all rights reserved
Friday, February 29, 2008
all rights reserved
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I am blown away by his grace. I am overwhelmed by his love. His power I cannot even fathom. What an amazing love He has for us. How do people not believe in Jesus?
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Father, thank you for the love that you show me. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for dying on the cross for me, to wash away all my sin to be remember no more. I am overwhelmed with love for you. My heart is full.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Isn't that just beautiful?
Friday, February 22, 2008
~Romans 8: 24-25
Isn't it hard to watch those that you love, who don't know Christ? They've been told of His great mercy and yet they do not care. They go about their way...never changing. You pray and pray, but yet nothing happens. They are careless with everything God has given them. You try to reach them but you can not. They are selfish and destroy those they love- bit by bit and day by day. They know what they do is wrong yet they choose not to turn to God for help.
It is out of my hands Lord, there is nothing left for me to do, but pray....
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
My almost teenage daughter was paired up with a girl in her school to due a project for P.E. They had to work on some of it outside of school so I told Dallas that she could come over this past Sunday to work on it.
When I went to answer the door to let "Tammy" in, her mother was already backing out of the drive. I have never met these people before and I would certainly not just drop my daughter off at a strangers house without even meeting them. Am I sounding judgmental?
As I introduced myself to Tammy I couldn't help but notice that her clothes were a little tighter than I would prefer. There I go again, sounding judgmental, huh?
I had gone up to Dallas' room a little later to take the girls some refreshments, as I knocked and tried to get in the door it was locked. I generally allow Dallas to do this when friends are over because her brothers won't leave her alone. Though I do check on them frequently...this drives my daughter nuts I am sure. After Dallas unlocked the door I stepped into her room and heard Tammy say, " I lock my door all the time at home. It drives my parent's crazy so they make me unlock it. Alot of times I just lie and tell them I am changing so I don't have to unlock the door." I just looked at Dallas and with my eyes said don't even think about trying that.
I finally met her mom when she came to pick up Tammy. Her mother said something about Tammy always complaining that they never have family time because both her and her husband have to work all the time.
I had all kinds of thoughts swirling around in my head at this point. After they left Dallas asked me what I thought of her. I just looked at her not really knowing how to respond. She then piped up, "I like her she is nice and fun." Afterwhich she informed me that she has alot of classes with this girl. I know my daughter well enough to know that she is going to ask me about this girl again, whether it be for asking if she can stay over here or if she can go to her house I don't know yet. But it will happen.
I struggled with this for a couple of days for 2 reasons:
- I feel as Dallas' mother that I have an obligation to help her wisely choose her friends. This is a critical time for kids this age. You either end up in a good crowd or a bad crowd. Life can spiral down quickly at such a young impressionable age.
- God tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. To help those in need and to not be judgmental. For who are we to judge?
So, I was at an impasse. In my heart I didn't want Dallas to be friends with this girl. Sounds a bit harsh, I know. So, I prayed. I am trying very hard to do more of that because I know it works!
Through circumstances that I won't bore you with, I ended up at this portion of scripture twice in 2 days. God seems to talk to me alot in multiples. Like lately I keep seeing, hearing, and reading the word- STAND- I know God is trying to tell me something but He hasn't given me all the details yet. That will be another story for another time I am sure.
Anyway back to the portion of scripture:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
I had to read this slowly a few times before what He was trying to tell me finally jumped off the page:
Instead of writing this girl off like I wanted to do, God told me to invite her into my home and get to know her. She may need something and the only way to find out is to be hospitable. I think God knew that I wasn't going to let Dallas go to this girl's house so He showed me another way.
I know this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but wait till your girls get to be this age, or your boys for that matter. You will notice everything about their friends, and that in my book is not such a bad thing...it is our job to know who our kids are hanging out with.
I am up for any constructive criticism, comments or suggestions. This kind of thing keeps happening due to her age. Kids are alot different in middle school now than they used to be when I was that age. I think my best bet is to open up my house to her friends like God said and get to know them before I just tell Dallas no...I don't like what she wears or, no I don't like how her parents are.
If I have seemed judgmental, please forgive me- I don't mean to be.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
As I was still on my path of discouragment, in the shower the other day, I began crying. It was actually more like a sob. I questioned God, yet again. Why? Why did you bring me here? I just don't understand. Please hurry and tell me why. I have been waiting for so long.
He instantly took my thoughts to all the times I had gone through trials. All the times I didn't understand what was going on in my life. Looking back on them I was shown how He has always brought me through it to the other side. How, every time, my life has been made better by going through it.
I felt better, but I was still remembering all the heartache it took to get to that other side.
Tonight the Holy Spirit lead me to this verse..... God said to me in Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
I knew right then that He had answered my prayer, my plea.
I still may not know why He brought me here, but I do know that once again He will bring me to the other side.
Lord, thank you for showing me that your word is true, once again. Thank you for never leaving my side. My heart is at peace and I am full of hope because I know that you are with me wherever I go.
Friday, February 15, 2008
and parents are the pride of their children.
I woke up dreading this morning. The kids once again don't have school. They have already missed 4 days due to snow and today I guess there is a teacher's meeting. Monday is President's Day. A long 4 day weekend....those lucky kids.
They are very excited about the long break. I on the other hand am not. On most days they are home all I listen to is fighting, arguing, and just a whole lot of not getting along. I know most of you feel my pain.
It occurred to me a few minutes ago how often I pray for my children's safety while they are at school. I am constantly worried anymore with all the devastation you hear on the news. I am sure most of you have heard about the deadly shooting at Northern Illinois University yesterday. As of right now there are 7 dead, including the gunman.
I have changed my attitude. I am so blessed and thankful that my kids are home with me. Thank you Lord for giving me some perspective.
I won't mind their arguing so much. I'm going to pull out some games and play with them. Maybe we'll take a walk and look at all the beauty God has given us. On Monday I'll take them somewhere special and create some memories so my kids won't forget how special they are to me. Each of them have my whole heart. I love them and I want to show them.
Lord, thank you for giving me this long weekend with my kids. I pray that I can fill it with wonderful memories for them. Help me to never complain again when they at home with me, safe and sound. I pray for the thousands of families effected by the shootings in Illinois. The families who have lost a child and the ones who don't want to go back to campus because of fear. I pray for the world around us, there is so much pain, Lord. Help us, who are willing to fight for you, to be bold and speak of your undying love.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
But, I have missed all my friends back in Georgia a great deal. Our church family quickly became our family away from home. My husband and I grew in Christ ten fold in the 3 years we lived there. We were strong in Christ; felt like nothing could stop us.
Since we moved, my relationship with God suffered probably more than anything. For the longest time I just didn't care. We couldn't find a church. Not one that could compare to that of where we went in Georgia. We felt defeated.
It wasn't until a few months ago that God said to me, " It doesn't matter where you are or what you do, I can use you." I began to pray that God would help us to find a church that He wanted us to be in. We had visited this one a couple of times when finally I knew this was it. There isn't a Sunday that goes by that I don't cry sitting there in church. I feel Jesus there, you know? I either feel good about what I am doing or I feel convicted about what I'm not doing. That, to me, says you need to be here.
I still struggle though, because I haven't dug in deep. I haven't joined a Sunday school class or any bible studies. I don't know anyone there but my son's school teacher. Please pray for me that I will get back into things again so I can meet some people. You see, I have lived here for a year and have not made one friend here in the area. I have a friend that lives about 40 minutes away but that is a pretty good distance to get together very often. I have good friends from all over but they are not here with me. They are far off in some town we used to live in. We have moved on an average of every two years. Frankly, it is quite exhausting sometimes. It's hard and this is all so new to me because I have never had trouble making friends. But, real...true friends are hard to find.
God has shown me this today....loneliness is everywhere, even if you have a multitude of friends nearby. He has shown me that there are people who need my friendship. People who may not know the Lord. So I am asking God, once again, to reveal them to me.... here in this place where I am now.
Instead of wishing I could find a friend, I am going to be one. My door is wide open and I'm on the lookout!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I feel like God is going to do something big here. That these blogs aren't just our blogs. People are reading them. Ones that don't know the Lord.
Go here and see Carol, and then when you are done there, go here and see Kimberly. His Love is rising up, ladies. His love is rising up!!
Everyone of us has a purpose in God's master plan. I am praying that God will reveal our part to us and that we will have the faith to live it out. There are some great adventures to be had. I just know it!!
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
God please let us listen to your voice. Help us to do whatever you ask us to do. I am so excited! God just speak to us!! In Jesus' name, AMEN
Monday, February 11, 2008
Can you imagine, walking out your front door one morning, and your neighbor is building some huge ( and I do mean huge) thing in their yard. This thing is so big it's gonna take a long time to build. Talk about property value going down!
Can you imagine the torment the people put on Noah for building the ark? What a crazy man, they thought. But, aahhhh no, he was not crazy in the least. He was a man of great faith. A man that listened to God when he spoke. He listened to every detail, in fact.
Genesis 6: 13-16
13So God said to Noah,"I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks."
Noah made the ark exactly as God had instructed.
How many times do we leave out some of the details because we think that they couldn't possibly mean all that much? What if Noah hadn't listened to the details? Where would we be now?
Now, I am a detail kinda girl myself. My details are very important to me. But too often I leave out one of God's details here, and maybe a certain detail there.....and it has literally brought me ruin.
God said to Noah-
17"I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all lif under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will parish. 18But I will establish my covenent with you, and you will enter the ark- you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. 19You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21You are to take evry kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."
Again, look at all the details. How could Noah possibly misunderstand? He didn't.
Genesis 6:22 (italics mine)
Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
Noah followed everything out. After the waters came for 40 days and 40 nights and flooded the earth and everything in it, the only things that didn't parish were Noah, his family, and two of every kind of animal. Why?
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he comdemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Noah's actions gave man no excuse to not follow through with their faith. He had what I would call, a crazy faith.
I can't imagine the adventures God will take me on as I pray to have this same kind of faith. Won't you please join me? I just know it's going to be fun!
Now, I'm not saying I'm going to go build an ark in my yard....unless he asks, of course. :) But let's all pray to have the faith of Noah. The kind of faith that can move mountains.....the kind of faith that will build an ark if God asks; knowing all the while to listen to the details, because sometimes the littlest detail can make all the difference.
God wants us to demonstrate our faith like Noah did.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Friday, February 8, 2008
This is what got me:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
The things I say have the power of life and death. The power to crush a spirit or to raise it up.
How profound is that.
Sometimes in the rush of my morning, I don't always send my kids off to school with their spirits filled with love. They are crushed. I noticed it this morning in my sons face as I yelled at him to hurry it up. Get your shoes and socks on NOW!! The sparkle went out of his eyes.
My heart hurt for him. So I tried my best before that bus came to regain some sort of happiness for him so he wouldn't climb on the bus feeling dejected. I asked him if there was anything going on at school today that he was looking forward to? His eyes lit up as he said, " Yeah, my teacher is going to read a Junie B. Jones book about Valentine's Day!! Thank you Lord, he was back in good spirits.
When I look back at all the times I have sent them off to school feeling sad and lonely because of my words, it tears me up. Man, what power words have! The power of life and death.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight.
I now have these 2 verses taped everywhere in my house. They are on my bathroom mirror, the hood of my stove, the fireplace mantle, the bannister of the stairs, and even on the tank of the toilet! :)
If you would like to read what inspired me, go here and look for-- A Heart Tail. Thank you Ann, for allowing God to use you!! And most of all, thank you Lord for being patient with me. I finally got it! Because of Your words Father, my spirit is full of life!! I Love you.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
It is not often in scripture that you will find an explanation point. He was totally serious about this.
I can close my eyes and see myself there among the crowd that day as He spoke those words. I can hear the urgency in His voice as if He's pleading with us, " Come on people, what are you doing out there with all this time I have allowed you on earth? Why aren't you standing up for The One who has given you eternal life? Can't you hear me? Look around you, they are everywhere, these people that are looking for truth. Am I not worth it to you? Do you not know that I need you?"
Right now there are some of you who think you are not worthy to help God. But regardless of your past mistakes, God can still use you...serving Him is not something that you earn, otherwise none of us would qualify. But God still asks us to carry out His work. You are worthy in His sight to do great things for His glory.Jesus said, " For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
Notice what He says there. He uses the word whoever, NOT...the person who is perfect. Nor, does He say, whoever I choose. He says whoever does the will of my Father will be My family.
If that doesn't make you worthy, my dear friends, then I don't know what does.
I wonder why we have become so lax; why we only cry for our lost loved ones, but don't shed a tear for the millions more that are out there searching for the truth? I am certain God wonders the same thing; questions why we don't love Him enough to help Him the way that He chose to help and love us.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
"But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair on your head will parish. By standing firm you will gain life."
Luke 21 : 14-19
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
" The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few."
If God is with us....then whom shall we fear?!!!Lord, let us not care what the world will think of us. Comfort us when relationships are put to death because of this great divide. Help us to rise up to be all that you call us to be! Open our eyes to the harvest and let us stand firm for You, the Creator of heaven and earth. In Jesus' name, Amen
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
"When?" I asked.
"At her grandmother's funeral."
We were standing in the rain at the graveside service. People had started to leave and we just stood there talking for a while. I felt so nervous, as if I was up in front of millions of people speaking. All I could think about was this penny in my pocket.
My mind was saying, "It's not the right time, Lord."
"It is the perfect time," He said.
My heart was pounding, all because of this penny that God had told me to give to an unsaved friend. I played it out in my mind...we'd go for a walk, I would reach into my pocket, pull out the penny and I would say, "God told me to give this to you." All I could see was her getting angry again for bringing up God.
I didn't do what He told me to do. I didn't give her that penny because I didn't want her to mock me. Instead, about a month or so later, I tried things my way.
It didn't turn out so good. I tried to share with her how God could help her through her pain. Things just exploded because here I was talking about God again. She no longer wants to be my friend. I won't ever be able to share God with her again. All because I didn't listen. All because I didn't obey. I pray God will send someone else into her life that believes in Him and will listen to Him when He speaks.
If I had only given her that penny.....
Monday, February 4, 2008
But, my heart is aching.
Where are you, God? And why can't I hear Your voice?
I use to hear You whisper to me all the time. It feels like such a long time ago.
Am I hearing and just not obeying? I so desperately want things to change.
I dig into your word but still can't seem to get rid of this ache.
I want to be used by You so badly. Am I not worthy? I want to work for you, Lord.
Please God, show me the way. I promise I am listening. I will follow where You lead me.
Change me, Lord. Change me....