Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
When my husband got off work, he met us at the mall and offered to take Nathan home with him. Elizabeth and I had a couple things to finish up and then we headed home. When I got home, Nathan and Mike both had strange smiles which usually means that something got broke. This time, I was surprised in a good way - my husband and son had not went home from the mall. They had went to the jewelry store and spent the money, Mike had received for Christmas for new tools, and bought me a beautiful new ring. Nathan was so excited to tell me that he was the one who picked it out. What a sweet sacrifice from my husband. When I told him that he should have spent the money on him, he assured me that he did spend the money on what he wanted to spend it on - what made him happy was to spend it on me.
Yes, I do have the most wonderful husband - but his small sacrifice, just reminds me and makes me thankful for the ultimate sacrifice of my Lord and Savior
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I had mentioned last week about hanging door hangers for invitations to our church's Christmas service. We had 643 in attendance. Yea! Even cooler than that was that my husband had most of his family came with us. Parents, aunt, uncle, cousins - it was awesome! It was a great message about the hope we have in Jesus.
Well, it is now time for after Christmas shopping! Our daughter received lots of gift cards for Christmas, so she's ready to shop. Have a great day.
Friday, December 21, 2007
You just never know how your actions and words can impact others - keep your mind focused on Christ so your words and actions will follow.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
My husband told me something last night that will forever remain in my heart - He gave the illustration: picture a person far down in a pit, with their hands outstreched - another person on solid ground, above the pit, with one hand holding God's and the other reaching into the pit for a rescue. He said that I was his "solid ground" person.
These few words meant so much to me. I know that God has put me on this earth to encourage others to live for Him. To know that I had this impact on my husband, gives me even more desire to tell others about my God.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Did you hear what Jesus said? "I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." I cannot imagine how different and better my life would be if I would do the same - don't seek my own will, but God's. I say that I want to live my life to be more like Jesus every day, but when push comes to shove, I like to have my own will. My selfishness takes hold and the "I wants" come out.
Lord, I pray that today will be the day that I put Your will above my own. Help me to release my selfishness so that I can truly focus on being more like you. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
When you are praying about something, whether it be big or small, remember the Creator and Sustainer of the universe can handle anything you dish out!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Something else I'm excited about is my son's school Christmas program tonight. We are so blessed to have a Christian music teacher in his elementary school. I love that he has the children from pre-k through 4th grade singing about the true meaning of Christmas!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I've also had to make changes in my daycare. There were many DCFS rules that I did not agree with and so did not comply with. When God showed me that I needed to follow all authority, I began to follow. It was both frustrating for myself, the children, and their parents, but I felt it was something I had to do to obey God.
Titus 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Commentary: We cannot reach up to God by following rules of self-denial, by observing rituals, or by practicing religion. Paul isn't saying all rules are bad. But no keeping of laws or rules will earn salvation. The Good News is that God reaches down to human beings, and He asks for our response. Self-made religions focus on human effort; Christianity focuses on Christ's work. Believers must put aside sinful desires, by doing so is the by-product of our new life in Christ, not the reason for our new life. Our salvation does not depend on our own discipline and rule-keeping, but on the power of Christ's death and resurrection.
Salvation by self-effort is something that I fell to for many years. I wanted to work so hard for God that He would be happy with me and not focus on all the bad in my life. One day, God opened my heart to the fact that He loves me. His love for me and you will never change. He cannot love us more or less than He already does. I desire now, to live my life for Him because of my thankfulness for all He has done - especially my salvation through Jesus.
Friday, December 7, 2007
From Today's Christian Woman Magazine "10 Ways to Pray"
Pray Daily For:
1. A deeper understanding of my value and worth before God
2. Caring Christian friendships and involvement in Christian community
3. Opportunities to share Christ through my words and actions.
4. Strength to stand firm in the face of temptation
5. Greater understanding of what it means to be loved by God and to love others
6. Integrity and honesty
7. Humility to admit my sins and ask for forgiveness
8. Wisdom in my daily life and actions
9. A sense of God's calling and purpose in my life
10. Gratitude in all things
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Here's a Bible verse that too, if acted upon, will transform your marriage. Are you ready for this one? It's a biggie:
Phillipians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I was reading this morning in 1 Timothy 2 about Paul's instructions for the church and women in the church. Verses 9-10 says: Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.
