Friday, December 30, 2011

His Word Friday - December 30, 2011

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. 
Isaiah 43:18-19

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In His Word Friday - December 16, 2011

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end. 
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, 
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness 
from that time on and forever. 
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 
Isaiah 9:6-7

Linking with Nicole because some days I don't have much to say, but God's Word always speaks volumes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #24

Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

For more information about the Siesta Scripture Memory Team, visit Beth.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What Is Christmas?

First Advent and first candle is lit
Photo Credit: Per Ola Wiberg (Creative Commons)

I believe that this is the busiest time of the year. With all the Christmas preparations it's easy to lose focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is not about shopping, decorating, menu planning or going to parties. All of these are good things, but in the midst of it all, don't miss out on the best that this season has to offer.

Christmas is about...

  • Family - God created a family for Jesus with Mary and Joseph, and because Jesus came to earth as a baby and grew up to become a man who would die on the cross for our sins, we can be a part of God's family.
  • Relationships - Without Jesus we have no chance to have a relationship with God.
  • Love - It's the reason why Jesus left heaven to come to earth to save us from our sins and to give us the ultimate gift -- eternal life.
  • God's sovereignty - No man, not even Herod, could stop God's plan to provide salvation for all.
  • God's faithfulness - God had promised a Savior for years and in His perfect timing He kept that promise.
  • Patience - Some like Anna waited years for the Messiah. We will not always get what we want when we want it. Like Anna, we must learn to wait patiently on the Lord to provide exactly what we need.
What is Christmas to you? What are you doing this season to remember the real meaning of Christmas?

Friday, December 09, 2011

His Word Friday - December 9, 2011

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, 
whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. 
Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor 
gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, 
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. 
And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach 
to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace. 
Micah 5:2-5a

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Friday, December 02, 2011

His Word Friday - December 2, 2011

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:2-3

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

2011 Siesta Memory Verse #23

My shield is God Most High, who save the upright in heart. Psalm 7:10 (NIV)

Linking with Beth as I hide God's Word in my heart.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1000 Gifts - 606 to 630

606.  Jeremiah 31:3
607.  Peace from God
608.  Friend's husband's surgery went well
609.  God's protection of my stepdad when his truck left the interstate into the median (he was not injured)
610.  Warm soup on a cold night

611.  A pantry full of food
612.  Seat warmers for the leather seats in my car
613.  Extra blankets on the bed on cold nights
614.  A Christmas card from my cousin that included a CD of Christmas songs
615.  Samantha's post which so accurately described my feelings this week and the knowledge that I'm not the only one

616.  God bringing Nehemiah 8:10b to my attention over and over again
617.  God's reassurances of His love and faithfulness to me
618.  Talking to a friend who recently moved and keeping up with her adventures in her new hometown via Facebook
619.  God is love
620.  Laughter in the house when my family gathers together

621.  Watching my family members open their Christmas gifts
622.  Playing with my niece and nephew with their new toys
623.  Mercy - God not giving me what I deserved
624.  Grace - God giving me what I didn't deserve
625.  Jesus coming to earth and taking on human form so He could live the life that I should have and bear the penalty that should have been mine

626.  Talking to my sister on the phone during my morning commute
627.  Answered prayers
628.  The atoning blood of Jesus
629.  The hope I have because Jesus is my Savior
630.  Conviction by the Holy Spirit is not condemnation

631.  End of the year bonus from my employer
632.  Celebrating Christmas, the day when the Word became flesh
633.  Christmas morning church service
634.  God being able to use anyone to fulfill his purpose
635.  God using the ordinary to do the extraordinary

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1000 Gifts - 586 to 605

Continuing to count my precious gifts from God:

586.  Scripture that gets my eyes focused in the right direction: Forget the former things; don't dwell on the past. See I'm doing a new thing. Isaiah 43:18-19
587.  My friend's family having a safe trip as they traveled cross the country to their new home
588.  As a non-morning person, learning to appreciate my quiet time with the Lord
589.  Encouragement from my online friends
590.  Safety while driving for myself and my family

591.  A pastor who is burdened to follow God's leadership in his ministry
592.  Reading this on a day when everything was going wrong
593.  God not giving up on me
594.  By His grace God sees my potential
595.  Realizing that God is more interested in my character than my comfort

