Monday, April 30, 2012

5 Disciplines - Too Much Facebook

It is Week 4 of the 5 Weeks 5 Disciplines 5 Challenges from Women Living Well.  So far, the first three weeks' challenges are going well for me.  Here's an update on my challenges and progress:

Week 1 - My challenge was to exercise three times per week.  Successful so far!

Week 2 - To create and follow a basic weekly cleaning schedule.  Going great!  I actually am really enjoying this schedule.  Before following it, I cleaned randomly and couldn't remember when the last time I had dusted, etc.  My tasks are broken down so that I clean something four days of the week.  I have been having both children help me and they are loving it!  Dylan is having the best time.  He loves to help clean Daddy's bathroom.

Week 3 - Read the Bible for one minute each morning before I read anything else.  I am reading the Bible for a minute each morning, but I'm not sure it is always the first thing that I read.

And on to Week 4 - Courtney's challenge this week at Women Living Well is to
Prayfully identify one unnecessary thing you can eliminate from your life.  Is there a room, cupboard or closet you need to clean out?  Clean it out this week!  If clutter is not an issue for you - maybe it’s your calender.  Is it so jam packed full with to-do’s that there’s no room for you to think and pray clearly?  Prayfully eliminate something from your calender.  Are you spending too much time on your computer, ipad or watching too much television?  Choose to limit your time this week – in exchange for some quiet moments of reflection, being in God’s word, praying or reading a mind enriching book.

After reading the above challenge, I feel that a good change for me is to monitor my time on Facebook.  I often get lost reading the daily status updates and looking at others pictures.  I know that paying attention to how much time I actually spend on Facebook will help me to make better use of my time and free up time to do other things which should be more important.  So, my goal for the week is to limit my time on Facebook that consists of reading status updates and viewing pictures to 15 minutes a day.  I have a feeling that this will free up more time than I like to admit.  Do you spend too much time on Facebook?

Sharing the Daily Word

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.  Mark 1:4-6


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

Instruct the wise,
    and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
    and they will learn even more.
10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
    Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

Proverbs 9:9-10

 Is your foundation built on God?  Did you notice above where the foundation of wisdom was mentioned?  The foundation of wisdom is fear of the Lord.  Do you want wisdom?  Then seek the Lord and you will find wisdom and direction for every area of you life.  God wants you to have a wonderful life here on earth, but you must follow God and ask for His direction in order to have that life.  He loves you!  Cry out to Him!

The Vision for Our Family

 Five years ago, my husband and I were introduced to Victory Christian Center, a church in a nearby town.  We were looking for a church home and soon began attending there.  That's where we were when God called Dale to pastor South County Line Christian Church, which is where we are now.

While attending Victory Christian Center, we had a chance to observe some special families.  That's where I saw what I wanted!  The pastor was a father to 10 children.  I watched each Sunday as those children served God.  I listened to those young adults pray during the service.  I watched those children jump up and down and worship the Lord.  And I stood in amazement.....this was my first experience to really see a family in love with God that it couldn't be denied.  These children weren't just attending church because their parents said they had to go, they had relationships with God themselves!  And I knew that I wanted that too!  At the time, we did not yet have any children.  I remember walking to our car after service one day and the pastor ran out to catch us and asked if he could pray that God would bless us with children.  Well, God did!  And He gave us so much more, something to "see", how a family could follow God together.  

And so, here is our vision for our family........

                    That God will use our family to point others to Jesus.

                    Children who have their own "walks with God" so that when it becomes time for us 
                    to let them go, they will go the only way they know.  Following hard after God!

                    To live the life that God has called us to wherever that may lead.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.  Matthew 27:50-53

Can you imagine what the days surrounding the crucifixion were like?  I wonder if the people were overwhelmed with what had happened.  The verse above is amazing to me where it mentions that godly men and women who had died were not only raised from the dead, but they went to the city and appeared to people.  What an amazing God He is!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)
19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”
20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”
22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”
25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”
26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
Matthew 27:15-26

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Without a Vision

I recently started reading a book by Dave Ramsey called "More Than Enough".  This is the first book of his that I have ever read.  I'm only a few pages into it and I really believe that God is confirming to me how important it is to have a vision.  Over the past few weeks, I have felt that God is leading me to begin to not only put structure in my daily life which means putting structure in my children's life, but to set some goals. I have a few other posts sharing some of the goals that I have put in place over the past few weeks.  To show you how God works in my life, this book that I ordered from Dave Ramsey talks about this exact thing!  I thought I was getting a book about finances, but it appears that it covers much more than that.  I love it when God confirms something he is laying on my heart with another source.  Do you have a vision for your life?  I believe that God wants you to have dreams and plans to work toward those goals.

