Thursday, March 31, 2011

God Loves You More

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
Psalm 37:16-17

But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you.
Psalm 39:7

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

"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.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity."

As you think of your troubles, also think of and remember the promises in the verses I share with you today.  "....... the LORD upholds the righteous" "I am your God......I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  The Lord knows everything that concerns you and His timing is always perfect.  Yes, your hope is in the Lord.  Never lose sight of hope and never let it go.  What you are going through is temporary and will pass.  You won't always feel the way you do now.  God says "do not be dismayed."  Sometimes we are held captive by our fears and worries.  God will bring you back from captivity.  Trust Him and let go of your fears and worries.  Let Him have them and then remember, once you give them to Him, resist the urge to take them back.  He will take care of you.

This message today won't be pertinent to all of you.  There are those of you who are at peace and for that I am thankful and rejoice with you.  However, my heart goes out to those struggling financially and are living currently with little or no income.  Pray with me for those in need.  God is sending this message through me today to those who are struggling right now. There are many people who need this assurance today.  You are in my prayers.  I love you.  God loves you more.
Your sister in Christ, Nan

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

and remember your rear view mirrors

While it is true that a car windshield is large compared to rear view mirrors, there is just one windshield, while there are three rear view mirrors, placed for good safety reason.  Accidents happen when people foolishly ignore using those rear view mirrors.  (a quote from an interested and highly respected reader)

The quote refers to the message published here on the blog yesterday entitled Keep Your Windshield Clean.  It took me 45 minutes to write yesterday's message and my focus, as you know if you read it, was not about the rear view mirrors.  By the time I finished writing the message, I had 15 minutes left to get ready and leave the house for work.  I want you to know I invest a great deal of time and effort in writing devotionals because you are worth it.   Sometimes my housework is left undone and my dishes remain in the sink.  Those things can wait.  It's not the end of the world if my house is a bit messy and the dishes sit in the sink.  It would be a tragedy, however, if I am remiss in my responsibility to God to do my best to listen to His will and act accordingly, including taking time and effort to write something to you that may help you in your own relationship with Christ.  My own relationship with Christ is strengthened each and every time I sit down and am still long enough to meditate on God's Holy Word and His direction for my life.  Writing all this down makes it all the more meaningful than simply thinking about it.
My dear friend felt it important enough to write me his thoughts as you see above and I respect him enough to share with you his perspective.  In his few words, he spoke words of wisdom.  "Accidents happen when people foolishly ignore using those rear view mirrors."
We can also surmise that should a person look too long in the rear view mirror, he or she could hit the car directly in front or worse yet, cross the center line and cause a head on collision.  I'm sure we can all think of other scenarios which can be just as deadly.  I think two very important points to all of this is maintaining proper balance in looking ahead and reflecting upon what is behind and keeping a safe distance from potential harm.
Yes, we need to reflect on what is behind us, because of the importance of reflection.  We can only reflect upon something that is behind us.  We see a reflection through the mirror, but we see through the glass.  However, there are times we look through the glass, but we don't see what is in front of us.

Dear Lord,
Be with us today as we leave our homes and go out into the world.  Thank you for giving us common sense to make wise decisions.  Thank you for the gift of Your protection (the windshield between us and the world).  Thank you also, for the gift of reflection in the rear view mirror that You placed there for good safety reason.  Lord, help us to see clearly through the windshield of life so that we don't miss a thing.  Help us, also to remember to look in the rear view mirrors of life and keep everything in the proper perspective so that we are safe from harm.  Help us be ever mindful of the potential for harm and keep us safe on our journey so that we may be of greater service to You and others.  In Your precious name I pray.  Amen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Keep Your Windshield Clean

"The car you drive has a large windshield, but only a relatively small rearview mirror. The implication is obvious: What happened in your past is not nearly as important as what is in your future. Where you are going is much more important than where you've been. " 

~ Joel Osteen, Become a Better You

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Put yesterday in its proper place.  Learn from it and let it go.  As you move forward,  many of your memories of yesterday will diminish in importance.  Hold onto the good memories and make a plan to forget the unpleasant memories as quickly as you can.  
For many people, today consists of looking through a window at the world, seemingly protected by the small pane of glass between them and the unknown the world has to offer.  Whether they realize it or not, fear consumes them to the point of becoming withdrawn and staying inside their homes.  They may be people who have faith in God and they may also be people who don't know the Lord.  We are to be gentle with them as they take those first small steps beyond the door and greet them with warmth and compassion.  What great joy is theirs when they step out into the world, knowing God is with them and they realize they have nothing to fear.  To let go of fear is liberating.  I know this from first-hand experience myself.
Recently, I rejoiced with a person who shared a similar scenario with me.  I was elated upon hearing this person speak and I witnessed a glowing of the spirit within.  It was a glorious experience for both of us!  The person was seemingly "so-so" at first, and by the end of the conversation, had been lifted to the mountaintop!
Even though our windshield to the world may seem large to us, it is tiny in comparison to what God sees before Him.  In order to drive safely, we must keep the windshield clean.  The windshield on my car has several nicks in it from rocks.  They are small nicks now, but there may come a time when one of those nicks becomes larger to the point of major damage.  It may become necessary to replace the windshield when a crack worsens to the point of warranting total replacement rather than a minor repair.  
In order to see clearly, we must keep our windshield clean and provide the necessary maintenance required.  There are also times when a bird drops a prize on my windshield and  wiper fluid and a vigorous attempt at using the blades isn't strong enough to remove the remnants.  
It takes a conscious effort to maintain a spiritual windshield and keep it clean and keep it in proper order.  Before we can see around the next bend, we must be able to see what is in front of us now.  The quicker we can see clearly what is right before our eyes, the quicker we can progress toward the future with confidence and surety of purpose.
Take care and be sure to keep your windshield clean!  Love, Nan

