Friday, May 30, 2008

Jeremiah, as a prophet, had the job of telling the kingdom of Judah that if they moved and settled in Egypt that God would destroy each and everyone by famine, plague and sword. The people didn't believe the message that God gave them through Jeremiah. Previously, they asked Jeremiah to pray to God and ask Him His will and they would follow. But when the answer was not what they wanted to hear, they conveniently didn't believe Jeremiah any more.

This reminded me alot of myself. I desire God's will until it doesn't coinside with my plans. As God continues to work in my life, I can eventually learn to accept God's will over my own, but I want to work on doing it much more quickly. Also, in Jeremiah's message, God specifically told the people not to disobey Him. I too can relate because there are many things that God specifically tells me not to do that I do anyway. It isn't until afterwards when I'm in a big mess, that I realize why God told me not to do it. Why do I think that I know better than God!!?? It is very frustrating to me, but I have to remind myself, that God is faithful and won't give up on me. I'm so glad because I've got a long way to go.

Are you doing something that you know is disobeying God? Make today be the day that you realize that God knows much better than you and obey.

Have a great day

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wow! Can you believe this is my 200th post. It doesn't seem like it's been that long since I didn't even know what a blog was! Just another situation where when you step out and learn something new, it is a blessing to yourself and others. The unknown is very scary for most of us, but it doesn't have to be. I am beginning to see the unknown as just a place for God to show Himself to me. It really is much better for me when I have no clue what I'm doing, because I have no other choice but to rely on God and relying on God is what grows my faith. What unknown are you avoiding? Could today be the day that you step out and rely only on God?

Have a great day leaning on the everlasting arms

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My son and I spent a few hours working on a lego New York City. This opportunity doesn't come very often, so I soaked up every second of it. Below is our beach patrol tower. It is hard to see, but I spent alot of time laughing over the girl's hair and hat. She is standing in a launcher that Nathan built to send her flying into the water whenever she is needed.
Next is the Statue of Liberty - Isn't she beautiful! We also spent much time laughing over her
Here are the tourists looking at the statue. They are very impressed!
Here is the skyscraper in which spiderman watches over the city. He is always around to fight crime.

Being a mom is one of my hardest jobs and my biggest ministry. I want to be the best that I can be. I know that I fall short everyday but I pray that God will fill in those places that I fail. Last night was a great reminder for me of how much fun it is to just play. I encourage you to take time away to spend with a child. It will be a blessing you won't forget.

Have a great day


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good morning my bloggy friends! What a wonderful 4 day weekend I had. I was able to get alot accomplished on my book proposal on Friday, over the weekend I got alot of yard work done, I spoke on Sunday in Fairbury and then was able to spend time with family on Memorial Day. Whew! It was good!
No more news yet on my gramps, but we're hoping that some specific tests results will be back today that will give us some answers. I can't say they'll be good answers, but at least some answers. Please continue to be praying for my grandparents.
On Sunday, I gave a message about how to discern when God is speaking to you. Just a few of the many ways He speaks to us and then how to know if it is God or just what you desire. I was talking to a woman about it afterwards and we discussed how in the churches we grew up in, they didn't teach about God speaking to us. We concluded that there are many Christians that have no idea how to be intentional about hearing God because they were never taught that God can speak to them. I know I spent many years of my life being confused about how to know what God wants from me. This conversation and realization really bothered me but it also gave me even more of a passion to tell as many people I can about Jesus and about how He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives. God can and does speak to His children, but we must be intentional about listening for Him in our lives.

Begin being deliberate about seeking God today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Here is my sweet boy with the awards he won yesterday at school. He won the citizenship award in which he is voted by others due to his kindness, generosity, helpfulness and attitude. He received a set of 2007 coins for this award. He also won the spirit award. He explained that there are a group of adults including his principal, who watch the children throughout the year on their behavior, involvement, school spirit, and attitude. This award winner receives a trophy with his name engraved on it and he keeps it for a year and then returns it to the school for the next year's winner. We're so proud of him!

Next is our beautiful daughter. She is involved in many activities including basketball, softball, band and chorus. She does excellent at them all and received this award yesterday for her excellent acheivement in band. She plays the clairinet and is very talented at it. Unfortunately, she has made the decision to no longer play in the band after this year. Her hard work over the last two years has really paid off when you hear how beautifully she plays. We are so proud of her!

O.K. - enough with bragging on my children. :) :) I originally took today off to go camping over the long weekend, but now we are not going camping, so I have the opportunity to stay home by myself all day long!!!! Did you hear what I said? I get to stay home by MYSELF!!! All you mom's out there know exactly why I'm so excited. I am praying that I can accomplish much on my book proposal today. It has been a bit overwhelming and since I have less than a month to have it ready for my publisher appointments, I want to get a large chunk done. I also have been preparing myself to do God's will today and not just mine. I sometimes get a one track mind and everything else seems like an interference.

I ask that you pray for God's words to flow through me today and also on Sunday as I will be speaking in Fairbury. My goal for this year was to speak at least once per month and I am excited to tell you that for the last two months I've spoke 3 times per month. God is so good!

Have a great day

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Job is the topic today. As I read chapter 3, I could relate. Job curses the day he was born. He wishes that he was never born. He doesn't feel like he can take the pain one more day. I've also had these experiences in my life - wishing that God would not make me endure one more day on this earth. These are the experiences that grow our faith the most. The experiences when we can rely on nothing else but God. He is always faithful and compassionate but especially when we hurt.

Earlier in the book, his attitude was different. In one swift blow, he found out that all of his livestock and children were killed. I was surprised at his response. He fell to the ground in worship and said "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." WOW! I can't say my reaction would be the same. His sadness and grief does come, as you read above, but to immediately worship before anything else is a great inspiration to me.

Next, he is covered in sores from head to toe and his wife encourages him to "curse God and die". Satan was able to use her to tempt Job to give up. Thankfully again, he had an amazing response - "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" Let me repeat that SHALL WE ACCEPT GOOD FROM GOD AND NOT TROUBLE? It's time to get over our pity party, it's time to trust in the One who is trusthworthy and it's time to worship no matter what our circumstances are. Praise God for His faithfulness!

Have a great day worshipping

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I was reading in Daniel 8 this morning - I read about the vision that Daniel received and in verse 15 he sought to understand it and God provided an angel to explain it. I was just thinking about something similar yesterday. There are many times when I worry, debate, or think over something on my own and not even think to ask God for understanding. For example, I shared with you the other day about how I had to make a decision between going to visit my grampa in the hospital or go to our small group study. They are both very important to me and I thought about the decision for most of the day until it finally hit me that I needed to pray about it and ask God what He wanted me to do. DUH! It wasn't but a few minutes after I prayed that I received a phone call from our pastor telling me that our small group study was cancelled for that evening. So God gave me the answer - go to the hospital. God will provide the answers and wisdom that we need, but we need to be intentional about asking for it. I want to get better at praying for God's will immediately instead of waiting until I can't decide what to do. I encourage you to do the same.

Have a great day seeking God's wisdom

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We studied the book of Jonah last night in our Bible study group. I explained, that it was "my" story. I too, was alot like Jonah. I knew what it was the God was calling me to do - to speak publicly about what He had accomplished in my life. But for many years, I pushed every opportunity away, believing that I could not face the challenge. I pushed His calling down deep in my heart until I had almost forgot it was there. I had experienced panic attacks since I was 15 and did not think that I could physically or emotionally deal with the anxiety and fear that public speaking would bring on. It wasn't until I was pushed (many times) by a friend and affirmed by God, that I finally accepted my calling and made the decision to step out and trust God. Once I made that commitment, God has been so faithful in providing the strength and peace that I need to fulfill His calling for me.

I want to encourage you today, to say "yes" to God. You do not need to be qualified or confident in yourself - but confident that all things are possible with our God! Say yes and let God do the rest. Fear should never be your guide!!!!

Have a great day standing strong in our Savior

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's another beautiful morning in Chenoa IL. It has been so good to have sunshine for a few days, but it sounds like the rain is coming - we'll enjoy it while we can. My family and I spent alot of time outdoors over the weekend. We had softball games, birthday parties, and lots of weeding and flower planting to do. I'm tired today, but it's a good tired - a tired that makes me know I worked hard. I had asked you last week to be praying for my grandpa and I appreciate all your prayers. Please continue to pray as he has seen 10 different doctors and we still have no answers. He has stumped them all. He has been in the hospital for 2 weeks and Medicare stopped paying after 10. My heart hurts as I continue to watch him and my grandma wait but I
continue to remind myself that our God is in control and I will trust in Him.

Praise God today for His faithfulness and goodness

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good morning my bloggy friends! Hope this post finds you doing well. I can't help but be perky when the sun is shining and looking forward to a beautiful warm day. I was reading in Amos today about how Amos had the job of warning about God's wrath to those who had fallen away. They continued with their religious rituals, but had forgotten God's ways of goodness, mercy and compassion. This reminded me of how many times I allow my busyness or own agenda to get in the way of truly loving others. I see my compassion level less than they used to be and that scares me. I prayed today that God will teach me to feel the way towards others like He does. Here's a post I took from our pastor's blog that really convicts me and I hope it makes you think too:

“If I talk a lot about God and the Bible and the Church, but I fail to ask about your needs and then help you, I’m simply making a lot of empty religious noise.
If I graduate from theological seminary and know all the answers to questions you’ll never even think of asking, and if I have all the degrees to prove it and if I say I believe in God with all my heart, and soul and strength, and claim to have incredible answers to my prayers to show it, but I fail to take the time to find out where you’re at and what makes you laugh and why you cry, I’m nothing.
If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for some poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God’s service and burn out after pouring everything I have into the work, but do it all without ever once thinking about the people, the real hurting people-the moms and dads and sons and daughters and orphans and widows and the lonely and hurting-if I pour my life into the Kingdom but forget to make it relevant to those here on earth, my energy is wasted, and so is my life.
Here is what love is like--genuine love. God’s kind of love. It’s patient. It can wait. It helps others, even if they never find out who did it. Love doesn’t look for greener pastures or dream of how things could be better if I just got rid of all my current commitments. Love doesn’t boast. It doesn’t try to build itself up to be something it isn’t. Love doesn’t act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn’t seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn’t lose its cool. It doesn’t turn on and off. Love doesn’t think about how bad the other person is, and certainly doesn’t think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply (as God is) over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth.
Love comes and sits with you when you’re feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you’ll come through just as God planned, and love sticks right beside you all the way. Love doesn’t give up, or quit, or diminish or go home. Love keeps on keeping on, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn’t seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time. That, my friend, is what real love is!”

Have a great day learning to love like Jesus

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It hit me yesterday that I told you all about our move to the country, but didn't show you any pictures of our new home once we got here.
Here's the house

There's about 5 acres, but alot is covered by an old pig farm that is coming down this summer. Part of the front yard

Part of the back yard, our garage and shed

I thought I'd better start out in the room that looks lived in the most - our daughter's. In her defense, our son's doesn't look much better but I had a baby sleeping in his when I took the pictures. Don't worry, I did make her clean it last night.

Here's my favorite room in the house. It's a four-seasons room that looks out over the back yard. It has officially become my writing room because it is so peaceful.

Here's another favorite - a large eat-in kitchen. For those of you who know me well, know that most of my entertaining is done here. I love to feed people, maybe it's because I love to eat too!

Here's the dining room. Yes, I know it's missing something! I would like to have all the furniture be a dark cherry wood. I was so excited to find the corner cabinet at a garage sale for $50! If any of you would like to donate a cherry wood table for my naked dining room, feel free!

Now on to the living room. It is a beautiful room that we haven't seen much of since we moved. Life seems to be running at a hundred miles an hour lately so there hasn't been much time to sit down. I would like to use it someday.

It has worked out well that I can have my daycare in the finished basement. God knew exactly what we needed and provided it all. We continued to be humbled by His faithfulness and sweet blessings.
Thanks for stopping by
Have a great day

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Malachi 1:6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My respect?" says the Lord of hosts to you

WOW! As I read this verse this morning, it hit hard. How true this continues to be even in our day and age. It is so cool how God's Word applies forever. Think and chew on this question today and then make any changes in your life to show honor and respect to our Lord.

Have a great day

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I read this morning about the mother of James and John asking Jesus to put her sons at His right and left in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus responds by telling her that it is not His decision to make, but only His Father's. Then as his disciples are angry at the request, He explains that only the last will be first in the Kingdom and we must be servants to all.

I can somewhat understand this woman wanting the very best for her children. I too desire wonderful blessings for my children throughout their lives but I also know that the only way we grow in our faith is through hardships. I hate to see my children hurt and my first response is to make everything better for them but I must allow consequences to make them into the people that God wants them to be.

Just because I have desires for my children, does not mean that God has those same desires for them. I want to desire God's will in their lives instead of my own. I pray that I will never get in the way of God's plan for their lives.