Where there is no vision, the people perish.  Proverbs 29:18

If you don't have a dream or vision for your life, your life will not get better.

For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

God has good plans for your life, do you?  I feel the Lord telling me this is important.  My husband and I have randomly discussed  financial plans, desires for our family and our church, but we don't have a formal vision.  Since God seems to be laying this on my heart pretty heavy lately, I believe it is time to write out our vision.  I am asking God to show us what His vision is for our family.  How about you?

Sharing the Daily Word & Accountability

I started this post, "Sharing the Daily Word" to encourage others with a little scripture each day and to provide accountability for myself in reading through the Bible in one year.  I'm so excited to say that this is working!  I have always heard others talk about accountability, but I never thought about how accountability could work with simply writing things down and therefore, sort of being accountable to yourself.  Years ago, there was a time that I wrote down for a few months everything that I ate.  (This wasn't done out of my own desire, but a requirement for a cheerleading team.)  That really helped.  I wouldn't eat certain things because I didn't want to write it down.  If you are struggling with following through on improving your life in an area, take a few minutes and think about what you could do to hold yourself accountable.  Ask the Lord for wisdom and creative ideas and His strength to see you through! 

 For the word of the Lord holds true,    and we can trust everything he does. 
 Psalm 33:4

If you ever feel alone as I do sometimes, remember that you can trust God!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enjoying Our Spring - Wordless Wednesday


Sharing the Daily Word

Psalm 32

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude

What a joy to know that my sins have been forgiven!  I love the feeling of joy and peace that comes with reading the Word and being encouraged by God himself!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word - Wisdom

Wisdom?  Is it really that big of a deal?  I've always known it was important to make good decisions.  But, can you make good decisions if you don't even know what a good decision is?  As we walk with God, the wisdom that we have today becomes so much more tomorrow.  Ok, so that sounded good, whether it made any sense or not.  I feel that God is beginning to do something much bigger in our life.  By "our", I am referring to Dale (my husband), myself and our two children.  I don't know what and really am not concerned with that.  But what I feel happening is that He is opening our eyes to greater wisdom.  Often, the wisdom that we have at a certain point in our lives can really be taken so much further.  But, only if we allow God to change us and bring us to the place that He wants us to be in our thoughts, words, finances, health, relationships, love for Him and understanding of the Word.  If you think that you already know everything, there really isn't anything God can do for you.  If you want to see your life get better, cry out for Wisdom and know that God has many things to teach you!

Proverbs 8:14-21 - Wisdom

14 Common sense and success belong to me.
    Insight and strength are mine.
15 Because of me, kings reign,
    and rulers make just decrees.
16 Rulers lead with my help,
    and nobles make righteous judgments.
17 “I love all who love me.
    Those who search will surely find me.
18 I have riches and honor,
    as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
    my wages better than sterling silver!
20 I walk in righteousness,
    in paths of justice.
21 Those who love me inherit wealth.
    I will fill their treasuries.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.
The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Matthew 26:6-13

I love the story of the woman who poured the perfume on Jesus' feet and dried his feet with her hair.  Can you imagine loving Him so much that you would give that type of offering?  He wants that from us!  She knew that she was loved!  Look at the last says her deed will be remembered and discussed.  How true that is!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

My daily reading from Exodus the past couple of days has been really difficult for me to get through.  Today's passage was about the details of how the Tabernacle was to be made.  There are parts of the Old Testament that I just find hard to read.  However, I believe God has a purpose for us to read it.  I just don't know what that might be.  Below I shared a couple verses from Proverbs that were part of today's reading selection.

