"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
March 11, 2020
Our very first newsletter was published on March 12, 2007!! I cannot believe that Jon and I have faithfully been writing and publishing these weekly devotionals for 13 years now; and have never missed a week. This is our 679th newsletter. Even when we've traveled overseas, had deaths in the family, and other circumstances going on...... we have always figured out a way to make sure we never missed writing or publishing a weekly publication.
We pray that people are still reading what we write and are being blessed by our devotionals.
In honor of our 13th anniversary, I'm going to do a throwback and publish the very first devotional I wrote for our newsletter. The message is still relevant, so read and enjoy. May we all be reminded that God doesn't always answer prayer in the same way, so when we don't think He's answering, perhaps we're looking in the wrong direction.
Have you ever prayed for something, then find out that the answer was there all the time, only you were looking in the wrong direction?
Jon and I stayed at a cottage in Eureka Springs for our honeymoon. There was a deck on back of the cottage with hummingbird feeders. We would sit outside and watch the hummingbird's flock to those feeders, and became fascinated with them.
Last spring, we decided to hang out a couple of feeders and see if any hummingbirds would start coming to our back yard. We hung the feeders from a redbud tree, and after a couple of weeks we finally saw one. We were so excited and would sit outside on the swing, on our back porch, to watch for it. After coming two or three times, it seemingly left our yard.
We began praying that God would bring the hummingbird back to our feeders so we could see it again. Day after day, we waited and didn't see anything.
We had planted a garden directly behind our home that extended from our porch to just passed the end of the house. On the backside of our garden, we planted some Canna flowers.
One evening we were sitting outside watching for the hummingbird and admiring our garden. This was the first garden we planted together, so we were pretty proud of our handiwork, and would literally check it two or three times a day for growth.
Jon happened to glance over, and saw that a hummingbird was drinking nectar from our Canna's. We had not even thought to check to see if the hummingbird was coming to another spot in our yard, because we had put the feeder up in the redbud tree, especially for them, and thought that was where they should be going. After all, that's where it came before.
Many times when we pray, we figure out ahead of time how we think God is going to answer. It may be that that's how he answered before, so we assume that's what He'll do again. But God may have something totally different planned than what we expect.
By summer's end, we had at least five different hummingbird's that came to our yard. We had to learn to look for them. We moved one of the feeder's from the redbud to our back porch. The hummingbird's came to both feeders, our Canna's, and the honeysuckle we planted on our back fence.
Some may think that praying for something as small as asking for hummingbird's to come to your yard is a waste of God's time. I have learned that if I can't trust God to answer my small request, then I struggle when I have to believe Him for something big. I believe that God is concerned in all things regarding my life.
When Jon and I were dating, his dad gave me a pearl necklace for Christmas. He thinks that all ladies should own a pearl necklace, and as a special gift just from him, he had bought the other women in the family one in previous years. As a gift from both of Jon's parents, they had also bought me a pair of pearl earrings.
One Sunday evening I had come over to his parents' house after church and when I got ready to leave, he noticed that I was missing an earring. I knew that I had it when I had left the house for church. We searched the floor, the furniture, under the cushions, everywhere we could think of to look. That earring was nowhere to be found. I didn't want to tell my future in-laws that I had lost one of the pearl earrings they had given me. I made Jon promise not to tell them that I had lost it.
I desperately prayed that it would be found. The next morning when I got up, there in the middle of my bedroom floor was that earring. I have no idea how it got there. I don't know if it had fallen out and got caught on the sweater I was wearing, if God found it and placed it there, or what happened. Figuring out how it got there is not important. What is important, is that I prayed and believed God that He would answer, and He did.
Whatever you may be praying for, know that God cares about everything that concerns you, whether big or small. Be encouraged in the Lord and know that He truly does love you.
With about 7 billion people in the world today, it sometimes feels hard to understand how God can focus on even the biggest events in my life. But not only does He know how my life has gone, He knows how many hairs I have. He knows how many hairs each of the 7 billion people on Earth have. And He knows how many people there really are right now, how many are passing away, and how many are being born.
He doesn't just observe it like a moviegoer. He cares about it. He takes part in it. He walks with me in the hard times, laughs with me in the fun times, and sits with me when I can't go further.
I'm not honestly sure how to take all that in. Sometimes, it makes me feel incredibly humble. Other times incredibly honored. And often very confused. I know He cares, and that He works all things to the good of those who believe. But it's also hard to understand how some things are for my good. But then, I can't understand how anyone could know how many hairs I have, especially when many are too short to even show or too thin to see.
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 (12 oz) box angel hair pasta (or fettuccini)
Melt butter in skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, cream, white pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Stir often. Add the parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth. When sauce has thickened, add the mozzarella cheese and stir frequently.
While the sauce cooks, boil noodles for 3-5 noodles. Place pasta on serving place and spoon sauce over pasta. (I generally stir the sauce in with the noodles before serving.)
NOTE: You can add shrimp to this, which is delicious. If you do, at the beginning, cook the shrimp in the butter/olive oil mixture. Remove from pan when lightly browned; then cook the sauce in that same skillet. When sauce is done, add shrimp back in to reheat. I generally add at least 3 cups of heavy cream to make extra sauce.
The 5th anniversary is approaching of my niece and her husband adopting two of their daughters. Recently, she had a conversation with the two girls about that.
Janee': Do you know what March 26th is?
Jaycee (age 13): Adoption Day?
Janee': Yep! How many years?
Janee': Yep! It's been five years since we said yes to you, and you said yes to us.
Jemma (age 9 -- and a little stinker): Five years ago I was too young to know what I was saying yes to! (LOL)
Spoken like a true member of the family! Our family has truly been blessed by having these two precious girls in it!!
Don't take mirrors seriously. Your true reflection is in your heart. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon