Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beautiful And Sweet As Any Rose

A tribute to my loving Mama

Twenty six years ago today my Mama took her last breath on earth.  I can't tell you how long it took for my heart to stop aching and the tears to stop flowing, but my heart did stop aching and my tears have stopped flowing.  I think of her all the time, but with my thoughts there is no bitterness, no sadness, no sorrow, because I know, Lord willing, I will be in her presence again.  Though I can't see her beautiful face right now, she is with me in a very special way and she comforts me, just as the Lord is with me and He comforts me.  The breath left her body, but her spirit lives.  She never got to rock my children when they were babies, but she watches over them. I'm sure of that. 
Not only am I without Mama, I am without a sister and brothers, brother in law, uncles, grandparents, father.  I understand the pain.  If you're currently experiencing the pain of which I speak, I pray God comforts you and gives you peace.  He will take you home when it's your time to go.  While you are still here in this human capacity, reaching beyond the pain to be there for someone else who is hurting will help to ease the pain you experience that is almost to the point of being overwhelming.  Live in the here and now so that your friends and loved ones who are living will experience more of the fullness of you.  You have so much love to give, so give it wholeheartedly and without reservation. 
Sharing stories of your loved one is good.  Laughing is allowed, too.  If your sorrow is so great that it overshadows your joy, give your sorrow to the Lord.  Let faith, hope and love be your guide to finding your joy.  I'm just an ordinary person who cares.  May God bless you and give you peace.  Love, Nan

Beautiful and Sweet as any Rose
by Nan Forehand

Warm and soft
fragrance so sweet
caressed by the morning fair.
Strawberry blonde the color of her hair.
Instead of a thorn in her finger
a needle and thread would linger.
Smile slowly crossed ruby red lips
new calico dress slipped over my hips.
Thank you Lord she witnessed me wed.
Too soon dear Mother was dead.
Beautiful as a velvet rose
A Christian life she chose.
Yes, she’s been gone many years.
Wet cheeks still feel the tears.
Her Lord and Savior she did love
and He took her to His mansion above.
Up from the grave she arose
beautiful and sweet as any rose.
These words and a flower carved on her stone.
Mama now sits by her Master’s throne.
published at July 4th, 2005

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Verses

9) And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, because I bare him with sorrow.
10) And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!  And God granted him that which he requested.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 King James Version

I encourage you to explore other translations of these verses, as well.
I have a book written by Bruce Wilkinson entitled The Prayer of Jabez.  Today was the day God intended for me to begin reading this book.  I could barely put it down long enough to write you this message.  I am excited to finish reading it!  I can't tell you how long I've had this book....bought it for mere pennies in a Goodwill store.  It has been on my shelf for who knows how long....
It is a must read.....not too long, but so powerful is this man, Jabez' prayer, that I must tell you about it!
I have a saying I'll share with you....Instead of saying what you don't want, tell the world what you want!  That, in essence is what Jabez prayed, I believe. 
One year ago today, September 21, 2009, Nan's Calendar really went international when my husband, Allen, created this blog for me!  God has enlarged my territory, indeed!!!!  My territory for God is what I mean.  I do not write for my own gain, fame or recognition.  I simply write to encourage anyone who comes across this blog in whatever way they find it.  I believe it is a medium God uses to speak to those in need of encouragement.  My heart leaps for joy when I see that someone in London, Madrid, California, Massachusetts, Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia, and many other places near and far have read a message I've written to share with the world.  This is God speaking to you through me!  I'm merely a vessel He uses to speak to His loved ones.
These two verses are found nestled among a long list of verses which identify, literally, hundreds of names in 1 Chronicles.  No where else in the Bible do we hear about Jabez, but this one line prayer is so significant that God knew it had to be included.
I hope you will incorporate this prayer in your lives each day.  Yes, by all means, ask God to bless you!  He wants to bless you!  You (humans, in general) don't receive because you don't ask!      It's not being selfish to ask God to bless you.  God wants to shower you with blessings (the blessings of His chosing for you). 
My son says "if you're going to dream, you might as well dream big!"  If you're going to pray for yourself, you might as well pray big!    "And God granted him that which he requested!"
Believe in miracles! Expect miracles!  Miracles still happen in this day and age!  God isn't done with us yet!  We're all a work in progress and that excites me!      
It's 10:15 pm and I must get to bed.  I'm looking forward to waking up tomorrow and the blessings God will bestow upon me and you!  I have received the blessing.  I am the blessing. Ask for the blessing.  Receive the blessing.  Be the blessing. Take care! 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.

