Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good morning all! From the weather forcast, sounds like we're looking at 6-10 inches of snow coming today and tonight. My husband and children are really excited, but excessive amounts of the white stuff just doesn't do much for me. With Illinois weather, you really never know what will happen, so I'll believe it when I see it. Wow, I just realized that sounded kind of negative. Someone told me the other day that a negative comment is like saying a prayer to the devil. Ouch.
On a happier note, I will be preparing my post for the She Speaks contest today. The winner will get a scholarship to the conference. I will need to explain why I want to go. I am already excited about the conference because of the amazing things that happened last year when I went. A girl needs some refreshment every now and then and I sure got it. Please be praying for Lysa and her team of readers as they decide who God wants to get the scholarship.
One more thing - I read today in Matthew 20:26-28 about how anyone that wishes to be great must be a servant. Jesus was a servant to all and if we want to follow His example, we must be a servant to all. I want to challenge you today to have a servant's heart and attitude.
Have a great day being obedient to God
Christie

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good morning all! I have some very exciting news to share with you. I read Lysa Terkeurst's blog yesterday and found out that she is having another contest and this time, the prize is a scholarship to the She Speaks Conference. Oh how I would love to win this one! It was the most amazing experience when I went last year and I just can't wait to go back. Of course, as usual, I don't have the money to go - yet - but God is faithful and I know that if He wants me to go, He will provide. My family went with me last year but Liz and Mike will have a basketball tournament the same weekend so I'll be going by myself. A 13 hour drive is a little much for me so I will fly for the first time. My first trip with just me and God - how exciting!

Then I received a email from my friend in Arizona that I met last year at She Speaks that let me know that the Women's Ministry team at her church is prayerfully considering me to speak at their women's retreat. I am very excited and hope that God makes clear to them if I am the one He wants.

To top off my entire day, I noticed that Lysa Terkeurst left a comment on yesterdays blog.

Wow! I needed a day like yesterday. It seemed like it had been a long time since I really had a great day. Praise God for being so good.

Hope your day is great today
Christie

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We began the study of Proverbs last night in our Bible study group. I did not realize that a proverb is an observation about the way things generally are. We should be careful about claiming a proverb because it is not a promise. There are many different types of literature in the Old Testament but 3 specific ones are: A law which is a command that you must always obey, a promise which is a guarantee that is always true and a proverb. The word proverb comes from a Hebrew word that means "to rule or govern," and these sayings, reminders, and admonitions provide profound advice.
I have to say that this came as a shock to me since my "life verse" comes from Proverbs. I'm not saying that we shouldn't heed the advice that Proverbs gives us, we absolutely should because all of the Bible is God inspired. And maybe your saying "duh," Christie, I can't believe you didn't already know this, but it's given me alot to chew on and decide if I want to choose a different life verse that includes a promise from God.
This was not the only thing God gave me to chew on last night. I love a challenge and I love the fact that God never stops challenging me. Whoever says the Christian's life is boring, is crazy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My weekend seemed to be way too short. In fact, I wondered why my alarm clock was going off this morning, because I just knew that it wasn't time to go back to work. Anyway, I wanted to share with you about a challenge that our pastor gave to us yesterday that I hope will be helpful to you. He listed the 5 following Proverbs:
Proverbs 10:19 When their are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, but will not even bring it back to his mouth.
Proverbs 10:25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
Proverbs 30:8 Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with the food that is my portion
Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.
He challenged us to pick one (yes, I know I need them all) and focus on it, memorize it and apply it in our lives. The one I picked was Proverbs 30:8 because I want to work on being content. I want to want what I already have. I want to challenge you to do the same. For the entire challenge check out Pastor Brian's sermon at www.pontiacbible.org
As I read through some Proverbs today, I saw one that I know was written for me 30:2 Surely I am more stupid than any man. - I'm just glad that God hasn't given up on me

Friday, January 25, 2008

Do you ever expect to be really good at something the first time you do it? I always expect the best out of myself and get frustrated when it takes time to sharpen my skills. I guess this probably goes along with my impatience problem. I want everything right now. My husband reminded me of this the other day. When I first became a mother at 20 years old, I made alot of mistakes. This did not mean that I was a bad mom, just made some bad choices. He pointed out the memory of when our daughter fell into the washing machine because I was trying to hold her with one hand while she was sitting on the dryer while I changed loads. Or when she was in her car seat on the counter and rocked her way onto the floor. You may not have had to learn as much as I did, but we all have to take the time to practice anything we want to do well in.
The same goes for sharing our faith with others. I've felt and heard others tell me that they just can't tell others about Jesus because they don't know enough. You can, it may be difficult, but you can. All you need to begin is your story. How did God touch your heart and when did you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. That is it. As you continue to tell others your story and continue to seek Him through His Word and prayer, it will become easier. Just like everything else in life, practice makes much better.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Well, I'm officially old now. I have been noticing my dropping eyelids for awhile. Last month my husband pointed out a grey hair for me and when I didn't believe him, he pulled it out to show me. I couldn't even argue that it was my highlights because it was all grey to the root. Then yesterday, I was looking at my sagging neck and found that when I pulled on the loose skin, it stayed where I pulled it! I was horrified! I knew that I would age but I didn't think my body would be showing it so soon. As I reflected on the situation today, I realized that my aging body can be an encouragement - I know that as my body continues to age and fall apart I am getting closer to the time that I can have an eternal body in heaven! Yea!

On another note, I wanted to share a scripture with you that greatly impacted me yesterday because I have been so easily swayed by satan.
Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from His mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil's strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly worlds. Ephesians 6:10-12
The point is that even when satan is working hard on us and we don't "feel" like doing what we know is right - DO IT ANYWAY

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

As I look back over my adult life, I see that I have always been asking for more to make me happy. During my 12 to 14 hour days of trying to finish up beauty school, I told myself that I would be happy when I was done and could get a job. When I did get a job and didn't make very much money, I told myself that I'd be happy when I got a new job that made more money. I did get a new job but wasn't satisfied for very long until I wanted more. When my husband lost his job and we went months on one income and not able to pay our bills, I would be happy when we could pay our bills. When we could pay our bills, but we had nothing left over, I would be happy when we had extra money to do extra things. And on and on - I never seem to be satisfied. This is not how God wants me or anyone else to be living. He is enough and when we realize that, we can be truly happy. Our joy comes from knowing that God lives in us and we are saved by our Lord.
"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exhange for his soul?" Mark 8:36-37
Is your Jesus enough?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good morning all! I read a verse this morning that I just had to share John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." Yea!!! No one and nothing will stop God from holding on to me! He loves me and you so much that nothing will ever change His love! It is permanent and forever in a world where nothing is forever. This is such a great reminder. No matter what you and I do or don't do, His love never changes. What assurance to keep in our hearts as we live in this crazy, everchanging world.
Never doubt and never forget God's love for you.
Have a wonderful day
Christie

Monday, January 21, 2008

By the way, I did not win the writing contest with Proverbs 31, but you can read the entries that did win at www.lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com
Recently, I sent out a newsletter about Awaken the Heart Ministries in 2007 to various people. When I got to church yesterday, I was approached by a woman that I had sent one to. She asked if she could volunteer to help with any aspect of the ministry. She was so excited about how God was working and wanted to be involved with it. I have to admit, I was floored. Her encouragement went along way with me. I've shared before, that it is so easy for me to fall into the "pity party" trap or I like how my Mississippi friend called it the "nobody likes me, everybody hates me" syndrome. To have someone who is excited about the ministry and willing to help is such a blessing from God. I love how He provides everything I need. He is so good!

I was also reading today over all the miracles that Jesus performed that are listed in the Bible. He performed miracles in so many different aspects of people's lives. It was a great reminder to me that He can do anything - even the impossible. If my focus is on this - my faith would be great.
Have a great day
Christie

Friday, January 18, 2008

Frozen by Fear - Freed by the Father

Here is my orginal submission for the P31 Magazine contest. I pray that it glorifies God and blesses you.
Christie :)
“Frozen by Fear - Freed by the Father”

I KNEW IT; I WAS DYING! Panic and fear swept through my body causing my face to feel red-hot and my blood pressure to rise. I began to sweat, my hearing went muffled, and my mind and heart were racing. I was scared and confused because the feelings of death overwhelmed me. I could not die in front of all these people, so I ran as fast as I could, searching for somewhere I could be alone. I spotted the door to the bathroom and darted towards it. I entered the small, dirty room and looked at my pale face in the mirror. Scared to answer, I wondered what just happened to me, am I dying or going crazy? As my body shook, I splashed water on my face, started taking some deep breaths, and I sat down on the only thing available, the toilet. I began trying to convince myself that everything was going to be all right, I was not dying and I needed to get back to work. The tension in my body began to lessen as I reasoned with myself and I walked out of the bathroom in a fog.
I was 15 years old, when it happened for the first time. Employed as a cashier at the local grocery store, I had my whole life ahead of me. I pondered the episode at first, but as life soared by, I soon forgot. That was, until the next time.
At 16, I had quit my job and was attending both high school and a vocational school. I thought that leaving my job would put an end to the episodes, but before long, it began again, this time while driving. Since I drove a friend and myself to school, I had to face my fear of it happening, everyday.
I finally realized that I had no other choice, but to tell my parents. Bewildered, they sent me to a doctor. After several tests, the doctor found nothing physically wrong and suggested that I may have an anxiety disorder. He recommended that I see a psychiatrist and we made the appointment. In one session, the psychiatrist diagnosed these incidents as panic attacks, taught me some breathing and calming techniques and sent me on my way.
I still told no one due to the embarrassment of my self-diagnosis of “being crazy”, but I at least felt better knowing that I had a diagnosis and that there was a reason for these terrible episodes. I attempted to reduce the attacks by practicing the breathing techniques, but was not able to control them.
Even as I got married and had children, I tried to keep myself as secluded as possible to keep the attacks from worsening. The attacks would lessen at times, but any amount of stress would cause them to return.
As I forced myself to leave our home each day, I prayed for help, at times, even crying out to God to take these panic attacks away. However, nothing seemed to be changing. My greatest desire was to be able to take my children and go shopping, to be able to take them anywhere, and not be afraid. I continued to pray for years, not seeing God’s answer.
In fact, over time, my panic attacks became daily and intense. I was desperate when I saw a commercial about a new drug that helped people with panic attacks. Praying fervently, I secretly went to the doctor.
To my surprise, the doctor knew exactly what I was explaining. She was understanding and encouraging! She told me that I wasn’t crazy! She also explained to me that many people suffer from this anxiety disorder and it was treatable. I was ecstatic! I wondered if it was too good to be true, but within a couple weeks of taking the medication, I began to notice a difference. I was feeling better and the attacks were farther apart. As they lessoned, I became more comfortable doing things like leaving my house, driving, and even taking my children to the store.
No one else knew how wonderful this was or how happy I was, but I did and so did God. He had answered my prayers, not in my timing, but His. He helped me after I stopped allowing my pride to keep me from asking for help. He was waiting for me to stop worrying about what others thought and rely on Him to provide what I needed.
God answered my many prayers, but He did not stop there. After He brought healing to my mind, He asked me to use the journey I had been on to encourage and inspire others. At first, I told God, “no” thinking the panic attacks may return. He then showed me His truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (NASB) God showed me that my panic attacks kept me humble and connected with Him. For the first time ever, I thanked God for my weakness.
Knowing that I could no longer be afraid and that God’s strength would show through my weakness, I said “yes” to Him. I nervously, began speaking publicly and writing about all He has done, and continues to do in my life. I am learning that when I allow God to work through me, the impossible becomes possible.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

One of the blogs I keep an eye on each day is that of Lysa TerKeurst. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and someone I admire. She announced yesterday, a writing contest due tomorrow. Entrants post an article on their blog and the winner gets their article published in the P31 Magazine which is read by over 6,000 women. I immediately knew that I wanted to enter. It was quite interesting to me that just the night before, my family was gone and I had the evening to work on an article. I knew it was the one I would submit. I began looking at some of the other blogs of entrants, I soon was discouraged seeing the qualifications of the writers and the quality of their work. As I sat for awhile in my own little pity party, I realized that I am who God made me to be, He doesn't compare me with anyone else, so why should I. I will write the best article I can and will post it on my blog tomorow in hopes of glorifying God and helping others with its content.
Have a great day!
Christie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I found great comfort in the following verse I read today - Romans 8:37 "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." We can "overwhelmingly conquer" anything we're in the midst of, because God loves us and will give us the strength. There have been times in my life that I wondered if I was going to "make it", but as I look back now, I see how faithful God was - He has given me the strength to endure. The important lesson to learn is to look back over the faithfulness of God and remember how trustworthy He is when your in the midst of difficulties.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Matthew 5:32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Commentary: Jesus said that divorce is not permissible except for unfaithfulness. This does not mean that divorce should automatically occur when a spouse commits adultery. The word translated "unchastity" implies a sexually immoral life-style, not a confessed and repented act of adultery. Those who discover that their partner has been unfaithful should first make every effort to forgive, reconcile, and restore their relationship. We are always to look for reasons to restore the marriage relationship rather than for excuses to leave it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I had begun walking each morning last summer and found that the quietness of the morning was such a refreshment for me. I enjoyed this time each day to focus on God and His creation around me. I continued my walks until about a month ago when we had lots of ice and snow. I found myself giving up this time and feeling much more lazy. I was sleeping later, which caused me to have to rush in the morning to get ready for work and have less time of prayer and Bible study. As I felt the laziness, my eating habits were poor and my focus on God seemed to be less while focus on myself was more. For me, other small choices I make in my life greatly affect my spiritual life. As God showed me this again, I got back on track and have began walking again which really makes a big difference in the way I feel. Remember that God wants all aspects of your life to be focused on Him, not just what you choose to let Him in on.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I just love the way that God speaks to us through His Word. I was reading John 11:1-44 about when Lazarus dies and Jesus brings him back to life. What was so cool about this scripture was the response of Mary to Jesus. She had sent word to Jesus that her brother was sick and ready to die, hoping that He would come back to Judea to heal him. Jesus spent 2 more days where He was and then traveled back. When He returned Lazarus had died and been in the tomb for 4 days. When Mary heard Jesus was coming she ran out to Him and said, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." I have to imagine that when Jesus didn't immediately come back and her brother died, she was probably hurt. But irregardless, her faith did not waiver - she knew that Jesus was capable of anything, even when her heart was broken.

This is the kind of faith that I so desire.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I was reading yesterday in Matthew 13:24-30 when Jesus told the parable of the weeds. In verse 25 it said "But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares (weeds) among the wheat, and went away."
This was one of those wake-up calls from God to me. I get so frustrated when I allow satan to get into my head and try to convince me of his lies. This verse reminded me that satan can only do that when I allow him to - when I am "sleeping", he can plant weeds in my mind. When I get more focused on myself than God, I am "sleeping" spiritually - that's the best time for satan to attack.
Stay awake! Don't give satan the chance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I read something yesterday about having quiet time with God. I take time each day to pray and study the Bible, but what this article showed me was that I spend my time with God, talking. I often wonder why I don't have God's clear leading in some aspects of my life. I realized why - I talk instead of listen! As I think back over times that God has spoken to me, it is when I'm slowed down and quiet - like driving or waiting. I want to consciously and deliberately take more time to be quiet - not just my voice, but also my mind.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I read this verse today - "but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:24. It made me think of Matthew 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen".

The Bible speaks many times of those who are called. God calls each of us. We are chosen when we make the commitment to live our lives for Him. I thought to myself - do I live like I am chosen? I had to admit, I do not. If I truly always remembered that the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe chose me, I think I would do a better job. I pray today that God gives me and you, the motivation and strength to to live our lives as His chosen one.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Praise God! His words spilled from my mouth yesterday. God is so faithful and I am so not. It frustrates me so much that I continue to doubt and fear even though God is always there for me. The passion of my life is to tell others about God. I want everyone to know how awesome He is and what He can do through them. When I get the opportunity to speak, I get to fulfill that passion, but satan works harder than ever. He knows just what to whisper in my ear, to make me feel unworthy and incapable and temptations seem so much stronger when I am obeying God. I truly want to recognize satan's lies faster than I ever have before so I can focus on Truth.

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Yesterday, an elder was quoting a saying "partial obedience isn't obedience at all". He misread and said "practical obedience isn't obedience at all" - I agree with both statments. Radical, life-changing, faithfilled obedience is true obedience.

Friday, January 4, 2008

video

This video is so appropriate for me today. I've really felt satan working hard on me the past few days. Especially when it's time for me to speak some where about what God has accomplished in my life, satan likes to remind me of all the ways I have failed in my life. He wants me to know how unworthy I am - he is so right, I am unworthy of the grace and mercy that God has shown me. But God loves me so much that He freely has given me His grace, mercy and forgiveness. He also can work through me even though I have failed Him so many times. This sweet blessing is not just for me, it is for all of us. He can and will use you, but the question is - will you let Him? Please be praying for me as I share His Word on Sunday.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Matthew 8:14-15 When Jesus came into Peter's home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him.
Commentary:Peter's mother-in-law gives us a beautiful example to follow. Her response to Jesus' touch was to wait on Jesus and His disciples - immediately. Has God ever helped you through a dangerous or difficult situation? If so, you should ask, "How can I express my gratitude to Him? Because God has promised us all the rewards of His kingdom, we should look for ways to serve Him and His followers now.

God's message spoke deep into my heart today. When Jesus healed this woman, she immediately got up and served. I have not only failed at immediately serving when God brings me through something, but I also forget at times to even say "thank you". He is so faithful and trustworthy and I take that for granted. I will make the choice today to show my thankfulness to God for all He has done. Will you do the same? Ask Him how you can express your gratitude.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008






Here are Liz, Nate and their cousin Chase This is Mike and his brother taking a rest

The adults worked hard and brought home alot of firewood and the kids had a great time having an adventure in the woods. Of course, I was working hard the whole time, :) but no one was around to take my picture! (Especially when I was sitting in the truck trying to keep warm.)

I'm back! Were you beginning to wonder if I fell off the face of the earth? I have had several days off over the last couple of weeks and chose to spend my time soaking up friends and family. It's back to work today! I'm moving a little slow today - my body is so out of shape. On Monday I helped stack logs as they were being cut in the timber and yesterday I used a snow blower to clear 3 driveways and then went sledding all afternoon. Needless to say - I'm sore! But it's worth it, I had lots of fun. My kids are off from school today and then they go back tomorrow. They are very excited to have one more day to play in the snow. I guess I better get back to my mounds of laundry. Have a great day!