Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm Worn

During this new season of my life I have made a deal with myself to be more positive in all I do. That I will try my very best to complain less and find joy in it all. One scripture that has stuck with me in the past year and a half or so is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I started the year off strong! Smiling and being positive in all I do. Then weeks went on and I grew very weary with all of life's demands. So, I started to keep more to myself and when I was around people and asked how I was doing, I would tell them how busy and tired I was. Now, yes, it is the truth, however, it becomes self-pity at some point.

Today's Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

You have been on a long, uphill journey, and your energy is almost spent (yep, this is how I feel). Though you have faltered at times, you have not let go of My hand. I am pleased with your desire to stay close to Me. There is one thing, however, that displeases Me: your tendency to complain. You may talk to Me as much as you like about the difficulty of the path we are following. I understand better than anyone else the stresses and strains that have afflicted you. You can ventilate safely to Me, because talking with Me tempers your thoughts and helps you see things from My perspective.

Complaining to others is another matter altogether. It opens the door to deadly sins such as self-pity and rage. Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me, I will put My thoughts in your mind and My song in your heart.

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." --Jeremiah 31:25

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. --Philippians 2:14-15

One thing I know for sure is no matter how tired I am, no matter how busy I am, one thing remains--I am BLESSED! I woke up this morning in a warm bed in a cool house, I am healthy, I have clean, running water, a supportive, hard-working husband, beautiful, healthy children....when I think of how blessed I am, my list could go on and on...I must turn my thoughts from how tired and worn I temporarily am and turn my thoughts to what is higher and true.

If you are weary today, I pray that you will find peace and rest in His promises!

Be Blessed.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Change and Uncertainty…

This entire year has seemed to be full of change and uncertainty for me. I don’t know about you, but change is a real uncomfortable feeling for me. I go through many mental states and emotions when going through change: fear, frustration, out of control and the list goes on. What I know from past experiences is that God has a plan for me, a plan far better than I can expect or imagine and he wants me to trust Him (Jeremiah 29:11). With that hope and promise I began to pray back in February for clarity and peace about my work situation.

I am typically the person that does the exact opposite of what the Bible tells us to do and I worry and fret over every detail of my life. However, this time, it was different. Through my anxious thoughts, I felt an overwhelming peace I could not describe. Once I found out I was going to be laid off it was bittersweet. It was nice to finally have some clarity and direction where I could began being prayerful on what was to come.

I began praying fervently, knowing that God must have something better in store for me. I felt that His timing was perfect. See, I originally got my previous job so we could pay for Will to go to preschool, my job ended right when he was completing his final year—God provided.

Once I found out I would no longer be working for Michael I immediately got my resumes out to the surrounding school districts as I thought it would be wonderful to teach again. I went to all of the job fairs, even had interviews and they seemed to not go anywhere, nor did I seem excited about them. I applied for a speech position at Morton Ranch in Katy (April 19th). I went to the Katy job fair where I received an interview card, but they were busy interviewing for core subjects and said they would contact me. Uncertain if they really would contact me I stopped a lady in the hall (not know who she was) and asked her if she would be sure to give my resume to the principal. She said sure! (It was the associate principal). A little over a month went by and I emailed both of them a follow up email checking on the status of the position. The principal responded that it was in currently in a “holding pattern.” So, I went on with life unsure if they would ever contact me, continuing to be prayerful that God knew what he was doing.

In the meantime my previous boss was gracious enough to spread the word that I was available for hire to some of the other reputable advisors. One immediately called me and interviewed me. We discussed job duties, hours, etc. over the next several weeks we agreed upon flexible hours. She offered me a job, I countered. While I was waiting on her final offer I received a call from the principal of Morton Ranch asking if I was still interested in the position. I had promised myself in the beginning of all of this change that I would not pass up an opportunity, so I said yes.

After I got off the phone I started praying God would give me clarity. I was honestly not sure even if it were offered if I would take it over the financial opportunity. I prayed that if this was the position God wanted me to have that he would give me the overwhelming excitement and joy I had been looking for. (I had had several interviews and offers in the past couple of months and was not super excited about any of them).

That Monday afternoon I received my final offer from the financial opportunity. It was not quiet what I was hoping for. I felt like that was a moment where God was telling me it would be okay to do something else. Tuesday I went in for my interview. I’ll be honest, I did not think I did as well as I could or should…The principal and AP were just as lovely as could be, but I felt as though I didn’t sell myself well enough. Upon leaving I was informed I would be notified by Thursday if I were to receive the job.

