House of Glass 

 Fish bowl living is not an easy life.

Be careful what you say in your moment of strife.

It can be an invasion of rights, no privacy, no grace.

You can prove to the world your mouth is full of mace.

 

The house of glass is so delicate, so fragile.

People feel no remorse to throw a stone so casual.

Knock too hard, and the panes may just shatter.

They don’t think twice to have their circle full of chatter.

 

The fish bowl can get crowded as others try to see.

No matter how hard they imagine, their lives will never be.

When you’re on the outside looking in, you think you know it all.

When you’re on the inside searching out, you realize how easy is the fall.

 

Penned – MG – 3/30/16

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Choose a Path…

I came across a new blog the other night, Shades of Today, and the blogger’s post prompted me to send a comment her way, and as I thought about it more, I thought it might be a good topic for me to share here as well…

Sometimes, it’s so hard to know the path in life to take, especially when it feels as if it may be a real “key” to unlocking your destiny. In my life, I have found four things that help the choosing to be a little easier: perspective, diligence, hope and faith.
My perspective can make or break my situation. If I’m all ‘doom and gloom,’ always believing “the grass is greener on the other side,” I’ll forever be searching for the fantasy I’ve created in my own mind. Sometimes, you can miss the very best opportunity sitting right beside you, because you’ve always got your head in the clouds and can’t see a blessing when it’s there. Those with wanderlust can get caught in this vicious cycle. Other times, you may miss the opportunity, because you’re too focused on the here and now, and you’re never dreaming of a bigger, brighter tomorrow. You can get stuck in a rut, because you’re never looking beyond today’s job and tomorrow’s paycheck. Anyone from a small town who now lives with the regrets of a missed college experience or job opportunities can give me an “Amen” on this one.

My diligence in the here and now can both boost my perspective of the current situation and boost the opportunities that may open up in the near future. If I am diligent in doing what I am involved with today, someone who has an opportunity may see my diligence and desire my assistance on their team, as well as, sometimes, diligence can help me to accomplish things which teach me to be ready for my “next step” in life.

It is imperative to hold onto hope in all things and in all circumstances. For, if I don’t have a dream, a hope for a better tomorrow, how can I ever set goals to get there? If I don’t have hope, how can I finish what I’ve started today, and if I don’t hold onto hope, where will my joy in the little things be found?

Finally, I have realized, for my life, I have to have faith in Someone who is bigger, better and so much smarter than me. Some will call my faith in God a mere crutch, and, yes, I have found, I can’t even walk without Him holding my hand. He guides me, helps me, comforts me and loves me. He is the Creator of the universe; yet, He loves me. He is the King of all Kings; yet, He knows my name. He is one with God Almighty; yet, He chose to die for me and be raised from the dead to give me hope and a future! The Word makes it clear to me that He has good plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11, says, “‘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.'” That’s a pretty great promise to which to hold! So, to have faith in a God who not only loves me but One who also is looking out for me and planning a good life for me, is definitely a great thing to obtain. How can I possibly live without Him?!

I have found having these four elements active in my life help me every time I am faced with a new challenge, a new dream and/or a new path to choose in life. When they are in balance, and I’m not leaving one out or leaning solely on one while neglecting the others, it is so much easier to find the path and walk in it. I have, also, found these four elements join together to bring perfect harmony and balance to my heart and soul on a daily basis.

Maybe they can be of help to you… 😊

Tuesday’s Treat #9

Crab Trap

Location: Destin, Fl   

We love the Crab Trap! There are several locations in Florida, but we like the Destin location the best. It is located right at the beach; so, when you get done eating, you can walk down to the beach and enjoy!
 

This restaurant has a real dockside feel, very casual and laid back. The seafood is great, and even the cheeseburgers are yummy! We usually get the fried or blackened grouper, fried shrimp or some other fresh catch of the day. They actually call their grouper Bronzed Grouper, and, yes, it is as good as it sounds! 😉

The kids’ plates are served in either a bucket or on a frisbee, which is really cool, being that the beach is just below. They’ve changed this a couple of times over the years, and we haven’t been in about a year; so, I can’t tell you which you’ll get, but it’s neat anyway. 

We usually ask for a seat by the window; so, we can watch the surf, but the whole place has got a great atmosphere. I think you’ll enjoy wherever you sit and whatever menu choices you choose. 

You can find all the information you need here. You will also find on the website the other locations, in case you’re in a different area and want a “repeat visit.” 😉 

What is Easter to you?

What is Easter to you?

Is it cute little bunnies, an Easter Egg Hunt and all the goodies in the basket that you look forward to? Maybe, it’s the color coordinated outfits and the pretty little family picture for the social media page. Or maybe it’s the Sunday morning attendance at that church where grandma has gone all her life, and after all, since the family’s been begging you forever to go, you might as well make your “once (or twice) a year showing.”

Perhaps, your thoughts of Easter turn toward the sunrise services and Lent in the weeks before. Maybe your musings even turn toward the annual Easter plays, Choir musicals and worship endeavors of local bands and places of fellowship. If you’re in the ministry, it could be the many events of the weekend, the hard work that needs to be accomplished for the ‘big day,’ or possibly even a sermon, devotion or song presentation you’ve been asked to share on this once-a-year event.

For me, Easter is filled with a heaviness of heart, a gratefulness of mind and a true rejoicing of my spirit. This heaviness comes when I think of the cross and the price Jesus paid in my place. The weight of it all comes with the tears I shed thinking of His great sacrifice for my wretched lost ways and sinfulness. It’s not condemnation, mind you, but rather, a great conviction of who He is and who I am not. For Isaiah made it clear for us, “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) You see, the cross, in all its shame and agony, was necessary for the shedding of Christ’s blood for you and for me. It’s not a joyous place, especially by the world’s standards, but oh, “…for the joy set before Him…” that joy was you and me!

The gratefulness of mind begins as I think of the hope I have in Christ and that hope which is for all who believe. I am grateful He died, and I am more grateful that He loved me enough to die in my place. Romans 8:11, says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”  I am, also, so grateful He didn’t stay in that place, that He rose again on that third day! I do not serve a dead King! I serve the King of Kings, the King who has risen and who is coming back again one day soon to take me home!

This is when the rejoicing builds into an overwhelming sense of joy and wonder as I ponder His pure love for me, and that this love is not conditional; it is not weak; it’s not wavering in circumstances and it’s not abundant for some and lacking for others! My spirit is overcome with rejoicing when I think about how GREAT a God He is, and how He has chosen Easter to represent His great love, His great sacrifice and His great resurrection for us! We should rejoice and praise Him not only today, but EVERY day for His love and redemption and His resurrection and soon return!! He is worthy to be praised!

 

Answer to Friday’s Angle #58

Well, how did you do yesterday?


If you guessed the tip of a thermometer, you guessed right! 😊 I hope you’ll join me next week for another fun angle, or I’d love for you to join me on Monday for another blog post!


Thanks for playing!! 😊

Friday’s New Angle #58

Once again, it Friday, and that means time for another New Angle! 😊


Remember to check back here tomorrow for the answer! 😉

You call me FRIEND??

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”” C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

This very statement, I believe, sheds light on the reason it is often so hard to become a friend of God. Sure, we can truly see ourselves as His daughters (or sons, respectively), His children, His servants and even, for those who really struggle with their place in Christ, His little, lowly followers who are just happy that He doesn’t decide to squash them today! However, sometimes, to see ourselves as His friend, it takes much more than just a quaint little understanding of who He is.

Maybe I’m the only one who has struggled with this…

You see, for me, friendships don’t come that easy, not those kind of friendships that really last, those kind of friendships that are more like blood-kinships, family-types. It’s not because I’m not a friendly person; you can ask anyone who knows me, I may be shy, but I can meet and greet with plenty, and it’s not that I don’t want to have friends. I have tons of people who are great acquaintances, wonderful “friends” with whom I converse during the week, say “Hi” to on Sunday and even hang out with from time to time. These are great and wonderful people, people for whom I care deeply and love immensely. These are definitely friends of mine.

However, these aren’t the friendships to which I’m referring. I’m talking about those people for whom you know without a shadow of a doubt that you’d give your life, those to whom you are comfortable sharing the innermost depths of your heart, never afraid of what they might think once you’re finished, those friends who see you at your very worst and your very best and have loved you regardless of what you’ve said or done at both ends of that spectrum. They are people with whom you have a common bond, a covenant and a kinship of spirit which cannot be broken by circumstances, other people or even your own fears and doubts. These are the kind of friends I’m talking about here, and this kind of friendship is very rare.

Many times, when I look at Jesus, I see a King. I see my Heavenly Father. I see the Creator of the Universe. I see a God so holy, so worthy and so glorious that I can’t even fathom why He would look at a lowly creature like me and love me and desire a friendship with me. Often, my mind has a hard time comprehending such majesty, such faithfulness, such love, and such a friendship.

Yet, then, my fourteen year old son walks into the room, and I begin to think of the conversation we had at lunch earlier that day. We enjoyed laughing together, talking about his latest music find and musing about the days to come. I remember how my soul longed for more time with him and how my heart leapt when he asked my help with something I thought maybe he didn’t need.

That’s when this statement by C.S. Lewis comes alive in my spirit, and I see just a glimpse of what my Heavenly Father might be feeling toward me. If I, being just a human, just a creature of such flesh, can long for a friendship with my own growing son, maybe, He, as King but also Father to me, can long for a kindred spirit and deep friendship with me. As I spend more time with Him, the more I get to know Him and the love He has for me, I find myself saying this very thing that C.S. Lewis said, “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”

 

The Evidence Is In Your Hands

Our true character comes out in the way we pray.

Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer.

We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; The Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

Prayer is simple, prayer is supernatural, and to anyone not related to our Lord Jesus Christ, prayer is apt to look stupid. – Oswald Chambers**

I picked up a new little perennial calendar with prayer quotes from Oswald Chambers, and I find myself challenged in my prayers more often than not. He has such a blunt way of stating things, and his words seem to pierce my heart even on subjects with which I am very familiar.

“Our true character comes out in the way we pray.” This is so very true. I heard a pastor preached this past weekend on this same subject. Pastor Rhonda Holland was speaking at a ladies conference, and she gave the illustration of the women who went to the tomb after Jesus died. She referenced Luke 24:1, when Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of James and Salome went to the tomb and carried spices to anoint the body of Jesus. She said, “Now, why do you carry spices to a tomb? Jesus had told them He would rise in three days. They had believed in Him when He walked the Earth. They had even followed Him to the cross. Yet, on that third day, the evidence of what they believed was in their hands.” The only reason you bring spices to a tomb is to anoint a dead body! The evidence of what they truly believed they would find in that tomb was carried in their hands!! If they had actually believed Jesus was going to be risen when they got there, they wouldn’t have needed the spices. They would have, instead, carried tambourines for singing and shouting!

Often times, we claim we believe God’s Word to be true. We say we believe Jeremiah 29:11, that promises God has good plans for our life, plans to prosper and not to harm us. We claim to believe Romans 8:28, which tells us He works all things for our good. We even boldly declare the promise found in Romans 8:37 that we are more than conquerors through Christ; yet, the evidence of what we truly believe within the depths of our hearts can be seen and heard in our prayers when the storm really hits too close to home. We cry. We fear. We doubt, and we question Him. We wail and travail, fearing the worst is yet to come!

What if we were to actually believe He was going to do what He said He was going to do? What if we really claimed the promises He gives to us in His Word? What if we actually prayed as if we knew His promises were right and true?

Remember, if those three women had come to the tomb truly believing Christ had risen, they would not have carried those spices for embalming His body. They would have come rejoicing, praising His name, dancing in celebration of what had already come to pass and expecting that stone to be rolled away! 😉

 What is the evidence you hold in your hands?