I wondered, how others may perceive me. Could someone look at me and know whether I am a Christian or not? This verse is not telling us that it is wrong for a woman to look or dress nice, but that what's on the inside that is important. Even though this world tends to look at our outside appearance, God looks on the inside for a heart that is devoted to Him. We need to be careful about what our outside appearance says about us, because the world does look at it. We don't want it to deter others from seeing our devotion to our God.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
I was reading in Acts this morning and came across chapter 13 verse 22 that says this: "After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I had found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.'
I love it when I read about David being a man after God's own heart. It excites me because David made many mistakes in his life, just like me and yet God still sees him as a man after His heart - just like me! I want to be a woman after God's own heart, who will do all His will. The hard thing for me is believing that He really can see me as this - even though I remember my sins and use them as excuses for not being who He wants me to be - He doesn't! He doesn't remember my sins so He can see me as a woman who will do all His will. God is so good.
Friday, November 30, 2007
By Lysa TerKeurst
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
I was stopped in my tracks the other day as I was mindlessly singing a beautiful praise song. I say mindlessly not because I wasn't focusing on God. I was definitely lifting up my heart to Him. But the mindlessly part came when I realized I had no clue of the weight of the words in this song. Did I really mean what I was singing? The song said this: "(Jesus) You're all I want. You're all I ever needed."Really? Did I really mean those words? Is my Jesus enough? Ultimately the question should be: Is my relationship with Jesus in such a place that if He was truly all I had today, would I still stand and sing those powerful song lyrics?My husband Art is flying on a small private plane today. You know the ones you hear about that crash with no survivors... yes that kind of plane. As I kiss him goodbye in a few minutes can I send him off with full confidence that no matter what, Jesus is enough?My son Jackson just got his driver's license and will be driving to a friend's house to watch the football game in a few minutes. His friend lives less than five miles from our house. But don't the statistics show that most car accidents happen on the roads we are most familiar with, closest to our homes? Will I be able to smile, tell him to be careful and let him drive down our driveway with full confidence that no matter what, Jesus is enough?I don't know what kinds of twists and turns might come during my life journey. But, I know the only way to travel with a joyful peace is to settle in my heart the answer to this question once and for all. So, today, I declare Jesus is enough. Before I even know in what way this declaration will be tested, I've made the decision to say it, believe it and settle it.Jesus is enough. I think this is why one of my favorite portraits of a godly woman in the Bible says, "she can laugh at the days to come," (Proverbs 31:25). She was filled with such incredible joy not because life was perfect but simply because she had decided to make laughter, peace, and true happiness the hallmark of her life. Proverbs 31:30 goes on to say this was a woman to be praised because she so reverenced God in the shrine of her heart that she knew without a doubt, He was enough.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
NAS Bible's commentary: Do you spend your life trying to please everybody? Paul had to speak harshly to the Christians in Galatia because they were in serious danger. He did not apologize for his straightforward words, knowing that he could not serve Christ faithfully if he allowed the Galatian Christians to remain on the wrong track. Whose approval are you seeking - others' or God's? Pray for the courage to seek God's approval above anyone else's.
One thing that I respect the most of the pastors in our church is their ability to "tell it like it is". Yes, as Christians, we need to be loving and understanding to others - but we should never sugar coat God's word. We never need to apologize for God's truth. There have been times in the past, that I have struggled with being straightforward when I speak with others, but am learning that in order to follow Jesus' example - I must not stray in any way when it comes to telling others about God and His will for us.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Remember what God has already done for you. If God never did anything else for you, He would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God's Son died for you! This is the greatest reason for worship.
Unfortunately, we forget the cruel details of the agonizing sacrifice God made on our behalf. Familiarity breeds complacency. Even before His crucifixion, the Son of God was stripped naked, beaten until almost unrecognizable, whipped, scorned and mocked, crowned with thorns, and spit on contemptuously. Abused and ridiculed by heartless men, He was treated worse than an animal.
Then, nearly unconscious from blood loss, He was forced to drag a cumbersome cross up a hill, was nailed to it, and was left to die the slow, excruciating torture of death by crucifixion. While His lifeblood drained out, hecklers stood by and shouted insults, making fun of His pain, and challenging His claim to be God
Next, as Jesus took all of mankind's sin and guilt on Himself, God look away from that ugly sight, and Jesus cried out in total desperation, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus could have saved Himself - but then He could not have saved you. Words cannot describe the darkness of that moment. Why did God allow and endure such ghastly, evil mistreatment? Why? So you could be spared from eternity in hell, and so you could share in His glory forever! The Bible says, "Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made Him share our sin in order that in union with Him we might share the righteousness of God."
Jesus gave up everything so you could have everything. He died so you could live forever. That alone is worthy of your continual thanks and praise. Never again should you wonder what you have to be thankful for.
Hope this puts everything into perspective for you - it sure did for me!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
My Bible commentary says: What do we do when we don't feel like obeying? God has not left us alone in our struggles to do His will. He wants to come alongside us and be within us to help. God helps us want to obey Him and then gives us the power to do what He wants. The secret to a changed life is to submit to God's control and let Him work. Next time, ask God to help you want to do His will.
Not alot more to say. I am slowly, but surely learning that my emotions should not control my actions! Let me say it again: Your emotions do not control your actions!! I know, I know, it's a very hard lesson to learn but if we stay focused on the Truth, we can do it!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
1. His love never changes - He cannot love me any more or any less than He already does. This helps me to remember that I do not have to perform to make God love me.
2. I am not condemned, because I am in Christ Jesus. His sacrifice has taken my place. My eternity is secured.
3. God is always with me. There have been times when God was the only thing I had. He is always faithful - people are not.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
I was reading the story this morning of Jesus healing on the Sabbath which enraged the Pharisees who were determined to destroy Him. Jesus knew what the right thing to do was. He was not concerned with the response of others around Him. How many times do we put what others want before what we know God wants. I think sometimes it seems easier to please a physical person and not have to deal with their reprimands - but in the true light of things, I would much rather receive reprimands from a person than from God!!!
I read other's blogs each day and some that I read are so light, funny and explain the daily happenings of a person. I considered the difference between mine and thiers. I began to wonder if I should be less serious and more light-hearted. As I thought about it, I began to realize that I know my purpose from God. His purpose for me is to tell others what He has and is teaching me. He doesn't ask me to be funny. He asks me to have a true God-seeking heart and then share with others. I guess my true heart is made for seeking and teaching. This is who God has made me to be and I must not apologize for that.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
My Bible commentary says: The kingdom of heaven is more valuable than anything else we can have, and a persom must be willing to give up everything to have it.
There have been many times in my life that I was willing to give something up in order to please God, but there also have been times that I was not. I can think of one case in particular, that I wanted something so bad that I did not even ask God about. I knew that it went against what He wanted for me, but I chose not to control my selfishness. Whatever it is that we want, that we consider more important than what God wants, is an idol. Until I finally made the choice to give it up to God, my relationship with Him was not what it should have been. I know now that anything that causes division between God and I is not something that I want. It's just not worth it. What are you allowing to come between you and God? Whatever it is, get rid of it at any cost.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I thought this morning about how I should be more like that. I so easily get discouraged when satan is aggresively attacking me. I get focus on all the negativity in my life instead of focusing on what God is doing through me in that moment. If I fight back against satan just as aggresively as he is pursuing me - I will remember that any and all pain is so well worth it, when in light of heaven's wonderful blessings.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I think God is trying to tell me something. For two days, He has brought scripture to me that begins with a warning, to be on your guard. I think this is a very important warning that we must remind ourselves of every day. We must always be on guard because satan is always ready to attack. What we may see as everyday things that are happening, may be one of satan's distractions. Be ready at all times by guarding your mind, soul and spirit with the one and only Truth.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Luke 21:34 "Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;
Alllowing our minds and hearts to drift into the circumstances we face each day is very easy. Discouragement and negativity run rampent. These are the times that we so easily fall into the traps that satan sets for us. If we guard our hearts and minds with the Truth of God, we can learn to trust in Him, no matter what situation we may be facing today.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Removing My Mask
By Janet Perez Eckles, a "She Speaks" graduate
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
"Yikes! You scared me," I screamed feigning fright. "Who’s that!" I peered down at the three-foot little person wearing a mask framed with wild hair colored in shades of black, purple, and pink. The features, distorted by a huge lumpy nose, droopy eyes and a mouth revealing crooked, jagged teeth, gave a new meaning to the word “ugly.”
A muffled, "Trick or treat" wafted from behind the mask. I chuckled as I dropped hard candy into the orange plastic pumpkin.
I have memories of my own boys dressed up in various costumes, dashing from house to house with their daddy trailing behind. I’d stay home to greet the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.
But now, years later, Halloween masks resemble those I myself try to slip on. They come in handy to cover the real me. So often in my life I’ve worn masks, perhaps not as horrid as the friendly trick-or-treater’s, but an effective masquerade nevertheless.
When people ask me how I lost my sight, I give the routine answer: "A disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa deteriorated my retina and took my sight."
A simple question followed by a simple answer. But when they ask about how I dealt with the unexpected tragedy, that’s a different story. I’m tempted to pull down the mask over my heart and give a bland answer.
"It was tough at first, but in time, I adjusted."
Underneath that mask, however, is a whole different script with the real answers: "I wanted to die, I hated my life, I wanted to give up, and wondered if my little boys would survive with a mommy who couldn’t see."
Then God’s Word nudged me to remove that mask and allow the glow of truth to shine through: “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful” (Proverbs 12:22). In obedience, I resolved that when asked a question, I’d spill information that reflected what truly stirred in my heart.
Here are the results: when my words are strung with honesty without omissions, deletions or embellishments, I can breathe easier. When the mask is off, the air is fresher and the view is clearer. When it comes to sharing my feelings or relating events in my life, I’ve developed a motto: Don’t omit the negative or squelch the positive.
Not long ago, a good friend called and asked about my writing. I started to blurt out that it was great, moving along fabulously, and that my agent is working on a possible submission to a publishing house. But then I gulped and remembered that masks are stuffy, binding and often ugly. Instead, I decided to rip the mask off to pull out the truth: though my agent is working for me, I’m furiously laboring on the first edit. Writing a novel is grueling, it’s demanding and at times, the work is so hard that it makes me wonder if I’m really supposed to be doing this.
Ah! The feeling of telling the real scenario with honesty is like opening the window to a stuffy room and letting the fresh spring breeze come in to caress your face.
As our little ones unwrap their candy, I also peel off what hinders honesty in my heart--misleading comments, half-truths or words hiding my real feelings. Once all this is discarded, the reward appears in the mirror: a shining reflection that sparkles with sincerity and truth—a sweet fragrance to the Lord.
Dear Lord, thank you for giving me your Word to follow. Grant me the guidance when I speak, when I formulate my thoughts and prepare my replies to all situations. Grant me the wisdom to speak with a truthful heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
She Speaks conference
The P31 Woman Magazine
Listen to Today's Radio Show
Before speaking, stop and measure your words—are they truthful, sincere and honest? If there’s a spot in your heart you’d rather hide from others, release it to the Lord and ask Him to grant you the courage to remove that mask.
Do I have the confidence in the Lord to know He accepts me as I am?
What keeps me from telling the complete truth? Am I hiding something for fear I might be judged?
Proverbs 25:24, "A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit."
Proverbs 2:7-8, "He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones."
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
This is just one of the many places in scripture that explains that each of us are "called" for a purpose by the will of God. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it is because the Holy Spirit has been working on our heart. God has been calling us - chosing us. It is nothing of ourselves. Do not think more highly of yourself because you are a Christian against someone who is not.
Once you have become a Christian, seek to know God's calling or will for your life. What is it that He wants to accomplish through you? Do not be afraid to ask Him what it is and after He tells you, do not be afraid to do it. You will enjoy abundant life when following God's perfect calling and will.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Monday, October 29, 2007
A Battle for Integrity
Charles R. Swindoll
I must tell you that I have been troubled regarding the face of things in our country and within the family of God. My major battle has had to do with one word, one concept. My battle has to do with integrity.
In our nation--and in the church--there has been a falling away, a breakdown, and a compromise in integrity. Recent headlines have taught us that the boom of the 1990s was built on a foundation devoid of integrity. But compromise isn't limited to CEOs who greedily sell out their employees or to pork-happy politicians. All too often we find a moral laxity behind our pews and, even worse, behind the pulpit.
Let me define what I mean by integrity. Webster's tells us integrity means "an unimpaired condition."1 It means to be sound. The Hebrew word for integrity, tom, also means to be complete or solid.
