God Has Blessed America

From John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States (the Declaration of Independence was signed by most on July 2nd):

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

I agree with President Adams and thank God for the truly magnificent blessings he has graciously, generously, and overwhelmingly poured out on America. As someone who has lived overseas and traveled the world extensively, it’s almost embarrassing to think of the riches and peace we have compared to other nations. God, forgive us of any pride in that, because our country was founded upon your truths and that is why we prosper.

We are not perfect and have not always handled or appreciated your blessings appropriately, so I thank you for your mercy, too. Thank you for all you have done, all you are doing now, and I ask you to continue to lead, guide, and bless the United States of America.fireworks with love

Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

In Good Faith” is the Daily Prompt asking us to “Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.” Here is an excerpt from my book, “Gleaning The Nuggets”, describing how I got real with God for the first time and finally found Him:

  Who could help her get out of this nightmare? She considered talking to a Catholic priest. She had no religion of her own but she suspected she might need an exorcism. Did the Catholics still believe in all that? Surely not, surely a priest would think she was a lunatic and send her home with a couple of Hail Mary’s.

She considered talking to her father. But no, he would think this was just another crazy thing she had gotten herself into. He wouldn’t believe it was real; he would think it was a drug induced hallucination. She had been outlandish and emotionally unstable for so long, she couldn’t blame him.

In the weeks that followed, her ability to work continued to deteriorate. It was early December and her manager, a lovely woman and a wonderful mentor, told Noelle in the kindest way possible to take time at Christmas to get it together. She gently told Noelle that she had worked too hard and come too far to lose it all now. Noelle nodded her head in agreement and murmured that she was struggling with big values and ethics questions but, yes, she would take time to sort it out. She had planned a Christmas vacation; she would take some time then.

For the next few days Noelle paced the apartment in raw fear. That conversation crystallized the seriousness of her position: her job was in danger. That meant that her son’s security, his home, the life she had worked so hard to build for him was hanging precariously on the edge of a cliff. She couldn’t allow that to happen to him. Self destruction meant little to her, but she could not abide Michael’s destruction. She was desperate for answers, desperate to see beyond her confusion.

She paced from the kitchen to the bedroom, pushing her hands through her hair, watching her hands shake, almost delirious with fear. Suddenly, she didn’t know how, she was on her knees with her forehead to the floor and like a dam bursting forth, a rush of words and tears poured out of her like a tidal wave. Her confusion and fears reached a terrifying crescendo and she cried in complete and utter desperation, “God, please save me! Please save me! I can’t see what’s going on! Please give me the wisdom to see what’s going on!” She released all her pent up terror in a single moment and sobbed with such gut wrenching ferocity she thought her heart would rip out of her chest.

High Park Fire collage

Collage of the High Park Fire, Colorado, 2012

Photo Challenge: Fleeting Skier

Sculpture in Vail, Colorado for the Fleeting photo challenge.

Fleeting Skier

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4: 13-15 NIV

I’ve been learning that life is fleeting.  We often realize that as a result of tragedy…allow your sorrow to spur you, not to bitterness, but push through it to the lesson, which will make you stronger. I lived my life as a unbeliever for 33 years and during those years, try as I might, I could never figure out how to do that.  But with the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we can forgive, be healed of the loss, grasp the lesson, and move on. Everyone has pain…it is the privilege of the Believer to reap a great harvest from it. Life is fleeting, don’t miss it!

Photo Challenge: Patterns in Vail

Vail, Colorado is gloriously beautiful in summer and winter. Vail Village is full of German inspired architecture and patterns.

Vail Village Hotel

Today, a daily lift ticket in Vail is $100. During the opening season in December 1962, it was only $5.  It was founded by two men, Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert, who had no money of their own, but had a vision of what Vail could be. It started small but is now one of the premier ski areas in the world.

If you have a dream or vision bubbling inside your heart, don’t forget:

Zachariah 4:10: Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.

Don’t give up your dream out of frustration with small beginnings!

More Vail History

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