once again (new generation obviously) and they are being asked to believe in Jesus Christ – by faith.  You know?  Joshua did lead that second generation of Jews into the Promised Land, and they did indeed conquer that first city.  It was Jericho.  Those city walls came a tumbling down.  Listen,  when God says He’s going to do something for you, you can believe that He will.  All you have to do, is believe.   

If you have been a participant in our Hebrew journey, don’t miss tomorrow night.  The letter is taking a turn and you won’t want to miss it.

For all of us today, let’s consider those unbelieving Hebrews from days of old.  Let’s not wait to put our faith in Him.  His track record is impeccable.  You think He’s not interested in conquering your battles today?  Think again.  The promise for them is for us all.  “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.”

Trust and obey.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

In my Hebrews 9 study I have been Scripturally taken back to Exodus and Leviticus, the days of Moses, the tabernacle, priests and blood sacrifices, cloud by day, fire by night – there He was, The Lord.  Always visible to His chosen people. No matter their circumstances or where they were, they could see that cloud, see that fire.  What comfort for them.

I’ve also journeyed to the heavens for the bigger picture. A sweeping view of creation and Adam, a new nation with Abraham, prophets who pointed to a coming Messiah, John the Baptist who was the “voice calling from the wilderness”, and then Jesus who ushered history into a new age and who when He came, brought the message of healing, restoration, hope and promise and the simplicity of salvation of “Whosoever believeth in Him”. Jesus, who when He died, by Spirit traveled down into Sheol and appeared to those captive Old Testament saints and personally escorted them into heaven to be in the real Holy of Holies – in the presence of God the Father – a place where they could have not gone until Jesus personally took them in. Jesus who today sits at the right hand of the Father in constant service of those who love Him and call Him Savior. Jesus who is calling to you and to me this very day to keep our eyes and hearts focused on Him and on His Word.  And it is Jesus who will someday at the direction of the Father, rise from His seat and return to this world to reign as King.  Jesus, the Creator, Jesus, the Angel of the Lord, Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Savior, Jesus the King. Eternity past, all through time and eternity future – all of it, every person, every place, every thing revolves around Jesus Christ.  He is the center of it all.  

The relentless chaos of society’s woes and the distracting pressures within our own personal lives continue.  If you take your position on the outside skirt of the merry-go-round and keep your eyes on the horizon you’re in big trouble.  But there in the center you can stand and keep your eyes focused in the heavenlies – keep your eyes on Jesus you’ll find a place of quiet rest.  He is alive and well at the center of it all. 

I’m very anxious to share with you these incredible truths I have learned this past.  I’ll be in the Cottage tomorrow night.  Hope to meet you there.

My Best Love,

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,
It's a new day.  Some of you are waking to serious situations in your life
and maybe needing to make some decisions that currently are far beyond your
own capacity to make.  Some of you are facing realities that are inevitable
with no possible way to influence the outcome to your favor.  Life.  It's
messy, complicated and sometimes painful.  And all of us need a place of
respite.  A place where we can just lay it all down and take a break from
the massaging and manipulating of the circumstances.  It don't mean to sound
so bleak.  But, the truth is when I stop and take in the panoramic view of
the realities of our lives, it's easy to camp on the bleak.  Oh, but for the
Christian, this is not the view that God has in mind for us to gaze.  No.
When we turn our eyes upon Him, His truth of hope, and promises for His
faithfulness to lead and guide and direct burst forth from the heavenlies in
a grandiose presentation!
This morning I've been spending time in Hebrews chapter 9.  The frustrated
reader needs to understand that Jesus is worthy of their worship.  Consider
Jesus.  Consider who He is, what He has done and continues to do.  Don't
overlook the obvious.  And don't undervalue your position in Him.
May I suggest you and I do that this morning?  Regardless of what is behind
you or in front of you today or down the road; consider Jesus now.  Our
eternity is much bigger than our today. And if we can trust Him with that,
we can trust Him with the lessor things.  He's worthy of our attention and
will be faithful to see us through the darkest nights.  So, whatever it is
you're wrestling with, take a break from that for just a minute or two and
just thank Jesus Christ . "Sing a new song to Him",  "Holy is the Lord God
Almighty who was and is and is to come."  I think that if we spend more time
adoring Him, we'll spend less time living a messy, complicated and sometimes
painful life.
It's a new day.  Choose to sing a new song.
Tomorrow night we'll be traveling back to the book of Leviticus and see that
all the rituals in the temple worship were just pictures of Christ.  Don't
look at the picture when the reality has come!
I love you, and I am praying for you today.  Please pray for me, too because
it's such a comforting gift and one we should not overlook.
My Best Love, Always,
Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

Well, it’s the first Monday in February and that means that tomorrow night Rock Steady Sisters will be gathering on the second floor in the Library at Canyon Villas Retirement Home. I’ll admit that it’s not as convenient for me to make my way up the 805 and the long drive down Balboa Avenue.  But what I experienced after my second visit, helped me to understand that I probably get more out of my visits than anyone else. And that has continued to be the case for the past year.  I have great admiration for the more mature and have appreciated them since my youth.  My first job was in a retirement home and I served dinner to a small group of women. I was fifteen years old and even then could see lifetimes of experiences in the lines of their faces.  I was paid a buck sixty-five an hour and in retrospect, I should have paid them.  I’m still enjoying the memories.  

I’ve included a picture and a short perspective that I took and wrote several months ago.  I’m hoping and praying that you’ll take the time to read it and perhaps it will inspire you to consider making your way to Canyon Villa tomorrow night and every first Tuesday for that matter.  I promise you, you will be blessed.

Additionally, we will all have the privilege of God’s Word being presented to us by our own Melody Haak.  I texted her earlier and asked her what the topic was. Her reply “Holiness, purity and sanctification.”  That’s a lot of good stuff right there.  We all could use encouragement in those areas of our lives, right?

Now then, let’s wrap this up.  Before you go, I want you to enjoy this little video.  You’re going to be introduced to a woman names Jessie Jordan.  She is having a birthday.  I want you to pay attention to what her reply is to the young woman who is interviewing her as to the secret to her long life.  I have a strong inclination that her answer and Melody’s study are going to go hand in hand.  

Speaking of hands, I hope yours will show up to reach out and connect with people and things that matter most.

I love you and am praying for you daily.

Diane

 

Canyon Villa Retirement Home

4282 Balboa Avenue SD 92117

6:30 – 7:30  (Donut Tuesday!)

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

I’ve been studying in the Book of Hebrews.  It’s a letter written to a small community of Jews.  Most of them have made the decision to believe that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah, but some of them were still not sure.  Of that group, some were very much considered religious Jews and some were just Jews by virtue of their race.  But here, in this letter, the author is challenging all the readers to consider Jesus.  Look at Him.  Look closely at Him compared to the prophets of old.  Look closely at Him compared to any angel, to Moses, to Joshua, to Aaron, the great high priest of the Law.  Look at Jesus.  Consider His gentle and simple ways.  Consider the 613 laws which you were not able to keep, consider the ways which you refused to follow.  Now look at Jesus.  Consider Him.  He, who came to love and save, not to condemn – but to rescue.  And by simple faith in Him, He places but two commandments in your heart, which He said to the Pharisees when they asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  That’s it.  Just two.  Love Him and love others.  Consider the simple beauty of Jesus.  Who when He comes, He sooths, and simplifies.

I know that many of you today are struggling with some tremendous issues in your life and you may be even struggling to believe that Jesus cares about the details of your life.  May I suggest that you, too consider Jesus?  Hebrews 8 reminds us that we have a High Priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister (for you and for me – right now) in the holy places.”  What a lofty thought.  But certainly a reality.  Write it in your heart, and trust that what you believe is true.  Because God’s Word says that it is.  And that settles everything.

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

I’ve been at my desk since 6am.  It’s 10:16 right now.  I’m so overwhelmed with all that has been mine in this four hours with Jesus and His Word I can hardly pull myself away to get to work.  I don’t care. If I’m late, too bad.  Anyway, I’m the boss. The more I discover the more shocked I am at what I don’t know.  God and His Word is a never ending.  I have seen Him from Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 all the way through until Revelation 22:21. He’s been there in the timeline of history, in every detail.   To think that we are even alive by His almighty, precious grace and providential design and every moment of our lives, He is reaching out to us to love us and calling us to love Him back and trust Him and we continue in our stiff-necked arrogance to think that we don’t need Him or His “religion”, or that He is not able to see us through every single nuance of our lives.  It is absolutely absurd.  And yet, I do sometimes and you do sometimes.  This entire book of Hebrews shouts out two words for us all, “Consider Jesus”. He is better than anything, anybody, anyplace, anytime and anywhere.  Many try to dummy Him down and refer to Him as one of many great prophets, on the same level as Buddha or Mohammed.  Dummy Him down to the level of some famous philosopher chosen through any age.  But no one compares to the Son of God.  Jesus Christ the One who is the Breath of Life, the Passover Lamb, Emmanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God and Everlasting Father.  The Prince of Peace. No one could be our Shepherd, the Healer, the Humble Servant who would lay down His life for you and for me.  One might thing He is unreachable, or unknowable that He’s too big to identify with you, personally.  But that one would be wrong.  God is many things – but the driving force behind Him all is Father – a Father whose motivation, is love.

If you want to peel another layer back into a deeper understanding of who Jesus really is, don’t miss this next Tuesday night session.  And if you want to be encouraged in your own life today, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, however you are feeling – close to Him or very far away, listen to this song and “Consider Jesus.”

I love you.

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

This morning in my quiet time, I got to thinking about old George Bailey.  Remember him, from It’s a Wonderful Life?  He’s sitting at Martini’s Bar and it’s Christmas Eve.  Realizing Uncle Billy’s misplaced $8,000.00 and it cannot be found has left him between a rock and a hard place and even worse than that, the reality of an undeserved prison term if a solution cannot be found.  He’s desperate.  In abject fear and horror he bows his head and says “God, oh God, dear Father in heaven.  I’m not a praying man but if you’re up there and you can hear me, show me the way.  I’m at the end of my rope.”  Oh, what a precious and tender scene as in his utter brokenness, he reaches to the unreachable and was heard.  God didn’t scold him or ignore him because he wasn’t a “praying man”….. he responded to him in love, in mercy and in compassion.  Now it’s true, in the movie He sent Clarence, a befuddled angel trying to earn his wings.  Hahaha, but that’s what sets the movie apart from reality.  In reality, God sent His only Son, Jesus.  Better than an angel!   

