Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't Worry ~ Be Happy - Psalm 139:23-24

(23) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  (24) See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

A very special friend of mine shared something with me that I find very profound.  She commented on the photo of the red rose recently featured at the bottom of this page.  She said "The rose is lovely. It made me think that if a rose can bloom so beautifully in the darkest of night, then so can I."
I was deeply touched by her words.  Think about that rose in relation to our own lives.  The rose doesn't worry about being swallowed up in opaqueness.  It blooms as perfectly in the inky darkness that surrounds it as it does in broad daylight.  It's fragrance still arouses the senses with its heady aroma whether cloaked in the shroud of night or damp with the morning dew.
You may be in a current state of darkness in your life, but you can bloom where you are planted.  The darkness may be sorely apparent to you and those around you.  Even in the midst of the dark void, you have a great beauty within which is capable of bringing pleasure to those around you and at the same time fulfill God's purpose for your life.  The purpose of that rose bush is to flourish and produce the finest blooms ever seen.  When weather conditions are dry, it stretches its roots deep below the surface, straining toward the life-giving water it knows is necessary in order to thrive.
We all experience dry times at some point.  It is necessary to have a reality check and examine your root system (your faith).  Is your thirst being quenched by God's living water?  Are you growing and reaching out to provide nourishment for your soul?
God provides sufficiently for all our needs.  We don't have to worry about the spring drying up.  We don't have to worry about anything.  We choose to worry and we choose to be happy.  We choose to be miserable and we choose to be content.  Don't worry ~ Be happy!
Take care and have a wonderful day!  Love, Nan

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beautiful Feet - Romans 1:16-17 >10:14-17

(16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  (17) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Chapter 10:14-17
(14) How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  (15) And how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"  (16) But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.  For Isaiah says,  "Lord, who has believed our message?"   (17) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

I consider it a joy and privilege to open my Bible any time I wish and read God's Holy Word.  It contains so much love, wisdom, comfort, and instruction.  I take my responsibility as a Christian seriously.  I don't consider myself a preacher, but I do consider myself a disciple of the Most High God, and without leaving the comfort of my own home, my feet (through the miracle of the internet) travel all over the world sharing the word of God with anyone willing to take a moment out of their day to partake of the Bread of Life. 
I am thrilled to have shared the message with someone in Portugal, India, Canada, and all over my beloved America since sending Nan's Calendar via this blog.  Truly, I travel all over the globe spreading the inspired word of God.  
Pray with me that more and more people will visit and learn more about the love of God and what is necessary to have eternal life.  I am merely a vessel God uses to reach his people to comfort, strengthen, teach them, admonish them when necessary, to speak the truth in love and to offer encouragement and inspiration.  I want you to hunger for more.  That is why I encourage everyone to do more than "listen" to me.  Pick up your own Bible and open it.  God will direct you to the wisdom of the day.  The more you follow the way of the Lord, the more he will reveal his way to you.
In faith, Nan

The Goal of Your Faith - 1 Peter 1:6-9

(6) In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  (7) These have come so that your faith -- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire -- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  (8) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (9) for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We find out what we are made of when we are tested.  God already knows us; the good, the bad and the ugly.  As we are capable of grief to a great degree, so, too, are we capable of joy to a great degree.  As we are capable of little faith, so, too, are we capable of great faith.  Yes, we will be tested for purity of heart, mind and soul.  Be careful what you think.  Planting negative thought seeds can produce negative actions.  Planting positive thought seeds can produce positive actions. Better for those negative thoughts to wither and die than for them to grow into negative actions which will result in negative consequences.  Planting positive thought seeds, whether in ones own mind or the minds of others, is far more productive and beneficial, though the reward is not quickly visible.  It is not for us to be concerned about the harvest, but to continue planting seeds.  The germination and growth process will happen in God's time.
As well, we are as a coin placed in the fire to be refined.  God never takes his eyes from us even when we aren't aware of his presence.  As in a coin, shiny and bright, in his obedient child he takes great delight.  The condition of the coin wasn't a thing of beauty in the beginning.  Through patience and perseverance the goldsmith polishes the coin until he sees his own reflection in the coin.  Yes, we are polished until God sees his reflection through us.  So let it be. 

In Christian love, Nan

Refined by the Master’s Hand

By: Nan Forehand

Refined by the Master’s hand.

Before Him humbly I stand.

Ready and willing, cleansed by His blood.

O’r my soul His spirit doth flood.

Held have I been midst hot fire.

Flames at me licked higher and higher.

Never His eyes did He take off me.

Burned away all impurity.

Coin of silver, shiny and bright.

