Niagara Falls

Wowed Once again – Niagara Falls

If you haven’t been to Niagara Falls yet you need to be sure to add this one to your bucket list!

I can’t even begin to explain the beauty and power that I could see and feel in this place and all I can say is, “WOW! God sure did an amazing job on this one!”

Check out these video’s I took

The United States view:

The Canada view:

Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I took –

These pictures don’t even compare to actually being there.

Of all of the places I’ve been to so far, Niagara Falls is at the top of my list in the beauty and power category, so if you can go there – then go! 🙂

 

The Time I was Given Salvation, but Decided to Give it Back

 

I never went to church as a child or adult other than occasional visits. When I was in my late 20’s I had been attending a church for a few months and one day I found myself walking down the aisle during a church service because I had just given my life to Jesus. I didn’t really understand the whole, ‘give your life to Jesus’ thing other than I knew that I had just been ‘saved’ and I was excited and happy about it!

Shortly after I was saved I was informed that because I was now saved, I could also become a member of the church. I hadn’t even realized until that moment that I wasn’t already a ‘member’ of the church.  I also soon found out that but there was a catch to being a member of the church.

To be a member of the church I had to be baptized.

I was still pretty new to all of this, and getting dunked underwater in front of everyone seemed horrifying to me. I really wanted to be a member of the church but did NOT want to get baptized!

And to make matters worse someone told me that if I didn’t get baptized then I couldn’t get into heaven!

Being saved by Jesus had somehow now turned into me freaking out about church membership, baptisms, and getting into Heaven.  None of this stuff had even been on my mind when I had asked Jesus to come into my life.

If this was what being saved felt like, I didn’t want to be saved anymore. I had felt a whole lot safer before the whole saving ordeal had happened!

Oh and also now added to the pot was this — my 7-year-old daughter had also been saved in Sunday school and she was scheduled to get baptized with me. The pressure was on and there was no way I could back out!

So the baptism happened and the joy I had felt at the beginning about being saved by Jesus was now lost under a huge weight.

Not only was the robe they made me wear to be baptized in heavy material that when wet made me feel as if I were coming out of the water with a couple of bags of rocks attached to my back.  But it added to the fact that I now felt weighed down with the overwhelming task I had in front of me to keep it together. I felt like a fake and knew I had to be good so as not disappoint God or anyone in the church.

After I was baptized I barely went church anymore. I felt like a huge failure and I eventually walked completely away from church.

The worst thing of all is that I also walked away from God. I felt like somehow I had been part of some crazy bate and switch scam and I decided that God wasn’t real.

I stayed that way many years but then I saw my father-in-law die and that was the day I met the real Jesus once again.

As my father-in-law took his last breath his face suddenly became peaceful, I can never begin to explain what happened, except that God let me see my father-in-law as he was entering his new home in heaven and the peace surrounding him felt as if it were surrounding me. There was this overwhelming feeling of peace and love and it felt like it was all put there just for me to grab hold of.  I remember going home that night with the loss of a loved one, yet I felt like I had gained something huge I knew at that moment that God was real and that He truly loved ME! Unconditionally.

I had been told by well-meaning Christians my whole life that I should go to church and somehow I had grasped on to the idea that if I didn’t go to church I wasn’t good enough for God.  I also thought I had to be good when just being who I was was good enough.

A hospital room at one of the darkest times of my life is where Jesus came and got me. For no other reason than because, He loved me… just as I was. There wasn’t a church building or baptism required to be a member of his family and the only strings attached were for me to believe in him and come into his arms.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Being saved by Jesus means that Jesus loves me so much that he gave up his life for me so I don’t have to be perfect.

The gift of Salvation is a God’s gift to ALL of us.

His gift is for any of us to take no matter who we are or where we are in life. It doesn’t have to be opened in a church building and we don’t have to be a member of anything to receive it. Once we accept it we are part of the family and will live in Heaven with him one day

I did eventually find a church that I now call my church home and I did even get re-baptized when I felt led by Jesus to do it not because I was forced to do it.

