Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting ready for an adventure

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your faithfulness in reaching out to the Lord through the medium of Nan's Calendar this year, and for some of you since its inception August 1, 2007.  I hope you continue in your search for God's truths and to grow in knowledge and understanding of some of the mysteries surrounding our all powerful God.
For some time now, God has been increasingly nudging me to do something that requires a block of quality time each day and I am responding to His nudging.  I will continue to write Nan's Calendar.  However, the messages will be somewhat less frequent.  Since beginning this blog, I have posted approximately 80 messages.  I wouldn't know if any one person has read all 80 messages or not.  It would be awesome for the Lord if anyone has done so.  That being said, there is still plenty of reading material available here in the Archives section of the blog.  Help yourself to any and all of them. 
For the month of January, I am taking a special trip through Psalms and Proverbs.  I am reading five Psalms and one Proverb each day.  I want to fully absorb these two awesome books.  In one month I will have read both books.   It is an incredible adventure I have experienced once before.  My life hasn't been the same since that first reading.  I hunger for that adventure once more.  I am so excited about what will come from this concerted, devoted endeavor to delve deeper into God's Word. 
I encourage all of you to stretch and grow in the Lord in a specific way in this new year.  So many blessings await us all in 2010.  If we could know now what God has in store for us, we wouldn't be able to comprehend all of it. 
There is no better way for me to begin this new year than to take a 31 day walk with God through my Bible in this capacity.  Pray for me that God will open my eyes to truths that I haven't yet understood.  I am believing He will.  I believe in His will.  I believe in Him. 
I believe in you and all God is accomplishing in your life.  I believe God has wonderful plans and incredible blessings in store for you in 2010.  Babies will be born.  Marriage vows will be spoken.  Students will graduate.  Jobs will be secured.  Health will be improved. 
As well, loved ones will die.  Divorces will be finalized.  Students will drop out of school.  Jobs will be lost.  Health will deteriorate.  God is with us through all of the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is our choice and our responsibility to accept our realities, whatever they may be, and to embrace them, one and all.  Yes, embrace your defeats and tragedies.  God is with you and will give you exactly what you need when you need it to get through whatever you face.  Of this, I have no doubt.
Take care and may God richly bless you.  This is not the end of Nan's Calendar.  When I come to you again, I will be better.  I will have grown in my faith.  We are all a work in progress and God continues to work on me.  By being faithful to God and listening to Him calling me in this direction for the next month, we all will benefit in ways we can't even imagine right now.
I have to get up and get ready for work now.  Take care and have a safe and happy end to 2009 and a wonderful, beautiful, prosperous new year and keep God in the center of it all.  I love you!  Nan

Monday, December 28, 2009

The file, the hammer and the fire

Figuratively speaking, of course, there were times in my life God used his file to shape me and smooth my rough edges.  I recall as a child having a jagged finger nail that tore down to the quick.  Because of the current pain in my finger, I didn't want Mama to hold my hand and take the file to my throbbing finger.  As I resisted her attempt, her grip tightened a bit, holding me still.  I imagined as badly as it hurt, it was about to hurt even more.  It was a challenge for me to trust her and allow myself to relax under her experienced hands.  I had to endure the pain as she tenderly, gently filed the ragged nail smooth again.  She explained that my pain was only temporary and that, in time, the nail would grow normally, as it should.  She was right.  God is right when he takes his file to me and shapes and smoothes my rough edges.
I know there were times when God had to get out His hammer and chip away at the negative habits I had allowed to form in my life.  I have learned the hard way to instill positive habits in my life so it isn't necessary for God to use His hammer.  It has become second nature to be a positive person.  Hand me a negative and I will hand you a positive in return.  I won't allow my life to become consumed with negative influences, negative thoughts or negative actions.  I'm not perfect, but I can't remember the last time God took out His hammer and came toward me with it. 
The poem below explains how we are Refined By The Master's Hand.

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.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hand in Hand - Hebrews 11:1

(1) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

We can't see ahead into the new year, but we have faith that we will see another year come and go.  We hope it will be a good year; so faith and hope go hand in hand.

As you travel through life in the new year, know that the Lord your God is with you each and every step of the way, come what may.  Whatever you have encountered in 2009 is now a memory.  Take the good lessons from the memories of difficult experiences and let the rest blow away with the wind, never to return again.  Face the unknown of 2010 with hope and steadfast faith in God that He will lead you, guide you and direct you each step of the way. 
I look forward to the new year and the many ways God will show Himself to me and to you.  I pray mysteries will be revealed for you and that you grow in your faith.  I pray any emotional scars remaining on your heart will fade to the point of vanishing completely.  I pray for your spiritual, emotional, relational  and physical wholeness.  I pray these things in Jesus' name and I believe He hears me and listens to the prayers from my heart.  I believe you will be closer to the Lord in 2010 than you have ever experienced Him in your life before.  I pray God will use you to draw someone closer to Him.  There is so much needless pain and suffering in our world today.  We all need all the help and encouragement we can get.  Be the encourager, get the encouragement.

Face the Unknown with Hope
By: Nan Forehand

Many times over the years
life is glimpsed through bitter tears.
A wretched existence with no hope,
clinging to a single tenuous thread.
‘Tis a lonely place
a dark, worldly abyss.

O to be cherished by one
so worthy and true;
a love strong enough to unlock
the shackles of fear surrounding a heart.

