Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jesus and Candy Canes

Legend of the Candy Cane



I love finding meaning in all the little things that symbolize Christmas to us.

Each year we read The Legend of the Candy Cane. I love the fact that my children look at candy canes and see so much more than just a stick of candy that is red and white.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Love You Because

We made these cute little frames at Bible Study the other day. We are to put them somewhere in the house and use a dry erase marker to write a reason that we love a specific person in our home that day. I am color coding the dry erase markers so that is how my husband and kids can distinguish who the message is for.

We simply bought a frame that had a 5 x 7 opening and used scrapbook materials. Some of the girls put the saying "I am thankful for..." This is a really cute and simple Christmas gift if you are still trying to figure out what to get someone.

 
Of course, I see something in everything so as I have looked at this frame, I have been reminded of the Father's love for me.
 
His love is not conditional, but unconditional.
 
He doesn't love me for what I can do for Him or what color my hair is, He simply LOVES me for who I am.
 
He made me with a purpose and a plan in mind. He made me the way He wanted me to be made. We are His royalty.
 
Challenge: Are you following the purposes and plans that God has laid out before you?
Are you down on yourself? God loves you with an everlasting love and He loves you no matter what. If you are feeling distant, He is always there, we are the ones who back away from Him. I challenge you today, to find time to simply get in the Father's presence and allow Him to love on you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Gift to Jesus

I have been challenged this Christmas season in so many ways. I desire to celebrate Jesus in every possible way that I can. As I have been meditating on all the things that Jesus is to us,

He is ALL things!

Whatever we need, He is there.

He is there to light our path in the dark.

He is our Shepherd leading us at all times.

He is our Comforter.

Our  Counselor.

I could go on and on and on. There is no way I could ever list ALL that He is.

He is our most perfect gift.

But what gift are we giving Him?

He wants our hearts! He wants it ALL, not just part of us. Our lives should not be compartmentalized with here's my family life, my home duties, my job, my recreational activities, church, God. God should be apart of every aspect of our lives. He should not be shoved in a corner or section of our lives. We should have such a relationship with Him that our lives overflow the way He would live in each situation. He should direct each and every step we take.

He wants us to simply follow Him and keep His commandments.
(Our lives may not LOOK the way we think they would, but we are at peace knowing we are following His plan for us!)

I read a story recently that I loved. We will be doing this in our home from now on.

Each person gets a card and you write how you will show Jesus you love Him.
That's the gift--to choose something you would do to be more like Jesus.

Then, put your cards in a box and wrap the gift in gold paper.

You put the box under the tree and every time you look at the box, it is supposed to remind you of the Savior's gift to us and our gift to Him.

Then, on Christmas Eve, you open the box and everyone reads their gifts to to Jesus out loud.

How cool is that! I desire to honor Christ with my life. When I honor Him, I am leading my children to honor Him.

Challenge:
What things do I need to do different to lead my children to Christ and the true meaning of the season?
What things do I need to eliminate from my life because it is a distraction from God's ultimate plan?

What is my gift to Jesus this Christmas?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for our homeschool friends. We have been blessed with so many homeschooling families this year. I am super excited about homeschooling opportunities we may be able to offer in our small little town in the future.

Last year, we met other homeschoolers through our music class, but everybody lived at least 30 minutes away from us. We would drive for occasional play dates, but it was hard to always have to drive. This year God has blessed us with 2 families we see often and one family who will be starting next year. AND...I keep hearing of others in the area. I would love to meet them!

We planned a trip to a local museum for the Polar Express last week. When I booked the field trip, they ask for our homeschool name. We are kind of an unofficial group but we do need a name. Of course, we are all doing what our state requires and are apart of the necessary groups, but yet that's still 30 to 45 minutes away for us.

I am so happy that my children are surrounded by other children who are being raised up in the ways of Jesus. It's sort of neat because we are similar in our homeschool approach. I'm amazed by how God orchestrates things.

Are our children perfect? By all means, no!

Do they always obey? Oh my, NO!

Do they walk around like perfect little angels? NO

Do we have tons of fun? YES

We are not perfect by any means, but we have been called to homeschool. We may seem a little frazzled at times, since we are usually outnumbered by kids, trying to teach our kids the required subjects and maintaining some type of order at home...But we seem to hold it together (only by  God's grace are we able!).

Yesterday, we were all running in the local grocery store to get lunch for our kids while some were still in music classes. We looked pretty funny with our car buggies. I am convinced we would make a pretty good TV series. I am not sure I would want to hear what America would have to say about us! LOL

I am so thankful for these friends and how unique God made each of them. It was so fun to hear and see them dance around the room and make up their own music rhymes yesterday. We are truly blessed!

 
 
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Impatience in the CTB

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arms. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17

As I reflect upon the last few days, I am so glad that God is Sovereign and that nothing is too hard for Him. All I know is that I could not do life without Him working through me. The last few days have been a test in all sort of ways. I have had to rely on the Lord 100%. I am not going into detail BECAUSE my crazy day is nothing compared to the things people go through. It has just been mishaps that can make us have a really bad day IF we CHOOSE to go that route. I hate to ever say that I have had a bad day, but if I did, yesterday would have qualified.

I had a friend in college who often said, "Everyday's a good day." No matter how crazy his day, his response was the same everytime. So, when my day is not going as "I" planned, I find myself saying it's a good day. Things could be so much worse.

The last few days have required a lot of patience on my part. That does not come from within myself, but God. I couldn't do it without Him!

God's Word says,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking nothing." James 1:2-4

Let's take a closer look:

In this passage, James does not say "IF" you face, trials but "WHENEVER" you face trials.

No matter what, we will all face trials at some point. What may be a trial for some people may not be a trial for others. But whatever it is, we will all face them. God's Word says it.

We are to consider it PURE JOY when we face trials.

There is a difference in joy and happiness. Things and situations make us happy, but Christ gives us joy. So when we face trials, we may not be "happy" with the outcome, but if we are in a solid relationship with Christ, our joy should not be effected.

When we are tested, my faith develops perseverance.

When we have faith that things will workout according to God's plan, we will have what it takes to push through and get the job done . Without faith, we will easily crumble under the pressure.

We must finish the work so that we may be mature and complete.

We must complete what God has called us to. When we complete the task, we will be more mature in Him because we persevered and trusted God with the outcome.


When we find our self in the midst of a trial, we do not need to "pretend" to be happy. That gets us nowhere. We have to choose a positive outlook in the situation and realize that God may be trying to teach us something through this situation. (What was God trying to teach me yesterday? Not sure yet, but I am sure at some point, I will know.)