Monday, March 28, 2011

Take Me To Them Lord

I have a prayer journal that dates back to July 2004 when we lived in Virginia and Allen was still stationed with the Air Force in the Middle East.  My prayers are dated and continue from the time we lived in Virginia to Florida and here to North Carolina.  The last entry in my journal was written in March 2009! I am amazed at the date!  I can barely believe it has been two years since I prayed that prayer and wrote it down!
I want to share with you an excerpt from one of my prayers in my journal.

January 20, 2005
Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the peace I feel in my heart.  Lord, I want to somehow teach people that they, too, can feel a sweet peace in their hearts that only You can put there.  Take me to them Lord.  In Your name I pray.  Amen

February 9, 2005
Dear Lord,
My life is in Your hands to mold me as You please.  I want to serve You and praise Your holy name.  I don't know what the future holds or even the rest of this evening, but I know that regardless of the work You have before me to do, You are with me and will uphold me.  Give me the courage and strength to do with a willing and happy heart that which will be pleasing to You.  In Your precious name I pray.  Amen

You're probably wondering why I chose to share these prayers with you today.  It's very simple.  The message God wants to bring you through my prayers is that He will prepare you when you don't know you are being prepared.  Really, all my life God has been preparing me and continues to do so even to today.  He will prepare me each and every day for whatever it is He wants me to do.  Before I leave my house, I am prepared and equipped!  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
As I prayed those prayers in 2005, I had a willing heart to serve the Lord.  I hadn't even written my first poem at that time!  I had never heard of Quentin Clingerman, the originator and administrator of!  In July 2005, I sent my first poems to him and have continued writing poetry since that time.  I write from my heart.  Que is such a valuable friend and means more to me than words can express.  I thank God for bringing us together.
It was August 1, 2007 when I began Nan's Calendar in its simplest form.  God knew even then that you would be reading this message today.  I am a vessel God can use, and use me he does!
I am so excited as to how God will use you in service to His kingdom!  I would love to hear your story!
Nan, God is using me...........!
Take care and may God richly bless you this day!  Love, Nan

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stress-Free, Tranquil Life

I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I awoke and saw that life was service
I acted and behold service was joy
Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet of Calcutta

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, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 8-9

It can all be joy in your inner world.  Sleep and dream of joy, and remember above all else: You feel good not because the world is right, but your world is right because you feel good.  Dr. Wayne Dyer from his book entitled The Power of Intention

I want to share with you Dr. Dyer's ten step program for creating a stress-free, tranquil life.  I found his plan very interesting.  He holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John's University in New York.

Step 1: Remember that your natural state is joy.
Step 2: Your thoughts, not the world, cause your stress.
Step 3: You can change your thoughts of stress in any given moment, and eliminate the anxiety for the next few moments, or even hours and days.
Step 4: Monitor your stressful thoughts by checking on your emotional state right in the moment.
Step 5: Make a conscious choice to select a thought that will activate good feelings.
Step 6: Spend some time observing babies, and vow to emulate their joy.
Step 7: Keep "Rule Number 6" in mind.
Step 8: Accept the guidance of your Source of intention.
Step 9: Practice being in silence and meditation.
Step 10: Stay in a state of gratitude and awe.

I work for a fantastic psychiatrist and am so thankful to God for being in my position and this field of medicine.  I consider him much more than one trained to prescribe medicine.  I consider him a teacher and have a great deal of respect for him. He is not a pill pusher.  He teaches people techniques of relaxation and creating their own peace.   He introduced me to the book I mentioned earlier and I purchased it from my nearby Goodwill at some point in time.  Not all psychiatrists follow the same style of practicing medicine.
I am enthused about this book and believe all of us can learn from Dr. Dyer's ten step program for creating a higher quality of life.  I just touched on the steps he mentions in the book.  He goes into great detail in each step. You will be surprised when you read about "Rule Number 6".   I encourage you to look for this book in your travels.  Perhaps you can check it out from your local library if you aren't sure you want to purchase it.  I look forward to reading more myself!
Take care and have a great day!  Love, Nan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Enthusiasm is Contagious!