Now God sees Himself in the light.

Not a moment too long in the flames.

With His loved ones He plays no games.

If in the heat today you must burn

upon you His eyes will turn.

One more soul to purify.

It’s found in the book of Malachi.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rest For Your Souls - Matthew 11:28-30

(28) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  (29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Labor, service and submission to authority are represented by the use of the yoke.  Far too often, we submit to the authority of the devil and we carry around his yoke of guilt or worry rather than the yoke of Jesus.  We only need to come to him and allow him to remove the heavy yoke we have carried to the point of being bent over and sick from the weight of our burdens.
Even through times when our work is difficult and full of stress, we find rest through fellowship with Jesus.  Experience the sheer delight when the heavy weight is lifted from your shoulders allowing you to lie down and rest in peace.  The yoke of Christ is so light we hardly notice it is upon us.  Better to carry the yoke of Jesus than to stumble and fall on our faces from the weighty burdens of sin, guilt, unforgiveness, worry or doubt.
The sooner we learn what Jesus has done for us, the sooner we are able to rest in him.  Then our labor, service and submission to him becomes a joy rather than a chore to be endured.
Acknowledge what Jesus has done for you.  Lay down the heavy yoke.  Come.  Rest.  Lie down in peace.  When two are yoked together, the way is easier and the stress is lessened.   You don't have to carry the yoke alone, because Jesus is by your side helping you along the way.  It could be that you're wearing blinders and can't see him beside you.  Ask him to remove your blinders so you can fully know his presence is near.
In Christian love, Nan

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Heart Leaps For Joy - Psalm 28:6-9

(6) Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.  (7) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.  (8) The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.  (9) Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

There was a time years ago, before I met my soulmate, Allen, I wondered if I would live another day.  You may have a memory of such a time, whether it was someone after your own life or yourself being in such a deep, confused, state of mind, the thought of taking your own was in the forefront.  You and I are alive today because God heard our cry and saved us from a terrible fate. 
As I live and breathe God has shown mercy to me more times than I can count.  He truly is my strength and shield.  My heart does trust in him.  My heart does leap for joy and I am thankful each and every day for his presence in my life.  I am filled each time I go to church and worship in song.  There is something special about those old sacred hymns we sing.  They mean so much to me because I understand more now about God's mercy and grace than when I was a young girl.
I encourage you to follow God's leading and go to church.  I can't say I am in church every Sunday without fail.  There are times my seat in the sanctuary is empty.  I do, however, believe your presence and participation in church is more valuable than you realize regarding your spiritual growth.  I trust and believe God will guide you to the church of his choosing for you when you believe in him and allow him to lead you there. 

A mighty fortress is our God.  Place your trust in him and be helped.

In Christian love, Nan

Monday, October 26, 2009

Strengthened Character - Romans 5:1-5

(1) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  (2)  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.   (3)  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; (4) perseverance, character; and character, hope.  (5) And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Peace can and does come of our suffering when we give our suffering a new meaning.  When we use our suffering as a means to glorify God we become a conqueror over that suffering.  Our character is developed and deepened as we persevere and overcome obstacles on our pathway into The Light.  Character produces hope.  Never, never, never give up hope.  We conquer a sickness in our mind when we feed our mind only the thoughts of a champion instead of the thoughts of a victim mentality.

Be a conqueror today.  Be the champion that I know you to be.  Be the victor and not the victim.  You do have a choice in the matter.  Loose the hold of the victim and let it go.

Have a wonderful, victorious day in the Lord!!

Your sister in Christ, Nan

Friday, October 23, 2009

Proper Acknowledgement - Matthew 10:32-33

(32) "Whoever acknowledges me before men,  I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  (33) But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."

Jesus went on to say (37) "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; (38) and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

Jesus was speaking to his disciples in these scriptures.  We, as Christians, are his disciples.  There is much to learn from reading the book of Matthew.  I praise Jesus every day because I live and breathe.  Though I know my place is to serve him, I have a close personal relationship with him.  Without him, I would not exist nor would my children.  Because of his love, I have my beloved Allen, Ashley and John.  I have my family and friends.  I am thankful for their love and support.  Before they loved me, Jesus loved me.  As much as I love them, I love Jesus more.  It's just that simple.  I am his and he is mine.  I'm so thankful for this truth that I want everyone to know and understand it for themselves.  There is so much more to life than we are experiencing if we only go to Jesus and acknowledge him and his importance in our lives.  He is the way and the truth and the life.  So let it be.

Have a wonderful day and tell someone about Jesus.  It could be the first time they hear of Jesus and his love.