A miracle to behold
to leave fear at His feet
Nevermore in a corner to cower.

kneeling humbly in the light
of a love wondrous and bright,
with trembling hands
folded close to the heart
words trickle out
as a clear mountain stream.

In return,
transformed by love and peace
eager to serve and spread The Word.
Love and encouragement to all
repaid a hundred times over.
That dark, worldly abyss
no longer to exist.
Sunday, July 5, 2005
Have a wonderful day!  Love, Nan

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just A Taste - Psalm 34:8

(8) Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Silent Night, Holy Night sung by Olivia Newton-John has been selected for your listening pleasure today.  Access it by clicking on the youtube link at the right of this page.

I take considerable time each morning or evening when I select the song from a Youtube video for you and I also take plenty of time preparing the message of the day.  This isn't something that I can or will rush through simply to get it posted and move on to the next thing.
Each inspirational quote, each passage from the Bible and each song I select to accompany the message is carefully and deliberately chosen for your maximum enjoyment and encouragement.  If I were not to find beauty and comfort from them, how, then can I expect you to find beauty and comfort from them.  Sometimes, I don't know what I am looking for, but I know it when I find it that "this is the one" and I get glory bumps on my skin or I get a familiar sensation through my body that I am where God has led me in preparing the message in its entirety. 
Through Nan's Calendar, I give you a taste of the goodness of the Lord and a taste of, perhaps, different styles of music/hymns than you are accustomed to hearing.  Likewise, I may include something that is known to you already and it is simply a moment of reflection of a special time in your life.  Whatever the case, I want you to enjoy a moment of solitude and a time of meditation as you sit at your computer (or through your blackberry) or whatever means you "tune in" to Nan's Calendar. 
In the busyness of your day, it is possible to "get away" for a little while and to be revived; to taste something good.  I want my efforts to leave a pleasant taste in your mouth.  I want you to leave your chair in a better mood than you were when you sat down at the computer. 
I am not shy about telling you what I want, because my motives are for your benefit.  Remember what I told you about JOY.  I want you to have JOY in your life......Jesus, Others, You, but be sure to take good care of you so that you can experience the ultimate benefits of having JOY in your life.
I want you to share Nan's Calendar with others.  Give them the address to the site.  When you do this, remember, you are doing it to glorify the Lord and to be a positive influence in another person's life.  It's really not about me.  It never was about me.  It is truly about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his love for all of humankind.  Encourage others with the encouragement you yourself have received.  What goes around comes around.  Give and it will be given unto you. 
I Want...

I want all the world to know
Jesus loves them so
I want all the world to feel
in their heart Jesus is real
I want all the world to believe
eternal life they can receive
I want all the world to have peace
all this fighting and fear to cease
I want all the world to have restful sleep
know the joy so their hearts will leap
I want all the world to resist the devil
their path would be straight and level
we don't always get what we want
so the blessings I have I will not flaunt
I'll pray for the world each day
God will touch their lives in a special way

poem written by Nan Forehand August 26, 2006

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Savior Is Waiting - Jude verses 24-25

Do something special for yourself.  Click on the link at the right and take a moment to listen to the youtube presentation for today sung by Sandra Entermann entitled The Savior Is Waiting.  Her voice is soothing and the pianist gifted.  Relax and enjoy this gift.  Nurture your soul and mind here and now.

Taken From A Christmas Card


If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need
was forgiveness,
so God sent us
a Savior.
Roy Lessin

(24) To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - (25) to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gifts and Talents - 1 Peter 4:10-11

Quote of the Day
True humility does not deny gifts and talents, but acknowledges them as gifts from God.  True humility recognizes that there is nothing we have received that did not have its source outside of ourselves.  True humility says, "I have received a talent from the Lord.  I will not deny it, but will use it for His glory."
Author Unknown

(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.

I've included a special hymn called Have Thine Own Way on the Youtube link at the right.  It is sung by Jim Reeves.  I chose it because God is moulding me and making me after His will.  That is why I write.  I am fulfilling God's purpose for my life.

