Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Friday my bloggy friends! This morning I read Matthew 11:1-19 and then the commentary on those verses. The commentary for verses 16-19 really gave me a good slap in the face. Here's what it said: Jesus condemned the attitude of His generation. No matter what He said or did, they took the opposite view. They were cynical and skeptical because He challenged their comfortable, secure, and self-centered lives. Too often we justify our inconsistencies because listening to God may require us to change the way we live.

OUCH, ouch and ouch! First of all this made me question whether I challenge others about their lifestyles like Christ did or just be quiet so I don't cause conflict. Then, that last sentence really convicted me. Especially when it comes to my children, I have considered the thoughts "everybody else lets their kids do it, should I? I don't want them to feel left out." or for myself, "are others going to think I'm crazy for doing or not doing this? I really want to fit in and be liked."

Lord, help me to think, act and speak more like You. Remind me of Your will and Your way so that my will and my way will be pushed aside. Give me the strength to be a light for you in all ways. In Jesus Name, Amen

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Matthew 10:17-42 not worry....
22 You will be hated....
23...whenever they persecute you.... not fear...
28 Do not fear...
31 So do not fear...
38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."

Rich words from our Savior. Need I say more?

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I've been thinking about fear lately. I encouraged a friend who has dealt with severe panic attacks who drove to Joliet inspite of her fear, another friend who is leaving for a mission trip in a month to obey God's prompting inspite of her fear, and last night in class we discussed the fear of public speaking that most people face.

We may be afraid to do what God calls us to do, whether the request is big or small - when it pulls us from our comfort zone - we are afraid.

God reminded me of something yesterday. This is a BIG something. This is something I want to remind myself of on a daily basis. This could very easily change your life, so be prepared.

Fear is not being afraid - fear is when you don't do what God is calling you to do because you are afraid.

Be afraid and do it anyway!

Our confidence and trust in the Lord comes when we don't allow being afraid to stand in our way. God has shown me over and over again - He is faithful. When He calls me to obey - He provides all I need. It is nothing of me and it is nothing of you - all we have to do is be willing.

Say yes and let God do the rest

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! Hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. I had a busy but good one! One of my goals for the weekend was to finish remodeling our living room. On Friday night we finished up sanding drywall mud and priming.

Mike had to work on Saturday so I got up early to paint the ceiling and walls, next I went to help some friends dig trenches in their yard to pull water away from their house, then my husband came home and we loaded firewood from our old house and unloaded it at our new house and finished up the day by putting the second coat of paint on our living room. Whew - I was beat but so excited to get so many things checked off my list.

Sunday was a wonderful day of worship and relaxation. We finished our membership class by hearing the testimonies of those in our class. WOW! Never forget that everybody has a story - no matter what they look like on the outside! We continued our worship while being motivated and inspired during our church service, then lunch with friends, a wonderful afternoon nap and then supper and miniature golf with other friends. Aaahhhhh, what a great day!

Monday came with one hiccup - our plan was to lay the new carpet in our freshly painted living room but when we laid it out we realized that it was too small for the room. It was a bummer but the carpet was given to us for free so we weren't out anything. So we decided to keep the current carpet until we put down hard wood floors in the family room, living room and kitchen. We moved in all the furniture and put up a new ceiling fan so we can now have a room to relax in while we work on the rest of the house. An almost complete room does wonders for my attitude! :)

With all that behind us, we now approach a week full of softball games, basketball practice, Bible studies, graduation and birthday parties, oh and don't forget school. Whew - craziness - but this craziness is what I call life! :)

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wooo hooo it's finally Friday and the beginning of a long weekend for me! Our kids are going camping with their grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins. They are so excited and will have lots of fun being spoiled rotten. Mike and I are staying home to work on the house. I felt sorry for myself at first for missing out on all the fun, but then was reminded of how our hard work will be worth all the effort when it is complete and we can really enjoy our new home.

Whether your holiday weekend consists of work, fun or a little of both, I hope it is a great blessing to you and that you can be a great blessing to those around you!

