Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Heavens Declare...

If the Heavens proclaim God and His glory...shouldn't we do the same?


Friday, July 29, 2011

Still....

 Today I am trying something new, Five Minute Friday. This is where you write on a topic for 5 minutes, no worries about editing, just whatever pops in your head. Today's topic is the word still. To check out other takes on the word still click here.

Be still and know that I am God. 
Being still is a hard thing for many of us to do. We live in a society that encourages us to be busy. A common question people ask is "so you keeping busy?". Like that is some badge of honor. We are called to work and do things for the Lord, but we are also called to be still. God wants us to take a time out of our crazy lives and be still and meditate on Him. It is a lesson I learned several years ago when a chronic illness hit, I had no choice but to be still. I learned during that time that its ok to say no, its ok to have a day that is not jam packed with activity. I learned its ok to sleep in, but more importantly I learned it ok to be still before the Lord. When I take away all distractions, He speaks to me. Oh the amazing journey I have had with Him! He's taught me so much. I have also learned that when I don't take the time to be still before Him, I give the enemy an opportunity to enter in. This week is a good example, I have been busy in the morning and not having a real quiet time before I start my day and lets just say Satan used that against me. So I think I need to go now and have some quiet and still time with my Lord...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A mist...

Life is short, be sure and live every moment for Jesus!


Monday, July 25, 2011

17 years ago...


 17 years ago, God saw fit to complete our family with a "little" boy! Caleb John was born on July 25, 1994 and weighed in tipping the scales at 10 lbs. 8 oz. Today my "little" boy towers over me at 6' 3"! Caleb has done a lot of growing in the past 17 years!

 My son is 17, the age he will be when he graduates from high school. So this birthday marks the beginning of a bittersweet roller coaster year for me. I find myself asking is my heart ready for this journey? Can't I have just one more year? Caleb's got a bright a future, that I know. He is ready for this transition, but am I?

I remember when the kids were little and I would hold them in my arms and rock them back and forth, it became second nature to do that rocking motion whenever I was holding them. In fact, I would rock even if someone else was holding them, it just became something I did. Mothering is a such a part of who I am, as Caleb goes off will I still be "rocking him back and forth". You don't just stop being a mom or mothering, anyway I haven't found the on/off switch if there is one. I realize that I will always be mom, but my role will be going through a transition. That is part of life, change and transition. I am confident when the time comes for our nest to be empty, God will provide me with what I need! For now, I am just going to enjoy this next year and treasure all of Caleb's lasts as much as I treasured all his firsts!


17 facts about this amazing boy:
  1. Caleb loves and adores his sisters very much! He's not only their little brother but also their big brother!
  2. Caleb is almost never wrong when it come to facts. In fact, he has taken a test and not agreed with the answer key, emailed the text book company and proved them wrong! (more than once)
  3. Golf is Caleb's favorite sport, most days you can find him working on his game.
  4. Pizza is Caleb's job, he works several days a week, making pizza to support his golf habit!
  5. Caleb and I are so much alike, its scary!
  6. Caleb has his dad's sense of humor. He is a very witty boy!
  7. Nicknames: Cable, Little Jimmy, Buddy, the Boy and more.
  8. This kid loves Christian Rap.
  9. He is in Mock Trial and is an amazing lawyer.
  10. Apologetics is something he is good at. He loves a good debate.
  11. He plans on majoring in chemistry (for now) and will be applying to LeTourneau and Cedarville in the fall.
  12. In 2000, at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, we temporarily misplaced Caleb, scariest 10 minutes ever!
  13. Caleb became a Christian on March 20th, 1997.
  14. When he was 8 weeks old, he developed asthma and was rushed to the emergency room, the other scariest moment with him. He's pretty much outgrown it now!
  15. This kid has the worst eye sight in our family, but he has great vision!
  16. Before he was born the doctor told us we were having a girl. So he was a fun surprise. God knew we needed a boy to complete us!
  17. He plays guitar and drums, but seems to prefer the guitar.

Thank you Lord for the privilege of being Caleb's mom!




Raising Mighty Arrows

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Scripture & a Snapshot


How often do we act like a little kid and hide in the corner thinking God won't see us or know what we've done wrong? Today my husband preached on James 4:17. So I've been thinking about this verse all afternoon. How often do we hear God telling us to do something, but we ignore His voice? James is bold and tells us this is a sin. I don't know about you, but that convicts me. As my husband pointed out today, we don't have to think of the Christian life as a series of don'ts.We need to tune into what God wants us to do and then we need to do it! So what is God telling you to do this week? Will you do it?




Friday, July 22, 2011

Blessings...

No matter where you are today, I pray that the words of this song would encourage you! I know they encourage me when trials come. I thank God for loving me enough to use my trials to mold me into the person he wants me to be!

video



Blessings
by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Freedom in Christ...


Is anything holding you captive today? 
Do you feel burdened? 
Do you feel beat up by life? 
Take heart, in Christ you can find freedom!
Leave all your burdens at the foot of the cross!
You can be free indeed!


Linking up with:



Monday, July 18, 2011

Square Peg...Round Hole...That's Me...