The ability to meet adversity and failure, sorrow and misfortune, with a smile and never to lose enthusiasm but to keep going at a high level is one of the most exciting demonstrations of the positive principle.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

This past weekend Allen and I drove to Winston-Salem specifically for him to make a purchase at Harbor Freight.  Interestingly enough, the store beside Harbor Freight was a thrift store.  Naturally, I went to the left and Allen went to the right.  At the mere sight of the thrift store I became excited.  Before I left the store, I had purchased a hard copy of Dr. Peale's book entitled "The Positive Principle Today", along with another book and some pretty purple netting for 69 cents that will make a beautiful decoration for one of my red hats!
I will scour a book section for books written by Dr. Peale every time I'm given an opportunity.  I have added to my library several of Dr. Peale's books and treasure each one of them.  Dr. Peale died Christmas Eve, 1993, but in my heart, he will live forever.  He was one of the most influential men in my life.  I say all this because of his book I read entitled "The Power of Positive Thinking" I read years ago.  Through his positive principle, he helped mould me into the person I am.  My beliefs were shaped because I learned what he believed and then I believed it, too.  The principles he taught simply made common sense to me.  I have been a positive thinker ever since that time.
There is much in this recently purchased book that speaks of enthusiasm.  Sometimes, we're exposed to a positive influence and we're immediately consumed with enthusiasm, but before long we've discovered our enthusiasm vanished without a trace.  Dr. Peale tells us in this book how to keep it going!  I love it!  Without having read the book, I realized that I have truly kept the enthusiasm going with regards to Nan's Calendar as my calling from God.  It is so exciting to know that continued positive thinking resulted in "keeping it going"!
If you don't have enthusiasm for whatever it is you will be faced with, get it! And keep it going!
You'll be glad you did!
Allen was glad I asked him in a soft voice last night if he would like for me to make him breakfast this morning!  I told him he would have to wake me up in the morning, because I sleep soundly and wouldn't hear him get up.  He did, indeed, wake me up this morning and I crawled out of bed and mustered up  enthusiasm and went into the kitchen with a happy heart and made him scrambled eggs, grits, sausage and warmed the left over biscuits I made last night.  Fresh coffee lingered in the air and we happily shared a special breakfast together.  Mind you, making breakfast is not my usual routine in the morning.  I'm typing this message quickly because I have to be at work 30 minutes earlier than usual and I still have to get ready to go!  I'm enthusiastically preparing this message for you and I'll be enthusiastically getting ready for work!
Take care and keep it going today!!!  Love ya! Nan

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peek Into My Heart

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again; Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9

The book of Philippians contains only four chapters, but the apostle Paul packs a huge amount of truths into practical terms.  I think that is why I relate so well to his writings.   Reading Paul's words, I sense a figurative "peek into his heart", if you will.  As I began to read his words, I continued reading hungrily, wanting nothing more than to finish the entire book, but I must continue with today's message and move on to other tasks before leaving for the office this morning.
As you read Nan's Calendar, I offer you a peek into my heart.  I write from the heart.  I write for the Lord, and I write for you.  I am not ashamed nor embarrassed about anything I have ever written in my messages.    If sharing with you any of my experiences or beliefs has encouraged you or given you pause to think, then my life is considered a success.   It is God who works in me and through me for the good of His people.  As it says in 2 Timothy 2:15, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
The Lord abides in me and I abide in the Lord.  Even through my imperfect self, the Lord sees something useful in me and I am honored to be His humble servant.  I am so thankful for my husband, Allen and our precious children.  I'm thankful for family and friends and with a thankful heart I serve you by offering my heart to you through my messages of faith, hope and love.
Have a wonderful day! Love, Nan

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Heart of God

To grieve the heart of  God is to live a self-centered, bitter, unforgiving, ungrateful existence.  Not one person on the face of the earth is perfect.  We are all a work in progress and most of the time, our own perception of self is that we are doing the best we can do, given the circumstances.  However, there are also times we know deep down inside we're not doing the best we can do.  The display of a negative attitude, lack of motivation, the woe is me syndrome, are the opposite of approaching the challenges of life prayerfully, faithfully, expectantly, and with a heart for serving the Lord and others.
As I participate in life, I keep my ear tuned for messages from God as to how I can better serve Him and show His love to the world.  Sitting here at my computer I ask God to speak to me in a way so as to encourage people from all walks of life, regardless of their age, gender, education, background of faith, because I have a burning desire in my heart to reach people for the Lord.  Everyone needs encouragement and I give it with a happy heart.
I live life on purpose, for a purpose and with a purpose, that being, to live for God, to glorify Him in every way, in every circumstance, and to serve Him gladly.  God deserves my undivided attention and as I write these love notes, so do you deserve my undivided attention.  He has something important to say to each one of you.  The Lord knows I am a vessel He can use.  So whenever you read a message I have written, know that the love of God is written all over it.  When you sense God's presence and influence in my words, your heart opens and your mind is alert, absorbing the love of God.
There was a time I would have thought it impossible that God would call me as a disciple and to speak to others of His love and compassion.  I have grown so much in my faith and at some point, although I don't know when it happened exactly, I took the "im" out of impossible.  Had I not taken "im" out of the word, which I translate to "I'm", your need for encouragement would not have been served.  "I'm" refers specifically to self.  When I take myself out of the equation, anything is possible.  When I put God in the center of the equation, where He belongs, all things are possible!  Nothing is impossible!  That word should be removed from the dictionary as well as from your vocabulary.  I certainly want to warm your heart and in so doing, I warm the heart of God.  Which do you believe is better, to grieve the heart of God or to warm His heart?  The answer is an easy one.  So let it be.
Take care and have a wonderful day!  Love, Nan

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our Refuge and Our Strength

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Selah
Psalm 46:1-2

If you have been following Nan's Calendar for a period of time, you've probably noticed I focus more attention to positives than negatives.  I am very much aware of the turmoil in the world and pray for comfort for the sad, the sick and the suffering.  I really don't spend much time watching the news.  I came to be this way when Allen was overseas for a year in Qatar serving our country in the U. S. Air Force.  There was so much negativity attached to the news, in order to keep my sanity, I had to stay away from the television.  I decided that if something happened to Allen while he was overseas, I would be welcoming a uniformed officer into my home who would bring news of Allen's whereabouts and his condition.
I pray for the peoples of the world who are in harm's way right now, those in Japan, in Libya, in Egypt, as I am sure, you keep them in your prayers, also.
I believe in the power of prayer.  I am very sympathetic in regard to all those who suffer.  But, I want you to know that suffering does have an end.  As I said recently, everything has a beginning, a middle and an end.   If you are reading my words today and you are suffering, take heart.  Your suffering won't last forever!  Don't give up!  As deeply as you can suffer, you can experience that same depth of joy and serenity!
We have almost come through another winter.  The time has changed.  The grass is turning green and flowers and trees are beginning to bloom.  Spring begins on Sunday!  It is a beautiful day and it will become more beautiful when you step out of the house and embrace the day!
As you have shared your concerns with me, remember, I know you and I want you to know you remain in my thoughts and prayers.  More importantly than that, God knows everything about you and wants a closer relationship with you.  Let go of fear and all negatives so you can receive strength and blessings from the Lord.  Open your mind and your heart to all the wonderful possibilities and opportunities awaiting you today!  Tell yourself, "I will not fear.  The Lord is my refuge and my strength!  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" Amen!
Have a wonderful day! Love, Nan

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moderation is the Key

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.  Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs 24:13-14

If you find honey, eat just enough---too much of it, and you will vomit.
Proverbs 25:16

I am amazed as I sit here this morning composing this message for you.  When I sat down at the computer, I asked God "Lord, what are we talking about today?"  As I allowed my mind to completely clear, I was aware of my Bible on the bed behind me.  I picked it up and opened it to the book of Proverbs.  And lo and behold, here is the message!
Since biblical times, it has been known that honey provides important nutrients we all need.  Consequently, should we overindulge, we may get sick, literally, as it says in verse 16!
Can one have too much wisdom?  I don't know that I consider myself to be wise, but I've learned a thing or two and I want to share with others some of the things I've learned.
What should we do when we find we have an over abundance of anything?  I adore teddy bears.  I don't remember having a teddy bear when I was a child.  When I was pregnant with Ashley, we decorated her nursery in a teddy bear theme and we even created a teddy bear mobile for her room.  To this day, I have all of those tiny bears in a box in the attic.
I have acquired, over time, a wonderful collection of teddy bears that rests upon Ashley's bed.  I think there may be a dozen of them.  Sometimes, when I go to the Goodwill store, I may find one or I may go months without finding the "right" bear.  Now, the question is, "do I really need all these beautiful teddy bears?"  I already know the answer.  The answer is a resounding "no"!  I want to share them with someone.  I can offer my collection to our local hospital emergency room to be given to a sick child or I can go to the local law enforcement office and inquire as to the possibility they may keep them in the trunk of their cars for distraught or injured children as they make their calls.
God has given me an abundance of love and compassion and I want to share it with the world!  What good does it do me to keep all these beautiful teddy bears for only myself to enjoy.  What good is love and compassion if I keep it all to myself?  Is it possible I could have too much love to give?  I don't think so.  Regardless of how much love I have or give away, I will have enough to share and just enough to keep.
If you receive any benefit from my daily love notes, that's great!  The good news about giving away my bears is that I will continue to visit the Goodwill store on occasion and I will surely find more beautiful bears.  After I have loved them and enjoyed them myself, I will pass them on to someone else who needs them more than I do.  The good news about giving away my love and compassion is that my supply will always be replenished.  I can only know if you benefit from the love I send to you if you let me know you've received it.  My love is a gift.  I hold it out to you and offer it to you.  It's up to you to accept it or to refuse it.  Positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative.  It's that simple.  Moderation is the key!  If you have too much of anything, let go of some of it, whether it's clothes in the closet you haven't worn for a long time or if it's negative thoughts or negative influences or negative habits or if it's a collection of teddy bears!
Take care and have a wonderful day! Love, Nan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hear and Now

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.  For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20

God is all authority above heaven and earth.  He appointed heaven and earth as witnesses in this scripture as an illustration of His sovereign authority.  According to the explanation in my Bible, this was a way God reminded Israel that if they broke the covenant, there was a very real possibility of natural disasters, etc.  Moses believed the Israelites would be threatened with the wrath of God if they turned their hearts away from God and were disobedient to God's will.
I encourage you to to go your Bible and read this section of Deuteronomy from chapter 30, verses 11-20.  It speaks of The Offer of Life or Death.  We, all mankind, need to be quiet and listen for God's voice, though it may not be audible to our human ears, it is audible to the ears our spirit.  His voice speaks to the mind of the spirit.  Hear and now.

I wrote a poem that can actually be sung, though no music has been written for it.

My Spirit Opened for Thee

mind of my spirit - teach me today
now I beseech you - teach me to pray
ears of my spirit - oh, let me hear
footsteps of Jesus - He is near
eyes of my spirit - open for me
to see my Savior - oh, let it be
feet of my spirit - don't fail me now
take me to Jesus - take me somehow
heart of my spirit - open wide
please, Jesus enter - come inside
hands of my spirit - lift high in praise
ready to praise You - all of my days
voice of my spirit - teach me to speak
though I am humble - lowly and meek
others must know, dear - others must know
My love for others - you must show
teach them to love me - teach them today
so lost and lonely - show them the way

Copyright 02-12-08 written by Nan Forehand
To get the full effect of the message, sing the words as the Lord speaks to your heart.  As you do, you will create your own melody.  I promise you will be touched. I'd love to know what you think!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Faith, Hope, and Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Faith, Hope and Love - an acrostic

by: Nan Forehand
F ully
A rmed
I nside
T hrough
H im

H earts
O f
P raise
E verlasting

L iving
O ne
V ision
E ternity

When we are clothed in faith, we are prepared and fully armed inside through Him to withstand and overcome any obstacle that would attempt to hinder our progress.
As we develop a habit to deliberately praise God for His presence in every aspect of our lives, whether in a small way or a big way, whether in good times or bad, our hearts are opened to an endless supply of hope.
Live in love.  Do more than exist.  Thrive.  When I think of heaven and hell, I focus my energy on heaven.  An eternity in heaven is my one vision.  I want to go to heaven when I take my last breath of air on this earth.  I think we all want the same basic things in life; basic, yes, but essential to a life well lived.  We all want to have faith.  We all want to have hope and we all want to have love. You have faith, share it. You have hope, share it.  You have love to give, give it.  God gave us, one and all, these three in abundant supply.  The more we give, the more we receive.  Remember, God does love a cheerful giver and it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Sound familiar?
And remember to share that beautiful smile of yours today with someone.  It may be the only smile that person sees today.  When you share a smile, it doesn't cost a dime.  But the benefits are priceless!
Take care and exercise your faith, praise the Lord and focus on your most important vision.
Love, Nan

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Charge To Keep I Have

Charge: a person or thing entrusted to someone's care.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788),  wrote the following:

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify;
A never dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master's  will!

I understand Wesley's passion!  He didn't timidly utter those words.  I sense a great deal of power and commitment as I read line after line.  I get excited when I read Wesley's words!  What ever our calling, we must fulfill it with enthusiasm and great passion.  As we show positive energy and a steadfast devotion, others will be touched and encouraged themselves.
People are either cold, lukewarm or on fire for the Lord.  Charles Wesley was on fire.  It is better for one to be cold than lukewarm regarding their relationship with the Lord.  Persons lukewarm in their faith would do well to closely examine their thoughts and attitudes and earnestly repent of anything that takes a higher priority than their relationship with God.  You can go to Revelations 3:14-18 to get a better understanding of what happens to people whose relationship with God has become lukewarm.  The wrath of God isn't a thing with which to toy.  In my Quest NIV Study Bible it is worded in verse 16 "I am about to spit you out of my mouth".   We are talking in Sunday School about the wrath of God upon people who continuously "don't get it".....   If you get it, share it with someone else! I get it and I hope all the readers of Nan's Calendar get it.

Who am I to say these things to you today and why am I saying them at all?  I am but a humble servant of the Lord God and I care.  I truly don't know the hearts of all the readers of Nan's Calendar.  But God knows the heart of everyone on the face of the earth.  Some are cold, lukewarm or on fire for the Lord.  In my efforts to encourage, at times, God calls me to share a very serious aspect of relationships.  The most important relationship we will ever have is the one we have with God.

"....Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Revelation 3:19-22.

To God be the glory!
Love, Nan

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Imagine, Believe and Achieve

The concept of Nan's Calendar was once a thought in my mind.  I imagined a way of reaching out to others to inspire and encourage them.  This concept became a reality when I began writing entries in my journal on August 1, 2007.  By October 21st, God took me to the next level, that medium being email.  The day the following poem was written was the day Nan's Calendar went from being handwritten journal entries to being sent out to family and friends by way of email.  At that time, my goal was to encourage as many people as possible.  The Lord guided my words each time I sat down and rested my fingers on the keyboard of my computer.  As September 2009 approached, it was time to transition Nan's Calendar to a higher level.  Allen set me up online and September 21st was the first publication on the blog.  Because of a grateful heart, I imagined a way to encourage others.  I believed in something greater than myself, that being, my belief in Jesus Christ and a calling from God to serve others in this capacity.  I know I have achieved success when I receive word from folks telling me they appreciate my messages of faith, hope and love.  I don't worry about what will be the focus of the next message.  That is for God to know and for me to find out.  It is an exhilarating experience for me each time God reveals a simple truth to me to share with you.  If I had shirked from God and showed no faith, you wouldn't be reading this message today.  Only God knows where Nan's Calendar will go next.
One of the greatest gifts God gave each one of us is the gift of imagination.  However, the imagination can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the focus of our thoughts.  Train your mind to think and to dwell on good thoughts rather than negative ones.  Focus on a positive "what if" rather than a negative "what if".
We all want to believe in something good, and to believe in something, we must first be exposed to an idea.  It is our choice as to whether we believe something or not.  If we don't have enough information upon which to base a decision about a particular idea, we must have the hunger for more knowledge.
We all know the exhilaration of an accomplishment we thought difficult in the beginning.  For everything in life, there is a beginning, a middle and an end.  We only know fear if a negative "what if" was planted in our mind, whether it be in our subconscious mind or our conscious mind.   It really does take courage to step out of our comfort zone into the realm of the unknown.  We are better prepared for the unexpected when our thoughts are anchored in positive rather than negative  beliefs.  If you believe you will succeed, then you will.  If you believe you will fail, you won't be wrong.  
Imagine something good.  Believe something good.  Achieve something good.  Accomplishments are sweeter victories when we have served another person.  Dare to imagine a better life.  Imagine the thought of this place called Heaven.  Believe in something you can't see before you at this moment.  Jesus did die to atone for the sins of the world, yours and mine included and He did rise from the dead.  He alone can save our souls from an eternity in hell.  Achieve your goals.  When we acknowledge a sin and ask the Lord for forgiveness, He does forgive us and He remembers the sin no more.  Remember, with God, nothing is impossible.  Dare to imagine, to believe and to achieve!

Imagine, Believe, and Achieve

written by: Nan Forehand
Sunday, October 21, 2007

to conceive in the mind
a world of a spiritual kind
where peace and love abound
this places exists and can be found
this place is called Heaven
to take as real and true
Jesus Christ died for me and you
to have faith without a doubt
Christ alone has omnipotent clout
Christ alone can save your soul
to do; accomplish
Jesus can cleanse our every blemish
through Him nothing is impossible
dare you say probable
dare you to imagine, to believe and to achieve
to have enough courage

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What Do You See?

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy, spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11-12

God is in the center of everything in my life. My Blackberry is beside my bed when I go to sleep at night.  Usually before I even get up off the bed in the morning, I'm in the Blackberry reading Bible verses a friend sends me through email.  God and I have conversations all throughout the day.  I believe my soul and my destiny are in the hands of The Almighty and I truly do believe, not out of arrogance, but out of a deep-rooted faith and trust in God, I will be in Heaven one day. I know I can't be good enough or do enough to get to Heaven.  I know I am forgiven enough, because I believe in the promises of God and God is not capable of lying.  It is not within His Holy essence to lie.  
I am excited about going to Heaven when my time comes.  I'm not afraid of the physical death.  Yes, I'm curious and I have many questions, but fear is not in the equation.  Life is very precious and also fragile.  I am so glad to be alive and to know my purpose in life.  I know when God has fully used me on earth to encourage people, He will take me home.  Yes, I want to be completely used up for God and His beloved ones on earth before I take my last breath.  
It's amazing how this message has taken shape....  I was in the process of cleaning my bedroom and needed to do something with a bunch of books lying on the floor in the corner of the room and came across one in particular that stirred my attention.  I immediately came to the computer and began to write what you're reading today.  I didn't plan this message ahead of time, though it is flowing from my mind through my fingertips.  The funny thing is, nothing specifically in the book is a part of the message today.  It simply provided the necessary inspiration to get up and come to the computer rather than providing an excuse to keep from cleaning up my room.  It is right and fitting that this is today's message.  I have no hesitation whatsoever that this is God's word for you today!  I'm off to the bedroom to pick up where I stopped a few minutes ago.  Now, I will clean my room with more enthusiasm and energy!  Take care! love ya! Nan

What Do You See?

By: Nan Forehand

Heavenly Father above
Do I make you proud and show enough love?
what do you see when you see me?

Do others see your reflection when they gaze into my eyes?
Lord keep me away from things You despise.
What is it about me You like the least?

Do I talk to You enough for you to recognize my voice?
Do I praise You so much You smile and rejoice?
What is it about me You'd like to change?

Do I succeed on Your behalf to those despondent?
Self-confident...or mature enough to be God-confident?
What is it about me You love the most?

They say "if you're not sure, just ask."
Lord, I know You're up to the task.
I feel like a child asking twenty questions...

What do You see when you see me?
Do You ever get tired of me asking questions?
One day You and I are going to have a nice long talk...

written on Sunday, October 23, 2005

Friday, March 11, 2011

We Laughed Until We Cried

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
Ecclesiastes 3:4

When was the last time you laughed until you cried?  If you haven't had a good "bust a gut funny" laugh lately, do yourself a favor.  It's so much better when you can share this kind of laughter with someone you love.  I'm still feeling the after effects of an episode late last night.  It was the silliest, most unexpected situation I think I have ever had in my entire life.
Earlier this week, our seven year old computer simply died and we purchased a new one.  This one has features we've never seen before.  Our daughter called last night and we talked a few minutes and then she decided to come over.   She visited with Allen and John and at some point, she and I got on the computer.  She's a computer wiz and she started teaching me about some of the features.  The computer has a camera on it and she got us up on the screen "live".  The feature is called photo booth.  Then, she clicked onto "effects" and the next thing I knew, I was literally breathless from laughing so hard.  It was very late and we were trying not to wake up the guys as they had already gone to bed.  Do you know how hard it is to stifle laughter when you just want to let it all out without a care as to how loudly you're laughing?  Controlled laughter is tough at best! She had clicked on "x-ray".  I looked at us "live" on the computer screen and we looked so silly in"x-ray" that I couldn't believe what was happening.  We looked ghastly such that all shades were reversed in black and white.  Our teeth looked black and our dark hair looked white.  You get the picture, right; we looked like living and breathing photo negatives!   That's it!  We looked like living and breathing photo negatives from 35 mm film!
Why am I sharing this story with you?  Laughter is contagious!  Sometimes, our perception of situations and circumstances is so serious, we forget to enjoy the humorous side of life.
You see, this story wouldn't be today's message if our daughter had not, on the spur of the moment, decided to come over for a brief visit last night.  It was one of the most wonderful, unexpected visits we have had in a while.  An already great day became and awesome day thanks to an unexpected visit from our wonderful daughter.  She and I will remember being in the "photo booth" together for a very long time and we will both, where ever we are at that moment of remembering, smile and relive that wonderful mother/daughter time together.  I will encourage her to share this same story with others, as will I.  As in this case, the story teller may get more out of the story than the audience, but who knows what lesson the story will bring, as well.
Yes, "stuff" can get very heavy at times, but always remember to find something to share with each other that is so positive it overpowers the negative and replaces the heavy weight with a feather light feeling that sweetly lingers in your heart.  A good dose of "bust a gut funny" will work wonders for both of you!
It's a beautiful, chilly morning and I must get up now and get ready for work!  Take care and be sure to enjoy the gift of this day God has given us and be sure to make laughter a part of it!  I hope you laugh until you cry!!!  Love, Nan

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And she was comforted

When a woman has a chance to share her feelings freely, she begins to feel more loving despite what she may have said. John Gray, Ph.D.

We're not going to agree with each other 100% of the time.  As we experience a sense of freedom from judgment, we are able to express troubling feelings and then move forward with a new perspective and a fresh approach.  Fickle feelings frustrate females.  First find fellowship with the Father.  Nan Forehand

A very special lady and I were recently in the presence of satan, I, clothed in my full armor of faith and she, feeling stripped naked and bleeding (spiritually speaking), desperately searching for help for a loved one.  It was the most incredible experience for us, as I realize now, with the Lord's guidance, I gently clothed her in her own armor, dressed her for battle with the Spirit of God standing before us.  We knew it was a profound attempt by satan to destroy a relationship with a loved one.  She is an amazing woman and I felt honored to be in her space.
It was through a telephone conversation after hours she and I met.  It was late in the day and I had a note before me of a voice mail from earlier in the afternoon.  As I listened to the voice on the recording, I knew this lady needed to hear from my office sooner than later.  I called the number and as we began to talk, I realized without a doubt God had directed the conversation for that moment, rather than wait until another day.  I learned she had ignored several phone calls prior to mine.  She told me she had a sense that she needed to answer this call.  The Spirit of the Lord prompted her to pick up the phone.  As I listened, it was crystal clear God intended for her prayers to be answered, but not in the way she had hoped or expected.  Inasmuch as she wanted help for her loved one, God knew she needed help for her self.  She is strong in her faith and we rejoiced in faith together as we praised God and shared this special time together.  The power of the Holy Spirit was amazingly strong as He gave me words to share with her.  The Spirit moved through my voice, through the phone line and into her heart.  As the Spirit moved through us, we sensed the departure of satan.  With our shields and our swords, we sent him away.  He was probably livid with anger that the power of God had triumphed, yet again.  By the time we realized it, an hour had passed since our conversation began.
Certainly she and her loved ones will remain in my thoughts and prayers.  It's a mystery right now if she and I will ever meet in person, but we were one in spirit, united by the love of Christ.  Her heart poured out to the Lord and He heard her cries for help.  And she was comforted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

because it matters......

But, "let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."  For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Always know I come to you with a humble heart as I share these messages of faith, hope and love.  The Holy Spirit doesn't come into my being to stay there.  He is always moving in me and through me to those who would be aware of His presence.  I am a servant of the Lord and your servant, as well.
One of the things I remember about Mama was when I was a child leaving home in the morning to get on the school bus; she would give me a smile and a hug and say "be nice and be good today."  It mattered what she thought of me.  It matters what you think of me.  Most importantly, it matters what God thinks of me.  I really took it to heart what Mama said as I still, to this day, want to be nice and be good today.
I recently read somewhere (I forget where I read it) "what is in the well comes up in the bucket."  We all have some sediment in the bottom of the well that gets stirred up at times.  The good news is that God installed a filter in each well. The great news is that Jesus provides the water for the well.  Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water  will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the (living) water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  John 4:13-14.  We are to share this Living Water with those who thirst.  It becomes necessary, at times, to clean out the filter in our well.
Lord, thank you for this beautiful day and thank you for loving us, for showing us mercy and grace.   Thank you for installing a filter deep within us to catch the unwanted thoughts so they can be discarded.  Help us to remember this as we know thoughts can become actions.  May the Living Water we share with others leave a good taste in their mouths and may Your water inside our well quench their thirst as nothing else can.  May our thoughts and actions prove to you that we want to be nice and be good today, because it matters what You think of us.  In Your precious name I pray.  Amen
Be nice and be good today.
Love, Nan

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

........on the giving end.

I stopped by Food Lion for a few grocery items on the way home from work last night.  As I crossed the parking lot, I noticed, lying on the pavement, the back side of a personal check.  No one was close by as I picked it up.  It was obvious to me the owner of the check dropped it as she approached her vehicle.  The purchase receipt wasn't with it and it was still in good  condition.  I called the number listed on the check as I stood in the parking lot.  I asked for the lady whose name was printed on it.  She came to the phone and I explained how I came to have her check in my possession.  Her checking account number could have come into the wrong hands as easily as it came into my hands.  I could tell she is an older lady by the sound of her voice and she was tremendously thankful when I told her that I would send the check back to her by mail the next morning.  She could tell by my conversation with her that I could be trusted with this sensitive information.
I had a spare envelope in the car and walked back and addressed the envelope then and there and put the check in it for safe keeping while I did my shopping.  This morning as I dressed for work, this lady kept coming into my mind and I wanted to do more for her than return the check.  I only gave her my first name during the conversation and I gave her a basic idea of where I live.  As I have a nice collection of inspirational books in my library, I asked God which one would be the one to send her in the mail along with the check.  To give her one of my books would be the perfect gesture, especially since Allen thinks I have too many books.  I ask you, can one ever have too many books?  My library actually has 10 less books now, including this one, since I gave away nine other books within the past week.   But, those are stories for another day!  Oh, wait!  I did buy several books in the Goodwill store before going to work this morning!
I chose for her one of my favorite books.  It's a paperback version of "When I'm On My Knees" written by Anita Corrine Donahue.  It looked brand new, as I take very good care of my books.  I searched the book from front to back, looking for the right message.  As she pulls her check from between the pages she will notice a particular message.
I didn't write my return address on the outside of the envelope as I didn't think it was necessary.  It's not for me to get credit for doing a good deed, but I intended for her to have a surprise in her mailbox when she least expects it.  The book and check were put in the mail to her today.  I smile as I think of the joy God will have in His heart as she opens the envelope to find more than she expected to find.  I also smile and wonder what thoughts will go through her mind as she discovers her surprise.  I love surprises, especially giving them.  Though I won't be there to see her face when the book slides out of the envelope, I smile at the thought of it.
The title of the message I chose was "In You I Believe".  It is a beautiful message and regardless of what her relationship is with God, I know she will be touched by the message.  The last sentence reads as follows "In all the uncertainties around me, I trust in You, I believe in You, and I know You guard all that I do."
God guarded her personal checking account when she had no clue it could be in jeopardy.  God put me where He needed me when He needed me there to assist in protecting this senior lady's money.
I believe it was God's intention for me to find her check, and to not only return it, but to include a special inspirational book for her and to share the story with you tonight.
Yes, some things really are free.  She will receive, within a day or so, her check and a beautiful, free book and a fresh perspective of her fellow citizens.  And, I'm sure, she has a thankful heart that her checking account number didn't fall into the hands of someone who would have evil thoughts, which could turn into evil actions.   It is entirely possible she and I may have had a pleasant encounter in Food Lion prior to yesterday's incident and we may never be aware.  It's a mystery!
You never know when you will be on the receiving end of a most pleasant surprise when you least expect it!   Be alert for opportunities to be on the giving end!
My big white kitty is loving all over me as I type this message.  She's letting me know it's time to go to bed!  It is currently 11:16 p.m.  I lost track of the time!  She's right!  It's time to call it a day!  Take care!  Love, Nan

Monday, March 7, 2011

Because of Love

A word I used in this poem is one we don't hear very often.  The word dross means 1)scum on molten metal 2) refuse; rubbish.  Sometimes, it seems as though we do have scum over our eyes and can't see clearly (spiritually speaking).  We may be concerned about someone's behavior and say "why can't he see that what he is doing ...........?" You can fill in the blank.  Pray for him that Jesus will remove the "scum", "dross" from his eyes so he can see the err of his ways.  Sometimes, our thoughts don't lead to actions.  Sometimes, however, they do.  Our impure thoughts must be removed and replaced with thoughts and actions that serve and honor God.  I believe our time on earth is preparation for an eternity in heaven and we must be ready when the time comes.  As much as I believe in heaven, I also believe in hell.  Not everyone will enter the gates of heaven.  Yes, we must be cleansed and purified; all because of love.  Take care and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.  Love, Nan

Because of Love

written by: Nan Forehand
Saturday, April 7, 2007
we humans can't begin to comprehend
this love which knows no end
though Jesus hung and died on the cross
He continues to cleanse us of human dross
this dross we cannot see, but
Jesus will wash us clean as can be
He washes the dross from our spiritual eyes
sometimes it hurts and He hears our cries
our spirit and our mind He will caress
cleanliness is next to Godliness
cleanse us all He certainly must
we should be still and give Him our trust
He'll cleanse our heart and even our feet
and one day face to face we will meet

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday morning, the sixth of March

The emphasis of today's message is very simple.  Don't take a morning rain and a home cooked breakfast for granted.  The "ordinary" things in life are sometimes the most extraordinary.  Enjoy life's simple pleasures.  Even if you experience the rain and the breakfast with no company to join you, I'd love for you to share your special moments with me.  My email address is  I'd love to hear from you.
Author's note: I want you to be totally in the moment with me as you read this poem. It is a glorious morning as the welcome rain nourishes the earth. Timely rain, awesome breakfast, loving family and then off to church we go. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Sunday morning, the sixth of March

beyond the dilapidated fence
lies the meadow green
wet, naked limbs nourished
by the Sunday morning rain
down by the valley, across the ridge
South Yadkin River flows
cardinal, finch and chickadee
shake off droplets and continue to feed
black lab expels hot, moist breath
on the cold, wet window pane
little tabby cat, a.k.a. water baby
cries excitedly at the door
jumps off the porch into the rain
through the house and to the deck
around the corner, I hear her tinkle bell
fragrance of pancakes and sausage
caress the fresh morning air
hot coffee and smiles across the table
peace, love and harmony linger there
Sunday morning, the sixth of March