As I continue in my Hebrews journey in chapter 5 I learn that there’s much to be said about our Lord and Savior who came down from heaven to rescue us.  He lived a sinless life, died for sins which he did not commit, was raised from death, ascended into the heavenlies and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father where He makes intercession for His own.  Compassionate, Christ.  The Bible says Jesus is our great High Priest.  Tomorrow night we are going to go deeper into understanding what that means for us.  

Now we don’t know whatever happened to George Bailey’s prayer life after that Christmas Eve.  And I’m not a betting woman.  But, I would bet that old George Bailey became a praying man after that day.  George Baily was saved.  And salvation requires a grateful heart.  An active prayer life would have demonstrated that.

May we all learn from that little scene tucked away in an old, classic movie.

Make today be your wonderful life.  Pray, because you can.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

Years ago, my parents introduced me to a most wonderful man, J. Sidlow Baxter.  He has blessed thousands through the years with his incredible insights to the Word of God and his ability to express them with a most commanding vocabulary.  As my friend would say “I wish I knew what he’s forgotten”.  Indeed, I do. He came readily to my mind this past week as I’ve been lingering over the sweet, comforting words found in Hebrews 5:5&6 “So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appoint by Him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you; as He says also in another place, “You are a priest forever.” In one of Dr. Baxter’s entries from a daily devotional he writes: “Beyond the clouds that drape the sky, beyond the stellar worlds on high, there gleams a heavenly temple fair, and Jesus, my High Priest, is there.  Yes, there for me He intercedes, and all His Calvary merit pleads; and represents before the Throne my needs – as if they were His own.” This compassionate Savior and Friend who invites us to boldly walk in to the very Throne room of God and talk to Him about every detail of our lives – no other form of religious belief could ever offer such comfort.  How is it we so often pass by the opportunity to linger at His feet and thank Him for all that He has been, all the He is and all that He will always be?  Our Savior is not dead.  He is alive and well.  

Tomorrow night we return to our Hebrew study, focusing on the supremacy of Jesus Christ as our great high priest.  This really begins the centerpiece of the entire letter.  Our Redeemer lives.  This Biblical truth resonated deeply with another incredible man of God, Samuel Medley.  An English Baptist minister from the mid 1700’s took pen in hand and wrote the most beautiful song, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”.  “Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer lives.”

May this truth resonate in your heart as you go about your life.  Whatever it is that you do, wherever it is that you live or work, whatever your situation or circumstances may be, Jesus lives as your great High Priest caring for your needs as if they were His own.  Don’t overlook this blessing.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

63

Good Morning,

Here we are.  First Monday of the first day of the new year.  Wherever you are on your pathway of life, surely today is a day to stop, reflect and meditate.  Without being to over-dramatic about the whole event, I will say that’s it’s a wise idea for all of us to let go of the things we can’t change and take with us the good things we may have learned and decide to put those into practice as we go forward into our future.  

In my preparation for tomorrow evenings devotional, I was inspired to hunt down the attached inspirational song written by the talented Kurt Carr and performed by the powerful Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.  The lyrics may be a bit challenging to discern on this recording, so I’ve decided to give them to you here.  May the words from Mr. Carr’s heart become yours as well, as you meet this day with your Creator and King, Lord and Savior.  All praise is due Him. 

I’ve go so much to thank God for.  So many blessings and so many open doors.  A brand new mercy along with each new day.  That’s why I praise You.  For this, I give You praise.  For waking me up this morning, that’s why I praise You.  For starting me on my way, that’s why I praise You.  For letting me see the sunlight of a brand  new day.  A brand new mercy along with each new day.  That’s why I praise You.  For this I give you praise. You’re Jehovah Jireh, that’s why I praise You.  You’ve been my provider and that’s why I praise you.  So many times You met my need, so many times You rescued me.  That’s why I praise You.  I want to thank You for the blessings You give to me each day.  That’s why I praise You.  For every mountain You brought me over, every trial you’ve seen me through, for every blessing.  Hallelujah, for this I give You praise.  

Tomorrow night we meet at Canyon Villa – 6:30.  I want to share with you something interesting about those mountains that He brings us over, and those trials that He sees us through.  Nobody else could be as wonderful as He.  I pray that you’ll meet with Him today and make the decision to walk with Him all through this coming year.  If you’ve never done that before, try it.  You’ll like it.  A lot. 

My Best Love,

Diane

P.S. One more thing. Consider the words of Jesus to you.  Yes, you.  “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we (that’s God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) will come to him and make our home with him.”  John 14:23  Just think, the God of this universe loves you,  lives with you, inside you, in your mind and heart and with every step that you take.  Never alone.  Now that’s something to know and believe as you walk into your 2018.  Don’t go it alone.

Monday Love Note

62

Good Morning,

It’s nearly laughable to think of the song that I chose for this morning’s love note to you, “In the Bleak Midwinter”.  I mean we’ve been dancing around 80 degree temperatures here in San Diego these recent December weeks.  Personally, I’m beyond over it.  But it’s not the weather that is the issue at hand.  No. I draw your attention to the lyrics of this exquisite and evocative carol which expresses so beautifully, the quiet, heart of Christmas.  We’re called to travel back to the day that Jesus was born.  “Angels and archangels may have gathered there, cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; but his mother only, in her maiden bliss, worshiped the beloved with a kiss.”  Then we’re called to consider our response to this gift of “A Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  “What can I give him, poor as I am?”  Yes, bankrupt indeed.  “If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him, I’ll give Him my heart.”   And that’s all He wants, is us to believe that He is worthy of moving into it.  He who gave it to me, redeemed it for me, oh how He longs to reside in me.  I guess the truth is, even once He’s moved in the choice is clearly ours as to whether or not we will fellowship with Him during the days of our lives.  This certainly is a daily decision – even more, a moment by moment decision and one that deserves some spotlight attention.  So with that in mind, I invite you to join me tomorrow evening for our closing study of this year; the Doctrine of One Day at A Time.  Following this brief outline we will gather together in prayer and partake of The Lord’s Supper. Come gather with me, my Rock Steady Sisters and let us reflect on all the wonder we have gleaned from our studies this year and share as to how our lives have been enriched because of God’s Word in our hearts.

And for you, whom I love so dearly who are far away – know how much I love and appreciate you.

Merry Christmas,

Diane

Monday Love Note

61

Good Morning,

Most early mornings you can find me out on the balcony.  I look up into the pre-dawn sky and think about God – up there – in the third heaven and He’s looking down at me with tremendous love.  We enjoy each other’s company in that quiet time.  I also  sometimes, think about the Old Testament prophet, Elijah the Tishbite.  You can read all about his incredible life in 1 Kings 17 and moving on.  Elijah was told by the Lord to “depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.  You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”  It’s a cool story, really.  I think about him out there alone, living homeless by a brook and birds stopping by every morning to feed him. I thinking about him looking up into the sky and enjoying his quiet time with God.  You know?  He loved the Lord and I truly believe that Elijah developed a relationship with God that was so very beautiful and unique simply because Elijah chose to be obedient and trust God in those isolated days/months and even years down by the brook.  I also think about how scary that must have been for him when the brook began to dry up and that water line was drawing nearer and nearer to the ground.  It took great faith and perseverance to continue to wait, watch and trust as the Lord worked through not just his life, but the life of nations.  Elijah the Tishbite was a man of faith-rest.  He knew the Lord and needed nobody else.

There is a beautiful passage that we will be feeding on tomorrow evening as we wrap up our study in the 4th chapter of Hebrews.  We are called to “draw near to the throne of grace”.  What an invitation.  When you are in the presence of Jehovah – the presence of the Lord, I believe it’s safe to say, you don’t need anybody else.  He is everything.

So in a world where everybody is looking for the postcard life of perfection, isn’t it wonderful to be among those who know that the only place where that exists is in the presence of the Lord?  And if you know Him, if you believe in Him, it’s yours for the taking.  Merry Christmas, indeed.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

60

Good Morning,

I recently learned that I am going to become a grandmother this coming spring.  Seems like the joy and anticipation of his arrival is growing as he is growing.  I must admit, I’ve not had this particular sensation for over 39 years and it feels REALLY good.  There is absolutely nothing that can compare with the love we have for our babies, our children.  And as they grow, we as parents sometimes fail them and sadly I know this aspect with excruciating regret. Children can fail their parents too and yes, I know that as well. (sigh)  And we, more often than not fail one another – family, friends, co-workers, strangers and the truth is God says “we all fall short”.  Oh, how I thank Him daily for the provisions of forgiveness. How I thank Him for this  promise, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam 3:22&23.   For how could any of us live and love joyfully without the mercy and grace of God’s forgiveness? Accepting His forgiveness in our own lives gives us the genuine capacity to forgive ourselves and one another.  So you see, forgiveness is at the root of the word; love.  God defined for us what “love” is.  And no greater love was ever expressed than the love of God.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”.   From the wise words of J. Sidlow Baxter “The measure of love is always its willingness to give; its capacity for sacrifice.”  

Merry Christmas everybody! And thank you God for sending us Jesus and much more than that, Your Word, Your Holy Spirit, Your everlasting life, Your glory, Your love….and much more than that.

I Love You All,

Diane

*Tomorrow evening we will be meeting at Canyon Villa for our annual Christmas Party!  Please bring Christmas treats for the exchange and dress the part!  4282 Balboa Ave. 92117.  Need a ride or want to caravan?  Meet at the Cottage at 6:00 sharp.

Monday Love Note

59

Good Morning,

I would guess that most people know about the website or phone app, “Pandora”.  You just type in a song, an artist or a genre of music and it will stream for you an unlimited amount of songs  to satisfy your listening ears.  I listen to a lot of music , usually all day long at my little glass shop in Old Town.  I’m often introduced to new music this way and if I really like it,  I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and run over to the phone to see who’s playing and jot it down so I can hear more.  Just a couple of days ago, I was introduced to a group called “Pink Martini”.  You may be familiar with them, but they were new to me.  I held on to every word through the easy, retro swing.  Interestingly enough the entire song seemed to address the focal point of this week’s Hebrew 4 study; faith-rest.  You see, God  has designed for us as believers in Christ to live life with a sense of peace, happiness and stability even when we’re surrounded by pressures, adversities and yes, I can even say disasters.  In the previous chapter and even into this 4th, there’s a warning for us all, whether you currently believe in Christ as your Savior or not – “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”   There’s always a price for unbelief.  God wants us all to trust Him and believe what He says in His Word.  You mix the promises from the Bible with your own faith and you can stand on solid ground even with there is no solid ground to stand on. Not just for eternity, but in time, as well. When He says “peace which passes all understanding” that’s what He’s talking about.  But we need to believe Him.  I tried to find how many promises there are that God gives to His children – those who placed their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior, and the number ranged anywhere from over 3,000 all the way up to a whopping 8,000!  I guess it doesn’t matter how many there are if you don’t know them or worse yet – believe them.

Those promises are taken into our brains and by faith are transferred into truths that live in our hearts and when the going gets tough, you as a believer walking on shaky ground can tap into those promises like a pool of refreshment through the desert and it is there the peace begins to flow like a river glorious.

So check this out; in this little song you’ll hear “And so I hold on to His advice when change is hard and not so nice, you listen to your heart the whole night through -  your sunny someday will come one day soon to you.”  

Tomorrow night is part 3 and the conclusion of our Faith-Rest study.  I hope you can join as we’ll learn together the characteristics of living life God’s way.  It’s restful and it’s one day at a time.  Also, I encourage you to take time to do two things: 1) Read Hebrews chapters 3 & 4 and 2) if you have time, check out last week’s study (part 2) on Facebook/Rock Steady.  You’ll be ready for the conclusion!

Until then may you have a “sunny someday” today – even if you are here in foggy San Diego.

My Best Love,

Diane

Monday Love Note

58

Good Morning,

I’ve been studying in the 3rd chapter of Hebrews and it has taken me to a place in history where Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness.  In an effort to make their way up into the promised land, which could have been an 11 day journey they wandered around in circles for 40 years.  That generation never did make it into the promised land.  Hebrews 3:10 says “Therefore I was provoked (this is Lord talking here) with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.”  As I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter my rest.”  Well, there’s a lot to this that now is the not the time or place to go into. But, I will say this; their lack of not believing and trusting that God would provide for them, (not once in a while, not every now and again, not just a few details but every single detail - that He would provide their way to being successful in crossing over that Jordan River and making their way into their promised land), their lack of faith, of believing, kept them from ever obtaining it.  They never did rest. And their physical experiences really, are a lesson for us in our spiritual lives.  Whether you are a believer or not – it takes faith to believe that God will provided for you all that He says He has prepared for you to experience.  Now, and forevermore.  The question is – will you believe Him?  Will you trust Him with where you are in your life right now and rest in the truth that He sees you, knows you and will guide you from where you are to a place of peace and rest?  “Will you trust Me?”

Well, we’re in the Thanksgiving week.  I know most of us are busy with all that this encompasses – some good things and some not so much but if you stop and think about it the greatest thing that ever has been given to you is Jesus Christ.  If nothing in your life happened to you good but Him – you’ve received Jesus is the best thing, ever.  Just camp on that for a minute.  Now then, if you have believed that – what makes you think He can’t take care of all the other details?  Don’t exercise unbelief.  Exercise belief and enter into His rest.  It’s there – waiting for us all.

Tomorrow night?  Hebrews 3 and into chapter 4.  We’re in part 3 of this amazing study Faith/Rest.  Don’t miss it.

Until Then?  Enjoy His presence and rest in the promises of His love and tender care that encompasses every detail.  Don’t know what they are?  There are thousands of them tucked in between the pages of Genesis to Revelation.  Take them in, and by faith believe them and then rest in what He says.  He never lies, He never fails.

I love you and a happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you all,

Diane

Monday Love Note

57

Good Morning,

There’s a passage in Hebrews chapter 3:7-11  that quotes the same passage in Psalm 95:7-11.  Must be pretty important for God to say that to us twice, don’t you think?  “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”  It goes on to talk about the illustration and the results of those who were stiff-necked and stubborn in a time of rebellion.  Verse 11 ends with this “They shall not enter my rest.”  Well, if you know anything about God, you know that He is the same yesterday, today and forever more.  That’s why it’s kind of important to note that even though this passage was written thousands of years ago, it’s still applicable this very moment in time.  In other words, you can personalize this passage. “Today” means today.  It was meant for you and for me.  Interesting to note the single verse found in the Psalm which precedes “therefore”.  Look here, “Oh, come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand”.   We’re told to do something and the results of that produce rest.  But you’ve got to “bow down” and acknowledge who you are in relation to who He is.

Well, I know what it looks and feels like to be stiff-necked and stubborn and I know first-hand what a rebellious heart looks like. And I can tell you, there’s no rest there.  None whatsoever.  Maybe you, too can identify with this as well.  I know for sure my friend, Lori Allen can.  She has a powerful testimony to share with us tomorrow evening.  You will not want to miss this and if you want to bring a friend or two, might be a good idea.  Lori’s website is www.designedwithpurpose.com.  She and her husband, Scott also spearheaded and lead the amazing group “Restored by Grace”.  I’ve asked her to come and share in my stead as I will be speaking at a women’s event here in San Diego.  Please come and support  her and your sisters and don’t miss an opportunity to be encouraged in your own walk.  It’s pretty easy to get off course and I guess you don’t realize how precious the Shepherds voice is, until you live without it.  No comparison.

Ricky Skaggs talks about this in the featured song this week.  When you get a chance, push play.  He’s got a line in there that says “What I’m listening for through all the noise – whisper in my ear – Shepherds voice.”  You know He’s calling, leading guiding and the more you take in His Word and learn His Word, the more you’ll hear His precious voice.  And that my dear loves, is “rest”.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

56

Good Morning,

Several years ago I was at a place in my Bible studies that prompted me to investigate how many names there are for God revealed in His Word.  From Abba (daddy)  to Word of God and 152 more in-between, there was a whopping total of 154.  And I would imagine there are many more that our limited minds would not be able to comprehend.  Let me just throw out a couple and keep in mind that His names describe for us His character.  Ancient of Days, Blessed & Holy Ruler, Comforter, Deliverer, Everlasting Father, Faithful & True, Good Shepherd, Hope, I Am, Jehovah, King of Kings, Love, Merciful God, Our Peace, Prince of Peace, Rock, Savior, Truth and many more.  Well, I got to thinking about all those names that describe our Lord Jesus and how much He loves us and in how many ways.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing that can happen in a believer’s life that God is not more than able to make right, or whole.  For those who are suffering through the loss of a loved one, to those who are spiraling out of control  from a series of their own bad decisions, forever He is Faithful & True. To me it is a miracle that in the midst of any situation, His rest can intervene and replace any turmoil. He meets us where we are and just like the ”Good Shepherd” leads us out of the ditches, binds up our broken hearts and more often than not carries us to a place of safety.   And it is in that exchange  – my bad, for His good that I am able to experience “the peace which passes all understanding.”  I call it ‘exchanging up’.

Tomorrow evening we will be meeting at Canyon Villa and Mary Hill is going to share with us one of her personal experiences of needing a miracle and watching it unfold in her life.  “Faithful & True” was faithful and true.  There are many reasons to not experience peace today.  Look around – and maybe into the details of your own life.  But there are more reasons that you can experience peace today, in spite of it all. The 154 names of God is just one reason.  Exchange up. 

Eric Bib is our featured singer.  He presents to us a love letter from God.  Make sure you listen to the words carefully and once you get to the end – camp on that through the day.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

55

Good Morning,

This past Saturday I spent the day with 29 women up in Alpine, California.  Rock Steady Sisters came together for our 8th annual retreat and this year’s theme was titled “Happily Ever After”.  We went on a journey into the future and took a look at what God says He’s preparing for those of us who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.  If you want a glimpse as to what is waiting – read through Revelation 19 and move along to the end.  It’s breath taking, really.   How could events such as this possibly take place?  I read this morning “God is purely spiritual and infinite; man is housed in the physical and is finite.”  Indeed.  His Word says “Can you find out the deep things of God?  Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?”  No, my Friends.  We cannot.  But surely, we can know and understand His love and His faithfulness and learn to trust Him and take Him at His Word.  The more I read and study the Bible the more I see His love expressed in different settings and by different phrases and words.  From Genesis to Revelation He is always calling mankind towards Himself, always warning, always preparing good paths and good futures.  He always gives the truth and makes it very clear that there is danger and ultimate decay and death when you disobey and turn away His love. He always promises to go before and protect, lead and guide.  And once you’ve decided to commit your life to Him, even when you travel far away from Him and stray, get lost and weary – He’s there to bring you home in the shelter of His wings.  He chooses you and me every day, all day long and all through the nights.  Always calling, always loving and forever faithful.

Well, I hadn’t planned on using the attached song – but for some reason YouTube was unresponsive this morning!  So plan B.  Several years ago, someone I love deeply was headed to the altar to get married.  I wrote a little song for him and his new bride.  “I’ll Choose You”.  One paramount lesson that I’ve learned in my life is this; loving is a choice.  You choose to love.  And if you want a married life that ends happily, ever after – you must choose to express your love one day at a time.  But, as you listen to the song, consider the words coming from your Savior.  Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.  In Love…..”  What will your response be to Him?  Will you choose to love Him fully today?

Before you push play, just a little announcement here.  Tomorrow there will be NO BIBLE STUDY.  We’ll gather together again, Tuesday, November the 7th.

Until then, love well and choose well.

Monday Love Notes

Add some more info about this item...

Good Evening,

Well, I’m getting this in at the last minute.  Too much life to live and not enough time to do it in.  But, I’m here.  Hi. 

Sometimes my studies take me on a wild ride and that surely is the case for this past week.  There are 66 books in the Bible and I feel like I’ve been prancing around every one of them.  The good news is that no matter where I went I always learned the same thing.  Man fails and God is faithful.  God makes a bunch of promises in His Word and He’s recorded them for us to know and claim.  I guess the biggest problem we have is we don’t know them and second to that, we don’t claim them.  There’s a danger in neglecting God.  Whether you believe in Him as your Savior or you don’t.  Neglecting Him and not believing Him is a really bad idea.  Sooner or later we all pay for our unbelief in one way or another.

Our study tomorrow night takes us to Hebrews chapter 3 and we have for us an illustration which takes us all the way back to the accounts of Pharaoh, Moses and the Israelites.  This event was so epic that it’s been dragged through God’s Word as the illustration of illustrations as to the faithfulness, love and power of God.  In fact, it was so epic,  Cecil B. DeMille found it worthy to film.  Stuff like that makes it out of His pages and into our homes.  Can’t stop it.  It’s just too big.

Years ago my dad made this statement from his pulpit “The physical experiences of Israel is a picture of the spiritual experiences of the believer.”  And that’s exactly what happens in this 3rd chapter of Hebrews. 

Now, I know I say this a lot and I always mean it.  If you are a Rock Steady Sister and you are interested in getting some meat and potatoes Bible in your brain, you need to be with us tomorrow night.  Period.

This is part one of at least a two part study.  Don’t miss it.  I’m not trying to diminish anything that God has for us in His Word.  But sometimes you come across a gold mine. 

This is one of those times.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Notes

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

The frail old woman sits at a table in her tiny room in Seattle, Washington.  Before her is a small plastic organ-one such as a child might have.  But, as she fingers the keys and sings, her poor surroundings seem to fade from view, her face shines with the light of heaven, and tears trickle down her time-lined cheeks.  Perhaps in her mind she is seated at a majestic pipe organ in some ornate cathedral. But the place doesn’t matter.  She’s intent on worshiping Jesus, her Savior.  The woman’s name was Helen.  In her nineties at the time I just described, and with very little of anything in this old world, her faith sustained her then, as well as through her long life.  When anybody asked her “How are you, Helen?” Her frequent reply was, “I’m fine in the things that count.”  Oh, to know the difference.  This woman, was Helen H. Lemmel,  writer of over 500 hymns.  In 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary entitled “Focused”.  She opened to find the following exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes  upon Him.  Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”  And from this was born the famous song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”.  

You know, it’s very easy for our eyes to take hold of everything but Jesus. We try to design and craft outcomes for every situation – always squirming for that relaxed attituded of “Finally, everything’s in order.”  But, the distractions are endless and every day there are new ones waiting which add on to the ones we’re carrying over from yesterday and beyond. And then let’s not forget the ones that haven’t happened yet that we worry about unnecessarily.   For the Hebrew Christian in the first century they had what we have and on top of everything else, was the yoke of the Mosaic Law – hard for them to let go of those rituals and laws – hard for them to experience freedom in their relationship with Christ.  There’s freedom when you consider Him.

Tomorrow night our focus will be on Hebrews chapter 3 – “Consider Jesus”.  And as usual, the text is meant just as much for you and me as it was meant for these young believers who undervalued their position in Christ.  “Consider Jesus”.  Turn your eyes on Him right now.  You who are “weary”…. “Consider Jesus.”  You who are joyful?  “Consider Jesus”.   He’s the only thing that counts because He is everything.   So if someone asks you, “How are you today?”  Your answer should honestly be “I’m fine in the things that count.”

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

I’ve been armchair traveling this week.  I’ve been all over Europe with Rick Steves.  If you don’t know who he is, learn and travel with him.  He’s the best guide ever and for me, the only one I can afford.  I don’t spend a lot of time in front of the television but one of the things I ask my husband to record for me is anything produced by Rick Steves.  So, when I have the time, I’ll spend it traveling with Rick.  This week he took me to the most magnificent cathedrals drenched and embellished with gold and silver, incredibly detailed frescos and magnificently carved statues from marbles and stones.  Everywhere you looked your breath was taken away from the beauty.  Each one featured renderings in paintings and sculptures of Christ pinioned to His Cross.  I thought to myself as I watched people silently stand in front of those nailed hands and feet – “I wonder what that means to them?”  

Tomorrow night’s study takes us to Hebrews chapter 2.  The question is posed to the reader “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”  The Living Bible says it this way, “What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation?”  How many of those travelers look upon the Cross of Jesus and see Him as their Savior?  Makes me think of an old song “If I had been one in the crowd the day that Jesus died.  Would I be silent and recognize love, or would I should “CRUCIFY!”?  How would it feel to stand by the Cross and watch His suffering and pain?  Would I be silent and recognize love or see a man who died in vain?”  Oh, praise Him I see His love. He did NOT die in vain.   May my breath be taken away from His beauty.  May today I choose for Him to be the center of my life, the center of my thoughts, my words, my deeds, my entire joy.

This week’s song is for you, my precious mother.  “Jesus is the Center of My Joy”.

I love you,

Diane

https://y

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

The past couple of weeks I’ve been reading and studying in preparation for this year’s 8th Annual Rock Steady Sister’s Retreat.  The topic is “Happily Ever After”.  Interesting, to say the least to see the diametric contrast of God’s future promises from today’s devastating current events.  This morning as Dave and I watched the officials – from President Trump and from the State, County and City Officials of Las Vegas, Nevada,  I noted they all called for prayer and my mind zoomed back to the One who will lead us to the place of “Happily Ever After”. What a journey. And one that only He could make possible. Someday, He, 
Sweet Jesus, will wipe away every tear and all sorrow. No more pain, sickness, confusion, fear or panic. It will be no more.  Sweet Jesus our Savior, our Faithful Friend, our Shelter and the Refuge we run to when our worlds come closing in.  He’s also our Shepherd as he holds us and leads us.  What a faithful Friend.

Tomorrow evening is our First Tuesday and as usual we will meet at Canyon Villa Retirement Home.  The encouraging message spotlights the attributes of a true friend. And in a world that groans with sickness and wickedness, violence and turbulence isn’t it wonderful to have the beautiful relationships of friends? Be sure to begin with Jesus.  Tomorrow evening come see how you can be a better one yourself.

Be love today. 

My Best,

Diane

 

Tuesday, October 3rd

Canyon Villa Retirement 4282 Balboa, San Diego 92117

6:30pm  - 7:30pm  by the way DONUT TUESDAY!

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

I don’t know about your experiences before you finally are whisked away into sleep, but I know mine.  The minute I turn off the lamp and assume position number one the collision of thoughts begin.  I can’t stop them.  It’s like a meteor show.  The topics range from the thrill of success to the agony of defeat and everything that happens in the between.  Within seconds I can feel fear and anxiety.  Even if I’ve tasted success for the day, I know the challenges that are ahead of me at sunrise.  I have however, learned the solution to the settling of my mind – His name is Jesus.  At will I can pull all of my thoughts directly to Him and suddenly His Words come to soothe me, to settle me, reassure me and remind me that He is all I need.  If I am afraid – the simple verse I learned as a child “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” There’s a good one for a “right now” issue. Psalm 56:3.  Or how about this one, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5&6.  There’s a good one for which choices I may have to make on the morrow.  How about this one?  “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  Phil 1:6.  That right there’s a great one for when you’re feeling that you’re going to mess something up along the way through life and you’ll do or undo something.  No – He loves me, sees me now and forever more.   There are countless reasons for people to be upset and unsettled right now.  Our world’s a mess, the United States government is a mess, our States are a mess, our cities are a mess.  We’ve got wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, floods, disease and unsolvable problems on every front.  Where can we go to find our place in it all and live with the peace that Jesus offers?  No place but to Him.  And we cannot know Him without taking in His Word.  Which leads me to my closing thought.

Tomorrow night we will be moving into the second portion of Hebrews chapter 1.  The author is directing His message to a group of Christian Hebrews.  Actually, not all of them are Christians.  Many of them are Jews by religion and some by virtue of their race.  But here we have an entire letter addressed to these people and the purpose is to prove to them that Jesus IS better than ANYTHING.  He’s better than any prophet, any ritual, any philosophy that any man could every come up with.  Thirteen marvelous chapters of Jesus – who He really is and why He’s better than any and everything.  Tomorrow night we are going to see that He’s better than angels.  And you may think – well, duh.  But many people like to worship angels – makes sense to them.  Why not?  Many worship the universe.  No.  Jesus is the King of angels and the creator of the universe and here’s the real place of comfort to land – He’s in love with me, personally…….and you.  The reason He made you is because He wants to spend His forever with you and that begins, now.

So tonight when you lay down your weary head, just remember Jesus the King of Angels is with you, for you, watching over you and knows where to take you and has promised to bring you home.  But if you don’t know Him, you won’t see Him there.

What a way to live and what a way to fall asleep.  Jesus.  He’s better.  Period.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Notes

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

This past week as I’ve been preparing our study in Hebrews chapter 1, I haven’t been able to get any farther than the opening three verses!  Unbelievable how much is packed into them.  We go on a journey from eternity past, down into time and up and out again into eternity future. In the first verse we read “God spoke”.  I mean think about that.  That sets Him apart from all the dumb idols in the world, doesn’t it?  Some people pray to the universe!  The universe doesn’t hear and it doesn’t speak – it just points to the One who created it.  God isn’t silent, or impersonal, or detached.  No.  He is a God of love and when Jesus came – God came. How many refuse to see.  Three verses and all of them focused on the person of Jesus Christ.  He is the “Alpha and Omega”.  Jesus Christ is the first and last, the beginning and the end.  He is everything and all in all and to think that right this very second He is “seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high”, and one of the things that He is doing – is praying for us – not just collectively, but individually!  Romans 8:34 “Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”  There He is, in the divine courtroom – declaring me, Diane – not guilty.   It’s a miracle.  It’s a miracle that the Creator of the universe, the Creator of all things, would care for even me.  You know, the more you know about Him the more you can trust Him with the details of your life.  This world is spinning out of control – but don’t ever forget for one second that Jesus Christ has the world under His sovereign control.  He is the Master Designer.  And to think He’s just as concerned and attentive to all the little things as He is to all the big.  Hebrews is going to teach us the supremacy of Christ.  Nothing compares to Him.  

When I was just a little girl, I remember my parents singing this song together.  It’s an oldy but a goodie and sometimes I love bringing them out in the open.  

Hope you can join us on the Hebrew journey.  Tomorrow night we begin with the first thing that Jesus is “better than”.

Until then, enjoy your day with the best. “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.”  Psalm 84:10

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been tuned into your radios and televisions, computers and phones for the latest updates on the hurricane activities.  All of us have been and still are affected by it one way or another.  Add to that the current tension in our political arena, nationally and internationally. 
And don’t forget to pile on to your own troubles the troubles of friends and family who are suffering physical and emotional heartbreaks and sickness and one wonders, how much more could we bear.   Saturday afternoon I received a message from an old high-school buddy.  There are a collection of us who have remained friends over the past decades.  I’d been sadly informed that one of our girls had received the devastating news of a fast growing terminal cancer.  She was parked at Sharp Memorial for a series of tests and procedures and I decided that Sunday after church, I’d make may way up to pay her a visit.  Before I left the church campus, I grabbed a copy of Andy Stanley’s book “How Good is Good Enough?”.  As I drove up 163 I was praying for the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide me and I knew that we – Jesus and me – just might be on a divine appointment.  Pastor Tim had just taught me the importance of not wasting my “influence capital”.  Indeed, this was one of those times.  Well, I won’t give you a blow by blow, but I will tell you this.  I ended up at the foot of her bed and two girls to the left of me and one to the right and before I left, I called together a time of prayer. “Would you mind if I prayed for you Joyce before I leave?  Girls?  Would that be alright with you?”  Now, listen there were a total of 6 of us women in that room.  I’m only certain of one, besides myself that can call Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior and that one is not the one who is on her way out of this world.  But then again….who knows whenever that moment may be for any of us? It could be you. My opening line?  “Lord Jesus, where else can we go, but to You?”   And that takes me to this…..Tuesday night we are beginning a brand new study in the Book of Hebrews.  And as I think of this incredible journey that lays before me (us), I’m drawn to this most comforting and precious verse found in the 4th chapter verses 14-16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  “Lord Jesus, where else can we go, but to You?”  If you have not invited Jesus into your heart, to be your personal Lord and Savior, you don’t have any place to go. There’s not enough of anything in your mind that can settle your heart.  The priceless question is – why don’t you let Him come in?  What do you have to lose by knowing Jesus?  And I say as an answer, absolutely nothing.  But you have everything to gain, by trusting Him.  My dear friend Joyce – her days are numbered shortly in this world.  Praying that she will open the door of her heart to Jesus and let Him come in and comfort her through this time.

 

CeCe Winans and the incredible voices of Take 6 have recorded one of my favorite songs “One and the Same”.  “How shall I begin to speak about a God that I will never comprehend.  So high and mighty and yet closer than a friend, the beginning and the end.  The mystery of His holiness the wonders of His humanness are One, one and the same. I scarcely understand how a simple servant can be called the Great I Am – how the Son of God is still the Son of Man, both the Shepherd and the Lamb.  The healer and the Wounded One, The Father and the only Son are the way that we can come to know the truth that set us free, the life that died and rose again – Love revealed.  Prince of Peace!  Wonderful!  First and the Last, oh, Holy Ghost and the humble man who bore my shame are one, one and the same.

 

If you are a Rock Steady Sister and you are planning to study Hebrews with me you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO MISS THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.  Without this introduction, it’s going to be challenging to understand this incredible letter.

Hey, too much of your time have I taken.  I love you, so very much!  Praying for our world, our country, our people and YOU.

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Evening,

Tomorrow evening is our “First Tuesday” and that means that we will be gathering together in the “upper room” at Canyon Villa.  We’ve got a few sisters who aren’t able to come to class, so we’ve been bringing class to them for the better part of this year.  Who knew what precious blessings awaited us all when the idea was presented to us.  At first blush, it was easy to find a list of reasons why we couldn’t do this, but truth is in the end all we saw was a long list of reasons why we should.  Little did we know that “First Tuesdays” were to be one of our monthly highlights. 

For one thing, we get to be with Elaine, and Ruth and Helen and who knows who else may make their way to our good company.  It’s always a surprise, as is every Tuesday for us all.  One thing that is not a surprise however, is that something beautiful from God’s Word will be shared.  God ALWAYS shows up.  And tomorrow night will be no different. 

Last week I found myself in Acts 9.  It’s a familiar chapter to most of us.  Interestingly enough, one particular verse kept surfacing and finally I just said, “Yes, Lord….. I hear you.” So, I’m going to zero in on this one man, who did one thing that he was totally afraid to do – but he did it anyway.  He did it afraid.  He trusted, he obeyed in his fear and when he got to where he was called to go, it was absolutely nothing like what he had expected.  God had made the way – and a landing place for him that was filled with unimaginable blessings.  Bottom line?  He trusted and he obeyed.

You Tube has done mixed things up on me, but the song is here, just click the link.  It’s an old one – really old.  I’m talking the late 1800’s.  That’s amazing to think about, isn’t?  Jesus has had followers for a long, long time.  And isn’t it beautiful to think that He chose YOU to be one, too?

Well, I hope I see you tomorrow night – Canyon Villas Retirement Home – 4282 Balboa Avenue, 92117.  6:30 p.m.  I’ll be at the Cottage for caravans or carpool, and I’ll pull out at 6:00pm sharp.

One more thing, as you listen to this song, there’s a phrase in the last verse – I love it so – “What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; never fear! Only trust and obey.”  I think about that first blush business – easy to find a list of reason why we can’t but in the end all we see is a big, long list of reasons why we should.  I mean, consider who you’re trusting.  Enough said.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

Add some more info about this item...

Good Morning,

In my research and studies for this week’s topic I came across this observation written by Baxter, “Even in the best art galleries there is always a space for choice miniatures.  This personal note from Paul to Philemon is such a graceful little masterpiece of fine courtesy, exquisite tact, and even playfulness of wit, and withal it has such distinct spiritual values, that one can only wonder sadly at those who have begrudged it the little niche which it adorns.”  Isn’t that a beautiful way to identify this letter?  And even more so do I appreciate it, post Tuesday.  A miniature masterpiece, indeed.

The topic is forgiveness and the story presses out the ultimate reason why Christians need to be forgiving people.  Why?  Because we are told to be “imitators of Christ”.  And we are never more like Him, than when we extend the act of forgiveness.  We might be quick to think of forgiving others and tend to overlook that this applies to ourselves as well. Ironically, I struggled with latter myself on Monday, which is why the delay in my note.  But, as I found myself on my knees before our King, casting my cares before Him, I looked up into the ceiling of my little room and asked Him this simple question – “Why should I gain from this reward (of His dying on the cross for my sin – past, present and future – taking my place) I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom.”  How deep the Father’s love.  Forgiveness.  That is the ultimate act of love.  What a study.

As you can see, I’ve attached it.  And, for your listening pleasure, the song………..  How Deep The Father’s Love.

Today, I choose to love – deeply and freely – love for the Father, love for others and love for myself.

My Best,

Diane

Monday Love Note

54

Good Morning,

I’ve been shopping for songs on YouTube for the past couple of days.  Last night before sleep I had a few oldies but goodies running through my mind; 1965 Dionne Warwick’s “What the World Needs Now”,  1990 The Judd’s “Love Can Build a Bridge”, 1996 Eric Clapton’s “Change the World”.  And there are many, many more.  No doubt the farther we move into time, the farther we move away from any hope of ever having world love and peace.  It’s just not going to happen.  Well, that leaves us with the question – what can we do to promote a world of love, to build bridges…. to change the world?  And once again, we turn to God’s Word for truth, for wisdom, for answers and instruction and once again, He delivers.  Tomorrow night we are wrapping up our study in the small, but powerful book of Titus.  It is here we find some fascinating and practical approaches for contributing positively in our society.  What the world needs now is Jesus.  Jesus can build a bridge and Jesus will change the world.  One of the last things Paul wrote to Titus was this, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and (watch this) and not be unfruitful.”  The times we are living in have never been more urgent and you and I need to understand how Christ would have us live.  It’s different than the world lives and it’s different than what you naturally would think.

Come with me on this amazing study.  Until then – live for Him an amazing life.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

53

Good Morning!

Oh, what a weekend I’ve had!  An event which involved one years’ worth of planning and dozens of people to create it successfully, came to a conclusion this morning as I delivered safely my parents and eldest brother to the airport.  The 75th anniversary of the First Baptist Church of Lemon Grove kicked off on Saturday morning and there were 327 people gathered together to celebrate the faithfulness of God to His people through the years of the life of this one, little church.  As I stood up to the podium to host the history from 1967 to 1988 I looked over the sea of faces, many which I have known and loved for 52 years, I was overwhelmed  at the rich heritage.  Time had shown itself on all of us.  Young parents were now elderly, and many have gone on home to Jesus.  Those of us who ran around the parking lots with water balloons and new boyfriends every other week, were now grandparents and the once littles had children of their own.  And there we were – celebrating Jesus and the beauty of life that only He can give.  One amongst the crowd was a faithful, Christians sister of 40 years, Mrs. Terrie Bearden and tomorrow night we are all in for a treat as she shares with us from God’s Word and the amazing journal ministry she began 13 years ago.   Terrie is also the women’s Bible teacher at FBCLG so be prepared to grow in your knowledge of His Word. 

In keeping with the theme of looking back and relishing in the legacy of faith that many have left for their children and looking forward to a topic of study tomorrow evening which provides us all compelling reasons to choose to live today a life that will leave a legacy of faith, I present to you, “Legacy of Faith”.

Doors open at 6:30 study begins at 6:45.

I’ll look forward to being with you, as always.

I love you,

Diane

P.S.  As I look around the world today and see edgy tempers and looming potential devastations, I am incredibly grateful that I’m a Christian woman who knows joy and CAN live it out in spite of the world that we live.  Be light today…. everywhere you go; this world has never needed you more.

Monday Love Note

52

Good Morning,

I’ve got an explosion of chaos going on this morning.  It feels like someone came into the office of my mind, opened up the file cabinet and dumped everything upside down.   Up and down from my desk, back and forth from issue to issue and still, no closure on any one thing.  I’m frustrated and the clock’s a tickin’.  So I send out an S.O.S. to my prayer buddies and ask for prayer.  One by one, they file into to my cell phone.  My heart’s overflowing with appreciation. But still ….chaos.  Up I go to the kitchen….start on something else.  Still, restless.   And then like a sudden breeze out of nowhere this song comes to me – “Yes He Knows Just What I Need”.   Just like that I came to the desk and closed everything up.  All the files, all the study books, all the notes.  But before I closed my Bible, I went to Romans chapter 8 and read these verses; “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”    

So I’ve made a decision.  As soon as I hit this send tab, I’m going into my back bedroom and have a little time lingering at the feet of my Savior.  Of all the things that matter most, it’s time with Him.  Yes, He knows just what I need.  And I know just what I need.  Time with Him.  I’m very grateful that I don’t have to figure everything out or even have to identify what it is that I need.  He knows my heart and He knows what’s going on in my mind – in my life. 

I have no idea what’s in store for us at Bible Study tomorrow night.  But I know this.  I’ll be there, and so will He.  And wherever He is?  Wonderful is.

I love you,

D

Monday Love Note

51

Good Morning!

As I have been reading through the Philippians 4 passage in preparation for our next study, one word stands out to me as if it were highlighted in neon yellow.  Learned.  That’s it.  That’s the word.  Learned.  Paul says twice “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”  And again “I have learned the secret.”  Oh, boy isn’t that a good thing?  There’s a solution to this itch of discontentment which I am certain we all struggle with; some more than others, but nevertheless the struggle is real. There’s no doubt that in today’s society more than ever we are bombarded with reasons to want more and to want better. It’s that “somebody keeps movin’ my cheese” syndrome.  And contrary to the world, God did not design a life for us which calls for a life of discontentment.  No matter what’s going on in your life today, there is a place of quiet rest and a place of contentment that your mind can choose to settle on.  He promises to give us the power to do that, He promises to “supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Listen.  when we read that?  “every need”!  That’s no half-measure or no almost.  That’s every.  Even the stuff you don’t know you need….that stuff too.  God’s so wonderful.  No one loves you more.  No one cares for you more.  Did you know this, too? “If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32  Including contentment when you’re backs up against the wall and regardless of why!

Tomorrow night we learn Paul’s secret.  Six, easy points.  Be there or keep chasing your cheese. 

In the meantime, enjoy this little video – chasing vegetables.  Get ready for a chuckle.

Love you all!

D

Monday Love Note

50

Good Morning,

My dear, precious friend has been struggling for several years with some very serious health problems; sometimes life threatening.  Through these seasons in her life I have spent time encouraging her with Scriptures, pointing her to her relationship with Christ as a believer and praying that the Bible I gave her would find a place on her lap and the words would find a home in her heart.  But the Book sets unopened to this day.  To add to the great physical sorrow in her life, yesterday came the news of her brother’s passing.  Her parents and only brother are all gone from this world now and the grief in her life is unbearable.  Yet sadly the antidote has been at her fingertips for years.  His name is Jesus.  Who He is, is revealed in His Word.

As I prepare our Tuesday night study I keep on being pulled to these all comforting words “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  How powerful is that? “guard your hearts and your minds”   And in this world, right now….and all around us is nothing but this unending,  looming news of unrest and division, sickness, death, fear and on and on and on and on it goes.  Yet God’s Word provides peace.  A great wall, a fortress for our hearts and our minds.  In His presence “you’ll find strength in every test, perfect peace, perfect rest – in His presence.” 

Tomorrow night we will be concentrating on Philippians 4.  Part 1 of a 2 part study in this final chapter.  Come along with me as I learn through the study of His Word, how to have joy, how to rejoice, how not to be anxious, how to know the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.

I love you all.

See you tomorrow night.  Living joyously today!

Diane 

Monday Love Note

49

Good Morning,

A couple of weeks ago I opened my Bible to the book of Colossians.  Oh, I’ve been there before.  Hopped around through the 4 chapter book many times through the years, but this time I’m studying from beginning to end.  So I read it all the way through. Upon further investigations in my research,   I met a man named Epaphras and I haven’t been able to get him off my mind.  You see, Epaphras was a student at the Tyrannus Bible Institute where the Headmaster was The Apostle Paul.  And when he graduated he journeyed back to his hometown of Colossae with credentials in hand.  I wonder what it must have been like for this young man.  Was it his prayer as he traveled back home similar to this: “Lead me Lord, I’ll follow.  Anywhere you open up the door.  Let your Word speak to me, and show me what I’ve never seen before.  Lord, I want to be your witness, you can take what’s wrong and make it right – Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night.”  

Well, times have change since the days of Epaphras, but the story and methods of The Lord certainly have not.  I reflected this morning on the ten, basic attributes of God.  Let me remind you, if I may: 1. God is sovereign – always in total control.  In His total control He has chosen not to violate yours or others free will. Think about that one. 2.  He is Righteous, absolutely and totally.  3. He is Just.  He will never be unjust to you, your friends or your enemies. 4.  God is Love. God loves the world and all of His creation.  He hates sin and evil. 5.  God is eternal life.  He is life.  He gives life to all living and He gives eternal life to all who believe in Him. 6, 7 and 8.  God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.  That is all knowing, all powerful and everywhere in time and space.   9. He is immutable.  He can’t change His mind, nor will He ever change His Word. Ever.  And 10.  God is Veracity.  He is the essence of absolute truth. What you read in His Word is totally and completely reliable. 

Tomorrow night we begin our new study in the amazing book of Colossians.  I pray that you will join me as we learn together, more about Jesus and His Word.  Join me so that we can grow and mature and fortify our faith with truth.  In the meantime you’ve been given another day.  Another day to trust.  Another day to obey.  Another day to experience the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon, the Fairest of ten thousand, or not.  The choice is up to you.

I love you.  Daystar? Shine down on us.

Monday Love Note

48

Good Morning,

Tomorrow evening we will be opening our Bibles to Colossians 1.  And tucked in the middle of this incredible chapter are 6 powerful verses that present a full length portrait of the person of Christ Jesus.   I’ll have to be honest and admit that most of this my mind simply can’t comprehend.  I can’t grasp “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” I can’t comprehend how He could create the heavens and earth and everything visible and invisible….all things far out into the darkness of eternal space and all things as deep as under my own skin and all things buried under the deepest sea and everything everywhere; just not able to get my old noggin around that.  And there’s something else I can’t grasp; His love for me.  How or why He chose to deliver me “from the domain of darkness” and transfer me to the “kingdom of his beloved Son”,  well, I’ll not figure that one out this side of heaven either.  And one more thing – how is it that I can be anywhere at any time doing anything (pleasing or not to Him) and He never lets me out of His sight and promised to never let me go.  How can He promise that to me and yet at the same time to all the millions who are on the face of this earth right now that call Him, Abba?  I don’t know.  But, praise God He’s given me faith to believe it. 

On the other hand, there are some things I do know.  I do know that His Word is true because I experience His faithfulness to me personally in my life.  This magnificent, Holy, Christ Jesus – the great I Am – the Creator of all,  walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am His own.  I don’t walk alone. I feel Him.

We go into this day and into another week that lays before us and I encourage you to enjoy the journey with the One who created you, who holds you by the hand and will never, ever, ever, no not ever let you go.  Did you ever think about this?  Maybe He made all of this stuff, just so He could make you. And your response?

See you tomorrow night?  I hope so.  I’ll be there – as usual, ready to share the wonders that I have learned this week.

My Best Love,

Diane

Monday Love Note

47

Good Morning!

I’m moving my way into this second chapter of Colossians and wouldn’t you know half way through I find myself swimming in a truth which I came to believe at a very young age. I was five years old as a matter of fact. But somehow or another by the time I reached twelve I thought it important that I really seal the deal (so to speak), so I asked Jesus to be my Savior – again.  I wonder if He got a kick out of that.  There certainly was that ‘age of accountability’ where I understood that I had sin in my life – there was no way for me to be perfect unless He saw me that way and I knew that the only way that was ever going to happen would be if I humbled myself before Him and acknowledged that I indeed, needed a Savior.  So here it is in the Living Bible Paraphrased; Colossians 2:13 & 14 “You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away.  Then He gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for He forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of His commandments which you had not obeyed. ( Now watch this), He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.”  It’s finished.   Now if nothing else goes for me the way I wished it would go from that day on until the day I die, the best thing that ever happened to me happened to me the day I asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior.  Because with that promise comes thousands of others.  And the biggest one for me?  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Between my ages of five and twelve we used to sing choruses.  And I remember, I think, singing this one or something close to it on a Sunday night.  There I was, feet dangling from an old, wooden pew.  My mom was up banging away at the piano and there was my daddy….waving his big hand to keep us all singing together.  It was a happy tune and I leave it tucked into my love note to YOU today.

There’s much more to be said about this Colossians 2 chapter and I encourage you to come because the more you know about Him the more you’ll love Him and be all the more grateful that “He blotted out the charges proved against you”.

Sing on o cheerful Believer!

See ya tomorrow night!

D

Monday Love Note

46

Good Morning and happy Labor Day!

Amazing grace – it saved a wretch like me.  All I did was believe.  I’ve been parked in Colossians 2 and continue to read and re-read (this time in the Living Paraphrased) “Diane, you were dead in sins….then He gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for He forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed.” Here’s the part I’m going to meditate on today “He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.”    He did that for me.  He loves me.  2:9 “For in Christ there is all of God in a human body; so you have everything when you have Christ – and you are filled with God through your union with Christ.”   Well.  That’s just something to think about, isn’t?  He chose this old wretch to clean up and fill Himself up with.  Unbelievable.

Well, the big question is – what am I to do with that good news?

Tomorrow night we continue our journey in God’s Word as we continue to seek to know Him more, know who He is and how He operates and what He longs to produce in our lives.

In the meantime – push play on this nearly 40 year old beautiful song, close your beautiful eyes and ponder this amazing grace that has been gifted……………… to you.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

45

Good Morning,

Last night before I turned out the lights for sleep, I took another look at the 3rd chapter of Colossians.  This whole idea of “put off the old self with is practices and have put on the new self” reminded me of words written in Ephesians.  And so, I cruised back a few books and sure enough, the admonishment is there as well; “put on the new self” and a bit later “put away falsehood”.  This is something I must do!  I chose to “put off” to “put away” and “put on”.  God’s certainly done His part.  Now it’s up to me.  In this 3rd chapter shines one incredible reminder for us all.  As a matter of fact, as I’ve said before,  I would tattoo this on the inside of my wrist if I weren’t so afraid of the physical pain, and even more than that; the shame of not being able to comply.  Here it is:  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ.”  Ooooooo. Whatever?  Yes.  Whatever.  See what I mean?  I still don’t have that tattoo.  But believe me, it’s blazoned in my heart.  It’s the transfer from what you know to what you do that I sometimes struggle with. 

