Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Nurturing Family Traditions
You think it would be simple, right? Plant many vegetables and you have variety, that was my story for many years until rabbits, deer, woodchucks and chipmunks came along with the to help them selves to the salad bar at my wired in plot that I worked so long to protect, nurture and cultivate over a hot summer. Frustrated over the years the small plot in my backyard has gone mostly to a battling of weeds over my discouragement of trying to fight nature. But I still try to grow a couple of things wired in on an old picnic table back there.
My Italian Grandfather (Pop) was a huge gardener, as my cousin pointed out in the past, I need to recognize and tell you about his garden. He had a pretty decent backyard, in the summer he grew so many tomatoes that anyone who came over would go home with grocery bag full, plus basil and whatever else he was growing. Unlike the tomatoes you get in the store that are picked early so they can be sold, Pop’s tomatoes were pretty darn big and some of the shapes of those 2-3 pound tomatoes that I can recall were odd in shape, but he left them on the vine to grow to the max, just about falling off. They were so good that some of the family would just eat them like apples. He would grow cucumbers, sometimes the size of half an adult arm, it really looked like that when I was a kid but I’m sure my siblings and cousins can verify. His Italian was very strong and I remember him saying to me in broken english, “don’t cut off the skin that’s were all the vitamins are.” Today if you buy them in the store you have to wash and peel them, unless they are grown organic, but you still have to wash them. Pop had the most amazing fig trees, we loved figs! Each year he grew a crop of figs, so tasty you just wanted to keep eating them, unlike the fig tree in my garden, Pop’s fig trees were handled every Fall with tender care, he wrapped them very nicely so that they would bear the most delicious fruit every year for us all to enjoy. Nana would cook and send us home with leftovers, Pop would plant and send us home with produce.
Many of you have your own stories of your grandparents and the legacy that they left behind in the things they did and taught, family traditions that we are passing down from generation to generation and new traditions that we have incorporated into our own families. Our heritage and legacy is very important and what we leave behind is a blessing to our families and friends and when we do it with love it becomes a memory that won’t ever be forgotten.
What are your great memories?
Are you passing on traditions?
Jesus is the Vine in the garden of your heart
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Step Back, Adjust Your View
Seeing things from a different perspective
|Photo by Nancy Sabato|
Just recently I purchased a car with a back up camera, it’s a great feature and to know what’s right behind the back of my car that I can’t see. Although this is such an revolutionary idea, I still have to look around the sides and adjust my view, sometimes the camera can’t see everything. The same goes for photography, my grandson took a picture of the garden from his perspective, but if I took it from my view it would be very different. That’s the great thing about photography everybody has a different sense of an angle or depth of field, we adjust our way of looking at things, we adjust our view. ( I adjusted the size of the photo, making it smaller to fit) you can point the camera to to mountains and turn 360 degrees and take a water fall, it’s how we look at things and how we want to look at things.
Then there is my garden…
The deer have chewed our Hostas down to picks, I get it they love the salad garden we grow here at our house but I really get upset and would never cause any deer harm, so I changed my point of view from allowing them free reign to now spraying to keep them away, planting flowers they don’t like and just by changing our view and using the knowledge we have been given we are seeing the results!
In life, not only can we adjust our view by seeing, we can adjust by receiving and responding. We just have to step back and understand what’s really important to us, winning the fight or seeing the answer by someone else’s view. Pride can make you look only through a peephole, but let it go and see the whole bigger view that maybe you haven’t seen at all! Step back, adjust your view.
Do you see yourself looking at things through one view or perspective?
The best solution for understanding comes through prayer, asking God for help, seeking Jesus in times of struggle and uncertainty and relying on that, trying to see things from God’s view!
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
As I look at all that is meaningful in my life, I have to say it’s my relationships from family to acquaintances. My immediate family is my closest and I’m fortunate to say I have one. My husband and children, their spouses and my grandchildren are my joy and my rock in times of trouble and stress.
My brother and sister are deep roots to my past and we continue to see each other when we can. I can’t tell you how fortunate I am to have them in my life, each of us feels blessed because of our parents and their loyalty to us and now we are extending this to each other. My sister and brother in laws are caring and loyal friends, each person plays a role in our family dynamics that are unique and fun, my nieces and nephews have rolled along with our corky family get togethers. Our cousins are still in touch, through phone or social media, it’s a blessing and confirmation that our family still chooses to get together no matter the distance that separates us, we have history.
My friends and past co workers -I treasure, each one I found I loved in a special way, many of them I don’t see anymore (thank God for social media!) but still hold that place in my heart and mind and I will never forget them and what they meant to me.