We do not truly know the depth of our character until we have see how we will react or respond under pressure. It is so much easier to be kind to others when things seem to be going well, but when can we be kind when it seems that others are treating us unfairly?

No matter what, we have a Sovereign God who will see us through any situation. Nothing is too hard for Him.




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Ordinary Tree

A friend of my Mom's gave her a tree in memory of her dad/my grandpa that passed away the week of Thanksgiving. It was the coolest gift ever.

Let me explain....

1. This tree blooms the month my grandfather passed away.

2. The roots are it's foundation. This represents the foundation of my grandfather's life. His foundation was Jesus Christ. That is why he could stand in all situations.

3. The trunk represents his life. His life was strong because of his "right foundation" in Jesus Christ.

4. The branches represent his children.

5. The leaves represent his grandchildren, their spouses and great grandchildren.

My mom planted this tree in her front yard and when she looks at it, it is to remind her of the fruitful life my grandfather lived. It is to remind her that his legacy will live on through all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

That is super cool. Those of you that know me, know that I LOVE gifts that are packed with meaning. When you look at this tree, it is completely packed with meaning ~ No Ordinary Tree.

And of course, she had to call for help to plant the tree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Stories at Bedtime

If you read my post on Tuesday, I failed to mention this great book. It is called Christmas Stories at Bedtime by Renae Brumbaugh.

Christmas Stories for Bedtime Gift Edition
It is on sale right now for $4 at Amazon! I found this at Sams last year before Christmas and bought it since we love to read in this house and are always looking for great bedtime books.

This book takes you through Bible stories all centered on Jesus' birth. I love how this book relates the Christmas story to our lives today.

For example,

One reading is a verse about Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem to be taxed. Then, you read a page that talks about what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph. It was a long journey and Mary was pregnant. It must have been a difficult journey for her, but she did what she was asked without fussing or complaining.

Then, the prayer at the end makes it personal to us about complaining when we have to do things we may not want to do.

This book is geared for kids 5 to 8, but it is speaking to me.

How many times do we complain about having to do something that we don't feel like doing?
We may not make it verbal, but we are thinking it and it shows in our attitudes and actions. Wow!

So, if you are looking for a good Christmas book that is focused on Jesus, this is a great one.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for so much!

We have been sick in our house since last week. It started with me and then on to the kids. We have been staying at home and missing most of our activities.

Today, I am thankful that my children are healthy. Yes, they have been sick, but they are getting better. The sickness they have is not an incurable disease. My children are playing and having fun during this sickness.

I am thankful that I get to spend quality time with them and have fun playing whatever they are pretending at the moment.

I am thankful that my house is somewhat messy right now. That means that I have children in my home, playing and enjoying themselves.

I am thankful that I have people who have been praying for us and texting, calling, etc. to check on us. We are blessed!

I am thankful that we have a warm house to be in when they are sick.

I am thankful that we have food on the table and money to buy the medicine they need.


Lord, thank You for your many blessings. We are blessed beyond measure.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Gospel

Last week in the CTB, we studied the Gospel.

The Gospel is divided into God, Man, Jesus, What Now?

When looking at these Scriptures, I'm simply in awe of my Savior. It amazes me, how each time you look in Scripture, even ones you have read often, you can still pull something from it and be in amazement of God.

God is....
Creator
Creative
Eternal
A Rock: firm, strong and unchanging
Establisher
Owner
Perfect
(...and many other things)

Man is....
unclean
our righteous acts are compared to filthy rags
sinful
we shrivel up like a leaf
like the wind, our sins sweep us away
not righteous
no understanding
sinner
we fall short of the glory of God
death -- because of sin, this is our payment
destined to die
judgement

Jesus is....
One with the Father
while we were still sinners, He died for us
raised on the third day
trades his righteousness for our sin
tempted in every way, yet never sinned
by His wounds, we are healed

Wow! We are in need of a Savior! We cannot live a day without Him.

What Now?....
Evil men needs to forsake (turn away) from his evil ways
Turn toward God
We are freely pardoned
Repent of our wickedness
Confess with my mouth "Jesus is Lord"
Believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

If you do not know the Lord as your personal Savior, I challenge you today to take that step of faith. If you need to talk with me privately, please email me and we will talk.

Everything listed under each heading came directly from Scripture. If you have the CTB, it is in direct order of the Scriptures that were listed. I did not list them because of this being a patented item. If you have a question about which Scripture reference something came from, feel free to message me and I will give you the reference.

If you don't have the CTB and would like it, you can go to there website to get the materials to make your own.

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Today, I am linking up with Good Morning Girl.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Keeping Christ in Christmas

It is so easy to get caught up with all the Christmas spirit that the world has to offer. There's an endless amount of things that we can do to "get in the festive spirit," but Christ should be our focus as we anticipate the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That should be what drives our excitement and anticipation.

 "Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ" ~ Ann Voskamp

 T
here are several things that we have chosen as a family to keep us focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

1. I am participating in the Good Morning Girls Advent Study. This is wonderful, not only for me, but it also has great ideas of things to do with your children. Of course, you light your candle each week.

This year I bought new votives instead of using my normal advent wreath and candles. In the past, I have had trouble with it making a mess so I bought new so I would not be frustrated in cleaning the mess each time we lit them. Last year, I did not light them as much because of the mess and I like them lit!

2. We also made a Names of Jesus Advent Chain. Click on the link and you can print out your FREE copy. We take a link off a day and read the passage of Scripture. This has been wonderful and I LOVE anything to do with the Names of God! The Names of God chain hangs on our Jesse Tree.

3. We have a Jesse Tree and we are using the Free download from A Holy Experience. I love this study. I printed out 2 sets of ornaments so that each child would have their own. I laminated them so that we could use them year after year. I love how it starts at the beginning with creation. It is a little above my children's level, but I do it first myself and then with the kids later in a kid version. She recommends putting on one ornament a day, but my 2 year old wanted to go ahead and put on some of his ornaments. I figure it doesn't matter as long as they are hearing the Word and focusing on Christ. If you have never been to Ann Voskamp's website, you will fall in love with it! This has been my inspiration for Christmas gifts this year. Most everyone I know will be getting "Gratitude Journals." I will post more about those later. LOVE LOVE her and her site!


4. We have a cutout for each child to simply color a number of the date in a countdown until Jesus' birthday. I did not do as this suggested because we are doing this for fun and it keeps them focused on the real reason for the season. You can find the printout here.

5. We also have a Advent felt calendar that has pieces you add each day until Christmas that makes the navity. This is simply for fun, but again keeps the focus on Christ.


