Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trust Him, He will bring you through


I'm so amazed today of God's faithfulness. He always comes right on time with a word, with help, with your answer.  He knows just how much you can handle and He always calms the storm just in time. So, have faith in God today.  Be encouraged, stand fast. Keep running the race no matter what comes to hinder you.  Find your strength, your shelter in Him.  He'll always come right when you need Him.We serve an awesome God today, don't we.  If you're facing a storm and you think it'll bring your end-stay strong.  Go to that hiding place and find shelter and strength in Him.  Find your rest in Him.  He will deliver you. Right on time.  Just wait and see. What a glorious day that will be.

Friday, September 21, 2012

God IS In Control

Yup, one of those times again...Something great happens, you're on cloud nine in celebrating God's awesome faithfulness to you and then...bam, something just hits you from out of nowhere and you find yourself struggling to believe, condemning yourself for your hypocrisy?  C'mon, I know I'm not the only one.  But isn't that the way it works, sometimes.  You make a decision,  step out on faith, do something for God, determined to go forward and let God use you and BAM...Satan comes to knock you back. Of course, isn't that like the enemy. He's got you saying, "how can you even call yourself a christian, you messed up again, what a poor example you are because you fell into the enemy's trap again.  You'll never do anything for God, you can't even overcome your own weakness."  Maybe it's anger, maybe it's lust, maybe it's pride, maybe it's impatience, everyone has their own private battles, their own Achille's heel that they're working to overcome and the devil knows just where to strike his arrow at us, doesn't he.  BUT, let me tell you that we still serve an awesome, mighty God.  Yes, the enemy may come to hinder you and your armor may get nicked a little, but he will NOT get through to harm you if you remember who you are in God!  Don't dwell in the self-condemnation that the devil throws on you.  Remember who you are!  You're a child of the King.  Yes, the enemy may rear his ugly head and try to frighten you by his display of power, but let me tell you something...our God is GREATER!  Our God is awesome and mightier than anything the enemy tries to throw at you-any temptation, any doubt, any fear...Our God is Greater!  Put your christian music on, dig out your Bible, just start praising Him and glorifying His name.  Read about His many promises to His children and know that  you ARE a child of God if you've dedicated your life to Him.  You're not perfect, no one is, we're all striving for perfection, we're not there yet.  He's the potter and He's still exposing the air bubbles in our vessel, purging us of our impurities so that we can be a beautiful vessel that He can use.  Isn't that what we all want?  So, just start praising God and you'll soon be encouraged and strengthened and you'll see that obstacle for what it really is, an attack of the devil to try to take you out!  To take you down.  Are you going to let Him?  NO!  Throw the word of God in his face.  "No weapon that's formed against you shall prosper." "I've never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging for bread." " God is the same yesterday, today, and forever."  Find your own promise scripture and claim it.  Remind the devil who's child you are and that he's not going to win.  He's not going to be able to touch you or your family, try as he may.  Angels are guarding you, you've got God fighting for you.  "If God be for us, who can be against us."  Put him in his place...under your feet and then STOMP on him!!!!  What a difference you will feel and you can go on praising God, knowing He is going to guide your path.  Trust HIM.  Don't give in to what you see going on around you or what it looks like.  Trust God to see you through and He will.  He's an amazing God. Start thinking about all the great things He's done for you...all the times He's answered your prayers when you thought there was no hope. He WILL do it again. You don't have to know how or when He'll do it...just trust Him.  He is a miracle-working God. You are an overcomer in Jesus.  Stir up your faith. This world may be heading down the wrong path, but don't you give in to your fears.  Be like Noah...even if you are the only person left, you stand.  Know what you know and don't let anything take you off course.  Go to church, worship God and let the word of God strengthen and encourage you.  He'll show you the way and He'll never let you down.  He loves you so much.  Sometimes we just need to trust in Him, no matter what and remember that God is in control.  So, Keep on fighting because we WIN!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Be Still

This morning as I watched the news as I do every morning, I started to feel so burdened down about the way this world is heading.  It seems all we hear about is fighting and anger and chaos.  It seems like things have gone so far downhill so fast recently.  I can't help but be reminded that God is coming soon.  Things are really starting to fall apart in this world as our nation has rejected God and calls it "equal rights for all".  A nation that rejects God will surely fall.  If we're not careful, we can get so caught up in the news of the turmoil of this world and forget that this is only our "temporary home".  We are only on this earth for a season. Yes, I am concerned about the things going on in our nation and across the world, but I believe that if we dwell on these things constantly, we'll only get angry and bitter and forget that God is preparing a better home for us.  That's the home we should be more concerned with.  As this world deteriorates more and more, we need to look to God more and more.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the storm surrounding you.  Where is your faith today?  Yes, we try to stay informed as all citizens should so we can make wise decisions and  we certainly should exercise our rights that we're fortunate to still have in this country and stand for what is right and fight to keep God in America as long as possible.  I'm not saying we should isolate ourselves by any means or be ignorant.  What I'm saying is the more we see the end time approaching, the more we need to look up-look up to Heaven, look to God.  Our God is an awesome God. This world is just a foot stool to Him.  He has a plan that's been foretold in scripture and must come to pass, but if we keep our eyes on Him, we can have that hope that we will see Him one day face to face.  He loved this world so much that He suffered and gave His life for us before we were even born so that we could have a hope, so that we could have fellowship with Him and really know him personally.  He wants to be a friend to everyone of us, but we must believe that He is and humbly ask for forgiveness from our sin and lay our lives at His feet and ask Him to come into our hearts and make us more like Him. He'll take the burden that you carry and give you a new hope, a new life. The Bible says in John 3:16-"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life."  And when people truly understand all that Jesus sacrificed for us and how much God loves us, how can they not want to spend the rest of their lives showing Him how much they appreciate all He's done and sacrificed for us.  But, if they choose to reject Him...if our nation chooses to reject Him...God does not force Himself on anyone, He's given us a free will to choose for ourselves. He calls and He pleads with us, but it is still our choice to heed His call.  If we choose to ignore His voice and say "thanks but not thanks, I want to live the way I want, I don't need you", then we've made our choice to refuse God's love.  But if we turn to Him, with our whole hearts, He will keep us in this end day.  The time is truly short and God will one day say "it's time" and call his people home to be with Him.  So, let's keep our minds and hearts tuned into Jesus.  Keep our minds stayed on Him.  This world is lost and needs Jesus.  Let's redeem the time we have left and reach as many as we can with the gospel of Jesus Christ so they can have that same hope in Jesus that we do.  When things get rough and the battles come, and they will certainly still come, whether you're saved or unsaved, look to Jesus all the more...go to the word of God and get encouragement for your soul...sing a song throughout the day at work, keep joy in your heart in the midst of it all and most of all, stay on your knees, don't neglect your prayer time.  Keep in tune with God, heed His voice and keep that communication line open and just keep on praising Him.  He loves to hear the praises of His people.  Whatever you're going through, I encourage you to put your faith and trust in God-He WILL see you through.  Let your heart rest in Him and Be Still...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Continue On

                                                      CONTINUE ON 
        (by Roy Lessin, author of How to Be the Parents of Happy and Obedient Children)

                 A woman fretted over the usefulness of her life.
                 She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother.
                 She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband
                      and children would make a difference.
                 At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did
                      seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated.
                "Is it worth it?" she often wondered.  "Is there something better that I could
                      be doing with my time?"
                  It was during one of these moments of questioning that she heard
                      the still, small voice of her Heavenly Father speak to her heart.
                  You are a wife and mother because that is what I have called you to be.
                  Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye, but I notice.
                  Much of what you give is done without remuneration.
                  But I am your reward.
                  Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be
                      without your support.
                  Your influence on him is greater than you think
                      and more powerful than you will ever know.
                   I bless him through your service and honor him through your love.
                   Your children are precious to me.
                   Even more precious than they are to you.
                   I have entrusted them to your care to raise for Me.
                   What you invest in them is an offering to Me.
                   You may never be in the public spotlight, but your obedience shines as a
                       bright light before Me.
                   Continue on.  Remember you are my servant.
                   Do all to please me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Keeping Perspective

                                                                        by Jim Fowler

                       If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
                           but have not love--I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
                      If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
                           but have not love--my children learn of cleanliness, not godliness.
                      Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
                      Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
                      Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
                      Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
                      Love is present through trials.
                      Love reprimands, reproves and is responsive.
                      As a mother there is much I must teach my child,
                           but the greatest of all is.......LOVE.

Good one to post somewhere in your house to remind yourself everyday of what's the most important thing we can give our kids, especially if you're having one of "those" days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Mother's Heart-Teaching Love

As mothers, our plates are so full with all the things that must be accomplished in a day.  We have to work, have appointments, errands to run, a daily schedule to follow, etc. I don't know about you, but I'm certainly guilty of rushing my kids out the door, or telling them we'll do something they want to do LATER because I'm just so busy.  My patience has worn thin many a day.  But who am I really disappointed with? Myself.  If I had just planned things better, gotten up earlier, did this or that, I wouldn't be snapping at the kids, right?  That sets the tone for the day-disappointment and frustration with who? myself.  But who gets the brunt of it? the kids (and sometimes my poor husband).  As mothers, we carry a big weight around-a weight of responsibility.  We want to be the perfect mom perfect house, perfect kids, home-cooked healthy meals, homemade costumes, playful, patient, calm, loving, and supportive, etc.   You get the picture, right-the Beaver's mom.  In reality, we can't do this all on our own.  We have good intentions, yes, but we're human with human weaknesses.  We need God's help to give us strength and to help us overcome these areas.  Michelle Duggar describes her defining frustrating prayer this way: " Father, I don't want my children to remember me as a mama who was constantly fussing at them and raising my voice at them.  I want them to remember me as a joyful and happy mama who loves being with them.  God, please help me in those difficult moments to have the right response to the anger I feel welling up inside me."  Isn't that the prayer of all moms?  God answered her prayer and showed her a better way to handle these situations.  She is still struggling with that issue, because she's human, but she's reminded of the damaging effects that anger has on the kids and so she continues to work at it.  I think that's as honest as they come.  That pretty much sums up my situation exactly.  Stumble, feel bad, apologize to the kids, then stumble again, a continuous cycle, and I wonder what my kids are learning from me exactly.  Now, I've never seen Michelle yell at her kids on their TV show, but it's nice to see that there's hope for moms like me-but she didn't overcome instantly.  She had to work at it. It's a daily struggle that she goes to God in prayer with and He helps her.  We have to do the same thing.  Don't beat yourself up because you fall or have a bad day.  Go to God, talk with your kids, apologize (yes, apologize) be honest with them about your struggle, then go on.  Your kids know you're not perfect.  But if they know you keep picking yourself up, that you're seeking God for help with it, it's hope for them, too, when they face their own struggles. When they see you improving and overcoming, it'll encourage them as well.

Though the following was Michelle's answer and it may indeed help you, I encourage you to seek God for yourself and let Him guide you for the answer to your own  personal situation-He may have a different answer for you.
A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up strife. (scripture reference) I'm not going to bicker, not going to nag, not going to ask the kids ten times to do something.  I'm going to lovingly say it once, and if they don't obey, then I'll quickly correct them in love, encourage them in a soft voice to do what's right, and then move on.  I'm going to use a soft, low voice, no matter what.  If they don't listen, I'll follow through with correction, but even then, I'll stay calm and speak softly.

Believe me, this sounds impossible to me right now.  I see my inadequacies and failures, BUT, our God is a God of impossibilities.  Is anything too hard for the Lord?  So, I will put my trust in the Lord and let Him make the change in me.  All He requires is a willing heart, right?  He is the potter, I am the clay.  Who says the potter cannot knock out all the bubbles that are causing imperfections in my pot and mold me into something beautiful.  Who am I to say it's not possible.  If God saved you, forgave your sins, healed your broken heart, filled you with His Holy Spirit and set you on a new course in life, can't he shape you into a wonderful mom, too?  He can do ANYTHING!  All we have to do is trust and believe.  You trust Him with your soul, your family, your finances, your healing, your marriage, why not this?  It doesn't matter what your family background is or what things you experienced as a child, you are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of your parents/caregivers.  You may never have experienced the love of a parent and don't know how to love a child. He can heal you of those hidden hurts, the low self-confidence and fears and replace them with understanding, loving kindness, gentleness, patience, etc.  He can mold you into something beautiful, something after His own heart.  Isn't that what we all want to have-a clean heart, a right spirit.  I challenge you-Give it all to Jesus and watch what He will do with your life.    

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"But I'm a good person"

If you're my age (40ish), I'm sure you remember Candace Cameron from the television series Full House. I'm sure you're also aware that her brother, Kirk Cameron, is one of the best-known christian actors in Hollywood.  As I was browsing the net, I found this testimony and thought it really made a point.  How many of us judge ourselves by what we see going on around us?  There's so much evil in the world, so many doing such horribly disgusting things, so many with seemingly no morals or values at all and we say to ourselves, "I'm not THAT least I'm not doing what THEIR doing."  We consider ourselves to be good people.  No, we're not perfect, but we try to follow the golden rule and hey, we're only human, right?  Well, like Candace mentioned in a separate video: when a sheep is viewed against a background of green grass, it looks strikingly white, but when a sheep is put next to a cotton-white sheet hanging on a clothesline, you see how dirty the sheep really is.  It's the background that you hold it against that determines how white the sheep really is.  There's a scene in the movie, Left Behind:Tribulation Force where a man doesn't think he's a sinner, but Kirk Cameron's character shows him just what God's word says a sinner is and he realizes he is one, after all.  When we line ourselves up with God's word, the Bible, the holy scriptures, and really examine our lives, and our secret sins, we realize that we have come short, that we indeed have sinned and are guilty of violating God's laws.  We, too, are in need of a Savior to forgive us, set us free and help us to live for Him.  What you're doing may not seem as bad as what someone else is doing, but sin is still sin.  Have you lied before, even once?  You're a liar.  Have you stole something, even something small?  You're a thief.  Have you lusted after a woman/man that you've seen?  You're an adulterer.  The Bible says even if a man looks at a woman to lust after her, he's already committed adultery with her in his heart.  A liar and a murderer are both sinners and neither will have any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ. (Eph. 5:5) (Rev. 21:8) We've ALL sinned and come short of the glory of God. We ALL need Jesus to forgive us of our sins. God hates the sin, but he loves the sinner.  That's why He sent Jesus-to give us a way out.  He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He wants to take all the pain, all the hurt, all the guilt that you have and He'll wipe it all away.  In His eyes, you will be a new creature.  All we have to do is ask Him.  Accept the gift God's given to us.  Ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your heart and make you a new person.  Like the woman in the Bible, who was a harlot, Jesus said to those who would've stoned her to death for being caught in the act of adultery, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone."  No one did and they walked away.  But what did Jesus do then? He said "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?"  and Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:1-11 KJV) What an awesome gift!  How can we ever repay Him for what He's given for us? 

So, who are we trying to impress?  Who's approval are we really looking for?  Does it really matter that other people seem to be getting away with things or that they've turned their backs on God yet seem to be thriving? It'll only be for a season. God is the final judge.  We're all going to stand before God one day and be judged for all we've done.  What will you say then as your defense?  So-in-so did it so I thought I could too?  It wasn't that bad of a sin? The Bible says in Phil. 2:12, that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Take it seriously. Read and Know what God wants for yourself.  It doesn't matter what someone else does, all that matters is what God says about it.  No matter how long you've been serving the Lord or what title you hold in church, we are all human and we need to choose to serve Jesus everyday and stay spirit-filled and stay in communication with God or sin can easily "beset" us too and we'll lose out on Heaven and wonder how that could've happened when we were "good, christian people".

Candace's testimony really spoke to me and I hope it helped you too.  No matter how good a person we think we are, we always need to make sure our lives are lining up with God's word-with His commandments and how He says we should live our lives.  We make that choice everyday-to listen to God or give in to the temptations of this world.  Keep in prayer and reading your Bible daily, examine your self and say "God, show me if there be any sin in me."  so you can deal with it and become pleasing in God's sight-He's the only one who's opinion really matters in the end.  How white will your garment be?     