So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands. (Psalm 78:72)
Integrity is completeness or soundness. You have integrity if you complete a job even when no one is looking. You have integrity if you keep your word even when no one checks up on you. You have integrity if you keep your promises. Integrity means the absence of duplicity and is the opposite of hypocrisy. If you are a person of integrity, you will do what you say. What you declare, you will do your best to be. Integrity also includes financial accountability, personal reliability, and private purity. A person with integrity does not manipulate others. He or she is not prone to arrogance or self-praise. Integrity even invites constructive and necessary criticism because it applauds accountability. It's sound. It's solid. It's complete.
Integrity is rock-like. It won't crack when it has to stand alone, and it won't crumble though the pressure mounts. Integrity keeps one from fearing the white light of examination or resisting the exacting demands of close scrutiny. It's honesty at all costs.
The words of Louis Adamic seem fitting, "There is a certain blend of courage, integrity, character and principle which has no satisfactory dictionary name but has been called different things at different times in different countries. Our American name for it is 'guts.'"2
I like that. Integrity is having the guts to tell the truth, even if it may hurt to do so. Integrity is having the guts to be honest, even though cheating may bring about a better grade. Integrity is having the guts to quote sources rather than to plagiarize.
But there are some things integrity is not. It is not sinless perfection. A person with integrity does not live a life absolutely free of sin. No one does. But one with integrity quickly acknowledges his failures and doesn't hide the wrong.
Now, in addressing this crucial mark of character, I could come across as the "white knight," but you know me better than that. I fail like everyone else. The sooner you remember that, the better we'll get along. But concerning the issue of integrity, I give you my word. You will know if I have failed or if Insight for Living has failed in some way. I will tell you. I will not lead you to believe something is true if it is false. That is the least I can do as a minister of the Gospel.
Integrity is essential in the church, in the marketplace, and especially in the home. When you walk in integrity, you leave it as a legacy for your children to follow (Proverbs 20:7). It's what I call the father's thumbprint. Blessed are you if you had a father with integrity and a mother with guts.
When you work with integrity, you honor the Lord. Regardless of your profession, your character and conduct are methods of ministry. Over 50 years ago, Elton Trueblood wrote,
It is hard to think of any job in which the moral element is lacking. The skill of the dentist is wholly irrelevant if he is unprincipled and irresponsible. There is little, in that case, to keep him from extracting teeth unnecessarily, because the patient is usually in a helpless situation. It is easy to see the harm that can be done by an unprincipled lawyer. Indeed, such a man is far more dangerous if he is skilled than if he is not skilled.3
Do you put wire in walls? Do you repair cars? Do you work with numbers? Do you sell clothes? Perhaps you practice law or medicine. The important thing is not what work you do, but whether you do your work with integrity. Perhaps you labor behind the scenes, and your only thanks is the inner satisfaction of a job done right. Do you cheat on your exams? Are you cheating on your mate? Some have the audacity to do such things and call themselves Christians. No wonder the world is confused!
You want to shock the world? Start here--demonstrating the guts to do what's right when no one is looking. It takes real guts to stand strong with integrity in a culture weakened by hypocrisy. Start today.
Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, "A Battle for Integrity," Insights (March 2003): 1-2. Copyright © 2003, Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used with permission.
I took what it said about the younger women to heart and began to make adjustments in my life to obey but wasn't too concerned about the older woman part thinking that didn't pertain to me. I have recently attended a Bible study called Apples of Gold which is a 6 week mentoring program based on Titus 2:3-5. It has amazed me the impact these women and the lessons have had on my life. The last 6 weeks have changed who I am. This has shown me just how truly important mentoring is.
