Saturday, December 3, 2011

Addendum to Judy Janonski's !!!

Volume I of "Life is a Garden Party" available via A gardening observation followed by a spiritual application in rhyme with scripture. Blog:

Click on Judy's website and you will find her blog and much more, along with Volume I of her wonderful book, "Life is a Garden Party."

Judy's life is lived for Jesus Christ each day as she serves others, selflessly and with much joy!  Her prose/stories/poems inspire as she gives her perspective on being a Master Gardner along with a Master Writer!

Check out her picture albums on Facebook, she is also a polished photographer that shoots many of her homegrown flowers.  She is a wonderful cook of natural foods grown from her garden and  has a Pastry Business that keeps her extra busy this time of year!

Blessings to each and all,
<3 Sheri
Psalm 145 ~

Friday, December 2, 2011

Destiny - Guest post by Judy Janonski, friend and fellow blogger

Posted by Judy on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 1:53pm
Within each one of us is a God-given destiny.
In Luke 1 Mary is about to find out her destiny.
Mary, engaged to be married to Joseph,
was visited by an angel on earth.

It's true.  That's how it really was.
The angel acknowledged Mary as:
"You who are highly favored".  (Luke 1:28)
That's also how God sees us - favored.

Loved, chosen, fortunate.
As in His favorite.
Yes, even before you were born,
God had your destiny formed.

The angel knew Mary was greatly troubled
and immediately consoled her with these words:
"Do not be afraid.
You have found favor with God". (Luke 1:30)

You know, God knows, too, when we are worrred
as scripture reminds us often with these words:
Do not be afraid.
Do not be terrified.

Do not be troubled.
Do not be discouraged.
Do not be fainthearted with sorrow.
Do not worry about tomorrow.

Because God knows the fear in our hearts
His word will strengthen us when we start
a daily routine of reading it
with just what is needed to lift our spirit.

The angel told Mary she would give birth to a son
whose name would be Jesus who would rule an endless kingdom.
This baby would be the Son of the Most High,
he would be great and would reign by and by. (Luke 1:31-33)

When Mary questioned
the angel answered,
"nothing is impossible with God". (Luke 1:37)
Yes, with God there is nothing too hard.

What was Mary's response?
"I am the Lord's servant". (Luke 1:38)
She willingly carried out her destiny,
one that affects everyone's eternity.

Mary, chosen to be
mother to this baby
that would change the destiny of the world
with this greatest story ever told.

* * * * *

You, too, have a chosen destiny within you
for God has chosen you for something special, it's true.
Perhaps you have the gift of giving
to someone in need of receiving.

You're learned the more you give
the more blessings God in turn gives
so that you can bless others more
from God's wonderfully, abundant store.

Maybe your gift is encouragrment
for everyone needs encouragement.
If you find your world is a bit more cheerful,
perhaps your encouragement made it so.

And you'll find cheeerfulness
is quite contagious
as others will offer needed encouragement
often in the form of a hug or a note sent.

Whatever your personal spiritual gift is,
it is your destiny to bring it to pass.
Your destiny will affect generations after you.
Perhaps like Mary, living out the gospel message true.

Will you be like Mary and say,
"I am the Lord's servant" everyday.
This is your destiny
for all eternity.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The MONK - reposting w/permission from a sister in Christ - The Light Brigade


SOAR WITH EAGLES: The Monk ~ dedicated to my fellow members of The Light Brigade, a group of Christian writers.

Have you ever read a story that never leaves you?  For me, it’s the monk story.
More than 10 years ago, I sat in a waiting room where, rather than waste time, I flipped through the pages of a magazine until an article captured my attention.*
The author had long dreamed of being a monk, but because a 9-5 paying job seemed more practical, he chose that route instead.  Although successful, he never forgot his heart’s desire.
One day, the author saw a newspaper article about a local monastery.  For men who wanted to consider monastic life, the monastery was holding a four-week retreat.  Qualified applicants would live at the monastery and participate in its activities.  At the program’s conclusion, participants could decide whether or not they wanted to enter the Order.
The author’s application was accepted and after checking in on the first day, he was shown to his quarters.  His small doorless room contained a single bed, dresser, desk and chair.
After unpacking, he and the other would-be monks attended an orientation.  Each participant was given his schedule for the next month.  The author was stunned to learn that morning prayers and vespers began at 3:30 a.m. with mandatory attendance.  After breakfast, the monks worked in silence until lunch, then studied throughout the afternoon.  After evening vespers, the monks returned to their rooms where they remained silent.
Assigned to wash the monastery’s floors, the author thought his chore not so bad until he learned that he would scrub the floors on his hands and knees.  In silence.  The work was painful, exhausting.  Hours of silence magnified the harshness of this life.  This was not what the author imagined when he dreamed of monastic life.
After lunch on the fourth day, the author returned to his room and began packing.  When the head monk walked past the open doorway and saw him preparing to leave, he asked the author why he was leaving.
The author explained that life in the monastery was nothing like he had imagined.  The hours were long and the work was difficult.  And then there was the silence.  The painful, lonely silence.  It was all too much, too difficult for the author to bear.  He couldn’t see himself serving God this way for the next 15 or 20 years.
To the author’s surprise, the head monk didn’t try to persuade the author to stay, but rather agreed with everything he said.  Life at the monastery wasunbearably difficult.  Why, during the head monk’s many years there, life had never once gotten easier for him.  If anything, it sometimes became harder.
Shocked, the author asked the head monk how he was able to stay.
“As much as I love God and want to serve Him, if I viewed my life as though I had twenty or thirty years left here at the monastery, I couldn’t handle it.  I’d pack my bags and leave.
“But God has used the difficulty, the austerity, the silence to teach me perspective.  I’ve learned to look at my life one day at a time.  When I do that, I can get through the hardships that day brings.  There are some days so difficult that I need to look at my life in one hour - or even one minute - increments or I would be overwhelmed and give up.
“God has taught me to view my life in manageable amounts.  That’s how I get through the unbearable.  That’s how I stay.  That’s how I’m able to serve the Lord.”
The author let the head monk’s words sink in for several minutes before he began removing his clothing from his suitcase.
“What are you doing?” the head monk asked.
“I know I can make it till dinner.”
Life is difficult.  It can be downright brutal.  But I know I can make it through today.  What about you?  How do you get through the toughest of days?  Let me hear from you!
For my sisters in Christ, The Light Brigade: 
Bethany Reconnu Kaczmarek, Cathy Baker, Colleen Scott, Deb Traverso, Edie Mahoney Melson, Felicia Bowen Bridges, Jacquelyn Marushka, Julie Webb Kelley, Keiki Hendrix, Kyriaki Marushka, Lesley Eischen, Lori Roeleveld, Lynn Huggins Blackburn, Marcia Moston, Mary Beth Dahl, Mary Freeman Denman, Sheri Deloach, Tammie Fickas and Terri Herndon Schumpert.
* I regret that I cannot recall the name of the author or the magazine this story appeared in so that I can give both their due credit and my appreciation.  If anyone should recognize this story, please contact me.  It is not my wish to take credit for this story. 
Cynthia Howerter © 2011