Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions VS. Obedience...

"Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His praise from the end of the earth."
Isaiah 42: 9-10

Is there something God wants you to do? Is there a new challenge or task that He is asking of you in this new year ahead? Is there something stirring in your heart that only God could have placed within you to do? It doesn't have to be a BIG thing..maybe just be more organized, or prepare healthier meals...things that have to do with our everyday life.

Maybe He has placed a BIG thing before you to do. I do know that be it big or everyday things..God will equip you to do it. When we are obedient, He will take us one step at a time to fulfill what He asks of us to do.

I am so thankful for God's grace and His mercy. They both are never ending and new everyday. What an awesome God we serve. We don't ever have to wait for a certain day to begin anew. Each breath that we take is a new breath, given only to us by our Heavenly Father. The thought overwhelms me.

I have turned my thoughts from New Year's resolutions to thoughts of obedience. There is such joy in obedience and not the dread and drudgery of fulfilling resolutions. Not only is there joy, but there is freedom. Freedom that only Christ can give. He bought and paid for's ours, we need only walk in it.

Don't get me wrong, I have some goals written down. But I truly believe they are Holy Spirit inspired, so if I work on those things that He has shown me, I will be obedient. Because of the baby steps I have taken, I already feel joy and freedom! Hallelujah!

Let's each one of us look expectantly to what God has for us in the New Year. May God bless and keep you..


Tuesday, December 30, 2008


“This week, aim for simplicity. The last few weeks may have been filled with baking, shopping, concerts, gift wrapping, and dinner parties, but today, celebrate simplicity as you fix your eyes on Jesus.”

~ Joni Eareckson Tada~

Random Thoughts...

We had a great Christmas! It was cold and rainy and there was a fire in the fireplace....not the usual Southern California Christmas! Yesterday it was 82 and it felt good too. I haven't taken down all my Christmas decorations, just a few little things here and there. We have friends coming over New Years' Eve so I am leaving the big things up until New Year's Day.

God was so faithful to me during this busy season of festivities. I felt good all month and was able to do so many things that I have wanted to do for years for the holidays. Thank you, Lord! As soon as the Christmas decorations are all packed away it will be back to figuring out what a normal routine is again. It seems like thoughts of Christmas keeps my mind so busy for months. This is when I want to go through my entire house and just start purging all the excess that we have. I think I may just do that.....again.

I wanted to say hi....and post a few random thoughts. Have a blessed day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas...

I am going to take the remainder of this week off from blogging. I had some things I wanted to write about..but for now they will have to wait. This has been one of the busiest Christmas seasons that we have had in years. I guess that tells me that I have felt better this year. Praise the Lord! As all of us probably do, I have some last minute baking and things to finish up before Thursday and a trip to San Diego in the midst of those days.

Merry Christmas to all of you who visit me here at Beside Still Waters. Thank you for your encouragement to me.

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we must remember that He was born for one reason... and that was to die. He died so we may live, forgiven and free from our sins. If you find yourself reading this blog today and you don't know how you came to be here...maybe it was so that I could tell you that the Babe born in a manger was born just for you. His love is the greatest love you will ever know. Embracing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, asking Him into your heart, is the greatest gift there is. He died to give you the gift of eternal life. It's a gift you need only reach out and accept. I am praying if you have never done this before that you will today.

Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Winter...

Stater Bros. truck on it's way to the mountians...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Has Arrived!

~San Bernardino Mountians~

In Southern California we don't have's usually hot, or not. After months of dry weather and really not any measurable rain, to have rain and snow this week has been wonderful. To have a view like this from my house, is a sight to see. It's been raining for days and it's COLD. I have lived in California for a long time and cold weather and Christmas usually doesn't happen. I am originally from Michigan and we would have a White Christmas quite often. I still associate cold with Christmas, even to this day. I think a lot of people do. I thought I would share a little piece of my world today. I will enjoy this because it could be 85 next week...hope not.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is My Heart In Stable Condition?

