I’m reading Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic
In it he talks about visiting Billy Graham.  He says Reverend Graham wishes he’d spent more time with his family and done more to show his faith and love of God.  (Can you imagine that?  He wishes he'd done more to show his faith and love of God?)
He says listening to him reflect on his life and career as an evangelist caused him to step back and think about what he, Nick, wants to look back on when he reaches a similar place in his life.
He says we should not live with the expectations that happiness will come some day after we accomplish some goal or acquire some thing.  Happiness should be available to you in each moment, and the way to access it is to live in balance spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
One way to determine the balance that works for you is to look toward the end of your life and then live so that you will have no regrets when you arrive there.  The idea is to create a clear image of the type of person you want to be as you age and the mark you hope to make, so that every step of your journey takes you closer to where you want to arrive.
He believes if you create the life you want in your imagination, it is possible to create it in reality minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day.  Instead of a business plan or a house plan, consider this your life plan.  Some advise that the way to do this is to think about your own funeral and ponder what you would want your family and friends to say about you, your character, your accomplishments, and how you impacted their lives. 
Instead of that scenario, he prefers to put himself in Reverend Graham’s position on the day they met in his mountain cabin.  Here was this great man nearing the end of a remarkable life in which he’d done so much of God’s work, and he still had a few regrets.  It may be inevitable.  Few achieve a perfectly balanced life, but he thinks it’s worth a try.
He doesn’t want to have any regrets at all, which may not be possible.  But he says he’s going to do his best and reset his life meter on BALANCE.  He suggests we take a moment to do the same if we feel, as he does, that we all need to pause now and then to examine where we’ve been, where we are now, where we want to go, and how to become a person who will be remembered for making a positive difference in the world.

This really made me stop and think.  It's made me reevaluate, which you would have thought I'd done enough of after my diagnosis of stage iv cancer.  Things have changed since my initial diagnosis, surgeries, treatments and where I am now.  Each change has brought different circumstances with different evaluations.  I really thought at the beginning of this I would be returning to work.  Even after I had to retire I thought I still might.  I have fought with accepting I can now be an artist.  I have fought with the fact that I've always had insecurities with that and I don't know why.  
I do not want to have regrets with God, people, art, writing, with anyone or anything.  And I want to make a positive difference in the world.
Do you?  What do you need to balance in your life?  What positive difference can you make?


Weekend beach trip.
 Always see a lot of fishermen,
 One of the few times I've seen them catch something.

George Matheson, the well known blind preacher of Scotland, once said, “My dear God, I have never thanked You for my thorns.  I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses but not once for my thorns.  I have always looked forward to the place where I will be rewarded for my cross, but I have never thought of my cross as a present glory itself.
     “Teach me, O Lord, to glory in my cross.  Teach me the value of my thorns.  Show me how I have climbed to You through the path of pain.  Show me it is through my tears I have seen my rainbows.”
Steams in the Desert, April 8



Reading this today and realizing how close to home it hits......
Streams in the Desert April 5:
Go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons.  (2kings 4:4)
The widow and her two sons were to be alone with God.  They were not dealing with the laws of nature, human government, the church, or the priesthood.  Nor were they even dealing with God’s great prophet, Elisha.  They had to be isolated from everyone, separated from human reasoning, and removed from the natural tendencies to prejudge their circumstance.  They were to be as if cast into the vast expanse of starry space, depending on God alone---in touch with the Source of miracles.

This is an ingredient in God’s plan of dealing with us.  We are to enter a secret chamber of isolation in prayer and faith that is very fruitful.  At certain times and places, God will build a mysterious wall around us.  He will take away all the supports we customarily lean upon, and will remove our ordinary ways of doing things.  God will close us off to something divine, completely new and unexpected, and that cannot be understood by examining our previous circumstances.  We will be in a place where we do not know what is happening, where God is cutting the cloth of our lives by a new pattern, and thus where He causes us to look to Him.

Most Christians lead a treadmill life---a life in which they can predict almost everything that will come their way.  But the souls that God leads into unpredictable and special situations are isolated by Him.  All they know is that God is holding them and that He is dealing in their lives.  Then their expectations come from Him alone.

Like this widow, we must be detached from outward things and attached inwardly to the Lord alone in order to see His wonders.  from soul food
It is through the most difficult trials that God often brings the sweetest discoveries of Himself.  from Gems

God sometimes shuts the door and shuts us in,
That He may speak, perhaps through grief of pain,
And softly, heart to heart, above the din,
May tell some precious thought to us again.


catching up

Reading or finished reading Lone Survivor
These guys go through unbelievable training to become Seals.
What this man and his team went through in Afghanistan was horrific. 
You should read this if you get a chance.  We should always support our troops.

Last week I went with Corey and Minion to the park.  It was such a nice day. 

Monday I had visitors, Sylvia and Mila.  Not putting photos because I don’t know how she feels about it.  They live next door and Mila’s 3 ½ months old.  Such a cutie!  Really makes me want to see my great niece.  Tuesday, Jesse came over before she went to the dog park with Jese and then back
here afterwards.   We had a very nice visit.  Thursday, visited Mom, Stuart and Jesse again.  Mom got new cabinets in the kitchen and it looks very nice but I forgot to take pictures.
Mom's flowers are blooming and yes, my mind draws a blank on what this very common flower is called.  I blame the meds....not age.....

started a new painting