Sunday, June 30, 2013

Road Trip Reveal

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity 

under the heavens 
 Ecclesiastes 3:1

This morning I sit, with a grateful heart, in a hotel room, as I type this.  We stopped halfway through our 14 hour road trip, for some much needed R & R as we head to our annual family reunion in Tennessee. 

It has been such an amazing and eye opening time so far. My mom and dad decided to lighten our load (with us having little 5 week old Quinn) and took our oldest son to ride with them. What a gift. For him and for us. He has had tons of one on one time with his Mimi and Grampy, with dinners out and special "treats" he doesn't normally get. He has had a blast!

Our other son has totally enjoyed this time as well. Riding just with Mommy and Daddy (Quinn sleeps most of the time) allowing us to have some much needed one on one with him too. Through this experience it has confirmed how important that "special" alone time with each child is. You see them in a totally new light. It highlights the sweet character traits that the Lord placed within them that sometimes gets overshadowed as you balance family life. We need to carve that into our week. See it as an investment into your relationship. Priceless! 

Do you have special quality time carved into your schedule for each child in your family?

What can you do to make this happen?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Go and Glean

As iron sharpens iron,
    so a friend sharpens a friend. 
         - Proverbs 27:17

This week was such a refreshing one. With Quinn only a month old, my time with friends has been very rare. I decided to enroll my oldest in Vacation Bible School and took my other two out on some much-needed play dates. I am so grateful for those 10 hours this week. I needed it. The Holy Spirit used my sweet girlfriends to encourage and uplift me. In "normal" conversation about life and training up our little ones, they reminded me how valuable it is to have sisters in the Lord. Each time I am with them the Lord teaches me new things about parenting.  I see what they do and am able to glean from them. I leave renewed and hopeful for the future.

Have you gotten out lately and been refreshed by friends? Get out. Even if everything in you says you can't. You need to. Allow the Lord to use your friends to remind you of truth. It is powerful and life changing. Just do it! Go and glean!

Friday, June 28, 2013

She's Back...Emily Freeman from Chatting At the Sky!

12 things your daughter needs you to say

In high school, I loved all those little sayings I heard Christians say. You know the ones - When God closes a door, he opens a window. Or Don’t put God in a box! My personal favorite was when one of my friends in my small group went through a break up with a boy, our small group leader proudly announced: Rejection is protection! And we all promptly dove for our journals to write that one in big, bold letters.
12 things
I tried to use that one once  on my current small group to see what they would do. They just stared at me and rolled their eyes. Then they laughed because they knew I was joking.
Maybe teenagers in 1995 were a lot more corny than teenagers in 2013. Or maybe it was just me.
There are things our daughters (and sons, too!) need to hear us say. And even though the clichés may encourage some of them and may look cute on a poster, they will most likely fall flat on young ears. Here is my best attempt to come up with 12 non-cliché things our daughters need to hear us say.
12 things your daughter needs you to say

1. I have hope.

could tell her “Have hope.” But, I speak as a daughter here, it means more to me to see my parents have hope than for them to tell me to have hope. My hope (or lack thereof) speaks louder to her than my words about hope.
Show her you have hope – you trust God with your family, you have hope for her future, you see light in dark places.

2. Live with God rather than for God.

It is common to tell young people to live their lives for God. And though I get the sentiment, I have seen how telling her to live for God can be confusing. The truth is the life she now lives, she lives by faith in Jesus. To tell her to live for God could lead her to try to perform for acceptance rather than living from the acceptance that is already hers in Christ.
God isn’t sitting out in the audience of her life, waiting for her to get things in order. No, he’s standing with her on stage. Even better, he stands within her. Remind her of her kind, compassionate, powerful companion who goes with her wherever she goes.

3. I’m sorry.

Of all the words I’ve ever spoken to my children, these two seem to have had the most powerful impact. Admit you are wrong when you are wrong and own the consequences.
12 things 1

4. Be who you already are.

She needs to be reminded of who she is, not who she is expected to be. In Christ, she is loving, even if she is acting unloving. In Christ, she is patient, even if she is acting impatient. Appeal to her new creation identity rather than simply shaming her for her wrong behavior.
Tell her she is beloved. Tell her she is beautiful. Remind her what is already true. Invite her to live into the truth of who Christ is forming her to be.

5.You can’t save people.