My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
    clear to those with knowledge.
Choose my instruction rather than silver,
    and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
    Nothing you desire can compare with it.  
Proverbs 8:9-11

Five Disciplines - Week 3: Spirit

First of all, I want to say that I am very thankful that my cousin over at Southern Illinois Money Savers, told me about Women Living Well.  I am loving the 5 Weeks, 5 Disciplines, 5 Challenges series.  I have been a stay at home mom for a little over a year.  Before that, I was a working mom.  I never felt the need to try to manage my time, set up a cleaning schedule, or anything of the sort.  I just did what I could.  I didn't feel like there was any extra time and many things had to be left out.  However, as a stay at home mom, I now realize the necessity of managing my time.  This series would have probably helped me as a working mom too.  However, I think I would have had a more difficult time implementing it.  On to the Week 3 challenge.  Courtney, at Women Living Well, has challenged us to read God's Word for 1 minute in the mornings before we read anything else at all.  I'm very excited about this one because I began a reading plan to read through the Bible in a year about a month ago.  However, because I'm reading through the Bible this year on my laptop using One Year Bible OnLine, that may not work easily for this plan.  I may just pick up my Bible and read something from the New Testament in addition to my daily Bible reading.  Otherwise, I will probably not be able to read it first thing in the morning.  This is my challenge for this week.

My goal for week 1 was to exercise 3 times per week for 20 minutes at a time.  My goal for week 2 was to establish a simple plan to clean the house each week.  So far, these plans are working well.  After last week, I felt very excited that cleaning the house had went so well when I split it up by doing specific tasks on specific days. 

If you are interested in improving your life by setting goals for yourself in the areas of mind, body and spirit then please join with us!  I would love to hear what goals you are striving towards.  Please remember, that it is very important to ask God to help you.  He really cares about everything in your life!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Psalm 30:11-12

 My life with God is so much better than my life was without God!  Thank you Lord!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Letting God Change Me

Over the past few weeks, I have felt God leading me to put more structure or purpose, in my daily life.  I am so excited over the progress so far and it hasn't been very long yet.  (I do get excited pretty easily and discouraged when others do not seem to be excited with me.)  I'll share the things that I have started later in the post.  However, I want to share the things that Satan tries to use to discourage me and make me feel bad about myself.  As I have spent some time the past several weeks reading other blogs, I have been encouraged to make some changes in my life, but Satan has used this also as an opportunity to try to discourage me.  Anyway, here are my confessions......I believe that God wants me to be real in this blog, so that others are encouraged and not disheartened when reading about another person's life.  So here it is,

1) I haven't exercised consistently for the past 4 years.
2) I don't eat healthy and have not instilled healthy eating habits for my children.
3) I don't clean my house every week.  When I worked full time, I'm not sure that I even cleaned it every month.
4) My husband and I basically do not save money on a regular basis.
5) We use credit cards often.  However, praise God we do not maintain a balance unless it is a 0% card.
6) I have not been consistent with disciplining my children.
7) I get mad and pout :).  I have an absolute terrible time when my husband is sick.
8) My house is not organized very well.  Our closets are terrible.
9) I thought I was budgeting, but realized this week that I was missing an important part of the picture when it comes to groceries, toiletries, etc.
10) I think everyone else has it all together.  I believe that others are doing all the things listed above correctly!  I'm serious!

So, there you have it.  I have a long way to go in lots of areas!  However, God is helping me and I am feeling my spirit lift as I begin to add small goals to every day life.  Following is what I'm excited about...

1) I have established a goal of exercising 3 times per week for 20 minutes.  Basically only cardio and crunches.  I don't have a desire to push myself very hard in this area.  My goal is to become balanced in my life and not to go overboard in any area.  I'm on week 2.
2) I have started a Bible reading plan to read through the Bible in one year and it is going well.  I'm on day 36.
3) A couple weeks ago, I felt that God was leading me to be very consistent in disciplining my children.  That is going great!  I have noticed a difference in both of them.  My oldest is doing wonderful now cleaning up messes and doing what I ask when I ask her.  We are having some issues that I believe are disrespectful to me as the mom.  That was a large part of the reason that I felt it was important to work on this now.  That is going well too!  I am recognizing the event when it occurs and explaining to her that it is not acceptable, using time outs and having her repeat herself in a calm manner.  My 2 year old is great at cleaning up (most of time, we do have some battles!).
4) This week, I created a basic cleaning schedule for me.  I love it!