written July 5, 2005

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Best Is Yet To Come

Yesterday was good, today has been better and tomorrow will be better than today.  The best is yet to come. Nan Forehand

Thank you, one and all for all the special happy birthday wishes you sent my way yesterday (and today)!  Turning 50 last year was a breeze and my 51st birthday didn't disappoint!  I tell you the best is yet to come!  Life truly does keep getting better and better.  In the quote I wrote "tomorrow will be better than today", and in saying such a statement, I am boasting in the Lord, simply because I believe in Him and His promises and He doesn't disappoint either! 
I am so thankful to be alive and I am so happy.  I truly pray everyone will let go of anything that hinders happiness from flooding the soul and simply "Don't worry.  Be happy."  Trust in the Lord and His perfect timing.  Wait patiently and keep your ear tuned to hear Him calling.  Remember, God knows how to whisper. Sometimes He whispers just to make sure we're doing more than hearing; we have to listen.  Be an active listener, be alert and be good!  Life gets better than you can imagine! 

Yesterday's Tomorrow

written by Nan Forehand
Saturday, April 22, 2006

yesterday's tomorrow
isn't ours to borrow

yesterday's tomorrow
need not be filled with sorrow

yesterday's tomorrow will take care of itself
don't put your faith in God on a shelf

always give credit to the Heavenly Host
for yesterday's tomorrow we should not boast

to say "don't worry about tomorrow" is an invitation
for yesterday's tomorrow one can experience jubilation

give God the credit He's due
and yesterday's tomorrow will come shining through

if yesterday's tomorrow is to be God's will
the sun will rise and we'll hear mockingbird's trill

enjoy yesterday's tomorrow in a special way
for yesterday's tomorrow is today!!

Proverbs 27:1
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From The Fullness Of His Grace

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.
John 1:16

The gifts of our senses are so amazing and these senses help us in the interpretation of blessings.
What joy comes to my heart when I see a sunrise or sunset.
Oh, the memories that come flooding into my soul when I breathe in the aroma of freshly baked brownies.
Can we accurately describe the sensation of touching the velvety softness of a baby's skin.
We all know the pleasure that comes from tasting our favorite foods.
The sounds of something we interpret as beautiful, bring joy and lift out spirits.
As we incorporate these senses into our daily lives, we experience untold blessings each day.  These are very personal experiences.  I haven't even touched upon the pleasures received when we lose our sense of self and focus on bringing joy to another human being. 
A young man said something to me that deeply touched my heart.  He and I have never met in person, but we have shared with each other through email recently.  I don't have a clue where he lives and don't know if we will ever meet in person.  We talk about life, faith, our relationships with God and our relationships with others. In his email yesterday, he said that if we do get a chance to meet, he will be the one with the "ear to ear smile".   What joy he brought to my heart!  Mutual encouragement is priceless.  What a blessing he has been to me!  Take care as you go about your daily routine.  I hope you lose count of the blessings in your life.  Your involvement  today  may be counted among someone else's blessings and you may never even know it!  But, I assure you, they will remember your simple act of kindness or the kind word you spoke.....and so will God remember.
Love, Nan

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

......according to what he has done.

God will give to each person according to what he has done.  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.  There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.   For God does not show favoritism.  All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.  For it is not those who hear the law who are righeous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
Romans 2:6-13

The writer of these verses, Paul, wants us to know that we can not earn eternal life.  We know that eternal life is a gift from God when we choose to accept it.  Allen and I have taught our children that for each decision they make, there are rewards or consequences accordingly.  They may not reap the rewards or consequences quickly, but they surely will eventually.  Those of us who trust God will want to do good and will do good.  We know that no amount of good deeds, however, will earn us everlasting life.  When we choose to obey God's will for our lives, we discover a life of peace that surpasses understanding.  Yes, there will be turmoil and heartache in this life, but remember, it's temporary (the turmoil, heartache and this life).  When we allow God's truths to become woven and embedded into the fabric of our lives through regular and faithful time spent in His Word and in the company of other believers, we will better understand how to live according to His purpose for our lives.  Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do and do it without expecting praise or reward.  Do the right thing when you see no one around you, and be assured that our Heavenly Father knows all and sees all.
When I sat down to the computer this morning, I had no clue what would be the message for today.  I asked God to tell me what I'm supposed to tell you.  I opened my Bible and it open up to the book of Romans.  These verses I've shared with you today are the ones that God has led me to share with you.
Have a good day!  Be good and do good.  Love, Nan

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Thing Life Has Taught Me

One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests.  They come to you.  When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.
Eleanor Roosevelt

I'm interested in life.  I'm interested in people.  In a few days, I will celebrate my 51st birthday.  Yes, I said "celebrate", and yes, I did state my correct age and happily so.  I'm happy be on earth as long as God needs me here.  Each day of life is a reason to celebrate.  I look forward to each new day and the new discoveries I will make before laying down my head on my pillow to sleep.  Speaking of which, it's 12:04am and I'm still being productive, sitting here writing to you!  As I think of you, I hope you are peacefully sleeping right now and wake refreshed, ready for your own new discoveries that will come with the rising sun.  Reminds me of a poem I wrote in 2006 called

Contented Sleep

By: Nan Forehand

hard at work and hard at play

grateful for the miracle of this day

blessed assurance from my LORD

with Him I'm never bored

a life lived to the max

God taught me how to relax

not a worry, not a care

I gave them all to Him in prayer

oh, the benefits I reap

sweet, contented sleep

thankful for the day just passed

slumber time has come at last

He watches over me when I sleep

oh, the benefits I reap

sweet, contented sleep

contented sleep




Thursday, September 28, 2006

"yawn"  it's time to say good night Nan, "good night!"  sweet dreams!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Better-looking Wrinkles

Remember, we get better-looking wrinkles from laughing than from frowning.
Ruth Walker

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22

Laughter has healing powers and  comes easily from a grateful heart.  For that special moment we are laughing, all is well with the world and the spirit is filled with joy.  Have you had your prescription of laughter filled today?  I know.  For me, it's 7:30 am and I must get up from here and get ready for work, but let me tell you....I've already had a good belly laugh right by myself this morning.  It was a hoot, so funny, in fact, I almost snorted! 
Since my last birthday, I have come of age to join the Red Hat Society and thanks to my great friend, Gloria, I joined our local chapter this spring.  Yesterday, two lady friends of mine from work and I went on an adventure during our lunch break.  We all love to treasure hunt and at this particular thrift store, I came across an awesome book for $2.00.  It has lots of quotes and inspirational stories.  The quote I share today comes from a lady who lives (lived-I don't know if she's still living) in the same county where I grew up!  It's a very rural county in the eastern part of the state.  I can hardly wait to share this tidbit of trivia with Allen when I see him this evening!  He lovingly teases me about the people (me included) who come from this county.  What can I say----most of us are just a bunch of country bumpkins!  And I say that with love in my heart!  Of all the places in the world to come from, this lady comes from my little county and she's quoted in this awesome book!!!! Go figure!  Good going, Ruth!  And for those of you who don't know, my middle name is Ruth.  Nancy Ruth to be specific. 
I know....too much trivia for you?  Lighten up and laugh about something today.  Laughter is contagious, by the way.  Even if it's a "silly something" to laugh about, laugh anyway!  You'll be glad you did!  Take care!  Love, Nan