Sunday, February 18, 2018

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park is a fun place to visit in Murrells Inlet, SC. Now that we live near the beach, Tim and I don't ever want to take it for granted. Huntington is the closest beach to us, and we enjoy visiting it often.





Besides three miles of beach, you can visit a national historic landmark, Atalaya. It was the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. It's referred to as the castle and has a Spanish influence.

In 2016 lightning started a fire that destroyed the Nature Center, and they are now raising money to build a new center.



The center was destroyed before we moved to SC and we never visited it. I was told it contained nature exhibits with reptiles, snakes, fish and aquariums. They also hosted educational programs. It looks to me as if the area is been cleared of the damage and mayb e they are ready to focus on rebuilding now.

If you are in this area, I hope you take time to visit Huntington Beach State Park. It's more than a beach and more than a park. It's a great place to enjoy nature and explore the many wonders God has given us. And who knows, by the time you visit, the nature center may be a reality.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Carolina Sea Glass


I've always been fascinated to look for shells and sea glass while walking the beach. Most of my beach time has been in South Carolina and North Carolina. I've found clear, white, brown and green sea glass over the years. Some pieces are big and some are tiny, and I imagine every piece must have a story.

Some people call these pieces beach glass or mermaid tears. Years in the sea have softened the sharp glass edges and frosted the color.

I used to wonder why I never found blue or purple sea glass on the coast of Carolina. My research revealed Fort Bragg, California and Kauai Island in Hawaii are the best places to search for a wider variety in colors. One reason is the beach in California used to be a dumpsite for glass.

Here are a couple of tips if you want to start collecting sea glass on your next trip to the beach.

The best time of day is before the tide goes out. The sunnier the better for catching reflections on the glass. After a storm is also a great time for finding glass that has been stirred up by the rough water.

I hope you enjoy looking for these little treasures. I keep my sea glass in a big jar on my book shelves and it makes me smile.




"God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory." Pastor Rick Warren

It may be far fetched, but if God can redeem a broken piece of glass in the ocean, how much more does He love us and want to redeem us?

Ephesians 1:7-10
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Weathering the Storms of Life

Last year was a different year for Tim and me. In the fall of 2016, Tim was offered a job in South Carolina. Our first instinct was there was no possible way we could leave our family in Kentucky.

God had different ideas.

We couldn't fathom God would ask us to move at the beginning of our empty nest years. But He did. So, we moved. March 1, 2017 was our first offical day living in South Carolina.

Two big lessons we learned this year were if God calls you need to say yes. He doesn't promise it will be easy to obey his call, but He won't leave or forsake you.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 3:16 NIV

The other lesson we learned, the Holy Spirit will go ahead of you. If you're called to minister to others, He will prepare them for you. So many people tell me how much Tim has touched their lives since we moved to South Carolina. He's a man of integrity and tries his best to be a representative of God's light to others. It's been a hard year for many reasons. We faced challenges. But we've persevered. We even weathered a hurricane scare.

Lamentations 3:21-24 ESV "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him.”"

God is good and merciful. We're thankful for 2017, and we're looking forward to an even better 2018.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hope

I was blessed to spend the week after Christmas in Kentucky with my family. During this time, Brooke helped me pick out pictures of dogs for my new stories and we named them. I was impressed how much thought she put into the process. It was fun working with her.

Brook and I also discussed picking out a word at the beginning of the year and focusing on it and God. We discussed a few possibilities and she nudged me to picking Hope. I've picked the word hope another year, but we can never have too much hope.

1 Peter 1:3-5 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."

My hope is in Jesus, and I look forward to what God has in store for me in 2018.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Yucky Yellow Relish

I'm sure you've heard the saying, no good deed goes unpunished. I'd like to share a story that exemplifies this saying.

Some of my first memories are of going to my dad's drug store in Owensboro, KY. They had a soda fountain and made deliveries. It was always fun to go visit him and Mom often let us sit on the spinning stools at the fountain and order a special treat.


When I was eight-years-old, we moved to Elizabethtown, KY where my dad bought a drug store on the town square. My dad has a huge heart. Customers loved him. The bank tellers and even other pharmacists respected and loved my dad. To this day, my dad has a story or joke for every situation. And he doesn't know a stranger. When my youngest son was playing tennis in high school and college, a few of his opponents met my dad before meeting Scott. Like I said, he doesn't know a stranger.

But I digress. My mother ran the front end of the drug store while we were in school while dad took care of the pharmacy. My brother and I loved to go down to the store when we weren't in school. I learned how to use a cash register and make grab bags at the store. There was also a storage basement where Chris and I would play. We could also walk to the library or run to the bank for change from the store.

Many of Dad's customers were farmers or some people struggling financially. Sometimes they couldn't afford their medicines. Dad couldn't let a person walk away if they needed a prescription. He'd say they could pay him later. Sometimes they couldn't. And sometimes they'd give him things like jars of yellow relish. Yuck. But we ate it. I don't know if Mom really liked it or if she was being kind. I followed her lead though and ate the yucky relish.

One thing I learned from this was it pays to be kind. Dad didn't make a lot of money at the drug store, but he made a lot of loyal friends. Both of my parents have a huge heart for others. I hope my heart for others shines like theirs does.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 New International Version
This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.



Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mary and Martha or Vi and Judy

I read again about Mary and Martha and started thinking about my life. Grandmother Lutz had a sister Judy Hudson. Grandmother raised two boys. She was the more practical sister. She worked hard being a mother, weaving, helping with the war effort and she was active in her church. She touched my heart in many ways. Once when I was in high school, I was selected to attend a woman's conference as a youth representative. My grandmother decided to attend the event because she knew I'd be there. It was so fun to take one of the same classes about women in the Bible.

My aunt was never blessed with children. She and her husband were always around though. Aunt Judy loved to entertain, and she usually hired a couple of people to come cook and serve at dinner parties both small and large. Aunt Judy loved to tell stories and she wanted everybody to feel comfortable in her home.

Grandmother focused on the details and Aunt Judy focused on the people in her house at the moment. Sisters.

Mary focused on being with Jesus. Martha focused on the food and house. Sisters.

Recently, we hosted thirty people at her home for Christmas. These people work with Tim, and we decided to hire caterers. I've never done this before, and now I'm hooked. I deep cleaned my home before the party. It was also decorated for Christmas. I was ready and the caterers showed up. Once our company arrived, I was able to greet each person and have enjoyable conversations with them. We had games and handed out presents. In the past, I've tended to burn the rolls or made some mistake with food because I'm torn between interacting with my company and preparing the food. I always want you to feel welcome in my home and it's a juggling act. The wonderful caterers made it possible for me to be Martha/Vi before the party and Mary/Judy during the party.

When it comes to spending time with God, I want to be Mary. I can't have caterers 24/7 taking care of all the little details of my life so I have more time to spend in God's presence. I must CHOOSE what's most important. I must be Mary. Soaking in Jesus and sharing Jesus with others.

Luke 9:62 says, " Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”"

It's fun watching these two grow up. I wonder if one will be Mary and one Martha. Or will they find a good balance?



I hope in the coming year to be more intentional about spending time with God. How about you? How do you make God a priority in your daily life?

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Behold

I've always thought of angels when hearing the word behold.



Last week our pastor, Steve Fairchild, preached on the word behold. I started thinking about this word.

Merriam-Webster defines behold like this:

1 : to perceive through sight or apprehension : see
2 : to gaze upon : observe It was a pleasure to behold the beauty of the sunset. The enormous crowd was a sight to behold.

When God uses behold in the Bible, he's trying to get our attention. It's not just a fluff word. Pastor Fairchild suggested when we see the word behold in the Bible, we need to stop, listen, pay attention and look at what God wants us to see.


Luke 1:26-31

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.


Matthew 1:20 says, " But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."

John 1:29 says, "The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Luke 2:10 says, "And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."

Good news and great joy! How awesome is that? I hope your Christmas is full of great joy! Merry Christmas!