Tuesday, August 30, 2011

With Gladness of Heart

When God wanted sponges and oysters, He made them, and put one on a rock, and the other in the mud.  When He made man, He did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with feet and hands, and head and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them and said to him, "Go work!"
Henry Ward Beecher

Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him -- for this is his lot.  Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work -- this is a gift of God.  He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

With gladness of heart let us do our work.  I know in light of the events of recent days since Hurricane Irene, there is much work for many people to do.  We didn't ask for this devastating hurricane, but it happened and there is much work ahead.  The most important thing is gratitude.  When we know things could have been much worse, gratitude tells us to be thankful that it wasn't worse.  To be alive and to have work to do is a blessing.
Now, I must remove myself from this chair and get ready to go to the office and do my work.  Have a wonderful day in the Lord.   Love, Nan

Friday, August 26, 2011

Three Ideas

1) be true to yourself --
2) be glad you're alive --
3) be willing to learn!

How much these three ideas have to offer in thinking about ourselves.  We are always thinking about ourselves -- there's nothing wrong with that -- but let's do it constructively.
A quote from Dale Carnegie's Scrapbook - A Treasury of the Wisdom of the Ages

I've searched my Bible to find inspirational passages to solidify the importance of the three ideas printed above.  Below are the verses God directed me to use.  1) We must first be able to accept our own truth about ourselves in order to speak the truth to anyone else.  2) Simply be glad!  If you need an attitude adjustment in order to be glad, then adjust your attitude and be glad! (spoken with a twinkle in my eyes and a smile on my face).  3) Jesus said "...... learn from me, .......".  To learn from Jesus means to spend quality, quiet time immersed in the Bible, to be willing to accept Jesus' words as absolute truth.  A soul at rest is beautiful.  It is to experience the very essence of peace to be in the presence of the Lord.
Have a wonderful day! Love, Nan

1) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Ephesians 4:15

2) I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.  You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
Psalm 31:7-8

3) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Talents, Attitudes, Skills, Knowledge, or Style -- identify your strengths, which are uniquely yours.  Focus your best energy on using them.  TASKS are discussed in a book of mine entitled The Speed of Trust written by Stephen M. R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill

Feed opportunities and starve problems.  Peter Drucker

There are no uninteresting things; there are only uninterested people.  Lord Chesterton

Do you wonder why I am sharing these specific quotes with you today?  I share these quotes with you today because I love you and I want to issue a challenge to you.  Think about it.  We are all a work in progress.  I want you to continue to stretch yourself and grow, just as I am stretching and growing.  You have so much to offer.  Keeping your talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge or style bottled up inside of you without sharing these capabilities God gave you is wasting them.  More important than focusing on a weakness is focusing and using your capabilities to enrich your life and the lives of others you touch on a daily basis.

Almost all conflict is a result of violated expectations.  Blaine Lee, author of The Power Principle

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all graces abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 2 Corinthians 9:6-9

In closing, I want to request prayer for my mother in law, Julia Forehand.  She was working on a project in our local quilt shop yesterday, got her foot caught in the cord of an iron and fell.  Long story short, she is in the hospital with a fractured pelvis. She is in good spirits and is doing well on the pain medication.  Pray for strength as she begins physical therapy.  Thank you so much.  Love, Nan

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Love to You Too!

Most people believe that "I love you" is the best thing you can say to anybody.   I have learned that "I love you too” has a greater impact on the human heart.  Anybody can get an "I love you" but fewer get an "I love you too."  Those are the truly blessed."
- Richie Boggess

Had it not been for the earthquake I felt here in Statesville, NC yesterday, I would not have found the quote you've just read.  It was the first time in my life, at 51 years of age, to experience an earthquake (mild, though it was).  As I sat down here at the computer a moment ago I looked for an interesting quote about earthquakes to go along with today's message.  I did find one, but more interesting was the quote I have included.  This quote is more appropriate than I can begin to tell you, but, I'll try.  I ended the message yesterday with the words "I love you, Nan", and I meant them sincerely.  As I was working in my office later in the morning, I received a one-line message in response to yesterday's Nan's Calendar message from a very special lady named Alice.  Her message was "Love to You Too”!  Yes, Alice, your words did, indeed, have a great impact on my heart!  I am truly blessed!  I love you, too! Always, Nan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It is better to trust....

It is better to trust and sometimes be disappointed than to be forever mistrusting and be right occasionally.
Neal A. Maxwell, Educator and Religious Leader

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I want to take this one step further: trust yourself and be true to yourself.  Trust God and be true to Him.  Treat yourself with love and self-respect, then watch your world begin to change for the better.  Your world will begin to change for the better because you will see the world through the eyes of love and with a trusting heart.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.  Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" -- when you now have it with you.
Proverbs 3:27-28 New International Version

It continues to amaze me how God guides me towards quotes and verses in the Bible to bring a message together.  I think it is because of my prayer that I pray.  "Lord, lead me, guide me and direct me in all that I say and do today so that my words and my actions are pleasing unto You." Amen
Bringing Nan's Calendar to you each day is my simple way of giving good to you, because you deserve it.  It is surely within my power to sit down, meditate, ponder and understand the guidance of The Holy Spirit as I compose my thoughts, quotes and verses.  I am called to bring the good news to you today, for I never know if tomorrow will be a day too late.  Today is the most important day of all, simply because it is here now.  I can create within the hours of today something beautiful or something hideous.  I will choose beauty every time!
I love you, Nan

Monday, August 22, 2011

Time is ..........