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Michelle Duggar's Personal Testimony

If you're a mom, you know who she've seen her family's show on TLC and you probably have formed your own opinion about her... too many kids, crazy, sheltering her kids, out-of-touch with the real world, misguided, brainwashing her kids, etc.  To me, she's a great role model.  Now, that doesn't mean I want to have 19 kids.  To me, she is an inspiration because of the love she has for God and the way she's chosen to live her life as a wife and mother.  We all wish we could have the ideal christian home where peace and harmony always abound, where everyone knows they're loved and cherished, where old-fashioned moral christian values are taught and most importantly modeled for us in the lives of our parents.  While I may not share her religious beliefs in their entirety, (I believe she is a baptist and I am not),  I do agree with her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and am very inspired by the way she and her husband are choosing to raise their children.  This couple has endured much criticism about their large, christian family but I am inspired by the fact that through all the adversity and ill-will sometimes shown to them in chat rooms, facebook, and various media outlets, they continue on and haven't compromised.  They are on TV in the hopes that others will be inspired to look to Jesus Christ for their answer as well.  They strive to keep God #1 in their individual and family's lives and teach their children the importance of doing that also.  Even when faced with adversity and grief, they want their show to continue taping through those times in the hopes that it will inspire someone else who is going through a similar trial to look to Jesus for their hope.  I believe that is why their show has been so successful while other reality shows about exceptional families may have burned out with some of those families actually becoming dysfunctional.  They do not compromise their beliefs just to be popular.  They stay true to what they believe no matter what others may think of them.  I have to say, as much as people criticize this family, I don't think anyone could meet Michelle in person and leave without having a great respect for her.
I hope this testimony inspires both young and old to want to know God for yourself, to be a testimony to those you meet and to stand strong in your christian beliefs no matter what opposition you may strive to have that peace in your heart that emanates from Michelle, to strive to be a better wife and be the kind of woman that God wants you to be, not what the world does.  When it all comes down at the end of our time here on earth, who's opinion will matter the most to us...the world's or God's?     

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It Will Be Worth It All

(This went longer than planned, sorry.)
Since the time we were born, I believe we all wanted to be like someone we trusted, someone we looked up to, whether it was a parent, teacher, or someone who became a mentor to us.  Something about them made you aspire to be like them.  As we grew older, we felt the pull to be like everyone else and felt uncool if we didn't "measure up". We all want to be accepted.  I know I certainly felt that way, especially in my junior high years.  It was at that time, that I started to feel that being different was a bad thing.  People talked behind my back, snickered when I walked by them in the hall, and blatantly made fun of me.  Why?  Because I was different.  I looked different, acted different and for a time, I was mad about it. It didn't seem fair.  It was the most difficult period of my life up to that point.  I learned during that time, that I had to make my own decision about what I was going to believe. It wasn't enough just to go to church with my parents and follow their rules, I had to choose to serve God for myself, no matter what others did.  I could sit in my seat every Sun. and Wed. and have the message go in one ear and out the other or I could listen and apply God's word to my own life. When I did, I decided that having Jesus in my heart was worth all the pain of being laughed at at school. Jesus was more important and He would see me through. His love for me, the sacrifice He made for me was greater than anything I would ever go through here on earth.  How could I not accept such love? I found encouragement and strength in christian friends, family and youth leaders who really inspired me to stand and fight. We encouraged and prayed for one another and I am so grateful to God for them to this day.  It was during that time, that I really found out who I was.  I learned that we all had our own personal battles to fight and choices to make but that Jesus could help us if we just asked Him to. He could bring us through any storm we faced if we would just keep our eyes on Him.
Yes, you may be different, we're all different in one way or another.  But, don't be ashamed to be different.  We all have something special to offer God. We all have something He can use to help others. You know, as I got older, I fell away from serving God and so did some of my friends. I got my eyes on what I wanted and didn't trust God to give it to me in His perfect timing, instead, I tried to get it on my own.  I went through a lot before I made my way back home. I felt the world pulling me. Things that I knew were wrong didn't seem so wrong anymore and I started to compromise my beliefs.  I began to lose sight of who I was, my friends even noticed the change in me-I almost let go (as the song says) but then I began to feel God drawing me.  I would remember lessons taught in Sunday School as a child or something I'd heard over the pulpit, or a song and something started drawing me back.  I knew I needed to get my life back on track and really, totally serve God again.  Again, I had to make a choice.  Life is full of choices, isn't it?  You need to decide what you're going to stand for and do it with all your heart, soul and mind.  And when trials come and you feel like you're all alone, look to Jesus.  There are people all over the world serving the Lord.  You are not alone. If all your friends and family backslide and lose their faith, will you still stand for Jesus?  Sometimes we need to take a good hard look at ourselves.  Do you love God enough to serve Him whatever may come?  If you find yourself offended by something, causing doubt to begin to take root, are you going to let that keep you from making Heaven your home?  Is that little thing more important than Jesus and all He's done for you?  What will you say to Him when you stand before Him face to face and see the love radiating from Him-"They hurt me, they wronged me, so I walked away from you." He'll say, "I'm sorry, I never knew you.".  Is it worth it?  Do you want that pain and anger more than you want God? Don't let anything come between you and your Savior.  Get back to God, start really praying and pour yourself out to Him, get back to the altar.  He loves you more than anything in this world and He's calling you to come, come and surrender it all to Him.  Let Him take away all your pain and hurt and replace it with hope and peace and a sound mind.  I encourage you today to start praying and getting into your Bible, start reading it with a new zeal, with a desire to really know God and to have Him know you.  When you have that personal relationship with God, no one will be able to separate you from God. No one!    God Bless you.  
This song is called, "Far Above All Else, I Must Be Saved"
It's missing the lyrics, but they go like this:

More than eternity, more than success
If I must choose to own one thing, I'll take Jesus over the rest
For if I should attain the goal, to gain this world and all it holds
But then, if I should lose my soul, then I have lost it all.

