Sunday, December 28, 2008

Are you enjoying life?

This is from an article I read in Joyce Meyer's magazine.

What about you? Are you experiencing satisfaction and contentment with who you are and what you do each day? Are you taking time to notice and appreciate the everyday experiences that can make your life rich and rewarding? Or are you racing through each day just so you can get to the next one? Do you find things to laugh about on a regular basis, or are you allowing your responsibilities and the pressure involved to keep you on edge?

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

We were not created to merely exist, dreading each new day, praying for strength just to make it through another day. NO, we were created to enjoy every aspect of our lives-every day of our lives.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grace Based Parenting

I started reading this book after deliberation from the first time I picked it up. For some reason it left a bad initial taste in my mouth...but it is making sense now.

Chapter one describes what is meant by the term 'grace based parenting' . It is not as I had originally thought...letting your kids get by with anything using grace as an excuse. Grace based parents are cognizant of the three driving needs of their child:
1. A need for security
2. A need for significance
3. A need for strength
and we strive to meet the needs by giving love, purpose and hope!

At the end of chapter 2 the author, Dr. Tim Kimmel gives an analogy of parents as a lighthouse to their children. He talks about visiting an old lighthouse and being disappointed when he discovers that the light no longer is a dark house. If we don't let our light shine to guide our children that is what we can too easily become. Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Lord please help me to depend on you as my light source. Let me always shine and give me your grace to be the parent you have created me to be.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Mark 9:37 MSG
Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, "Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me."
How wonderful it is to hug and embrace little ones. Z has recently learned how to hug, and squeeze and it is so precious!


Mark 9:23-24 MSG
Jesus said, "If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen."
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, "Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!"

I guess what makes us "believers" is that we don't doubt. Thank God that He does help us with our doubts. He healed this man's son! His word is true and his promises good. Lord help us with our doubts!

Driver's Seat

Mark 8:34- 38 MSG
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
"If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels."

Wow....the message version of Jesus' words really make it sink in!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Psalm 103:1-5
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Did you see that in verse 4? The Lord crowns me with His love and compassion! I am his princess! This verse jumped out at me after I watched the movie Enchanted. During the movie I was thinking that I wanted to be like the princess, I wanted to stick out and be different than the world. I wish I were as naive as she...I wish there were some things in this world that I weren't exposed to. We are to be in this world not of it. I want to believe the best about people and situations like the princess did.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Matthew 6: 25-34
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I think If we really go outside to actually look at the birds and see the flowers our worries may become smaller. If we can focus on God's creation and see how he takes care of things it bring us back into perspective. It is so refreshing to me to spend time outside in God's creation.

Monday, May 26, 2008

At Night

Gideon was afraid to destroy the Asherah poles during the day....he did it at night, even though he knew God had empowered him and commanded him to do it. How often are we, like Gideon, afraid of the reaction of other people? Judges 6:27
Like Gideon in verse 39, I am often asking God, "are you me!" Thankfully God does not grow impatient with his children in the same way we do with ours! It seems like I am always asking God to show me again!
Thank you Lord that you can give us the freedom in Christ to not be a people pleaser. Enable us to do what you have called us to do without letting what others think stand in our way. Thank you for being so patient with me when I want to know you mean business!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I used to watch the news all the time. I think it's something I learned growing up. My dad loved to know what was going on in the world. I don't watch the news much anymore because it is depressing and I have a toddler who doesn't need to see these things yet. I was working around the house after I put her to bed and I heard this on the TV in the background. It stood out to me and I watched the rest of the broadcast. It was about controlling the thoughts we have.
They might have the latest news, but they're not going to share the greatest news! Gregory Dickow Ministries


This is from a sermon by Louie Giglio (please clickthe name to check out the video!)! I want to share what I learned.
Louie was talking about how inconceivably BIG our God He spoke the universe into He breathes stars out of His mouth that are huge raging balls of fire...etc. etc. Then He went on to speak of how this star-breathing, universe creating God ALSO knitted our human bodies together with amazing detail and wonder. At this point I am LOVING it (fascinating from a medical standpoint, you know.) .....and I was remembering how I was constantly amazed during school as I learned more and more about God's handiwork.
I remember so many times thinking: "How can ANYONE deny that a Creator did all of this?" Louie went on to talk about how we can trust that the God who created all this, also has the power to hold it all together when things seem to be falling our loving Creator is also our sustainer.
And then I lost my breath. It was because he started talking about laminin. I knew about laminin. Here is how Wikipedia describes them: "Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue." You see....laminins are what hold us together....LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. And I knew all this already.
But what I didn't know is what laminin LOOKED LIKE. But now I do. And I have thought about it a thousand times since....Here is what the structure of laminin looks like...AND THIS IS NOT a "Christian portrayal"' of it. If you look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see:

The glue that holds us together....ALL of in the shape of the cross!!
Immediately Colossians 1:15-17 comes to mind: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, And in him all things HOLD TOGETHER."
Thousands of years before the world knew anything about laminin, Paul penned those words. The Creator knew EXACTLY what laminin "glue" would look like long before Adam even breathed his first breath!!
And now we see that from a very LITERAL standpoint, we are held together one cell to another....BY THE CROSS!!
Our God is SO AMAZING!!!