Which of us lives on twenty-four hours a day? And when I say "lives," I do not mean exists, nor "muddles through." Which of us is free from that uneasy feeling that the "great spending departments" of his daily life are not managed as they ought to be?  Which of us is not saying to himself -- which of us has not been saying to himself all his life: "I shall alter that when I have a little more time"? We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.  Arnold Bennett

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”  Henry Van Dyke

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 -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- 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

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

 My dear friends, this is the message God wants you to understand today.  I bring to you the message of God for the people of God.  I am but a humble messenger who creates the time in my day to listen and obey the direction of the Lord for His glory and honor.  Today simply live, laugh and love.  God gave each and every one of us 24 hours in a day.  It's up to us how we use that time.  People are precious.  Don't waste one minute of the time God gives you.  Always, Nan 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Best Thing To Give.......

Forever, O Lord, your Word stands firm in heaven.  Your faithfulness extends to every generation, like the earth you created; it endures by your decree, for everything serves your plans.  I would have despaired and perished unless your laws had been my deepest delight.  I will never lay aside your laws, for you have used them to restore my joy and health.  Psalms 119:89-93 The Living Bible Paraphrased

The best thing to give
        your enemy is forgiveness;
        to an opponent, tolerance;
        to a friend, your heart;
        to your child, a good example;
        to your father, deference;
        to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you;
        to yourself, respect;
        to all men, charity.    Swami Sivananda

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Light In the Window

A smile is the light in the window of your face that shows your heart is at home.
Author Unknown

I smiled so much throughout the day yesterday that my cheeks hurt!  It was an awesome day from the very beginning, that being 5:00 am, when Allen (my husband) and I went for our usual brisk walk, along with our black Lab, Bob, and continued to be a day filled with love and laughter, right into the evening!
Not in order of events, but included in my awesome day were an unexpected visit from a wonderful lady friend of mine and her four beautiful daughters, a trip to the dry cleaners to pick up a dozen teddy bears to take to the hospital ER, delivering the teddies to the ER and a visit with the ER staff to hear great stories of how these teddies are touching the lives of children who are in need of cuddly, soft comfort during a very stressful time in their lives; a visit with my daughter, who knitted a gorgeous white baby sweater for a special friend of mine who is expecting her first child; going with two very special friends of mine to the announcement party for my pregnant friend (long story, short version.....surprise!! the inside of the cake was pink!  They're having a girl!); experiencing numerous "God moments" throughout the day that my skin kept having "glory bumps"!!!  That's right, glory bumps, not goose bumps!
The more love and smiles you give away, the more you get in return!  God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!!!
Gotta get up from here now and get going on my 2012 calendar of teddy bears.  I have taken several photos and still have more to take.  It's so exciting!  Gotta set up a teddy bear picnic photo!  Talk to you later! Love, Nan

P.S. My friend said, (who came for a visit with her daughters)..... "I'm so happy that if it were dark right now, I'd be glowing in the dark!"   Yes, my friends, she and I were glowing in the presence of the Lord yesterday.  I'm still in the afterglow!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

God Abundantly Provides Teddies!