With the things that have been established so far, I am feeling like a lot of progress has been made!  More to come as God shows me others areas to begin to clean up in my life.

Sharing the Daily Word

Today I want to share with you part of Psalm 29 from my daily Bible reading.  What does it mean to honor and worship the Lord?  I believe that we honor God by following His commands.  We can worship Him by giving Him praise for being a good God, sending Jesus to save us from our sins, blessing us and helping us live each day for Him.  Tell God that you love Him and show Him by obeying His Word.

Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
    honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
    Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
Psalm 29:1-2

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

25 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.  Matthew 23:25-26   

As I read my Bible reading today, I was reminded of the importance of letting God clean me up.  I am not perfect, as no one other than Jesus is either.  There are lots of things inside of me that are not of God.  God wants to cleanse me of those things and transform me so that I become more like Him.  It is more important to God that I have a clean heart and love towards Him and others than that I "look" like I have life together on the outside.  God knows my heart.  I can't hide from Him.  Lord, change me!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Encouragement for Singles

Psalm 27:14   
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

When I graduated from college, I also began my walk with God.  I had a great desire to someday be married and wanted to follow God's will for my life.  I was feeling sad and thinking poorly of myself because I did not have a boyfriend and was not able to "see"  anything happening in that area.  I began to pray every morning on my way to work for my "future husband" that of course I did not yet know.  About six months later, after believing that God had a husband he was preparing for me, I met the man that I was to marry.  At some point during this time, my aunt bought the Bible pictured above for me.  She asked if I wanted my name on it.  I said I wanted to wait because I was believing God that someday I would have a new name as my future husband's wife.  If you are in the place that I was several years ago, be encouraged.  God loves you and wants to fulfill the desires of your heart as you walk with him.  The waiting may take longer that you would like.  It almost always does in my life.  But the blessings God will bring to you are worth the wait!

Wordless Wednesday

My sweet, little girl learned to pedal her bicycle with training wheels yesterday.  She was excited!  The Ariel dress she is wearing has become her "going outside" attire and is looking very rough. 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

 I love this Psalm.  As I read through it today, I could feel my heart being encouraged.  I am so amazed at the power of the Word of God.  To read words and feel God's power in them as you speak them forth is wonderful.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

So, I am very thankful to say that I am enjoying reading the Bible online in the mornings.  I really like the site that I am using for my reading plan.  It is nice to not have to keep track of where I am and it is encouraging to see what day I am on.  The verses I would like to share with you today are below.

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”  Exodus 13:17

When you begin to walk with God, He knows which way to take you to help you stay on the right road.  Satan really does want to destroy each one of us and therefore, he does everything he can to keep us from even trying to walk with God.  I want to encourage you to give God a chance.  Really what are your alternatives?  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10  There it is, the thief wants to destroy you and God has an abundant life for you.  Which one would you like?  I want the best life that God has for me.  You will have to endure being different from others and not fitting in with the world, but a life with God is so much better than what the world has to offer.  I love having peace!  I didn't have that before I began to walk with God.  Choose life!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time Management

Last week, I decided to join with Courtney at Women Living Well for the 5 Weeks 5 Disciplines 5 Challenges.  Her goal is to challenge you to instill 5 areas of disciplines in your life over the next five weeks.  Week 1 was "Body Challenge".  My goal was to exercise three days per week.  Last week was a success.  This week's challenge is "Time Management".  I was very excited for this challenge because God has been laying this on my heart.  I have been a stay at home mom for over a year now and I do not have any type of schedule for cleaning the house.  I will be homeschooling my daughter beginning this fall.  I feel that it is important that I have some type of schedule established by that time.  I hope that by being more organized and using my time wisely that I will also have more peace where housework is concerned.  So, for the Week 2 challenge, I am going to write out a schedule for the week for housework and other things that I would like to complete.  I will ask God to guide me as I make the schedule and help me to carry it through the way He would have me too.  One of my goals in life is to remain balanced.  It is very easy to go to extremes on either side of road.  For example, I could either never exercise or take it too far in the other direction where exercising takes several hours and a lot of my thought life.  With that being said, my goal for this week is to start to establish a cleaning schedule.