The stable. I always thought it seemed like such an unsuitable place for the birth of the King of Kings.

The stable did not offer the same comforts as the inn, but it had one thing the inn lacked. Room. There was room in the stable where the Son of God could be born.

At times I wonder, " Is my heart like that crowded that I miss the presence of the Son of God? Am I so filled with the cares of life, stress, busyness and selfish desires that no room is left in my heart for Jesus?"

As I have watched theChristmas story reenacted through the years, I have often thought of the innkeeper. Why didn't he make room for the expectant mother, then allow others a place? I realize the innkeeper did his best to accommodate Mary and Joseph.

Each day I am faced with opportunities to allow God's blessing and power to fill my heart. When I have meditated on His Word and communicated with Him in prayer, then as the events of the day unfold I am able to handle each situation in the wisdom and strength that He provides. If I fail to read His Word and pray, then my life becomes packed with overwhelming circumstances and Jesus is crowded out.

My busyness and cares can be put in their proper place as I pray, "Lord, keep my heart in stable condition so that I have room for Jesus."


I have used this devotional by Judy Seabaugh for many many years and each time reading it, I am shown I have let too many things creep into my heart during the Christmas season. Not so much physical busyness, but the busyness of my heart and mind. My mind goes a million miles an hour this time of year. You too? There can't be any room for Jesus when we are too busy to open the door to let HIm minister to us in only the ways He can. If you feel your stable doors have been closed, open them up and let the Son come in!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

God of All Comfort...

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

There are so many people this time of year walking around with discouraged and hurting hearts. One may even be you. I think sometimes, we feel the need to hide how much our hearts are wounded and hurting. When we do that, we only allow that heartache to hurt all the more. There are other people that have gone through similar circumstances and trials and God wants to use them to minister to you.

Last Tuesday night I was able to share the same comfort God had given me, to a sweet sister in Christ, who just found out her son and his wife were having a baby with a cleft lip and palate. Our little granddaughter Rachel was born 4 years ago with this and I was able to encourage and tell her it would be a journey....a journey of God's faithfulness. The other thing I was able to tell her was, that I never would have dreamed all that God would do for Rachel. I never ever thought the Doctors would be able to do so much to repair her little face. God is so faithful in the journey, any journey we might find ourselves on right now. He does exceedingly abundantly more than we ask!

God comforts us in times of discouragement, heartache and all things, if we let Him and look for Him in the midst of the circumstances. Many times He will use someone that crosses our path to comfort with the same comfort they received in their time of need. If we don't want to be comforted and want to stay in that place of despair.. then we will. But when we look to God, and we earnestly seek Him, we will find Him.

What we go through in life will never be wasted... unless we choose to squander it in self pity. God will bring opportunity after opportunity to us, to use us in the lives of others, who now walk down familiar paths that we have walked down. We can share the love and faithfulness of God, to those who need just a glimmer of hope, to endure what is set before them. If our hearts are open, God will bring those in need to us to share the same comfort that we received from Him. To God be the glory!

"Bear one another's burdens..."
Galatians 6:2

Thursday, December 4, 2008

People Pleasers...

"When we are set free from the bondage of pleasing others,
when we are free from currying others' favor and others' approval....then no one will be able to make us miserable or dissatisfied. And then, if we know we have pleased God, contentment will be our consolation."
~Kay Arthur~

I'd like to comment more on the quote I posted yesterday. I believe once we have been in bondage to always having to please others, it is so easy to slip back into that mental stronghold. We struggle with saying no when it isn't always God's best for us.We think we always have to say yes to everything because were Christians. It's not so. . If we want to please man, we run the risk of being disobedient if it isn't what God has asked of us. It's a daily walk in the Spirit to know the difference.