The Trip Home

A pastor had been on a long flight between church conferences. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on:*Fasten Your Seat Belts.*
Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened."
As the pastor looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive.
Later, the voice on the intercom said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us."
And then the storm broke . . .
The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.
The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.
"Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and every- thing within her small world was calm and orderly.
"Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world.
When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The minister could hardly believe his eyes.
It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time.
Having commented about the storm and the behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.
The child replied, "Cause my Daddy's the pilot, and he's taking me home."
Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.
Let us remember: Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and taking us home. Don't worry!
- Gerald M. Costello, Interim Director, The Christophers

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

where to start?

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Children (abused and neglected)
teen parents
families of prisoners

physical needs (health care)


New Heart Fellowship
John 3:16
Margaret Hudson
Samaritan's purse
Focus on the Family
Free in Christ
Joyce Meyer Ministries
Life Outreach
Compassion International

make things

Lord, How do these things work together? Have you created me to be interested and involved in so many things? I know that you are a big God-your ways and your thoughts are higher than mine and I can't comprehend how all this foes together or how you could use my past for your glory. Lord, I know I have to trust you. I know you have called me to your service, for your glory. Teach me to trust you because I can't do anything without you.

John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

take it

As I poured the last of the milk for Zaleigh this morning, I relaized how much God gave for me. Like Zaleigh, who didn't drink the milk (when I would have) How often do we not take and use what the Father has given to us? He has gifted me, but I leave it in a sippy cup.

completely white

God sees me as completely white-spot free-no stains...all because of Jesus! I can't even imagine!
As the mother of a toddler, I am constantly trying to remove stains, food, grass, name it! I can wash and scrub, and wash, and wash, and it may still be there. Thank God, through Jesus my stains are gone!
A few weeks ago, I went though some of Zaleigh's clothes from when she was an infant. I couldn't believe that some of them were yellowed and stained! I just put them away a little over a year ago....and I made sure that they were clean when I put them in storage!
How often do we, even though we have been washed white as snow, allow ourselves to become yellowed and stained? Do we walk around contaminated by this world and forget that Jesus paid the price to make us completely white?
As much as I love Zaleigh, even at her precious young age, I know that she is not perfect. It will be impossible for me to see her that way, I will always know the wrong she has done even when I forgive her and want to forget. But the Father looks at us and sees no wrong, because of Jesus. I have been forgiven completely!

Lord help me to forgive others the way you do! Help me to see them the way you do because of Jesus. Let me not see and judge your people the way the world does. Father, I thank you that because of Jesus you see me as completely white. Let me receive your cleansing and forgiveness. In Jesus Name-Amen.


It used to be that when I would think deeply about salvation that I would question mine. I asked the Lord to show me if I needed to deal with something or if it was the enemy trying to stop me from moving forward. Hebrews 11:6 came to my mind 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. I asked God to increase my faith and help me to earnestly seek him. I rejoiced greatly when God's truth revealed to me that it was the enemy trying to keep me from joy...if I doubt my salvation I can't live in in the chara (joy) that comes from the fruit of the Spirit. I will have joy in the salvation Christ bought for me!

Thank you Father for revealing to me that you have chosen me to be redeemed by the King. Thank you for giving me the faith to believe and accept your gift and promise. I am so thankful that you have revealed your Truth to me and reminded me that I am your daughter, that you have adopted me. Lord, I pray that you would clarify and remove doubt from any of your children in this area. Let the redeemed of the Lord rejoice in their salvation!!! Amen


Here is something from my journal on 3-11-08. I had been studying joy and the kindness and goodness of God. Isaiah 49:16 tells me that He has engraved me on the palm of his hand.

The Hebrew word for engraved is CHAQAQ and it means "to hack". The Hebrew word was used for the act of cutting or chiseling laws into tablets of stone, yet I believe God applies it to the cutting of his children's names unto the very palms of His hands, arguably the most tender place on the human body. This passage paints a wonderful picture-the engraving of the names of the redeemed in the broken body of Jesus. The names carved into the hand of God were written by the precious blood of His Son! (This paragraph in blue is from Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself page 140.)