In Christian love, Nan

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heart and Soul - Deuteronomy 6:5-7

(5) Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  (6) These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts.  (7) Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

The commandments referred to are The Ten Commandments found in Deuteronomy Chapter five.  If you don't remember them all, refresh your memory.  Did you know that when Moses spoke he stuttered?  He didn't understand why he was chosen by God.   Moses accomplished God's purpose for his life in spite of the fact that he stuttered.

In spite of your perceived inadequacies, God can and will fulfill his purpose for your life when you allow him that influence over your life.  I'm a prime example.  I sat here and thought long and hard about sending Nan's Calendar by email two years ago.  Yes, the negative "what ifs" went through my mind.  I also knew in my heart and soul this is the way God wanted me to go.  Right now, I could be in bed asleep, but God woke me up and led me to the computer and is giving me the words to speak to you today.

You read the last line of the passage, right?  'Talk about them, ...... and when you get up.'  My day begins on a positive note every day.  Should you choose to read these messages of faith, hope and love early in the morning, your day will begin on a positive note.  It sets the tone for the whole day.  When you read these messages at the close of the day, you will lie down and sleep in contented peace.  I only speak of what I know.  I know that I know that I know.

Take care and enjoy the gift of this day and use it to God's glory.  Your efforts will be noticed by the Lord and blessings will be yours, more and greater than you can imagine.

Blessings to you,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Passionate Purpose - Philippians 2:1-5

(1) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  (3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (5) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

The apostle Paul and I have a lot in common.  We truly relate to things in the same way.  Two years ago today, October 21, 2007, I began sending out Nan's Calendar through email and in less than two years, it has become larger and stronger than in its inception.  This is the work of God, not that I can boast for myself.  I will gladly boast on behalf of the Lord.

It has been my honor and passionate joy to put fingers to the keys and mind to the Spirit, giving you a taste of the Good Things the Lord has waiting for you when you reach out in faith and truly believe in him and his purpose for your life.  I hope and pray you have received some comfort and encouragement from my dedicated efforts to do so.  Some of you may perceive to not have a close personal relationship with me, but I love you and I feel a closeness to you that goes beyond words.

I hope you continue to follow God's word through Nan's Calendar by visiting this blog.  Remember, it is my way of giving back what has been given to me through the years.  The more we give, the more we receive.  Honestly.

Take care and have a wonderful day!
In Christian love, Nan

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Where There Is A Will - Psalm 143:10

(10) Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Where there is a will, there is a way.  When we allow God's will to work in our lives, we discover  a way greater than our own.  Follow the way of the Lord and all your efforts will meet with success.  Every time.   He will not fail those who love him and follow his teachings.   It says so in the Bible and I believe it.  What do you believe?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star - Psalm 8:3-5

(3) When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place (4) what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?   (5) You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

This morning is the coldest we have had this Fall.  It's about 34 degrees F.   Dawn has not broken and the sky is filled with twinkling stars.  What a beautiful sight!  Though my skin was chilled, I wanted to stay out there and absorb the beauty above me.

It is surely reason to praise God each time I look up at the starry sky.  God does care about mankind.  That is reason to  praise him.  He crowned man with glory and honor. Though we experience a myriad of feelings in our lifetime from sorrow, anger, discouragement, pain, gratitude, contentment, joy, peace, and love, we are surely to find comfort and strength from reading the Psalms.

 Kind David, Soloman and Moses were among those who wrote the Psalms. I encourage you to take time to read Psalms to understand that it's ok to be emotionally up and down sometimes.  We aren't supposed to always be up and we aren't supposed to always be down.  It's challenging to find that balance of emotions.

I gained such benefit and insight when I read both Psalms and Proverbs together.  When you begin reading, it is wise to read one chapter of Proverbs and five Psalms a day.  When you read them this way, you will have read both books in one month.  Trust me, you will find yourself relating to God in a way you never have before as you read these two books together and in this format.  Make it your commitment to do this for a whole month.  Create the time necessary to do it in peace and quiet, whether it is before the rest of the household is up and moving or later in the evening when the day is done.  I know you will be blessed by doing so.  We draw close to God by reading and trusting him through his word.  Learn for yourself.   Don't merely take my word for it.  We serve an awesome God!

Take care and dress warmly.  Be safe.  Be good.

Love, Nan

Friday, October 16, 2009

Humility is the Secret - John 15:1-17

(1) "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  (2) He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  (3) You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  (4) Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.   (5) "I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  (6) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned.  (7) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  (8) This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  (9) "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  (10) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.  (11) I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  (12) My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you.  (13) Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  (14) You are my friends if you do what I command.  (15) I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  (16) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  (17) This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus is serious as he says this to you and me and all of humanity.  When we finally understand that, truly, apart from Jesus, we can do nothing, our spirits are open to all he has waiting for us.  Jesus paid the ultimate price for all of us when he died on the cross for our sins.  We must humble ourselves before him and give him the glory and honor he deserves.  We don't deserve a thing we receive, really.
Jesus didn't say we will get everything we want.  He desires us to have a healthy relationship with him.  When our hearts are focused on him and we are obedient believers, and our desires are consistent with his will, our heavenly Father fulfills his promise to answer our prayers.
God doesn't want part of us all the time or all of us part of the time.  He wants all of us all of the time.  He has no use for lukewarm Christians.  We are either true, obedient believers or we are not.  Get off the fence.  (I say this with all the love in my heart, because I care about your place in eternity.)
With humble and contrite heart, we come before him and obey his commands.  He doesn't ask us to love each other if we feel like it.  He is not concerned about our feelings as much as he wants us to be more like him.  It isn't easy, but it is what he called us to do.  He commands us to love each other.  That means, rather than feeling a certain way, we are to do loving things.

Humility is the secret.

In Christian love, your sister in Christ.  Nan

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be Joyful Always - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

(16) Be joyful always; (17) pray continually; (18) give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I have learned to be joyful even in the midst of great adversity.  I want you to pay particular attention to the right side of this site.  Notice "My Favorite Links".  You will read about Maggie Cobb.  I urge you to click on to the caringbridge site set up for her and her family.  She is a precious nine year old child who has an inoperable brain tumor.  Please pray for her and tell everyone you know to pray for her and her family.  Even in the midst of great concern for her health, I pray for them to keep joy in their hearts.  I don't doubt God's presence in their lives to lift them up and to strengthen them and to comfort them as only he can do.

Be a prayer warrior for this beautiful child of God.

Our great God is in the business of miracles.  Though man may consider something to be hopeless, we can't put limits on our limitless God.  Be joyful always.  Pray without ceasing.  Give thanks.  This is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

If you have joy in your heart, don't let anyone take it away from you.  If you don't have joy in your heart this moment, know that it is attainable.  Delve into your Bible and find out how to experience joy in the midst of adversity.  It is possible to be joyful when if feels as though your heart is breaking.   Think of all the things for which you have to be thankful.  A grateful heart is a great avenue to bring home your joy.

Now is the time.  It is of the essence.

Lord, please help the one reading this message have  a joyful day regardless of current circumstances that are beyond their control.  In Jesus name I pray.

Joyfully yours,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who Moved My Cheese - Isaiah 48:17-18

(17) This is what the LORD says --- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.  (18) If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea."

I hope you are curious as to the relationship of today's title and the selected  verses.  What does cheese have to do with you and me?   Who Moved My Cheese is the title of a book by Spencer Johnson, M.D.   I read this book several years ago, and Tuesday evening after work, I found a copy of it in my local Goodwill store.  I was keenly aware of my wonderfully familiar God letting me know I had to buy this book (among several other awesome books).  Little did I know it would be the subject for today's message.

This book contains a parable that reveals to us several profound truths regarding change.  "It is an a-mazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life" (printed on the inside of the book cover.  The story is short, but chock full of insights that can last a lifetime for the reader who decides to apply these unique insights in daily life on the job and in relationships.

But, how is it connected with the Bible verses?  In relation to the maze in the story, we are walking through this maze called life.  Sometimes, when we believe we are on the right path, we come upon a wall that can't be penetrated.  We have to turn around and go in a different direction.  How this connects with the verses is that we strengthen our faith when we rely on God to guide us through the maze.  He will lead us, but we have to be willing to be led.  This involves changing directions when we least anticipate an obstacle.  It takes courage to change directions when we don't know what lies around the next corner.

I'm sure you can find it in your local library.  Check it out.  You will be glad you did!  Trust me!  So somebody moved your what will you do about it?!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Glorious Joy - 1 Peter 1:8

(8) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

Glorious Joy

glorious joy is mine
 bask in the glow of Sonshine

days may be rainy and drear
warmed by his touch ever near

thief in the night can not steal
my joy; my joy is true and real

Jesus is mine; my all in all
he catches me just before I fall

he lives in me and I in he
 joyful as joyful can be

written by Nan Forehand
Tues., Oct. 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Making of Disciples - John 14:15-21

(15) "If you love me, you will obey what I command.  (16) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever ---- (17) the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  (18) I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  (19) Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.  (20) On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  (21) Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

The Great Commission
Matthew 28:16:20
(16) Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  (17) When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  (18) Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  (19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Yes, at this point in time, there were eleven disciples.  This conversation happened after Judas had betrayed Jesus.  I believe Jesus is talking to us here, also.  As Christians, we are also disciples.  We are to do more for the Kingdom than go to church on Sunday and drop a few dollars in the offering plate.  We are to take the Good News outside of those church walls into the world and be what Jesus calls us all to be.   Did you notice Matthew said "some doubted."?  Yes, disciples are human and at times doubt.  Jesus didn't remove them as disciples because of their doubts.