Only God can do that. I grew up with a mom who knew Jesus and a dad who didn’t. So I spent four years of my young life carrying the weight of my dad’s salvation on my shoulders. The story ends well as he accepted Jesus when I was 11. But looking back I realize what a ridiculous expectation I put on myself. Remind her to pray for those who don’t believe, but to never carry the weight of trying to save them on her own.

6. I’m trusting Jesus. Want to join me?

John says this one a lot to our kids (our twin girls are 9 and our son is 6) when our family is in the midst of a transition or facing something potentially scary. It may seem a little corny for older ones, but the message it sends is this - I am trusting God and am okay whether you join me or not. I invite you to join me and would love for you to join me, but the choice is entirely yours. 
I’ve heard it said you can’t make a kid eat, sleep, or use the bathroom. And I’m going to add this: you can’t make a kid trust God. Remind her that your faith is your own and so is hers.

7. You have something to offer the world.

I realize this dances dangerously close to You are a unique snowflake. But it’s kind of true, isn’t it? She is the only one of her there has ever or will ever be. She is made in the image of God and has the distinct privilege of carrying that unique image around in the world. Christ lives within her and will come out of her through the filter of her unique personality. Remind her she has something (lots of somethings, actually) to offer the world. Walk with her as she experiments with what those things might be.

8. I trust Christ in you.

When I was in high school and would have a problem I was trying to work through, my dad would listen and offer advice, but he would often end our talks with this statement: “You know where to go.” He never freaked out, never tried to push me into a decision. He could have said “I trust you” and that would have built my confidence some. But what I knew was that he actually trusted Christ in me – and that is where the mystery Paul speaks about in Colossians 1:27 comes in – Christ is in me. So it’s me, but it’s him, but it’s me, but it’s him – what a beautiful mystery indeed.
For me, knowing my parents trusted me built my confidence – but knowing they trusted Christ in me took the pressure off.

9. You are deeply loved.

Or, to put it a little differently, I like to use these words from Andrew Murray:
why does God love us?

10. You are not alone.

This could be one of the most heartbreaking realities I see among girls – they feel so desperately alone. Remind her you are with her, Christ is werith her, and be careful not to try to fix her loneliness. This may be the very intimate place where Jesus could show her his companionship as he never has before.

11. Want to go get some FroYo?

She might roll her eyes. She might say no thanks, Mom. She might rather spend time with her friends. Keep asking. When and if she finally says yes and you have the chance to sit across from her with a cup full of cake-batter flavored frozen yogurt with strawberries and gummy worms on top, look into her eyes and release your own agenda. If she wants to talk about the weather, let her talk about the weather. Be curious. Be open. Be available to her even if it seems like she doesn’t care if you’re available or not.
She does care. She absolutely cares.

12. ________

No, that’s not a typo. Sometimes the one thing our girls need to hear us say is nothing at all. Words mean nothing if our lives don’t speak for us. I am personally aware of how I sometimes use words of belief to cover up for my lack of real belief in my daily life. It’s easier to tell my kids a bunch of things that are true than it is to live as though I believe those things are true.
12 things to tell our daughters
I’m reminded of a story Brennan Manning shared in The Wisdom of Tenderness of the elderly Uncle Seamus who joyfully skipped along the Irish shoreline. And when his nephew asked him, “Uncle Seamus, you look so very happy. Do you want to tell me why?”
And he responded, “Yes, lad. You see, the Father is very fond of me. Ah, me Father is so very fond of me.”
May we be able to speak love into the lives of our girls only and always because our Father speaks love into us – and may we say with Uncle Seamus, the Father is very fond of me.
As I said before, this list is by no means exhaustive. I’m sure tomorrow I could come up with 12 more. But since I shared earlier this week one thing your daughter doesn’t need you to say, I thought it only appropriate to offer some things she might need to hear. And if I’m very honest, I need to hear them, too.
What would you add to the list?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Simple and Transparent

I came outside to sit in the sun, pray a bit, and escape the overwhelming feeling of being surrounded with boxes, laundry, no food in the fridge, and kids wanting, wanting, fighting, fighting.  And as I sit here praying Lord you have shown me something beautiful.  This little 830 square foot home is how you want my life: Small, simple, no room for junk.  I have to either throw things out or have them stacked somewhere.  There are no cupboards to hide my mess in.  Things have to be put in order.  When someone visits they see how my mismatched towels are put away, folded or messy.  They see my dishes, laundry, and schoolbooks.  They see what is important to me and what I need to work on.  My home is a place to get rid of junk, it is transparent, small and simple, and in order.  My life and my heart need to be kept the same; simple and transparent, focused on Christ with no room for junk.

