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Monday, October 17, 2016

New Joys Every Day

Are you joyful? I pray that you know true joy. Each season brings it's own joys. Spring brings the joy of new growth, the renewed song of the birds. Days become longer, and the warm sunshine gently touches your face. The air smells fresher, the sky is bluer, and the first flowers show their colors.

Then comes summer. Children rejoice because school is out. Swimming pools fill, families begin vacation plans, and family reunions bring the joy of renewing bond. We buy fireworks for the 4th of July. We watch parades, and have hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. We plant gardens, we visit with the neighbors and relax on our decks and patios.

Now it is Fall. Days are cooler, and days are shorter. Flowers have bloomed their last, and the trees put on their colors. It is time for football, tail gate parties, and fire pits. Children are back in school, which brings first band concerts, Fall Harvest parties, Trick or Treat, and Pumpkin Patches!

Fall is over way too soon, and Winter is approaching. Winter is my least favorite, because I don't like cold. Of course some of you live where it is warm all year around, but some of you, like me live in cold winters. Flower beds are cleaned up, the last leaves are raked, and trees stand with bare branches. Soon snow and ice cover our lawns and streets, and all are busy getting ready for Christmas.

Christmas even though it is cold weather time, it is a joy, like no other. Christmas is my Savior's Birthday!  It was on this day God the Father sent His son to be born in human flesh, so He could live a humble, perfect life, and then die on a cross for my sins. Because I have accepted Him into my heart, I am His child. That friends, is the source of all my joys!

When I look around me, I see God's world, and that is joy, no matter the season. My joy is hard to explain, and even harder to understand, because it comes from deep within me where The Holy Spirit dwells. It does not depend on where I am, or material blessings, or the season. Whatever season I am in, I have inner joy! My joy is because Jesus loved me so much, He willingly died a horrible death in my place. 

I am quilty of sin. Because God can not look on sin, I was not fit to be in His presence. Jesus, by dying, shed
His sacrificial blood to cover my sin, so God can look on me as His child. When I accept that, joy abounds. I am a friend of God, I am loved, I am forgiven, and I am His princess! He has reserved a place in heaven for me, My name is in His book of life!  You see no matter what life on earth holds for me, I have joy!

Before I was saved, my worst fear was dying. I was terrified, because I didn't know what would happen if I died. I was terrified of hell. I thought if I was good enough, maybe I would go to heaven. That is not true. Imagine my joy, when I was saved, and I learned that, my place in heaven is secure, and it had nothing to do with good. I could never be good enough, or do works enough to get into heaven. No amount of money will pay the way. It is only through the blood of Jesus and accepting that, that I gain heaven and eternal life with Jesus.

My joy is complete. Even if I am killed, or get sick and die, My life will not be over, but just beginning.
That my friends is the ultimate joy! After all what is the worst thing that could happen? I would die, only to wake again in Jesus presence!  I have joy! I pray you do too!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Dark Days For America

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Dark Days For America: On September 11,2001, those who hate us, tried to destroy the fabric of our country. People who are willing to destroy themselves in the pro...

Dark Days For America

On September 11,2001, those who hate us, tried to destroy the fabric of our country. People who are willing to destroy themselves in the process. If you are an American, 9/11 impacted you in some way. For many in our country it was personal.

John and I had enjoyed a week with special friends in Canyon City, Colorado. It was a blessed time of beautiful weather, scenic country, and fellowship with dear people. We hated to leave, but it was time to head back home. We normally try to drive back to Omaha in one day, but when we got as far as Kearny, we decided to stop early, stay over night and finish the trip the next day!

The next morning, we had breakfast, and started on the last leg of our journey. We had not been on the interstate long, when the radio station announced that a plane had run into one tower of the World Trade
Center in NYC. As we listened, we tried to figure out how a pilot could accidentally hit a building. Before we processed that, a second plane hit the other tower!

We kept listening in unbelief. It finally became clear, these were no accidents. We stopped at the truck stop in York, and saw the first images of the horror and destruction. Even if you are thousands of miles away, it affects everyone watching! Tears ran down my face, as I tried to imagine what I was seeing.

We listened to the reports the rest of the way home. We stopped at the kennel to pick up our Samson, and talked to our friend who owns the kennel. We watched more images on his T.V. In fact we barely watched anything else for the rest of the week. After the attack, there were stories of rescue, and then recovery. There were stories of bravery, and fear, and desperation. Stories of people coming together to help others.

Then the terrorists hit the Pentagon, and another plane was hijacked. The brave people on it, took down the terrorists, and the plane crashed without hitting the target the terrorists intended. For a short time, people turned to God. They realized they needed Him. Sad to say, it did not last. Once a crisis is over, if you are not His follower all the time, the emotions fade. I am sorry for those who don't have that relationship with God all the time. They shift with every wind, they scatter when things go wrong.

Now fifteen years later, terrorists are more of a threat than ever. They have struck our country over and over, they have struck other countries too. Why do they hate? They believe we are non believers of their god. They are taught to kill and destroy those that do not accept their god, or their beliefs! Take heart! Our Lord and Savior knew these times would come! It does not take Him by surprise! He will prevail, and He will take care of those who are His children!

There will come a time, the Bible says, when every, that's every knee shall bow, and every single tongue will confess, that Jesus is Lord! For some it is too late, and for others, there is still a chance to make Him your Savior, before this world ends!  God is the ultimate winner, whether you believe in Him or not!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Apple Of God's Eye

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Apple Of God's Eye: Even if you have not met God face to face, He knows you. God planned each of us long before our parents even met. He knew us, and He planned...

Apple Of God's Eye

Even if you have not met God face to face, He knows you. God planned each of us long before our parents even met. He knew us, and He planned our lives out in detail. In this huge universe, God not only knows you, He loves you! Sometimes that is hard to understand, but that is part of who God is.

Once you meet Him, accept Him as your Savior, the Bible says we become His child. As our father, He loves you like no one else ever will. Because you were His plan before you were conceived, He has a plan for your life. What happens if we don't know Him personally and turn our lives over to Him. How does that play out before we know Him?

Since He knows the plan, our life before we know Him, is still within His control. He will work circumstances throughout our lives to line us up where we need to be. My husband John was a part of my life even though I didn't meet him until I was in my 30s. We found out after we met, that his cousin lived just down the street from me when we were still in grade school. He spent time at that cousin's house, and even came to my grade school the only year we had a fair on the playground. We also found out when I found my birth family, that he met and knew my sister and her husband when they got married. Her new sister-in-law was one of his friends.

His life and mine took many paths from those years. We had many experiences, before God brought us together. I am convinced
God had us as soul mates before we were born. Like most of us, we follow our own paths, seldom listening to what God has for us. We either don't know Him, or we just choose to do what we want. Like I said it is God's Plan, and no matter how far off we go, God can and will bring us to where He wants us.

I love being loved by God. No matter what happens in my life, I know He is in charge. I also know that whatever He has planned for me is perfect for me. He knows what I need, He knows what is best. He created every part of my being, heart, soul, brain, and spirit, so He knows what I need, even when I don't. It's like being best friends with someone. My husband and I are like that. We know what makes the other happy. We know what each thinks about things, and we know each other's heart. That's how well God knows you, quadrupled.

No matter what anyone else says about you, or thinks about you, God is your authority. Learn to know Him through His word, and walking closely with Him, and then be concerned with what He thinks. If someone hurts you, or puts you down, don't let that affect how you see you! Filter it through what Jesus says!  He will always love you better than anyone else is capable of! It took me years to believe that, because I saw me as having no worth. Those are lies God will never tell you! Repeat often.....I am His child! I am His child! I am loved!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Grandparents Long Ago

Carolyn McBreen Gibbs Blog: Grandparents Long Ago: I remember my grandparents. I visited them once a month growing up. I never spent a week with them. I never spent the summer with them. They...

Grandparents Long Ago

I remember my grandparents. I visited them once a month growing up. I never spent a week with them. I never spent the summer with them. They didn't take me on trips, or to Disney World, or any where. In the days of the 40s and 50s, they were already old, before they were old. Memories are fleeting, but never the less memorable. 

My adopted Mom's parents had once lived in luxury, but when I became a part of the family, income was limited. Grandpa was tall, slightly stooped with a bad back. He had the thickest, whitest hair I have ever seen. He was ornery and liked to tease me, and yet, he would sit for hours and let me comb and pin curl his hair. He had a few pigs and chickens on his small acreage that he let me help feed when I was there. I was a city girl so that was very cool. I remember asking him once about the curl in their tails. He said, "I pin curl them every night!" Only the twinkle in his eye tipped me that he was teasing.

Grandpa had a limp, used a cane, and often had a small bottle of whiskey in his pocket. He assured the family it was strictly medicinal. I don't remember much about my grandmother. She was always sick, and she died when I wasn't too old. I do remember she had beautiful dishes, and a storeroom in the attic full of wonderful old things. My cousins and I spent many hours going through old clothes, old letters, and things I no longer remember.

It was a magical place for me. While our parents were busy talking, we were upstairs playing, and finding endless treasures packed away. Every piece of furniture was still beautiful, and would have delighted any antique dealer. Once in a while if we stayed over night, I slept in a white metal framed bed. The spokes were molded together in such a way, that parts of it looked like small skulls. Grandpa had a huge old phonograph with a horn that played old 78 records. 

The stairs up were the scariest part. They were long, narrow and steep. I was always afraid I would fall down them. Once at the top we had our choice of several bedrooms, and the storage room to play in. We dressed up in Victorian era dresses, large hats with feathers, long white gloves, and high top button shoes. We found the shoe hook, but none of us were very good at using it. We cousins had fun anyway. I wonder if they remember?

The house had a screened wrap around porch we played on, and there was a cellar door we could slid down. The cellar still had canned goods in it that friends and neighbor's and family supplied them with. It was a small, dark, damp smelling place, but we cousins did like to explore.  When Grampa died, I was in high school. Those last days of cleaning out all those treasures was a sad time I got some of the funiture, and my grandparents wedding certificate, and a wonderful rocking chair. The chair belonged to my great grandfather, who hand crafted it, and brought it with him when he immigrated from Sweden.

I am grateful God let me share this part of my growing up. These memories are treasures that were happier times. There are only a few cousins left now, and
only the memories of the things we shared. That world was a gentler, simpler time. Simple things like that still make me happiest!