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!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Letdown?

It started even before Christmas the end of each celebration...when we had to say goodbye.  Her sweet question, "momma, when is Christmas over?"

At first I didn't understand her five year old thinking...but then it made sense.  To her Christmas was a time to be with family and friends and celebrate....much celebration-school parties, Awana parties and lots of family and friends.  She knows why we celebrate...and loves all of it!

He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.   Song of Songs 2:4

When we read the Christmas story Christmas Eve night she asked again-Is Christmas over after tomorrow?

I woke up Christmas morning not feeling well.  Our whole family has had a cold for what seems like the past month (we ARE getting better, thank you Jesus!).  Despite the lack of sleep from our traditional late night wrapping, I woke up and thought 'this is going to be a good day!!!' I felt joyful all day...even when things didn't go my way...even when I had an overstimulated 2 year old!

When a frustration would arise that might normally steal my joy...I just thought about what the day meant-why we were celebrating.  We were blessed to host 4 different celebrations in our home over the last week...that meant 4 times cleaning and cooking.  I did it all with joy (unlike some days when it seems like that's all I do...over and over).  Why the joy?  Because my focus was on what we were celebrating. 

So if I choose to celebrate the Hope of Christmas...each day can be Christmas!  When I choose to look to Him and live like it's Christmas morning, it is!  His gifts never end!  His mercies are new each morning!  I can wake up expecting something good to happen to me each day! 

So, friend, Is Christmas over?

The answer my sweet Z needed to hear is the same for us...NO!! Christmas doesn't ever have to be over!  In celebrating Christmas we are celebrating Emmanuel, God with us.  And now that He has defeated the enemy and sits at the right hand of God and has sent His Holy Spirit to live in us...He is always with every day can be Christmas!!!

Even though we will soon be packing away the decorations and storing them for next season-the celebration never needs to end.  We can stay in awe of the nativity-of Christ humbly coming to us. As I did last year, I will be leaving one nativity scene remind me that each day I can have the joy of Christmas because Christ came!

Many times I have had a "Christmas Letdown"...when all that has been anticipated is over.  Gifts are all opened, carols all sung, family all back home, decorations put away, and life returns to "normal".  This year I will let God use a 5 year old's sweet question to remind me that His gift of Christmas is for each day. 

Although we won't have wrapped gifts under the tree to anticipate, we will still have the gift of His presence because of the tree and we can seek Him in anticipation each day!!!

Let's celebrate Christmas today with this precious hymn as a reminder to us and a praise to God!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is They faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulneses
Lord unto me!!!!

Gifts Worth Receiving

I wonder if any of you stood in long lines today to return or exchange a gift? Maybe it was a thoughtful gift, but just the wrong size....or maybe it was not even thoughtful and something you would never use?

Did anyone have the misfortune of hearing a child complain about a gift just given (hopefully an adult wouldn't say it out loud) ?  Or a child asking if there were more gifts, as if all they just opened weren't enough? 

Thankfully this year, none of the above fits me...but it has before, and very well may again:)

I was thinking...are we like this with the gifts God gives?  Trying to exchange it to "make it fit" or complaining that it's not what so and so has? 

Ouch, I know....

Hopefully instead of ungrateful kids, you got to see some joy and delight! My girls showed plenty of that this year even though we attempted to scale back on gift giving.  
She was sure excited about the book:)
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 see also Luke 11:13

I find myself still wanting more of God... more of His gifts, His grace, His love and His Holy Spirit. I guess that's not a bad thing- to long for more of Him...but I need to be satisfied with where I am today as I trust Him to mature me and give me His gifts in His timing...

You might have heard Joyce say "I'm not where I need to be, but thank God, I'm not where I used to be. I'm okay and I'm on my way!" I will fix my eyes on Him and trust His promises to perfect my faith-Hebrews 12:2 And I will remember that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.  1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Doesn't that say that as we wait on Jesus to be revealed that we don't lack any spiritual gifts??  Wow!!! He gives each of His children gifts as He sees fit...we need to trust the Giver!    We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12:6a

Like our children (who may always ask for more), we need to check our motives...When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

Like the prayer we prayed last time in Ephesians...I know this is a prayer that God will answer:
 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

So there you go...maybe it is okay to ask for MORE of the gifts He so generously bestows on us...

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.  John 16:24

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  Matthew 21:22

I hope today you are able to enjoy the gifts that He has given the Giver...humbly accept what He generously gives!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Gift

I just played an ornery trick on my husband...and I wonder if he will even notice???  (Hey babe, if you are reading this...wait until after Christmas to finish!)

I'm not sure why I can't get the picture to upload right...but you get the idea:)
The floss that I'm putting in his stocking is the same floss that I put in his stocking last year.  (No worries my dental friends-he DOES floss, just uses my floss from my drawer!)

I found this floss when I was organizing a few weeks was never used.  A gift that hasn't been opened. I wonder if you have any of these?  God used this little package of floss to teach me something. 

 The verse that popped in my head the day I found the floss is Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy SpiritHe has given us the kingdom of God and wants us to receive it! 

I pray that you know Jesus and have 'opened' His free gift of salvation.  Some people don't even get that far--like the debtal floss, they know it's there -God SO LOVED the world that He gave His only Son-but haven't made it reality in their life.  Jesus is the best gift.  Have you received Him? 

What I want to talk about is all the other gifts we have because of Jesus-Righteousness, Peace and Joy!!

Righteousness....Know who you are in Christ!! When you receive Jesus-you are Righteous in Him
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Peace-In Christ we have any situation!!!! It is His gift to us...are you receiving it?
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

He brought joy as an infant But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10
He teaches us how to have joyI have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete John 15:11 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24
He is our Joy in any circumstance! Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

So, friend....I wonder-do you have any unopened gifts?  I was thinking about other gifts that we don't use anymore, toys, etc that people have spent money to buy...Do you have any costly gifts that you don't use? 
He paid such a great price for us to have eternal life, righteousness, peace, and joy and many times we don't realize the gifts He provides.  I'm sure you have put some thought and time into purchasing gifts for your loved ones this Christmas.  How would you feel if they didn't even open the gift?

If you have young children-you know that wouldn't happen-you know how excited they are about opening gifts!  They don't hold back, not even a little...tear right into the packaging a freely receive what is given to them!!! Maybe we can learn a little from the children:
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Luke 18:16
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Mark 10:15

When I read these verses (while searching for "kingdom of God" to find the reference for Romans 14:17) I realized that I need to be more child like in opening and receiving His gifts. There are so many gifts He gives-He is so good (all the time!) For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 

There are so many gifts in His Word-promises I have yet to uncover. I'm going to end this writing by praying this prayer of Paul for you, dear reader...would you pray if for me too? 
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19(Go read vs 15-23 in your's so good!)

How powerful for all God's children to KNOW Him more...What better gift to give to the ones you love than to pray this for them?  Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!  I woke up early this morning thinking of people that I am thankful for. I thought I would write a note to each person...but I kept thinking of so many more people who have been a part of my life...then I couldn't go back to I 'm blogging...that's what I do when I can't sleep!  Thanksgiving is a time of reflection to me-and I have thought of many wonderful memories this morning. 

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. Philippians 1:3 MSG

I am truly thankful for my wonderful husband.  He is God's gift to me and I know God has a plan for our lives together.  He is a great daddy to our precious girls.  I am thankful for my Z and A-and all that I have learned by being a parent. 

The next part of the list is the jumbled order that everything piles around in my head...just need to get it out and say - I am thankful!!!

When I woke up, one of my former bosses was on my mind-so after praying for her I began to remember what I learned from her, and thank God for her.  I have lost contact with Francine, but a prayer book that she gave me when I graduated college still has a place on my nightstand.  I am so thankful that she cared enough about me to tell me the truth.  She loved me when I was unlovable and put up with me in my immaturity-never giving up on the young girl who thought she knew it all (but really didn't have a clue).  I thought when I went to work for Dr. A that it was to prepare me to be in the medical field-but God had a different purpose for my time there. 

Thinking of that time in my life made me think about a co-worker at the office, Joanna.  Though we worked together only briefly-she touched my heart and I am thankful for her.  She showed me what a happy person is like.  She smiled and laughed continually...and her joy was contagious!  She taught me a lesson in selfless giving.  I will never forget the Christmas present gave me-the bracelet she wore daily.  To her it was a reminder of a mission trip she had taken (I think???), but to me it was a reminder to be a giver. 

I am thankful for my best girl friends.  I have had 4 that have been really special over the years. 
  • My first best friend was Jennifer (AKA refinnej:))-she was my bestie from the time we met in 4th grade and we were close throughout the rest of our school years.  I remember summer sleepovers and always being with each other.  Her mom was my first "other mom" and we even enjoyed each others' siblings!  So many memories-I need to contact her!
  • My HS best friend was Crystal.  She was there for me during a time of chaos in my life-a new school, new living situation-new driver....We always had fun and I still think of all the "coincidences" and things that made us laugh.  We occasionally enjoy catching up at lunch (wish we could do it more!) and the best thing is, we can still laugh and enjoy ourselves even if we haven't talked in a year!!
  • My long distance bestie Corina was there for me as we both learned to navigate the early years of being wives and mothers.  She was an answer to prayer (did you know that??) James and I were the 'young ones' at church and I really wanted someone who was on the 'same page' as me...and God provided.  I sometimes still get sad that she now lives over 12 hours away with her family...but then I rejoice as I see how God is navigating their lives! I am thankful for you, forever friend!
  • My newest best friend will be my bestie for years to come! What started off as a 'business' relationship with some interesting discoveries (like that our husbands knew each other and that I am related by marriage to her husband) has turned into a wonderful friendship.  I was sad when the 'business' part of the relationship was over-because she took such good care of my girls-but now we are even closer.  I am thankful for someone to share hunting seasons with:)  I am thankful for her whole extended family being part of our lives.  I love knowing that I have someone praying for me-thank you friend!

I am thankful for my sweet cousins!  I have lots of them...but I have a special bond with a few precious cousins.  It is so great to have someone who knows all about your family and childhood (and still loves you, lol)!  If we were all still kids, then I would be seeing you today...I remember big thanksgivings together!! I think about and pray for them often, but I don't make contact enough.  I am thankful for their lives-for watching them grow and change (and some become mommies!!!!) and for being able to see God at work in their lives. 