Apart from God I am nothing.  All I have is because of God's love, mercy and grace poured out upon me. 
We all have a story and every story is important and special.  Mine is no exception, but, it is mine and I owe every breath I breathe to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I left home at age 23 with the clothes on my back knowing if I stayed another day, I would be dead.  I looked death in the face and denyed it.  Again, because of God's love and His plans for my future.  It would be 17 years later before I could say out loud that I had been abused.  I will spare you the details. 
Several years ago, I sat at my computer when my husband and children were snug in their beds, and for the next seven hours I typed, wiped tears, smiled, laughed and praised God.  By morning on December 31st, my story was done.  It is entitled Faith, Hope, and Love.  Among the pages are the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life; the truth as I know it to be. 
The things that happened to me in my youth didn't define the woman I would become and am still becoming.  Not only did I survive, I overcame.  I conquered fears, insecurities, doubts, worries.  The list goes on and on.  I am so very thankful and grateful, and yes, humbled by the knowledge that God gave me the gift of writing inspirational poetry and that a very dear man, Mr. Quentin Clingerman saw something worthwhile in my writings.  I consider Que a hero of mine.  Along with Que are the wonderful poets at where my (God's) poetry is published.  You simply must visit this website to get a deeper understanding of what happens when people acknowledge God in their lives and write about the truths they hold so dear.  I owe them such a debt of gratitude for all their encouragement, inspiration, motivation and above all, their friendship and Christian love and support.
God prepares us when we aren't aware we are being prepared. He was moulding me and shaping me for service to Him.   Little did I know back then I would be sitting here at my computer writing Nan's Calendar for more than two years, faithfully sharing the love of God with so many people all over the world, doing my best to spread cheer, joy, encouragement and, yes, faith, hope and love to all who would accept this gift I humbly offer.
I offer you this gift not only at Christmas, but any time you visit this site.  Any good you glean from it is because God is speaking to you through me at that moment.  Sometimes, I think the name Nan's Calendar no longer is appropriate, but folks have told me to keep it identified as such. 
If you consider my poems and Nan's Calendar as gifts or talents, I want you to thank God.  Credit must go where credit is due.  
Think of yourself and your own life.  Think of your story.  Write it now.  Don't wait.  You may be amazed at what comes from it.  It's a mystery.  I surely would never have thought I would write poetry or this daily devotional.  Some have called Nan's Calendar a ministry.  Call it what you will.  It is from God and it is from my heart.  He abides in me and I abide in Him.  It is my most sincere honor and privilege to bring to you what God puts on my heart to write.
I look forward to 2010 and the adventures and blessings that await us.  God is preparing right now for blessings we will receive in the days, weeks, and months ahead. 
Go with God.  Grow with God.  Love, Nan

Sunday, December 20, 2009

May I Have This Dance? Psalm 149:3

(3) Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

Please take a moment to listen to the youtube video (I Am The Lord Of The Dance) shown at the right I have provided to go along with today's message. 
Some may think of it as a song to be sung during the Easter season, but because it mentions Jesus' birth and because I feel led to share it with you today, it is the song of the day.
I have given much thought as to the dance and our participation in the dance.  Surely, some think they were born to follow and some think they were born to lead.  We were all born to follow God's lead.  Life truly is like a dance.  When we don't follow God's lead, we struggle and are awkward in our movements.  Sometimes, we're too focused on ourselves.  Sometimes, we do step on His toes.  Sometimes, we take one step forward and stumble on our two left feet and take three steps backwards, falling to the floor.  Somehow, we don't seem to hear the music.  (All of this comes from our own imagination creating negative images in our minds.)
However, allowing God to lead us in the dance brings more fluid movement and more joy than we can imagine, leaving us breathless and exhilirated at the end of the dance.  Some of us would rather sit out the dance and blend into the wall as a wall flower, too afraid to lift our hands up to Him and accept his invitation.  It takes courage to accept His invitation, leaving all hesitation behind.
In order to dance with the Lord we must be in His presence.  Learn more about His movements and His style by spending time in His Holy Word.  Dancing with Him involves being close enough to touch Him.  It's hard to hold hands with Him when standing there with clenched fists.  There is no such thing as "try"; either you dance with Him or you don't.  Dance, just dance.  Clear your mind of everything but the Lord and this beautiful dance. There is no one else on this dance floor, just you and God; no one watching; no one listening; just you and God.  Take His hands as He holds them out to you.  Feel the incredible warmth as your hands complete the embrace.  Let Him do what He does best.  He will lead you in the dance.  You will dance as you have never danced before.  It's beautiful and intoxicating.  As you relax into His arms and His movements, it is as if you become one with Him, no longer afraid; no longer worried about your own performance; simply dancing and following His lead.  You never have to dance alone again.  Dance, dance, where ever you may be.
Love, Nan

Saturday, December 19, 2009

God's Plans For Us - Jeremiah 29:11-14

Quote of the Day
To grow (spiritually) you must be willing to let your present and future be totally unlike your past.  Your history is not your destiny.  Author Unknown

Do the lost seek God, or does God seek the lost?  Yes.  Yes.
A very dear friend called me today and we spent two hours on the phone talking and praising God for His presence in our lives.  My friend has a loved one who has been making some decisions that are less than pleasing to God, to say the least.  These decisions affect numerous lives.  I hope I used that word "affect" correctly in the sentence.  By the time we said goodbye, calm and assurance had been restored to my friend and a more hopeful spirit returned. 
I just read the quote shown above yesterday from a friend's facebook entry.  It was perfect timing.  God knew I would use it today before I knew it.  Read that quote again..... It is important to remember that we can't change the past. We can't return to it.  It's done.  History.  It doesn't define who you are right this minute.  Whatever happened in your past is done.  Live life to the fullest today.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.  God is in control and He holds the future.  We don't have to worry about what will be our destiny.  We just simply have to be the best we can be today (period).  It's really that simple.  Let go of the past.  It won't help you.  It is a hinderance to your spiritual growth to hold onto anything negative.  We need all the positive influences in our lives we can get.  That's why I was on the phone for two hours today with my friend.  When the negatives in our lives outweigh the positives, we have a choice to toss the negatives aside and replace them with positives.
(11) "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.   (12) Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  (13) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  (14) I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity."
Ask God to increase your appetite, that you will hunger for a deeper understanding of Him.
Involve God in each and every aspect of your life.
We desperately need God.  During our times of weakness and insecurity, we need Him.
When we fall short, and as humans we will, our quickest action and genuine request for forgiveness brings us to the grace of God rather than be subject to His wrath.
In the midst of turmoil and strife, we can still experience joy. 
These times of trial and turbulence are opportunities for spiritual growth.
It is an honor to serve God rather than a burden.
All things come from God, both the good and the bad.  Find a way to glorify God in the midst of the bad and He will be honored.
Pray for that impossible dream in your heart to be accomplished.  Dream big.  Expect miracles.  God is, afterall, in the business of performing miracles. 
When we have God's overwhelming grace in our lives, we can't keep it to ourselves.  Share the Good News today with someone in need of hearing of our awesome God.
Our money is temporary.  We have it because God knows we need a certain amount to fulfill our obligations.  Give gladly of what you have and believe God will replenish that with more.
Abide in God and He will abide in you.  Believe at all times.
Keep your nose in your Bible.  It is filled with direction, instruction and comfort.
Above all, pray continually.  That doesn't mean we have to go around with our heads bowed and our eyes closed all day.  Keep your focus on God and He will reveal His will to you in His timing.  Trust Him!
I only speak of what I know to be true.  I love knowing the truth.  Don't you? Listen to the presentation of the hymn Grace Greater Than Our Sin in the youtube link to the right.
Love, Nan

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Light of the World - Matthew 5:14-16

Quote of the Day
May Christ, the Light of the World, shine through our lives every day of the year.
Nan Forehand

(14) "You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  (15) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  (16) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven."

I want to share with you in the youtube video at the right one of the most beautiful examples of light I have seen.  Mr. Holdman has created such a wonderful display of Christmas lights set to music.  It is an awesome display not to be missed!  I believe God gifted this man with the vision, desire and ability to share with the world something so beautiful.  It is my privilege to share it with you.  Mr. Holdman lives in Utah.
There is more than enough ugliness in the world.  We have to share more beauty and light with everyone.  We all need a reason to smile and to be amazed at such beauty some of us can't even imagine.  This music and light display are God's gift to us through this talented and gifted man.  Simply click on the youtube video at the right of this page entitled Music Box Dancer and enjoy!
Love, Nan

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Know Whom I Have Believed - 1 Timothy 1:15-17

Quote of the Day
Christianity is not just a way of living, it is not simply a membership in a church, it is life itself, it is vitality, it is vibrant energy.  Christianity correctly practiced is a healing, throbbing, vibrant, creative energy.  It is a deep therapy which can drive to the very roots of society by breaking down sins and infected centers.   It will rebuild your life, mentally, physically and spiritually.  It will give you the overcoming of all things.  The Bible says, "In Him was Life."  The life that was in Jesus Christ is also in you.  In Him is creative energy, and this is the trememdous dynamic energy of life itself."
Albert E. Cliffe author of the book entitled Let Go and Let God ~ Steps in Victorious Living

Be sure to visit the Youtube link on the right of this page and enjoy listening to this beautiful hymn I Know Whom I Have Believed

Because I Know Whom I Have Believed

Merely a human being on this earth
who understands the meaning of worth
chosen by God and ready for the task
willing to do whatever He may ask
this task is to communicate His message to you
all the while guarding this message so true
His message has integrity and deserves to be understood
short, sweet and to the point; if only I could
more concerned about you than my own gain
if only somehow, I could ease your pain
I search my Bible, trying to find
that special verse to soothe your mind
understanding His Word can be a daunting undertaking
talk to Him at night and every morning upon waking
reading the Bible 'fore breakfast is food for thought
helps us to remember to do what we ought
whatever verses you may read
are all designed to meet your need
every verse in the Bible is God-breathed
Believe me; this is true, because I know whom I have believed
written Friday, June 23, 2006
Nan Forehand
1 Timothy 1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stir Up Your Joy - Luke 2:8-14

(8) And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  (9) An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  (10) But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  (11) Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  (12) This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  (13) Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, (14) "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

There are numerous passages in my Bible that use the word "joy" to describe great gladness.  Joy is such a small word.  However, its significance must not be overlooked or underestimated.  My heart leapt with joy today when a young mother responded so beautifully to a gift I had just given her and her family.  Inside the pretty gift bag were three lovely fabric ornaments for their Christmas Tree.  On one was embroidered the word Love, on another was the word Hope and on the third ornament was the word Joy.  The young mother took great delight in these gifts.  When she picked up the ornament with Joy on it she said, with a broad smile on her face "My little son learned about joy in the program at his church school today.  J. O.Y means Jesus, Others, and You."  As I sit here typing this message my arms are chilled with glory bumps.  Now, when this little boy sees this ornament hanging on the Christmas tree in his home, he will be able to read the word "Joy" on the ornament and it will remind him how God wants us to live; thinking of Jesus first, then thinking of others and lastly, thinking of ourselves.  There are so many ways to think of joy.  Yes, it is a feeling that comes from deep inside us.  It is so much more than that.  We can still be joyful even through our times of sadness.  Weeping may remain for a night, but joy (rejoicing) comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
I remember the song from my youth.  I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart; down in my heart to stay.  I saved this messge in draft and perused Youtube for just the right version of this special song and found much more than I expected.  I did find some cute versions of the song, but what I found that I want to share with you in the link to the right of this page is more than a song.  It is a video of a man teaching a class about the importance of joy.  Please take a moment to visit that Youtube site and listen.  This is the message God wants you to learn about joy today.  Got joy?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nothing Is Impossible With God - Luke Chapter One

Take time to read the first chapter of Luke.  Many of you already know the story of Mary and the angel Gabriel, but it is timeless reading.  Nothing is impossible with God!

Quote of the Day
I was raised in Dark Shadows,
suffering Northern Exposure.
And As the World Turns
I would spend the Days of Our Lives
Seeking to become one of
The Bold and the Beautiful,
But only became one of
The Young and the Restless.

In a desperate Search for Tomorrow
I headed out for Another World,
But instead ended up on
The Edge of Night in General Hospital.

Then Jesus Christ, my Guiding Light,
Brought me through my Secret Storm.
He said, "Come share with Me in My Dynasty,
Become one of All My Children
And I will give you One Life to Live."
Lee Ezell taken from her book entitled Finding God When Life's Not Fair

Taste your sorrow, but don't waste it.  Make it count for something good.  Yes, there are times in our lives when we utter those words "it's not fair....."  Sometimes, we want to scream out those words, but they are locked in our throat.  Because we humans are near-sighted when it comes to the big picture (spiritually speaking), and because our peripheral vision is limited (spiritually speaking), we can't expect to see all that God sees.  After all, He is God and we are merely human beings having spiritual experiences or are we spiritual beings having human experiences?  Think about that for a while. 
Your experiences don't define you. They are simply experiences based on action and reaction.  There is only one you on the face of the earth and no one else will ever have the exact same experiences as you have had or will have.  However, because of your own personal experiences, God will place someone else in your path at some point who will need your help.    Because of your ability to understand what that person is going through, you will be able to relate to that person in such a way as no other person is able.
If you're lonely, ask for God's will in your relationships with the opposite sex and then believe (meaning-don't doubt Him) that He is bringing someone into your life to be your friend and companion.  Be patient in the meantime and don't exclude yourself from activities.  Be willing to step out when you feel like staying in.
If you're grieving the loss of a loved one, honor that special person by stepping out and sharing heartwarming stories and particular memories with someone else.  Attend group gatherings designed to help you get through this time of grief.  When we reach out beyond our own grief to be there for someone else who is suffering, our own suffering is lessened and we have helped to lift the burden from another.
If you're having financial problems, tell your problems how big is your God.  Imagine yourself living abundantly and having more than enough to get by.  Use your imagination for positive outcome and not negative outcome.  Yes, we all have negative thoughts, but don't waste your energy pondering them to the point of ruminating over what you don't have.  Use the imagination God gave you in a positive way.  It is a gift from Him. Imagine a positive "what if" instead of imagining a negative "what if".
Tell yourself what it is that you want instead of telling yourself what you don't want.  Sometimes we make a mistake of thinking we're being selfish when we say what we want.  God knows the desires of your heart.  He wants to bless you abundantly, but you have to want His blessings and you have to believe His truths.  He really, truly wants to bless your heart and your life. 
This Christmas will be like no other Christmas you have ever experienced before.  There are wonderful memories about to be made that you aren't even aware of at this moment.  Believe in the miracle of Christmas this year as you have never believed before.  Resist the urge to keep to yourself this Christmas.  Do attend the Living Nativity program.  Do visit the shut in's and go to the nursing home with the choir and sing Christmas carols to the seniors who can no longer sing and may be hard of hearing.  Do go to church for the Christmas Eve service or special candlelight service.  Do bake some goodies for someone who least expects it of you. 
Step out beyond your self and put your ego in its proper place.  Feel your spirit rise up as never before.  As your spirit rises and your ego slips down, you experience peace in your heart.  Yes, there can be peace on earth.  Let it begin in me.  I want peace in my life.  Got peace?
So let it be.  Love, Nan

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spirit of Unity - Romans 15:4-6

Spirit of Unity
By: Nan Forehand
the whole of God's universe
consists of peoples vastly diverse
millions on the face of the Earth
every one meek and mild at birth
somehow learned to fight
God's desire is that we unite
all for one and one for all
unisonant voices whatever befall
this talk of unity is nothing new
Charles Wesley wrote of it in 1742
oh what joy from deep within
set free from the entrapment of sin
freedom from sin is God's gift of immunity
go now and live in a spirit of unity
written March 26, 2006

Romans 15:4-6

For everything that was written (in the Bible) in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Give And It Will Be Given To You - Luke 6:38

Quote of the Day

The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.
Dr. Wayne Dyer, Author, The Power of Intention

(38) Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Nan's Calendar has become a part of me that I give freely and gladly.  There have been days recently when the message of the day didn't appear on your computer screen.  Everything is fine and I am well.  Even if I try to create a 25th hour, it doesn't happen.  The other evening as I sat here, I nearly fell asleep while composing the message.  My heart was willing, but after such an extremely productive day, the body resisted to the point of sleep (telling me "enough is enough for today").  I have learned to listen to my body and to respond accordingly.
I don't know how my life will shake out on the last day, but I will continue to give of myself in whatever way God calls me to give.  I live in abundance.  I'm not wealthy in the monetary sense of the word.  Everything is comparative if we choose to compare ourselves to others.  I have more than enough for myself and my family and praise God, I am able to give to others. 
For me, every day is an opportunity to experience Christmas.  I love giving to others when they least expect it.  I don't expect anything in return.  I do it for the love of giving, with no thought of recompense.
This Christmas, give abundantly and it will be given to you, just as Luke says in his gospel.  The Good Lord provides for us all in so many ways.  I am grateful to have something of worth to give anyone who will reach out and accept my gift.
Today is our daughter's 22nd birthday and she is a beautiful gift from God.  There was a time in my life when I didn't believe I would ever have a child.  God believed even when I didn't. I thank God from the very depths of my heart for His gifts to me and for our precious Ashley and our son, John.
John is working on his Eagle project for Boy Scouts.  Today marked a milestone toward this highest achievement.  Allen, I and Grandpa, along with loyal scouts and their dads from our troop helped John put the finishing touches on his project at the site.  The temperature was frigid, but those boys and their dad's gave of their time and efforts to help John.  He has more paperwork to complete before it goes to the board. 
Take care and have a wonderful Christmas.  Freely you have received.  Freely give.
Love, Nan