By the time I arrived at my office yesterday morning, I was at the point of tears.  These tears were ones of immense amazement and joy at what had just taken place a few minutes earlier.  Sometimes, I get a sense that I am supposed to go to the Goodwill store for a treasure.  Most of the time the treasure is inspirational books or teddy bears.   Yesterday, teddy bears dropped down from Heaven abundantly!  As I walked into the store, I noticed mounds of stuffed toys on the racks in the middle of the store.  Pushing the small shopping cart along the aisle I discovered a multitude of teddy bears!!  Nan's good will bear project continues!  These teddy bears were perfect and there were lots of them!  Almost instantly, it seemed, the shopping cart was filled to overflowing with these bundles of comfort and joy.  One will need a new nose and a couple more will need a bit of attention before I take them to the cleaners.
As I approached the cash register to pay for them I noticed a tall man, mid 30's, waiting behind me to pay for his own selections of merchandise.  Because it is very unusual for a lady to purchase a large number of teddy bears, naturally it was the topic of conversation.  I shared with the clerk and the gentleman about my teddy bear project with the hospital ER and the comfort these teddies will bring children in need.  The man reached into his wallet and handed me a twenty dollar bill and wanted to pay for these teddy bears.  He said he understands about being in the hospital and being scared.  He's going into the hospital for a hip replacement on Tuesday (today).  Some of the bears were more expensive than others, but when the clerk handed me the change back, which was four dollars and change, I handed it to the man.  He shook his head and put his hand out and said "ma'am you keep that change for the next time you find some more bears for the kids."  I pulled out an envelop from my purse and wrote on it "teddy bears" and asked him his name.  I also wrote "Bruce" on the envelope.  He saw me place the money in the envelope and that he can count on me using the money to purchase more teddy bears.  I told him that I will remember him and his generosity.  I told him I had written a poem about the bears and the condensed version of why I am committed to serving my community in this way.  His face wore the look of a man in physical pain and I asked him if it would be ok if I gave him a hug.  He looked surprised and said "yes ma'am."  As I reached up to hug him I whispered in his ear "Bruce, God will bless you in a very special way for your generosity."  His smile was priceless!
As I walked out of the store with three white trash bags filled with treasures, the man came along behind me.  I opened the trunk of my car and saw a folder with a copy of the poem lying there.  I placed the bags of teddies in the trunk and picked up the poem and called out "Bruce!"  He  said "yes ma'am."  I walked over to his beat up old truck and handed him the copy of the poem and told him I wanted him to have it.  His chin quivered as he took it.  "Thank you, ma'am" he said as he started the engine.  Bruce lives in Asheville, which is about an hour or two west of here and is in Statesville to visit someone before he goes into the hospital for the hip replacement.
Funny thing; Allen and I went by the Goodwill store on Sunday on our way to Lowe's and I mentioned that I'd like to go to the Goodwill store.  Since Allen wasn't interested in going, we didn't.  That was because God intended for the encounter with Bruce to happen on Monday!  Bruce felt good about giving up that $20.00 for a good cause.  I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at his generosity and God's generosity.
When I arrived at the office I counted the bears in the trunk of my car.  There were 22 teddy bears all together!  Amazing!  We serve an amazing God!
After work, I went to see Jeff at Sloan's cleaners to pick up a dozen clean bears and gave him another bag of bears I brought from home to be cleaned.  He was utterly amazed at the story about Bruce and the bears earlier in the morning and so happy to know how God is providing teddy bears.  Both, he and I, had glory bumps covering our arms as I shared the story.  He thought in the beginning I would occasionally bring in a couple of bears.  Neither one of us had any idea how abundantly God would bless this gesture of good will.
I know this story today is a bit long, but I must share it with you.  When I arrived at the hospital ER to deliver the twelve clean teddies, the lady at the desk, (perhaps a nurse) was thrilled to see me.  She told me about a lady and her child who had been in a car accident.  The mom had been airlifted to another hospital and the little three year old had no family at the hospital.  The lady gave one of the teddy bears to the child for comfort and it touched not only the child's heart, but the lady's heart, as well.  The other nurses inquired as to how they get their gently loved teddies to me.  I told them that since the hospital is where they work to bring them to the ER and I will take them to be cleaned and will bring them back to the hospital.
I hope you've enjoyed this account of how abundantly God blesses us and provides for us.  It is when we lose sight of self that we truly find our selves.  Much love to you, one and all!  Nan

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thanks and Praise!!

Thank you all so much for your prayers concerning the health of my brother, Woody.  It has been nothing short of a miracle how rapidly his condition has improved.  As I understand it, there is no talk of a heart transplant at this time.  When I arrived at Duke University Hospital last Wednesday, the word from his wife and daughter was that his condition was listed as grave.  His heart and kidneys were not functioning properly.  His body was filled with fluid and toxins.  Once the medical staff began to remove the fluid and toxins, a miraculous change occurred.  I was with him all day, along with my brother, Lin and his step daughter, Kathy and before our eyes, he began to improve.  Throughout the day he just got better and better and better.  In recent days, he has been up and walking up and down the hallways.  Hopefully, he will come home tomorrow or Wednesday.
Once again, thank you so much for your prayers.
Today marks the fourth anniversary of Nan's Calendar, which began as writings in a journal of inspirational quotes and special Bible verses.  It moved on October 21, 2007 to the email format to family and friends.  Gradually, God led me to begin writing short devotionals and in September 30, 2009, my husband created this blog.  It is connected to Facebook and is available there for reading, as well.
My poetry is published at www.wordchimes.com and the administrator of that site, Quentin Clingerman, posts these devotionals there, also.  Do yourself a favor and take time to visit this wonderful site filled with inspirational poetry from dedicated and gifted people who write for the glory of the Lord.
My eternal thanks goes out to the late Mr. Bob Pointon who gave me a 365 day devotional calendar in 1993, which I actually received from his wife after his death.  He wanted to give it to me for my birthday in September, but had to go into the hospital and died on Oct. 10th.  To this day, the calendar Mr. Bob gave me is on my desk at work and I continue to read the quotes and Bible verses daily, sharing them with others who come into my office (when the time is right).
When you give a gift out of the goodness of your heart, you never know the lasting impact it will have on the recipient and others as well.  You are reading this message today, because of the love of God and the love of Mr. Bob and his gift to me of a beautiful calendar.  Nan's Calendar is my gift to you.  I expect nothing in return.
I want to thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to read these devotionals of faith, hope and love.  This is my legacy of love to you.  Always, Nan