The more I thought about it, when the scripture says older and younger women, this could also be maturity in Christ not necessarily age. I, even being a younger woman by age can mentor others by what God has taught me in my walk with Him. I just don't want you to think that you cannot mentor others because of your age. By telling others and setting an example with your life - you are mentoring, no matter how old you are.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wow! What more needs to be said. Are you open and willing to fulfill needs of others? Each act of kindness you do for others, you do to Jesus. Sweet and simple
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Peter lists several of faith's actions: learning to know God better, striving for excellence, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. These are not optional. They also do not come easilty. Some of these are more difficult for some than others but God gives each of us the empowerment and ability to do them all. But we have to make the effort - He will not force us. Do not be surprised at or resentful of the learning and refining process.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wow!! This verse sure hits me right between the eyes! Do nothing from selfishness - can you imagine how this world would change if no one was selfish. Even though this seems like an unattainable thing, if we each ask God for help and truly try - we can do a much better job of it. I will strive today to put others as more important than myself.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Well, I'm back from Detroit and am so glad I went. God continues to show me how He wants to be involved in every detail of life - whether big or small. I knew that we would only have Saturday to look for a wedding dress with my sister so I had been praying that God would direct us to where we needed to go and to let everything happen smoothly so that it would be a very enjoyable experience. God was so good to us - we enjoyed our day, we had time to relax and visit and we found the perfect dress for a good price! God wants us to ask for His help! He wants us to realize we need Him for everything! He is so good!!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
If we dwell on all these things, how could we ever be negative about anyone or anything?!! Dwelling on these things could definitely change the way I act and speak. Think of a tube of toothpaste being your negative actions and thoughts. As you squeeze out the tube, you cannot get it all back in. Once you've done it, they cannot be undone. It's so important to watch you words and actions! Be careful today.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
God works in all things - not just isolated incidents - for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill His purpose. This promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Those who are called are those the Holy Spirit convinces and enables to receive Christ. Such people have a new perspective, a new mindset on life. They trust in God, not life's treasures; they look for their security in heaven, not on earth; they learn to accept, not resent, pain and persecution because God is with them.
Are you looking for what God is teaching you or making good, in your current circumstance?
Friday, September 28, 2007
Solomon's bride was as refreshing to him as a fountain. Could your spouse say the same about you? Sometimes the familiarity that comes with marriage causes us to forget the overwhelming feelings of love and refreshment we shared at the beginning. Many marriages could use a course in "refreshing". Do you refresh your spouse, or are you a burden of complaints, sorrows, and problems? Partners in marriage should continually work at refreshing each other by an encouraging word, an unexpected gift, a change of pace, a surprise call or note, or even a withholding of a discussion of some problem until the proper time. Your spouse needs you to be a haven of refreshment because the rest of the world usually isn't.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Matthew 6:22-23 "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets."
Friday, September 21, 2007
There have been times in my life that God continues to show me what He wants me to do, but because I am afraid, I ignore His calling or I have said "no" to God. Well, let me give you some advice - Never tell God "no"! I have found that when you tell God "no", He just works harder at pursing you. The lesson He wanted to show me through these situations is that I am right when I say that I can't do it - but He can do anything and when I let Him, He can do anything through me! What a humbling experience.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Imagine the Savior of the world working in a small-town carpenter's shop until He was 30 years old! It seems incredible that Jesus would have been content to remain in Nazareth all that time, but He patiently trusted the Father's timing for His life and ministry.
This is something I struggle greatly with. As soon as God lays something on my heart, I am ready to pounce into it! I want to serve Him in everyway possible and get so excited that I forget to sit still for awhile to see if He wants me to pounce or if He wants to prepare me first. Waiting patiently is not a strength that I have, but God continues to work on me and remind me that everything I do must be in His perfect timing whether I think it's the right time or not.
Like Jesus, we need to resist the temptation to jump ahead before receiving the Spirit's direction.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Matthew 5:21-47 says alot about this subject. Here's a summary:
It's not enough to avoid murdering, we must also avoid anger and hatred.
It's not enough to offer regular offerings, we must also have right relationships with God and others.
It's not enough to avoid adultery, we must keep our hearts from lusting and be faithful.
It's not enough to not get a divorce, we must live out our marriage commitments.
It's not enough to keep a vow, we must avoid casual and irresponsible commitments to God
It's not enough to not seek revenge, we must show mercy and love to others.
What scale are you using?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Living in a society of "you deserve it" type mentality, we can so easily fall into serving ourselves and making our focus to get everything we think we deserve. But Jesus reminds us many times in His Word to not be self-centered, but Christ-centered.
The more we desire to be like Christ, the easier this will become. Ask yourself, who am I serving today, God and others or myself?
Monday, September 17, 2007
I read a message written by our pastor that shed light on the subject on what kind of friend am I at http://www.saworship.com/ (Becoming A True Friend). I want to be a friend that encourages others because that's the kind of friend that I want. My best friend is willing to love me no matter what - willing to encourage with love and love me enough to be honest with me even when it may hurt.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
My Bible commentary:
As you near the end of a long race, your legs ache, your throat burns, and your whole body cries out for you to stop. This is when friends and fans are most valuable. Their encouragement helps you push through the pain to the finish line. In the same way, Christians are to encourage one another. A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can be the difference between finishing well and collapsing along the way. Look around you. Be sensitive to others' need for encouragement, and offer supportive words or actions.
What kind of friend are you?
Friday, September 14, 2007
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. "
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
Romans 8:9-11 That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved: for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed."
I became truly free the day I realized that I could not earn my way to heaven and that nothing I do or don't do can change God's love for me. His love for me and you never changes! How amazing and wonderful is that??!!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
My Bible commentary says this:
Overflowing love is the natural response to forgiveness and the appropriate consequence of faith. But only those who realize the depth of their sin can appreciate the complete forgiveness God offers them. Jesus has rescued all of His followers, whether they were once extremely wicked or conventially good, from eternal death. Do you appreciate the wideness of God's mercy? Are you grateful for His forgiveness?
It was very difficult to show some people love and compassion until I truly realized how much forgiveness I had received. I was reminded of this again last Sunday. During his sermon, our pastor asked us to close our eyes and think about all the times that God has shown His mercy to us. As the most recent times flooded my head, I instantly began to cry. His mercy overwhelms me! I will never understand why He loves me/us so much, but I am so glad He does! Afterwards, my son asked me why I was crying. I told him that I cry when I am happy. Happy was the word I used, but there is no word that can truly explain how thankful I am for God's sweet mercy and I truly want to show that same mercy to everyone I come into contact with.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
As Christians, we are not protected from problems, in fact, I have found that at times, it is very hard being a Christian. But I know that my reward is great! I know that my struggles are only for a moment compared to eternity. I also know that God has lifted me up for a specific purpose that I want to fulfill.
I recently was reminded about Paul's struggles. Check out his list and see if it puts yours into perspective, it sure did for me. 2Corinthians 11:23-28 Paul states: Are they servants of Christ? I speak as if insane - I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethern; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
Whew! And we think we have it bad!
To me, the moral of the story is - yes, we will endure hardship, but we must not live our lives in response to our emotions, but to God's truth. I have lived too long on emotions and have endured more than I needed to because of it.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
What drives your life?
Are you driven by guilt? We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.
Are you driven by anger and resentment? Those who have hurt you cannot continue to hurt you now, unless you hold on to the pain.
Are you driven by fear? Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.
Are you driven by materialism? Self-worth and net-worth are not the same.
Are you driven by a need for approval? Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God's purposes for your life.
Unfortunately, my choices in life have been driven by all of these things at one time or another. I continue to pray each day that my life choices will be driven by my relationship with God, but when I realize that they are not, I will choose to ask God to pick me back up and start over again.
Monday, September 10, 2007
That story gives me so much encouragement!!! Romans 8:1 says, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. No Condemnation! I get excited just saying it! We all have sinned. We all fall short. But for those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, there is no condemnation.
Notice though, that Jesus did not stop at "I do not condemn you, either." He also told her to "sin no more." Jesus knows that we will never be perfect but He expects us to always try to be more like Him. We must turn away from those things in our lives that tempt us. Elizabeth George once told me "Sacrifice your favorite sin, there's so much more at stake."
Friday, September 7, 2007
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech
My Bible's Commentary:
Some speakers use impressive words, but they are weak on content. Paul stressed solid content and practical help for his listeners. You don't need to be a great speaker with a large vocabulary to share the gospel effectively. The persuasive power is in the story, not the storyteller.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
This really struck me because my marriage, too, has been a great struggle at times. I had found myself focusing on how hard it was instead of how to make it better. God has shown me that the only way to have the marriage He planned for me, is to invite Him to be in the center of it - always - not just when it's convenient or when I want to. I hope this can be an encouragement to us all to allow our marriages to thrive instead of survive.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Last week I got an email from Hearts at Home notifying me that I won a writing contest they had sponsored and my story will be published in their 15th anniversary book in March of 2008.
I will be speaking at the Presbyterian church in Clinton, IL on November 11 (Veteran's Day) at the 10:30am worship service.
I am currently working on the book God has laid on my heart and hope to have a manuscript ready for the Proverbs 31 Speakers and Writers Conference next June.
I am writing for submission to Guideposts magazine
Our home is for sale and we are in hopes to move to the country - where our family can enjoy more of God's creation
God continues to mold and shape our family as we serve Him. He is so good!