I still struggle with being in bondage of wanting to please everyone. I must say to the detriment of my own health through the years. I want everyone to like me and if they don't I beat myself up wondering what I did wrong. Maybe I didn't do anything wrong, we just have different personalities. It may not be me at all. I must admit...I am so much better than I ever was in the I see growth in my life. Obsessing about pleasing other people steals any contentment in our life. Like Kay Arthur said in this above quote, when we seek to please God contentment is our consolation. So, instead of striving to please everybody, be all they want you to be, always saying and doing the things we think we should say to please someone...if we look to be pleasing to God and what He wants us to do ...we will not be miserable and dissatisfied. Sounds like the pressure would be off to be perfect or people pleasers.
Hmmmmm...something to think about!

The holidays are upon us. I encourage you to seek God and what His best is for you...make it your gift to Jesus this Christmas to live to please Him with obedient lives, rather than be in bondage of pleasing others. There is freedom and joy in pleasing others when it's what God is leading you to do. Putting on the mind of Christ and pulling down those strongholds of being a people pleaser...brings VICTORY, OBEDIENCE and CONTENTMENT!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quote For The day...

"When we are set free from the bondage of pleasing others,
when we are free from currying others' favor and others' approval....then no one will be able to make us miserable or dissatisfied. And then, if we know we have pleased God, contentment will be our consolation."
~Kay Arthur~

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Broken Pieces...

"He heals the brokenhearted and heals up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3

The box dropped...I heard the clinking of broken pieces. I knew what was in that box...of all boxes, it just couldn't be that box. I opened it carefully hoping it was minor..maybe something that wasn't my favorite. Sigh, it was my collection of Christmas tea cups. I have had them for years, given to me from special friends and some I bought myself.

A few days passed and I was putting out two adorable houses that friends had given me for my birthday one year. My fingers just gave out, and it was only the size of a shoe box. Oh my gosh! The damage was minor this time, only a chimney broke off. But still. I was disappointed about all the things that had broken this season and we are barely into it.

I was reminded it's just stuff. Indeed, it is just stuff. This made me think upon the broken people who live in that broken state every day of their life. What about the people who have broken hearts this time of year as they remember the losses in their lives as a result of losing someone, or even the people here in California who lost everything recently to the California fires, and the terrorist attacks... there is heartache all around us. Broken people, broken pieces...brokenness that only the Savior can put back together.

This second day of December...can you think of anyone that needs a touch of the Savior because they are broken. They aren't just stuff to be tossed away. The Lord will show us those people who need that touch that only He can give. Let's all be on the lookout with our Holy Spirit eyes, looking for opportunities to be part of the solution of helping mend broken lives. People don't always look broken on the outside. it's not always obvious to others when one is broken. Some people may just need a smile to get them through the day or a kind word to ease their pain just a little. Each thing we do can possibly be the building blocks leading that person to finding wholeness in Jesus Christ.
~People are not just stuff.~

Pearls Of Wisdom...

This is another change to my blog list. I created this blog, Pearls Of Wisdom to post all my favorite quotes on. Anyone that reads my blogs knows that I love to use quotes. I think we can learn so much from what others say. So, come over for a visit once and awhile and see if a quote will minister to you...or even make you laugh!

Monday, December 1, 2008


There a two new things at Beside Still Waters that I wanted to tell you about this morning. You can now email me or you can make a comment on a post. Some people who are not bloggers have said they want to comment but they just can't figure out how to do it. If you want to comment on a post and you don't have a under anonymous and sign your name at the end of your post. Or email me, you see my link in my side bar. Patty at besidestillwaters dot org. I didn't want a lot of spam so I wrote it like this...

You can still find me through the blogspot address but you can also find me by using this new address. Both addresses route you to here. This new address is much simpler to remember and pass on to others. I am excited about this, as I have at times couldn't remember the changes I had to make when my blog disappeared. My son set this up for me this week. My daughter helps me figure out blogger things when I get in a jam. Oh, how I wish I knew how to do all this myself.... but so thankful I have them to help me. But wait...if it weren't for them talking me into half this stuff, like blogs and Facebook...I wouldn't need to know,would I? (: