LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the midst of beauty...

In the midst of the beauty of Spring...

...there is pain, and frustration, and inequity, and injustice, and loss~of home, friends, school, "normalcy"...

...but always there is God...and always there is hope!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

God and Japan

Where is God when bad things happen to good people? Where was God when the earthquake hit Japan followed by the tsunami? He was right where He has always been~ on His throne in Heaven, looking down upon His creation with a grieving heart at His hurting people! He promised to never leave us or forsake us~ that promise is for Japan, too. Yet, our hearts break for them...even the loss of life, the loss of possessions, the loss of livelihoods...even more may our hearts be broken and burdened for those "lost" from the Lord. May this tragedy be a "beginning" of new life in Christ for the masses, both in Japan and all around the world. Let revival begin, and let it begin in me...and in you! Our pastor, Pete Wilson, wrote about the devastation in Japan today and said: "I truly believe that God is most powerfully present even when He seems most apparently absent". AMEN!

Are you praying for Japan? If not, I urge you to begin doing so now! Your prayers are a sweet offering to our God!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review of Same Life, New Story by Jan Silvious

The Bible is full of stories revolving around male characters~ Adam, Moses, Noah, Samson, Paul, Timothy, David and many more. Yet, how often do you hear about the impact and influence of women of the Bible? Though perhaps fewer in number, women were held in great esteem by God in Biblical times and are major players in God’s story today. Jan Silvious, a seasoned Bible study leader, shares the stories of Naomi, Leah, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Anna, Jehosheba, Abigail, Naaman’s servant girl, and Elizabeth, showing how everyday ordinary women, like us, can have major impact on the world in which we live.

With much wisdom entwined with some humor, Jan compares and contrasts issues women of the Bible faced and those women of today deal with. Because God gifted women with the unique ability to make choices, each can change her perspective on life and actually change the course life takes. By relating to these heroines of the Word, we can identify with and learn to change our approach to issues like bitterness, humiliation, depression, infertility, cultural stigmas, fear, and women trying to make it in a man’s world.

God changed the lives of each of the women whose stories are told in this book. Whether by force or choice, each of the women went from ordinary to extraordinary in testimony. In a very practical way, Jan shows the reader how simplistic it can be to alter the course of one’s life by being open to revelation from the Lord. This 10-week Bible study is designed with chapter personal reflection topics and group discussion questions. Jan Silvious weaves tapestries of life stories from Biblical characters, from her own experience, and from modern women. If you are desirous of writing a new story in your life, or if you perhaps just need a little editing to your current story, you will want to read this book!

Jan quotes Louisa Fletcher: “I wish there were some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where all our mistakes and All our heartaches And all our selfish grief Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door, And never be put on again”.

As the storyteller of your own life, you can begin again; you can drop the old and put on the new. Let Jan Silvious hold your hand through this book as you begin to write your new life! You will be glad you did, I promise you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from
Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review
bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in
accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 :
“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Death to Life~ A Collision with the Cross~ part 2

This is my dear friend, Vicky. Her brother, William, is the one I mentioned yesterday passed away last week at age 49....leaving behind a grieving family. Vicky is grieving her loss; yet, she has joy! Not "happiness" over the situation; but JOY! Happiness is a temporary feeling; joy is a state of heart regardless of the circumstances. And Vicky has JOY! She has joy because she knows where her brother is for all eternity~ in Heaven, face-to-face with Christ, His Savior. Some day Vicky will be with him again forever...and what a day of rejoicing that will be! She is happy because she has the blessed assurance that Jesus is hers!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
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.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

3. Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

Text: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Music: Phoebe P. Knapp, 1839-1908

People have commented that she seems so calm during this most difficult time...that she continues to smile and seems to have it all together! Well, she does smile...and often! Now, she grieves, as well. And she knows she will continue to grieve. Yet, again, how can she live as one who has no hope? She DOES have hope...and joy...she selfishly DOES miss having her brother here with her. Yet, she would not have him come back, as her confidence lies in the fact that he is in glory with the Savior! HALLELUJAH! Let her example be for us as we will all face grief at some point. Soak in the beauty of these Destin, Florida sunsets! The "Emerald Coast"...snow white sand...crystal clear teal blue, emerald green water...there is no place I would rather be that here...well, except in Heaven. As I sat on the beach yesterday, relaxing with the sound of the roll of waves and the crests of water crashing on the beach, my toes digging down into the cool white sand, the sun bathing my body and a soft, gentle breeze blowing through my hair I stopped to ponder: this beauty does not even compare to the beauty we shall behold in Heaven! This is temporary, and will fade and ultimately pass away. Yet, the beauty of our eternal home will be forever!

In John 14 verse 2 Jesus describes how, when He ascended into Heaven, He was going to prepare a Heavenly place in His Father's house with many rooms (abiding places). When He comes back for us, the believer (John 5: 25,29) we will enter, with Jesus, into the Father's presence (John 14:3) and our place at the table of God will be prepared. What a day of rejoicing that will be!Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place.

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

Eliza E. Hewitt (1851-1920) Words: Eli­za E. Hew­itt, in Pen­te­cost­al Prais­es, by Wil­liam Kirk­pat­rick and Hen­ry Gil­mour
Music: Em­i­ly D. Wil­son

As breathtakingly gorgeous as this water with the dolphins playing is, it does not compare to the crystal clear water in Heaven proceeding forth from the throne of God, the streets of gold in Heaven, the gardens and the mansions and the light in Heaven....

"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. "
(Rev. 21: 1-27)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
John and the Angel
The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. "(
Rev. 22: 1-21)
Thank-you, William, for your earthly example of a Godly life. Though I never had the privilege of meeting you, your legacy lives on. Thank-you, Vicky, for the Godly example you set before us all every day! I love you deeply, and am a rich woman for having you in my life!
To God be all the praise, honor and glory!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Death to life~ A Collision with the Cross~ part 1

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Romans 8:28-29

49-years old. Otherwise fairly healthy. Sudden stroke. Died 5 days later....Christ followers, son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, friend, co-worker, bus ministry....

"Why, God? Why William?" William would respond, as he has in the past, "Why not me?" After all, a few years back William had a collision with the cross of Christ, and found life~ life everlasting, life more that is Christ, "and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21, emphasis mine).

William knew where his promise of real life was~ where he is now, walking the golden streets of glory...whole. healed. perfection personified. face-to-face with Christ his Savior! So how can we, as Christians, fret about his home-going? How? In our mortal state, in our selfish nature, in our limited view of "life" we mourn his loss. And mourning is is is necessary for healing. "But God...demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8, emphasis mine). So we grieve, we mourn...but not as those who have no hope.

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1 Thess. 4: 13-18).

Our souls jealously crave what William now has~ the hope of glory~ all because of his personal and intentional collision with the cross of Christ.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
(hymn; words by John Bowring, music by Ithamar Conkey)

So, William has died to his earthly body~ that which we see in our mind's eye~ and he will be sorely missed! Yet, rejoice in this and let thisbe your comfort and peace. The real William, his soul with his immortal body, has never been more alive than it is now and forever will be! Now....what will you do with it? Will you choose this day to willfully and deliberately kneel at the cross, where Christ will meet you, providing solace from this storm of life? And will you confess to Him that you are a sinner, that you are lost and wandering aimlessly along in life with no real peace...and that you do not know for certain where you will spend eternity when He calls you home? Will you choose this day to pray this prayer:
"Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I confess I have no idea who you really are.
I don't know where my soul will be when I breathe my last earthly breath. I don't understand you and I am afraid of relinquishing control of my life to You. But God, I know this cannot be all there is. So, I admit I am a sinner, and I ask you to forgive me for all the ways I have failed you and failed others. I accept that you died on the cross for my sins and I thank you for that. I invite you right now to come and make my heart your home, Jesus. Live in me and be my guide, my Lord, my Savior, my Comfort, my Healer, my Counselor...every moment of every day. Help me trust in you, even when I cannot see you or see answers. Grow my faith. Help me realize, Lord, that I am NOTHING without you. Save me from myself and from the enemy of my soul, and give me peace and hope for the now AND eternity that only you can give. I love you, Jesus, and I thank you for your Word that promises to love me always and forever. In Jesus' name, Amen!"

If you prayed that prayer, congratulations! And welcome to the family of God! Please find someone to share it with now; please find a church to call home; and please start reading the book of John in the Bible!

No greater way can William be honored than to know his death is not in vain! His life was lived in proper and Godly order: he placed God first, his wife second, and then his children. What will YOU do with the cross of Christ? Follow William's example or reject the Lover of your soul? It is your decision...and your eternity is based solely on that one decision! None of us know when our time to trade our mortal bodies for the immortal will occur. One thing only is sure: we will pass from this life to the next in the blink of an eye. And when we do we will face our Maker, the Giver of life, God the Father. Will He say, "Well done, good and faithful servant.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (Matt. 25: 31-46)

William is waiting to usher you into God's eternal glory and I pray you are ready to be reunited with him there. Please just remember: it is truly your choice! Will you choose HIM today? Please?

Tomorrow's teaser: Part 2 of "Death to Life"~ stay tuned~ you don't want to miss it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thoughts of Spring Blog Party!

Lynnette is hosting the "Thoughts of Spring Blog Party", and I'm excited to participate! Please jump on over (after you read my post below) and visit some other chums to find their answers to these funny questions! It's a great way to learn all about people! And, while you are at it, please "join" as a follower of my blog, leave me a comment that you did, and I will return the favor. I am getting ready to re-think and re-vamp my blog, and want to get my readership up! Let's party!!!

How would people describe your personality? (If they could only use ONE word.) Are they right? Compassionate, and yes, they would be right!

What celebrity/celebrities would create a “Star-Struck” feeling if you saw them in real life?
If I could have met Mother Teresa in person, I believe I would have been in awe, not necessarily “star struck”!

Who is your favorite blogger? Why? I love to read several different ones, including Lynnette’s “Dancing Barefoot”, my pastor, Pete Wilson’s “Without Wax” and Robin’s “Pensieve”
What is your comfort food/drink? I love Sonic’s “Sweet Peach Tea” with extra peach and lite ice; I adore potatoes cooked any way you like; and, if I drink wine ever, I only like a very sweet white dessert wine, especially like the one only found at Maccaroni Grill in Orlando, FL. Called “Moscata d’Asti”! YUM!

Be brave – tell us something very random and weird about yourself. I left my diaphragm in one time, went to have x-rays at the chiropractor, saw the x-rays in his office and was terrified that I had a cancerous tumor when I saw this big round white thing on the x-ray! My husband died laughing and told me, “Lisa, you forgot to take your diaphragm out!!!” This was a brand new chiropractor for me, as the previous one was a guy I had gone to high school with. One day, just after a Christmas open house at my Mom’s, I went in for my appointment and took he and his sister (who was his nurse) a plate of leftovers from the party, wrapped with foil. I stuck a bow on it and gave it to them when I arrived. Upon leaving I was a bit hurt that neither of them had thanked me for the “goodies”. Got home and my Mom told me I had forgotten to take the plate of goodies to them. I told her I DID take the plate; she told me I did not, that it was in on the kitchen counter. Upon checking she was correct! Took us a long time to finally realize what I had taken the chiropractor and his sister was the plate of ham fat scraps my dad had also wrapped up in foil for the dogs!!!! I could not go back to him, so I found another chiropractor; went to him for the first visit and leave my stupid diaphragm in! UGH!!!

Do you have a strong desire to do something you’ve never done? What is it? Play the guitar; open my own upscale, yet affordable, household consignment shop, complete with a little tea room/bakery and an art studio attached where artists could come and teach adults and children! In other words, a “one stop shop!”

Movies: Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy? What are your favorite genres? Not a big movie person, but would prefer documentary or comedy

Books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-Help, Devotional/Study? What are your favorite types of reading material? I read mostly self-help/devotional/Bible study books. Occasionally I will read a good novel, especially if it is a Christian one like Francine Rivers writes. My favorite all time book is Redeeming Love
Music: Funk, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Film Score, Blues, Classic Rock, Crooner, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Techno? What are your favorite types? Christian/praise and worship/oldies

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money? Tithe to my church and several different charities; be sure all debt was paid off; help our children and grandchildren financially; invest; buy a decent car

Name one weakness of yours (confession is good for the soul). I drink a Sonic sweet peach tea with extra peach, lite ice nearly every day—Route 44!

If you could live anywhere at all (and take all your loved ones with you), where would you go? Right where I am; if somewhere else would probably somewhere in Switzerland or in Salzburg, Austria

Strange Talent? Can you juggle basketballs, put your legs behind your head or some perform some other strange feat? Not really; nothing that would be considered strange, I don’t think! Ask my family!!!

What’s something you consider yourself to be good at? (Don’t worry, it’s not bragging, it’s acknowledging a God given gift). Original scrapbooking design and execution; singing;

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of? Wysteria; fresh baked bread and cookies

When you leave a social gathering, do you wish: You would have talked more or You would have talked less? Depends on the situation; I love to talk, so at times I wish I had talked less. Yet, there are times had I not talked, it would have been a boring event.

If money wasn’t a factor, what stores would you shop in? Coldwater Creek, Zulily, Pier 1, Pyramid collection

What is your greatest fear? Falling down steps (have broken bones before); the “empty nest”

What is your greatest accomplishment? Being married almost 31 years, bearing and raising 3 children

What are your favorite animals? Zebras, most dogs, Koala bears, rabbits

Are you a hopeless romantic? NOPE!!!!!

What movie or book character can you most relate to? Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”~ she takes compassion on a young man who had no one, was a take charge kind of person, and loved him through a tough time! I love doing the same kind of thing!