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Only Through Reflection - John 3:16-21

Quote of the Day
To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been.
Mayme A. Clayton, Ph.D. (1923-2006)

(16) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  (18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  (20) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  (21) But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

There are many things associated with my childhood that I don't particularly like.  There are, however, things that never fail to evoke a smile from my lips.  I was born in a clinic in a small town in southeastern North Carolina.  The name of the town is Rose Hill.  I like that name.  I like the fact that the Duplin Winery is in Rose Hill, Duplin County.  I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I like the fact that this winery is established on the soil of my birth.
Another fond memory is that of smelling the muscadine grapes from my step-uncle's grapevine when the grapes were at peak ripeness.  That's another reason I like the smell of some of the Duplin wines.  I associate the smell with a good memory in my youth. 
I love flowers and all types of plants.  I used to work with my step-grandma in her flower gardens.  I learned so much from her.  She died many years ago, but when I see beautiful azaleas blooming, I think of her, and when I see pansies, daffodils, petunias, roses, camelias, (the list goes on and on and on), I remember our special time together.
I remember walking along the bank of the river during the Christmas season gathering holly branches heavily laden with those red, red berries to fashion my own Christmas wreath for our front door.  To this day, when I see the bounty of the holly trees, I visit those happy times of my youth.
I remember being in the kitchen with Mama as she baked cookies.  She used to bake tea cakes.  They, like Mama, were simple and delicate.  Mama was a sweet, simple country woman and I lived with her longer than her other children lived with her.  I felt I knew her better than anyone else, and I loved the simplicity of her ways.  She used to wear an apron when she prepared her meals.  A couple of years ago, I found a pattern for an apron and made myself a beautiful one with tiny pink roses in the fabric.  I think of Mama when I wear it.
You see, I didn't share any negative memories with you.  I want to trigger beautiful, happy memories of your own youth.  We all have a story.  I'm no exception.  I do, we do, have a choice which memories to hold on to and which ones to let go. 
I encourage you to reflect upon your own youth and cull through the memories, discarding the useless, unpleasant ones and focus on the positive, healthy and beautiful memories.  I know where I've been and I know where I'm going.  I'm going to continue to create beauty in my life and in the lives of those around me.  If I should lose my voice, I will still praise God.  If I lose the use of my hands, I will still praise God.  If I lose the use of my legs, I will still praise God.  Some how, some way, through whatever means available to me, I will praise God and I will use whatever means I have to encourage you and my fellow neighbors (and, of course, my family and friends) in my church, in my community and in my world to the best of my ability. 
Only through relfection can I see where I've been, where God was; where I am, where God is; where I'm going and where God will be....beside me all the way!
Take care and slow down long enough during this special Christmas season to draw to mind some beautiful memories of your own.  This will be a Christmas as no other has ever been before.  Create beautiful memories today, this Christmas, that someone will remember years from now as they reflect upon where they have been and where they are going.
Through deep, sincere cogitation you will come to a better understanding of where you have been and where are you going, what to release from your mind and what to weave into the very fabric of your soul?  Make sure you remember that God is by your side every step of the way.
Love, Nan

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Cheerful Heart - Proverbs 17:22

Quote of the Day
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
Yiddish Proverb

(22) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Laughter really is a cleansing agent God designed for us to use regularly.  It has a purpose that goes beyond the merriment we receive when sharing a good belly laugh with a friend.  We get a total body workout when we laugh heartily.  Our blood pressure lowers, our facial muscles, diaphragm, respiratory system, and muscles get a workout.  It amounts to a routine in the gym.  That's why we're tired after a round of laughter, whether alone while watching something funny on the tv or reading a funny book or with a friend or group of friends. 
Even when we're down and out, by forcing ourselves to laugh, the results are the same as when we laugh spontaneously.  The endorphines kick in and in no time, we're feeling better! 
When Allen was away in Istanbul, Turkey for a whole year, and when he was in Qatar for a year, Ashley, John and I created things to laugh about.  We made it our business to find something to laugh about even if anyone else thought us crude or simply silly.  Laughter really is medicine for the soul. 
How often do you laugh?  If you have to think about it, that means you don't laugh often enough.  If your doctor wrote you a prescription to laugh three times every hour, would it make a difference?  Laughter has a healing effect, no doubt. 
I'm including a poem I wrote some time ago.  Forgive me if it's a bit crude for your taste, but I can't resist.  If you've ever had a pet whose natural functions made your eyes burn, you'll surely remember a funny story and hopefully laugh at Momentary Reprieve.  Bob is our Black Lab and he is a hoot to be around....most of the time!  Take care and share a good laugh with someone.  It may be their only laugh of the day.