And even though the souls of those that I love and hold so dear
More than others, I must make my own salvation sure
For if I to others show the way
And then I become just a castaway
But this price I can't afford to pay
My soul is worth it all

Far above all else, I must be saved
Far above all else, I must be saved
Lord, whatever you have to do to me,
Don't let me be lost for eternity
Far above all else, I must be saved

Monday, March 26, 2012

Have you ever had one of these moments?

Have you ever caught yourself behaving like your mom or saying something to your kids you swore you'd never ever say when you had your own kids?  Lately, it's felt like that around our house.  My husband and I are parents to three beautiful kids, ages 14, 10, & 6.  Each one has had their moments of testing us, but currently it's the middle one.  I know I must have gone through this with my older son and we all survived, but now it seems new all over again.  This morning, it was an inappropriate Youtube video that got us going, then it quickly spread to "lolly-gagging" as I would call it and not getting ready for school.  (I'm sure all you moms of pre-teens can relate.)  It ended with voices raised and a very ugly attitude.  Now, my son is a beautiful, tender-hearted, christian boy and on the whole, I am so proud of him.  But this attitude thing has got to go.  So, what's the best way to get at the root of the problem?  Pray.  God knows my son and He knows me.  He knows how to parent better than anyone.  He knows the best way to get to the heart of the matter-our hearts.  We just don't want our kids to be well-behaved robots, we want their hearts to be in the right place, don't we?  We want kids who have a heart for God and know how to make wise decisions and choices in their lives, by looking to God for their help.  What better way to show them that, than by going to God ourselves at times of decision in our own lives.  Parenting is not being perfect all the time.  None of us are.  Our kids don't need a perfect Mom and Dad, they need honest ones.  They need a Mom that's not afraid to say "Hey, I messed up and I'm so sorry about that, but  I love you and God is going to help me to change.  You are so precious to me and you deserve my best.  Thank you for being patient with me and  for loving me."  Whether you see your kids everyday or you haven't seen them in years, your children need you.  If there's a step-mother or step-father in their lives, they still need YOU.  Don't compare yourself to someone else and get discouraged.  They need YOU.  You are their flesh and blood, you will always have a special place in their hearts that no one can fill but you alone.  They may be confused at times and throw hurtful words at you, but there's a part of them that will always be longing for a relationship with you. We all make mistakes with our kids, not one of us is perfect.  Just continue to love them and go to God in prayer.  He will show you the way.  He can heal the broken hearts and make you whole again, you and your kids.  You are not a failure.   He can make something beautiful out of the broken pieces of your life.  You CAN make it...with God's help.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?

Good Morning All,

Short post today.  I was just thinking this morning, of how great our God is.  He has done so much for me.  He brought me up in a christian home, planted me in a holy ghost filled, full-gospel, old-time bible-believing church where the word of God is taught faithfully over the platform and ministers to the very depths of my soul. He has delivered me from the guilt of my past.  He has set my feet on a solid rock and He has set me free to worship Him.  I am so happy to be a part of the family of God.  Whatever God is doing in this end day, I want to be a part of it.  I want God to use me in whatever way He sees fit to be able to reach others for Christ, to help minister his love to someone else in need.  
You know, this world can be so distracting with its trials and if we're not careful we'll take our eyes off of God, our savior, our deliverer and see only the waves of confusion and fear that plague our world in this time of economic crisis and political upheaval.  BUT, we need to remember that we serve a MIGHTY God who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask!  If we are serving Him and walking with Him in our daily lives, then He is going to protect us from all this turmoil.  He will keep you from all harm.  None of this will come near us.  Situations happen and yes, we can feel the pinch of it, but don't take your eyes off of Jesus!  He is our source, our strength and our very present help in time of need.  He is a miracle-working God.  Do you really trust God?  When you take time to think about all the things He has done for you throughout your life and where He's brought you from, isn't He an amazing God?  
How many times in the old testament did God meet the needs of the Israelites...He delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, yet when they got to the Red Sea and saw no escape from it, what happened to their faith in God?  It sank.  They began to fear and complain.  And when the Lord delivered them so miraculously from it by dividing the sea and letting them walk right through it on dry ground and then drowning all the Egyptians who pursued them, what did they do as soon as they began to hunger in the desert?  Murmur and complain and doubt God.  Time and time again they did that.  What a discouraging thing that must've been for God to hear arising from their camp after all the things He had done for them.  It was never enough for them. Surely they would have faith after the first thing He did, but still they complained and doubted God. 
What has God done for you?  Do you have needs in your life that seem unsurmountable?  Is the world telling you that there's no way, it's impossible?  Nothing is impossible with God!  We serve a supernatural God.  He is NOT LIMITED by the things of this world.  Instead of giving into your fear and doubt, why not look at all He has done for you already and encourage your faith today.  We serve a mighty God and He can do ANYTHING!  Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will see the victory come in your life.  This is just one more battle of many we will experience in life.  Trials come to test our faith.  Will you pass the test?  Once you pass, the blessings will begin to flow for you, like they did for Abraham.  SO, hang on to Jesus today.  Read your Bible, and take time to thank the Lord for all His many blessings to your life already and let your faith begin to arise. Victory Ahead!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No Weapon Shall Prosper

