Category Archives: Ocean lessons

Because we live in the mountains, we often vacation at the ocean, which is a constant source of inspiration and opportunities to praise our great Creator!

Someday…Never!

beach foam landscape nature
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This year I prayed—I prayed that God would not send a hurricane the week we had planned for the beach (like last year), and He answered that prayer! Praise His name! He sent it last week but this week has been absolutely perfect weather here at Virginia Beach! Once again, I’m sitting on our balcony and watching as “fish-man” heads for another round of fun in the ocean. Now, I do love the ocean, but I don’t have to be in it to enjoy it!

I’m always a bit trepidatious as well as self-conscious when we head into the waves with our boogie boards. What in the world are these 60-year-olds doing out there riding the waves? (I’m sure some of you would say, “Mrs. MacAvoy? I can’t imagine it!” while others would say, “Yep!  That’s Wanda!”) Oh, what fun! I’m not the bravest swimmer but with my little board, I’m pretty happy! It is SO MUCH FUN to just bob around and then kick to catch a good one that carries you all the way to the shore!

As we walked back to our chairs I said, “Honey, there will be a day when we won’t be able to do this anymore.” Very sad. L At age 60, life seems to be so short! How many “good years” do we have left—years free of illness, aches, and pains which will limit our fun? Only God knows.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

It’s a bit sobering to realize that 18 years ago today I made a poster of the Twin Towers and this verse for our Christian school. The message is still the same, the mandate just as necessary as it was the day Moses penned it—we need to use the life God has given us for His glory by applying His Words of wisdom to our thoughts, words, and deeds.

SOMEDAY, if the Lord tarries, I’ll not be riding a boogie board in the ocean BUT there will NEVER be a day that God is not with me! Wow! What a glorious thought! What joy! What comfort! What blessings!

My all-time favorite movie is Ever After.  It’s the Cinderella story and my favorite line is the last line (I’m quoting loosely from memory but you’ll get the message.):

And it’s not that they lived happily ever after, but that they lived!

So, go out there and do it—LIVE for Jesus!! You will NEVER regret a moment of it!

 

The Promise of another 1,007 years

The end is near!  There’s a meteor ready to crash into the earth and kill us all!  The economy is collapsing in October!  Last night’s Supermoon/Blood Moon must mean something bad!  It’s so sad that this world is so paranoid. It seems like there’s always someone heralding the end of the world.  Just this weekend I was sidetracked into reading, or I should say skimming, page after page of Bible prophecies in which the writer named America as Babylon, Obama and the Southern King, and Putin as the Northern King. Then the writer offered his book for only thirty-seven dollar which would tell you how to survive the end of the world!

To me, the saddest part of all this is the effect it has on our children. In the past, I have been in the schools when some doom’s day date is drawing near.  I see the fear on their faces and hear it in their voices.  It’s always a blessing to assure them that this world will be here for at least another one thousand seven years!  That peaks their curiosity!  I then explain that God has promised the His Son, Jesus Christ, will reign on this earth for a thousand years and that will take place after seven years of the Tribulation Period. What a joy to have God’s Word and be able to rest in His precious promises!

Truly, we are living in the End Times; however, we have been for the last two thousand years. Yes, many facts are now in place which wasn’t there the last century, but only God the Father knows the exact time of His Son’s return.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew 24: 36

I hope that promises give you comfort for the day.  As His return draws closer, there will continue to be doom’s day prophets who try to put God in a box.  It doesn’t work!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 8,9

I love that the following verse is also in this chapter:

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (6)

I have to admit, as I looked at that blood moon last night, it was a little creepy! But it’s just one more example of the mighty power of our God!  I couldn’t help wondering about all the other amazing spectacular sights that are happening every second of the day in our universe, which our God creates and enjoys, and we know nothing about them!  How amazing is our God!

I just want to praise Him for allowing me to see this last week:IMG_7577-001

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalm 19:1

Beach Bodies

ID-100224331It’s pretty hard to sit at the beach and not notice people.  It’s probably the only time when I wish I had my husband’s bad eyesight. He takes off his glasses and only sees blurred images.  For the most part, I avert my eyes.  (This is also the reason we head for the ocean in September or October.  The smaller crowd is definitely different–mostly oldies, like us!)  But one incident caught my attention, probably because it reminded me of me–a person tugging on his trousers to cover his rather expanded girth!

I’m sure there are a few people on the face of this earth who are one hundred percent satisfied with their bodies.  For me, it’s always the same desire–if only I was ten pounds less, even though the doctor would most likely suggest more!

So, we come to the beach, a bit embarrassed about our pudginess, wishing we would have taken off a few extra pounds.  But the other side of the coin is this: Nobody knows me, so who cares! 🙂  Do I really want to do all that effort and sacrifice of losing weight just for just one week out of the year!

By now, some of you are screaming at my faulty reasoning. Goodie!

And so, we apply it spiritually:  What is it in my life that I never resolve and yet feel “uncomfortable” about when “exposed?”  What is it that I ignore or refuse to face?  What part of my life do I excuse or make excuses for, and yet down deep I realize that my thinking, my reasoning, is faulty? God has even sent convicting messages my way through people, circumstances and His Word, but I won’t “pick up the phone.”

Sadly, some of us will not change our eating habits, or add a simple morning walk to our routine, until our bodies begin to react to our carelessness: high blood pressure or cholesterol, etc.  (Yes, children, I’m listening as I’m writing!) But how much more heartbreaking when we will not change our eating habits of the Word, or walk with the Lord, until tragedy strikes our lives: a wayward child, who is simply magnifying our own faults, or a ruined relationship–simply because we would not forgive–we would not yield.

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me,
Mold me, fill me,
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me
.

What a wonderful prayer!  I hope that you will take a moment to think through what I’ve said and act upon it.  Reading posts is wonderful, but acting upon them is life changing!

And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

1 John 3:19,20

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The Perfect Shell, or Finally Home!

ID-10042440What makes the perfect seashell?  Last week I enjoyed a morning stroll on the beach.  Usually, that’s my husband’s routine; however, since his fall in March, long walks are still a trial. This vacation was a step into the unknown: How much would he be able to walk or enjoy the beach? Certainly, life has been altered in so many ways, even our ocean activities, and I want to take a moment to praise the Lord for my dear husband’s patient endurance.  He’s a gem!

So, as I walked the beach, I looked for shells–perfect shell: the ones that are unbroken.  And although they were small, I found plenty.  However, after chatting with a fellow shell-gatherer—one who looked to be an expert—I started looking for unusual shells, even if they were broken.  What a treasure trove!  It makes me wonder about all the creatures that live in the sea!  AND, I stand in awe at the incredibly limitless creativity of the Creator’s Hand!

So what is the perfect shell?  Its size?  No blemishes?  Its unusual coloring?  Imagine finding a huge conch shell, completely intact, beautifully colored—just sitting there on the sand, waiting for you to pick it up!  How did it get there? Where did it come from?

Well, I’m no expert, but I do know that some sea creature gave up his home to give me that shell!  Perhaps he did his part in the food chain!  Then the current brought the shell to shore.  Tossed over and over again on the ocean floor, it finally reached the end of its journey—amazingly, in one piece!  What a rare find!

When that shell comes crashing down upon a rock by the force of water, it may break.  We look at brokenness as a good thing and it is; however, it is the refined character that has been developed because of the God-given trials which becomes the rare treasure.

For a large shell to make it to shore in one piece is even more incredible.  Year after year, the shell grows, housing its creature and avoiding any life-threatening crashes or the appetite of another sea creature.  Then, for whatever the reason, the life is gone and the shell goes tumbling.

As a new member of the senior saints’ group, may I share an observation? Old age is not for wimps; in fact, we need to be preparing for our senior years all through life.  I once read that a cantankerous young person will be a very cantankerous old person!  Sadly, I often watch as older saints grumble and growl out their discontentment with this present evil world, wishing for the old days.  I’ve even witnessed dear saints of God giving up on their churches and pastors over problems which they could have possibly rectified.  I’m not talking about giving up doctrine or compromising, I’m talking about unsanctified reactions, and our age does not matter when we consider the following list in Proverbs 16:

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

  1. A proud look – pride often reveals its ugly head as we grow older, especially if we’ve lived a lifetime taking the credit for those accomplishments which God has allowed us to have.
  2. A lying tongue – even the smallest falsehood is hateful to God, including the lies we tell ourselves.
  3. And hands that shed innocent blood – character assassination happens all the time!
  4. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations – yikes! Just because we’re older and living in an empty nest does not give us the right to lower the standard for our eye-gate, which will in turn show up in our imaginations.  Too often, our standard is set because of our children and not because of the desire to have ” a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” (Acts 24:16)
  5. Feet that be swift in running to mischief – gossip? Our feet may not be as fast as they used to be, but our tongues never slow down!
  6. A false witness that speaketh lies – As a pastor’s wife, I’ve been amazed at the things that have been said against my husband, and I KNOW that the speaker is convinced that it is true.  It’s that much sadder to me when it comes from an older saint who should have sown a more discerning character.
  7. He that soweth discord among brethren. This admonition is a constant reminder for me to keep my words kind. Couple them with Philippians 4:8, and you have a stage for successful speech at any age!

A rare shell – one that has withstood the tests of the sea and came to shore in one piece!

A rare find – a Christian who has withstood the tests of time and comes to that celestial shore with no regrets!

…just think of stepping on the shore and find heaven,

of touching a hand and finding it God’s,

of breathing new air and finding it celestial,

of waking up in glory and finding it home.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10

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WOW! Look What God Did for Me

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Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20

I know many of you don’t really know me, and this article isn’t about me; however, in praising my God, I’d like to give you a glimpse of who I am and how my heart and mind works! We are on vacation, which hasn’t really happened in two years due to recitals and graduations and weddings. (My husband would remind me that we were away from home, and that’s a vacation; but I would remind him of the scheduled events and the harried pace we were keeping—not a vacation mode!) This vacation at Myrtle Beach was directed by our son and his wife’s residence in Columbia, SC. After their departure from PA in July, mama-bear was ready to see her baby cub!

As usual, I did the preliminary hunting for a place and was pleasantly surprised at the prices and selection having never been here before. Sixty miles of beach–WOW! So, we booked a place and for the first time since our honeymoon, dear hubby and I are alone for FIVE nights! And although we think of our children and grandchildren often—thinking about how much they would love this—Tom still has me to squeal with delight and act like a kid! I’m loving life!

Our room was very nice. It had a few issues, but it was clean and comfortable, and the people were wonderful; however, when our TV died and the DVD player didn’t work, we were a bit disappointed. We wouldn’t normally watch a lot of TV, but it has rained for three days straight! When the technician couldn’t get the new DVD player to work, a call came from the desk: Sorry for the inconvenience; would we rather a discount and no TV, or an upgrade? We took the upgrade, and I’m now sitting in a beautiful room with full length windows on two sides of the living room, a balcony off the bedroom, and another balcony off the dining area overlooking the pool, whirlpool, and lazy river!

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!!!

I just want to praise our awesome God for turning a very minor inconvenience into a beautiful blessing! Isn’t it often the case: The trials, albeit small, start stacking up, and like the “little foxes that spoil the vines” (Song of Solomon 2:15), they slowly try to steal our joy. The temptation is to pout and complain. Why all the rain, God? You could make the sun shine? We haven’t seen the sunrise yet, Lord! You know how much we love to enjoy the ocean! We serve You faithfully all year long—two years long! Who ever heard of three straight days of rain in South Carolina? Don’t we deserve sunshine?
The answer is, “NO!” We don’t deserve anything but hell! That may sound a bit harsh, but it is true. We get so focused on our little piece of the world, that we forget how big and awesome and perfect and all-knowing and all-loving our God is. He knows just what we need: three (actually, it looks like it may be four!) days of rain! Is He testing our patience? Probably. Does He want to see how we’ll react? He already knows! He wants us to see how we will react!!! I’d like to say that we haven’t been disappointed, but that wouldn’t be true. Spoiled brats!  I just want to praise Him for His PERFECT way!

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
2 Samuel 22:31,33