Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 ~ Live Loved, Perfectly Loved

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."
Jeremiah 31:3

As each new year peaks over the horizon, I begin to look for a new devotional book.  It's always exciting to wait patiently and choose just the right one for the new year.  Whether a classic devotional I have never read before, or a fresh one by a trusted author, I prayerfully search for my new traveling companion.  On my journey of walking with the Lord, a good devotional is a deeply meaningful accompaniment to my morning time in God's Word.  It is the icing on the cake, so to speak.

I found 2012's devotional several weeks ago in my church's bookstore:  Max Lucado's "Live Loved ~ Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life".  Great title, trusted author, grounded on a God's Word.  I am SO looking forward to begin reading it tomorrow morning.

This devotional served as a Christmas gift for a few of my girlfriends, and one of my girlfriends called me in sweet tears the other day saying how God had ministered to her through the first few devotions already.  Our God is so good to faithfully meet us as we seek Him.  Thank you, Jesus!

"As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;  
He is a shield to all who trust in Him." 
Psalm 18:30

What devotional do you have cued up for 2012?  Do tell!  I love to hear recommendations on devotionals!

Truly wishing your the most blessed of years as you walk closely with Jesus! 

"But whoever keeps His word,
truly the love of God is perfected in him.
By this we know that we are in Him."

1 John 2:5

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christ ~ First and Forever

"And they began to be merry."
Luke 15:24

This is our 2011 Christmas card and our annual Christmas letter.
Praying that as you and we are enjoying full December days as we celebrate our Savior's birth, that we are preparing and leaving room for Him in our hearts....first and forever.

Sloan Family Highlights 2011

We love the most wonderful time of the year as we celebrate our Savior’s birth and stay in special touch with family and friends! We look forward to hearing from you and the happenings in your life! ♥ Our year was full with His blessings and also opportunities to grow and trust in the Lord. We are grateful for both. Honoring God as a family and living for an “audience of One” keeps our hearts anchored in His truth.

♥ Jim won a golf trip to historic St. Andrew’s in Scotland. He and his dad traveled there and to London in October and had an amazing time. Jim has had an extremely intense year at work, so this trip was a perfect breath of fresh air for him. Jim continues to wholeheartedly serve the Lord in Children’s Ministry Sports and Marriage Ministry Bible studies. Jim is the steady, God-seeking leader and anchor of our home and hearts.  He loves God's truth and makes it our family's foundation.  We love are so thankful to the Lord for him.

♥ I am grateful for the simple blessings of marriage, motherhood, family, ministry and faithful girlfriends. I am thankful for my precious husband and children who see my many weaknesses and yet love me with deep devotion. I cherish and will forever be a student of God’s Word. I am humbled to continue to serve on the editing team for my favorite Christian women’s magazine. I was also honored to serve on the editing team for a new women’s devotional Bible being released in 2012. Still writing a bit myself through my blogs, sharing how God is working in our lives is my heart’s passion.

Joshua & Gabrielle – Our Willows by The Watercourses
“I will pour My Spirit on your descendants
and My blessing on your offspring;
they will spring up among the grass
like willows by the watercourses.” (Isaiah 44:3-4)

♥Joshua is a 6th grader at CCA. He turned 11 in July, and we surprised him with a day in New York City with his dear buddy and their family. We had lunch at The Stardust Diner, where Joshua was serenaded by Broadway hopefuls, and we saw the fabulous Broadway show “Wicked”. Joshua loves being able to participate in middle school sports for CCA this year and especially enjoys football and basketball. You will usually find Joshua shooting hoops or passing the football with friends. Joshua sings in the school choir and he was invited to sing in a special ensemble song for the Christmas concert. He is attending the junior high youth group “LJ3”where he gleans from the Bible studies and enjoys fellowship with friends. Along with Gabrielle, he completed five levels of swimming and earned a special reward from Dad. Joshua loves to golf and even beat his Daddy and Pop Pop this year (shhh!).  Joshua’s heart is a wonderful blend of dedication, respect, love, strength and gentleness. We love and respect our Joshua, a fine young man who desires to honor God and us. “His God instructs him.” Isaiah 28:26

♥Gabrielle is in 4th grade at CCA and is enjoying the privilege of joining choir and band. She loves learning the flute, and we are serenaded throughout our evenings as she practices. She worships the Lord through liturgical dance at school. Gabrielle is happily kicking up her Irish dancing feet, and our pretty Irish Lassie marched in her first Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade. She also competed in her first Oireachtas, where her team placed 4th, and in three dances in her first Irish Feis where she earned two firsts and a second place. Gabrielle’s got game as she plays basketball as well. Now in her seventh year, Gabrielle is completing her last season of Awana Kids Club where she studies God’s Word. Gabrielle is an excellent steward over the gifts God has given her. She loves her friends and has a heart for orphans and those who need to hear the Gospel. Gabrielle loves little children, and she is humbly honored to serve the Lord leading children in worship on Sundays in Children’s Ministry.  We love and admire our lovely young lady. “You have set your heart on seeking God.” 2 Chr. 19:3

“All this comes from the Lord Almighty,
wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29

We wish you and yours the Merriest Christmas
and the most blessed New Year.
May the grace and peace of our Savior be with you.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Am A Meteorologist-Wanna-Be!

"He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from His storehouses."
Psalm 135:7

"Oh my stars!!!  I am on the Action News AccuWeather set!!!!"

Since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by weather.  I loved sitting on my front porch and watching the rain. In the peacefulness of the raindrops, I would wonder about our Creator. 

Clouds amazed me.  Once when I was doing a science project on different types of cloud formations, my dad took me up in his small airplane and we took beautiful pictures of the clouds from above and below them.  I still have that project.  I loved it.

Meteorology was the only science class I really enjoyed...and excelled in. Science and I don't have a good relationship in general, but meteorology came naturally to me.  I remember even explaining something to my meteorology teacher once that he didn't understand.  This is notable...I am not science savvy! 

The 7-Day forecast is my favorite part of the nightly local news broadcast. When I fold laundry or am working around the house, if I don't have the worship channel on, I have The Weather Channel on.  Weather excites and interests me.  I know, kind of nerdy, huh?  I am completely content being a weather geek!

Last week at this time, I had a dream come true!!!  A weather-and-news-combined dream come true!!!  My dear girlfriend Heather arranged for me and her to visit the Action News studios (Channel 6 here in Philly)!!!!!  I totally heart Action News and am a loyal viewer.  I feel like they are my family!  (I know, there's my nerdy side again!)  I was over the moon with excitement!

Heather prayerfully planned this special date for us, and...Wow!!  Such fun!!!!  Heather's uncle has worked at Action News for decades, and he happily welcomed us and gave us a great tour!  We even got to sit in on a live news broadcast!!!! 

This is all still sinking in, honestly.  But I wanted to share some pictures of one of the funnest nights of my life!

Heather and Me at the news desk!!! 

Heather's Uncle Herb ~ We love you Uncle Herb! 

The one and only news anchor Jim Gardner, me and Jeff Skversky (sports).
They were so kind and graciously chatted with us and posed for pictures. 

Adam Joseph -- METEOROLOGIST!!!!!!! 
(Maybe he will hire me as his assistant!!!)

What do you think??? 

There's that news van again!!

I am still giddy over this amazing evening with my girlfriend Heather...a week ago at this time!!!  I am so thankful to the Lord for this unique and oh-so-memorable blessing!  I am humbled by His goodness, Heather's thoughtfulness and kindness and Uncle Herb's gracious willingness!!  Thank you!

I couldn't let another day pass without sharing this on Joy In The Truth.  My posts have been less frequent than I would like lately, but I just had to record this huge slice of happiness and gratitude here. 

Thank you, Heather!!!  I am forever grateful and humbled.  Oh, and when can we go back????  Big smile.

"It is pleasant to see dreams come true..."
Proverbs 13:19