In spite of our doubts, we, as Christians, are still to obey his commands.  Therefore, I tell you this also.  Nan's Calendar is my calling from God to make disciples.  Disciples are to make disciples of all nations.  All my efforts to encourage you and help strengthen you in your walk will be useless if you don't do as Jesus said.  I encourage you so that you can go and encourage others with the same encouragement you have received.

Allen installed a site meter for this blog.  I don't know everything about the readers of this site, but I know how many read these messages each day and I know their general location.  Right now, the people who come to this site and read from God's Word are few, but if only one person reads these messages in a day, a week, or a month, it is worth my time and effort to encourage that one person.  If you are that one person, do as Jesus said.  He wants you to go out and make disciples, also.  Don't worry about what you will say.  He lives in you and will be there with you, telling you what to say to that person to whom he directs you.

This is the message God wants you to hear this day.  In Christian love, Nan

Sunday, October 11, 2009

" long as it is called Today" - Hebrews 3:12-15

(12) See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  (13) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.  (14) We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.  (15) As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."

I recently heard someone say "There's no such thing as "try".  We either do something or we don't do it."
As long as it is called "today" I am fulfilling God's purpose for my life, simply by giving a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement.  How do I know I am fulfilling God's purpose for my life.  I feel it in my soul.  
Souls speak in a language of their own.  God's soul speaks to my soul and I close my mouth, open my ears and listen and then fulfill my purpose.

 Since we don't know how long our "today" will be,  (we don't know how long we will live), we have to believe in God and not turn from him.  We should strive so fervently to grow into the likeness of Jesus that when someone looks at us, it as if they are looking at Jesus.  We didn't get to where we are now overnight and we won't get to where we are going overnight.  Stay on the right road and your future will be bright.  Don't let your heart become hardened by mistakes and regrets of the past.  Allow God to soften your heart and mold you into the person you are becoming.  You're more than a human being.  you are a human becoming.

Even if we are standing still, we are moving toward our future.  The future is now (today).  No fears, no regrets, just a future with a promise.  Let go of the negatives that are holding you back from a richer, fuller life.  No fears, no regrets, just a future with a promise.  Believe it and achieve it!

In Christian love, Nan

Saturday, October 10, 2009

When We Least Expect It - Psalm 9:10

(10) Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Hebrews 10:23-25
(23) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  (24) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  (25) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

It's a good thing I'm not overly concerned about planning the events of my day.  That's for God to do.  It is for me to be attentive and alert to his calling and sometimes, nudging me in the direction he wants me to go.  When I least expect it, God will put someone in front of me who needs to be on the receiving end of encouragement.  Sometimes, he puts me in a place where someone will cross my path and the encouragement is intended for me.

It is as though time and space take on a new dimension when another person and I are engaged in a conversation blessed by God, himself.  When I left home this morning, I didn't plan to go to my neighborhood Belk store before returning home.  It was late in the afternoon and I had just left my daughter and her husband (another God given opportunity to be in the right place at the right time) and instead of turning left at the highway, I turned right.  I found myself in my local Belk.  I wondered what was my purpose for being there.  I soon understood why I was there.  I made my selection of a pretty golden colored top for myself and a polo style shirt of a similar hue for Allen.  Naturally, both items were on sale and affordable.  After a few more minutes of browsing, I proceeded to the checkout area.  There, to my surprise, was my purpose for being in the store standing right in front of me in the form of a lovely employee who assisted me in the completion of my purchase. The lady with beautiful brown skin, who I learned later is 61 years old, and I began to engage in a casual conversation.  Very quickly, and with such ease, our conversation turned toward God and how he has brought both of us from the depths of despair to a place where our hearts are continually filled with joy.  Vivian and I stood there praising God and we shared a beautiful time of worship right there in the store.  As there wasn't a single person in her area, we conversed completely uninterrupted.  By the end of our conversation, we had exchanged names and phone numbers and gave each other a tender hug.  As we said our goodbye, a lady customer approached us and I'm quite sure she thought Vivian and I had known each other for years.  Little did she know we had just met moments before.  We parted company with high spirits filled with joy and thanksgiving.  I smiled all the way out of that store and into the parking lot.  I laughed out loud and a broad smile stretched across my face when I heard the song in my car stereo system playing "let the sun shine; let the sun shine; let the sun shine in"  The Son surely shone in my heart and in Vivian's heart this afternoon!