This was my journal entry the day after we moved into our new home a couple of months ago. It was so overwhelming. The boxes were stacked high in every room with barely even a path to walk. As I reread this journal entry this week I thought again of the heart. God calls me to have a simple and transparent heart, focused on Christ, with no room for junk. 

Does your heart have a junk drawer?  That drawer you never want anyone to open. It is so full of mess and junk that it is keeping you from being simple and transparent?  Does it distract you from being able to focus on Christ? Then friend, it is time to open it a little and start cleaning up.  Maybe you just need to take the whole drawer out and dump it in the trash.  Junk causes disorder, it is anything but simple, and can make it very difficult to be transparent.  Or maybe you just have some mess you have been hiding in the drawer and it is time to bring it into the light so that God can use it.

I pray friend that you will seek God and be obedient to what He calls you to do with your junk drawer.  Life is to be used for His glory. If it is junk that that does not glorify God then get rid of it. If it is mess, do not fear, God’s glory often shines brightest once you give Him room to work in the mess. 

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:13

“For God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweeter than Honey

I was in the kitchen, at the stove stirring something and heard the familiar call, “Mommy” but this time it was different.  It wasn’t demanding my attention, as if there were blood shed or as if the little voice was going to follow it up with, “may I have….”  It was like music.  It was like hearing the holy voice of God reminding me, “You’re a mommy”. 

After having two children, you’d think this wouldn’t be stunning news, but sinking in the fact that I’m a mommy is, for me like digging for China in the sand.  I don’t know when I’m going to totally grasp the fullness of it.  If the voices of our little ones saying, “Mommy” are so sweet like honey to our ears, how much sweeter is the voice of our God through the pages of His word, the Bible? 

Just knowing, I’m saved, going to heaven, REDEEMED, free and secure verses being alone, confused, lost, and without hope... is huge!  Sometimes we don’t live as those saved, redeemed, secure but alas, we have hope, we have life, we have the Holy Spirit helping, guiding and leading us.  Let’s lean on Him, trust in Him and listen to Him through the word of God.

What a gift each mom receives when a little hand holds hers back… that’s like us going along on God’s path for us.

“Help me, O LORD my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, That they may know that this is Your hand – That You, LORD, have done it!” Psalm 109:26-27

“…The LORD is gracious and full of compassion. …. Holy and awesome is His name. …The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111, selected verses.

“As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God.  For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”  Ecclesiastes 5:19-20

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's STILL, The Perfect Gift!

There are so many stories of moms being, tired, weary and overwhelmed. Please take the time to encourage, bless and pray for our sister in Christ as well as non- believers. 

The Bible tells us to, "encourage each other and build each other up..." - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Please enjoy this re-post and commit to bless someone with prayer, encouragement or a physical blessing.

Throughout the year we celebrate our family and friends with cards and gifts. The singing cards are especially popular, now.  I don’t think anyone cares what is written on them, just what is being sung.  This is because everyone around you is opening the singing cards and either laughing or ooing and ahhing.  Card shopping has gone from a quiet, thoughtful experience to a stroll down musical lane. 

For those really special to us, we buy gifts. Are you ever at a loss on what to give the person you love?  Here's a suggestion.  It’s what everyone needs, most people want and it definitely lasts forever.  The price of this gift is free however, it's priceless! It is the gift of prayer!  Tell the person you love in a card, on a note, in a letter, by phone, or in person, that you will pray for them for the next month, or even better, for the next year. You can even include a prayer in your note  or letter.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. - James 5:16

Challenge: Surprise some one with the gift of prayer. Send a card or email letting them know of the special gift you have for them.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Praise Him

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky -Philippians 2:14-15

My son, James, has amazing perspective on life. He always remembers the positive and makes mention of it. He can pull out the good in any situation.

He forgives tons as I make mistakes in parenting. Full of grace and easily lets go of mistakes made against him. Sometimes it's his sweet prayer before bed, or at dinner when we ask him to lead our family in prayer. He always remembers to thank God for the good in his day.

His little heart is grateful and it's contagious. I want to be like that, having a disposition that looks to praise my Heavenly Father daily instead of grumbling about the crazy I encountered.

There have been days where my child has been in trouble more times than not, yet praise flows from his lips. I love his perspective to allow the good to be remembered and the bad to be lost.

Would your friends/family characterize you as one who GRUMBLES ABOUT THE CRAZY or CHOOSES TO PRAISE GOD FOR THE GOOD found in your day?

I want to choose to tell my Heavenly Father how grateful I am for the little blessings HE places in my path each day. When I grow up I want to be just like my son :)

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  -Psalm 16:7

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Exhausted & Overwhelmed

Yesterday my daughter Quinn turned four weeks old! I have been in a fog over here barely keeping my head above water...but it is above water. I am not drowning although I totally felt it last night as my newborn cried for a few hours without ceasing. As an exhausted mommy, I passed her off to my husband, when he came through the door, and ran off to take a much needed hot haven.

I wept for a few minutes and let the hot water wash away my tears. I realized that I am overwhelmed and need help. But there is only One who can help me climb out of this perverbial pit...Jesus.

Since giving birth my devotion life has been little to none. My wonderful husband has taken over (and done awesome) running our morning routine letting me sleep longer! But as I have done this my quiet time with Jesus has been obsolete.

I miss hearing HIS daily encouragement that HE has called me to this position called "motherhood." His sweet voice reminding me that He will equip me in those moments when I want to give up. I love those "AH HA" moments with Jesus that refresh me and lift my head. Those times that HE allows me to share with another mom some truth HE has shown me. All because I choose HIM. Carving out time to chat with the Creator is life changing and will breathe new life into your soul.

I need to discipline myself to rise and have some quiet time, again, each morning to let my Heavenly Father remind me of who I am in Him. How is your quiet time? Do you need to carve out some time to be reminded of truth too?? 

Keep me safe, my God, 

for in you I take refuge. 
I say to the Lord, 
“You are my Lord; 
apart from you 
I have no good thing.”
 -Psalm 16:1-2

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Banner of Grace: Dew on the Mountain

            I smile as I remember the announcer of little league basketball making comments about our son.   The announcer would call out the play of my future NBA player.  To our chagrin the announcer would say, “Way to be there for the turnaround play...DEEEWWW Anderson!”
            DEW?  Did we hear him right?  I didn’t know of a Dew.  Actually I was sure the announcer mistakenly called him “Dew.”  We were to find out that his name had actually been misprinted in the team roster.  Over the season the announcers that knew our son as Drew, made the correction, the others called him “Dew.”
            As we have watched the NBA finals this week and I have continued to study Gideon, I was reminded of this comical misread of our son’s name.  The reason we named Drew “Drew” held significance to my husband and I.
Dew on Liberty Mountain, Lynchburg, Virginia
            I reminisced why we had named him Drew.  I thought of the very simple reason, Greg loved the name.  During my pregnancy with Drew, I was studying the book of John and fell in love with the character, Andrew.  Every time He was mentioned he was bringing someone to Jesus. Thus Drew became the verb to remind us that God wants us to “draw” all people to Him.
            As I looked at the familiar passage of Judges 6: 36 – 40, it was pointed out that Gideon literally held God’s response in liquid proof.  Gideon had asked God to send dew.  The first night Gideon prayed for dew on his fleece the next night He prayed for dew on the ground.
            Dew in the Bible consistently represents God’s divine grace and favor.  The dew seems to represent the banner of the parade announcing we have something to look forward to.  Numbers 11:9 “When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.”
            When the Lord blessed us with our man-child, naming him was based on what we liked.  I think Our Heavenly Father knows our “coming up with a name” is important, but we would be wise to recognize whatever name we choose is only the “Dew” of things to come.  A reflection of God’s favor and His beautiful grace to come.

            CHALLENGE:  Tell your child the story of how you decided on their names.  Find the meaning of their name on a website. Be prepared for God to pour out His favor and grace in and through our children and their lives.
UPDATE:  Our "Dew" has moved on from aspirations of the NBA finals to a couple of seasons with Liberty University's Men's lacrosse.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sacrificing the Children

“You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.  The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; indeed, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent?” Isaiah 57:5-6

This is God speaking to his children, they have strayed so far. They have many idols and their devotion is to those idols, not God.  They are so devoted to their idols that they are sacrificing their children. They take their children to ravines and watch as their blood is spilled on the smooth stones as a sacrifice to their idols.

This just chills my blood. I read this in my quiet time and the disgust rose in me. Human sacrifice, appalling right?  But as a mom the idea of sacrificing my own child is beyond that. But as I mentally sat in this spot in the scripture God took me back to a blog I read earlier this week, Little Girl Lost.  Fran gives her testimony and as a little girl the lifestyle of her parents had a huge affect on her. And my heart was broken as God whispered quietly to me “Her parents too sacrificed her for their idols, drugs and self.”  I thought of my own childhood and many others whose parents have chose their idols of drugs, sex, alcohol, and self. I thought of the millions of children in our country and in the world around us who are sacrificed daily to their parents idols. It made me sick!  But the Lord didn’t stop there with me. He took me deeper.