 

**See more at: http://prayer-coach.com/2011/06/10/prayer-quotes-oswald-chambers/ and http://www.christianquotes.info/top-quotes/18-powerful-quotes-from-oswald-chambers/

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Treats #8

Flounder’s Chowder House

Location: Pensacola Beach, Fl 

It’s funny, until I looked up this website, I never knew it was called Flounder’s Chowder House. We’ve always just called it Flounder’s my whole life! 😉

Flounder’s is a good seafood restaurant at Pensacola Beach, Florida. (I choose good, because there’s a couple of other places I like better, but this one is still pretty popular.) It has a cool atmosphere with several different rooms from which to choose. The bar is what it is and has a hearty, nautical wood motif. The “library” is small, with about six booths, and the walls are lined with books. (We liked this when we went on one of our dates here. The room is cozy and intimate.) Then, there is what I’ll call the “shipyard” room. It has a wide, open and fun feel area. It has one side that opens to the sandy beach where the kids can play until their food is ready.

The food here is good, most of the time, and the menu has a good variety (burgers, steaks and such), but the seafood is pretty specific. Everything is pretty unique to them, and that’s what’s best about it. They have their famous Flounder Chowder (winner of the Great Florida Chowder cook-off and featured once in Southern Living), oysters on the half shell, about six Native Gulf Fish items, a great, big shrimp boat platter, which has their fresh catch of the day of tons of differently prepared shrimp, and a scattering of fried seafood choices, and that’s about it. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, necessarily. I just think you better check the menu before going, or you might be surprised if you’re going here thinking you have all the options of Red Lobster. 😉

…Believe me, the food is much better than Red Lobster! Not, that I dislike a good RL when I’m in Florida…The food here is good, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, but it does seem to be a little hit and miss over the last few years. I was told a little while ago that the ownership has changed hands, and that may have something to do with the inconsistencies.

Oh, I didn’t mention desserts. They have a good key lime pie (I thought I had a picture, but apparently it got deleted. 😁), a big chocolate “explosion” type dessert and a few others I can’t recall. The key lime is good, but if you’re key lime connoisseurs like us, you might not be as impressed. The presentation is beautiful…I so wish I could find that picture! 😁

If you’ve got a few days at Pensacola Beach,  you might want to make room for this one. Now, if I only had one or two choices of places to go, I’d probably go to Peg Leg Pete’s first, and the Grand Marlin second (I’ll write about it soon!), but this would probably be in my top twenty. 😉

You can find all the info you need here. Hope you enjoy!

Praises or Curses

“And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:8-11

Can you see Him?
He entered the city riding upon a donkey. The people lined the streets, shouting, “Hallelujah,” praising His Name. They hailed Him as King. 

 

 Can you see them?

One week later, they would curse Him and crucify Him. Hate Him for the very thing for which they praised Him just days before: He proclaimed to be King. 

How often do we do this same thing?

When things are going good, we praise Him, we worship Him, we proclaim His goodness. We smile. We laugh. We rejoice and tell of His great love to those around us. 

Yet, when tragedy strikes, when hard times comes, when things happen that we just can’t understand, we question. We doubt. We grow angry. We even curse Him, at times, believing we should never suffer, because we serve Him. 

Can you see yourself?

Fighting, clawing your way through life. Angry and broken over the things that haven’t gone right. Hurt and confused because of the broken dreams and shattered promises of this world. Lost and alone without Him. 

Now, can you see Him?

He looks upon you with eyes of love and not anger. He comes to you with His arms open wide. He wants to forgive us, and He longs to redeem us. He died for us while we were yet sinners, and He is faithful to us even when we are so less than faithful! He loves us and desires to be with us, and He patiently awaits our surrender. 

This week, as we head toward Easter, let’s stop and really evaluate our responses to Him. Let’s not allow our praises to become curses simply because things don’t turn out as planned. 

Bring your brokenness to Him, and let Him heal your hearts. Let Him soothe those fears and doubts. Let Him comfort you and help you. He loves you, and He has good plans for you. 

Can we praise Him today? 

Praise Him for all He’s done. Praise Him for His love for us and freely receive that love. It’s there just for you, just for me. Let our praises become a ritual and not a one time offering. Let our praises become a lifestyle of love to Him.