Momentary Reprieve
By: Nan Forehand

hurriedly doing my weekend chores
still haven't mopped the downstairs floors
standing in front of the kitchen sink
looking outside at Bob I paused to think
poor Bob - he needs a little lovin'
I really don't have to clean the oven
wagging his tail and prancing around
time to stop and listen to nature's sound
so much to do - so little time
beginning to birth a funny rhyme
ruby-throated hummers humming
chickadees cheerfully chirping
Bob sniffing and the cat hissing
think of all the sounds I'd be missing
back in the house doing my chores
I'd miss the sounds of the great outdoors
I hear a hooty owl hoot
ahhhhh! BOB, did you poot
well, that's enough of nature's sound
back in the house for another round

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Expect A Miracle - Hebrews 2:1-4

(1) We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.   (2) For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, (3) how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation:  This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.  (4) God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

God is still performing miracles in this day and time, our day and time, now.  I believe this with all my heart.  Miracles sometimes happen in a flash and sometimes, they are a process which requires time and patient faithfulness.  Something is happening in my life as we speak that is a miracle in the making.  There are many mysteries surrounding this miracle, but I believe in God and I believe in this miracle.  It is happening in God's timing and I understand that.  Yet, I still believe it is to be considered a miracle!
Gloria and I were talking in the office yesterday and the subject of miracles came up. I said in a very confident voice "expect a miracle".  I know that a miracle can happen when we least expect it to and it catches us by surprise, to the point of taking our breath away.  It is with our all or some of our senses, including our sixth sense, I believe, that we become aware of miracles. 
Last night, John and I were working the Christmas tree lot at his boy scout hut and this phase of the miracle began to take shape.  I will spare you the details in this message.  Suffice it to say, I felt that my feet didn't touch the ground all evening.  I felt that I was floating in the air.  Yes, my feet were really on the ground and, no, I wasn't on any drugs (smile).  You will hear more about it when God reveals the rest of the story!
Decide what miracle you are believing for and then believe with all your heart that God will bring it to fruition and transform it from a thought to a real, honest to God miracle before your very eyes!  I believe in God.  I believe in you and I believe and expect miracles in your life and in my life!!!!!
Take care and enjoy this Christmas season.  Keep the true priorities in focus.  Go to church and be a part of Christmas as you never have before!  Love ya!  Nan

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What's On Your Altar - Romans 5:3-5

Quote of the Day
We take one feeling, one story about our childhood, and place it on the altar of our lives, holding it as sacred truth, making it more true than anything else in the world.   When hurt comes, we say, "Ah, there it is again: the real story of my life." When disappointment, or fear, or anger arises, we feel comfort in knowing that we are now in familiar territory.  This disappointment, this fear, this anger -- this is our real story.
Wayne Muller from his book entitled Legacy of the Heart The Spiritual Advantages Of A Painful Childhood

I get excited when the message doesn't go out early in the morning, because that tells me God's special plan for the message will come from an external source beyond my home.  Yes, I stopped by the Goodwill store on the way home tonight and found nine awesome books for a total of twelve dollars and change.  Among them is the book from which today's quote comes.  Yes, my childhood was, to a particular extent, painful.  I haven't associated with the pain for a very long time.  In fact, my perceived pain faded into nothingness, so that now, there isn't a trace to be found.  I don't have nightmares or flashbacks, guilt, shame, inferiority complex, or a myriad of other negative descriptions to describe it. Because I have God to thank for all the happy memories and all the blessings bestowed upon me, I'm too grateful to be bitter about the negative things that happened to me long ago.  I really did let go and let God.
As we walk along the pathway of life, we will, at times, come upon a crossroad and it becomes necessary to do some very deep thinking to determine which road to take.  There will be curves in the road and we can't see very far ahead to get a glimpse of which road will be the best one to take.   This is when we exercise trust and faith in God that He will lead us down the right path.
Upon my altar, I lay my life before God and trust Him with it completely, having absolute faith in Him and His plan for my present and my future.  My altar is a sacred place where I don't allow negatives to take up precious space.  I only offer my best at the altar.  I relax and become comfortable.  I belong here and rest in peace.  I am healed, filled with love and I am free from my self-imposed suffering.  I am happy and content.  God offers me His gifts of mercy and love and I accept them.  There are only two at my altar- my God and me.  I belong to Him.  He is my Creator and my friend.  We go everywhere together.  We are inseparable.  I abide in Him and He abides in me.
Nan's Calendar is a Legacy of Love.  My life is overflowing with goodness and  blessings.  Yes, there are spiritual advantages of a painful childhood.  We realize this mainly by reflection and discovering the good that came out of  bad experience(s).  I am so very thankful to have a personal relationship with God and to know and understand His timeless truths.  I hope this legacy of love means as much to you as it does to me.  It is my gift to you and to God for all He has done for me.  Now go and comfort those with the comfort you yourself have received.
What's on your altar?