My children, (see above) will be 3 and 5 this summer.  They often help me and my husband with chores around the house, but we do not have a formal system of tracking chores.  The only thing that they have to do every day is put their clothes in the hamper and clean up the toys.  I feel that it is time to help them begin to learn responsibility.  I am currently working on a list of chores that we feel would be appropriate for each of them.  So far, this is my list:
  • Put their clothes in the hamper - morning & night
  • Put away their toys 
  • Set the table for supper (with assistance)
  • Put cans in the recycling trash can
  • Help me with the laundry - spraying clothes with spray n wash and putting clothes in washer and dryer
  • Water flowers (they just think this is fun - definitely not a chore)
  • Dust with assistance
I am planning on setting up some type of chore chart with pictures and putting stickers on the chart when a chore is completed.  Do you have any other suggestions for chores for young children?

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad turned 60 yesterday.  We celebrated his birthday with a dinner last night at my house.

Dasia decorating Grandpa's birthday cake.

The finished cake that Dasia and I decorated together.  She loves to decorate 
cupcakes, cookies and cakes.  We picked out a "mystery" candle for Grandpa's cake.

Sharing the Daily Word

Today I am thanking the Lord for helping me read through the Bible.  I have made it to Day 31.  The scripture that I would like to share today is:

Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.  You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”  Matthew 21:21-22

This is one of the verses that I put on an index card in our home to help me learn the Word.    Do you believe the verse?  I believe the entire Bible.  But, I need God to encourage my faith and make this real in my life.  Today, I'm going to start praying without doubting about a specific situation that God has been nudging me to pray for using the above verses.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow. 
Lead me by your truth and teach me, 
 for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love 
 which you have shown from long ages past. 
 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.
Psalms 25:4-7

 This is a wonderful prayer to pray for our own lives as we walk with God!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sharing the Daily Word

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on 
them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven 
belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and 
blessed them before he left.   
Matthew 19:13-15

Did you catch the part of the scripture above that says the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children?  Trust and believe God like a child would!  What a wonderful way to love your Heavenly Father!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our 9 year anniversary.  We are so thankful to God for bringing us together and teaching us to love each other.  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:12


This is one of my favorite pictures from our wedding.  The woman who jumped way in the air to catch the bouquet is my husband's cousin.  She is the one who introduced us and helped God start our relationship.  She will always have a special place in my heart!

Our wedding party

Sharing the Daily Word

Part of today's reading plan was from Matthew 18.  It is the story of the servant who's debt was forgiven by his master.  The servant then demands payment from someone else who owes him.  He does not forgive the man's debt but has him thrown in prison.  This is a wonderful example of our sins being forgiven by Jesus.  So then, do we forgive others for failing us or are we following the example of this servant who chose to condemn the man? 

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!     
Matthew 18:21-22

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Comparisons - Is There a Better Way to Live?

I don't know about you, but I have always been one to compare things.  As long as I can remember, I have compared myself to others.  I have compared my looks, size, material things, jobs, marital status, education, number of children, and on and on..... Lately, when the comparisons start, God has been telling me to stop comparing myself.  Until He started saying that, I hadn't given the process much thought.  I have always compared myself to others.  But, that is not God's best for me or anyone else.  What do you gain by comparing yourself to others?  Nothing, but wasting your time.  I know I can find better things to think about than who appears to be doing better than me.  God wants each one of us to be the unique person He created us to be.  He has good plans for me, but the plans are different than the ones He has for you.  For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 When I permit myself to compare my life to the lives of others, I begin to feel bad about myself.  By thinking the thoughts in the first place, I am letting Satan torment me.  God wants me to be who He created me to be.  For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10  I cannot fulfill the plans God has for my life if I am constantly tormented that I am not like someone else.  Break free from the torment of comparing yourself to others!  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5



I have almost finished reading the book, "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge.  I am going to need to read this one again.  They have many good points concerning your walk with God.  Following is an excerpt from the book that I thought was powerful.

We need to grow in our understanding and practice of spiritual warfare not only because we are being attacked but because it is one of the primary ways that we grow in Christ.  He uses spiritual warfare in our lives to strengthen our faith, to draw us closer to him, to train us for the roles we are meant to play, to encourage us to play those roles, and to prepare us for our future at his side.   From "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge.