Saturday, June 8, 2013

What I've learned from hot rods

The men of Heart of a Craftsman have been busy again ministering to boys from the Tulsa Boys Home during the summer hot rod camp!  I am always amazed at the ways God teaches's some things I've learned from hot  rods recently

Hot rods are shiny...we are to shine

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NIV84)

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3 NIV84)

Hot rod builders are meticulous in the details...Jesus is perfecting the details in our lives

Do you see those 3 bumps in the interior? It is a minor detail that takes time to perfect, but the builders did not overlook that detail.  I watched them working on the upholstery...they kept working until it was perfected. The welding (that most people won't even see) is very detailed and my husband works hard to get it just right.
Jesus will perfect our lives and work on the details too!  The Holy Spirit works on  those 'little things' that no one sees...He knows because He built us.  What we may think is unimportant is very important to a builder!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.... (Hebrews 12:2a NIV84)

Builders have a plan...see the finished car and keep it in mind

Heart of a crafstman builders do not give up!  Even when they are working on little sleep and it seems like the project will not get done in time, they persevere and keep the finished car in mind. 

God has a plan for our lives and He never gives up on us!

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

God is the master builder...He made us and knows us

O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:1-5, 13-16, 23, 24 NIV84

Thursday, March 28, 2013

cracking eggs?

Do you ever feel fragile?  Like an egg about to crack? 

I have the honor of serving in 'the loop' with the 4th-6th graders.  Last year about this time, Alison, one of the leaders,  had a game prepared that was fun for the kids...but it spoke to me.  Since Easter is near, she brought eggs and had each student try to crack the egg using two fingers and then try with their whole one was able to break an egg either way. 

You would think that an egg would break...if I drop one cooking it always breaks! When we had each taken a turn trying to crush the egg with our hands, we finally gave up and cracked it on something sharp in the trash can to prove that it was not a boiled egg. (Go ahead and try this know you want to!)

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We all assumed that the egg would easily we sometimes assume about ourselves (or others) that we are weak, frail, fragile.  But God's marvelous creation of the egg shell surprised us in that it wouldn't break under pressure.

He created us as to be strong and durable when we have Christ in us-the hope of glory! (See Col 1:27)  We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  2 Corinthians 4:7

We will not 'crack' or fall apart when we trust in Him to hold us together...the one who trust in Him will never be put to shame(see 1 Peter 2:6)

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together Colossians 1:17

Today, if you feel that you are cracking and falling apart because of the weight of this world...reach out to your creator!  He made you and knows what you can withstand and He will be with you (check out Isaiah 43:2).  He gives rest to the weary!

Take courage in the strength of an egg's shell and know that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  When you get tired of trying to withstand the pressure in your own strength, rely on Him- ...the weakness of God is stronger than human strength 1 Corinthians 1:25 b

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

From the mouth of babes

I always have questions. Sometimes I get answers, sometimes I don't. This morning as I was bringing some of my questions again to the Lord and seeking wisdom and understanding I was reminded of a conversation yesterday with my 5 year old.

Z enjoying the turtle at the pool
We were driving home from the pool and 'Wait and See' came on the radio prompting many questions from her. The first one almost a statement- He's not finished with me?! In that discussion somehow we got to talking about the trinity.

We've talked about it before and she's sort of just accepted the explanation I've offered (which came from her Life Kids Sunday School curriculum.) Yesterday she kept saying 'Momma I just don't understand'.

I reassured her that it's a tough topic and kept trying to explain a different way, triangle, etc but she kept asking. She finally said 'Momma I don't understand right now but when I get to heaven I will.'

Wow!!! The faith of a child. I told her she was right and recalled  1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully we see in part then we shall see in full. I told her some things we just have to trust what God says-that's faith-saying I don't understand something but I believe God's word.

Now this morning her faith has me realizing that I may not get the answers to my questions here on earth. I may not understand the verses I read about the questions I have. But I do have the hope that one day when I get to heaven I shall know fully!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I smiled when I saw our 'tomb' this morning. It is a reminder to me of the joy we will have in the morning as the girls discover that their resurrection cookie is hollow in the middle just as the grave was empty on that Sunday morning long ago!!
The thought occurred to me that Jesus' first followers would have still felt such sorrow at seeing their teacher's tomb before they knew the whole story. Their vision of it would have been one of dread-I can only imagine how discouraged they might have been. Even though Jesus talked to them several times about what was going to take place to fulfill the plan that was laid out from the beginning of time, they just didn't get it! I am so like His original followers-I wonder if you can relate?
In the midst of discouraging and desperate situations what is your perspective? Do you look around and only see half the story...see death and feel dread like the first followers may have on that Saturday? How can we learn to look past the current circumstances and believe that joy will come? BELIEVE Jesus' words:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV84)
The disciples were devastated and Mary Magdalene was crying as she approached the tomb (John 20:13). But hearing her Savior's voice made this psalm true for her!
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5b NIV84)

Even when things don't go as we have expected or hoped we can be sure that God has a good plan for us.
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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV84)
When we hunt for Easter eggs this is the verse I've shared with my girls. We will find our Hope in Jesus when we seek him with the enthusiasm of a child searching for eggs. Each promise we discover is treasure-even more valuable than their candy filled eggs.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


In the past I have thought of Lent as a "religious" observance.  This year I realized it can also be a 'relationship' observance.  So, I have been observing Lent by drawing closer to God-building the relationship by His grace...not just following rules.  My friend's husband has a great Lent workbook on his blog that goes over the basics of Lent if you've never even heard of it before.  I will be using the reading selections he suggests.  I will be also be using -there are several Lenten reading plans to choose from. 

Last week I also found another resource that I may use during this time.  A blogger referenced the book A Place at the Table.  There are many resources with the book...and I wish I had seen it before now as it would be great to do with a group.  I watched this video of the first session

Session 1 - Beginning from Chris Seay on Vimeo.

Just from what I've discovered this morning the concept of the book is to eat a diet similar to a poor person in another country for 40 days.  Using the time you save preparing simple foods to feast on the Word of God-the Bread of Life.  Then using the grocery savings from eating simple foods (and not eating out) to support ministries that care for the needy.  We sponsor Nazia in India, so if we participate (our family may choose to do a few days or a week) we would eat rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, bananas, chicken, fish, vegetables, lentils, garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Lots of spices! The info sheet provides a list of common foods for different countries-so you could choose a country that you have a heart for (or that has good staple foods:).

It's so neat to me how God works out little details and confirms things He's teaching me.  Last week I just about had a fit (similar to one my 5 year old would throw) because I didn't get to eat where I wanted (the new Mexican joint in town).  That wasn't the first time I've seen that food does drive my behavior.  When I wake up I go straight for the double mocha cappuccino...instead of the Living Water.  So I've prayerfully decided to drink no liquid but water (by His grace) for this season.  I'm sure I'll be healthier and less caffeine addicted:)  We've made it through the first week!

There were many things in the intro video and the daily devo videos that have tied in to what I'm learning in our ladies' Bible study-Jesus the One and Only (and I love that they are both on location in the Holy Land).  One of the lessons last week was about the temptation of Jesus-and we drew similarities to Eve's temptation in the garden.  The enemy knows that this is an area we are tempted.  I have had Made to Crave sitting in my 'to-read' pile for a few months (I will return it Jess:) It is about how we run to food for comfort instead of to our Comforter.  I think I haven't read it because I know I need to!

I am excited to learn something new and grow closer to Jesus during this time.  It seems like Easter always sneaks up on me and I don't feel prepared- personally and in teaching my girls what it is really about.  I'm praying that this season will be different as I lay aside the distractions on the world (no facebook for me for a few weeks!) and focus on the Word. The Bible study and the lenten readings are all interwoven and will all end at the cross right around Easter.  The intro video and the readings have referenced Matthew 5 often-aligning with the verses I am hoping to memorize. I can't wait to see what will be revealed to me as I study scripture....would you join me? Leave a comment to let us know!!!  It's not too late to start right where you are and use this season to draw closer to God by spending time in His Word.  He will lead you...just follow Him-don't feel obligated to follow anyone else-just what He calls you to do!

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Each time I get on the blogger site to write a new post, I inevitably get sidetracked by looking at all the blogs to which I subscribe.  Today's reading (or my procrastinating??) was worth it as I found a post I want to share from His Mercy Is New. (Click on explanation below to read the article)
I love this explanation of why we raise our hands in worship. As a momma of two young children, God has taught me so much about my relationship with Him through mothering. I do so need Him, even more than my girls may need me! I have in just the last few years found freedom to raise my hands no matter what situation I am matter who is around.  I've never wanted it to be 'showy' or just become habit.  I remember a few years ago our pastor explained it as showing humility.  I had never thought about that, but it does humble me to step out of my comfort zone and raise my hands in worship to the only One worthy of worship.  Psalm 63:4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Memorize the Mount

After finding the fun A to Z challenge for my girls, I considered starting something challenging for memorizing an entire chapter of the Bible.  I enjoy reading Ann Voskamp's blog

holy experience
So when I saw her challenge to memorize the mount (Matthew 5) I thought that would fit well!  I downloaded the free memory booklet and started digging in.  It didn't start as easy as I thought-but it's getting better now.  The girls are even saying the verses with me now.  If you are up for the challenge the free booklet listed above will get Matthew 5,6, and 7 hidden in your heart.
I also want to count 1000 cultivate a thankful heart.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the many opportunities to do good things (like memorize and count gifts and read encouraging blogs).  I don't want to 'make rules' for myslef about doing these things.  I want to do them in freedom...but it's so easy for me to slip back into works and legalism. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A and B...

The girls and I started this fun A to Z scripture memorization a few weeks ago. 

She Sparkles Scripture Memory Challenge 2012
It has been so fun to write the words on our mirrors and say them with our meals.  Both girls (and their momma) are hiding God's word in their hearts.  It is amazing to me that even Aleigha can say all of the verses so far. 

One of the 'rewards' I've offered is to take a video of them reciting their verse...what little princess could resist seeing a video of herself?  So here they are (be warned...there may be mouths full of food...we just do this as part of our everyday life:)):

It's not too late to join us on this fun alphabet adventure!  We are learning our "C" verse now and there is a new verse every other week.  Comment below to let me know you are joing us!!! It's a great way to practice Dueteronomy 6:5-9 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I was also blessed to win a scripture verse pack from Versability that has each of the scriptures on a business card in a cute little pack that is easy to carry around and review!!! I was so excited to open the package-it came right around my birthday and it was a great gift...there was even a little bonus set that had personalized scriptures with my name on it!  How cool is that:)  There is a kid's set now that is on a spiral notebook...maybe I'll win one of those too-Zaleigh would LOVE it!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A to Z

I found this A to Z memory challenge last week on a blog I follow. 

She Sparkles Scripture Memory Challenge 2012

The name of the challege struck me since I have a Z(Zaleigh) and an A(Aleigha).  So to memorize scripture by the alphabet sounded like a fun challenge for me and my girls!  I new verse every other Monday-and it's family freindly! 

Zaleigh, my precious 5 year old, wrote our first verse on "explosion  paper" and excitedly hung it on the door so that we can read it when we go to school or leave the house...her sweet idea:) 

A: As for me and my household we will serve the Lord Joshua 24:15b

We are going to do this!!!  I am amazed at how quickly even little ones can learn God's Word.  It is amazing at how it is just tucked away in our hearts and He can call it to mind when we need the Word.  Would you join us???

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


We have friends visiting from Colorado this weekend.  We have been so excited to see them....just can't wait...and TODAY is the day!  The timing is perfect for me, it has given me something to look forward to so that the post Christmas blues don't hit too hard.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to prepare for their arrival-thanks to a wonderful friend playing with my girls so I could shop and clean!!!  I was thinking about preparation and anticipation...and realized that we all have something to prepare for and anticipate-an event that can give our hearts hope and great joy!

Our last advent verse...
During the season of advent we (not so) patiently counted down the days until Christmas by reading a verse each day. We anticipated all that Christams would hold-the celebration of Jesus' birthday is so much fun! Jesus' coming as an infant was prophesied long before He came and yet most of the people of His time didn't know He was born. The scriptures also tell us that He will come back.  In Matthew 24 Jesus tells us much about this (read it if you haven't :). 

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.  1 Thessaloninas 4:16-18

HE came at Christmas and HE is coming back!!! Are we preparing for HIS return in the same fashion that we prepared for Christmas, or with the same enthusiasm that we have when friends visit?
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Revelation 19:7

We are His bride....Let's be ready! I have to be honest and say that I'm not sure what all that means for my life yet...I guess the preparation is probably diffeernt for each person.  When we fully trust in Jesus and have saving faith by His grace, He will lead us individually in the preparation process.  We abide in Him, He directs our paths to 'work out our salvation...(not in our strength) for it is God Who is all the while working in us (energizing and creating the power and desire) to will and work for His good pleasure and satisfation and delight.' (See Philippians 2:12-13 in NIV and AMP)

Unlike Advent when we count down to Christmas, we don't know exactly when He will return. But we do have some signs to watch for and some encouragement to be ready:

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Matthew 24:42,44

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Matthew 24:32-33

So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. Mark 13:23
If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. Mark 13:36 (This has me thinking of You Gotta Get Up)

He tells us so much in His word-such great and precious promises.  Here is one to think about throughout this day as we anticiapte His return:

They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35:10b

WOOHOO!! How can we not look forward to that?  Everlasting joy? Yes, please!!! Come, Lord Jesus!!!
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