Bitter or Better

By: Nan Forehand
the choice is up to you my friend
it really does matter in the end
as you think - so you are
with a positive attitude you'll be richer by far
you may or may not control the circumstances
mistakes will be made so God allows second chances
in your problems, rejoice
remember, it's your choice
God can use a situation when others are mean
to your advantage when wisdom you glean
put your life in God's hands
He doesn't take kindly to demands
humble yourself before the LORD
within His heart strikes a tender chord
His desire is to make you more godly
He wants you praisin' not cursin'
will you be a bitter or better person
the choice is up to you my friend
it really does matter in the end

written Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Romans 5:3-5

.....(3) but, we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; (4)perserverance, 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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dare To Share - Hebrews 15:15-16

Quote of the Day
When I fall, You are there to pick me up.  When I'm weak, You are strong for me.  When I'm in trouble, You help me through.  When I am sorrowful, You console me.  Thank You for being so good.
How can I repay You, Lord?  I will spread Your goodness to others, in Jesus name.
Anita Corrine Donihue from her book entitled When I"m Praising God

(15) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name.  (16) And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Today was an awesome day at the office.  It was non-stop and fast paced all day.  It was a day of split second decisions.  It was a day of sharing the Good News of God with others in very special ways.  There was a time in my life when I was practically obsessed with the fear of failure; the fear of saying the wrong things or of not saying anything at all when I should (about anything at all).  I was so shy and introverted it wasn't even funny.  It was really quite pitiful.  I was a shell of a person back then.  Because of God's love and grace I overcame those insecurities and perceived inadequacies.  I can't tell you when I dared to open my mouth and publicly praise God.  It was such a subtle transformation that it probably wasn't evident to those around me. 
Now, I dare to share, boldly, yet tenderly with others who need a word of encouragement and validation.  There are so many people in our presence every day who are reaching out for something positive and a reason to hope for a better day, a better job, better relationships, a better life.
Be that disciple that I know you are becoming and dare to share the Good News.  If you already are doing the work for the Kingdom of God, I salute you.  If you are called, but are insecure as to what you should share, don't worry.   God will direct you according to the needs and circumstances of the opportunity.  Be the vessel God can and will use to lift the spirits of those in your communities, individually or in groups, in whatever way God leads you.  I've included a song from Youtube today for you called Trust and Obey.  It is a beautiful hymn I learned in my youthful days in my Mama's church.  Enjoy!
Take care and have a wonderful day.  "Share and share alike, and do it with a happy heart," my Mama used to say!  Love, Nan

A Vessel God Can Use
By: Nan Forehand

Much can be said
about the thoughts inside a head.
God gave us the ability to choose
whether to be good or to abuse.
A choice to trust and obey
walk with Him all the way.
Never to turn and run
His holy will be done.
He has smiled upon me;
mended my heart and set me free.
Rise to a brand new day
completely willing to say
I am a vessel You can use.
Outstretched arms
surrendered to him
choose to be inconvenienced and interrupted.
Don’t let your soul be corrupted.
Be a vessel God can use.
This is the best choice to choose.
Ask God for the insight
to know when the time is right.
Be ready to help another
in Christ a sister or brother.
When God directs you into someone’s life
be there to ease their strife.
Love and support extended
your efforts will be commended.

submitted to July 5, 2005

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pray Without Ceasing - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray Without Ceasing
By: Nan Forehand

pray without ceasing
pray until something happens
believe and receive

(17) pray without ceasing  (King James Version)

Quote of the Day
"I've also met some folk who don't believe in the power of prayer.  They shut it out of their minds and lives.   I did that once, to my detriment.  If you have a negative attitude about the power of God to work through prayer ..... change your attitude.  'Well,' you say, 'I've never seen anyone who was healed through prayer.'  Take it from me.  I have.  I've seen thousands upon thousands of people whom God dealt with directly and decisively through the power of prayer - both my prayers and the prayers of others.  God heals through prayer.  It's one of His methods.  Don't limit yourself by a closed attitude."  Oral Roberts taken from his book entitled Your Road To Recovery

Allen and I returned home from our United Methodist Charge Conference tonight and before going to bed, Allen asked me if I was going to write the message tonight or wait until morning.  It told him I would get up early and write it then.  As I got ready for bed, I could feel God nudging me in the direction of the computer.  "Do it now.  Don't wait until the morning", was the message I sensed coming from the Lord. 
I obliged Him and came to the far side of the house and first found the Bible verse God wanted me to share.  Then I went to my library shelves and sat on the floor with a book I recently purchased in our nearby Goodwill store.  Much to my surprise, as I looked into the front of the book, I saw that it was autographed by Mr. Roberts, his wife, Evelyn and Richard and Lindsay Roberts.  I truly want to sit here and read it from cover to cover tonight, but I have a full day in the office tomorrow and I must get to bed soon.  I'll save this message as a draft tonight and publish it early in the morning before going to work.
We are all on the road to recovery from something.  We can put limits on what we are believing for, but to put limits on our limitless God is folly.  I concur wholeheartedly with so much of what Mr. Roberts says in his book with a resounding, yes, yes, yes!!! 
Pray without ceasing and pray until something happens and believe and receive!!!!! 

My Passionate Vow to God
by: Nan Forehand
written Sunday, March 2, 2008

As long as you love me, I can
no task is too great or too small
not by my own power, but yours
I can, as long as you love me

I'll speak for you because of love
for every day I live and breathe
your love for others, I will share
because of love, I'll speak for you

you instilled this passion in me
this desire I have will not die
I'll love and serve you all my days
this passion in me, you instilled

one day - I'll see your smiling face
my mind can not comprehend it
oh, what a day of rejoicing
I'll see your smiling face one day!

Author's note: Thanks to the inspiration of Reason A. Poteet, poet at, this is my first attempt at a swap quatrain.

Know that I am praying for you before I go to sleep tonight.  Have a great day!  Love, Nan