When we seek God's will and direction, he will be found by us and when we least expect it, blessings will overflow.  In this life, God will put someone directly in my path;  sometimes, it is a person I will encourage and then again, it is I, who will be on the receiving end of encouragement.

Be ready.  When you least expect it ........

Take care and have a wonderful day!  Be ready!  In Christian love, Nan

Friday, October 9, 2009

United in Love - Colossians 2:2-5

(2) My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (4) I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.  (5) For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

I understand how the apostle Paul felt.  That's the same way I feel about you.  Though we are miles apart, states apart and countries apart, physically, I want you to know that I am with you in spirit.  I think of you more often than you know.  I want to hear from you about your it has grown, how it is growing....
I feel that when we meet face to face, we will slide into a comfortable conversation in the same way as we slide on a perfectly fitted glove.

My purpose is to encourage you through Nan's Calendar.  It began as a single desire to give back what has been given to me, that being encouragement from godly people who loved me in spite of myself.

If you could be a creation other than human, what would you be and why?  I'd be a butterfly.  That's an easy one for you to figure out.  I struggled for so long in my cocoon and was transformed into a beautifully colored creature who wings herself from North Carolina all the way to India and Trinidad and all over the U.S. and Canada, sprinkling encouragement along the way.

Take care and have a day full of encouragement and love.  When you share your love and encouragement, they come back to you multiplied many times over.  Love,  Nan

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Living Water - John 17:37-41

(37) On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  (38) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."  (39) By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.  Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.  (40) Upon hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."  (41) Others said, "He is the Christ."

Jesus is indeed the Christ.

There are times in our lives when we seem to be in a dry desert regarding our spiritual walk.  Jesus wants us to know that even through those dry places, he is with us and will give us the Living Water for which we thirst.  There is no other method of quenching this kind of thirst that will sustain us and cause us to thrive.  He wants you to thrive and to live forever with him.  That is what I want for you, too.

The best is yet to be.  Drink now.  He holds the cup before you.  Take it and be filled.

It's a beautiful Fall day here in Iredell County.  Enjoy it to the fullest measure.  Love, Nan

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Be Good - 1 Timothy 4:4-10

(4) For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, (5) because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.  (6) If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.  (7) Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  (8) For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.  (9) This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance  (10)  (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

God created you good.  He made you good, so be good!  Who are you to be your own judge and jury?  (I ask in a loving voice)  You have had life experiences; some good and some not good.  We've all made poor choices during our lifetime.   That's because we're human and since the time of Adam and Eve there has been sin in the world.

Sometimes, when I have looked into my own mirror, I wasn't pleased with the woman in the mirror.  I didn't see my true beauty.  It was hidden by my own sense of unworthiness.  We believe what we are told.  I told myself I wasn't beautiful.  I didn't need anyone else to tell me.  I had already convinced myself I was ugly inside and outside.  I had to labor and strive to change my thoughts and my own perception of me.  I'm still a work in progress, but through years of learning more about God and how I should live my life, it is easier to look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman.  I don't know what others see when they see me, but I think God likes what he sees when he looks at me; heart, soul, and all.

God made you good!  You are good!  So, just be good!

Have a wonderful day and smile at the person in the mirror.  Love, Nan

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Be Prosperous and Successful - Joshua 1:8-9

(8)  "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  (9) Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

God spoke to Joshua in this passage.  However, we as Christians can be confident that God loves us in the same way and we are to obey his commands.  He didn't say 'if you want to' or 'try to be strong' or 'you might be prosperous and successful if you do everything according to his will'.

My annual income isn't great, but I consider myself prosperous and successful.  If today is the last day I take a breath on this earth, I will die a happy woman.  I know that my life has counted for good.  God brought me up from the depths and all I have now is to his credit.  I have so much that is intangible for which to be thankful.  And I am.

There are so many intangibles right in front of our faces that are priceless.  Rather than be tempted to rate your level of prosperity and success according to the standards of the world view, be thankful for all God has granted you.  Think about your own intangibles today as you work and play.  Say a word of thanks as you acknowledge, to God, the many blessings in your life.