Have a great day, a great weekend and happy Memorial Day on Monday!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I love the faithfulness of our God! I told you yesterday about how God keeps putting things in front of me to remind me of His goodness in every situation. Last night, in our Bible study group, my friend read a chapter from Joyce Meyer's new book "Finding True Happiness". It was explaining the grieving process through a loss and concluded that no matter what type of loss you are experiencing, God is good, just and in control.

God is preparing my heart for something - I don't know what, but from past experiences I know that when the same message comes over and over He is trying to teach my heart.

My circumstances do not change who God is. When I hurt, God is still The Comforter. When I fail, Jesus is still my Savior. When I experience loss, God is still The Giver. When I am confused, God is still All Knowing.

These are the reasons that we can stand and lift our hands in praise when everything around us is falling apart.

God is good

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good morning my sweet bloggy friends! Do you believe that God is good all the time? It seems like God has continuously been putting people in front of me to remind me of this lately.

I heard an interview with Steven Curtis Chapman about the death of his 5 year old daughter. Although he and his wife administered CPR to her lifeless body, they prayed all the way to the hospital that God would breathe life back into her. When they arrived at the hospital, he was sure that God was going to perform this miracle and resurrect his daughter but it was then that his daughter was pronounced dead. His son reminded him that God had answered his prayer - Maria was resurrected, just not on this earth. God is good.

In my speech class I listened to a woman talk about the death/funeral of her mother just 2 weeks earlier. Her pastor reminded them at the funeral that Jesus doesn't do funerals. He is in the business of resurrection. Her mother was more than alive, she was in the midst of Jesus in heaven for eternity. God is good.

I listened to a message by Janet Parshall about the story of Hannah from the Bible. Hannah wanted a baby so desperately as her husband's 2nd wife had many children and made fun of Hannah for years. She went to the temple and poured out her desire to the Lord and not only asked for a child, but also vowed to give her child back to the Lord if He granted her request. In time, He did grant her a child and after weaning him she returned to the temple and gave her son back to God in obedience. God is good.

These are just 3 of the ways God has shown His goodness to me lately. It has been going on for a couple weeks now. He continues to remind me that my circumstances don't change His goodness. Not understanding doesn't change His goodness. He knows what is best for me and you. He knows the future and we do not. He holds this world in the palm of His hand. He is all powerful, all faithful, all worthy, all true, all mighty God.

Praise God for His goodness never changes.

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here's a great message from Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Enjoy and be inspired!

Failing Forward
13 May 2009Renee Swope

"The steps of a [woman] are established by the Lord, and He delights in [her] way. When [she] falls, [she] will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds [her] hand." Psalm 37:23-24 (NASB)

I admire, maybe even envy, people who aren't afraid to fail. You know, those people who see personal setbacks as another goal to conquer. People who don't even consider defeat when they blow it.I wish I were that kind of person. But honestly, I am not always so courageous in the face of failure.Failure is painful. It's embarrassing. And sometimes it makes me want to give up, mainly on myself.God is teaching me a lot about failing. In fact, He is giving me a little push these days, to fail forward.

This week He's be en challenging me to determine in my heart and mind that I am a work in progress and move forward even when I have a setback. He is reminding me that I am a woman who is becoming all He created her to be.A woman who is growing.A woman who is getting better and better each day.A woman who is not perfect - but who tries to surrender to God's perfect love and perfect power at work in her.

Failing forward...after I shoot harsh words across the room to "shoosh" my child when he announces that the yogurt in our near empty refrigerator has expired and there is nothing to eat! That is, after I'd just opened the large container of perfectly good yogurt, eaten some myself and served it to his brother for a snack.

Failing forward...after I criticize my husband and realize I failed to honor my man, again.
Instead I've added to an already stressful day for the husband and father who just brought home groceries.

Faili ng forward...after I let myself be "too busy" to take the time to encourage, sit with, talk to, and listen to my always-giving-and-forgiving-mom who stopped by unexpectedly this afternoon.

Failing forward...after I tell God that a certain ministry assignment is too stinkin' hard so I can't do it because surely I don't have what it takes.Every time I fail to be the woman God calls me to be, or the woman I expect myself to be, God reminds me of the progress we've made. Because, even though I may not be who I want to be, I am not who I used to be!And I get that much closer to who I am meant to be every time I fail forward.

Dear Lord, I am so thankful that with Your help, I can fail forward!! I don't have to see my setbacks as a step back. In fact they can lead me forward if I let them. Today, I will take Your hand and trust Your heart as You pull me back up again and use my failures to help me become the woman You created m e to be. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hey all, happy Monday! Just wanted to fill you in on the completion of 2 of the rooms of our new home. Our kids picked out their own colors and designs and I think they did a great job. Here's their new rooms:
I also attended the graduation of a sweet friend over the weekend. My friend's name is Christi Ucherek and she graduated with a degree in Business and Management from Lincoln Christian College and Seminary. Since she is done and I'm just beginning with my college adventure, she is a great source of encouragement and inspiration to me. Good job Christi!! :)

We also spent Saturday evening and Sunday enjoying time with our good friends from Lafayette Indiana. What a great weekend we had and we had some great excuses to take a break from all the work we've been doing to the house. Unfortunately, now that I got some rest, it only makes me want to have more!

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ


Friday, May 15, 2009

Motherhood is a valid profession.

It is that belief that inspired Jill Savage and a group of women to plan the first Hearts at Home conference 16 years ago. Today these conferences are a place where moms can go to find the encouragement and education they need to do this mothering thing right!

The problem is, not everyone can attend a Hearts at Home conference, so Hearts at Home University was created!

Hearts at Home University is a new resource designed to encourage and equip you in your journey as a parent! These live web casts, affordably priced at $15 each, allow you to tap into continuing education as a mom on a regular basis right from the comfort of your own computer.

The topics that will be covered over the Spring and Summer Semester include:

“Is There Really Sex after Kids” with Jill Savage
“She’s Gonna Blow” with Julie Barnhill
“Redefining Romance” with Mark and Jill Savage
“Keeping Your Ducks in a Relative Row” with Karen Ehman

For information on dates and times, or to register go here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm celebrating a beautiful morning! After lots of rain washed everything clean, the sun is shining. Nature inspires me to worship, how about you?

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

Praise God for He is good!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am praising God again this morning as His faithfulness brought me through another class. During this crazy transition of moving, through prayer and the grace of God, I was able to keep up with my school work, received an A on my research paper and took my final last night. Just another example of - what He calls you to, He will bring you through!

In Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus and the disciples are in a boat and while Jesus is sleeping a huge storm erupts. The disciples fear for their lives and wake Jesus and beg Him to save them. In vs. 26 He says "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?"

OUCH! I wonder how many millions of times He has said the same to me.

Christie, why are you afraid or why are you doubting Me? I'm right here with you. Haven't I always been faithful to you?! Where is your faith? I give you the Truth in My Word - believe it and do not fall away.

The Truth of our Savior is an amazing thing! Let's stand on His promises today!

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good morning and happy Tuesday! I have to say again, how the book of Matthew is filled with such rich stuff! Each few verses cause me to stop, ponder and be inspired. Chaper 8 verses 18-22 spoke to my heart as I read them today.

"Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him, 'Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.' Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' Another of the disciples said to Him, 'Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.'"

My Bible's commentary says this about the above verses:
Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. Often it means great cost and sacrifice, with no earthly rewards or security. Jesus didn't have a place to call home. You may find that following Christ costs you popularity, friendships, leisure time, or treasured habits. But while the cost of following Christ is high, the value of being Christ's disciple is even higher. Discipleship is an investment that lasts for eternity and yields incredible rewards.
It is possible that this disciple was not asking permission to got to his father's funeral, but rather to put off following Jesus until his elderly father died. Perhaps he was the firstborn son and wanted to be sure to claim his inheritance. Perhaps he didn't want to face his father's wrath if he left the family business to follow an itinerant preacher. Whether his concern was financial security, family approval, or something else, he did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet, Jesus, however, would not accept his excuse.

WOW! What conviction that brings. It makes me ponder - Am I truly willing to give up everything (including a place to lay my head) to follow Jesus?

Let me know your thoughts

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! I hope those of you who are mothers, had a wonderful mother's day! I surely did - I'm one spoiled mama!

On Friday I had a friend stop by and could tell that she had been crying when I saw her face. She explained that her best friend's daughter had been killed in an auto accident the night before. Since she had helped care for this girl for 16 years, her heart was broken and she just couldn't understand why it had happened. She said she came to me because she wanted me to help her understand why. My heart ached for her, I wanted to help and comfort her but I had no explanation for why. As I told her that God's ways are not our ways and that we must trust that He knows better than we do, I hugged her tightly and desperately wanted to take her pain away.

Lately, God has been prompting me to immediately pray with people instead of just telling them I will be praying for them. At times I have obeyed and I'm ashamed to say at others I have not. As I tried to comfort this woman, my heart said pray - pray for and with her right now. My mind began justifying why I shouldn't. "I don't know where her faith is - what if she says no when I ask her to pray with me - what if she thinks I'm crazy - what if it makes her not like me anymore?" all ran through my mind.

It was time for her to leave and I said "I'll be praying for you and your friend's family."

As I watched her walk to her car, my heart sank. Once again, I had disobeyed. Once again, I had failed. Once again, I was asking God to forgive me.

My selfishness, my pride - I got in the way.

I wondered to myself, how can I tell God that I want to do His will and then when He tells me His will, I disobey?

I know that I have been forgiven but the conviction my heart feels will motivate me to do better next time and say YES to whatever it is that God places on my heart.

Have a great day


Friday, May 8, 2009

Oh, I've found such great stuff studying the book of Matthew! Today, we're on to 8:14-17. Check out what happens in 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."

What an example for us! Let me ask you a silly question, has God ever done anything for you? Just to name a few: He created us, He loves us, He sent His only Son to die for us, He protects us, He blesses us, etc. etc. etc. How are you showing your gratitude for these things?

Peter's mother-in-law is healed and immediately begins serving Jesus. Immediately - not after she rested, not after she felt like it, not after she consulted with others - immediately.

I will serve our Lord as my offer of thanksgiving, will you?

Have a great day and a great weekend

P.S. Please be praying for me to be emptied and God to be revealed as I speak at Christian Fellowship in Pontiac tomorrow. Thank you

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Last night I had a dream that I had been praying for God's will to be done in my family and when my husband came to me and told me that God wanted him to join the military and that he would be in boot camp for 70 weeks, I decided that I didn't want God's will after all and I did everything I could think of to keep my husband from enlisting.

My dream really isn't all that different from some real-life situations. There have been times that I was shocked and appalled at what God revealed His plan was for me after I had been praying to see His will. I must always remember that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

I've told you before of a statement that Lysa Terkeurst made that rocked my world. "If I say I'm a woman of faith, am I living a life that requires much faith?"

I was reminded of this as I read Matthew 8:5-13. There was a centurion who came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant who was at his home. Jesus offered to come to his home, but the centurion replied that he wasn't worthy for Jesus to come to his home and he knew that Jesus could heal his servant from where He stood. Vs. 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following. "Truly I say to you, I have not found such a great faith in anyone in Israel."

Oh, how I want a faith that Jesus could marvel at! Oh, how I want to live a life that requires much faith!

Help me, Jesus, to remember Your enduring faithfulness when I don't understand and trust in the One who is trustworthy.

Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! I'm baaaaack! I am officially a Fairburian now. With lots of help, we got moved in, the bedrooms and one bath stripped of their wallpaper and now we're mudding drywall and painting while our family is living and sleeping in the living room. I'm also back to doing daycare, writing a research paper for school and preparing for a message I will be giving at Christian Fellowship in Pontiac on Saturday. Whew - nothing like getting back to everyday life! :)

This morning I was reading Matthew 8:1-4. A leper came to Jesus and said "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Jesus was willing and cleansed him of his leprosy. Afterward, Jesus told him to go and show himself as a testimony to the priests.

It immediately hit me. I am to show myself as a testimony of God. My life should be a testimony as to the amazing power of my God. For every way that God has "healed" me - for everything He has done for me - For every blessing He has bestowed upon me - I must show to others as my testimony.

Are you living your life as a testimony? Do people notice Who you serve as you live your everyday life? What has God healed you from that you should by testifying about?

Thought provoking stuff!

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