New Life

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

Monday, July 25, 2011

To infinity and beyond....

Okay, well maybe not infinity.....  but 237 days ago, 1000 might as well 
have been infinity.  It was daunting, attempting to write down 1000 
of God's gifts.  But like rolling away a film on my eyes, I discovered His 
gifts are freely given all the time.  It has changed my entire perception 
of how to pay attention. 
In teaching a class about discontent for our Keepers 
at Home group,  Ann's book generated the foundation for the instruction 
in contentedness.  
Daring tweens and teens to begin their own gratitude journals and 
instructing them in how to acknowledge the small and seemingly 
insignificant is catching on.  It is like paying forward the blessings.
God gives good gifts.  
Noticing changes everything.  Moments are affected.
It all begins with Simple Praises.
Thank you Ann for inspiring me to open my eyes, unclench my
hands, and wake up my heart.
I am blessed.
Ann Voskamp's book 
A double rainbow
Basil (can you smell it?)
Ruth, The Most Beautiful Woman I Know
Rolling in clothes all warm and fresh out of the dryer
Meeting Ann and thanking her in person.  (What a great way 
to start the next 1000)
Now, on to infinity! 
"In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive 
than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. " 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rising Above

The name Ruth comes from the Hebrew origin and means: Companion; friend; vision of beauty.   I must have intuitively known this when I wrote  The Most Beautiful Woman I Know,  a year ago, last summer.  She is a vision of beauty.  Not by the world's standards, but His.  More than ten disfiguring surgeries have carved out a diamond in the rough as Michelangelo carved masterpieces out of stone.
This cruel, unrelenting cancer keeps coming back.  This time it is untreatable.  Her sister, Susan, wrote on Caringbridge, "It’s very sobering to stop fighting the tumors and just treat the pain.  Many have prayed for a miracle of healing.  While that would be a welcomed circumstance, Ruth continues to ask, 'Which is the greater miracle? ...temporary physical healing or God's gift of peace that surpasses understanding, working in and through us by changing hearts, and ultimately bringing glory to Himself?'”

Sunday morning Ruth and Susan sang, My Lips Will Praise You. (pause music at top right)

My lips will praise You
For You are holy
My voice will ever rise
Before Your throne
My heart will love You
For You are lovely
And You have called me
To become Your own

I held my breath as she poured out her praises.  My eyes burned and I thought my heart would burst.  My children watched and heard her lips praising God, all while knowing (but not really) what she has endured these last 12 years and what has been taken from her.   We see the evidence of God's love and witness his sovereignty.  And what a beautiful example of adoration. 

 "I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."  Psalm 146.2

Authentic courage.  Inspired awe. This is how she has lived.   How I long to be more like my dear friend.

She has taught me how to find joy in the rain, praise in the pain, and faith to move mountains.  I see her Rise Above her circumstances and find solace in her story.

I cannot truly imagine the dark places she has moved through..... is moving through.  Yet she offers thanks because God still chooses to use her.  She is a living example of shining a light in dark places.  It is humbling to see this kind of beauty in a day when vanity and what the world deems beautiful is so often glorified.  And her response is to glorify Him.  Despite everything.

How fitting one of the closings hymns this Sunday was,

Blessed Assurance   (pause music at top right)

 This is my story, this is my song, 
 praising my Savior all the day long; 
 this is my story, this is my song, 
 praising my Savior all the day long. 
 And this is  her story.   

The brochure , of her testimony, reveals a Phoenix rising from the ashes.  

Rising above.

"We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer."  Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
Ruth is currently embracing life and pursuing speaking opportunities to make Him known with the time she has left.   If you would like to know more about this amazing woman and Bright Hope Ministries, in donating, or to hear her words pierce your can contact her here.

She is available for speaking engagements for women's groups, retreats, conferences, schools (assemblies/classrooms), churches, youth groups, luncheons, homeschool groups, etc...

Twelve years of extensive medical bills have, as you can well imagine, become a burden to Ruth and her family, hindering her ability to do all she desires.  Donations are greatly appreciated.  If you are interested in donating to her ministry, click here at Bright Hope Ministries (address is at bottom) or make checks out to Bright Hope Ministries, mailed to the address below.

If you are interested in blessing the Moran family with a personal gift to help with medical expenses, please make check out to Ruth Moran and mail to:
Ruth Moran
230 Sunset Lake Road
Stanfield, NC 28163
May God bless you as you prayerfully consider.

My heart is heavy as I write this. 
Please pray for my dear friend, her husband, her two boys, 
and her family. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Brown's Floor Covering on You Tube!

Our First You Tube video! 
(Pause music at top right)

Brown's Floor Covering

Brown’s Floor Covering is our locally owned family business that has been serving Charlotte, NC  and the surrounding areas since 1975.   We can meet your flooring needs of carpet, hardwood, laminate, and tile for residential, commercial, and faith based institutions.

We understand what it means to value honesty, reliability, and integrity in a business.  As a result, we have a high percentage of repeat customers and referrals.  As a 25 year veteran in the floor covering industry, starting out as an installer, Richard Brown knows this business from the inside out. 

Our mission statement is :  “Quality products from knowledgeable people at reasonable prices.”

Most all of our advertising comes from word of mouth and referrals.  We thank you for your business and for your recommendations.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,..."  Ecclesiastes 9:10