I am thankful for my Aunts and Uncles.  When you don't have parents on earth, it is comforting to know that their brothers and sisters are here.  My family was amazing to me at my wedding-planning, providing and praying for that special day that I will never forget.  I appreciate their wisdom and guidance.  (And did I mention their kids:)!

I am thankful for my husband's family.  His parents accept and love me and I don't feel like an "in-law".  We have enjoyed riding motorcycles with a special Aunt and they have loved on our girls. 

I am so thankful for my 4 brothers and their families.  I love each one so much!  The memories of a sibling are not comparable to other relationships.  I think about my little brothers so often and enjoy the childhood memories.  I am thankful for the care and guidance of my older brothers.  I most enjoy being the shortest one in the clan and love a big family hug...I miss my bubbas!!!

I am thankful for my adoptive family.  I like to remember watching K as a toddler and having 'date night' with my then boyfriend James. Now I get date night with James and they watch our girls.  I am thankful for the mentoring that has occurred over the almost 15 years we've know them.  I am thankful that my girls are blessed with grandparents.  One of my favorite memories is spending time together while I was pregnant-so glad to have had the guidance and wisdom of someone who had 'been there, done that"!

I am thankful for our church family.  I am thankful for our Pastor and his wife-I have learned so much from him...beyond salvation.  He teaches practical application from the Bible and I am so thankful that it causes me to grow up in God.  I am thankful for the heart of a craftsmen ministry see what they do!!!

I am thankful for Beth and Joyce...through their Bible studies these ladies (and others Connie, Priscilla...) have been used by God to shine His Word in my life and renew me.  I am beginning to see who I am in Christ and I want to shine with His glory!

I am thankful for the teachers at my girls' schools.  Amazing and caring teachers-we are so blessed!  I am thankful for all my students over the years-I learned so much from each of them (especially the difficult ones!).  I enjoy getting wedding invitations and seeing what they are doing these days.  I am thankful for all the wonderful people that I worked with at the school...espcially Annie who has been a wonderful friend.  I am thankful for my special teachers growing up, especially Mrs. Crosier!

I am thankful for good neighbors.  I am thankful for great vendors.  I am thankful for encouraging bloggers. I am thankful for blog readers.  I am thankful for mom friends in the community.  I am thankful for Nazia-our compassion child who reminds us to be thankful for what we have. 

I am most thankful for:
my Heavenly Father-who chose me before the creation of the world
my Savior and Friend, Jesus who paid a great price so that I could receive the promises of God
my Comforter and Counselor the Holy Spirit who guides me each day (better if I listen:))

There are (obviously) other things I am thankful for...but this is about people.  I am sure I didn't list each person I am thankful for...but I am thankful for each person that is in my life... for such a time as this....Well I didn't mean for this to be so long, but I guess I just have a lot to be thankful for!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Not Fair!!!

My precious (almost) 5 year old is really going through a "it's not fair" stage right now.  She keeps saying it..over and over and over!  Usually she sees it as not fair from her perspective-like sissy gets something she doesn't.  I confirm her message that life isn't "fair" but try to show her from the other perspective-that she is on the blessed side of it not being fair.  We've talked about our Compassion child, Nazia and her living conditions compared to ours.  I remind her how blessed she is to have food and home and a mom and dad who love her.  I've told her that it's not fair that Jesus died for our sins-it wasn't fair to Him...but He did it!

Even after all this-she keeps repeating the phrase "it's not fair!!!" when things don't go her way. Yesterday she had a big fit because her little sister got to put her water in to make mac and cheese first.  As a mom, I had a reason for that-Aleigha takes WAY longer to eat, so she needed to start cooking hers first.  Zaleigh got very upset that it wasn't fair that Aleigha got to make hers first...she had to go cool off in her room before we could even talk. 

While she cooled off, I prayed about how to teach her.  I recognized that the problem is comparison-wanting what other's have...unfortunately, she comes by it naturally!  I recalled the last part of John 21 when Peter asks "what about him?" wanting to know if John's fate would be the same as his. Jesus' answer is what we need to focus on when life doesn't seem fair "...what is that to you? You must follow me" John 21:22b

So Zaleigh and I decided that when she feels like something isn't fair, instead of whining she will say "This doesn't seem fair, BUT God is good all the time and I will trust Him!!" We'll see how that works out for her :)

I've already been confronted with it!  I was feeling grouchy and grumpy...because life doesn't seem fair and I don't understand God.  My friend's brother died a year ago at such a young age...that's not fair!  When I think about her parents loosing their son (and can't imagine loosing my precious girls)...that's not fair!  Today I think about my daddy who has been gone for 14 years....that's not fair!  When a momma looses a baby that she didn't even get to hold....that's not fair!  There are many things in life that aren't fair...but we have a choice to make.

As He often does, God used the words I lead my daughters with to teach me as well...Am I trusting God even though it doesn't seem fair?   What is it to me that He chooses this for my life and something different for another's life...I will follow Him!

Isaiah 55:9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I won't keep searching for answers that aren't here to find....

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I can't sleep...always a good time to blog, right? Somehow while I was praying in bed, my mind raced off thinking about passions and trying to categorize people's passions.  So here I find myself at 2:20 in the morning trying to get these thoughts on this screen.  In about an hour my husband will wake up (too early) to pursue his passion of hunting (morea bout that passion another day:)). 

I was thinking of how creative God is in His design of people.  There are people who are passionate about things that I honestly care very little about...and I'm sure there are many people who care little about my passion as as well.  I guess that's why we have balance learn and grow.  As I was thinking about some of the various passions, God revealed to me that they really aren't all that different. 

My husband rediscovered one of his passions this summer as he worked with men of God to minister to boys by rebuilding a hot rod and a motorcycle in one week.  Talk about some passionate men!!! The wise men that have been involved in heart of a craftsman ministered to my husband by showing him that one of his passions can be used to bring glory to God. 

How?  I'm glad you asked! They take time to PREPARE a car and motorcycle to be be made "new".  This preparation takes MUCH time and effort.  Then they spend a week with boys and let the boys see the results of a week of hard work by revealing the new vehicle.  The boys, men, and vehicles are all transformed...and they bring glory to God!  These men use passionate preparation to praise the Lord.

Stay with me here...this might be strange at first...but it made sense in my mind on no sleep, so I'm hoping it will as I type it out here!  Last weekend we got to spend some time with my cousin and her family at the fair.  Her husband was PREPARING cattle to show at the fair.  I've not been around this, so it was new and fascinating to me! She explained much to me-during the conversation she said they felt like they had found something that their family could enjoy together by raising and showing cattle.  He was so passionate about it and mentioned it during one of his breaks from the strenuous work.  Even as they start this endeavor, they have already seen results...and their story of getting there is neat! She has changed careers to pursue her passions and it is opening doors in their lives!

Cow & Calf

I know many people who are passionate about teaching/coordinating for education.  This requires much preparation...and it is preparing students! My friends Ann and Jessica both work in supervisory roles preparing many people to impact many students....their jobs must be tough...they must have passion to be successful!! The teachers at my daughters' schools must be passionate to make a difference in preparing young people!!

Classroom Library

You may not have thought about it, but you may be passionate about preparation as well!  Parenting is all about preparation- I have many passionate parent friends (too many to list, but Tiffany and Corina come to mind).  Preparing the next generation to know, love, and serve Jesus is at the top of my list!  I have a friend Jennifer who is passionate about helping people take care of their body...preparing them to serve the Lord by being healthy!  I want to prepare the bride of Christ for His return (more about this soon!)

As I thought about passionate preparation I realized each of the passionate people I thought of have similarities...
What do passionate people have in common? 
-SHINE-bring out the best in what they are preparing (Whether vehicles, cows, or people)
Passion is given by God to reveal His purpose and glory.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

What are you passionate about?  Are you pursuing it?   Other than Passionate Preparation, there is Passionate Purification (Ruin or Destruction), and Passionate Pursuit.  Please share your passions in the comments so I can see if how it fits in the patterns I'm seeing...and we may talk more about this soon!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How we remember

I tend to be one who ignores feelings that I don't want to deal with.  An ostrich.  I just move on as if nothing happened and everything will be okay.  That's what I have done for a while each time I have lost a loved one.  Ignore it, think it will go away...of course it doesn't.  But maybe the time I took in ignoring it allowed God to build my strength up to handle it-or allowed me to see that He is the one who will walk me through it. 

Of course today is 9/11 and it's a day we will never forget...but I don't really want to remember.  Having a very inquisitive 4 year old, it was impossible for me to completely ignore it-she asks such probing questions.  I was not personally impacted as far as the loss of a loved one on that day, so it was fairly easy to answer her questions without being overcome by grief.  I guess I was able to explain it and look at it from an historical something you would read from a history book as if you didn't experience it in your lifetime.  Is the disconnect a good thing?  Am I afraid to really engage in it and deal with the feelings and grief? It reminded me of how I have processed grief in my life....asking myself if I have processed it fully. 

I can't imagine the families of the 9/11 victims (or any other public events) who have to process their grief publicly.  The media coverage-of course we don't want to forget....but to the families who are ready to move on-they will have a hard time ignoring this day.  Thankfully, on the 10th anniversary of the loss of either of my parents, there was no one asking me how I was doing or how it had changed my life.  I am very thankful I was able to handle the grief privately...allowing the Lord to heal me in His way and His time and not need to answer to media. I think the familiese need to know that others care and remember their loved ones, but I can't imagine the whole nation remembering the date and circumstances of that loss.

Praying today for our nation, for those who lost loved ones (on this day or any other) that we will experience Isaiah 61 in our lives. 

1 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,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 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.

This song is God's plan for us in the midst of tragedy...He wants His people to rise!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

promises in darkness

This week I've been blogging about a recent time I felt discouraged and how God has delivered me out of that darkness.  Since it's not a new thing for me but something I continually trust Him to do....I have a set of index cards that have some of my favorite promises for the darkness.  He is so faithful to restore joy and pull me out of whatever mess I'm in!  Today I just want to share some fun upbeat songs and scriptures that have helped me! If you are struggling in some area now, I encourage you to call out to Jesus!! He is the one who will rescue you-He loves you and has a plan for your life!

This song has the words of Philippians 4:13 in a catchy tune!  Great words to remember and believe when I'm down and it doesn't feel like I can do anything. 

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure because you will not abandon me! Psalm 16:9

But you are a shield around me, O Lord, you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.  Psalm 3:3

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  Psalm 27:13-14

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.  For you, oh Lord have delivered my soul from death, my eyes form tears, my feet from stumbling.  Psalm 116:7-8  (This one makes me want to dance and shout!!!)

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my saviour and my God.  Psalm 42:5 (This one reminds me that even the psalmist had down days, but trusted in God!)

This song has the words of  1 John 4:4.  God is greater than any darkness I may face!

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.  Habakkuk 3:18-19

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.  Psalm 94:19

Though you have made me see troubles many and bitter, you will restore my life lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you! Psalm 71:20,23

You have made known to me the path of life!  You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand.  Psalm 16:11

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.  Psalm 90:14-15

I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  Psalm 34:4-5

This song just makes me move!

Thank you Lord for your word!  It's pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the sweet to the mind and healing to the body (Prov 16:24).  Thank you Lord for your faithful promises and for always demonstrating your love in our lives.  Lord I pray that you would use your Word to encourage every reader of this blog today! Let us look to Jesus quickly when life seems tough, the faster we turn to him the faster He helps us!  In Jesus name, Amen. 

 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

There are obviously MANY more encouraging and uplifting scriptures.  I know for me, when I am down I sometimes don't have the desire to search for them-that's why I have written them out on cards.  Some of the verses are found in Beth Moore's Praying God's Word -a wonderful resource for many areas!  If you have a favorite verse that always encourages you....please leave it in the comments for other readers to be encouraged!  Thanks for reading today:)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Into the Light

In the last post, I admitted to feelings of darkness.  My heart is learning to echo the words of Paul -Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9  Since I have shared about my weaknesses, in this post I want to share what God has taught me and how His word has brought me into the Light!

And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.Isaiah 45:3 AMP

This verse just popped out to me!!! There are treasures of darkness...things I can learn when I feel down and discouraged? YES!!! Knowing this promise makes a season of darkness have a purpose.  It brings to life Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Something good will come out of a season of darkness when I cling to the ONE who knows me in that darkness and wants to bring me into His marvelous light. 

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
Psalm 107:14 (are you singing my chains are gone:)?)

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2

Jesus is that light!  His words confirm this in John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. I don't have to stay in darkness when I look to Jesus!!

the LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29

Light shines in the darkness for the upright.
He is gracious, compassionate, and righteous.
Psalm 112:4 HCSB

Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50:10

What I need to learn in the darkness is summed up in Isaiah trust God.  Why shouldn't I?  His promises are precious and He is good!

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves Colossians 1:13

Thank you Lord for bringing me into your marvelous light!  I know there may be another day or season of darkness-when it comes, strengthen my heart and remind me that you are light and I have precious promises in You!  Oh Lord, I know that there are many people who feel the heaviness of darkness as I have.  Lord shine your light on them and break their chains!! You LORD are my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in YOU, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to YOU in song (Psalm 28:7)
Come back tomorrow...I'm working on another post about the light!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Out of Darkness

I don't know why it's hard to admit when I feel sad.  I don't like to say I'm feeling down or discouraged or depressed.  I think I run from those feelings because of my family's health history.  I know that Jesus has set me free and I will not suffer from bipolar as my momma did....He showed me that promise years ago (He has made me a new creation and healed me!!).  I guess when I have any negative feelings my mind starts the downward spiral and I start to doubt His promises.  What if I do end up unable to in my bed and leaving my children to fend for themselves-what if I do end up like my mom??? That is a big lie that the enemy uses in my life when I have negative emotions.

So...I'm admitting it...I have been in darkness off and on for a few weeks.  It's so hard because it seems like it's over and then is comes back! I spend time with my healer and feel the joy of His presence and then life happens and I feel like I'm on that negative spiral AGAIN!  I end up feeling condemned for my thoughts and emotions ...especially if there's 'nothing wrong'-when life looks good and there is not something I can blame  for my emotions. I have to remember that Jesus said we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33) so I don't need to condemn myself for my feelings and emotions...just deal with them as they come.  If I remember the second part of the verse-to take heart because He has overcome the world-then I will remember that He will get me through these negative emotions.

According to Psalm 139, it doesn't do me any good to try to ignore or deny the feelings of darkness, He knows.  I don't have to hide from God or try to be happy in my own power-God already knows what I am thinking and feeling.  I can be honest with Him and face the darkness because He is LIGHT!!
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139:12

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28

Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be my light.
Micah 7:8

I read the chapter about negative emotions in Stormie Omartian's book Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage.  It talks about the feelings of being disconnected and distant and the habit of focusing on the negative side of things.  This chapter also has some great Bible verses that really spoke to me about this darkness. This quote explains how I've felt:
You can still have the light of the Lord Within you and yet have the darkness of oppression settle on you and invade your life like an enemy encroaching on the territory of your being.  (A few pages later) Negative emotions are not something you have to live with.  In fact, you must do whatever is necessary to get rid of them.  They not only hurt you, they hurt your spouse and children as well.  God has given you a way out of them thought the power of prayer, praise, His Word, His presence, and His love.
I have seen the truth of Stormie's words that it hurts others.  I have noticed that when I am feeling down and thinking negatively-I'm usually focused on myself.  If I'm only thinking about myself, I am not able to be a good friend or pay attention to the needs of others.  I think this is one reason the enemy wants to keep me feeling darkness. 

Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
Have regard for your covenant,
because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
may the poor and needy praise your name.
Psalm 74:20-21

I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 34:45-5

He is calling me out of darkness!!! He answers me...I will look to him and be radiant, not full of shame!! Thank You Jesus!!!!

There is so much I've learned in the last few weeks (in fact I've been working on this post for almost a week now).  I think I will find time to continue this week blogging about light and  some other verses that have helped when I've been down.  Thanks for reading:)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baby Blessings

My cheeks are still tear stained..I can't dry my eyes.  I saw a fb friend's status today about remembering her angel in heaven.  I saw another friend's status about praying for the family of a baby who just died.  I found these two stories (don't look at them if you don't want to cry)!   Mamie       Miller

My heart just hurts.  I can't even describe it.  I can't imagine the pain of giving birth to a stillborn or having a baby in heaven after only a few weeks here.  I know the pain of miscarriage, but not having carried a baby full term and loosing her.  I have a few friends who have been there.  Yet they have hope.  I guess that's the only way to keep believe that God has a plan for it. 

So...even though I'm still crying this was good for me to consider.  I've had a rough week with my girls....but I have them!  They are with me, I can feel their sweet warm skin and smell their breath and stroke their hair and hear them giggle.  They may not always listen or do what I would like, but they are full of love and energy...and they are here!!! 
  • I will remember how blessed I am to have such sweet girls the next time they are whining or screaming or not sleeping. 
  • I will remember that God chose me to be their momma and He has a plan for their lives and mine. 
  • I will remember that God will give me all I need to be their when I am short on patience I will go to Him. 
Thank you Jesus for this reminder today!  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a momma.  Let me never take it for granted.  Remind me that it is your strength that will make me the momma I desire to be.  Let me always be thankful for the precious girls you have given me.  Lord, comfort those who have lost their babies-just hold them. You have a plan for their pain-you will heal their them to you!  Thank you Lord for your goodness and mercy.  In Jesus name.  Amen

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I have been feeling sad...don't know why...just struggling right now.  My sweet husband came and took the girls for a couple of hours this morning so I could pray and get better.  Life today was on in the background before the girls left and I heard them talking about being free and discussing Psalm 74.  So I turned there and this stood out to me:
Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;

do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
Have regard for your covenant,
because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
may the poor and needy praise your name.
Psalm 74:19-21
This is how I feel today.  I know we can't always trust our feelings...but today I feel afflicted and oppressed.  It helps me to know that I am not the only one to ever feel this way. I remember the freedom I felt when I received that revelation-David was up and down emotionally and he was described as a man after God's own heart.  Elijah was a prophet and still ran...after God powerfully showed himself.  (see 1 Kings 18).  So if these men can still be used by God, so can I-I will not be condemned for my feelings. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's love letter

This is a precious letter I found on another blog this here to watch it on video, or just read it below. 

My Child,

You may not know me,

but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.

Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.

Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.

Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.

Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.

Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.

Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.

Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.

Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,

for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth

and where you would live.

Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb.

Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.

Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented

by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,

but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.

1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child

and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.

Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.

Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.

James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.

Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.

Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless

as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.

Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.

Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you

with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.

Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,

you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you

the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.

Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you

than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you

in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,

I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,

I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away

every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain

you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you

even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.

John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.

Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,

not against you.

Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression

of my love for you.

1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved

that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,

you receive me.

1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you

from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party

heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,

and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…

Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.

Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications

© 1999-2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hot Dog

It's HOT here!  Last week several men were in the heat all day (and all night in some cases) to make hot rod camp a success by sharing the love of Christ with 10 boys.  A week ago Saturday we got to hear the start up of the 1923 T bucket and the 1997 sportster that the youth from Tulsa Boys Home put together that week at Hot Rod Camp with the guidance of some dedicated men (including my husband!!!).  It was awesome for me to hear my husband address the crowd and tell the kids that the bike was cool but the reason they were there was to share the love of Christ.  It was also great to hear those same boys tell of the week as the best of their lives!  Last Sunday my heart was so happy hearing my husband speak in front of our church family telling what Hot Rod Camp had meant to him. 

1923 T Bucket that was restored during HRC 2011

Seeing the men work on this project had me thinking alot about my daddy.  This is something he would have LOVED to do.  He had a 1916 Model T (and some others I can't recall) that he had planned to restore before he died.  As I thought about how much I respect the men working at hot rod camp, I realized that I hadn't really respected my daddy.  Recently, I had a conversation with my baby brother about our daddy and I was amazed at the nice things he had to say about daddy.  That led me to think about how I saw daddy and what needed to change. 

One of the cars Daddy had around 1990
After realizing that I didn't properly respect my daddy while he was here on earth, I recalled this verse:
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.  Proverbs 29:18 I never had a redemptive revelation of my daddy....meaning that I never saw him through the blood of Jesus.  I saw him as an alcoholic and experienced that rejection as his little girl. 

I thought that I had forgiven him, but I see that it wasn't complete before now.  Even though my daddy wasn't able to meet all my needs as a little girl and made many mistakes-he is forgiven.  He put his trust in Jesus and became sober shortly before he died.  I saw the change and try to always remember those times, but never really let go of the hurts from before that time. When my daddy but his trust in Jesus, he was made brand new!!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Because daddy trusted in Jesus he was's just as if he'd done everything right.   This is what Jesus did for me when I fully put my trust in Him, it's what He did for my daddy when he trusted him, and it's what He will do for all who call out to Him and fully trust in His finished work on the cross for their salvation! 
Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. Isaiah 61:7
My daddy and I ~1978
On this father's day I am thankful for my daddy.  I am thankful for the grace to fully forgive him and I choose to see him through the blood of Jesus.  Daddy was a hard worker and did his best to care for his family.  I think if he were still alive today his life would demonstrate the righteousness Jesus gave him. 
I am thankful for my husband who is a wonderful daddy to our precious girls.  I am thankful for the redemptive revelation of him- that he is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and that I can teach my girls to respect and admire him. 
My family with Harley that was customized at HRC 2011

On a lighter note...the title of this post comes from one of Aleigha's prayers.  This two-year old's prayers are just precious, as seems she usually just copies what she has heard prayed before.  One of her prayers last week was "Amen God made hot dog camp, Amen God made my daddy work hot dog camp".  Obviously, not knowing what Hot Rod camp was, she just filled in with a word she knew and gave us many giggles:)! Yep-she says her Amen first, it's really cute to her momma, she's done it like this since she first started praying by herself.  Now that I think about it, it's really neat-she's saying she believes what she prays before she even says it! For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.

Oh, Lord, let us not be like the obstinate nation...let us repent and rest in you.  Let us get our strength in queitness and trust....for the JOY of you Lord is our strength.  Lord as I type these words I am trying to "do" many things...get my email cleaned out, edit some blog posts, etc...Lord let me just "be"-quiet. Let me just rest in you!  Take the pressure off me to get my to-do list done.  Show me if there is any "work" that I need to lay down.  Remind me that it is not my performance that will get me through this life-it is the blood of Jesus!  I trust in and rely upon you-I will rest, for I know you are working in me to will and to do what pleases you.  Thank you that I can rest even while going about everyday tasks.  I don't have to worry about how to get it all done....I trust in your guidance! In Jesus name, AMEN

Friday, June 10, 2011

Are you tired???

Lord your Word tells us to come to You when we are weary and burdened, and You will give us rest. Lord, let us take your yoke upon us and learn from you, for you are gentle and humble in heart, and we will find rest for our souls. for your yoke is easy and your burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30)

God we know that you are not unjust; You will not forget our work and the love we have shown You as we have helped your people and continue to help them. Let each of us show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make our hope sure. Do not let us become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:10-12)

Thank you that we will not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9) Thank you that we will not be lacking in zeal, but You will keep our spiritual fervor, as we are serving you Lord. (Romans 12:11) We know that all hard work brings a profit, (Prov 14:23)

And we pray this in order that we may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. To this end we labor, struggling with all YOUR energy, which so powerfully works in us.   (Col 1:10-11, 29)

Thank you Lord that You gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in You LORD will renew their strength. We will soar on wings like eagles; we will run and not grow weary, we will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

We rest in you-Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  In Jesus name, AMEN!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I was up very early Sunday morning with a sick little one, so we snuggled on the couch and watched Enchanted.  In case you don't know me, I am NOT a movie kind of girl!  So for me to watch a movie more than once is rare (of course my kids watch the same videos over and over, but I am usually doing something else after the first viewing).  The first time I watched Enchanted was on a trip to Dallas with students a few years ago...I had nothing to do but watch the video on the bus ride, although I was not fully watching it and didn't get to see the ending.  I was surprised at how God used it to teach me the first time I saw the movie (read the post here)
Seeing the ending of the movie made me sad Sunday. This time when I finished the movie I had some of the same negative thoughts I usually do about movies (waste of time, etc...).  I'm not really sure what emotions it brought up...but not good.  In fact, kind of put a damper on my day until I realized I was thinking so negatively and took my thoughts captive.  This writing is an attempt to sort out the negative feelings and bring them into the light of Jesus.  (It's not a new movie, but if you've not seen it and don't want to ruin it, watch it before you read on. Even if you've not seen the movie, I hope that you will still benefit from this writing).

Here's what I think I got out of it: We are like Giselle-made for our Prince (Jesus) but when we spend too much time in the world, we give up on our first love.  After being in NYC, Giselle began taking on their customs and was not as enchanted with her prince.  She spent too much time with another man and fell in love with him.  Have we done that-spent too much time with the world and desire what it has to offer more than we want what Jesus has to offer? 
Even though the movie seemed to end with a 'happily ever after' since the prince found a new bride and Giselle chose a new left me sad! I don't want to loose my first love!  I was comforted when this verse came to mind:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25

He will keep me from loosing my first love! I want to fall more deeply in love with Jesus every day and let the fascination with the world grow dim.  I don't want to settle for less than my Hero-my Jesus.  I want to be ready when He comes for me and this promise remind me that he will present me with great joy!

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 19:17

Verse 18 goes on to say that the bride is wearing fine linen which is righteousness.  It has been given us to wear by the sacrifice of Christ.  I am working on a blog about clothing now...will post more later-but for now just note that Christ's sacrifice makes us ready!

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:29-30

We, the bride of Christ-belong to Him! We are his and cannot be snatched from his hand.  We can choose not to focus on Jesus, but He still loves us.  Jesus is still captivated by his bride-just as the prince was in the movie.  He was still singing to Giselle even when she lost interest. 

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. Song of Solomon 4:9

The bride of Christ 'stole His heart' before we were even born-He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world!!! He will never give up on us even if we don't remember His promises.  Today my Z whispered in my ear "you are a princess, mommy-that will make your day better"!  What a sweet reminder!!! You too friend are a princess (or prince) as well-for your Father is the king of kings and you are the bride of the Prince of Peace.  Think about that!! 

The end of Beth Moore's teaching on Life Today confirmed what God was speaking into my heart this week.  There is a happily every after...My God will make all things new!!
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  Matthew 25:34

This happily ever after is brings me much more joy and peace than thinking on a movie (now do you see why I don't do movies ;) I think too much, lol). 
The ransomed of the LORD will 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 51:11

Lord God,  You're the King of the world.  You've stolen my heart, Yes You have! You've wiped away the stains,and broke away the chains, Yes You have!  You are able to keep my eyes on you and present me holy and without fault in your presence.  Thank you Jesus!! In your presence we become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which we shine like stars in the universe (Phil 2:15) Thank you for your mercy and grace and for the ways you speak your truth and love in my life.  I love you Lord!!!

Thanks for reading this super long blog post...and in case you are wondering I feel better now:) Sorting through feelings in the light of the Word always does that for me!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is it worth it?

I have been wondering if taking the time to blog is worth it.  I mean there are tons of other bloggers out there who may be saying the same thing as me.  When I doubt, the Lord is quick to remind me of His promises.  He has a plan for my life and if He's guiding me to blog it has a purpose. Even if only one person comes to know Jesus more-it's worth it!

One of my primary purposes may be a teeny bit selfish.  Writing gets my thoughts out and they eventually make more sense to me.  When I blog and add tags, it allows me to recall what He has taught me.  Just this week I have used my blog posts to remember the goodness of God and His faithfulness in my life

Today I found another reason for writing and sharing what He is doing in my life.  Because people need to hear the good news!  Not that God needs me to do it, He makes himself known by His creation (Romans 1:20).  But when I follow Him, I will be blessed and I hope and pray that you will be encouraged!

Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Psalm 105:1

The realization today was brought about by the circle of moms top 25 faith blogs.  I saw the post on facebook and checked it out since I am trying to interact with other bloggers.  I thought that I would find others blogging just like me-faith in Christian.  I was wrong.  I frequently make the mistake of assuming people are like me in their beliefs. I was proved wrong today when the top faith blog selected was a pagan mom's blog.  I must admit, I am uneducated when it comes to the belief systems of other faiths.  This opened my eyes and reminded me that not everyone knows the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

So, I'm going to keep chugging along and stop thinking about the number of readers.  I will leave it in the hands of my Lord and Savior who has a plan for the words He gives me.  His word is alive and active, sharper than a double-edged sword and will accomplish what He desires...bringing joy and peace!!!
As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
 You will go out in joy
   and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
   will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
   will clap their hands.     Isaiah 55:10-12

For the record, my blog didn't come in LAST place! I don't know who you are, but thanks to the 12 people that voted for it, lol!!! I entered it today-which was the last day to vote, so the only purpose was to get the blog out there.  I do have some traffic coming from that site (but, wait...I'm not going to focus on the numbers, right?).  I also had a new subscriber today because a sweet friend shared my blog on her facebook page! I am humbled and thankful for each of you reading this...whoever you are!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Forgetting God's Goodness

After the spiritual amnesia post I wrote earlier in the week, I read a Harvest Devotion via email with interest since confirmation (repeating themes) is one way God has been speaking to me. Here is a portion of it:
Have you ever forgotten God's goodness to you? Have you ever had to relearn something? I know I have. And the disciples did too. Matthew's Gospel tells us that on one occasion, the disciples had forgotten to bring bread on their journey, and they were worried about it. The feeding of the 5,000 had happened only days earlier. Then there was another miracle of the feeding of the 4,000. So what happened? They forgot. That is what happened. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same God who was there for you in the past will be with you here in the present. And He will be there for you in the future as well.

Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. "Watch out!" Jesus warned them. "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Matthew 16:5

After the revelation over the weekend that I am prone to spiritual amnesia, this verse jumped out at me-specifically Jesus' words to beware of the yeast.  Yeast puffs up and spreads through a whole batch of dough- a little yeast goes a long way. Was the 'yeast' he was talking about here forgetting the goodness of God?

If the 'yeast' is discontentment or dissatisfaction (as I was dealing with earlier) then it only takes a bit to cause that to overflow out of your life.  If the 'yeast' is fear (that God won't provide), then it only takes a bit to impact your life.

Jesus warned the disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, or religious people of the time.  This means we also need to be aware of the 'yeast' that we can pick up on from others.  When we are surrounded by spiritual amnesia, negativity, religion, or fear it is easy to get brought down with the group if we don't constantly focus on Jesus-the bread of life.

If we trust in and focus on Jesus and renew our minds, we won't forget God's goodness!  We will not be conformed to the pattern of this world (infected by 'yeast'), but will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2)!!! We will be joyful always;  pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 17:16-18). 

And who knows, maybe the Spirit in us will impact those around us instead of the 'yeast' infecting us!  Wait-we do know- You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 Praise the Lord!! Jesus in us is greater than the 'yeast' and when we look to Jesus we will not forget God's goodness!
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