WHEN SUMMER PASSES BY SO SLOWLY

Most kids would love for summer to slow down and then be able to stay out of school a little longer.  For the Berry family, we have experienced the slow-moving months of June and July this summer.  Which is unusual for us, because we are usually left with wanting more of summer.

Our beloved older pets, Honey, 17-year-old dog, Cameron, 16-year-old dog, and Tiger, 14-year-old cat, started succumbing to their old age at the beginning of June.  We spent two months of long nights laying beside them as their bodies failed and their time to die drawing near each day.  We went to numerous vet visits, hoping for a simple answer or maybe an antibiotic would keep them with us.  But no, their time to leave us was near.  And we knew it.

The vets were surprised by their ages, but we wanted more time with them.  Honey, Cameron, and Tiger were our family.  When we went on family trips, they would pile into the camper with us.  The stories we have to tell and laugh over, because they were sharing our experiences with us.

During this time, from June to the end of July, time seemed to crawl.  And isn’t that the way it always is when a loved one is sick.  The suffering seems endless and time almost stands still.  Once they are gone, time to grieve is fleeting.  The world has a “just get over it” perspective on death, suffering, and pain.

But maybe if we paused long enough to wail from the belly, sob until our tears run dry, and shout our indignation at losing a loved one so loud it echoes within the earthly barriers; maybe then we would carry the laughter, the love, and the good memories longer in our hearts.

Now as July comes to an end, we only have Daisy (7-year-old dog) left, and our other baby’s ashes, along with wonderful memories and an immense love for each of them.  As for us, we still tear up when we talk of our pets and will for awhile.  And even though they are gone from our earthly lives, they always live within our hearts!

 

NEW YORK TIMES, ARE YOU WORKING FOR THE TERRORISTS OR WHAT?

When information was leaked this week concerning the bombing in Manchester, England, leave it to an American newspaper to be the first to make money from the deaths of children!  I am ashamed and disgusted with the New York Times and whoever made the decision to publish confidential information pertaining to the bombing.

And I sincerely apologize to Manchester and all of England for their unscrupulous decision.  Manchester and England, we support you here in America and we grieve with you! Please do not let one erroneous decision block out the fact that we are family.  And family stands with each other during good times and during the unthinkable one.  Please know there is no death with those who know Jesus Christ! Only an untimely separation between you and your loved ones. For your children and loved ones are royalty within the Kingdom of Heaven, waiting on the day when you will be together again!

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14

Americans; the war on terrorism is just as important as winning World War II was, and standing with our allies is even more necessary today.  How an American publication could publish the items of the bombing, almost seems like they are aiding the terrorists rather than protecting our own country of America and her allies.  Americans need to step up and stop this ridiculous “make money at all costs” mentality of American media outlets.  They are only hurting America and our allies.

Theses media outlets release themselves of all responsibilities, because sitting on a fat pile of money softens their conscious.  We know where their brains are located! And if another act of terrorism occurs harming more innocent, because they alerted them and the terrorists were able to relocate operations,  then the media outlets can stuff their ears with the money.  Thus, muffling the cries of the innocent’s dying.

Yes, money makes all decisions right.  Or do they?

Aren’t you sick of our media outlets yet, America! I am!  The truth and ethics are too far from their reach, so they grab what makes them big bucks instead.

How long will we allow American media outlets to make harmful decisions which affect our country, our allies, and even the future of our children?

Well, the decision to support these outlets by watching, buying, or advertising with them is up to you.

I made mine years ago.

God Bless You!

God Bless America, England, and Manchester!

HOW TO SYNCHRONIZE YOUR LIFE.

As George charged forward in his effort to vanquish the enemy, his horse was shot out from under him.  Amid the chaos of bullets whizzing by, swords fiercely clanging, and arrows piercing the air, he found another horse! Quickly mounting this horse, George rushed back into the fray of battle.  Again, down went his horse and again another horse was found. By now General Braddock had been killed and the troops where in chaos, but the young Colonel was able to gain control of the British regiments and ensued an effective retreat!  His coat would later show he had survived four different bullets, with only a hole to display their departure.  George Washington was the only officer to come away unhurt during the battle on July 9, 1775 with the French and their Indian allies.

Later, when it was time for George to become the commander of Continental Army and fight against the British; George Washington wrote this in a letter to Martha.

Dear Martha:

It has been determined in Congress, that the whole army raised for the defense of the American cause shall be put under my care…I shall rely, therefore, confidently on that Providence (God) which has heretofore preserved and been bountiful to me,  not doubting that I shall return safe to you in the fall.

Because of the old school wording, I substituted the word Providence for the word God.  You see, George Washington did not rely on good fortune or luck. George relied on God and in his relationship with God.  Everyday he prayed for an hour in the morning and an hour at night, no matter what was going on around him even the Revolutionary War.  And, George left  his men with strict instructions that he was not to be disturbed  during his time of prayer.

The men who served with George were amazed at the way he went into battle, boldly and confidently leading the charge and in full view of the enemy.  You see, during those days of war, the enemy tried to kill the commanding officers first, thus creating a possibility of retreat from the opposition.  So here is a man with the enemy’s target honed in on him yet, George Washington steps out boldly and confidently.  I bet some of the men thought he was a raving lunatic while others borrowed some of his courage to help them through.

 

I believe when you are in direct communication with God each day, your life changes dramatically.  You find yourself bowing to God’s will for your life and not to this world’s view of how you should live your life. And there is nothing in this world which can stop God’s will for you from being fulfilled when you are in sync with God.  And yes, I believe God meant for George Washington to lead America to victory over the British and then for him to become the first President of the USA.
What does your prayer life resemble?  Do you feel so overwhelmed by your day you believe you cannot find time to pray?  If you do, then you must find the time to pray! To learn to be totally dependent on Him for your every need.  All God wants from you is a relationship between Father and child.   Because the only way to get through the hard times is with God. And then when the good times come around, the feeling resembles flying through the air unencumbered…free!
My challenge to you for one month is to pray for an hour in the morning and an hour at night. First buy a daily devotional and bible (if you don’t have one.)  Find an area of your home where you can go, close the door and pray.  Tell your family this is your time and not to bother you.  Some of you may have to get up an hour earlier each morning.
This is how I pray in the mornings.
  1.  I read my devotion for the day.
  2. Then I read the selected bible verses with the devotional.
  3. Next I pull out the bible and read a section of it.  I suggests starting in John.
  4. I pray by starting with asking forgiveness, and then praise and thank God for everything He has done and continues to do for my family.
  5. The last part is my own petitions for my family, friends, and strangers.

In Jesus Name Amen.

This is how I pray at night.

  1. Read some more of my bible.
  2. Thanking and praising God for the day.
  3. Ask God to help me to be a better and kinder person.
  4. Bring any new revelations or frustrations from the day to Him.

In Jesus Name Amen.

Do you accept my challenge? I pray so.

DEUTERONOMY 6:5

“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.”

 

God Bless You!

 

 

I WISH I WAS THE ANGEL SITTING ON THE BOULDER!

Easter Sunday one of the bible passages which our Pastor read was Matthew 28: 1-10.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Both Marys were going to finish the anointing of Jesus which they could not do when he died.  In our language, give him a proper burial.  They knew when they got there, they would need some help removing the boulder the guards had rolled in front of the grave.  Putting a body in a tomb is difficult because he might get up and walk away. No, I am joking.  The leaders were afraid Jesus’ disciples would sneak in and steal the body to make it look like He had risen.  Thus fulfilling the prophecy.

Can you imagine being the angel picked to leave heaven, roll the boulder away, and then wait on the Marys?  There you are on top of this huge boulder, wearing your bright white garment, swinging your legs back and forth, looking like lighting and grinning from ear to ear! You get to scare the guards to death, and then be the first to announce to the women that Jesus has risen!

If it were me, I would be dancing around and singing…

Oh you thought this pebble would hold our Savior in!

Wrong! Wrong!

Now He is risen and defeated man’s sin!

Hallelujah! Halleluhjah!

I can accurately say, I doubt I will ever be an angel.  Probably something in the handbook about enjoying scaring the bad guys to death and then gloating about it.  Yet, I do wonder how angels get picked for certain jobs.  Don’t you?

When I think about the boulder in front of Jesus’ tomb, I think about man’s problems and how many of those problems look like boulders to our human eyes.  I know I have had a boulder or two, or three in my life. My boulders are always the ones you can’t go around or climb over.  Rolling it away was out of the question, unless I could have rented a large tractor.

Reality is that God is better than a John Deere.

The sad part about my boulders was how long it took me to learn that all I had to do was ask God.  To give me revelation and discernment concerning this boulder; and then stop and believe and do what He tells me to do. Now, this does not mean God waves a magic wand and poof, my problem disappears or the boulder shatters into thousands of pebble pieces. Sometimes it is quite the opposite with a lesson to learn and/or a rocky road to walk. Usually a much-needed experience on my part.

What about the boulders in front of your tomb?  Have you been trying too long to roll it away all by yourself? Give it over to God! He created them and He can disintegrate all the boulders blocking your way to the life you were meant to live!

As always, pray about it with God.  He loves you and wants to talk to you!  How blessed are you? Because you have a direct hook up to the one who saved you and will always be with you! Remember you do not have to believe in Him for Him to believe in you.

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

I Tried To Write At First, But Could Not Do It Without Jesus.

I tried to write a note to the Martinez family concerning their loss of their beloved child Jonathan.  My own mother and grandmother’s heart is shattered into pieces for what they are going through.  A child should never, never go through the shooting which happened in their classroom on Monday! And a parent should not have to bury their child!

Off to my prayer closet I went this morning, to discuss it over with Jesus before I began to write.

At first my tears and words were hot with anger.  Angry at every adult who has let evil take a child away from their earthly home and family.  I proclaimed to Jesus that if I were head of education in America, I would fight like a lioness against every local, state, and national representative in America for the money they waste. I would blast my disgust every day and in every way I could, over the mere pennies they spend on the children of America in comparison to the millions they spend on their own self-serving agendas. And in their pruned up faces, I would plaster the children’s faces who have lost their lives, not because of a gun but because of them and their greed!

“Read your devotion, Joni.” I heard Him say.

My devotion book is called Mornings with the Holy Spirit by Jennifer LeClaire.

April 11 is titled “Be Quick to Forgive.”

When you are angry and frustrated, you have to ask yourself an honest question: Have you let resentment build up in your heart? Unless you are intentional about forgiving and are quick to forgive – a residue of resentment will build up over your heart the way dirt builds up on a windshield. Over time it will sink down into your heart and form a root of bitterness. Anger and frustration are often rooted in a failure to forgive the little annoyances as they occur.  Eventually, the resentment pot boils over.  Be quick to forgive – every time you get slightly annoyed.  Be quick to forgive.

Suggested reading…Hebrews 12:15; Colossians 3:13; 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

Wow! God came in loud and clear!

I serve a mighty God.  One who loves me and the whole world! Even if you don’t believe in Him, He believes in you!

After God set me straight, it took awhile before I was composed enough to exit my prayer closet.

I was ready to write the Martinez family a note…

 

Dear Martinez Family,

I will be praying for you and you will become a part of my permanent daily prayer list.  Jesus is the only one who can get you through this over whelming grief and heal your heart until you are with Jonathan again.

Today Jesus gave me this bible verse and I believe it is for you…

Matthew 18: 1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And He said:

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,”

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”

Jonathan is that child with Jesus and I know the angels are rejoicing because one of their own angels has returned home.

May God hold you in His loving arms always!

All my love and prayers,  Joni

 

Now, I ask you to join me in praying for the Martinez family.  Prayer is the greatest blessing we can do for one another on this earth!

God Bless You!  God Bless the families affected by Monday’s classroom shooting.

 

Can The Christian Band Mercy Me Get Any Better?

OH YES THEY CAN!  Their new album, Lifer, is amazing, incredible and so uplifting!  Having a bad day? Then go to YouTube and listen to the audio versions, or better yet go to iTunes and just buy it.  I pre-ordered Lifer and received teaser songs one at a time and then bam! The whole album.

Most of the time, when I get a new album, there are maybe 5 or 6 songs I really like.  Rarely do I like all of the songs on an album.  Lifer is one album that I love all of the songs.

The song “Even If” is a good reminder that Pastors, Praise Leaders, and Church teachers, get up on stage every Sunday and lift us up.  It does not matter what has been happening in their lives or the struggles they may be going through.  Have you looked at your Pastor as a human being with the same temptations as the rest of us fallen beings? We are men and women, male and female traveling through this time together for God’s reason.

OK, I won’t tease you too much.  The song I am putting on my site is called “Grace Got You.”  Now, I am going to stop writing so I can start dancing to the song.

God Bless You!

Baby Jesus and Moving (Just Bobbin and Weaving My Head)

Well, I finally found my book on Anne, Jesus’ grandmother.  I was sure I packed it in one of the office boxes, but I could not find the book.  Must have been bobbin and weaving my head in the wrong direction, because my husband looked into the box and pulled the book right out.  Isn’t it always that way.

Last night I began reading the book on Anne again.  In this section she talked about how the people must have felt when they held baby Jesus.  We parents know exactly what new baby love feels like.  It comes with a multitude of emotions triggered by smells, sounds, and snuggles.

The author described a feeling of greatness and love that was overwhelming to the point of  dropping them to their knees. Because I have been blessed to have been in the presence of Jesus, I have my mere human description.  I wrote the next paragraph in an earlier blog post called, “The Sweet Fragrance of Love.”

The shirt smelled fragrant, but not overpowering; warm, gentle, pleasing, and full of love.  The next breath I breathed deeply into my lungs.  My body was filled with the warmth and love of the fragrance. I was so happy, with a happiness that comes from another dimension.  And I knew it was Jesus!

Yes, I know what it feels like to be in Jesus’ presence, but to have held Him as a baby…my mind cannot fathom the immense feelings that would pulsate through my body.  Love, greatness, peace, joy and words our English language does not contain would be some of the descriptions. And the fragrance…a baby is soft, and powdery but this would be a scent designed by the angels, which would fill your body, mind, and soul. A scent never known to man, only made for our Savior.

In 2 Corinthians 2:15, we are told, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are saved and those who are perishing.”

Now I am overwhelmed! Jesus made my own aroma so good that I smell like Christ to God.  And you and everyone else too, even those who are not saved.  Love?  No, we do not have a human word to describe this kind of emotion.

Jesus’ time as a baby is gone and we don’t have the opportunity to hold Him.  But Jesus takes every moment we give Him to hold us!  Don’t have a little time for Jesus today?

God Bless You!

God Bless America!