I love Jesus and the family of believers he has placed in my life and it’s good to have those people in my life because they help make that connection to Him even stronger. We worship together and learn about him together. We even help lift each other up in our times of struggle. So a church family is a good thing to have.

I did not share this story to condemn any church or denomination,  I shared it because I have met up with several people now who have had this same experience as me. I want others who read this to know that no matter who you are or where you are at you can come to Jesus just because He loves you and wants YOU right where you are.

If you already have accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation that is awesome! If you want to share it with others and you are attaching strings to it, please stop doing that!

‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’ John 3:17

 

I Still See

Hey all,

Can you believe it’s already Monday again?!!!

The older I get the faster time seems to fly by.

Speaking of time flying by, sometimes I think its good to slow down not only during the moments we have right now but also to slow down and take a look back at how far we have come.  I find it amazing at how things that once were hard have actually helped me to become the more secure in who I am today.   Today before I share the song I want to share something I wrote in August of 2014.

Before we get started here is a little background on what was going on the day I wrote it –  I was on vacation in Mexico and had suddenly discovered a black hole directly in the center of my vision in one of my eyes.  At that time I also already had a blind spot in my other eye that hadn’t been very noticeable with both eyes open. Now with blindness in both eyes, I was in a full-blown panic.  I was laying in a beach chair beside the ocean, real live storm clouds looming over the water but a larger storm was going on inside my mind.  I could not bear to open my eyes because I didn’t want to see the blind spots. In the middle of it all God spoke peace to me.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the peace of God and how he can totally give peace in the middle of some of our hardest moments in life.  This was one of my hardest moments and God made it peaceful.  Sometimes in life we really can’t do anything about our situation except give it to God.

Okay so much for sharing an old blog post I seem to not be able to stop typing and it now looks as if I am writing a new one…

Here is the post form Aug. 2014…

I Still See

 

20140829_130352

The wind is raging, storm clouds looming over the waves and in my mind.

I see where I don’t see and it frightens me.

The waves crash the shore and inside my mind they crash my sanity.

Fear overwhelming, the roar of the ocean matching the roar in my mind

Threatening dark clouds in the distance much like the dark blur obscuring my vision of the beauty before me.

The beauty…you are so big you created this

I feel so small right now,

I know you are so much bigger than me and even more bigger than the small blur.

I feel the breeze starting to cool as the storm in the distance calms the storm that is raging inside calms too.

The blur still threatens to get in the way but you won’t let it.

Even if I can’t see… I still see YOU perfectly.

20140829_124958Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

via I Still See

Now for today’s Music Monday song

“Even if” by MercyMe

Even if what we are praying for isn’t seeming to end, our hope is still in Jesus.  He will always be there for us and with Him we can move on. Even in the middle of the storm we can always find Jesus right beside us.

Thanks so much for coming by the blog today, I hope in some way what I’ve shared can inspire you or help you to find the peace you are looking for. Jesus is the only answer I really know of for perfect peace inside and I hope if that is what you are looking for you will know him too.  If you want more info about knowing Jesus you can click -> here.

T

Music Monday – How Great Thou Art

Don’t you sometimes wish God would just talk out loud?

A few nights ago, my husband and I were supposed to volunteer for the Compassion table at The Roadshow concert.  But I was thinking about not going.

I  am 3 weeks post surgery and I’m not supposed to be standing for long periods of time plus I feel pretty wiped out every night by evening. Add to that it had been a dreary cloudy day and they were calling for a lot of rain that would make driving an hour and a half to and from the concert miserable.

I decided to tell my husband about my thoughts on not going but before I could speak he said, “I sure am looking forward to going to the concert tonight!”

So you guessed it, I kept my thoughts to myself and we went to the concert.

Upon arriving we were met by a lot of our friends we’ve made over the years who also work these events and suddenly I was happy to be there.

We then had training and prayer and we were soon off to our assigned table… A table on the floor inside the concert. Most people only visit the table during intermission so that means we pretty much got to watch the whole concert in what I would consider some of the best seats in the house!

Now I want to get off subject for just a minute…. Hopefully, this will all come together and make sense soon.

For quite some time now I have this odd feeling that God is stripping me down bringing me back to the basics. I’ve been a little mixed up about why when I follow His lead things don’t go like I thought they would go.

Now add this – Volunteering with Compassion has always been something I feel very passionate about but for about a year God had been leading me in a different direction which felt strange to me. And then this past December I started feeling Him pulling me back toward Compassion.

Add to that the story about my blog I told you a few days ago and it’s a recipe for confusion

Now back to the concert…

I am sitting there watching the concert (they gave me a chair! Yay!), Natalie Grant comes on stage with a powerful message about wanting Jesus more than anything and then she sings the song ‘More than Anything.’  The words go – Help me want the Healer More than the healing, Help me want the Savior, More than the saving, Help me want the Giver, More than the giving, Oh help me want You Jesus.

I had never heard that song until that moment… Add this to the stuff I wrote earlier- A lot has been going on in my life for what seems like a really long time from all sides of life. I keep living my life for Jesus yet bad stuff just keeps happening and there is really nothing I can do about any of it except keep praying and stay close to Jesus.

Which I do do.

Natalie sang more songs all of which had God speaking to me through them and then she started singing ‘How Great Thou Art’ and I started to sing along.  I could totally feel God speaking to me about what I am supposed to do…the writing, Compassion… the junk in my life.

At that moment I was laying it all down and then I said to him,God, it would be so much easier if you would just speak out loud to me,” and I heard Him in my mind say, “It’s time to get to work and get some kids sponsored” and then at the same exact time I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard the words “it’s time to get back work and get some kids sponsored” coming out of my husbands mouth.

!!!!!!!!

I was suddenly jarred back into the room… strangely I never really realized that I had totally forgotten the rest of the people there.  For in the previous moments it had only been me and God.  The lights were coming on now and people were coming up to the table to sponsor kids.  I looked across the table and saw a woman who I had been talking to at the beginning of the concert who had been unsure about sponsoring as a child, she was now turning in a packet because she was sponsoring!!

I knew without a doubt this was where I was supposed to be.  I can’t even begin to explain the peace that washed over me.

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

How Great God is!

Since my surgery, I haven’t been to a church service in 3 weeks. I was sick for 2 Sundays and then church was canceled another Sunday because of snow.

Today it felt so good to get to church and imagine my surprise (not) when we sang “How Great Thou Art

Happy Music Monday to you!

What song has moved you recently? Share it in the comments or on your blog and then link in the comments.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me

He loves ME

ME

JESUS loves ME

JESUS LOVES ME!

Now you say it

Jesus loves me

Now believe it

Jesus loves ME

Say it again

Jesus loves ME

And again

Jesus loves ME

And again

JESUS LOVES ME

HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME!

Now keep that thought in your head because its TRUE

JESUS LOVES YOU ❤

Turn Signals are Optional

So yesterday on our way to church my husband was driving and we had a police car not too far behind us. In this area of town, the speed limit is so low that it is easy to accidentally go over. I then ‘reminded’ my husband of the low-speed limit and of the police car behind us, just as he suddenly switched lanes without using his turn signal.

I sarcastically added to my reminder the words, ‘Oh wonderful! While you are getting your speeding ticket the policeman can go ahead and add another ticket for changing lanes without signaling!”

My husband then informed me that when nobody was driving close to him that a turn signal was ‘optional’.

We then continued to ‘discuss’ (argue) about who was right or wrong on this matter. A couple of minutes later the signaling discussion was over and we passed a church. As we drove by I said, “wouldn’t it be nice if our church was this close to our house?” and then added, “but that is one church I will never go to,” and then we began talking about the beliefs of that churches denomination and how they followed a bunch of rules that were not actually in the bible. I then said something to the effect of I did not want to go to a church where I could not just be who I am.

Fast forward – We get to church, and the message is titled… ‘Judging Others’… I’m sure you can guess where this story is going… 😊

The Pastor starts right off with a joke about signaling when changing lanes while driving a car and something about signaling being optional. He then moves right into talking about how people who don’t go to a church will sometimes say they won’t come to this church or that church because of they think they are full hypocrites.

He wasn’t even into the message 2 minutes and my husband was elbowing me whispering, “what are the chances of that?”

The scripture used that day was John 8:1-11 – the one about the woman caught in adultery and how the teachers and Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus into saying something they could use against him. But instead of answering Jesus just wrote in the dust and then he said, “he who has never sinned may cast the first stone”. And then instead of stoning her everyone then turned and walked away. The pastor said one thing this made him think about how when someone asks us a question we are not obligated to answer and the next thing I know I am getting elbowed by my husband again because I am always accusing my husband of not directly answering my questions when he knows the answer will get him into hot water with me. I soon found myself whispering to my husband “You are just like Jesus!” my husband said “thankyou” and we both started laughing.

Enough said…

My lesson was learned big time today and God has a really great sense of humor too.

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all have a great week!

Oh and before you leave check out this song by Lauren Daigle about the woman from John 8:1-11.

How God Sent Me a Message in a Pile of Yuk

terrisiebert.com

Warning… This post is kind of weird and maybe a little yukky…

A couple of weeks ago I was standing at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth when suddenly I heard this gurgling noise coming from the toilet.

It didn’t sound like a good sound and as I lifted to lid to investigate I realized that I was correct. The water in the bowl was bubbling and rising quickly to the top.  I turned off the faucet at the sink but the toilet continued to bubble up. I ran for a plunger and began yelling for my husband to come help save the bathroom from what I knew was most likely going to be a flood.

We were able to save the bathroom but after a lot of effort to unclog it, my husband realized that it was not gonna happen so he was going to have to call a plumber. Later that day the plumber came and spent 2 hours at our house unclogging the pipes.

Fast forward to today….

I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth when….

You guessed it! REPEAT of two weeks ago happened again!

Seriously??   I have been brushing my teeth all my life and have never seen a sink cause a toilet to overflow!…and now this was 2 times in 2 weeks!

My Husband came to the rescue again

He tried everything AGAIN

Nothing worked AGAIN

He called the Plumber AGAIN

But this time the plumber’s magic plumbing tools didn’t work. After about 2 hours of slinging nasty water all over my bathroom and hallway, the plumber said he couldn’t fix it and said he was going to have to call his boss who I guess must be his plumber…???

BTW who do plumbers call when they need a plumber??

Later that day the boss plumber came with some fancy water-jet-blaster-truck which sprayed from the outside of the house in…Ya… this story just keeps getting messier and messier! By the time he was finished I had to declare the bathroom as a hazardous waste contamination area (just my sarcasm but it sure felt like it) and there was a lovely pile of what looked like brown paper mache’ all over the basement floor. Gag… barf…  😦

That may sound like the worst of it but nope… the worst news of all is that the boss plumber put a camera in our pipes to see if he could find the problem and it was a big one. We live in a very old house and the verdict is that the pipes in our house are so old that they have disintegrated in places causing nothing to be able to get through.

Ugh! This was really ‘crappy’ news. But the good news was that he was able to unclog pipes BUT unfortunately, it is only a matter of time until they are clogged again so we have to replace them ASAP.

Oddly during all this, my husband who is the one who usually gets upset about this sort of thing seemed really calm …. but me on the other hand, the one who is usually calm about this sort of thing, started worrying about all the what-ifs and the cost of fixing it.

The night of the clog I had a class at church and then the next day I had to work so my husband was the one who had to clean up most of the mess. While I was at work I kept thinking about the mess in the house and starting to self-doubt as to if we are doing the right thing by moving here… etc.. etc… etc…

I should have known I have nothing to worry about now here’s the good part of the story –

When I arrived home my husband met me outside with a huge grin on his face and said, “look at what I found while sweeping up in the basement?” Then he placed a silver ring in my hand.

I recognized it! This was my ring I had lost 7 years ago!

The story of the ring – The house we live in used to belong to my husband’s parents and not long before his mother passed away I lost my ring at her house. I thought I had lost it in the bathroom but I had searched every inch of it and never find it. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it must have dropped down the drain or into the toilet.  Now 7 years later my husband had found it in that mountain of yuk in the basement.

This may not sound like such a big deal to most people but to me, this is huge… and not like you would think. This is not an expensive ring but what was written on it was worth more to me than you can imagine.

It’s a twisted band and there is a message engraved on it. – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

My husband and I had prayed a whole lot about the move to this house before we did it.  We both knew that moving here was what God wanted us to do.  It has been a lot of work getting here but also at the same time it has been fun and very rewarding to see how things have been coming out. We’ve had a few unexpected problems along the way but each one has turned out great and we really love living here. This house has felt like home to both of us since the moment we moved in.

I know that this life we are living is God’s plan and sometimes its hard to see the outcome of his plan when you are right in the middle of it.  But now (thanks to the reminder) I remember that as long this is God’s plan it will turn out good… because God is really really good ❤

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

I’m Warrior, How About You? – Music Monday

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately but have been struggling to find the words to write about it so instead, I have remained silent. Today I have decided that I just can’t keep silent anymore and will let the words flow as they may… no corrections will be made so please forgive the typing errors.  Also – If you are alive and breathing then you’ve most likely seen or heard what I am getting ready to talk about and I have no idea what side of this you are on but hopefully you know me enough that what I write here comes from my heart and is said with love and that I am not trying to stir the pot in a bad way at all. Only love lives here on this blog ❤

Here goes….

Lately, the world seems to have gone a little crazy…make that a LOT crazy! People seem are so divided on everything and I’m really quite sick of it. Everywhere I turn I see people hurting others and making hate-filled comments on social media about everything you could ever imagine! I won’t bother listing them all here because I am sure you have already heard them all too.  If you can name it then I am pretty sure someone will most likely have a problem with it and say something negative.

Lately, it also seems like everyone is right… (according to themselves) And everyone who they think is wrong needs to be told publically about it in a mean way.

Am I right?… Or maybe I am wrong…

Does it really matter who is right or wrong?  We all have an opinion and we have a right to have that opinion, but is it really necessary to voice that opinion against one another all of the time?

What if we all just opened up our eyes one day and actually tried to really see the people we are around day in and day out as a fellow human being and then we just went ahead and loved them for who they are… no matter what they believe?!

Right now I have about 20 close people I know who are going through some very serious things in their lives. For them, there is a war going on right now and to them, it’s not against another person and it’s not about who’s right or wrong.  They have bigger fish to fry than that! So many are fighting very serious things right now, like the loss of a loved one, illnesses, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, seriously… I could list things forever and never end this list!  I’m sure you probably have a few of your own things that you could to add.

The struggle is real! and we all really need one another right now!

God didn’t put us here to go through things alone and he especially didn’t put us here to fight against each other!

What if we all just made the decision to become warriors FOR everyone else instead of only for our own agenda?

I’m not sure if today’s song goes with what I wrote today or not, but I really love this song and feel like no matter who we are…we all are… or we will be… warriors at one time or another in our lives. We all have struggles that we have to battle every single day.  I know I have been a warrior myself and hope I can say I am for others … No matter how hard we try there is always room for improvement.

Sooooo…..What do ya say, can we all be warriors for the same Team?

Let’s all give LOVE a try!

Here is the song, I hope you enjoy it and it makes you want to join me! – Warrior by Hannah Kerr

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Terri Siebert

 

 

Eyes on Jesus and Another Music Monday

Hey there! It’s been a really long time since I’ve been here on the blog. In May my husband and I went on a cruise and we came home tossing around the idea of selling our home and moving into a home that we have been renting out since 2011.  We prayed about it and the next thing I knew we were caught iin a whirlwind of excitement. Our summer was spent cleaning up and restoring the home we were moving into and then moving. We have been in our new home for about 5 weeks now and we are just now about finished unpacking. YAY!

Anyway…I didn’t come here today to talk about the move, what I really came here for is to share a song with you.  -> Turn My Eyes by Bonray.

Yesterday in my pastor’s sermon he spoke about how different symbols or things bring back memories of things our lives. That got me thinking about a tiny blind spot that I have in my eye. Its been there for about 5 years now and I never really notice it too much, but during the times that I do notice I’m always reminded of the time that I lost my vision in that eye. It was a very frightening time for me and the only way I could have peace was to keep my eyes firmly on Jesus. I didn’t realize it at the time but now looking back I know that it was during that time I learned just how much Jesus loves me. He was with me every step of the way and I know now that he is here to stay. All I have to do is keep my eyes on him.

There is a whole lot more to the story and if you have been a reader of this blog for a while then you have heard the story before, so no need to repeat.  If you haven’t heard it then you can head to the archives and find it all there.

I hope you enjoyed the song and that you have a wonderful week.

Oh and one more thing before I go… Did you know that Jesus loves you and that if you are looking for peace all you have to do is call on him and he will give it to you?

It’s true.

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert

Music Monday – Breathe

Hi everyone!

Happy Monday and Happy Spring! Wow, can you believe it’s already Spring?! Since my winter of surgeries and recovery, it seems like the time has been flying by!

Now that I’ve healed I am out and about and doing things again that I hadn’t been able to enjoy in a while. A few weeks ago my husband and I went on a short hike and just the other day we spent some time down at the River which was fun and also very relaxing.

We also volunteered at a few Compassion events which are always fun but now even more fun because I can stand behind the table the whole night if needed!

Two of my grandsons are old enough now to play sports. They played basketball at the beginning of the year and now they’ve just started playing baseball. I absolutely love going to their games and watching them play!

Later today I am going shopping and taking my granddaughter to dance class. The cool thing about this is not only do I get to spend time with my amazing granddaughter but now I am also able to walk through stores and actually spend as much time as I want shopping instead hurrying to get out because it hurts to be there….though now that I think about it taking time in the store may not be such a good thing after all because more time spent in the store means more time to see things I probably don’t need and to spend more money I probably don’t need to spend 😀

Speaking of shopping, I remember when I used to hate long checkout lines!  Now I am finding myself standing in long lines doing a happy dance in my head and thanking God for the miracle of my wonderfully awesome and amazing new knees that I can stand on forever and ever and ever! It seems as if my whole perspective on the inconvenience of waiting has changed. I used to hate to wait in line because it hurt to stand but now when I have to wait it gives me time to relax and reflect on where I’ve been and to thank God for all he has done.

This past season of my life has shown me that sometimes even the hard stuff can be a gift and that slowing down and resting is important. Before arthritis wrecked my knees I used to feel like I had to jam pack something into every minute of every day. After being forced to slow down  I realize it’s more about the quality of what I do with the time I’ve been given and who I spend that time with that matters most. I’ve learned to say no, I’ve learned to get rid of those things that were not part of God’s plan and enjoy the things that are.

Today’s Music Monday song Breathe by Jonny Diaz is a good one and also a great reminder of taking some time each day to slow down, relax in God’s love, and just breathe.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Have a great week!
Terri Siebert