Tomorrow evening Tach will be bring us practical approaches to find success in the putting ON the new self. This is the second and final part of her study on – sin.   And a wise woman would show up for this study.  We all need assistance with the ‘how tos’ of a victorious, Christian life.  And we’re not alone.  This struggle has gone on since the beginning of man.  This morning I turned my attention to the beautiful Book of Isaiah.  Isaiah was an incredible prophet during the decline of Israel.  He spoke the word of God to a people who were ‘deaf and blind’….. kind of like me, sometimes.  God loved them so.  They were His chosen people.  Just like me.  And they were stubborn and rebellious.  Here we find in 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”  Oh, just meditate on that.  See what our Savior has done?

“Let us reason” indeed.

I love you,

Diane

 

P.S. Two things: #1 If you are interested in the October 11th Open House and taking the assessment (free/value $95.00) PLEASE LET ME KNOW THIS WEEK AS IT IS THE CUT-OFF.  I’ll send another email out, but look for it and respond if you haven’t yet.  This is an INCREDIBLE opportunity for all of us.  And #2.  Pray for one another today.  This is an even MORE incredible opportunity.

Monday Love Note

44

Good Morning!

The last flight out of Las Vegas to San Diego landed about 11:15 last night.  I was one of those passengers with a window seat, second row back.  What a view for takeoff and landing.  It gave me time to reflect on the whirlwind trip which included a disappointing trade show and an incredible opportunity to spend 38, uninterrupted hours with one of my precious nieces.  I walked a million miles and have the aching feet to prove it.  All along my paths I could not ignore the grating noise (which some call music) that spilled into every public space.  I could not ignore the bitter smell of cigars and cigarettes.  I could not ignore the vacant stares of the busy conventioneers, overweight Americans and seedy couples stealing away for a undercover romance. And I could not ignore the piercing stares of the poor and needy, the drugged and drunk that draped the lining walls of “The Strip”.   If ever there were such a thing as a bullseye for the target of fleshy pleasures, it would be there. 

Tonight we are focusing on a portion of Scripture found in Colossians chapter three that deals specifically with Christians offering to the world the antithesis of those Las Vegas snapshots.  Christ Jesus has caused a change in who we are.  We are a holy people now.  We’re not the same inside and we should not be the same on the outside.  In other words.  Match.  Wear who you are.

Sadly I reflect on a time in my life where I didn’t match.  Not even close.  I was in the thick of my wilderness days and this song came out over the airwaves.  The first time I heard it I cried like a baby.  I needed to “make that change”.

Don’t miss tonight.  Bring a friend.  Change your world and you will change the world.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

43

Good Morning,

If you’re like me you’re probably sick to death of all this political agitation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more passionate, confused bunch of people in my life.  Clearly God is not the author of that. “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33.  Now, I understand that intelligent and some not so intelligent  people have their own positions and perspectives and ultimately we need to respect that in one another.  But I will tell you that the place where we are all the same, is at the foot of the cross of our beautiful Savior.  And He is very specific as to how we are to behave once we have decided to call Him our Savior.  The details are scattered throughout Scripture, but very clearly we find them in the last two chapters in the book of Colossians.  We are to “put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”  Like it?  There’s more of that in Colossians 3.   I just keep thinking about how simple Jesus makes it for us.  ‘Love Me – love one another’.  If we do that?  We could change the world.  He said to His disciples “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  If you love me, you will keep my commandments (Love Him and Love others) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither see Him nor knows Him.  You know Him, (love this) for He dwells with you and will be in you.”  John 14.  It’s not who’s right or wrong and it’s not even a matter of winning or persuading.  It’s a matter of love.

Get it?  Be it.

More to come from the awesome book of Colossians.  We’re wrapping it up tomorrow night. 

I love you. Pray for me today to be obedient.  May we all be salt and light.

Diane

Monday Love Note

42

Good Morning,

Sometimes I come across a passage of Scripture that I can’t even wrap my head around and certainly it happened to me this week. But I believe it!  Here it is and it’s found towards the end of this amazing book that we will be introduced totomorrow night: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16 & 17.  Now, can you picture that?  Someone may be reading this now that can’t possibly believe that anything like that could ever happen.  But let me ask you this?  Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God and came to earth through a virgin birth, lived 33 years, died on a cross, was buried in a tomb and three days later the tomb was empty….and then He was seen alive by over 500 people?  Well, it’s true.  There’s proof.  And all of that was prophesied centuries before it was fulfilled.   So looking back, if you can believe what has already happened that has been prophesied and fulfilled, than certainly you can believe what has been prophesied and as is yet to be.  Even more astonishing than this – is it could happen any time.  Literally, any time. The big question is – will you be among the ones “caught up” with Him?  Oh, I pray it so.

Sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s the young Sandi Patty came to our church and for the first time performed this incredible song; We Shall Behold Him.  Now I know for some of you, this is old fashioned.  But get over it and push play.  Listen to the words and think about this…..someday you are going to meet your Savior – face to face.  It may even be, today. But if not today, or tomorrow , plan on coming to the Cottage around 6:45pm and learn more about this wonderful Savior, named Jesus.

 

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

41

Good Morning,

Before I even fully opened my eyes this morning, I had a sense of weariness.  I’ll admit it; this gregarious and typically enthusiastic gal gets tired sometimes.  And not just physically.  I laid in the cozy arms of my bed and thought about all the tasks that are in front of me today, tonight, tomorrow and down into the next month and I rolled over and buried my head under the pillow.  It was there I recalled this Bible verse; “And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)  Aha!  The Holy Spirit is lifting me up!  And isn’t this the call to all of His chosen ones?  Yes.  It is.  Sometime ago I read the following words in some of my dad’s notes.  Not sure if he personally penned them or they were a float over from another observing believer but let me share them with you now. ‘ We don’t owe God a thing.  What He has done for us and what He does to us is purely out of grace and love.  God is a God of impersonal love and He loves personally because He is love.  He does not love us because of what we do or don’t do.  He loves us because He is love.  However, we do owe the world and each other something because of the love we have taken - this gift of eternal life - this gift of love, grace and salvation.  We owe it to others to share the Good News and we owe to each other Christ like lives, by what we say and what we do.  And we know that these things always begin with what we think.”  So Diane’ie?  Change your thinking.  You owe it to others.

Tomorrow night we’re going to focus our attention on this young, church of Thessalonica.  They were a baby church, baby Christians with a giant and powerful passion for Christ.  Just in the first chapter Paul peels off 5 poignant truths about the stellar indicators of a healthy church.  Come with me tomorrow night and we’ll soak in these truths together. They were on fire and weariness was not a part of their thinking.

In the meantime, if you’ve got the Monday morning wearies….redirect your thinking.  You’ve got a job to do today.  And if you climb on His shoulders?  It’s bound to be accomplished.

Enjoy the journey – enjoy the gift.

See you tomorrow night.

I love you,

D

Monday Love Note

40

Good Morning,

Do you ever find yourself needing to just linger with Jesus?  I have a quiet place in our home where sometimes I go and just sit.  I want to talk but on occasion,  I don’t even know what to say to Him.  I’ll sort of chuckle and say “Well, you know….you know what’s going on in there – I don’t even know where to begin.”  I’m not sure of the first time I did this but I knew that it wouldn’t be my last because now when I don’t know what to say, I just grab my Bible and let Him speak to me.  Inevitably tears will follow because it’s as if He answered the questions I was not able to ask or confirm a lingering doubt.  Amazing.  Yes, He did know, He did know what was going on in my mind and heart.  Eventually I’ll return back into our home renewed, refreshed and restored.  Nothing like a little time with my Savior.

Several weeks ago as I began to prepare for this 1st Thessalonians study, I came across this verse in the second chapter and said with a exuberant shout “YES!”, because I indeed have experienced it in my own life.  Praise God for His faithfulness to those He has called and chosen.  Here’s the verse:  “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, (here it is) which is at work in you believers.”  Isn’t that something?  God’s Word is alive.  It produces change when you open it, read it and believe it. 

As usual my journey through this weeks’  studies have given yet another reason to believe in Him.  And it just keeps on getting better. 

1 Thessalonians 2. I’ll be there.  Will you?

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

39

Good Morning!

Well, we’re winding down on this whole election business.  In just a matter of hours all this hoopla of political campaigning is going to be history and we’ll have new controversies to gnaw on.  They just roll over and over and over and the pattern of life and its different approaches and challenges are endless.  There’s always a bone to find in the yard.  I was thinking recently about past elections that have taken place since my birth in 1954.  This will make #11!  And the beat goes on.  But someday – everything’s going to change and it’s going to change suddenly.  And whoever is the president of this United States will either be left with a world full of chaos or the United States will be left without a president.

We’re approaching a passage of Scripture that is almost impossible to fathom.  I read the words “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”  I can’t get my head around it but praise GOD I believe it.  Those who are “in Christ” will be snatched up, up and away.  There might be someone reading this now who simply finds this outrageous.  It is.  But it was outrageous that the Son of God came into the world as one of us, in order to save us.  “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  There are thousands of outrageous things that Jesus has done and is going to do.  Believe it or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it is.  Truth is truth.

1 Thessalonians chapter 4. 

Election Night.  Because God’s Word matters more than who wins the seat.

I’ll be there.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

38

Good Morning,

Well, here we are again, another Monday.  Another day of life filled with everything from the awesome goodness to the devastating badness.  As usual, we have a choice to choose what it is we are going to do with what we’ve got.  My Bible helps me to make the right choices.  Let me give you an example from the beautiful letters of Paul’s to the young Thessalonian church.  (This comes from the Living Bible Paraphrased) 4:10-12

“But concerning the pure brotherly love that there should be among God’s people, I don’t need to say very much, I’m sure!  For God himself is teaching you to love one another.  Indeed, your love is already strong toward all the Christian brothers throughout your whole nation.  Even so, dear friends, we beg you to love them more and more.  This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before. (Here it comes) As a result, people who are not Christians will trust and respect you.”  A few verses farther along in the same chapter he makes it very clear that someday Jesus is coming again.  If it were today?  What would He find you doing? Tomorrow night we’re digging into this chapter.  I invite you to come along with me on this marvelous journey of the Word of God.  Oh, how He loves you and me.

As I was building this love note to you I went back into the archives of music from my past and remembered this hymn we used to sing in church.  Page 284 in my Baptist Hymnal “We’ll Work Till Jesus Comes”.  You see, there’s something He’s got in store for you to do today and it will require your whole armor of God.  Put it on!  Get ready and know that someday we’ll lay ourt armor down and “dwell in peace at home”.  

But until then –  man your station with all the love in the world.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

37

Good Morning!

Finally.  Rain.  Not only that, but this morning brought us a rainbow in the western skies.  What a lovely way to kick off our Thanksgiving week.  I’m not sure what’s on  your plate or where your plate will be this Thursday, but I know mine will be full and on a family table in Excelsior Springs, Missouri (thank you Lord Jesus!).  But whatever and wherever your plate is located I pray that it will be full of all things wonderful for you.  There’s no doubt that I have a lifetime of things to be thankful for, I would assume blessed more than many.  But one of the things that I am abundantly grateful for, more than you could possible know…………… is you.  Thank you from the bottom of my big, sappy heart for being such a wonderful friend to me, and beautiful Sister and a fellow seeker of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

There will be no Bible Study in the Cottage tomorrow night, but you can know my thoughts will be of you.  In the meantime, listen to this most beautiful song and get lost in the exquisite beauty of this world that God has provided for us.  May we love well….every day with thankful hearts.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

36

Good Morning,

Here we are – another Monday morning and I’m mindful we’re all dragging ourselves back into some sort of routine after the indulging days of Thanksgiving.  For some of us it “was the best I ever had!”, for others it was just “run of the mill”.  I would imagine there are many who wish the holiday were not a holiday because they represent such painful memories.  Life. 

Interesting to note as we journey through this 1 Thessalonians letter, Paul makes it very clear to his reader in his closing words of the 5th chapter, “Always be joyful.  Always keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”  Well, that’s easy to do when life is going our way…but not so much when it’s not.  May I make a suggestion that perhaps might make it a little easier to appreciate this admonishment?  Let’s consider the Word of God to us, here.  I offer only one Scripture verse this morning but there are thousands to choose from.  Here is one that is familiar to us all, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, (go ahead….say your own name, this promise belongs to you no matter how your heart is feeling) declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Now listen and don’t forget this – if you knew what the Almighty God knows you would handle your life the way He wants your life to be handled.  There is glory in everything He does.  If you don’t show up to praise Him, if you don’t show up to pray and be thankful and trust Him….you will absolutely miss the glory – praise Him through your tears.  As powerful as He is in His creation of the big things that we see and experience and feel – He is equally so in the matters of our hearts.  Participate in His grand plan.  There’s no greater joy.

Come and worship with us tomorrow evening. Doors open at 6:15, and Bibles at 6:45.

Don’t miss the glory!

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

35

Good Morning!

You should see my desk.  From left to right stacked deep and piled high is one streaming flow of commentaries and study books and smack dab in the center, God’s Word opened to 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5.  I am in the throws of the study of dispensations,  “times and season”,  “the day of the Lord” and where it is that you and I fit in in all of this. It’s amazing how much we can know if we just take the time to seek Him.  But with all that we can know there is so much that we cannot know.  Guess what we don’t know is the blessing that God gives to us as an opportunity to trust Him.  Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”  If we knew everything we wouldn’t need to have faith in Him.  Right?

One of the benefits of being Bob and Bettie’s kid is all the great music that they have brought into my life.  I just returned from a beautiful week in their presence and was privileged to sing with my mom accompanying me on the piano.  We performed “Daystar”.  Next time?  It’s going to be this song.  “If We Could See Beyond Today”.

Tomorrow night?  The big picture where we can see some things beyond today – and believe me, there’s a lot to see.  Knowing these things gives us the power and motivation to heed the last three words of this song; trust and obey.

I love you, miss you and can’t wait to be with you again!

Have a beautiful, Merry Christmas day.

My Best Love,

Diane

Monday Love Note

34

Good Morning!

I’ve been deep in the business side of Christmas, working retail and buried in packing and shipping.  It’s easy to lose focus of the reason for all of this – Jesus.  Last night before I assumed position #1 of the 4 that I take on my journey to sleep, I rededicated my life to Christ.  Do you ever do that?  Oh brother, here come the tears just thinking about it.  I realized that in all the business of “the season” I was overlooking the most important reason for it all. How precious that He never sleeps and never slumbers but is there with me in the packing and the shipping and in every position on my journey to slumber and to everyplace else that He has established for me.  He never leaves – never forsakes.  Oh my precious Lord, how I thank you for your faithfulness to me.

Well, tomorrow night is our 9th annual Christmas Party!  Christmas in the Cottage.  And this morning, as I have been preparing a short message I found myself in Luke chapter 2.  It was the shepherds in the fields that grabbed me and from there I was all over the place!  In Micah, Isaiah, John, 1st Peter and as usual, I can’t wait to share with you what I have learned.  But beyond God’s beautiful Word comes the gift of music for us.  You will not want to miss what is in store.  Remember it’s an open house – so bring family and friends if you are so inclined.  Also, we ask that you bring grazing food (i.e. crackers/cheese – hour d’ oeuvres – cookies – cakes – Christmas goodies of your choice).  

I’ll see you then, and am loving and praying for you and with you now.

Merry Christmas!

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

33

Good Morning,

New calendar! New month, new year, new opportunities, fresh starts.  That’s what comes along with January 1st.  I don’t know about you, but for me I rather enjoy the entire idea. 

Yesterday I took down the tree and as I was wrapping each ornament in tissue I thought about all of the life that’s going to happen between this moment until the next time I pull them out in December. Time goes by so fast that date will be here before we know it and at this stage of the game I have some kind of control on what this year will look like for me.  Oh, sure there are boatloads of variables; life brings surprises to us all.  But one thing that is never changing – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Stability.  It’s there by way of Him.  Stability in the midst of and through all the changes that are absolutely going to happen to me this year.  I don’t know what they are, but I know they’re on their way.  How will I handle 2017?  I have a choice. Which way will I travel?

Tomorrow night we return to our weekly study in God’s beautiful Word.  As I prepare to share with you some “nuggets” from the 5th chapter of 1 Thessalonians, it’s very clear to me that there is admonishment to all of us who call ourselves “Christians” that we indeed have a responsibility in our relationship to Him.  We are called to DO something as Christians and one of those things is to live a stable life in the midst of all of our circumstances of which we have zero control.  We do have control on how we handle them and it all starts with a strong and stable faith which only comes from the “Father of Lights”.

Tomorrow night we’re going to talk about HOW to do that.

In the meantime, we’re at the front end of another day and the fresh start is available 86,400 seconds in every single day.  There’s bound to be one ready for your entry.

I’ll see you tomorrow night.  Make the commitment – recommit yourself to coming regularly to study God’s Word and learn how to live a life that is stable.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

32

Good Morning,

On the Friday before Christmas day I was poking around in the fulfillment center of our little business and suddenly and surprisingly came across a little baby hummingbird.  There it was laying lifeless on the brick floor.  My heart.  I covered my mouth with my hands and stared at it and thought about our study this past October, Dare to Believe.  I remembered that call to us to know that “His eye is on the Sparrow”.  God saw and knew that this little, precious creation of His had run its course. I picked it up in the dust pan, wrapped it in tissue and made the decision to not toss it into the dumpster.  Today “Bitty Baby” is buried under a little tree just outside my front door.  In the shadow of this experience I learn that our Elaine is being cared for in Sharp Hospital at Balboa, room 342.  She has an infection that has proven to be MERSA and will be there for an undetermined amount of time.  She would appreciate a visit from you if you have the time.  Cards and lovenotes are always welcome to her home address as well: Canyon Villas 4282 Balboa San Diego CA 92117.  Unlike the little bird, Elaine knows His eye is ever upon her and believe me, she senses His presence in her life at all times. Emmanuel – God is with us.  Oh what a comfort to know He never leaves us and is always with us.

 

We celebrated the birth of Jesus who could not be our Savior until He made His was to His cross.  Oh VICTORY!   Because of and in the light of Emmanuel I draw your attention to a recently visited passage found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit.”  

 

To close out this year, join me tomorrow evening in our Night of Remembrance.  We will all gather round and share with one another how God has proven to be faithful to us this year.  Be prepared to share how your eyes have been opened to see new things in His Word and through your experiences and we will close our evening with the Lord’s Supper.   

 

Until then, push play and be refreshed and renewed with the reminder that He sees you, He knows you, and He lovesyou….. shed, bed or wherever you may roam.

I love you,

Diane

Monday Love Note

31

Good Morning and Merry Christmas to you all! (sorry this is so long)

Eleven o’clock I turned out the lights and started my 4 step process to sleep but that process proved unsuccessful.  My pillow tossed and turned and I spun like a top trying to find the right spot and then suddenly there I was – very still.  I began to softly sing to myself.  My mind took me to the Baptist Hymnal and I began with page 1, Holy, Holy, Holy.  I don’t remember when sleep came but I was well into a half dozen songs.This morning in my quiet time with our precious Lord, I reflected on the words our pastor shared yesterday – Emmanuel.  God with us.  What a wonder that He comes to us.  And notice I say “comes”.  My Bible time took me to Revelation chapters 3 and 4.  In 3:20 this most wonderful verse (which was directed to believers!) “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.”  Jesus comes to me – all the time! He didn’t just come once – He came to stay.  He moved in and wants to live with me all the time. Sometimes I forget He’s with me.  But He never leaves.  He stands at my door and knocks to come back in!  “I’ll never leave you”, Diane.  Oh how wonderful!  Oh how marvelous!  (another song) Moving down into Revelation, look what I find!  Page 1 in the Baptist Hymnal, Holy, Holy, Holy.  Here it is 4: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Imagine, He stands and my door and knocks.  “I’ll never leave you”.  “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3.

Imagine if you will, standing between the atmosphere and space.  If you look to your right, you see the earth.  If you look to your left, you see the heavens.  Holy, holy, holy, indeed.  And to think – He stands at the door and knocks.  Emmanuel.  God with us. Push play and experience your imagination. The Dale Warland Singers perform Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium.  This chant was scored with Mary’s heart in mind as she considered the magnitude of her calling.  To carry Him, to mother Him, to witness His crucifixion – to become His child.  O the mystery of the magnitude!

Until then, Merry Christmas to each and every one of you.  I love you and am forever grateful to each one of you.

My Best Love,

Diane