Friday, February 27, 2009

Life can so easily bring us down. I often make the mistake of allowing my circumstances and busyness to keep me from taking the time I need with God. It really doesn't make any sense - when I am still and focused on my God, I am at peace. I enjoy and treasure each moment that I spend overwhelmed by who He is. My heart rests as I am surrounded by His presence. While in the midst, I want more - I want to stay, forever.

Interruption comes and off I go, again. Hurrying, deciding, and checking off the list. Why can I realize this as I sit and write, but in the midst of "life", I forget so easily??

Jesus came to be our light. It is during those me-focused times that I fall into the dark - stubbing my toe, most of the time. It is so wonderful to know that I don't have to stay in the dark. Jesus is my light. When I seek Him, I see how brightly He is shining - when I don't, I feel like I'm moving around without sight.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men

Are you "toes" hurting, bruised and tired?? Stop stubbing them and seek the Light

Have a great day and a great weekend
Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good morning and happy Thursday! We had some really great discussion in our Bible study group last night. Several hot topics have come up over the past few weeks, so we decided to take the time last night to just focus on what the Bible said about the specific topics. We discussed testing vs. temptation, predestination, secured salvation and the Book of Life. Whew!! Now that's alot for one night!!! Luckily, we each had done some research and thinking, beforehand, so there was much to discuss/debate. One conclusion we did come to: when it comes to a very debatable subject - after having the fun of debating those things we don't know for sure, we must focus on what we do know to be true. I enjoy debating subjects from time to time, but if it is a subject that none of us will know the answer to until we reach heaven, there is a time to stop debating and focus on what I know to be true.

I enjoy any subject that causes me and others to dig into the Word. It brought me such joy to see members of our group, searching through their Bible, light bulbs clicking and pondering looks on faces.

Questions are a good thing - especially when those questions prompt you to seek the truth of our God! What have you been wondering about? Take this opportunity to see what God has to say about it!

Have a great day!
Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good morning - I hope this day finds you well. I am filled with excitement and nervousness. We found and purchased a home. A home that needs lots of work and tlc. My husband and I had made a commitment this year to begin making better financial choices for our family. We are doing much better at making choices for what our family needs instead of always trying to get what we want. This home is exactly what we need but lacks some of our wants. It's a big adjustment, but we have a goal in mind and God is giving us the strength to pursue that goal. Are there any sacrifices or changes of mindset that God has been prompting for you? Like I said, it is not easy, but in the end, God knows what is best for us and gives us just that.

Also, class went good on Monday. It was orientation night and I got each aspect of admissions, finalized. I also received my first homework assignment for next week. Here we go - keep praying!!!

Have a great daya
Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, February 23, 2009

Good morning and happy Monday!! What a wonderfully blessed weekend I had! I want to thank you again for praying for Mike's mom. Her recovery from her surgery is amazing us! She is at home with minimal pain (with a 10-12" incision). What an an amazing God we serve!

On Saturday, we took Nathan and some friends, bowling for his birthday. I realized that boys birthday parties are so much quieter and girls.

I'm not quite sure what was up with his hair, but I'm sure he wasn't bothered by it.

On Saturday evening, we had the opportunity to watch some friends' children while they went to watch "Fireproof" at Pontiac Bible Church ( . It's a great marriage enhancing movie and I highly recommend it. If you haven't seen it - it is out on dvd.

We continued "Discovering God's Will" by Andy Stanley in Sunday school. It has been a very interesting journey. Yesterday, we learned about asking for wise counsel. The older I get, the harder it is for me to ask for advice and help. The lesson reminded me of how God puts people in my life as helpers. In order for me to make better, more godly decisions, I need to seek out counsel from others who have "been there - done that".

Like I said, we had a wonderful weekend, but today, I have to admit to my nervousness. Today is the day that I start school. A million things are running through my mind as I wonder where this journey is going to take me. Tonight is orientation and my husband was invited to come, so I'm glad that he will be going with me. I ask for your prayers as I begin this new adventure in my life, holding on tightly to my Lord's hand and trusting that He will use it to make me into a woman who more resembles Him.

Thank you for your prayers - have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ


Friday, February 20, 2009

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired.

His understanding is inscrutable.

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.

Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Someone needed to hear this, today.

True strength and comfort only comes from our Lord

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brrrrrr - we are back to winter weather! It's a wonderful 19 degrees outside right now. But irregardless of what the weather is like - we are praising God! My husband's mother is doing great! They were able to remove all the cancer and the surgery went just as expected. Recovery is her only obstacle now and she is pumped and ready for it! Our God is faithful - Our God is good!

In our Bible study, last night, we were discussing what we can learn from listening to our parents. We are finishing up "The purpose driven life" by Rick Warren and read about saving those who are lost. The Holy Spirit put a thought in my mind that I hadn't considered before:

If one of my children were lost, how would I feel?

Even just the thought of it brought panic and tears to my eyes. I would do whatever I needed to, to find them. My heart would ache. My mind would race. I would ask countless people to look for them. I would want those people to do their best at bringing my child back to me.

Then I considered this from God's perspective. His own creations are lost. The people He formed and designed are running from Him. His heart aches wanting a relationship with them. He asks us to share Him with them. He asks us to do our best at sharing what He has done in each of our lives.

Are we responding to God's request as we would want someone to respond to us in finding our lost child or does half-hearted better describe our response?

What are you doing to make a difference in the life of someone who is lost??

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I forgot to ask for additional prayers. My husband's mother is going in for surgery tomorrow to remove a kidney filled with cancer. We will be spending the day in the hospital with her so I won't be blogging. Our hope is that when the kidney is removed there will be no traces of cancer in her body. We ask for God's strength, hope and healing during this uncertain time.

Thank you
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Because we have been reconciled to God, we now must encourage others to do the same.

Reconciling with God is #1 - next, we must reconcile with others.

Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."

Back in January, when we visited a church with some friends, God began convicting me of a bitterness in my heart. A bitterness that I thought was gone because I had pushed it down so deep that it only reared its ugly head very rarely.

I felt the conviction and said I was sorry, but honestly, really didn't have any intention of fixing it. It just seemed too hard. God didn't leave it at that, though. He continued to speak to my heart through situations happening around me, through His Word, and through the mouths of other Christians.

I had negative feelings toward and spoke badly of a previous church I had attended. I felt hurt and didn't want to forgive or ask for forgiveness. God showed me how my unforgiveness was hindering my relationship with Him. It was sin. I needed to repent and reconcile.

Would it be hard? Yep

Would it be humbling? Yep

Would it please God? Yep

Problem solved.

I am meeting with some of the leadership tonight to reconcile. I will ask for their forgiveness for my actions, words and feelings. I ask for your prayers. My pride stands in the way alot of times, I pray that this will not be one of those times. I want to be obedient to God and I no longer want this to be a hindrance in our relationship.

What is hindering your relationship with God? Is there bitterness in your heart? Does your pride hold you back from reconciliation? Whatever it may be - I encourage you - listen to the calling of our Lord and obey.

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ


Monday, February 16, 2009

Good morning and happy Monday, my bloggy friends! After Saturday, I'm trying to recover from a numb back side. Our son, Nathan had a basketball tournament in McLean. He played at 10, 11, 2, and 4. This meant us leaving Chenoa at 8:45 am and returning at 6 pm and sitting all the time in between! I felt like I'd been hit by a mack truck by the time we got home but on the positive side of things, they won 2 games out of the 4. Go Hawks!!

Yesterday, we visited my friend, Jill Savage at Crosswinds Community Church ( . Her husband, Mark, is the pastor there. What a great time of worship and fellowship we had. He spoke on "Diagnosis Temptation"

When temptation comes it does so with a purpose. We can often confuse testing with temptation. They are different. They work differently and pursue different results. Our responses, both good and bad, will reveal and lead us to where and how we must pursue maturity.

Luke 4:1-13 Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness
-Jesus was tested and tempted. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and it was the Spirit that lead Jesus in the wilderness to be tempted by satan.

1 Peter 4:12-19 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the suffering of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers a s a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

-Our faith WILL be tested

-Be ready for the testing is coming

-Testing is individualized to our strengths and weaknesses

-When we participate in the sufferings we will be overjoyed when His glory is revealed (Hebrews 10:35-36) (1Corinthians 9-10)

-Accept the blessing of the trial

-God rewards and is pleased with our willingness to engage the test

-When things get hard, don’t go back to the comfortable (old life before Christ)

-Take a risk – ASK FOR HELP (1 Peter 4:16)

Are you rejoicing in who God is and what He is capable of doing - irregardless of what's happening around you? I know, I know, it's not an easy thing to do but when we choose to stay focused on God instead of our circumstances, we are bringing glory and honor to our Lord.

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hi everybody this is liz todd ( christie's daughter)It's finally Friday!! Yeah!! We went to look at a house last night.It was ok. The up stairs was just me and my brothers room and a huge bathroom! The best part about the upstairs was the bathroom was big and pink! Wahoo!! Anyway, your probally wondering why im writing this well my mom was but i asked her if I could do it ! Well now we got that out of the way!
Look at it isn't it awesome!

Well thats so cool! well i have to go eat a poptart! See Ya ! Hope u have a awesome day!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! We are back to February weather today, at least for the craziness of Illinois. Our puppies really enjoyed the nice weather. They had lots of fun playing in the mud, especially yesterday, when it was raining all day.

The pictures don't do the mess justice, but let's just say they were closer to looking like a chocolate lab instead of yellow.

Oh, the joys of owning two puppies! Not only did they have fun in the mud, but also found 2 cases of my husband's clay targets and broke them into pieces. As if that wasn't enough, we also found two boxes of shot gun shells that had been chewed up. You just can't take your eyes off of them for a moment!! Just what I needed - more kids to keep an eye on!

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good morning and welcome! The weather has been so beautiful for the past few days, I'm getting spoiled. Unfortunately, I think today is the day that it is going to go back to winter weather. Bummer - it's a good thing I soaked up what sunshine I could.

We need to learn to be thankful in what God gives and what God takes away.

I'm learning this lesson, once again. We have lived in this beautiful country house since May 2008. My family and I have LOVED living in the country! Nature and creation bring my heart closer to God. I have soaked up every moment that we have lived here. The quiet tranquility brings inspiration and peace. Due to some zoning issues, we started out renting our house with the intent of purchasing it when the re-zoning was complete. It is now for sale and because of some issues beyond our control, we will not be able to purchase our home.

I have to admit, that my heart hurts. This was a blessing that I really didn't want God to take away. After the initial shock, the worry of where we are going to live, and much prayer - I am making the choice to praise God for giving us this wonderful home for a short time - I will praise Him for taking it away - I will praise Him for what He has next for us. It is a choice - I will choose to praise.

The process of looking for a new home, has also been a prime opportunity for me to get better at submitting to my husband. In different decisions we've had to make in our search, God's answer has been to me, "submit to your husband, I am leading him". In each instance, Mike has felt God's leading and we feel at peace. I will praise God for His answer to prayer.

We continue to wait patiently for God to show us the home where He wants us to be. The patient part doesn't come easy to me, but the Holy Spirit reminds me each day of God's love for me, that He wants what's best for me, and that He is in control.

We ask for your prayers, not only that He will provide a home that is right for us, but that once again, we will learn to praise and trust in the One who is trustworthy.

What choice are you making??

Have a great day!
Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good morning and happy birthday to our son, Nathan who is 11 today!! At this very moment, eleven years ago, I was in the midst of a pain filled, gut wrenching, 12 hour long labor. But the end result - was worth it all!!! I treasure our sweet boy.

I was sitting this morning, thinking about some great struggles that our friends are going through. My heart hurts when I see people hurting - especially those I love so much. I was wishing that there was something I could do to make things better for them.

Our struggles, much like the labor I endured 11 years ago, produce something much greater. It is through those times that we hurt so badly, that we learn how to rely on God and not ourselves. Going through the most difficult time in my life, taught me that God is enough. Without almost losing everything I loved, I would not have learned this lesson.

Knowing that our pain will produce something positive doesn't take the pain away but it does give us something to hope for. It does give our pain a purpose.

Think back about what your previous pain taught you and gain the strength to say thank you to God no matter what you are enduring right now.

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ


Monday, February 9, 2009

Good morning and happy Monday! What wonderful warm weather we enjoyed over the weekend! I could get used to this in February but I don't think it will stay for very long. :( My husband and I started in a new Sunday school class yesterday and they were beginning a study called "Discovering God's Will" by Andy Stanley. I really enjoy listening to and reading books by Andy Stanley, so I was excited from the get go!

I learned that we can see God's will in 3 different ways - 3 ways that I really hadn't ever considered.

1. Providential Will of God - this is things that God will do, no matter what

You don't have to pray for God to do it for Him to do it (Gal. 4:4-5)

It is not dependent on our obedience or faith

2. The Moral Will of God - this is the things that God has already given us direct commands about (the do's and don'ts of Scripture)

The more familiar we are with God's Word, the easier it will be to distinguish

1 Peter 2:15 - part of God's moral will is that we should obey the government (you don't need to pray and ask God if you can cheat on your taxes or drive over the speed limit)

God's Word tells us to remain morally pure (you don't need to pray and ask God if you should move in with your girlfriend/boyfriend, have sex before marriage, cheat on your spouse, get a divorce, etc.) - He has already given you the answer

3. The Personal Will of God

Should I marry this person?
Should I take this job?
Should I move here or there?

The more familiar you become to the providential will and obedient to the moral will, the easier it will be for you to determine and understand the personal will of God.

God's providential will determines the standards for what God is going to call you to do.....the more surrendered we are to His moral will, the easier it is to understand the personal will of God for you.

As people grow spiritually, it is much easier to determine and understand the will of God.

I get asked alot about discerning the will of God, so understanding this, makes it much easier to explain. It brought good insight to me and I hope it gives you something to think about too!!!

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Friday! Next Tuesday, is our son's 11th birthday so tomorrow we're having all the family over to PARTY! This entails much more work for me, but it's so worth it to celebrate another year with our boy.

We heard of the death of a local boy with leukemia this week, who was Nathan's age. It has made us do alot of thinking. That could have so easily been our son.

Why does one child get leukemia and another not? Why did this boy die when our son's friend with leukemia lives on, getting stronger each day? Why does this family have to live with an empty spot in their heart?

I can't answer any of these questions. I have wondered each one. What I do know is that we are not meant to understand everything - no matter how much we want to. I also know that our God is in control, even when things seem out of control.

Does knowing this take all the sadness away? No, but it can bring comfort to a hurting heart.

What are you struggling to understand? What difficulties are you holding against God?

I encourage you to allow God to bring you comfort. Yes, I said allow - you have to allow God to comfort you. He is bigger than your situation. He is bigger than your past. He is bigger than what someone has done to you. He is bigger than you!

Give it up to Him. He is much more capable of handling it than you! Give it up and let Him comfort and heal you.

Have a great day and weekend in His peace

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good morning! Like, I said earlier this week, I'm studying the book of Ezekiel. Some verses really jumped out at me in chapter 3.

The Lord is commissioning Ezekiel to announce God's judgement on Israel and in verses 18 & 19 says "When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from the wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself."

Wow! God didn't just commission Ezekiel but also commisions us all to tell others about Him.

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

This commision was given to every follower of Jesus. This is your commission from Jesus, and it is not an option.

As Christians, we each have the responsibility to warn others of the results of living their lives without God and the result of living their lives with God. We don't get the choice to decide who we tell and who we don't. Jesus said, "all the nations", not, whoever you feel comfortable with.

Ezekiel 3 reminded me of that ramifications of me choosing not to share Christ with others. If I choose to be silent, I choose to disobey God.

What will your choice be?

Have a great day and choose to say yes

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good morning and happy Wednesday!! One of my passions in ministry is encouraging others in their marriage. Because my husband and I have worked through some extremely difficult things in our marriage, I know there is hope for every marriage. Have there been times when it didn't feel like there was hope? Absolutely - but we both had to learn that a large part of our marriage is between us and God, not us and the other person. God ordained marriage, which means that He has a purpose and plan for your marriage. It's not God that messes up our marriages, but us. His plan is for each of us to follow and obey Him, which in turn, will make a blessed marriage. Easier said than done - yes - but, still true.

Pontiac Bible Church, Pontiac IL, is showing the movie "Fireproof" on Saturday, February 21. They will be serving dessert at 6:30 and then "Fireproof" at 7:00.

In order to encourage couples to see this life-changing, marriage-changing, movie, I am adding a little catch. For each person that I invite, I am offering free childcare in my home for the evening. There is childcare available at the church, but for those not familiar with the church, I didn't want any excuses for couples not to go.

What are you doing to strengthen your marriage? No matter how good or how bad, your marriage can improve - take it from someone who can testify!!!

What are you doing to help strengthen the marriages of those around you? What an appropriate and much needed way to "love your neighbor".

Not wanting to ramble on too long, I will save my excitement about Ezekiel 3 for tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment if you want me to watch your kids on Feb. 21, too! Remember though - only if you attend the movie!

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Good morning, all! I am currently studying the book of Ezekiel and chapter 2 brought such encouragement to me today.

Vs. 3-7 Then He said to me, "Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.' As for them, whether they listen or not - for they are a rebellious house - they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious."

Oh, what a struggle this is for me.

There are two issues here for me:
#1 When I think someone is totally against God, I tend to not share my faith with them in fear of their response.

#2 I get so easily frustrated with people when I share God's truth with them and they do not accept what I am telling them. I feel like a complete failure.

So, this lesson teaches me:

#1 God called Ezekiel to share His Word with totally rebellious people - telling him, "neither fear them nor their words".

#2 God called Ezekiel to share His Word to these totally rebellious people, "whether they listen or not"

My success or failure isn't in how people respond to me but how I respond to God. In each situation I need to ask myself, "am I obeying God?", if the answer is yes then I can be confident that the rest is in His hands.

These sweet truths bring joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. I am selling God short when I decide when I will share Him with others and when I won't. That is not my choice to make.

Lord, forgive me for fearing rejection and failure - forgive me for keeping You to myself when it is my job to share You with the world. I pray for your strength to tell others about You whether they listen or not, so I may fulfill my calling in You. Amen

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, February 2, 2009

My kids crack me up!! Three years ago, yesterday, I had a hysterectomy. My children decided to honor the day by making me a card - a happy hysterectomy day card!
I'm not sure if you will be able to read it or not, but after the poem, they had a P.S. - Mom, even though you're an it, we still love you!!! Outta the mouths of babes!!! :) :) I'm still laughing today! Happy hysterectomy day!!!!
For my own little P.S. - check out the sermon from yesterday at Pontiac Bible Church. Our pastor did a phenomenal job on the subject of overcoming addiction.
Have a great day!
Living fearlessly in Christ