Dec 12, 2015

Moving


Twelve plus years ago the Salesman called and let me know that he wouldn't be home in time to go to a dinner meeting we had planned on going to together, because had received an offer to buy his business. He felt that it was a good offer and it came at a good time for him and he felt they would agree on a price before he came home that evening.

Let me say, I loved everything about our home in North Carolina: our neighbors and neighborhood, our church and school and historic home. I loved the convince of our location. Family was nearby. Friends came to visit often. Our children were born and raised in our home. It was a picture perfect life. Hallmark filmed movies on our street - no joke!

When The Salesman mentioned that we could move anywhere we wanted to, I told him that I wanted to stay right where we were because I loved everything about where we were. So, he approached people who had made him business offers before, and every door that had been wide open, was firmly closed.  I was not happy. Every doorway did open in the direction of East Tennessee, where my grandfather had given us property.

Every time I read the Word, during this transition time, the phrase "so much more" seemed to jump out at me. It was as if the Lord was saying personally to me, I have so much more for you, Lora.  I could not imagine the "so much more" of God; because truthfully, life seemed sweet.  I thought I had everything I wanted.

When we listed our home, I thought because the market was flooded at the time and that our agent suggested a prime price for our historic home, that we would be there a loooong while. It made me happy to think about staying just where I was. When the real estate agent sent the pictures that her photographer had taken of our home, I wasn't pleased. Do you see a theme, here? We lived in a beautiful historic home that had been completed remodeled and professionally decorated and the pictures just didn't do our home justice. I remember going to bed that evening upset about the pictures. Stewing in my mind, that I at least wanted the pictures of our home to be good if we were going to sale the place.

I awoke during the middle of the night to the brightest flash of lighting ever and for the first time in my life, I heard a voice say, "Those pictures that you are worried about, I have them." You would think that I would've awoke to a loud clash of thunder; but it was the brilliance of the light that awoke me during the storm that night.  I had never experienced anything like this before.  Ever. But I knew whose voice I had heard. It was the Lord.  It was as if the brightest flash of lighting was the flash from the God camera and He said in no uncertain terms that HE had the pictures of my house.

And did HE ever.

Within one week, before the picture ever came out on the cover of the home magazine for our area, we had two offers for asking price…

And we went with the offer that wanted to close in 30 days. It was a whirlwind of activity: packing, loading, preparing to move out of state, saying goodbye to friends and family. And for the record, I was not very happy about the move (the theme continues). So, I've already shared that we lived in a lovely neighborhood and had lovely neighbors. We had never in the 12 years that we lived there, had a problem with crime; but while the Salesman was in Tennessee, looking for a place for us to move to, someone tried to break into our home! The children and I were at home while it happened too! I honestly believe the Lord allowed it to loosen the apron strings of my heart from that house and home.

We have lived in East Tennessee now as long as we lived in the Carolinas. Looking back, I so wish that I had embraced what God was doing in my life at the time we were moving. Hindsight is 20/20.  I see now from the other side, that GOD's plans for me, for my marriage, for my family, included moving and being where we are today.  God did not want me and our family to stay where we were, even though it appeared to be an ideal place.  HE had "so much more" for us. HE had, and still has, more for us! Now the last 12 years, we have seen some good times; but, as a family, we have seen many heartaches and tough times. But, I believe Romans 8:28. It was one of the first verses I remember putting to memory. And praise His Holy Name, it is still true years later.

I am thankful the LORD chose to orchestrate the events of our life to find in HIM, so much more. Sometimes, when life is good, we don't look for more in our relationship with GOD. Or, we can't imagine that it can be any better than it is.

HE has so much more!
I am thankful HE moved us and though I couldn't imagine what HE had in store,
Our Eternal, Heavenly Father GOD has so much more.
He speaks, (even takes pictures!) and He guides.
He brings light to the darkness that hides.
He wants to do a work in me and you,
And I've found that HE'll move us if HE needs to!
May I operate in and through The Lamp Light,
And not be controlled by the kingdom of the dark night.

Amen and amen.

In the new year, I'm planning to share some of the adventures we've been through.

Bless you. May GOD bless your family this holiday season. With love and prayers and thanksgiving to the LORD for you,
Lora

Oct 2, 2015

Family


Just a three short months ago, I was in Uganda with a group of 27 from my church. Although I am out of Africa, Africa is not out of me. Our church is currently hosting an international conference, and some of the people that I just came to know and love this summer, have now stayed in our home, shared our breakfast table, opened the Bible with us in the living room and knelt to pray with us.

Never would have I dreamed that my family of four would multiply to include dear people that live so far away logistically; but relationally are now my family.

Moses, from Echoes of Mercy, stayed in our home and one day while here, he announced that the LORD told him to name the library at his orphanage after my dad: The Lovin Children's Library!!! It was as if the LORD Himself reached down and gave my dear daddy a wonderful heritage! It has not even been two months since my dear dad passed from this earth! GOD is good! God has increased my family and he has increased my heritage by African family. 

Only GOD.
HE is good!

May HIS Name be praised among the nations!

Here is an article in yesterday's paper about our conference at church:


Sep 25, 2015

Guest Post on Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries Blog


In December, I was asked to guest post for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team on the Living Proof Ministry blog. Our Siesta Mama, Beth Moore, posts on the 1st of each month and then invited guests from the blog community to participate. I was thrilled and nervous at the same time to accept the invitation! What an honor. I was asked to send a picture, tell about myself, share a verse and then share about the verse. I am so blessed and could not have done it without my precious family to read my post and then re-read it, ask questions, check the spelling, the wording, the everything! I am so thankful for the love and support I received not only during the writing process; but after the post appeared, I've been so blessed by more love and support.  Thank you all. Thank you GOD.

The verse I picked is just as applicable to me today as it was when I picked it almost 9 months ago:

"You crown the year with a bountiful harvest,
even the hard pathways overflow with abundance."

Psalm 65:11 NLT

And here is the link for the guest post:


Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries Blog



Sep 22, 2015

Memories of Mom

A repost from the archives.  Thinking of my dear mother today, as it would have been her birthday. 


When the breath of these short earthly years
Give way to the graveside as they did with my dear mother, I remember the ensuing tears.
On the anniversary of her home going today, I choose to remember times of joy-
Our precious family - my mother, my dad and one happy, cow-licked boy.
Today, I recount the good times
Through the Spirit's sweet gift of a rhyme.
Mother kept such a welcoming and cozy home,
If a friend called, she sat down - although talking on a very long-corded phone.
Oh, the delicious delights that were served from her kitchen
Kept her family fed and happily (with a beater sometimes) I did some finger lickin'.
We ate out just once a week -
Recipients of the produce and work from the garden's bounty, especially at it's peak.
She made every holiday a fun and a most memorable celebration.
I remember anticipating those special days and then the expressions of great elation.
Parties and gatherings were beautiful and fun,
Her creativity never seemed limited or done.
Family was so important in our home
Time for them was freely given, never bartered or loaned.
Whatever mother did, I thought her title was "extraordinaire".
And, oh the childhood memories of her patiently de-tangling my thick, long hair.
Then the packages she mailed to my brother and me while at college across the miles
Still bring sweet memories of the love she packed like they were wrapped with smiles.
Her love language was definitely giving -
So like Jesus she was, as evidenced in her daily living.
But it is the well worn pages on her copy of The Word
That bless my heart to see the evidence of what she read and Who she heard.
When correction was dispensed, Scripture was what I heard
As she would wield the Word.
I think of the verse she marked when she received the fatal diagnosis -
She knew, without a doubt, her eternal prognosis.
With Jesus, she is alive today-
Part of His plan, His path for mother, His way.
She was of her time and resources to others constantly giving
And today, she is alive with Jesus, eternally living.
LORD, I thank you for the laughter mother brought, the joy and yes, the tears
I thank you for the memory of her 45 earthly years.
Pictures from a visit to the family cemetery today.

Jul 18, 2015

Living Proof and Meet and Greet with Beth Moore

Speaking to Beth Moore at the meet and greet in Greenville was a special time for me. The teaching she shared was so timely and personal, I felt I could have been the only person there. It was a blessing to share for a moment with her. It was a wonderful and wonder-filled weekend. I am blessed to do life with my sisters and friends.

I am thankful for my family who cared for my daddy and allowed me to slip away for this conference! I also saw a friend from high school, a friend from college, and a friend from our church in North Carolina.  All in a crowd of 11,000. God is good!

De Anna, Judy and Carolyn and me.

Nesha, me and Kelly!


Beth Moore teaching

Interesting lamp light in the hotel lobby

My arrows

Beautiful rug at the hotel

Hotel

Regina, Beth, Kelly, Emily, Nikki and me


Me, Kelly, Susan and Judy and Carolyn

Adrienne!!!

Me, Diane and Susan


And here is the flicker link to the picture of the meet and greet with Beth Moore. I am right behind Beth and there are so many dear friends in the picture: Kelly, Beth, Emily, Regina, Nikki, Susan, Judy, Carolyn, De Anna, Nesha, Diane, Adrienne and Kathryn. I am thankful for the LORD's favor on our trip and time. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lplsiesta/19585114628/

My memory verse for this month is one that was shared in the teaching:
Psalm 44:5
"Through YOU shall we push down our enemies; through YOUR name shall we tread them under who rise up against us." Psalm 44:5 Amplified

And my visual will be the arrow from my notes!

And here is the link to Beth Moore's blog where my friend, Melana, shares her story and verse this month:

May 23, 2015

A Seal and a Song



The words to an old hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" have been on repeat in my mind.  
 I've been reviewing the words of the next to last verse:

"O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."

Life has been whirling at an extremely fast pace.  And I don't think that I am alone. Everyone I visit with has many activities and responsibilities as well. How about you? Do you find this season of your like full and busy? My to do list exceeds the hours of my day. In the dailyness of life, I find myself in need of, and extending grace. I am a debtor to grace. When the days are bursting at the seams, it is easier to wander from the closeness of relationship with God for the urgent and in-front of me agenda. 

My heart echoes the words:

"Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."

I selected Song of Solomon 8:6 for my tenth Scripture memory verse this year. Here is the link to Beth Moore's blog and my friend Becky Jo wrote the blog post for this entry!

And a special thank you to Victoria Leigh for making a Visual Verse for me! You can find her artwork at this lovely website.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

May 10, 2015

A Tale of Two Gates



Life is full of choices, of opportunities, decisions to make each day.  When I read Matthew 7:13, I knew this would be my 9th memory verse this year:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many." English Standard Version

I've seen the beckoning wide gate recently. I have felt the apparent ease of the wide gate. I have heard the whispers that lead to destruction.  When the Salesman and I walk in the evenings, I've seen a beautiful visual of a narrow gate tucked between a dense hedge and brick borders.  

Some choices look so good to me.  But when weighed by the Truth of Scripture, they are gates that lead to destruction. The end of some opportunities presented is destruction, no matter how appealing they seem.  

The definition of narrow is "something that is considerably longer or higher than it is wide."  Doing right can sometimes seem like a long path.  Doing wrong can appear to be easy and appealing.  At times recently, I've wanted to do the easy. Life is hard. The enemy fights with every ounce of his fiber to tempt us to sin against our Father. The enemy fights to keep many entering at the wide gate. Sin is fun for a season; but we know sin brings death. GOD brings life. His plans are good for us and include a hope and a future. The devil is in the business to steal, kill and destroy. 

Make no fleeting or superficial mistakes,
No matter how appealing, the reality the enemy presents is fake
Many enter at his wide and welcoming gate
But before you go there, please consider and wait:

The narrow gate
Is where GOD waits
The narrow gate

The wide gate beckons
And wouldn't you reckon
The devil and his cohorts make it enticing
Appealing to me, like buttercream icing

The wide gate beckons and calls to me
To just step closer, so I can see
What waits on the broad road
Are just lies from a toad
Destruction is at end
Just beyond the beautiful bend
Destruction is at the end

Do not go to the wide gate
No matter how lovely
No matter how inviting
No matter how enticing
No matter.
Because it does matter.

Run the other way - 
Now, today.

Go to the narrow gate
There you will find ME, there I wait
At the narrow gate

You know the plans I have for you
Jeremiah 29:11-13 states a few
I have good plans for you

Enter by the narrow gate
There you will find me, it is there I wait
Enter by the narrow gate

A special thank you to Victoria Leigh for creating a visual verse. You can find more of her designs at Her Awesome Website.  And you can join in the fun at Beth Moore's blog Verse 9 post


Apr 19, 2015

The Rest of the Story

Since the beginning of the year, I've been reading through the book of Psalms. Each day the LORD meets me on the pages of HIS written word and speaks directly to me. When I read chapter 103, verse four started off so familiar to me. Many times I've read or heard the beginning of the verse:

"Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption"

or another version states:

"Who redeems your life from destruction"

And it was easy for me to say, yes and amen to that, because the LORD has done that in my life. HE has redeemed my life from "the pit and corruption and destruction" in so many ways and so many times. I have kept HIM busy.  I have found myself in the same pit time and time again. I have seen HIM come in and save me from corruption.  Recently I've been so aware that the enemies plan for my life is destruction. Total destruction.  Those words weigh heavy on me. The enemy has a specific plan to totally destroy and demolish every good work that GOD has started in my life. The enemy is waiting, like a roaring lion. The enemy doesn't just plan to pinch me and go on. He wants to totally destroy every good thing that GOD has begun.  I know the end of the plan of the enemy and it is not good.  But GOD, has good plans for my life and for yours.  

What I did not remember reading or hearing was the second half of the verse:

"Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy;"

Beautify means to make beautiful.

Dignify means to confer honor or dignity.

Crowning is the triumphant culmination of (an effort or endeavor, especially a prolonged one).

How awesome is our GOD?!!

HE not only saves us from total destruction, HE is in the business of beautifying, dignifying and crowning us with loving kindness and tender mercy! Yes and amen! Do it LORD.  After being pulled out of a pit or saved from total destruction, it's easy to stand still and just be thankful for what the LORD has done; but we must continue on the path GOD has intended for us. We must move forward on our walk with the LORD. We must not get held up by the old self, the old flesh and where we have been and what we have done. GOD is at work.

LORD,
Thank YOU for pulling me from a pit
Help me to move forward and not just sit
Thinking of failures and where I've been
Caught up and bound in sin
You use those who have hurts and have failed
Blow the wind of YOUR SPIRIT into my lifeless sails
YOU beautify, dignify and crown
You don't want us to stay defeated and down
With loving kindness and tender mercy you infuse
I am ready LORD for YOU to use.
Amen.

A special thank you to artist and beautiful daughter, Victoria Leigh, at Danger Does Designs for another lovely Visual Verse! And here is Beth Moore's blog post for SSMT Verse 8 at Living Proof Ministries Blog.


Apr 13, 2015

Searching for The One

This last week, I decided that I wanted to put new planters and flowers at our front entrance. I did a lot of searching for just the right planter, topiaries and flowers. It took several trips to Home Depot and Lowes; but I found exactly what I wanted.  I knew in my mind what I was searching for, and I knew when I found the right flowers and plants.

Song of Solomon 3:4 declares: "I have found The One whom my soul loves…" We can do a lot of searching, go many places, encounter different people and things, yet no person or thing can be The One like JESUS CHRIST is to our soul. When we find HIM, we know that we have found The One. I pray that you too, have found The One and become rooted and planted in HIM. 

LORD,
YOU are The One.
Thank YOU that when we search for YOU
we understand that no one or nothing else will do.
Though we may search many places
Look to things or delight in other faces
In YOU, we find true love and satisfaction
And discover every thing else is only a distraction.
YOU fill my searching soul.
YOU make me whole.
Thank YOU Father.

 Thank you Victoria Leigh, my talented daughter, and entrepeneur at Danger Designs for another lovely visual verse!  And here is the link for Beth Moore's Verse 7 for the SSMT at Living Proof Ministries blog.

Mar 16, 2015

Draw Me and a Drawing

My Scripture memory verse is Song of Solomon 1:4a:


The Salesman and I went to a marriage seminar at our church last weekend. It was really encouraging.   On Sunday morning, the speaker shared this verse and I knew immediately that I wanted it to be my next memory verse.

This summer, the Salesman and I, will celebrate 27 years of marriage! We are living proof that GOD is truly in the miracle business!

Once again, the beautiful and talented Victoria Leigh of Danger Does Designs created a visual for my verse.  Thank you Victoria!

And here is a link to the SSMT 2015, Verse 6 post at Beth Moore's blog.

Mar 12, 2015

Memories and Scripture Memory


Some of my favorite pieces of artwork are ones that the children made when they were little.  The heart pictured above is one that Victoria's young hands made. Every February, I put it on an easel and display it on the dining room buffet.  I love what she wrote on the heart:  Only Jesus can fill your heart - so true. That GOD sized hole is in all our hearts, and no matter what we try to fill that hole with: people, money, fame, success, food, material possessions, knowledge, service work, etc., only JESUS can fill your heart.

As I was putting the heart themed decor away, I marveled at how the LORD has continued to use Victoria's enjoyment of art to continue to bless me as she made a visual of my heart themed memory verse.  My Scripture memory verse 5 is Proverbs 14:30a:


I choose this verse because I desire to have a calm and undisturbed mind and heart.  The last season of caring for my dad here at home has been challenging.  I want to be calm and undisturbed even in the middle of challenges, hurts and heartaches.  I know it is possible with The LORD.

Victoria now has a website where she is selling her artwork. Check it out here: Danger Does Designs

And here is a link to the Scripture Memory Team Video and Blog post from Beth Moore  for Verse 5.  It's not to late to join in!

Feb 17, 2015

"And I will be the glory in her midst" A Verse and a Visual


'For I,' declares the LORD, 'will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.' Zechariah 2:5 NAS

I am doing the Siesta Scripture Memory Team at the http://blog.lproof.org with many of my friends.  I would love to have you join us in memorizing The Word.  We memorize a verse on the 1st and the 15th of the month and by the end of the year, we have learned 24 new verses!  Do you all memorize Scripture? If so, do you use a certain method to memorize? Please share. And please share your memory verse here if you'd like. This is the fourth verse we are memorizing this year and it is not to late to join in the fun!

Being a visual learner, I do so much better when I see a picture.  The picture helps me to remember the verse. It really works!  Four years ago, I shared about a spiral I made with visuals for the SSMT in 2010. If you are a visual learner and want to read more, read this post http://bythelamplight.blogspot.com/2010/01/siesta-scripture-memory-team.html

My first verse this year was:
You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.

My second verse was:

The barley harvest was just beginning when Naomi and Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, arrived in Bethlehem. Ruth 1:22 CEV
Our youngest daughter, Victoria, brought me home this lovely old framed picture from her thrift shopping and it was the perfect reminder for the verse. 
My third verse was:
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:" Psalm 46:5a KJV
When we opened Christmas gifts, Victoria had made this for me:

It sparked the visual process for me this year. So, I've asked Victoria to create a visual for each of my verses this year, and she has agreed! So, I am excited to see what she creates, and to have Truth tucked in my heart.


Jan 9, 2015

The Lamp Light is still On

We have recently moved to town after years in the country.  When I saw my desk totally empty and in it's new spot, I thought it depicted how I had felt the last few years.  I felt empty, like my desk.  I felt there was no good thing to share.

But, the lamp light is still on, praise The LORD!  

I find myself ever-so-thankful that in sunshine and sorrow,
Whatever we face on the eve of a new tomorrow,
The LORD, HE is always there.
HE listens. HE loves. HE cares.
The Lamp of the world, the Light of each night -
HIS bulbs never dims, HE always shines bright.