Good Morning all,
Isaiah 54: 17 reads like this: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."
When you read this whole chapter you see that it's talking about someone who has felt ashamed or even humiliated.  Perhaps you've felt like God has turned his eyes from you and left you to fend for yourself, alone.  He hasn't.  He's telling us in this passage of scripture to make room, your barrenness is over. Your feelings of being a failure, weakness and forsakenness will soon be over. God will return you to your former glory.  "Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.." (verse 4) 

Sometimes we come to a place where we feel we have disappointed everyone, let everyone down, maybe even ourselves.  Perhaps people once had high hopes for us but somehow along the way, we got distracted or took a wrong turn. Perhaps the dreams we had once seem unattainable.  Perhaps life just didn't turn out the way we planned and we feel lost to figure out what way to turn next.  This whole chapter is for you.  If you've returned to God after losing your way, you don't have to be ashamed of your past any longer. You don't have to keep living in the past, consistently being reminded of previous mistakes.  That's not you anymore.   "In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (verse 14)

And then it says in verse 2-3 to begin to prepare.  Preparation is an act of faith and like any act of faith it takes action. You need to begin to do something to exercise your faith.  "Englarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited."

So, I encourage you to read this whole chapter and read the next one, too.  Take it to heart and begin to apply it to your life. Begin to exercise your faith.  Lay claim on the promises of God.  They are for YOU.  Not just everyone else, but for YOU.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus".  Don't let the devil keep reminding you of your past.  Rebuke him.  You are a new creature now-born again.  That old man is behind you.  God CAN still use you and cause your life to bring glory to Him.  In verse 17 it says, "This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."  You can claim that heritage. 
I hope this has encouraged and blessed you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lead Me, Cause I Can't Do This Alone

Though this video is from a man's perspective, I think women can apply it to their lives, too.  We all need to put our trust in Jesus- to ask Him to lead us and guide us through every situation we face because we all can feel alone sometimes and uncertain of our direction-especially in our roles of spouses and parents.  We have a big responsibility to fulfill and sometimes we feel helpless on how to do it well.  What to do when things don't go the way we planned.  But if we put our trust in Him, and keep our minds stayed on Him, He will lead us and keep us through the uncertainties of life. He will give us wisdom and direction on how He wants us to live.  He will be the potter who can mold us and shape us into His image, putting the past behind and creating us anew.  But only through Him, we can't do it on our own, we need Him.  We need Him to lead us in His ways.  Just lead me oh, Lord.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do we have what it takes?

I remember when my oldest child was born, my first thoughts were "Here is this child who is totally dependent on his father and I for everything..Will he be able to trust in us the way I trusted in my own parents to meet my every need?"  I'm sure I'm not alone here.  "Here is this helpless life that we've been we have what it takes to raise him to know Christ and to be able to stand against all the opposition he will have to face in this world?"  It all seemed so overwhelming at the time.

How quickly the years have gone by and it's hard to comprehend that in just a few short years, my son will be thrust out into the world having to make his own choices and begin his future as a man.  Where has the time gone?  As I sit here today, I wonder if we've given him what he'll need..have we laid a strong enough foundation for him to stand when the storms of life come?

You know, I think we all question our ability to raise our kids right.  We may not have all the answers but we serve a God who does.  I sincerely believe that if we earnestly pray and seek God about it, He will give us direction and wisdom on how to teach and guide our children.  When my son began asking questions about God, I felt inadequate to answer him and it caused me to go to my knees in prayer.  I want to pray as a fellow christian mother once prayed, "Lord, let them have a desire to serve You and let them be established in Your word; let their roots go down deep so they can stand when the storms come.  Protect them from the snares of this world. Shelter them under your wing."   In this world, we know our children will face temptation.  What's unfortunate is that parents have come to accept it as "normal" for their children to experiment with the temptations of sex, drugs/alcohol, even spiritualism and we've come to think that it's a "phase" they will grow out of.  I don't believe that. "They have to try things", people say. I did not have to try drugs to know they could kill me.  Why even let them be exposed to such things.  In the Bible, did the good shepherd allow his sheep to wander off with the wolves for a time, trusting that they would find their way back on their own.  NO!  He went running after them to rescue them from certain death. His fear was that they would be devoured, that the enemy would destroy them.  He loved them enough to go out and try to save them.  Did he sit by and do nothing when they got too close to the edge? I heard a story recently, of a young teen who wanted to experiment with witchcraft because her friends made it look "cool and fun".  When the parent talked to a minister's wife about it, she was told it was just a phase that the girl would grow out of.  I don't believe we can tell our kids that fire is dangerous and then just let them play around with it.  There are some things you just don't mess with.

I just want to encourage you as parents to go to God with your concerns about your children.  Each one is different and special in His eyes and He loves them more than you and I ever could, and He's entrusted them to you.  Maybe you can't be with them 24/7, like you'd like to be, but you can pray.  Prayer is our greatest weapon.   He alone knows their hearts and their silent struggles.  It may take time and vigilant prayer, but I know if we seek Him, He will give us the wisdom and opportunity to speak a word of truth to them, to plant/water a seed for Him in their lives, to help guide our children, no matter how old they are.  I believe if our kids can keep their focus on the Lord, keep their mind set on Him, be determined to stand and go to Him in prayer continually, I know they can make it.  They do not have to become ensnared in this world.  They can stay clear of it. Parents-Don't let your guard down.  Be vigilant. Watch who they hang around with, what they're reading and watching, even what the schools are teaching them.  I encourage you to speak up and don't be afraid to say something.  Remember, they're watching us, looking for someone to follow...someone who will be that example to them of how to live this life.  Let that someone be you- Let them see Jesus in you.  That's a daily struggle for all of us as we're all well aware of our own weaknesses.  But let that be your inspiration to pick yourself up and fight another day.  It'll be worth it all when we see Jesus. Keep up the fight of faith.  God Bless You.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

God Will Do It Again!

Hey there,
I woke up this morning with this song on my mind and I hope it encourages you today.  Whatever situation that you're facing, no matter how impossible it looks, or how long you've been dealing with it, I want to encourage you to not give up.  Our God is greater than any situation we face. He is the master of the winds and He can calm the storm.  He can do the impossible.  When everyone around you is telling you to throw in the towel, don't you give up!  Put your trust in Jesus and He will work it out for you.  And He'll do it in a way you and I could've never imagined. He's got a plan and if we just keep trusting Him, we'll see it all fall into place. We may not know how or when, but He will do it.  In our own minds, sometimes we try to figure out how it could happen or what we, in ourselves, could do to solve it.  But God's ways are not our ways.  We just have to give it to Him and leave it with Him.  Don't keep worrying about it and letting it consume our thoughts all the time.  Just rest in His promises and keep praising God.  When the situation creeps into your mind and fear starts to come again, just go to His word and start reading of how faithful He is and the promises He's made to those who are serving Him. He's kept you this far hasn't He? Hasn't he always been faithful to you before, so there's no need to worry and fret.  He will work it out again.  Have a great weekend (I won't be blogging tomorrow as it's Sunday.)  I look forward to meeting you back here again on Monday to continue our study on how to get a meek and quiet spirit.  Until then, God Bless You and I hope you enjoy this song.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How to have a Meek and Quiet Spirit-Part 2

Yesterday, I began a study on what it means to have a meek and quiet spirit.  You're welcome to read along with me from a book by Teri Maxwell entitled, Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit.  While I don't homeschool my children, I am interested in learning how to have a meek and quiet spirit, especially with my children.  I hope you'll join me.

So, what do the words "meek" and "quiet" mean?  Meek is defined by Webster's 1858 Dictionary as mild of temper, soft, gentle, not easily provoked or irritated.  Quiet is defined as peaceable, not turbulent, not giving offense, mild, meek and contented.  I did not see the word weak in there at all, which is a connotation I always associated with these words.  In reality, I think it requires an inner strength.

I Peter 3:4 of the KJV Bible says, But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  
Matthew 11:29 says, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. So, we see Jesus is meek.  Then, this is certainly something we should strive to be.  When you first envisioned yourself having children, how did you see yourself interacting with them?  Is it different than your day-to-day reality?  If you're like me, it probably is, unfortunately.  We don't always behave towards our children the way we had hoped we would.  Oh, we love them, and we start off each day saying, today will be different; I'll do things right today.  But within the first few minutes, we've already failed and we are left discouraged again.

So, what are the obstacles that keep us from having a meek and quiet spirit?  Let's look at some of those...Did your children wake up fighting with each other?  Is there a bed unmade that should have been made long ago? Is the sink full of dishes from last night? Is your husband unappreciative of all you do?  Did the alarm clock wake you up as soon as it seems you went to sleep?  Are you preoccupied with other personal or financial issues?  Most meek and quiet spirit robbers fall into the categories of fear, disorganization and anger.  I believe the Lord offers us great hope in helping us to overcome these obstacles.  "With God all things are possible", right?   I hope you'll continue to read along with me and see how we, too, can learn  practical, real-life ways to obtain this in our own lives.      

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To Have a Meek and Quiet Spirit

Ok.  So, yesterday I had one of those moments where I was totally disappointed in the way I handled a situation with my middle son. You've never been there, right? I know, more than we'd like to admit.  He came in the living room when I was on the computer and just had a complete meltdown.  But how did I respond?  "You'll be ok, don't worry about it." and just shrugged him off and went back to what I was doing.  Wow.  NOT exactly what he needed from me.  I knew I needed to check myself.  I wasn't thinking of him, I was thinking about me and my own desire to finish what I was doing.  Then my mind flashed back to my own childhood.  If I had a moment like that, my mother would've stopped whatever she was doing and sat down and hugged me and let me pour out my heart to her.  Then, she would've softly tried to reassure me and tell me how much she loved me and all the positives about myself.  I definitely had not done that with my son.  So, I immediately stood up and went to my son, put my arms around him and hugged him and let him stay there as long as he wanted.

This is not a one-time deal with me.  I'm sorry to say that I've found myself responding in an irritated tone all too often.  I've been there physically, yes, but not emotionally.

It got me thinking about the kind of mother God wants us to be.  I believe He wants us to have a meek and quiet spirit as wives and as mothers also.  I am SO not there yet, and I've tried so many times in my own strength and it seems I can never succeed.  But, I know who can give me strength when I am weak-Jesus. He can help me be the mother that my kids need me to be.  So, I'll keep praying and seeking God.

With that, I'd like to do a little study on what it means to have that meek and quiet spirit.  I don't know how many posts it will be, maybe just a couple or maybe a few.  I'll be reading the book Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.  I don't homeschool, but I'd sure like to learn more about how to have a gentle spirit like that.  So, I hope you'll join me and maybe we'll find encouragement along the way, together.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Worth Fighting For

Good afternoon all...I came across this song yesterday.  I'm sure you'll remember it from the movie Fireproof  with Kirk Cameron.  When this movie first came out, it got all America talking and The Love Dare book flew off the shelves in the stores.  It resonated with people as it let the 'cat out of the bag' so to speak.  So many couples were fighting with the same situation the movie depicted...fighting it in silence, not being able to share it with anyone, not knowing how to explain what the underlying problem really was. When we got married we promised to love our spouse forever, through whatever came our way...then the trials came and we began to wonder just how much we were supposed to take...maybe we should just cut our losses and get out.  Surely, God would understand, we deserved better.  But what about that vow we made to God?  What about that promise you made to your spouse? How much do you really love your husband or wife?  Are you willing to fight for them?  If you're a christian then you know we don't fight against physical things but against the spiritual.  The enemy would like nothing more than to destroy your marriage and your family.  If your husband/wife is unsaved, don't give up. I encourage you to get on your knees and fight for them in prayer. Prayer is your most powerful weapon in defeating the enemy.  Pray for their salvation and deliverance, pray for the walls to come down, pray for their heart to be softened and the anger and bitterness to leave. When God changes the heart, everything changes.  It may not happen tomorrow, it may not happen for years, but don't you give up on them.  Know that God is working and He will do everything in His perfect timing.  And while you're waiting, keep on serving the Lord.  Don't be depressed because you don't have the 'perfect' marriage.  Nobody does.  Marriage is always a work-in-progress and everyone is different.  It's a labor of love.  Faith requires an action, right?  So, while your waiting and praying, treat them kindly and lovingly, even if they don't seem to care.  You'll be honoring your vow, loving them even if they don't seem to love you.  It's all in your attitude.  Ask God to give you a love like He has for them.   He'll help you get past the hurt and pain.  Remember, it's not what you see on the surface, but it's the heart that matters.  Be patient and know that God is working and your victory is on it's way.  And what a glorious day that will be!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How Strong Are You....Really?

Not long ago, I stood in the church sanctuary and sang the words: "draw me nearer; use me; make me more like you".  How many of us have sung these words and thought nothing of it, really?  We all want to be closer to God, but did you ever wonder how he accomplishes this?  Do we just wake up one morning and say, "Wow, I feel especially close to you today, Lord?"  Not exactly.  How do we grow close to our family members or our friends?  By sharing our lives with them, by sharing our hearts, by going through things feel close to them because of a shared experience or an encouraging word during a difficult time.  Well, it's the same with God.  I believe that sometimes, we go through things because He wants us to look to Him for our strength, to lean on Him, to gain a greater understanding of just how much he cares and how awesome He is.  Sometimes when we feel there is no way out for us, He comes shining through in a way we could've never thought with our limited imaginations and all we can say is.."WOW-Only God could've done this!"   Trials are part of the learning process.  Not fun, no, but the victory will be worth it all.  How often do we get comfortable and think we're strong enough to handle anything, then with the first punch, we're down for the count and we see just how weak we really are.  We are nothing in ourselves.  We need to keep Jesus fresh in our lives everyday.  We need to be strengthened everday, not once a week or that time last month when we got slain out at the altar, but everyday.  You just never know when something is going to come your way and try to take you down-will you be prepared?  Will you be wearing your spiritual armour?  Did you just set it down for a minute to rest? In this day and age, we can't afford to take it off for an instant!  We have to be ready in season and out of season.  You never know when the enemy will try to sneak something in that eventually festers and grows into a full-blown trial that threatens your very salvation.  Be aware!  Stay Alert and always at the ready.  Don't get comfortable and relaxed, that's when you're a prime target and the enemy will jump when he sees any sign of weakness.  The devil is trying to deceive "even the elect" in this end day, but we as christians need to be paying attention-see it for what it is (an attack) and stand strong and fight.  How are you going to know that you're under attack if you don't stay in tune with your general.  You'll think it's nothing, just the wind.  But it quickly worsens and soon you can't even stand up for the fierceness of it.  Pray. Know your Bible.  Stay in tune with God-keep that line of communication open.  Pay attention to the still, small voice.  Know what God has to say about things-don't be swayed by popular opinion but know the truth for yourself.  When the enemy comes, quote the word of God to him and shoot him down.  Our God is greater than anything that comes our way.  Like the song says: "Our God is greater, higher, stronger than any other"  Whatever the enemy has put in your path to make you stumble, DON'T YOU QUIT.  So you stumbled or made a mistake because you let your guard down, realize it-repent and GET UP, start walking and singing and praising the Lord.  Our God WILL be victorious!  He's already won the battle.  He has a master plan and will work all things together for our good if we keep serving Him.  Keep on believing!  Give Him your situation and leave it there, don't pick it up again.  Trust Him to take care of it.  Don't let your situation rule you, your God is greater than ANY situation.  You speak the word of God to your situation.  Trust Him to do the rest.  You keep on believing!  There's no God like Jehovah!  Let this be YOUR year of Jubilee!  God bless you.