Have a great day giving your children to our Lord

Monday, May 12, 2008

I love working in the yard and I got a great opportunity to do just that on Saturday with my family. I was working on a bush that was dead and trying to dig up the root was harder than I expected. I was able to easily remove the dead branches above the ground, but couldn't even break the surface of the ground in order to dig up the huge root. I called over my husband and even he couldn't get it out so we left it and started working on the next project.
As I worked, I realized that this is no different than my spiritual life. God is my root and my foundation. There have been many times that my actions have left my connection with God feeling dead (like the surface branches) but His root is planted firmly in me. Nothing can take my Foundation away from me. My sweet Jesus has given me eternal life and no one or no thing can ever take that away from me! Praise God!

Also, I would like to ask that you pray for my grandparents. My grandpa has suffered some very unusual physical ailments over the last couple weeks and the doctors cannot figure out what is wrong. He is continuing to go downhill but has been transferred to a new hospital for different tests. My heart is breaking as I see him suffer. Thank you

Have a great day as we stand on our Firm Foundation

Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm all fired up this morning! Watch out world!!! I watched a message last night by TD Jakes that inspired my soul. I love the way he explains God's Word and his excitement for the Lord. You know he's getting into his message when the sweat just pours off of him. I want to feel comfortable enough to get that enthralled when I speak. Anyway, back to the message - he talked about when there were 3 lepers and as they began to wither and die, they saw Jesus walking with a crowd. He did not immediately see them, but one called out to Him in a loud voice. When Jesus heard and saw him, he went to them and told them to show themselves to the priests. He did not heal them immediately, but as they obeyed and walked to see the priests, they were healed. May this be a lesson to us. When you are hurting, desperate, sick, lonely, hopeless, helpless, etc. - CALL OUT TO GOD. But don't only call out to Him, but believe and obey. Whatever it is that God tells you to do - DO IT! Do you want healing? Do you want restoration in your marriage or other relationships? Do you want enough money to pay your bills? Do you need a new job? Do you want to hear His calling for you? CALL OUT TO GOD AND DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU TO DO! FAITH IS NOT JUST A NOUN - FAITH IS A VERB - AN ACTION VERB! BELIEVE! BELIEVE! BELIEVE! Nothing is impossible with God

Mark 5:36 "No longer be afraid, only BELIEVE"
Can you tell I'm a little excited? I want to encourage and inspire you today - Do not let satan have your relationships, your job, your home, your money, your marriage or anything else. Fight against him for what God has richly blessed you with. Tell satan with a loud voice that he will not win - you are in the hands of the MOST HIGH GOD! It's your choice to make

Have a great day winning back your life

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I was reading at the end of Daniel this morning. He was experiencing a vision but yet was worried about not understanding all he was seeing. But he didn't have to understand, he just needed to wait patiently on our Lord to fulfill the vision. The same goes for us today - God gives us some information, but not all. There are times in our lives that we will be confused and wanting to know more but God only gives us what He wants us to have. These are the times that we must patiently endure knowing that one day we will understand why we had to experience each situation. We must wait on the One who is always trustworthy.

Have a great day waiting patiently on our Lord

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We are still studying the topic of temptation in our Tuesday night Bible study. It is a huge topic since it affects each one of us differently. Satan knows exactly what we each struggle with and he wants to make us fall so badly. There are positives about temptation, though. #1 - We are tempted because we are followers of Christ. Satan wouldn't bother with us unless we were a threat to him. Someone sent me an email the other day that said the following: "Live your life in a way that causes satan to shudder when your feet hit the floor in the morning". If he is working hard against you - you're living your life the way you should. #2 Being tempted just gives you an opportunity to make the right choice. Being tempted is not a sin - even Jesus was tempted, but He made the right choice every time. Rejoice in the fact that God allows us opportunities to grow in our faith, by saying yes to Him.

Have a great day making those right choices

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'M BAAAACK! It's so good to be up and running again. I was concerned about the withdrawl I would experience from not having internet for a few days, but I've been so busy I didn't even think about it. All is good at the new homefront. I am officially a country girl. My dryer broke yesterday but it's ok, I just got the clothesline out of the camper and I'm good to go. I thought things would be quieter in my life as I enjoyed being secluded, but as soon as my daycare children came back, quiet is not the word to describe my life. My speaking engagement went well on Sunday and it was nice to get away from the stresses of moving for a few hours. The women at St. John's in Flanagan IL are wonderful hosts.

That's it for the updates

Have a great day experiencing God

Thursday, May 1, 2008

This is it! Packing the rest of my stuff and heading out. Just wanted to let you know that I won't have internet access for about a week, so you won't be hearing from me but I pray that you be encouraged and inspired each day.

Mark 5:36 Be afraid no longer, only BELIEVE

Have a great day as we praise God for who He is making us to be