Hello and Welcome!
Life is tough, but God is good. God’s Word is a strong foundation that is indeed practical and relevant in our world today. Scripture surely molds and changes us as we integrate it into our hearts and lives. Paul’s example in I Thessalonians demonstrates spiritual fruit that remains. I want these same elements to characterize my life to:
A personal relationship with Christ is the most exciting element for daily living. He came to give us an abundant life! (John 10: 10). He loves us and wants us to experience the fullness of His grace, joy, and peace. A joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 15: 13). I pray that you’ll find encouragement and hope through my writings and that God will bless you abundantly as you seek His face.
THIS MONTH'S MESSAGE
By Fran Caffey Sandin
The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the LORD is the One who holds his hand
( Psalm 37: 23-24 NASB).
My husband, Jim, and I have enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and we laughed as we recalled our own first attempts at downhill skiing when our children were teenagers. Of course they were skiing right away, but it took us a little longer to get it.
On day two, after finally learning how to successfully depart the ski lift without falling, I decided to take another ski lesson. Randy, the instructor, glided to the bottom of the bunny slope and asked each of the students to ski down so he could evaluate our form and assign us to the appropriate class. I noticed the other students were poised and controlled. Then came my turn.
I began cautiously, but quickly approached Olympic speed. Instead of remembering “the wedge” that might have averted my Kamikaze run, I barely missed Rusty by veering off to one side where I maneuvered 180 degrees and crash-landed into the orange net fence. It was so—so unladylike. At least I made my instructor’s job easy. He assigned everyone else to an intermediate class, then as if I were a small child, he held out his hand and said, “Come with me.”
After Rusty had helped me to my feet, he flashed a good-natured grin and observed, “I see you need a little help with your parallel turns.” No kidding. At first I wanted to melt into the snow and disappear, but by the time Rusty spent a few hours instructing and encouraging me, my outlook had changed. I’m so glad I hit that fence, I thought as I shwish-shwished my way down the hill. God has turned my disaster into a blessing! Look at all the individual attention I’m getting!
On the third day, Jim and I took the lift to the top of the mountain! What a spectacular view. The hush of fresh powder, punctuated by the aroma of evergreens, lent an awesome air to the blanketed valley below. I felt like singing “How Great Thou Art” closely followed by “The Hallelujah Chorus”—to celebrate my victory.
Life, in many ways, reminds me of skiing. We have lots of ups and downs, numerous lumps and bumps. But if we keep our eyes on the Maker of Mountains, He will pick us up when we fall, and sometimes He will even carry us. Like Rusty, God knows when we need personal attention. Like Jim, He is patient and kind. And even when it feels like a sky full of snow is falling on our heads, and we feel we can’t make it to the top, it’s reassuring to know He thinks I can.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your Word and the reassurance that you hold our hand through life’s ups and downs, and you even pick us up when we fall. Help us to realize the extent of your love for us, and may we respond by honoring you and loving you completely with all heart, mind, and soul. In Jesus’ name, A-men.
THIS MONTH'S RECIPE
CARROT PAN CAKE
Quick, easy, and so tasty.
1 cup flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ cups grated carrots
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup oil
¼ cup water
½ tsp vanilla extract
Combine dry ingredients in 8” or 9” baking pan with non-stick spray. Add carrots, eggs, oil, water, and vanilla. Stir briskly with fork until well blended. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Serve right from the pan if you like.