596.  Doing a Bible study with my sister using The Gospel of Ruth
597.  My Life Applications Study Bible
598.  Social media to keep in touch with friends who live far away
599.  The sale of my grandparents' home
600.  Connecting with some wonderful bloggers who bless me through their writing

601.  Learning that comparing myself to others is not only wrong but it's not fair to me
602.  Encouraging comments on my blog
603.  Choosing the best over the good by telling a friend that I could no longer assist him with a project
604.  Direction from the Holy Spirit
605.  The power of the Holy Spirit that resides within me

Friday, November 25, 2011

His Word Friday - November 25, 2011

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; 
make known among the nations what he has done. 
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 
Glory in his holy name; 
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 
Remember the wonders he has done, 
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 
O descendants of Israel his servant, 
O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.
 (1 Chronicles 16:8-13)

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

Whereas, both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United Sates a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness!" 

Now therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country. 

George Washingston, 1779

Linking with The Week in Words.

Friday, November 18, 2011

His Word Friday - November 18, 2011

To the faithful you show yourself faithful, 
to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 
to the pure you show yourself pure, 
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 
You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. 
You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. 
With your help I can advance against a troop; 
with my God I can scale a wall. 
2 Samuel 22:26-30

Linking with Nicole because some days I don't have much to say, but God's Word always speaks volumes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1000 Gifts - 569 to 585

It's hard to believe that it's been six weeks since I've written a post about gifts I've received from God. It's certainly not because I haven't been blessed -- I have been abundantly.

No, there's been no 1000 Gifts posts because there's been a lot going on...with family members' surgeries, increased work load and demand for my time. So, now that things have slowed down a bit I'm ready to catch up on my gift counting...

569.  Realizing that if I don't blog most days of the week, it will be okay. I doesn't mean I'm a failure because at times more important things must come first.
570.  My sister being pain free after her back surgery
571.  My step-dad's surgery going well with no complications
572.  For feeling God's presence on the days of family members' surgeries
573.  Comfort knowing that others were lifting my family up my family 

574.  Men and women who work in the medical field using their knowledge and ability to help others in need
575.  Medical staff who are caring and compassionate
576.  Delicious hospital food
577.  My pastor and minister of music visiting with my family at the hospital the day of surgery
578.  God's presence when fear and anxiety enter my heart

579.  God's goodness
580.  Hope in trying times
581.  Physical and mental rest after a stressful period of time
582.  The Holy Spirit bringing Romans 8:28 to my mind one morning and then repeatedly seeing that verse in different places while I was going through a trial
583.  God being more interested in my character than my comfort

584.  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33
585.  Realizing that my striving for consistency may at times be attempts at perfection

Linking with Grace Cafe

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #22

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; 
your walls are ever before me.  
Isaiah 49:16

I'm memorizing this verse to remind myself that even though people of this world may forget it, God never will.

What verses have you memorized to remind you of God's love?

Monday, November 14, 2011

When I Lay Down My Isaac

From Carol Kent's book, When I Lay Down My Isaac:

"Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac because he was convinced that God could raise Isaac from the dead if that were necessary to keep His promises." (Larry Richards) In other words, Abraham trusted in God's faithfulness so completely that he was willing to surrender what he deeply loved without being able to envision a specific or positive outcome.

God is not working toward a particular finish -- His purpose is the process itself. . .It is the process, not the outcome that is glorifying to God.

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?"

Linking with Barbara at Stray Thoughts.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Everyday Miracles

perfectly imperfect
Photo Credit:  Bui Linh Ngan (linh.ngan) ~ Creative Commons

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job 5:9

Everything in life is a miracle. Every sunrise, sunset, smile, laugh, relationship, heartbeat, breath, each person, every human ability, every answered prayer.  They are all miracles and gifts from God. Life itself is a miracle.

Quit looking for the big, earth-shattering miracles. Focus on all of the small miracles around you each day.  

When the small miracles are added together, the result is the greatest miracle of all -- your life.

Slow down and experience life by appreciate all of the many blessings in your life and remember to give God the glory and praise that He deserves.
"To be alive, to be able to see, to walk.... it's all a miracle." Arthur Rubinstein
Linking with Spiritual Sundays and The Week in Words.

From the Archives

In His Word Friday - November 4, 2011

David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.  He said:

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior -- from violent men you save me. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (2 Samuel 22:1-4)

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #21

I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2 (NIV)

Linking with Living Proof.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Looking for Hope

Dark sky Photo Credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin

This month has been very hectic for me, and as the month draws near I find myself in still in the midst of a trial and drained physicially and emotionally.

