Showing posts with label penny frost mcginnis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label penny frost mcginnis. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Congratulations, graduates!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

It seems like yesterday that we held these babies in our arms.

Eighteen years ago, between October and March, four babies were born into our family. My siblings and I each added a new grandbaby to our bundles. It’s been a joy to watch the four of them grow into themselves. Dylan (the only girl) Casey, Cody, and Colton played together at family gatherings and now they all have the honor of being high school graduates.

Cody, Casey, Colton, & Dylan Cousins-photo by Maggie

My heart overflows with joy for them, and I'm curious to see where the future takes them. Their paths will vary, and their vocations differ, but their hearts will all show the kindness and caring they’ve learned from their parents.

When young people graduate, they hear lots of advice. I’ve shared some with my granddaughter, Dylan, and I’m sure the boys have all heard guidance from their people. When it comes to scripture, the words I want them to place in their hearts are to trust in God, seek His wisdom, and listen to His guidance.

I have a t-shirt that says, “God has a plan, so I have a purpose.” God does have a purpose for each person’s life, sometimes it takes a while to figure out where He leads, but we can’t go wrong when we trust Jesus with our life.

I pray over all the graduates as they venture into the world of adulting. It’s not easy, but it can be blessed with joy and hope when you follow God’s word and seek His guidance.

I pray for these four as they step into the next phase of life. 

Invite God to walk beside you.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Sprout!

The seeds in Dilly's Garden have soaked up the rain and sunshine.
The zinnia and cosmo have pushed through the dirt.

I love to see the new growth in the spring, before the flowers bloom.
They remind me of watching a child grow into themselves---
like God watches us grow in Him.

Hold your hands out and take in the sun and rain God offers from His word.


 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Walking Shoes

1 John 1: 5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

My husband, Tim, said to me, “A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice.”

I have a hard time buying comfortable shoes. My feet have not aged well, and I can no longer wear heels (not that I wore them much anyway) and I need a wide footbed. My go-to brands have become Topo for tennis shoes and Earth shoes for “dress” shoes. Fortunately, once I figure out what size I need, they usually fit me when I order them online.

One day, Tim, Rosie May, and I walked around the path at the park. I had on my newest pair of Topos and Tim asked me how they felt. I told him I didn’t notice any pain, as a matter of fact, I didn’t notice them at all. That’s when he said they must be a good shoe. Without any tingles, aches, stones poking through, or pain the shoes marched along content to do their job.

As we continued to chat, the conversation turned to life and how if we are on the best path, doing the right things—following God’s lead—it’s kind of like a pair of well-fitting shoes. Guilt isn't poking my conscience because I'm making choices according to God's guidance. I’m not stumbling over something I shouldn’t have said. My soul is not aching from misguided intentions, because I’m following the Master’s guidance and walking with Him.

When I take my eyes off of Jesus, I stumble and feel the pain of my ill-chosen choices, just like I feel the pain from ill-fitted shoes.

Take the time to listen to God’s lead, seek His wisdom, and walk by His side. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Miles to Go

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
but I have promises to keep.
and miles to go before I sleep...
-Robert Frost

One of my favorite poets penned these words many years ago, 
and I took them to heart, to mean I had much to do in this world as I serve God.

One thing I do these days is take a walk with Tim and Rosie
through the wooded area in our park.
That's where much of the inspiration comes from for my blog.

I often think about and pray about what God wants me to do, 
to make, to write, who He wants me to interact with and love on.

God knows my path, and I'm glad my journey often meanders through the woods.



 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Prime the Pump

1 Peter 3:15-16
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

The grass is growing.

Not mowing the yard is one of the advantages of living in a condo. Of course, we pay a fee for others to rev the engines and ride around our part of the common space, but we don’t miss mowing.

I remember learning from my dad to prime the pump—before I started the mower. If I didn’t prime the pump, mechanical failure caused the mower to stop working.

Over the years, when we owned homes with yards, we took turns mowing, but Tim did most of it. I enjoyed it until my allergies caused me too much discomfort. No matter how many times we mowed, the pump got primed when it needed to.

Now, when I think of priming the pump, my mind goes to spiritual matters. I’ve seen this quote many times: “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Some attribute it to CS Lewis, but others say it’s anonymous. Regardless, I find myself understanding I need to prime my spiritual pump to take care of my soul.

Every day, I prime my physical pump with coffee to start the day. Maybe you get your pump going with tea, juice, or a smoothie, but how do I prepare my soul to face the day?

I try to spend a bit of time in the morning reading scripture while I sip my coffee. Some verses I read to prime my pump include: Galatians 5:22-23 (The Fruit of the Spirit) Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord) Romans 15:13 (Hope) and 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (How to live my life) and so many more.

The Bible primes my pump and so does Sunday morning worship. I love the music we sing at church and what I listen to on the Christian radio channel. It fills my heart with joy. I love learning from the sermons and from sharing with friends and family about scripture throughout the week.

How do you prime your spiritual pump? Music, scripture, community? Whatever it is, keep at it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

I Spy a Jack-In-the-Pulpit

Sometimes the beauty of a plant isn't in it's colorful bloom,
but in the memories I recall.
When I spy a Jack-in-the-pulpit in the woods, 
I'm reminded of growing up in church 
and listening to the preacher behind the pulpit.

My foundation in Jesus was built by the many truths 
I learned on Sunday mornings, 
and the ones I continue to hear at our church today.

Thanks to those who share God's truth.



 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

I'm Glad I Paid Attention

Toadshade trillium sprinkle the forest floor. 
It's more common in Ohio's woods and visible in the spring. 
On our hikes we'd seen several of them. 
One day I read a post about the trillium flexipes and it's presense in Ohio parks, 
but I'd never seen one, until this week.

Tim and I walked along the trail, 
and as usual I was on the lookout for new spring plants.
If I hadn't been paying attention, I would have missed this beauty. 
A foot from the gravel path, in the grass, the trillium flexipes nodded at me. 

What a pleasant surprise. 

When I pay attention, God often surprises me with joy. 

Trillium flexipes


Toadshade Trillium


Saturday, April 20, 2024

Dilly's Garden

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of the others.

Grandchildren remind me of flowers. Over time, they bloom and grow into themselves. We are blessed to have wonderful grandchildren who respect us and help us. I don’t take that for granted. We give credit to their parents who have raised them to love God and love people.

A few months ago, I mentioned I would need help in my little flower garden. I like to play in the dirt, but I can’t do what I used to. My granddaughter Dylan volunteered. April zipped in after the flurry of March, and I stopped in Lowe’s for some garden soil. Of course, I got distracted by the colorful perennials and purchased a pink and a purple columbine and a pretty pincushion flower.

I sent Dylan a text that Sunday and she came on Monday. This young lady knelt in the dirt, planted flowers, dug out others, moved a few, sprinkled seeds and smiled. When she stood, she was covered in dirt and mulch and she looked lovely, because she wore humbleness and helpfulness in all its glory.

Dylan graduates high school this year, and I know she’ll bloom into whoever God intends her to be. She already has a great start, a wonderful work ethic, and kindness for others.

I’m calling this section of my flower bed, Dilly’s garden, and I’ll be blessed each time I admire my granddaughter’s work.

If you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or any children you love in your life, show them how to love others without wanting something in return. Teach them to help others by helping them. Show kindness and kindness will blossom and show appreciation.

We all have someone in our lives to nurture. The best way is to share the love of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In the Details

On a walk this week, I noticed how pretty the maple tree seeds 
(we always called them helicopters) appeared. 
When the leaves bud and begin to grow, the tree releases the
helicopters, and they twirl to the ground.

Does anyone else remember trying to catch them?

God's handiwork never ceases to amaze me.
When those seeds fall to the forest floor, more trees grow.
When they fall into the hands of a child, they entertain their imagination.

What small detail of God's creation have you noticed this week?



 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Breathtaking

Revelation 22:1-5
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Behold the beauty.

Have you ever seen something so breathtaking you can’t look away?

On our walk, through Sycamore Park, the Virginia bluebells are in full bloom. A day after the solar eclipse, we trekked along the paved trail where there are signs to stay on the path and not walk in the wooded area. The park personnel are working to restore the flora and fauna. This particular day, the sky clouded and light rain fell. In that lighting, the blue of the bluebells shone in gorgeous contrast to the spring green.

All along the path, I couldn’t stop looking at the beautiful shade of blue that blanketed many areas in the woods. You just don’t see blue flowers that often and when they’re in clusters, they are simply stunning.

As in awe as I am of floral beauty, I can’t begin to imagine the splendor of heaven. We catch glimpses of what John saw in his vision in Revelation. A river, a tree filled with fruit, eternal light from God himself, oh the glory. The picture painted in Revelation 22 pours hope into my soul. Nature’s beauty in perfect harmony will surround us in heaven.