You are a blessing in my life.  For you, my friends I haven't met yet, I would love to see your face and know your name.  As well, there are some of you whose name I know, but still haven't seen your face.  When I pray for you, it helps me to remember your features in my mind.  You are special.  There's only one you on the entire earth and it would be my privilege and honor to see a picture of you.  I'm sure you have my email address.   Send it there.  

When I pray for loved ones, I envision their faces before me as I pray on their behalf.  Whether you live in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India or Trinidad, I consider you my neighbors and I care about you.  I want you to be prosperous and successful.  That is why I pray for your spiritual health as well as your physical, emotional and relational health.

Have a wonderful day!

In Christian love, Nan

Monday, October 5, 2009

Purpose - Psalm 138:8

(8) The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD endures forever -- do not abandon the works of your hands.

Proverbs 19:21

(21) Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

Romans 8:28

(28) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Understanding God's purpose in life for us, and our purpose in life for God leads us to a better focus of how we spend our time and our energy.  Without a purpose, we lack motivation and everything seems complicated.  Our energy is quickly depleted and life begins to feel out of control.  We walk around in a daze, unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

I want more for you than to merely survive.  I want you to thrive! As much as I want you to thrive, you have to want it more than I want it for you. One of the best books I have ever experienced (yes, experienced, rather than read) is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.  Your experience is based on you taking a 40 day journey with him as he helps you understand about a life lived on purpose and with a purpose.  As long as our purpose is aligned with God's purpose for us, we experience peace and a fulfillment that goes beyond words to express.  We are all becoming the people God is continuing to mold.  Our experiences here on Earth are preparing us for eternity.

I can only speak of what I know and of what I am sure.  We are all a work in progress.  God isn't finished with us (humanity) yet.  Let go of whatever is holding you captive and experience all the good things in life that come your way when you allow God to fulfill his purpose for you.

Your sister in Christ, Nan

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pray In The Spirit - Jude 20-23

(20) But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  (21) Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  (22) Be merciful to those who doubt; (23) snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear -- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

To understand praying in the Holy Spirit, I will share with you a side note in my Bible which comes from Ephesians.  "When we submit our hearts and minds to the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit and then pray in his power, we are praying in the Spirit.  Some believe praying in the Spirit may include the use of certain spiritual gifts such as faith (1 Corinthians 12:9) or unknown tongues (1 Corinthians 14:2)." Quest Study Bible New International Version

I treasure my faith.  No one can ever take it from me.  When I left my Mama's home 26 years ago with only the clothes on my back, I had faith.  My faith is stronger now than it was back then.  I looked death in the face and defeated it, because I had faith that God had a better life planned for me. I did the best I could with the life I had, but no one asks to be abused.  Mama went to her grave not knowing the true story.  I had to protect her and my family from the shame and humiliation of knowing the truth.  I could bear what was happening to me.  It was all I could do to live through it, but I did it.   I couldn't bear to cause my loved ones pain and suffering.  The life I have lived since I left home is an alternate reality. Thank God!!!   I know I would have died had I stayed in that house one day longer.  I live now in my own heaven on earth rather than the living hell I lived in as a teenager and young adult.

God has a better life planned for you, too.  If you feel your faith is weak, submit your heart to God and ask him to strengthen your faith and increase it.  He loves you and so do I.  To quote a line from a movie "have a little faith, baby"!

You have direct access to this blog and you have direct access to God.  You also have direct access to me by commenting to these messages or to me by email at   (email is private)  I'd love to hear from you, and so would God.  Take care.  Your sister in Christ, Nan

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Delightful Interruptions - Romans 8:28-31

(28) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (29) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  (30) And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.  (31) What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?

It really comes down to our perspective about the things that are happening to us in life.  Are we being inconvenienced and interrupted when God causes a stirring in the heart to step outside of our comfort zone?  When we suffer because of some wrong we have endured it is natural for us to question "why me?"  Well, I say "why not you/me!"  Our suffering isn't in vain when we understand that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him..."  Even through your time of suffering, God is planning for good things for your life.  This gets me really excited when I think about your future!!!!

It seems as though we are against ourselves, sometimes.  There are times in life when we become our own worst enemy. We imagine all the worst case scenarios in our minds when thinking of doing something that takes us outside of our comfort zone.  God gave us the gift of imagination and we should use our imagination to envision the best that can possibly happen, rather than convincing ourselves of the worst possible scenario.

It can be scary to believe something good will happen.  You can convince yourself that every time something good comes your way it is taken away from you.  So why should you even bother to reach out?  I say to you, "Because you're worth it!!  God created you.  He knows you're worth it!!!"  Believe in your own worthiness to love and be loved.  God created you to be loving, lovable and loved.