“There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus.  If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me.” Oswald Chamber

“Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Deuteronomy 5:7

God gave the Israelites this command to have no other gods “so that it might go well with them and their children forever.”  Clearly here things are not going well for the children because the parents had forsaken this first commandment.  But God took me deeper reminding me of times I too have had idols in my life. The most dangerous of all being self.   Looking back it may not have been clear to me then but it is very clear to me know that whenever there has been an idol in my life I have willingly sacrificed my children. And that sickens me more than the thought of the Isrealites sacrificing their children.

As I shared this with my oldest daughter she was so confused. She said, “Mom, what are you talking about.  You have never done anything like that. You have never sacrificed us.”  But, I have.  It may not have come in the form of the obvious like drugs, sex, or alcohol but it has happened. I reminded her of a time several years ago when I read a book series that totally grabbed my attention. I stayed up late regardless of the four little ones I had to take care of.  I put them in front of movies to entertain them for hours so that I would not be interrupted. I was too busy feeding my idol, self.  I gave sandwiches and cereal for meals so I didn’have to cook and clean big messes. I totally sacrificed what was best for my kids for my idol. Their safety was not at stake but I think it is clear that I didn’have their best interest at heart either.

Idols creep in where we least expect them. Maybe it’s a cellphone, a game, Facebook, a tv show. Maybe you are even putting those idols in front of your children so that you can have more time with your idol. Sacrificing the children... and God asks the Isrealites, “In view of this, should I relent? (Is 57:6)

Father, open our eyes to idols that are disease in our lives.  God may you be the only One we desire to serve.  May nothing come before You.

For more detail on possible idols read Maggie’s blog, Jeleous for Us.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just Pick One

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is no law"
Galatians 5:23

Nine. Nine qualities, available to us, describing the very nature of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5 speaks of living by the Spirit as we pursue Jesus.  Taking it once step further in relationship to this Blog, living by the Spirit as believing Moms. We start from the place of love.  1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us."  We can know this verse from a mother's prospective.  I remember looking at my helpless 2 week old baby boy sleeping in his crib.  The Holy Spirit spoke this verse to me. As mom's we love deeply. Today I want to challenge you to mediate on the verse written above. Pick one of the Spirit's fruit to focus on today.   Whether it's patience, kindness or any one of  the nine, pick the one that is the most challenging as you walk with your children.  Think about what this fruit means.  Ask the Lord to make it perfect in you so that you can share it with  Believe He will. Not only will you bless your children, you will bless the Lord and He will in turn bless you.  I see that as a "win, win", don't you?

My prayer for you today, godly mom, is that as you choose to allow the Spirit's fruit to ripen in you, your children "will taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8 All praise to God!

PS:  I picked Kindness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Where God Guides, God Provides

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV
God has never asked you to do something He is not capable of doing through you. God’s call upon our life means many things. His calling reminds us that we were not looking for Him but He for us. The very fact that you are committed to serving Jesus tells you that God reached out to you and called you to Himself. When He called you to be a Christian, He never expected you to live the Christian life on your strength. No, the one who calls you to live like a Christian is faithful to provide what you need to act like and be a Christian.
The first victory we need in our life is to recognize how faithful God really is and how unfaithful we really are. God knows your heart and mine and knows human effort can never fulfill divine appointments. Yes, the Christian life begins with trusting the faithfulness of God and His ability to “do it” and it never graduates from this experience of trust.

God’s call upon your life affects the person you marry, the career you choose, the things you buy, the church you serve and so on. When we call Jesus Lord, we turn over to Him the decisions of our lives. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” That places the responsibility on us to seek God’s will in all things. It places the responsibility on God to reveal His will for us. This verse is all about having peace in life. When you have heard from God about a matter, having sought His Word and acted in accordance, we can stand in peace knowing “the one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”

QUESTION: Do you seek God’s direction and calling in all matters of life? What has God called you to do that you need to trust Him with?

Monday, June 17, 2013

From Thirsty to Filled

Ever look back on your life and wonder how you got to where you are now? How you made it through “that”? How the ashes and brokenness of your situation turned into beauty? Sometimes I don’t have an original thought in my head. Today is one of those days. However, a verse has been on my mind, and when I looked up the context in which it was written, I felt so encouraged and blessed. Believe me, I have been praying about what to write, but I finally feel at peace knowing that the best words I can share with you this morning are HIS. I pray that the words of scripture speak to your heart and bless you this day…

 "Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink -- even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk -- it's all free! 2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul! 3 "Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake. I am ready to make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the mercies and unfailing love that I promised to David. 4 He displayed my power by being my witness and a leader among the nations. 5 You also will command the nations, and they will come running to obey, because I, the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious." 6 Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. 7 Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. 10 "The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. 12 You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! 13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to the LORD's name; it will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.
                                                                                                            Isaiah 55


Heavenly Father, may we come to you and thirst no more. May we find that you richly satisfy the longing of our souls. You have placed your imprint on our lives, and only you can we fill it. May we drink of your word and be satisfied. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Check out the following song by “Tenth Avenue North

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Super Dad

Hey ladies! Here, on the site below, are some great easy gift 
ideas to make your husband feel "super" on Father's Day!

Commit your plans
 unto the Lord 
and they will succeed.
-Proverbs 16:3

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Little Girl Lost

Matthew 5:44
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

She smiled and laughed as most little girls do.  She played with dolls and toys and friends and to everyone else she appeared to be happy.  But inside this little girl was sadness.  Her mommy and daddy were always fighting and the drug abuse had gotten out of control.  So at age 5 this little girl was told she was going to go live with her Grandparents because her Mommy and Daddy needed help...  

For the next two years she lived with her grandparents. Her grandparents did the best they could, but no one could replace her parents, as messed up as they were.  During this time her parents had gotten a divorce...  At age 7 her parents had completed their drug rehabilitation and she was able to move in with her mom.  Although everyone thought moving back in with her was the best idea, this is when the child saw and experienced things no child should ever see or experience.  

During these years the little girl got to see and spend time with her daddy and his new wife and children.  Eventually the new wife came to know the Lord and starting praying for all of them.  Soon the little girls Daddy got saved too.  

I will spare you all the details of the pain and poor decisions this child made as a teen and adult later in life.  But what I will point out to you is this, this child was prayed for.  People reached out to her.  Family and friends and strangers took the time to share the gospel with this child.  This child was me... and I am writing this blog as a living testimony that you are praying to a very real and personal God and prayers are being answered.    

You see, many people didn’t like me because I was covering up my hurting with hardness.  I was your enemy and your persecutor.  I was someone who you wouldn’t have naturally wanted to get close to (Bring anyone to mind)?  Only Christ in people can love the unlovable.  It takes effort on our behalf to reach out to those who may not be so desirable and pray for them...  because of those prayers and people reaching outside of their comfort zone, my life was changed forever and so were many generations to come...

My challenge to you: Who has God placed in your life who has persecuted you?  Who in your children's  lives can you take the time to love who may not be so lovable?  Whose life can you change for generations to come?

My prayer: Lord Jesus open our eyes to see others as you do.  Help us to love the unlovable, serve the undesirable, and pray fervently for the salvation of the lost. 

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.
Matthew 25:40

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sleepovers and Summer

         After a week out of school it was time to “christen” the official beginning of summer.  Hopie’s idea of welcoming summer was to invite a friend over last night and have her spend the day with us today.  Just before bedtime they decided to “bake something.”   They went on the web and found these great sounding recipes for cupcakes.  Their only parameter was they had to use only the ingredients we had…I wouldn’t be making a Publix run and they had to clean and put away everything they used.
At almost 12:30 they were pulling the cupcakes out of the oven. There attempt to make the cupcakes was quite successful.  They made beautiful looking cupcakes.
Google Image
 I thought I would soon hear them “Awe” over their yummy creations.  However, as soon as they cooled down, the girls put the cupcakes in the refrigerator.  They cleaned their mixing bowls, hand mixer, the counter tops, brushed their teeth and went to bed?!?
I thought this illustration is exactly what the Psalmist was trying to communicate in Psalm 34: 8.  David said, “Taste and See that the Lord is good.”  David wanted us to not only hear about the Lord’s goodness, but to experience His goodness. God’s goodness needs to be experienced.  It needs to be tried. 
Psalm 33: 5 The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.  The challenge is not to be like my daughter and her friend who made the beautiful cupcakes but didn’t eat them. Taste and See that the Lord is Good. Express your gratitude for His goodness. NEVER FORGET, GOD’S PREDISPOSITION TOWARD US IS GOODNESS!