I hope as you imagine heaven, you see yourself standing at the throne and praising God. I want to sit by the river and bask in God’s light and taste the sweet fruit of His presence.

Take a moment from the chaos of this life, imagine heaven, and fill up on hope.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What's in the Woods?

I love to hike in the woods with Tim and Rosie in the spring. 
The wild flowers are poking their heads out of the ground.
Their blooms are not as glamorous as the tulips or the daffodils, 
but they're just as beautiful. 

When I see the toadshade trillium and the yellow trout lily, 
I know spring has arrived.
I also spotted the delicate, lavender blossoms of Jacob's ladder and flox.

God created so many lovely blooms for us to enjoy and appreciate.
Take a hike and discover what's in the woods.


 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

The Tree's Knees

Psalm 46:1-7

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.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The trees had knees.

In Congaree National Park, my daughter, Maggie, my grandchildren, Dylan and Zeke, and I hiked along the boardwalk over the swampy areas. I’d never seen anything quite like the park. The other-worldly feeling made me wonder when the dinosaurs or gnomes might appear.

Maggie and her family had visited the park before, and she knew I’d love it. And I did. The vegetation was like nothing I’d seen before. The trees were huge and fascinating. The Cyprus trees appeared to wear pleated skirts, and they were surrounded by little stumpy looking knees. Maggie told me the knees grow up from the roots and help anchor the trees in the muddy soil, so they offer the tree an extra layer of strength against the wind and storms. The knees also act like a protection against erosion, which reminds me of how God anchors me and provides protection and strength.

The verse that mentions the nations in an uproar and the kingdoms falling brings to mind the headlines today. So much turmoil is in the world, yet in the Congaree National Park, I felt God’s protection and presence, especially when we encountered a timber rattler.

With God as my refuge, I embraced His presence in the forest, and I hold tight to it today, at home. He is my strength and He holds me in His hands.

Wherever you are, if you are a child of God, He sees you and cares for you.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Children's Book Day!

Children's books are works of art and heart.

 Have you read Betsy and/y Bailey, a bilingual English & Spanish 
story of twin sisters who discover the differences that drive them crazy 
are the characteristics they love most in each other?

Read with a child today and be blessed.



 

Illustrator, Hannah Wickline, had the privilege 
of reading the story to children in Guatemala.



Saturday, March 30, 2024

Through God's Power

Matthew 28:5-10
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. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

I cannot visit the mountains without hiking to a waterfall.

My daughter Maggie and her teenagers let me tag along on a trip to Greenville, SC to visit my youngest daughter, Hannah. Hannah and Stephen are blessed to live in the beautiful Appalachian Mountain region of our country where a trip to the mountains is just a car drive away.

On one of our exploration adventures we hiked in the Dupont State Forest, southeast of Brevard, NC, to Triple Falls waterfall. I enjoyed the spring foliage and the new life popping in the forest, but at the end of the trail, the true gem awaited.

The falls roared over the rock face of the cliff, and I stood and let the water spray my face. As I reflected on the power of the falls, I considered how powerful God is and how humble and loving Jesus is. With Easter Sunday and the celebration of Jesus defeating death, the truth of Jesus’ life struck me. He lived in obedience to his Father. In living, he knew his death would come and that he’d carry the burden of sin for every person. He knew, yet he obeyed. Even as Jesus died, God knew the outcome. God’s power defeated death and he breathed life into his son and sent his angels to roll away the stone.

Jesus died and rose again from an ugly death. Through God’s power, he lives and loves and wants every soul to follow him and meet him in heaven.

I pray you have a blessed Easter and consider Jesus invitation to be your Savior.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Natural Harmony

 My daughter, grandchildren and I had the joy of hiking 
in the Congaree National Park. 
As we walked the boardwalk, among the cypress and loblolly pine,
we came across a violet growing in a tree. 
I love how the two live in harmony.


 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Imagine the Garden

Genesis 1:11-13
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

Spring’s first heartbeat honors winter’s last breath. -Angie Weiland Crosby

Tim and I have been walking Rosie at the local park. As we hike along the trail, I’ve spotted a variety of flowers blooming. The yellow celandine blankets the forest floor, Dutchman’s breeches wave their miniature pantaloon shaped petals, and Virginia bluebell leaves are sprouting. Green has popped all over and the robins are tweeting a welcome to spring.

When I witness the change from winter to warmer weather and the brown shifting to shades of green, I’m reminded of the creation story. When God made the world, He added plants. He knew we’d need not only the produce from the vegetation, but the beauty of the flowers.

As we walked this morning, I considered the Garden of Eden and the glorious place it must have been. All the amazing plants in God’s original creation must have looked and smelled incredible. Imagine the perfection.

I’m thankful He blesses me with the beauty of nature in our little corner. No, we don’t experience a land without scars or blemishes, but we do have a hint of the place Adam and Eve left behind. The hint of the possible beauty of heaven fills my heart with hope. As I spy a hyacinth’s fresh bloom or the brilliant color of a tulip, I’m reminded of how much God loves me. He cares for the flowers and loves His people even more.

Enjoy spring and appreciate God’s gift of beauty on earth and the ultimate glory of heaven.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Beauty

I was delighted to find my miniature tulips in bloom this week. 
The lovely purplish-pink color stirs joy in my soul.
The contrast with the green is simply gorgeous.

I hope this photo brings you hope 
and reminds you of the beauty of God's creation.

Happy Spring!




 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

A Joyful Soul

Song of Solomon 12: 11-12

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.

Bright yellow flowers bob their heads among the purple petals.

As much as I love winter, I adore the first blooms of spring. In southern Ohio, the daffodils are popping. Have you noticed seasons have their own array of color? Right now we’re seeing a lot of yellow and purple. Forsythia bushes are waving branches of golden blossoms and vinca vines are displaying their periwinkle buds. Soon, the tulips will open and add reds and pinks to the display.

All of these flowers fill my soul with joy. Their beauty gives me hope. After the cold, dark season of winter, God graces us with a rainbow of color and days filled with sunshine.

Have you experienced a dark season? They come and go, don’t they? When I’ve traveled through a dark tunnel in life, hope shined at the end of the darkness, because I didn’t journey alone. Jesus walks with me step-by-step. As a believer in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I’m in their company every day, no matter the circumstance. The Holy Spirit dwells in my soul and guides me on the dark days and the bright days. He’s the reason I never walk alone. We don’t talk much about the Spirit, which is a shame.

God created me to have a physical body and a spiritual soul. I’m so thankful for both. Although my body is wearing out with time, the Spirit brings wisdom to my soul. Jesus’ love and grace pour into me and fill me with peace.

As spring arrives and fills the days with beauty, reflect on the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.

God bless you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Books for Kidz

This month I'm reviewing two books from Zonderkidz.

Kiki Finds Her Voice by Kierra Sheard-Kelly, illustrated by Paul Kellam

Kierra Sheard-Kelly has written a wonderful book with a valuable story about staying true to God. Based on a true story, she shares a tale many girls will relate to and learn from. 

The illustrations are colorful and add to the beauty of the story. The lesson of "being different is beautiful" because God made you to be yourself and not follow the crowd resonated with me, even as an adult. I recommend the book. It's perfect for ages 8-12.


Strong by Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by Jago

Jago’s illustrations drew me to this book. They are simply beautiful. Children will love the colorful pictures.

The book is based on Psalm 1:1-3.
Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Lloyd-Jones presents the scripture in a way little ones will relate to being close to God. The example of a tree gives them a concrete picture of God’s strength. Strong is a board book.

Both books are available on Amazon or from Zonderkidz.


Saturday, March 9, 2024

The Goodness of God

Psalm 27: 13-14

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Signs of spring are popping in my tiny flower bed. Tulip leaves have pushed through the soil. The top of the hyacinths are visible. Daffodils are in various stages, with some in bloom. My crocuses raise their thin green arms and the purple and white flowers reach to the sky.

In spring, the goodness of God appears in nature. The woods awaken the trillium and Lenten rose. The oaks and maples poke their buds out of the branches, along with red buds and dogwood.

With all the turmoil in our world, I seek the good. The beauty sooths my soul. When I see the good in people, I rejoice. The child who helps his friend, the young person who assists the elderly, and the believer who shares the truth of Jesus all fill me with hope.

Psalm 27 says to be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.

Waiting is hard, but the psalmist tells us the secret. Be strong—resist the temptation to give up. Take heart—hope. Hope gives me the strength to keep going, to fill up on God's word and to pray.

The psalmist is confident he will see goodness in life, and so am I. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, and my heart filled with Him, I can move through life with confidence, and experience the good.

When Rosie was a puppy, she wanted to play with Olive, But Olive was old and grumpy. She ignored Rosie most of the time. One day, Rosie had a bone she was gnawing on and Olive laid down beside her. After a few minutes, Rosie pushed the bone to Olive. I saw goodness through my dogs that day.

Look for the good and be the good.