I've been just a little different from the beginning. I came into this world feet first instead of head first, I'm a lefty in a right-handed world, an introvert in an extrovert world, a Mary in a Martha world, a stay-at-home mom in a world where women are a great presence in the workforce, a homeschooler on a block full of public school teachers, and a Christian in a non-Christian world!  I'm a square peg in a round hole and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Have you ever felt out of place somewhere? Like everyone was staring at you because they could tell you didn't belong there? That is how we are to feel here on earth. God put us here, but only for a season. We will only feel truly at home in heaven.  
But our citizenship is in heaven..Philippians 3:19 

Because our citizenship is in heaven, there will be times when we do not feel at home in this world. But we need to remember our mission here is not to feel at home; we do not want to become a round peg!
And do not be conformed to this world...Romans 12:2

The Bible is full of men and women who were square pegs...God used each and everyone of them. Abraham traveled and was an alien in a new land and he became the father of a great nation. Joseph was forced to be a slave in a foreign country, yet God used him to save many lives. Esther was an alien and yet God used her for "such a time as this" and saved a nation. 

I think God does his best work with square pegs. He likes to take something that doesn't quite fit, isn't quite at home, or would otherwise be overlooked and  use that square peg for his glory! Some more recent examples of square pegs are two of my heroes, Cori ten Boom and Elisabeth Elliot.



Cori ten Boom was a Christian in a Jewish concentration camp. She did not belong there, nobody did. She did not stifle her voice though. She shared her faith and led Jewish women to know the Lord, her influence in their lives may not have been the same had she not been a square peg.




Elisabeth Elliot lived among the Auca Indians. She was very much a square peg, she was  a white woman among a very violent people, the very people who murdered her husband. She was able to share the Good News with these people and lead them to the Lord, this did not happen because she was one of them, but because she was a square peg.





How about you? Are you a square peg or a round peg? I personally like not fitting into the round hole. For I want a life that is set apart, a life that honors the Lord!


 Linking up today with:




Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cleaning...

This morning, I found myself home alone and thought I would do a little cleaning. Just needed to do some straightening and vacuuming. I thought all I needed was 15 minutes and this place will be looking even better. Well, I was wrong, my house had a deeper issue...cat hair and dust bunnies...everywhere! So what started out as a light cleaning became a serious cleaning. I cleaned under couches, tables, chairs, even the refrigerator. I scrubbed counters, cupboards and I dusted up high, down low, and everything in between.


How often do we go through life thinking we have everything together? Yet, all it takes is a little bit of cleaning and we find "dust bunnies".  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17

 So what is the key to finding what is hidden in us? We need to pray, pray, pray. Pray for God to reveal to us those areas that need cleaned out. This scripture needs to be our prayer; Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23.

Just remember, there is always some cleaning that needs to be done! Be ready to get on your knees and do some spiritual cleansing!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

All to You...

Caleb with Lincoln Brewster

Tonight our county fair was blessed with an amazing concert by Lincoln Brewster. It was the first time our fair has had a Christian artist perform in the grand stands. Many people have been praying for years for this to happen and it was such a blessing. Thank you Franklin County Fair Board!!

Tonight Lincoln sang a song called All to You, it is a powerful song.

You called me Lord
You know my name
I'm standing out
I'm not ashamed
No, no

I've searched and came up empty

This world has nothing for me
You are my one and only

I'm living my life for You

And I'm giving everything to You
Not holding back, from every part
I'm giving it all to You

You are the Lord of all I am

And, I'll never be the same again
I've searched and came up empty
This world has nothing for me
You are my one and only

I'm living my life for You

And I'm giving everything to You
Not holding back, from every part
I'm giving it all to You

I'm living my life for You

And I'm giving everything to You
Not holding back, from every part
I'm giving it all to You

I'm living my life for You

And I'm giving everything to You
Not holding back, from every part
I'm giving it all to You

I'm giving it all to You

Take all of me
I'm giving it all to You
Take all of me

I'm giving it all to You

Take all of me
I'm giving it all to You
Take all of me


As he was signing this tonight I had a special time with God and I got to really thinking about the words, Giving it all to You, Take all of me. I was singing it along with him and using it as a prayer. What does it mean to give it all to You? What does it mean to ask Him to take all of me? Can I do it, can I give God ALL of me? That includes everything, my attitudes, my family, my thoughts, my money, my life...none of it is mine; it all belongs to Him. When I offer Him all of me, does that mean that I give Him everyday, every minute and every second of me? Do I get to keep any for just me? I need to hold nothing back and give it All to Him!

Giving it all to God can be scary, but it doesn't have to be. It should be exciting, because God is waiting to take us on an amazing journey. When we give it all to Him, life will never be the same! Make this your daily prayer, give it All to Him...




Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where is your stockpile?


Sometimes its fun to look at a verse in a few different translations to help get fresh perspective. Following is Matthew 6:19-20 in The Message.

Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

Its hard to not hear the words hoarding and stockpiling. You can't turn on your tv anymore with seeing a show that shows the ugliness of hoarding and extreme couponers showing off their stockpile. The difference between these two types
of shows is that one shows people ashamed of how they live
(yet unwilling to change) and the other shows people proud of how they live.

God tells us very clearly in these verses that we are not to hoard treasures on earth. They won't last. It is true, you can't take it with you! But you can create a stockpile for yourself in Heaven.The things we do here on earth have eternal consequences. God wants to reward us with treasures in Heaven. So why concern ourselves with the things of this world? They will rot and pass away. Sure, they may provide us with temporary satisfaction, but for me eternal treasures seem so much more exciting!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Scrapbooking...

Pardon my mess. My boys have been out of town this week volunteering at the John Deere Classic (its a golf tournament) and I have been home alone. So, because I'm alone, I converted my living room into a scrapbooking room, and I've made a pretty big mess! I sit and scrap and watch chick flicks and reminisce and don't worry about the mess. By the time Brian and Caleb get home, the room will be back to itself and I will have the joy of a scrapbook with at least a dozen new pages done!

 I have piles of pictures, each picture represents a memory. Back when the kids were little we still used 35 mm film and so we had to be particular about what we took pictures of. Even with that restriction, I am faced with what seems to be a mountain of pictures and even more memories.

 After sifting through the memories I find some that will work perfect in this scrapbook and I painstakingly arrange them in a way that (to me) looks the best. Its lots of cutting, gluing, and arranging; mixed in with some laughs and some tears.

A common thread in my pages and pictures is togetherness and family and the good times and the laughter and the love.

This got me thinking about the Bible. I am convinced Mary would have been a "scrapper". She would have for sure had a page or more dedicated to the night of Jesus' birth. Instead she did the next best thing, she stored them up in her heart!

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
A picture for Mary's scrapbook

As a scrapbooker, I look over the lives of my family and decide which memories to put in my book. That thought got me thinking, if God were to make a scrapbook of me and my life, what things would he choose to remember with a page? I choose the significant events and photos that show the best of my family. What in my life is significant to God? What are those moments that I have made him proud of me? Would I pick the same moments as Him? Is my scrapbook still empty or am I doing things that are worthy of God taking a snapshot of?


How will God finish this page?  What captions will he use? 
Here's one I hope to find in my scrapbook.
Well done, good and faithful servant!
Matthew 25:23

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lost Sunglasses...Lost Sheep...

I have a problem...a serious one. I lose things all the time, especially sunglasses. I don't know why, but keeping track of eye-ware is not a strength of mine. I tend to buy fairly cheap ones as its only a matter of time before I'm buying a new pair. Last summer I found a pair that just fit me right, this pair I wasn't going to lose...WRONG! I was so sad about this pair; I looked everywhere, but to no avail...until last week. Our printer died and when my husband moved it, there they were covered in dust! How they got there, I have no idea, but they are now back on my head (for now).

This illustration got me thinking about how God responds to lost things. He doesn't just look for a few days and then go out and buy a replacement...God keeps pursuing the lost.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:2-7


God doesn't give up, he continues to pursue! So if God doesn't give up on the lost, should we? Should we just write someone off because they are unsaved or have lost their way? No, we need to continue to pray, we need to look for opportunities. Who knows...one day God may put this lost person on His shoulders and proclaim; "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep."


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beautiful feet...


My daughters love to take pictures of their feet, anytime they borrow my camera I am sure that there will be at least one picture taken of their feet. I have feet pictures of them in rain boots, flip flops, converse, no shoes, on the grass, in the water and in foreign lands. I have come to love these pictures because my daughters have beautiful feet! They have taken God's word to Panama, Peru, India, Mexico, camp and where ever they go.
 
Isaiah 52:7
  How beautiful on the mountains
   are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
   who bring good tidings,
   who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
   “Your God reigns!”

How about you? Are you using your feet to spread God's news??



Saturday, July 2, 2011

23...a great number...

Today I decided to research the number 23 and see if I could find any facts on it. I was amazed at how many facts I found!
  • It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body.
  • Each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to a baby.
  • 23 is Michael Jordan's number.
  • The most quoted Psalm is Psalm 23.
  • The 23rd letter of the alphabet is W, as in wedding.
  • 23 years ago today, I married my BEST FRIEND!

 
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18



Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 
I Corinthians 13:13

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for your love is more delightful 
than wine.  Song of Solomon 1:2 


Following are the lyrics to the song Brian used when he proposed and he sang it at our wedding. The words mean even more after 23 years of life together!!

Promise Me 
by Kenny Marks

Oh won't you promise me
That you'll always care

That no matter the distance between us

You'll always be there

Now it's easy to be there for you

But we don't know what we're gonna go through

So no matter what changes we see

Won't you promise me


Oh won't you promise me

That you'll never forget

All the things that have happened to us

Since the day we met

As the years bring new faces and friends

I won't let these memories end

So no matter what changes we see

Won't you promise me


(bridge)

Well the good things we feel for each other

We don't have to fake

Love is the heart and soul

Of the promise we make


I gotta know what you're going through

I promise to be there for you

So no matter what changes we see

Won't you promise me




I love you BK...you're my lobster!!