I am His child. He has called me. He engraved my name before the foundation of the earth. I believe! I have joy in salvation...the thief comes only to kill, steal, and when I doubt and question excessively-the enemy steals my joy. Then I'm not contagious and the world does not see anything different in me. I will not let that happen! I will listen to the voice of truth as he calls to his beloved daughter.

Lord let us consistently focus on our great salvation so that our joy may be full!! Thank you for engraving my name on the palm of your hand. Thank you Jesus for shedding your blood to make that possible.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mark 6:50-52Jesus was quick to comfort them: "Courage! It's me. Don't be afraid." As soon as he climbed into the boat, the wind died down. They were stunned, shaking their heads, wondering what was going on. They didn't understand what he had done at the supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.
Lord, let your Word penetrate my heart. I want to know you, I want to seek your face...I want to know you MORE!

Meeting Needs

I want to recall something I learned from Beth Moore's Bible Study Living Beyond Yourself. In Mark 6 we see the familiar story of Jesus feeding the 5000. We can learn from his peace during this event. He didn't get all uptight when it was time to eat...He knew His Father would provide. He kept his peace (of course he did...He's Jesus!). He took inventory of what He had...he knew what was going on. He had everyone get it a position to receive...they were all sitting down. Then He turned to his Father to provide. And boy did he ever! He will always supply more than our needs if we will just allow him the opportunity. If we will just trust him! His word says in Philippians 4:19 that he will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Here are Beth's four insights which extend the peace of God's provision (page 103):
1. He made them aware of their need
2. He took what little they had
3. He placed them in a posture to rest in His provision
4. He gave them immeasurably more than they could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)Lord, let me be like Jesus in this example. Let me keep the peace that you have given me even in times of need. Open my eyes to see things as you do. Lord let me trust you and get into a position to receive. I believe that you will meet all my needs. Father, you know my needs even before I ask. I thank you that you will provide for me according to your glorious riches, In Jesus name-Amen

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Judges 1-3

Judges 1-3
As I read this I was asking myself...why didn't they drive out the people? Did they get lazy, did they give up, what's the deal???
Judges 2:10 Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn't know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.
How could that happen? With everything so visible that he did for could they not make his name known for even one generation? I found the answer to both questions.....
Judges 2:20-23 And God's anger blazed against Israel. He said, "Because these people have thrown out my covenant that I commanded their parents and haven't listened to me, I'm not driving out one more person from the nations that Joshua left behind when he died. I'll use them to test Israel and see whether they stay on God's road and walk down it as their parents did." That's why God let those nations remain. He didn't drive them out or let Joshua get rid of them.
It all boils down to listening to God. His word is right here....the Israelites had his word first hand. So, why is it so difficult to listen AND keep listening?
We read in Judges 3 that the people of Israel were in servitude for years because they did evil in God's sight. He gave them freedom....but the went back to slavery-MORE THAN ONCE!!!
So...what can we learn from this? We can look at it 2 a lesson...DON'T do as the Israelites did. When God gives us freedom-as he has through Jesus-don't fall back in to servitude to the ruler of this world...don't fall back in to slavery to flesh. Enjoy the freedom that Christ died to give us and listen to the Word.
The other way to look at this is to see that we don't have to beat ourselves up for our shortcomings because these people saw God work first hand and still fell away. We don't always get to see God work in these same ways if they saw and still lost it-why do we think we will fare any better? However, we are capable-only through the Holy Spirit- of faring better than the Israelites because of Jesus.
Lord, you have done great and mighty things for us. Let us not forget to praise you and make your name known. Your word says that if we won't praise you the rocks will....Lord let me never forget to praise you. Guide me to do your will and make your name known so that there is not a generation that grows up and doesn't know of what you've done for us. Let me continually listen to and obey your voice. Let me pass any test you may lay before me...that I might stay on your road Lord. Thank you Jesus for the freedom that you give.

keep it simple

In Mark 6, Jesus sends the 12 out in pairs. He tells them "You are the equipment...Keep it simple." This message version spoke to me in ways that the NIV didn't make clear.

First of the pair part. I read in the NIV two by two....but it didn't sink in that it meant they were working in pairs. So, why do I have a hard time working with another when Jesus gives this example that He wants us to work together? I guess just because he said it doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

I also resist when he has told me to do something because I think "I'm not ready for that, I'm not prepared, I don't have this or that..." But he says I am the equipment. I don't need anything fancy. I just have to allow him to work through me. Keep it simple....that's as simple as it can be. Stop fighting and let Jesus do the work through me. So, even though it took me ages to make this page to share my thoughts....and sometimes it's days after he has revealed something to me before I sit down to write about it...I shouldn't fight. I should just do what he says when he says!

Lord, please help me to keep it simple. Remind me that you are all I need....I am the have equipped me for every good work you have planned for me. Let me not run out of fear or because I feel unprepared. Let me rest in you as you work through me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

promised land

I just read Joshua 23 in the Message. Several things stood out to me....but this one got me:
11-13 "Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God. Because if you wander off and start taking up with these remaining nations still among you (intermarry, say, and have other dealings with them), know for certain that God, your God, will not get rid of these nations for you. They'll be nothing but trouble to you—horsewhips on your backs and sand in your eyes—until you're the ones who will be driven out of this good land that God, your God, has given you.
I've read many things that try to help show how the people of Israel receiving their promise can relate to us today. This passage stood out to me as we still face the same temptations and trials today as we inherit our promised land. It sounds easy...Love God, your God...but why is it so difficult to keep from wandering off?
There have been times when God would call me to a new level, but I would still be trying to associate with the 'nations among us'. Just as this verse says, the nations become nothing but trouble...and then God won't even drive them out! We can't serve God fully and still be involved in the sin of this world. It will cause us to be driven out of our promised land. Our peace and freedom and joy will be gone due to associating with the sins of this world.
Yet, if we rest in Him, in our promised land, and don't associate with the nations among us...he will drive them out! He will make those temptations less tempting! It will be easier and easier to serve him with joy as we trust Him to drive the nations out before us. He is so faithful to do that!
14 Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing's left undone—not so much as a word.
God is so faithful to his promises. When we realize that we will do what Joshua 24: 14 commands: You, worship God!

Lord, thank you for your Word. Help me to love you more each day. Keep me from wandering off. Give me a deeper desire to worship you, as you are so worthy Father! In Jesus Name AMEN!

Monday, May 12, 2008

reading struggle

I have been slacking on my reading because I have struggled through the part of Joshua that seems boring to me...the division of the land. And then I read the 'think about it' question in the Message study Bible: .....may not be exciting to you, but how would you feel if you had been wandering in the wilderness for forty years? Does God's gift of the land increase your belief that he is faithful to his promises?
Well, yes it does! Now that I see it in that light, reading what I thought was boring is really showing me that God is faithful to His promises.
Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right. Joshua 21:45

Lord thank you for your faithfulness to me! Thank you for revealing in your word that you are faithful. Thank you for teaching me your promises as I trust in you.

Bath Time

Often as I see my husband bathe my toddler, I wish that I had that luxury. There are nights I am just so tired after caring for my family and working that it seems I have nothing left to take care of me.
Shortly after having one of these thoughts, God reminded me that He cares for me in this way. He washes me in the blood of Jesus and all my sins are forgiven! He bathes me in His mercy and kindness each day. He loves me and takes better care of me than I could ever think of providing for my child.
Psalm 51
Ezekiel 16:9-14
I Corinthians 6:11
Ephesians 5:26
Titus 3:5
Lord, thank you for the care that you provide me. Thank you Jesus for washing me...white as snow! Just as the water drains from the tub, never to be seen again, so my sin sent down the drain! Thank you Lord that you care for me more than I can for my child-that you sing over me! Thank you for washing me and sanctifying me through the work of the Holy Spirit. Let me cooperate with you and not fight it like a toddler might. I love you Lord and I want you to wash me so I can be who you created me to be. In Jesus name~ Amen

crazy about pigs

As I read Mark 5 in the Message tonight, I wondered why the people got upset. Jesus had just cast out demons from a man and sent them into a herd of pigs. The man was no longer possessed, it was a miracle! As the mob of demons entered the pigs, they all ran off a cliff and died. At first the crowd was awed, and then they were upset-over the pigs. It made me wonder....why were they upset, and how does this apply to I ever react this way?
I think I have, and you may have also. We see God do something miraculous that we have longed for....He comes through for us and we see His faithfulness. And then....we realize we don't like the way He did it! We are awed at first, but then we become upset because it's not how we wanted it to happen.

Lord, forgive me for trying to put you in a box and tell you how I want you to show yourself faithful. Lord, you ARE faithful. Who am I to try to tell you how to show your goodness to me. Help me to remember that your ways are higher than my ways, as your thoughts are higher than mine. I may not understand what you are doing if I 'lose pigs' in my life...thank you for reminding me that you have a plan. Teach me each day to trust you more. In Jesus name-AMEN
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