Our relationships with each other can either go in many directions but I will speak on two. Either we let go of some relationships that aren’t working (no matter how hard we try or want to give up on) or we hold on to the one’s that enhance our lives. Some relationships require much more work and are way harder to deal with, depending on who they are or what they mean your decision to continue on with them may be a tough one. If a person is keeping you awake at night with their bad behavior, there needs to be a conversation or let it go. If someone hurt you instead of telling everyone about it, (believe me, I have been there) go have a loving chat with that person, if it doesn’t work out and they won’t listen or respond in a positive way at least you did your best in trying to resolve it. Sometimes you might be surprised, that person may come around or you may realize you over stepped.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
The goal is to get you thinking about your relationships, how do you choose them?
Are there family members that just crawl under your skin?
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Do you consider why you do or don’t get along with someone or a group of people?
Do you keep choosing people that aren’t right for you in the end?
Is there something inside of you that drives you towards happy or hurtful people?
All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.
Is there something or someone you are trying to change and it’s not working?
Maybe it’s time to look at your past choices and look at your internal voice, sometimes when we have bad thoughts about someone is it that we may see we don’t like in ourselves that needs to be addressed?
When we break it all down at the end of the day, it’s either who hurt you or who made you happy. But life is more than that, it’s building, forgiving and moving on from what makes us angry or feel burdened by. It’s our relationships that help us grow, that directs our path and gives us a heart for others even when they hurt us. We are human and make mistakes, so forgive as Jesus forgives you.
#relationships #ourrelationships #Jesus #forgive #forgiveness #growing #love #family
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Looking back over the years that I worked and volunteered I found there to be rules and structure to the way the organization was run. Now if you are like me, (a creative at heart)
You like to be different than others but you still follow the crowds, continue with tradition and rituals that certain places practice, because that’s what is required, you just go along and follow the crowd and don’t rock the boat. But inside you want to make changes!
So through the years have you ever worked alongside someone that just wouldn’t fit in the mold? The person was right in their standing, ethically and morally had great ideas that you even agreed with but because they didn’t fit into the crowd, said something that was correct but was frowned upon and was branded an outcast. That’s a creative and outside the box thinker, pushed back by peers but ultimately that creative thinker is learning and growing in those situations to use in the future.
Often times that independent, creative thinker goes off and starts their own business or group that inspires others to want to learn and follow them or create something that is unique so that others can feel that there isn’t anything wrong with different ideas. That God gives us unique inspiration and guidance so that we don’t feel like our ideas or thoughts are a failure but reminds us to acknowledge how creatively made we all are.
So what I am driving at are two things for you today,
#1 When you feel like an outcast, no matter where it is, or what it is, ride it out-
you will need this someday and it may really be tough now and you might be going through difficulty but there is an end and a lesson and God has a plan in it for you.
#2 If your heart and gut tell you to accomplish something, start it!
Don’t talk about it and think about it and contemplate over it, take a baby step out and start walking. Take 20 minutes write it in your notes on your iphone, write a plan down, do it in steps but easy ones and then give it over to God, because through Him great things can be done.He is our inspiration.
Our great example is Jesus, If God didn’t send His only Son into the world and turn it upside down, creating havoc over religious laws, stir hearts, heal sick and broken people and just when things got really amazing and thousands upon thousands were following Him, He was condemned by those religious leaders, but stood strong against their plans, yet relinquished His rights , put to death and was resurrected from the dead-
What Jesus did for us and taught us we are set free from strict religious laws and rules-to follow Him and to love others, just as He loves us.
Romans 8:3-4 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Jesus taught us not only to step out and follow Him but also to know that He brings light and newness to a dark world, we no longer need to be afraid— be brave, step out even if you feel you will be ridiculed or resented, at least you will not have regrets for not trying and that’s harder to live with as you look back.
Remember you are completely, beautifully made in your uniqueness.
#Jesus #God #creative
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Every year I tend to a garden that sits way back from our house. There are different varieties of plants and flowers and every year I am amazed at what comes up, I completely forget!
Just this week I went back and realized that my fig tree which I thought was completely dead has been resurrected and is growing need branches at the bottom. It just helps me realize that what I thought was gone and dead has been given another chance to grow.
That’s what happens with us doesn’t it?
Just when we think things aren’t going the way we hoped God has another plan, He makes part of us die, so that new growth can emerge and we can be better in our newness and service.
I thank God for the newness in me, it helps me to grow and to see where I was, what had to change and what can still be ahead, God will always surprise, we don’t have to know it all, we just stay faithful for growth and understanding, praying for guidance in doing His will as He directs us in His mysterious ways.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
The Thieves On The Cross-
Three hung on a cross on an early spring morning in the month of April, AD 33
Jesus in the center of it all, severely punished for no crime, in excruciating pain and suffering was mounted between two others that committed crimes, maybe they were wondering why he was there, though their suffering could not compare to what they put Jesus through, as the day lingered slowly, hung on the crosses we can only imagine the thoughts and words that were being said. But as scripture says we read, on the cross the thieves were insulting Jesus.
Matthew 27:44 says:
In the same way, the insurgents who were crucified with him were also insulting him.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But as these men turned away from God and committed their crimes, sealed their punishment, penalty was death for what they chose to freely and willingly do.
Now Jesus, freely and willingly came into the world not to save our worldly lives but our eternal lives, through His great love for us, he went to the cross for that very reason.
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Of course what they were experiencing, a criminals death was subject to change that day, as one confronted Jesus as Lord to save them, the other wanted Jesus to remember him, both acknowledging Him as God.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Through His pain, Jesus loves the thieves he is not dying for himself but for the sins they did, He never held His love back even through his own suffering, Jesus shows selfless compassion.
Luke 23: 43
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Even through Jesus own pain and suffering, facing death, forgave the ones that didn’t know what they were doing or saying to him.
How often have we turned away from Jesus because he wasn’t saving us from a situation we stepped into?
Maybe there was something we could have avoided or something that came up and we prayed for an answer only to feel unheard.
Is there un-forgiveness that is still lingering that needs to be nailed to the cross?
Our situations are not just for learning a lesson, but also to grow us and teach us to walk in humbleness with Christ, to yearn to want to be like him and to let him shape us.
Nothing is hidden from God, nor will any of your plans, dreams, hopes or failures.
But in surrendering our lives to Jesus, we will see that His plan is better than ours, His way is better, a self focused life is a dead end, but a life surrendered to Jesus is an amazing journey.
As we see Jesus was obedient to the cross, victory over death, and saving you because of His love for you, you never walk alone, He sends his gift of the Holy Spirit.
Even the sinful thieves acknowledged Jesus and didn’t die without him.
Glory to the High King, Jesus
#Thieves #ThethievesonCross #suffering #painoncross #paradise #Jesus #God #cross
Friday, March 30, 2018
Eye Witnesses Of The Living Jesus
If there is doubt in the world whether or not Jesus was real and some made up story, there are many historical facts that are documented history on this. The most trust worthy written word is in the New Testament of the Bible, there we find eyewitness accounts of Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdolin at the tomb then to the disciples, then to many others. Pressing out further, we find documented letters from His Apostles that have been written and shared about Him and shared with followers regarding His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection from death. In the Gospel of John, we read how the obedient disciples wait in hiding until Jesus appears to them as He promised.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
In the Book of Acts, Paul (was Saul) himself experienced the Living Jesus on the road to Damascus as he was headed to persecute and kill Christians.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Then later after Paul’s conversion we read in his letters of the resurrected and living Christ and as he wrote to the Corinthians and said:
1 Corinthians 15:6-8
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter) and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
There were many witnesses to the appearance of Christ that are documented in the Bible. There are other historical books that document Christ, Christians and the Romans persecution of Christians.
The following link is explores other documented evidence of Jesus’ existence.
(Bible History Daily)
At this time of High Holy Days, it’s a time to be reflective of our lives and what Christ has done for us on the Cross-, He died so that you could have eternal life; He defeated death and was a perfect sacrifice for your sins.
His faithful disciples knew first hand and stood their ground for Him as their one and only God. They were eyewitnesses to Jesus alive, talking and eating with them.
We may not be able to see Jesus, but when we whole-heartedly come to Him, he is in our presence through the Holy Spirit, which has guided you all along your life.
Jesus is as much alive NOW as He was then. We can’t see Him but he tells us
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Be Blessed My Brothers and Sisters
#Christ #LivingJesus #LivingGod #ChristCrucified #God #One&OnlyGod #EyeWitnessesToTheLivingJesus
Friday, March 16, 2018
Lord, during this time of reflection, open my eyes to see the truth of Your presence in my life. It isn’t what I don’t have, but all the things that I do have that I forgot or ignored. I pray you keep me safe under your arms and guide me to the path that you have set before me. Help me to stay faithful even in my darkest days and help me to love and forgive those that have hurt or forgotten me. Jesus thank you for the grace that only you can give and for setting me free from the things that weren’t right, putting me on a new path and a new start ahead.
Praying all this in your precious Holy Name, Jesus
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”