Last night before I went to sleep I told God that I trusted Him with my life, and asked God for help to get through this time of my life and for some sign of hope to help me hold on.

This morning I read the following:
Any trial a believer faces can ultimately bring glory to God because God can bring good out of any bad situation.  When trouble comes, do you grumble, complain and blame God, or do you see your problems as opportunities to honor him? ~ Life Application Study Bible Devotion
This was convicting because I have been guilty of wanting to get out of trials instead of seeing God's purpose for the trials. I'm getting better at this, but I still complain, even if it's to myself, as my flesh wants to flee my circumstances.
How comforting to know we don't have to wait on our circumstances to work for our good. Instead we wait on God, because it's HIM who works for our good. He's trustworthy and faithful. {And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. ~Rom. 8:28} ~ Proverbs 31 Ministries from Facebook
This gave me a sense of peace. It also made me smile because about two weeks ago as I was waking up one morning the Holy Spirit brought Romans 8:28 to my mind, and since that time He has continued to bring this verse to my mind. God keeps reinforcing His message to me that He is actively working in my life for good regardless of what I perceive.

Then before lunch I had two prayers answered. The first was something I earnestly wanted, but knew there was no way for it to come about without God's intervention. The second was something I had been praying about for months. These answered prayers are yet further affirmative that God cares for me, He hears me when I pray, He meets my needs and He's working actively in my life.

I don't know how much longer this trial will last.  However, I do know that God is with me every step of the way working all things out for good, and when I need a renewed sense of hope, He will provide that too.

In His Word Friday - October 28, 2011

When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said:

"I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:11-14 NIV)[emphasis added]

Linking with Nicole because some days I don't have much to say, but God's Word speaks volumes always.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What's On My Nightstand - October 2011

This month I've read:

Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth Jones. This is the story of four women from different walks of life who meet in the Bahamas. While in paradise, each must deal with issues from their past in order to move forward with their future. While some serious issues are dealt with, the author manages to inject humor in appropriate places to give this book a good balance. As the title indicates, a hurricane strikes the island, which was predictable, but it's not the main theme of the story.  There was also some corporate sabotage which I didn't expect and which added a different twist to the story. This is the first book that I've read by this author, and I'm interested to read more by her.

2:46:  Aftershocks:  Stories from the Japan Earthquake by William Gibson, et al. This is an e-book which was complied days after the earthquake in Japan. Stories range from those who experienced the quake and its aftermath to others around the world as they attempted to reach their loved ones in Japan. The book provided great insight about what it was like in Japan before, during and after the earthquake and about how the citizens of Japan handled this epic event. I was struck by the Japanese fear of nature, but there was no reference to God. My only criticism of the book was that the article written by Yoko Ono was written in Japanese. Hers was the only article not to be translated for the book, and I didn't understand why.

Even Now (Lost Love Series #1) by Karen Kingsbury. This book tells the story of a young couple who are kept apart by their parents after an unplanned pregnancy. Years later the couple would be reunited by their child who has been raised by her maternal grandparents. While the couple's love has endured despite the years, they learn that their differing life experiences have shaped their opinions and political views differently and this threatens the sustainability of their relationship.

Ever After (Lost Love Series #2) by Karen Kingsbury. The couple from the preceding book is struggling to overcome their differences in order to make their relationship work while their daughter finds love and heartbreak. I found this book to be much more emotional than the first. Both were quick reads for me.

When I Lay My Isaac Down:  Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances by Carol J. Kent. The author gives an honest account of the days following her only child's arrest and conviction for first degree murder while drawing from the story in Genesis of God calling Abraham to offer Isaac on the altar.  The book made me realize that we all have our own "Isaac" that we must surrender to God and for Carol it was her expectations for her son and his life. Carol also describes how her friends ministered to her and her family during the early days of their unthinkable circumstance which illustrates different and creative ways to minister to those who are in need of encouragement. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

The 7-Day Doubt Diet: A Devotional Companion for A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. This devotional series in drawn from the author's book, A Confident Heart, which I want to read now. The devotional highlights different ways we doubt and how to combat them. My favorite tip was to keep track of my negative thoughts for a week and then using Scripture find truth to replace the doubting thoughts.

A Daughter's Inheritances (The Broadmoor Legacy #1) by Tracie Peterson. The story has young love, various plots to disinherit an heir and the beginning of an adventure as one character sets off to search for gold in the Yukon. In the book you will see some characters place a higher value on money while others values ministry more, all of which to the detriment of their relationships. To contrast this, the main character born to wealth and prestige desires only to have a loving family. I love Tracie Peterson's novels, and this one did not disappoint me. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Powerful Prayers for Troubled Times by Stormie Omartian. This book convicted me to pray more and reminded me of the importance and the power of our prayers.  While the book ends with twelve specific prayers regarding our country and its leaders, the book also addresses the importance of forgiveness, having hope and praying continually. This will be a book that I will read again.

Linking with 5 Minutes for Books.

Friday, October 21, 2011

In His Word Friday - October 21, 2011

Only those who sin will be put to death. Children won’t suffer for the sins of their parents, and parents won’t suffer for the sins of their children. Good people will be rewarded for what they do, and evil people will be punished for what they do. 
Supposewicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won’t be put to death. All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right.  I, the Lord God, don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live.  
But when good people start sinning and doing disgusting things, will they live? No! All their good deeds will be forgotten, and they will be put to death because of their sins. 
Youpeople of Israel accuse me of being unfair! But listen—I’m not unfair; you are! If good people start doing evil, they must be put to death, because they have sinned. And if wicked people start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. They will think about what they’ve done and stop sinning, and so they won’t be put to death. But you still say that I am unfair. You are the ones who have done wrong and are unfair!
I will judge each of you for what you've done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished.  Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? I, the Lord God, don't want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live! (Ezekiel18:20-32 CEV)[Emphasis added]
Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Note to Self #12

From a Facebook friend:
Sailors in the northern oceans have frequently observed icebergs traveling in one direction in spite of strong winds blowing in the opposite direction.  The icebergs were moving against the winds, but how? The explanation is that the icebergs, with eight-ninths of their bulk under the water surface, were caught in the grip of strong currents that moved them in a certain direction, no matter which way the winds raged. In the Christian life, no matter how strongly the winds of passing opinions blow in opposition, the believer who has a depth of living in the currents of God's grace should move toward righteousness.
From Home Life:
We must be responsible stewards of what we've been given.  How can we worship and honor the Lord if our bodies are deteriorating from neglect? ~ Ben Greenfield
From In Touch:
God knows how to solve your problems, but He may choose to require your cooperation, possibly even asking you to do something that seems unreasonable.  But whenever we yield our flawed solutions and meager resources to Him and step out in obedience, He does great things in us and through us.
Prayer is not merely expressing our present desires. Its purpose is to exercise and train our desires, so that we want what He is getting ready to give us. His gift is very great, and we are small vessels for receiving it. So prayer involves widening our hearts to God. ~Augustine of Hippo
Linking with Barbara at Stray Thoughts.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #20

It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
 2 Samuel 22:33 (NIV84)

Visit Beth for more information about joining the Siesta Scripture Memory Team.

Friday, October 14, 2011

In His Word Friday - October 14, 2011

For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.  Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

Lamentations 3:31-33, 40 (NIV)

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Monday, October 10, 2011

1000 Gifts - 551 to 568

Gifts from this past week...

551.  When I drove through a yellow light, the Holy Spirit telling me that I really need to slow down and stop when the light is yellow and
552.  That I need to stop making excuses why I'm disobeying traffic rules and God
553.  Conviction that I need to heed spiritual warnings in order to avoid danger

554.  A cheerful client that put a smile on my face and
555.  Who reminded me to see the joy and blessings that are present every single day
556.  The reminder that being joyful is a deliberate choice
557.  The lesson that when I chose to see joy in every day there will no longer be "okay" days or "bad" days.

558.  My Bible study group praying for my sister's surgery
559.  Being part of a Bible study group that ministers to the needs of others
560.  My sister's back pain being alleviated by the surgery
561.  Friend's advice on what to give my three year old niece for vomiting

562.  Over the counter cold medicine
563.  Puffs Plus with lotion
564.  Being able to pray to God about anything and everything
565.  God is interested in every detail of my life

566.  God is willing to listen to the things that bother me no matter how small
567.  God helping to make decisions in my life, both big and small
568.  Both of my co-workers' husbands getting new jobs after 6 months and 14 months of unemployment, respectively

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Daybook - October 9, 2001

Outside my window...78 degrees and partly cloudy

I am thinking...about everything that has happened already this month (both of my co-workers' husbands received new jobs which will require Stephanie and her family to move to Wisconsin, had company for the weekend, my sister had back surgery, watched my nephew and niece for my sister for several days while she recuperated from her surgery, I had a cold and missed some time from work) and what is going to happen the rest of the month (my birthday, I will say goodbye to my co-worker Stephanie, my stepdad will have surgery).

I am thankful...that God has provided jobs for my co-worker's husbands and that my sister's back pain is gone after her surgery and that she has had no complications.

In the kitchen...15 bean soup

I am going...back to work tomorrow after being out sick.

I am much work piled up while I was out and how much farther behind I will be.

I am reading...Powerful Prayers for Troubled Times by Stormie Omartian

I am praying...that Stephanie's family has a smooth transition in their move to Wisconsin and that my stepdad's surgery is successfully with no complications.

I am looking forward to...seeing my friends at work tomorrow.

I am pondering..."Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things." Frank A. Clark

I have been pray more faithfully for others.

One of my favorite October days that we've been having with clear blue skies, cool temperatures in the morning and warming up in the afternoons with little or no humidity.

A few plans for the rest of the week...get together with my Bible study class on Friday, buy candy for the church Fall Festival and download the list from Operation Christmas Child regarding donations that can be placed in the shoeboxes.

A picture I am sharing...

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Monday, October 03, 2011

Lord Undo Me

I don't really worship these days
I don't really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actions or with anything
I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion
But it is all just illusion
I am really lonely, lost, calloused, jaded, cynical
Too religious, too realistic
And well really just to lazy to worship you anymore
I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory

Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet to come face to face with your
Perfection, radiance, goodness, holiness, awesomeness
I want to stand before you and see you
For who you are and me for who I am
I want to be undone

I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way
You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to
Love me, care for me, see me,
Speak to me, want me, communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me

Lord, I want to stand in that place where
All I can see is your glory and my sin
Because in that place I can't help but worship you.
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
Break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don't, I'm scared I don't know if I can handle this

But I can't live this way anymore
I can't stand here in this half-life
This going through the motions life
This not really alive life
Father, I need you so come in and do what you must
Cut out the tumor in my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Let me worship you again


I recently heard this while listening to J. D. Chandler on KLove and later found the words on his Facebook page. 

Mr. Williams' words spoke to me because I  realized the continual need to surrender every part of my life to God so there are no barriers between Him and me so I can worship and serve Him wholeheartedly. 

The idea of surrender is scary, but I know that's my flesh unwilling to give up control. In my heart I know I can surrender my all to God because He's in control and He loves me dearly, and until I surrender to Him I will never become all that He has planned for me to be.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Gifts Discovered on the Internet

Gifts from God are everywhere. Here's some that I discovered this week while surfing the Web:

546.  Alice's new love of her life, Tripp
547.  Seeing the depth of a mother's love and that love in action on Tripp's mother's blog
548.  Lisa's "I'm Afraid Of Being Stupid" which made me realize that God's grace is sufficient for me and all my stupid messes
549.  Erin reminding me that I'm irreplaceable to God
550.  Elysa and her family's heart for missions, particularly the children of Swaziland

In what unlikely places have you found gifts from God?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #19

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24

I read this verse within the past week. It really spoke to me so I decided to commit it to memory.
How do you choose verses to memorize?

For more information about the Siesta Scripture Memory Team, visit Beth.

Friday, September 30, 2011

His Word Friday - September 30, 2011

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  Lamentations 3:22-26

Linking with Nicole because some days I don't have a lot to say, but God's Word always speaks volumes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm All Over The Place

Grief, Black & White
Photo Credit: Eric Chan (maveric2003) ~ Creative Commons

Today I received a phone call. A phone call I had been anticipating the past few days.  A call that would send my thoughts and emotions off in different directions. 

That call came this morning at 8 a.m. -- Mr. Bill, the father of a childhood friend passed away. 

I have felt sadness because I know how much my friend's family is hurting. I feel their pain -- not as deeply, but I still feel it.

I feel helpless because I know that there are no words or covered dish that ease their sorrow. I want to do something, but I know the only thing I can do is to pray for them and to be a shoulder for them for cry on.

I am trusting that God is close to them and will provide my friend's family with the strength and comfort to face the coming days.

I am thankful to have known Mr. Bill -- a humble Christian man, full of integrity, a strong work ethic, who loved his family, church and community and was willing to serve them. A man who helped with our youth group and was willing to invest in my life and the lives of others.

I am rejoicing because this morning Mr. Bill saw Jesus for the first time face to face in heaven. How awesome is that? 

And to be honest, that makes me a little jealous because I want to see Jesus too! But it's not my turn yet. God isn't finished with me here just yet.

I have been reminded how short our time on this earth is and that each moment is precious. Time is a commodity, and I've been convicted to use it wisely by investing in the lives of others.

So in the days to come, I'll be there for Mr. Bill's family, faithfully do the work God has given me while keeping my eyes on heaven.

What's On My Nightstand - September 2011

This month I read:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  This was my first time reading this classic, and now I'm eager to see the movie.  I loved the witty dialogue and the development of the characters which made me change my initial perception of several people in this book. The book started slow for me since I was struggling to keep up with the many characters, but by the end I was sorry to get to the end of the book.

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food by Lysa TerKeurst.  The author honestly tells of her struggle with food and her weight and her journey to control these issues which had seemed uncontrollable for so long. Even though I have not experienced these same struggles, I found many nuggets of truth in this book so many that I must re-read it in order to glean them all. The heart of this book is about turning to God instead of food or anything else to fill our most pressing need and to replace God's truth with the lies Satan would have us to believe.

Escape from the World Trade Center by Leslie Haskin. This is an autobiographical account of an insurance executive who worked in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This book vividly describes all that Ms. Haskin saw and heard that fateful day, and from her account it's understandable why she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, this is a story of a woman who grew up in a Christian home who had been living away from God, but amid the tragedy and the horror she began to find her way back to the Lord.

Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin. Charlotte Figg moves to a trailer park called Paradise after her husband dies. What she finds is a community of seemingly mixed matched people, but discovers that the common thread among them is the pain and suffering that they have each had to face in life. The author manages to interweave humor and Scriptural references while addressing the painful subject of spousal abuse.

Aesop's Fables came with my Kindle app download so I decided to read it. While I was familiar with some of the tales, I was surprised at how many stories actually make up this book.  I appreciate the values that these tales impart, but I believe there's a better way to do so without referring to mythological gods.

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo. I had heard about this book and got the opportunity to read it when a friend loaned it to me. Colton, the author's four year old son, gets a glimpse of heaven while he was seriously ill in the hospital. The story tells of how his parents and others come to know of his trip to heaven and describes heaven from a child's viewpoint.

For check out what other bloggers are reading, visit 5 Minutes for Books.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Working Definitions

Use working definitions [with your children]:

1.    Obedience is doing what someone says, right away, without being reminded.

2.    Honor is treating people as special, doing more than what’s expected, and having a good attitude.

3.    Perseverance is hanging in there even after you feel like quitting.

4.    Attentiveness is showing people you love them by looking at them when they say their words.

5.    Patience is waiting with a happy heart.

6.    Self-discipline is putting off present rewards for future benefits.

7.    Gratefulness is being thankful for the things I have instead of grumbling about the things I don’t have.

The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

These are simple definitions for children, but a powerful reminder for this adult.
For more great quotes, visit Barbara at Stray Thoughts.

1000 Gifts - 531 to 545

Still counting...

531.  Protection of a friend's husband while he is serving in Iraq
532.  New brakes for my car
533.  Having my three year old niece ask questions about Jesus
534.  Talking to my niece about Jesus and heaven
535.  Seeing my niece's eyes light up when I told her that Jesus was coming back for us one day

536.  Big, fluffy clouds that seem so close that you could reach up and touch them
537.  Making progress with the work that has been in my inbox
538.  Medicines for migraines
539.  Being almost back to normal the day after a migraine
540.  My sister being able to find something good about being in bed all day with severe back pain...she had a lot of quality time with the Lord

541.  The accountability and sweet fellowship of #mym3 which gets me out of bed a little earlier for Bible study and prayer time
542.  Abiding Fruit Bible study
543.  Blessings received from connecting with other Christians on Facebook, Twitter and blogs
544.  Seeing how God is using sermons on Sunday, my Bible study and devotions to communicate a single message to me
545.  Seeing friends turn to God when they have challenges in life



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