6. We will start to use "What God Wants for Christmas" one week before Christmas. I am SOOOOOO excited about this. Each year, I have done this with my kids and in the last couple of years with my nieces and nephews, but it was a lot of wrapping, etc. I found this cute neat set all done for me! I am excited to be able to use it! I love how it ends! God simply wants our heart. Our whole heart! Wow! Love it!

I know this seems like a lot, but it is not bad. I feel that for me to help my children stay focused on Christ during this time, I must stay focused on Christ FIRST. So, part of this is just a natural flow of our day anyway. We are on break from our "normal" homeschool schedule and this takes the place of our normal Bible Time.

With a world so full of the "other stuff," we have to be intentional about helping our kids stay focused on the true meaning. We do have fun also. We love the Christmas parades (we missed the ones we had planned to go to this weekend because of sick kids.), we love looking at Christmas lights, watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and talking to Santa.

This is a few of my favorite Christmas decorations...

I got this nativity after our first Christmas on clearance. I love the verses on each figurine!


 
 
 
This was our nativity our first Christmas from my mom. I love it and will always have it sitting out!
 
 
 
I would LOVE to hear how you keep your family focused on Christ during the Christmas season. Please share!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my sweet grandmother who took care of my grandpa during his sickness. She was not feeling well herself, but did it with such love and care. She is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. She has such a love for people. She has a tender heart toward God. When she is at church and prays, she is often found crying because of her tender heart.

 
This picture is of my mom, my grandmother and one of my mom's sisters, Judy. We were shopping for funeral clothes. No matter how hard this has been,  she has been well taken care of. I love this picture so much! I am not exactly sure why, but is is super special to me. This was a hard day for us all, especially being "Black Friday" and we were on a mission and emotional.
 
I have been reminded so much lately of how blessed I am to have a great family! God is so good and I am blessed beyond measure!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fighting in the CTB

I am back in the CTB this week and the topic is fighting. Right on time for us. We have had some crazy fighting between my 6 and soon to be 3 year old lately. It is one thing after another. But through God's Word and specifically praying for peace in our home, God is "Making our Home a Haven."

"Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Psalm 34:34

In this scripture we are told to do 4 things:
1. Turn from evil
2. Do good
3. Seek peace
4. Pursue peace

What is peace?
Peace is a state of tranquility and quiet.

Who needs more quiet around their home? More tranquility?

Traniquility is a quility or state of being tranquil.
Synonyms are calmness, restfulness, sereness, serenity, still, stillness, calm.

This sounds pretty inviting to me! How about you?

Many times we have this mindset that peace will come to us with no effort. In this scripture, we are to seek it and pursue it. How do we seek and pursue it? We go in search of it.

Who is peace? Jehovah Shalom: The Lord our Peace.

He is our peace! All we have to do is pursue and seek Him. He gives us peace deep within in the middle of troubling situations.

If we want peace, we cannot be argumentative and contentious. Peaceful relationships come from our efforts at peacemaking. We should work hard at being at peace with others. When we seek God and allow Him to be our peace, we have little trouble being at peace with others. Things that we would normally want to be argumentative about no longer matter. We see things from an eternal perspective instead of a me, me, me perspective.

Challenge:
Do I have trouble living in harmony with the people around me?
Do I find myself constantly raising my voice in anger and frustration with my children?
Do I find myself being rude to the ones I love?
What changes do I need to make to see that peace resonates in my home?

Today, I am linking up with Good Morning Girls.






Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

This time last week, I was just receiving a call that my grandpa (Pepa) was not doing well. He had returned from the hospital the week before and was under hospice care. I took my mom what she needed to stay overnight and he was really sick. I watched as my mom and her sister took great care of him. They would not leave his side and were holding his hand and loving him with all they knew to do. The very next day he was moved to the hospice house and passed away on Wednesday morning around 10 AM.

It has been a sad time, a joyful time and reflection time this last week. I am sad that I will never get to see him again, this side of heaven. I will never get to feel his hug as he kisses me on the cheek to say hello or goodbye. I will never get to hear him speak of what building project he has going. I will never get to eat the vegetables that he harvested in his garden. I will never get to spend time with him this side of heaven ever again. As I sit here and miss him, he is rejoicing in heaven at this very moment. He is having the time of his life, free from any pain or sorrow. He is praising Jesus with all his heart, soul and mind. He has not a care in the world!

His memorial service was beautiful. The church was packed with only a handful of the many lives he had touched. As I sat there yesterday with my family, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the life my grandfather lived. Was he perfect? No, but he knew what really mattered. He was a man who truely lead his family to Jesus. He didn't only lead family, but countless others as well. He was a man who made his life count.

About 8 years ago, he became really sick and we did not know what the outcome would be then. He bounced back after being in the hospital for weeks on end and very very sick. He went home from the hospital and immediately began to work again. Did he feel great? No, but he wasn't going to let sickness stop him! He was determined. I cannot even begin to tell you all the things he accomplished during that time. It is way too many to count.

As I was in his bedroom the last night he was home, I looked in the corner and I saw his pants hanging on the coat rack with the hat he always wore. I will never get to see my grandpa wear that hat again. I loved to see him wear that hat.

But another thought came to mind:
He is no longer here. All of his "stuff" is here, but not him. He could take nothing with him to heaven, only those things that have eternal value: souls.

 I began to think about the way I live my life:
Am I making life count?
Am I living out what God has marked for me to do?
Am I bringing glory to Him through each step I take?
Am I leading my children to Christ or to more "things?"

I desire to leave a legacy that brings others to Jesus. I want others to want to know Jesus if they do not know Him after being around me. I need to live my life with the end in mind. What do I want to have accomplished and what really matters when I come to the end of my life?

My grandfather's obituary.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Contagious

Yesterday we had to take my son to the doctor because we thought he may have pink eye, but it turned out to be some type of virus. It started on Sunday afternoon and since then I have been wiping down anything and everything he touches.
 
As I have been wiping down everything, I have been thinking: He touches so much it is virtually impossible to wipe away every germ. He's two and he touches, wipes eyes, touches, wipes eyes. There is no way to make him keep his hands from his eyes. So therefore, we have been washing our hands constantly because I do not want what he's got in my eye! Yuck!
 
As I was thinking: As contagious as this virus could be; I desire that my love, my joy, my relationship with Jesus would be so contagious, that others could not help but love, have joy, have a relationship with Jesus too! How awesome is that?!?
 
 
"You are the salt of the earth..." Matthew 5:13
 
 
Challenge:
Do I live a life that reflects Jesus?
Do I live a life that leads people to Jesus?
Do I live a life that makes others want more of Jesus?
Do I live a life that spreads love and joy?
What changes do I need to make in my life to be more contagious?
Am I the same person at home that I am around others to make my children want Jesus? (WOW)
Do I have big (audacious) faith?
Do I TRUST Jesus with my DAILY life choices?
Am I salty?
Does my life reflect too much of the world?
Am I affecting others positively (bringing out the best in them)?
 
 
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Overcoming Fear

I have some super exciting news to share today about fear!!
 
We are a homeschooling family and apart of Classical Conversations on Thusday mornings. If you are not sure what "CC" is, you can visit their website for more information. You will be amazed by all they do and the kids learn. I am so much smarter than I was 12 weeks ago! 
 
One of the many aspects of CC that I love is that they give the children opportunities each week to get up in front of their peers and do "show and tell." Of course, this is the beginning of bigger presentations as they get older.
 
I know many of you reading this blog do not know me, but I LOVE to speak to groups of people. The bigger the group the better. It has always been my dream to speak to thousands of people at a time. I know that sounds crazy, but I LOVE it! I do not know why I do, but I do. My first experience speaking in front of a larger group was in second grade. I had to memorize a poem for the PTA meeting. That room was full, I was nervous, but way excited. After I finished that night, I knew this would be a part of who I was and could not wait for the next chance to speak in front of a group of people! Funny, huh!
 
But my daughter is the opposite.
 
At CC, we first meet in the church sanctuary for opening. All the kids are there with their moms. Each week a different family opens up. Of course, I chose after Christmas because I knew we would have to work up to that. So the first week we walk in and AG immediatley bust into tears. She thought her show and tell was in front of this group of people. Probably around 40 to 50 people. I had to explain it was in her class with 8 kids, a tutor and 5 moms.
 
So, when we get to class and it's time for show and tell, she has a complete meltdown. She would not get off of me and refused to open her mouth to speak. So, I ended up introducing her for the first class. The second week she sat on my lap at the back of the room and said very little. I had to coach her along. Then, slowly we moved to the front of the room with me beside her and each week, I would move further away and say less and less.
 
This week, for the first time, she did her presentation all by herself in front of the classroom without my help. I got to actually video her!!!
 
How awesome is that?!? We had lots of discussions on fear during these 12 weeks. She did so well today, but I know that God was helping her 100% today.
 
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."  2 Timothy 1:7
 
1. God did not give us a spirit of fear.
 
This "spirit of fear" is from the enemy. It puts us in bondage and chains. It paralyzes us. The enemy does not want us to fulfill the plan God has for us, so he attempts to put fear on us so that we will be paralyzed and not walk in freedom proclaiming Jesus.
 
2. God gives us "spirit of power, of love and self-discipline."
 
These are available to us because the Holy Spirit lives in us. He gives us power over the enemy and gives us a spirit of love.
 
Discipline means control by enforcing obedience or order. Self discipline means we have to enforce obedience to God and do what He wants us to do no matter what. We may have to pray our way through a situation and memorize scripture to get through it, but we can; because we have the Holy Spirit working through us.
 
As AG finished her presentation today, I was thinking over the last 12 weeks. At first I held her in my arms to talk to the class, then by my side, then we moved to the front of the room. It was a gradual shift. God is so much that way. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, but He is right there holding us in His arms and guiding us step by step moving us through the process of what we are to be doing.
 
I do not know what area you are experiencing fear in today, but know it is not from God. The enemy is trying to keep you walking in fear, so that you can not truely function as God desires you to function. Trust in an All-knowing God today to take away your fear.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for so much. As I think about my life, I am so blessed. I have a warm home when it's cold and a cool home when it's warm. I have a soft warm bed to sleep in and plenty of food. I do not have to worry about where my next meal comes from.

I am surrounded by family and friends who lift me up, encourage me, and help me do life. For that, I am grateful.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He took a wretched sinner like myself and made me whole again. He gives me all that I have need of. He is my everything. And, if you missed Tuesday, I am going to list them again...

He is...
Emmanuel ~ God with Us
Jehovah Shalom ~ The Lord of My Peace
Elohim ~ The Almighty, Powerful One, Strong Creator
El Shaddai ~ God Almighty
El Elyon ~ The Most High, King of Kings
El Sali ~ God of my Strength
Jehovah Shammah ~ The Lord is There
Jehovah Nissi ~ God our Victory
Jehovah Jireh ~ The Lord my Provider
Jehovah Rohi ~ My Sheppherd
El Roi ~ The God Who Sees
Jehovah Rophe ~ The Lord Who Heals
Jehovah Sabaoth ~ The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah Nissi ~ The Lord is my Banner
He is Abba Father Daddy
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fear

What makes you fearful, afraid, terrified?
 
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you."
 
By nature I am not a very fearful person. But I have experienced times of fear. In studying fear, several things jumped out at me.
 
Be strong and courageous.
 
This does not say be strong and courageous when you "feel" like it or when you are having a good day. It simply said be: no if, ands or buts. No matter the situation, we are to be strong and courageous. Courageous means to be brave.
 
What is God asking me to step out and do in faith? When it requires more of God and less of me, God is normally orchestrating this!
 
Do not be afraid or terrified.
 
Afraid means filled with fear or apprehension. Terrified means to fill with terror, a state of intense fear, intimidate.
 
The Lord goes with me, He will never leave me nor forsake me.
 
So no matter what, God is ALWAYS there with me; walking hand in hand ready to guide me, comfort me, love me.
 
Forsake means to renounce or turn away entirely. A synonym is abandon.
 
God will NEVER walk away from me. I can trust Him with EVERY aspect of my life. He will lead and guide me into the unknown future and I need not fear.
 
"The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1
 
As I moved on to the next verse, I began to think a little deeper about fear and what it does to us. Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us within ourselves. We can not see past the fear. We seem to look at all the things that could be, might be, etc.
 
What are we fearful of? Fear of rejection, misunderstanding, uncertainty, sickness, or even death? There's so many things that can get us caught in fear.
 
But this verse reassures us that "the Lord is my light and salvation." We can conquer fear by trusting Him who brings salvation. He is the only One who can dispel all fear. Many times our fear is wrapped in lies that we tell ourselves. But when God gets in the middle of it, all fear is gone. He sheds light on the situation and it is not as it seemed.

Challenge: What is it God has been whispering in your ear, but you have been ignoring because you are fearful of it? (For me it was this blog! I know, crazy. But for some reason, it scared me to death! But I have worked through this fear and I know God is going to use it for His glory!)
 
And on another note, if you do not know: The Good Morning Girls  Advent Study will be starting soon. You don't want to miss out. The Colossians study was amazing!
 

 
And today, I am linking up with  
 
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My All in All

We live in a world where it seems more is better. The world tells us we need a better house, a better car, etc. It doesn't matter how great of a sale I find (and I do LOVE sales and I get great satisfaction from it), but nothing can compare to Christ. Christ is the only One who can bring me all that I need, He is our All in All.
 
He is... 
 
Emmanuel ~ God with Us
 
Jehovah Shalom ~ The Lord of My Peace
 
Elohim ~ The Almighty, Powerful One, Strong Creator
 
El Shaddai ~ God Almighty
 
El Elyon ~ The Most High, King of Kings
 
El Sali ~ God of my Strength
 
Jehovah Shammah ~ The Lord is There
 
Jehovah Nissi ~ God our Victory
 
Jehovah Jireh ~ The Lord my Provider
 
Jehovah Rohi ~ My Sheppherd
 
El Roi ~ The God Who Sees
 
Jehovah Rophe ~ The Lord Who Heals
 
Jehovah Sabaoth ~ The Lord of Hosts
 
Jehovah Nissi ~ The Lord is my Banner
 
He is Abba Father Daddy

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rethinking Things

Do you ever find yourself slipping? It seems all is well and then if not careful you find yourself slipping down this slippery slope?

Well, that's the way I have felt lately. I have been a little off in my post for CTB but that's because we are simply struggling. I am still on target with my reading through them, I'm just simply running to everything and running out of time.

How does it get to the point you seem like everything is somewhat under control and then all of a sudden spiraling out of control??

This is what I believe: As women of God we are trying to be the best we can be in all areas and bring glory to God. You see, the enemy does NOT like that; so he has to create some sort if diversion.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:10
 
The enemy will do ALL he can to bring bad to a situation. We live in a real world where things happen. BUT we have a choice in how we handle those things. When we are giving things to God and allowing Him to handle them for us, the enemy is mad. He does not like that. He usually attacks our mind. If he can get our mind twisted, it messes with how we conduct our life in every area.
 

Look at the depiction between the enemy and Jesus:

The enemy came to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY.
 
Jesus came so that we may have LIFE and MORE ABUNDANTLY! He was willing to lay down His life for us so that we wouldn't have to die eternally!
 

Now, with that in mind:

 
Am I living the abundant life in the way I am managing my life? My activities?
 
We are at the point of rethinking some of our activities. We are running and tired. We are not seeming to enjoy things as we should. My children are ill and tired. And of course, the disobedience roars even more.
 
I believe the enemy tries to steel, kill and destroy our focus, our joy, our life. Whatever he can do to get to us, he will do to get us off track!
 
I have been challenged this week through a book I am reading:
 
SURRENDER: Will you surrender your demand for God to order your life the way you want it to be ordered?
 
 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday



 
Today I am thankful for my grandpa. This is my grandpa last summer. He has always planted a garden and shared his crop with the family. Anna Grace LOVES gardening and begs us to do a garden every year. So far, we have not, but would like to at some point. So on this day we went to help him dig potatoes. She loved every minute of it. She even helped to gather the eggs from the chickens.
 
The sad part is, right after this my grandpa got sick and was hospitalized for a month or more. He has not been the same since. He is too weak to get out of his chair much less garden.
 
 He is currently in the hospital. When he first went in, he got a very bad report. But as of Sunday, the doctors have been shocked by what's going on. Their only explanation is a miracle. The moment the family recieved the bad report, they gathered around him in prayer!
 
"He sent His Word and healed them..." Psalm 107:20
 
Join me in prayer for this man of God! I am thankful He has been instrumental in leading his family to Jesus. He has been a very hardworker even when he did not feel like working. I have seen him work through the toughest of situations. Thank you, Pepa for loving your family and showing us Jesus! We love you!
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Peace

I am loving the challenge this week from Making Your Home a Haven. I LOVE lighting my candles and praying for peace in my home. I went to Hobby Lobby today because I wanted to buy something with peace written on it to sit by my candle. Of course, I found "peace" and 2 gifts to go along with it. I just HAD to buy these gifts to remind myself that my children are a gift from God EVEN WHEN they FUSS and it's been a TRYING DAY! I love this so much, I may just have to leave it out year around.  I love how a simple reminder keeps us focused on prayer and evermindful of the many blessings we have in our lives.
 
 
"I will give peace and quiteness..." 1 Chronicles 22:9
Jehovah-Shalom
 
I pray that the Lord brings peace and quiteness to the storm that rages within us. It has been a trying couple of weeks for us with disobedience. But I know that my God reigns and He is our peace!
 
Today I am linking up with Women Living Well.
  
     
 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Home

Today I started the challenge by Women Living Well in the new Making Your Home a Haven challenge. You can go there to read all about it if you would like to participate. For this week we are to light a candle everyday and each time we see the candle be reminded to pray for peace in our homes and for the people in our family. I LOVE these kind of reminders.
 
As I would look at the candle and be busying around the kitchen to fix lunch and prepare for dinner, I was reminded of my mom. I loved being at home with my family. I am the oldest of 3 brothers. I remember waking up for school and mom would be in the kitchen making breakfast for us. My favorite mornings were when we had leftover homemade biscuits. She would put them in the oven and get them toasty and put apple butter on them. Oh the memories. I can taste and smell them now! I also loved her HOT cheese grits on cold mornings.
 
I loved the feeling of coming home from school to a fun afternoon of spending time with my family. My mom cooked most every night. I remember the feeling we got coming home. She loved to cook and make things nice for us. She had a way of making us feel loved and cared for. She wanted things right for us.
 
It was always warm and cozy. It felt like home. The atmosphere in my home was so good, in fact, I rarely wanted to go away with friends. I loved being at home with my family.
 
I love to go home now (next door). It has the same warm cozy feel. It smells so great and is full of peace. When I go home I do not want to leave. It's like I am home and all my worries are no longer there. I can relax with such a sense of peace.
 
I desire for my home to be a place that my children love to be and feel at peace. I desire for them to have fond memories of being at home with home cooked meals simply enjoying each others company. I know that in order for this to happen it starts with me. My husband works hard each and everyday and it is nice when he can come home to a nice peaceful home with dinner on the table.
 
Jesus said in 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.”
 
I pray that the Lord would help me to be the wife and mom I need to be to create this kind of atmosphere. Aside from God, it is not possible.  
 
 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Clean Out and Disobedience

Friday we did not go anywhere. We had plans but one of my children decided that they were not going to obey me so we stayed home. I felt that it would only get worse if I did not really deal with it. I was a little frustrated because we were ready to go and this pops up, not to mention I was looking forward to the event. After a rough start we did have a really great day. For a while, I questioned myself about my decision, mostly because I WANTED to go and hated that "I" missed out. As the day went on, God really confirmed to me multiple times that I made the right decision. I knew that if I quickly walked out the door and shoved it under the rug she was going to act out once we got there as well. I had to DEAL with the issue at hand OR I could ignore for later and then forget to deal with it (and this often happens sadly to say).
 
So, this brings me to this post. Today turned into "clean out" day. I decided to clean out the fish bowl in my daughters room that was way overdue. When I did that I had to be careful that the rocks did not go down the disposal. As I was cleaning up some of the rocks with a papertowel I accidentaly pulled the rubber lining from the sink. When I did I was simply grossed out to say the least. It was super yucky, not to mention stinky to the core. For the record, I should have known this piece came out to clean but did not. So, I got clorox clean up and an old toothbrush and begun scrubbing the rubber lining and around the disposal. I had wondered why I could not get rid of the smell at times. I would pour different things down the drain and "clean" it, but obviously not good enough. Oh and to top it off: I forgot to put the rubber lining back in before starting the disposal and stuff came spewing out everywhere....YUCK!
 
And this leads to my next confession:
 
We have lived in this house for 7 years come December. We had to get a new refrigerator when we moved in. That being said, I should know my refrigerator really well, huh?!? Last week my son wanted an icecream that was on a stick. My husband gave him the ice cream and later could not figure out what he did with the stick. He said he assumed he ate it all. Neither one of us could find the stick anywhere and we were NOT convinced that he threw it away. After days of not knowing, we find it in the door of the refrigerator. He never finished the ice cream and it had melted. It was really sticky and gross. All of the bottles were sticky on the bottom, etc. So I clean that out to discover that that shelves on the door come out. I was shocked. That led to me cleaning ALL the shelves on the door. Then, it hit me: if these come out surely the shelves and drawers in the refrigerator do too. So I continued this gruesome journey until done. Now my refrigerator is spotless, for a night anyway. I have been cleaning that refrigerator out for 7 years wiping out shelves and drawers and never discovered that. I was frustrated at times that I could not get all the grime, but obviously not frustrated enough to figure out how to really clean it out.
 
I believe we are this way in our spiritual life sometimes. We clean the outside good so that others think we have it together. We can hold up the act for a while anyway. But when we deal with beahavior modification, we can't hold it together very long. It all comes spewing out just like my disposal did AND it was yucky. We have to get in there and "deal" with these heart issues or the yucky stuff in our lives will come spewing out whethere we like it or not. Why am I acting and doing the way I am doing? Why is my child acting this way? What's causing this behavior? Sometimes we don't know, but we can read the Word and allow God to "clean" us up from the inside-out. When I clean if it's cleaned on the outside, but messy on the inside I do not feel like it's really cleaned. In our lives, it's not really cleaned and pure if we can "act" clean and pure on the outside, but there's no change on the inside. God's Word is what transforms us, molds us, makes us.
 
It is so amazing because we only have to come to Him and surrender completely to Him. When we do this, He takes care of the rest. He did that for us on the cross. He went through all that for us to be FREE. Free from ourselves, the things that hold us captive.
 
Challenge: What is it I need to "deal" with? If I don't know, God knows. Ask Him to reveal it or simple clean you from the inside out. Don't know what to do with your child? Take them to the Word and prayer. That is the only thing that got our day shifted. Without it, our day would have continued downward.

Psalm 119:9 says, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word."

In a contaminated world, we have to constantly take our children to the Word of God for real transformation. If you are having a hard time knowing where to start, check out the The Child Training Bible . It is an awesome resourse to get you started.

Friday, November 2, 2012

God's Creation

On Tuesday my husband heard the word "SNOW" and if you know my husband, he is going to be quickly going over his schedule to see if he can head off to find it. His schedule happened to be light that day so we headed to Highlands, NC. Once we got into NC, the temperature started dropping steadily. As we got close to Highlands we started to see flurries, but once we got to the top of the mountain, it was snowing so pretty. It wasn't sticking much due to the wet ground and ground temperature. BUT it was pretty. We had a great time and we did "see" snow. The kids loved it! We were there about 3 hours and it snowed the entire time we were there.
 
I am amazed by God's beautiful creation. The sky looked so "white" when it was snowing. As we were heading back down the mountain, the trees were so pretty with all the different fall colored leaves. It was simply breathtaking! We got to see the beautiful sunset through the trees and I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. Only God could make creation so wonderful!
 
I know life gets hard sometimes, but take time to reflect on the beauty of the Lord. Think about what He has blessed you with. Through the weekend, take time to sit outside and just bask in His wonderful presence!
 
 
 
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for the ladies in my Bible study group. I am thankful that He brought us together so that we could share together in laughter, friendship and love.
 
This week as I have been writing on discouragement I have been reminded of all the times these ladies have had an on time Word to help lighten the load. As we share from our heart what God is showing us, we are building each other up in the faith. I am so thankful for these ladies and how God is working and moving in their lives.
 
One thing I love about this group is that we are all different yet we have one common link and that is we desire to know God more. We desire for Him to work through us as we train our children, as we go about our daily tasks, as we encounter others. We love Jesus and that's what counts. I can truely say that by being around these ladies, I have become a better person. I have learned so much from each of them. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us! This group of ladies is definitely a God thing!
 
And...I wish I had a picture of these beautiful godly ladies, but I don't.

Discouraged: Part 2

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Weary means exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness. Having one's patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted. Exhausted means to tire extremely or completely. Become means to come into existence.

How many of you can say that you are all of the above or have been at one time? The responsibilities that we carry from day to day can make us weary in doing good. Sometimes I wonder how many more times will I have to tell my children to pick up their toys so we do not fall on them, please wait until we say the blessing before eating, be kind to your brother/sister, please talk one at a time so I can hear you, on and on and on.

God gave us these blessings and knew that we could handle the task before us. Will it be easy? No, but we have a responsibility to train our children. I love the part that says, "in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  We have to persevere even in the hard times of parenting and disciplining our children. We must keep working and TRUST GOD for the results.

I have learned that it takes work to discipline my children. When I go to sit down on the couch to relax I have 2 choices when a problem arises: really deal with my children in disciplining them or just allow them to keep on because I do not feel like getting off the couch.

So today, I encourage you to not become weary, you will reap a harvest in due time!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Discouraged

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest in me."
 
A little background on this passage: Paul had a thorn in his flesh. His thorn was a messenger from Satan sent to torment him. Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove the thorn. Although God did not remove Paul's physical affliction, He promised to demonstrate His power in Paul.
 
I want to point out a few things here:
 
1. "My grace is sufficient for you."
Grace is unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
Sufficient means enough to meet the needs of a situation.
 
This means that God's "divine assistance" is enough to meet the needs of my situation.
 
2. "For my power is made perfect in weakness."
God's power is perfect or without defect when I am weak.
 
3. "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest in me."
Boast means to "the act or an instance of boasting:brag." How many times do we hear people "brag" about their weakness? Not so much! Maybe it's time we start so that Christ can do His perfect work through us!
 
So many times, we get discouraged because we cannot make something happen the way we want it to happen, but Paul is saying it is a good thing to be weak. When we are weak, God's power is made perfect. We are better to be weak and relying on God and His PERFECT power than ourselves.
 
As a parent we have SO many decisions to make from what to eat for dinner to discipline that it is easy to get discouraged when we do not see immediate change. We have to rely on God and His perfect power to step in and do it's work. We cannot do this alone. If we want to see lasting change, we have to rely on God to transform our hearts and our children's hearts' from the inside-out.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Defiance Wrap-up

Proverbs 21:19 says, "Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife."

WOW! The Word of God says it is better to be living alone than to live with a wife that is quarrelsome and ill-tempered. That's strong and I am convicted!

Quarrelsome: apt or disposed to quarrel in an often petty manner

Ill-tempered: ill-natured, quarrelsome, have a bad disposition: cross, surly (arrogant)

WOW! How many times have I been ill-tempered and had a bad disposition because I was sooooooooo tired? Well, guess what? My husband had a long day and was tired too! Who am I to be ill-tempered toward him? When we are ill-tempered, we easily become petty and it can easily become all about "me, me, me!" When we are in this way and we become willing participates to "fight," we are acting in defiance. WOW! Before this study, I would have not considered myself very defiant...but now. WHOA!

As moms, we set the tone in our homes. If we are ill-tempered, have you noticed the rest of the family becomes that way? If you are in a cheerful mood, they become that way to? I believe that is one reason why this is directed at wives first. We do have a hard task before us, whether we stay at home or work outside the home, but we are still instructed to have the attitude of Jesus.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Chrsit Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on the cross." Philippians 2:5-8

My attitude is to be the same as Christ Jesus. He was in very nature God, but did not consider Himself equal. He made himself NOTHING and became the nature of a servant. He humbled himself and it lead to His death on the cross AND He did it all so I could have my sins wiped away and live with Him in eternity!

We serve our family everyday and it can be a very difficult task. As hard as our days may be, they will never compare to what Christ took for us on the cross. We can persevere and have the attitude of Christ because He is alive in us, working through us IF we allow Him to!

I challenge you, take time for yourself and simply sit in His presence and allow God to refresh you! This is true refreshing! Many times, when I get a break I want to run get a pedicure or do something nice for myself, after all I tell myself I deserve it. When I go and do those things, they fade away. Last time I messed one toenail up before I even got home! But when we allow God to refresh us from our core, we are getting the best rest and refreshing we can get. We are doing more for ourselves than we ever realize! AND we can do more than we ever realized because God is doing it through us! Sidenote: I still love my pedicures! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Thursday


Today I am thankful for my two wonderful children. This is them on vacation last week on a nature walk at Pickney Island. It was a really fun nature walk; I guess that is obvious by the way Noah is posing and cheesing! He normally does not stand still for me to take a picture, but lately he is "posing." Not sure what's up with that or how long it will last. LOL
 
 
 
 
Anna Grace is a one fun little girl. She is a typical first born. She is always taking care of others and always making a plan. She is more serious than her brother, yet laughs easily. She loves to read and play with her babies. She is such a nurturing little girl. She love Jesus and has a huge heart for other people. Anna Grace ask Jesus into her heart when she was 4 years old. I know that is young, but she was ready. When we were praying, you could see the transformation immediately. You could just feel the weight of sin come off of her life. It was amazing! AND I had the opportunity to lead my own daughter to Jesus.
 
Noah - he is one lighthearted fun guy! He is so silly and full of energy. He love to play tricks and say, "trick you." It's funny...when it's not in the middle of the night. He is determined. He has church ALL the time. He is either preaching or leading worship. I have countless pictures and videos of this. I can't wait to show him when he gets older. He has a Bible and microphone handy most of the time. He loves to play with his cars and "ball." He is so lovable! He just won't sit still long! So, you better get it while you can.
 
I cannot wait to see how God uses these two for Kingdom impact. My desire is that they would have a heart for Jesus and purue Him passionately.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Defiance

Defiance is the act or an instance of defying: challenge. Disposition to resist: willing to contend or fight.

Defiance is the WILLINGNESS to fight. We have to being WILLING to be defiant. It is a choice we make. God does not make this choice for us, but when we turn a deaf ear to His Word, we cannot help but to be defiant in all areas of our lives. BUT when we are open to God's Word and His correction in our lives, we are open and readily recognize the people He sends into our lives to challenge us!

Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hate correction is stupid."

Wow, I gain knowledge when I am willing to be disciplined. I do not desire to be a "stupid" person. When we want to be taught, there is no end to what we can learn. Being taught means that we are willing to accept learning things from others, whether it be books, conversations, things that challenge us. LISTENING to others and realizing that we do NOT have all the answers is being open to things that God may have for us. When we stick our heals in the mud, so to speak, and refuse to change, we will see very little difference in our lives. I desire to be open to what God has for me, but that means I have to accept His Word and the people He sends into my life to challenge me. When gaining knowledge, I may not like everything I am learning, but I have to be willing to change even when it is hard. When it's beyond me, I have no choice but to have total reliance upon the Father!

***One thing I am finding helpful to me in studying my CTB in this way, it is making it easier to use! By studying the specific Scriptures, it is just a natural part of my conversation. It is amazing how we are challenged in each of these areas each week! I am seeing great results by going directly to God's Word and I love it!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Talk

Sorry I missed Monday! I had great intentions of posting, but did not have a chance. We went on vacation last week to Hilton Head and it was WONDERFUL! We had such a great time! Of course, when you get home; the to-do list hits you in the face and you can get behind before you even get started!

We had a fun week of family time. Monday we did not really do much of anything. I think we were SO TIRED, all we could do was hang out and I got TONS of reading done. Of course, Jason (my husband) just had to do something so he took the kids for a long bike ride. I can't believe he did it considering he had to pull 100 pounds! We spent a lot of time on bikes and outside. We barely drove our car the entire time because everything we really needed was within bike distance.

We were able to get 2 homeschool days out of it, which was great! We did not focus on any actual school work, but we really had 2 days of complete nature walks and were able to identify some cool things. I learned alot myself!
It was so refreshing to just pull away and spend time with my family and have plenty of time in God's Word with nothing else really expected of me. Hopefully, I can get back on track and post from my CTB tomorrow!

Here's a picture of my children I took on the beach. It was pretty cool outside, but we went to walk and take pictures of the kids one evening. I have lots of great ones!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Post

I have been posting from my phone this week due to being out of town. I wrote them last week and posted them daily... One mishap... Today's post is under Wednesday, so scroll down under Thursday. I made corrections when I read it Wednesday night so I'm not sure if that's why it posted under Wednesday or not. Anyway, I'm kind of new to this!

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my husband, Jason! God blessed me with this wonderful man 7 1/2 years ago. He is a wonderful husband and dad. He works very hard to provide for our family and never complains. When he gets home from a long day of work, he helps with supper and cleanup, kids baths and bedtime routine. He gives so much of himself even when tired. He makes it a point to daily spend time with the children and give them words of affirmation. He shares Jesus with them and desires they love Him! I love to hear him talking to them before bed!

He is such a blessing from God and I am so glad God chose him for me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Final Thoughts on Complaining

Wow! God reveals so much through His Word I could never post it all here! I am amazed by His goodness, His grace, His love!

As I finish up this week, I am left with a couple of thoughts: everything I do and say reflect Christ; as I am a Christian. (Colossians 3:17)

Am representing Him appropriately?
Are people drawn to Christ through the way I live my life and the words I say?
Am I bringing glory to His name?
What changes do I need to make in my life to honor Christ?

I should do ALL things without complaining or arguing. When I do this I become blameless and pure, without fault. I will shine like the stars in this dark world. I will stand out because this is so different than the way the world does things. (Philippians 2:14-15)

Lord, I desire to reflect You at all times in my life... Even when I am tempted to complain and argue. I am blessed and I thank You for Your blessings upon my life! Lord, love through me so that I can reach this world for you!

And here's a picture of my 6 year studying with me as we study the complaining tabs: we had a very different kind of week last week due to sickness, but we were able to dig a little deeper!


 
Have a great weekend! See you Monday!

Complaining and Being Thankful

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and over-flowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7

Continue to live in Christ Jesus like you did when you first received..

Remember when you first received Christ, you were so excited and you were growing. Everything was so grand and great. Then, the new wears off and you slip back into life as usual, if you are not careful.

The Bible says we need to be "rooted and built up IN HIM," because then we will be "strenghened in the faith." We will be overflowing with thankfulness.

We live in a world of, "you can't get enough." "More is better." Just look around everything offers biggie size now...and not just food. That is such a lie of the enemy. He wants us to believe that, but when we are "OVERFLOWING with thankfulness," we tend to forget the things we do not have. We do not have room to complain. We realize we are entirely too blessed to complain.

At church on Wednesday night, we finished up a series on the ten commandments. We were talking about "Do not covet." So, to reverse coveting, the children made lists of things they were thankful for. It is amazing at the list of things once we start to thinking of all the things God has truely blessed us with. The kids were so excited and joyful. It was amazing to see them light up when they began to list what all God had blessed them with.

If you are feeling down today, I encourage you to make a list of things that you are thankful for. I promise you, you will realize how blessed you are and forget what it is you lack. God is more than enough.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Alarm Clock

The other morning my husband got in the shower and hit the snooze button instead of turning the alarm clock off. I am not really sure how long it went off because I NEVER heard it go off the first time or him getting in the shower. As it woke me up, I began thinking about life and how we are sort of like the snooze button. Many times we have an issue that we are dealing with and we "hit the snooze button" so to speak. We do not DEAL with the real problem so it continues to creep up in our lives.

What do we need to deal with at the root? What is it that continues to creep up in my life that I need Jesus to help me overcome? Without total reliance on Him, we can do nothing.

What causes me to do some of the things I do? What is the real reason for my behavior? Why does my attitude stink? Why am I so short tempered with my family?

What is really bothering me? I must deal with the root of the problem for things to really change.

Colossians 2:7 says, "rooted and built up in him."

Our life should be rooted and built in Christ. Our life should not be rooted in anything else. Just as plants draw nourishment from the soil thought their roots, so we draw life-giving strength from Christ. The more we draw our strength from Him, the less we will be fooled by those who falsely claim they have the answers. We will also be able to overcome those "issues" that seem to creep up and keep reoccurring.

Are we all nicely put together on the outside, but fall apart with a shove or two? What is it today that I need to deal with? Am I ill with my family? Do I have a bad attitude towards people? Am a frustrated?

Before I can be loving, kind, and patient I have to receive Christ's love for me, His unconditional love. I cannot give what I do not possess. The secret to being all that He has called me to be, is to be deeply rooted in Him: "May your roots grow deep into the soil of God's marvelous love." Ephesians 3:17

When we are deeply rooted in Him, then we can begin to love others with Christ's love, "Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other." 1 John 4:11

Monday, October 15, 2012

Complaining

“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things stored up in him.“ Matthew 12:34b-35

I love using the dictionary even on words I know the meaning to. It seems to bring such a visual for me. So, lets start with a definition.
Overflow means to fill a space to capacity and spread beyond its limits.

I was at a restaurant the other evening and as I was filling my drink, the tray began to overflow because their was a problem with the machine. But if you know me, I was making a little scene and quickly told a worker. It did catch others attention due to my excitement … I mean come on, water was flowing everywhere. Would it have gotten my attention and everyone else’s if it weren’t overflowing? No! I would have filled my drink and I wouldn’t even remember the incident.


What overflows is definitely seen, whether good or bad.

Our heart is my personality, disposition, the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature, one’s innermost character, the central or innermost part, the center.

Disposition is our temperamental makeup, the tendency of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances mood, prevailing tendency, or inclination.

What is my tendency? How do I normally respond to situations? At home? Is it different than when around others? Who am I when no one look? Do I desire to change the way I respond to situations?

The mouth speaks..

Whatever is in my heart, whether good or bad, will overflow in the way I live my life, the words I say. It will get the attention of others, especially my children.

Good heart = good lifestyle

Bad heart = bad lifestyle

What do I store in my heart? Do I have my heart filled with God’s Word? Do I create an atmosphere for my children to have their heart filled with God’s Word? Do I fill their heart with things of this world? Do I fill their heart with too much tv? What do I expose my children to? Their actions will overflow with what’s in their heart. What is in their heart is a combination of all the things they experience. Only God’s Word can truly transform their hearts. But we have to have renewal time in Jesus.

We can’t solve our heart issues by cleaning up our speech and actions. We must follow the Holy Spirit to lead us to new attitudes and motives. When this happens, my life is cleansed at the source.