It's your choice to accept yourself, flaws and all.  When you forgive yourself from whatever wrong you have done and ask God to forgive you, doors will open and opportunities abound.  That's because God loves you and wants you to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus.  To be loving, lovable and loved....that's what we all want.  That's what God wants for us, too.  Sometimes, we will be interrupted and inconvenienced as we are becoming more in the likeness of Jesus.

The next time you are interrupted or inconvenienced, consider it a delight!

Take care and have a day filled with delightful interruptions!  Love, Nan

Friday, October 2, 2009

......through love. - Galatians 5:6

(6) The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5:14-15
(14) The entire law is summed up in a single command:  "Love your neighbor as yourself."  (15) If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

I received a very disturbing email this morning.  In fact, it was the first email I read upon arising.  Were the words founded or unfounded?  (Rhetorically speaking).  I had  a choice as to how to respond.  I spoke the truth in love, so as not to antagonize the writer of the email.  I will spare you the details of the email.  The words aren't flattering to the writer.  Instead of taking those words personally, I sensed a troubled person, lashing out at someone, because of what, I don't know.  It wouldn't be fair for me to speculate on that answer.  Please join me in praying for this person.  God knows who wrote the email to me.  I choose not to share the name.

We always have a choice.  When I responded to the email, I chose my words carefully and with love in my heart.  I hope you will do the same when you are faced with a situation that could escalate in a negative way, depending on how you choose to respond.

As a carpenter measures twice and makes one cut of the wood, think twice before opening your mouth to speak and before you speak, ask God to direct your words so that he is honored by your behavior.

Have a wonderful day.  I will.  In Christian love.  Nan

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm Still Smiling - 1 Peter 4:8-11

(8) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (9) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  (10) Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  (11) If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen. 

Yesterday was an awesome day!  Yes, I really am still smiling from the joys of the day.  To say the day at work was productive would be an understatement.  My mind was so full when I left the office that I needed a little time to myself to "change gears."  I went by my local Goodwill store and purchased some terrific inspirational books.  That's a story for another day.  
While driving home from the grocery store, I received a call from Allen, asking me "where are you?" His voice was full of love and concern.   I was, indeed, late getting home.  He said "there's someone here who wants to meet you.  She reads Nan's Calendar."  "They can't stay long.  Come on home."  When we got off the phone, I was more confused than informed, I thought.  

As I drove down the lane, I saw a car drive off the lane and into the grass.  I pulled up beside it and put down my window.  In the car were a husband and wife (friends of our family).  A lady sat in the back seat.  I didn't know who she was at the time.  The lady in the front seat receives Nan's Calendar and shared with me some time ago that she wanted the lady in the back seat to receive the daily messages from me, who I later learned, forwards them on to others, as well.  I couldn't just sit there!  I got out of my car and she opened the door.  I opened my arms and she got out of the car and we shared an excited, warm embrace.  I was thrilled to hear the story of what brought her to my house.  I could feel the warmth of her spirit as we talked.  It was my honor and privilege to meet her.  

The ladies and Allen's mom had just returned from an out of town trip.  It really is a small world!  This dear "new friend" of mine had been my mother-in-law's room mate during their trip.   I finally had the pleasure of meeting a "friend I'd never met!"  I had sent her an email welcoming her to Nan's Calendar quite some time ago.  Had I come home five minutes later, I would have missed meeting her!  Once again, God revealed his perfect timing!  I was thrilled beyond words to meet Jackie.  I invited them all to come home with me, but they declined as Jackie still had to drive home.  
God knew these women would room together during their trip and that I would get to meet Jackie the afternoon of their return home.  Expect good things to come your way and they will.  God already has blessings and gifts prepared for you each and every day.  Wake up in the morning excited and thankful to be alive and you will be amazed at the blessings God will bestow upon you!  Serve him gladly and with a happy heart, first and foremost.  

If today, you and I haven't met face to face, I believe we will, in God's timing.  I consider you to be a friend I haven't met yet.  When we meet, don't be surprised if you get a hug from me.  Hugs are gifts, too.  It may be the only gift I can give you at the time, but I gladly give hugs.  They only last a moment, but the good feelings that come with them linger for a long, long time.

I consider Nan's Calendar to be a gift from God.   I gladly and with a happy heart serve him and you, also.  If you don't already know what is your gift, ask God to reveal it to you.  He will, though he may speak in a still, small voice when he reveals it to you.  Listen.  Then let go of any fear that would prevent you from sharing your God-given gift with others.  You have love in your heart.  That's a gift.  You have a beautiful smile.  Share it.  Someone out there needs to see your smile today.  I'm still smiling.  Take care.  Love, Nan