I left excited about the position—the first time I was excited about any position I had applied for in the past few months…REALLY wanting to teach there!! I was so excited, yet nervous. In the midst I prayed fervently that I knew God had a plan, that I wanted to teach really, really bad…but ultimately God had a plan and if it wasn’t His to please comfort my heart and give me peace about it.

Wednesday came around and I told Daron I felt like I needed to sell myself again…he said don’t do it!! J What a wise man…so I continued to pray all day Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up very early unable to sleep. I put on my workout clothes and went out for a walk. The entire time I prayed for peace, guidance and wisdom. I felt God tell me to fast until I had an answer…I have never truly done this, but it was so clear what he was telling me. I came home, laid face down on my bedroom floor praying that God would show me HIS WILL and regardless of the outcome I’d be okay! I felt I should email the principal just letting him know I knew he would be making a decision today, but that this was my passion…I love teens, I love communication…this is a gift God has given me and I would truly grateful to be afforded the opportunity. Within ten minutes I received a call from the principal. He said, “I get the feeling you really want this job?!” I laughed and said, “Yes, please?!” He said, “Well, since you said please, we would like to give it to you.” I was ecstatic!! My mama always told me using my manners would pay off!! J LOL! 

The only draw back was that the offer would not be official until they presented it to the board on July 15th, almost a month. I continued to pray all would work out, however, at times I did feel anxious something would not work out and I would be right back at square one. I received my official offer July 16th! Two months from the day I was let go….He provided!

God’s timing is never wrong. It may feel like it at times, but he has a plan. It is incredible for me to look back over the past several months and see His hand in it all! I am so blessed and thankful to have had this summer with my children and even more excited that I will get many more to come—God-willing.

I am super excited to be getting back in the saddle. I know that not everyday is going to be great and there will be challenges along the way, as with any career…but I am just so excited to have this opportunity.

Some scripture that has carried me through this year:

Philippians 4:6-7  
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:26-34
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Favorites from Let.It.Go. Part 1

Have you ever had the feeling of being utterly out of control? Better yet, can you think back to a time when you know you were, yet see how God took care of every last detail? As women, we crave control. Being in charge energizes us, so we think...

"Being able to multitask, to craft duties and delegate tasks, is beneficial on many fronts. The problem  lies with our failure to know where to draw the line, to differentiate between leading and bossing, to know the difference between simply taking charge and ultimately taking over." Many would look at these as strengths, however, "if carried to extreme and left unchecked, our strengths can often morph into wretched weaknesses. "

So often we fret, worry and waste time trying to fix (control) situations in which we have no business being in anyway...I know I do this for sure :/We believe in a false notion that it will actually work.

While we are multitasking it only seems natural to call all the shots as well. What we need to remember is we are NOT the boss, God is. He is the ONE that is in control, regardless of what we think, so let Him be! "We must determine the difference between being conscientious (our part) and being in control (God's job).

A funny story (now) about multitasking...Several months ago I was at work and filing documents. I was about to a file something I had not filed before and specifically asked how they usually do it, they told me, and in the auto-pilot mode I was in I did it the "normal" way, not the "special" way I was told...I'm pretty sure I groaned or made a fuss and my boss walked over and said, "What's the problem?" I said, "MULTITASKING at it's worst!" ugh...I was so frustrated I made such a stupid mistake, right after asking!! Luckily my boss was forgiving and

Controlling is tiring! "Because of sin, we're wired to control everything ourselves. And it will take a Great Electrician to sort through our tangled mess of selfish motives and actions and attitudes and transform them into one smooth, humming connection to our Father." We need to learn to control what we should and trust God with what we can't.

Technology, opportunities and choices have cluttered our lives. Instead of life being simpler with all of these luxuries it has actually caused more stress and time away from what truly matters. The more opportunities there are the more we feel we need to control.

We would be much better off if we were intentional about spending time with God and when faced with a choice ask, "Will this glorify God?" When we think we know better than God, the results are never good!

In hard times when you are desperately trying to control the outcome, the best thing to do is cultivate acceptance and learn not to ask "Why me?" but rather "What am I supposed to learn at this junction of life that will make me a better person and draw me closer to God? When we willingly accept our lot in life, welcoming all that God is trying to teach us through it, we lose the drive to over-control, to micromanage in an all-out attempt to appear perfect and ensure everything in our lives is 'just so.'"

As we learn to rest, trust and accept our life becomes less about ourself and more about Jesus.

Romans 8:25 "But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

This incredible book also touched on how women control their household...even their husbands. We don't think we are but we make every last decision in the house. Listen up peeps, get mad if you want, but God says, MEN are the head of the household...they should make the decisions. Please hear me clearly, I am not saying you don't have a say-so, but they do have the final. And some of our spouses are so used to you making all the calls they are timid to make any decision for the fear they may make the 'wrong' decision. We must relinquish our control and let our men do what God has called them to do. I know you hate the bad "S" word...submission. I recently heard a sermon that said it so well...submission is simply putting someone elses needs above your own...not so scary when you put it that way :)

When your circumstances are uncomfortable remember Hebrews 12:11
"No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

Now off submission...and husbands and on to "Micromanaging Instead of Mothering." The dictionary defines a micromanager as "someone who wants to control every part of a business or system in a way that is not necessary or useful." you're saying 'controlling' every aspect of my children, husband, life is not necessary or useful...sounds about right, actually.

Have you ever parented your child a particular way just based on who you were around? I know, not you, you have never done that...Oh wait, I have...a thought for the future: How will it affect your relationship with your child vs. the relationship with that other person? Which is more important? I don't ever want my kids to think I am going to treat them a certain way just so I can impress my friends...what message is that sending to my kids?? They may try and do the same thing, and junior high and high school years, I don't really want my kids acting a certain way just to "impress" their friends. As mothers we need to take advice prayerfully and carefully and make decisions moment by moment depending on the Lord's direction.

  1. Toddlers: Offer your kids choices to things that really don't matter
  2. Elementary: Teach your kids boundaries and consequences, be sure to tell them WHY
  3. Middle School: Allow your kids to set some of their own boundaries and the corresponding consequences for crossing the line
  4. High School: Treat your kids like young adults, not babies
  5. College: Remember that although your adult children will always be your children, they are now also full-fledged adults--fight the urge to step in and intervene
  6. During ALL stages point your children to your faith--show them with your attitudes and actions
"Teach. Train. But know when it's time to let go and trust."

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Have a marriage everyone else looks at and wants...

As Christians we are the same in many ways as unbelievers, however, we are called to be different and sometimes...that can be viewed as strange.

Remember, we don't belong here this is not our home. Our home is in heaven with Christ.

He has given us
  • a new birth with new hope
  • salvation is secure in heaven and nothing can take that away because Christ paid for it with his blood.
  • Ministry we are all called to be priest
  • ALL you have to do=receive these gift out of His grace
To be different we must Do/Behave
  • embrace submission
    • submission is a bad word these days, but all it really means it to rank yourself under someone else...just put someone ahead of you.
  • forgive as I have forgiven you--Does not matter how bad someone has wronged you. Christ still forgives you and you should still forgive others (no matter what!)
  • giving most of the time as Christians we're giving people, but 10% ?? You mean we can only live on 90%??
  • Marriage: when you said "I do" there was something there you wanted to be with But when you read what God says a husband and wife should be...that's where I draw the may have worked in the Bible, but there's NO way it can work today.
What if YOUR marriage could be the most incredible relationship ever...most love, most intimacy...

What if those principles ran against everything you know to be true in our culture...still want to put them into play?


1 Peter 3:1-6
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

Principle #1
  • Submission has more to do with your position in Christ than your position in earthly authority
    • We will always struggle with being submissive of those over us if we have not fully and completely given our hearts to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27) because ultimately your surrender is to Christ--NOT your's about being obedient to Christ, not some other person
    • I have been reading Let.It.Go. By Karen Ehman and she describes submission much like a dance. For the dance to fall into place, the woman must follow the man's lead. It doesn't mean she's inferior or less than or subservient. It isn't about importance. It's about function and roles.
Principle #2
  • Our obedience paves the way for God to do His best work!
    • possibly opens up others' hearts, minds, eyes to who Jesus really is. When we refuse to live in obedience, it can shut doors.
    • People may not be able to hear you because you actions are too loud
    • we can't even communicate the truth of Christ when this happens
    • ***Christ set us free not to just be free and live how I want BUT to lead others to Christ and to serve Him with NO guilt and shame from my former life (AMEN!) ***
    • Live in Godly submission!
    • Live it out in my home
Principle #3
  • Beauty should be more than skin deep
    • Beauty in God's eyes is in the heart, most other men look only at what's on the outside
    • Quiet and gentle = secure in who you are, you don't have to cause a scene to get people to approve of you
    • don't let jewelry and stuff get in the way...let it enhance
      • **Note, this is not saying to be quiet and meek and stop dressing up or wearing making or pretty's simply saying that that is not what God looks at...use these things as enhancements, not as the only thing people notice about you.
    • Follow Godly examples
      • Sarah followed the leadership of her husband
    • God will never hold you accountable to the spiritual condition of your home
      • You can encourage him all you want (without nagging)
    • What I WILL be held accountable for = am I willing to put myself under Daron (your husband) and encourage him.

1 Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

1) Know your wife--be considerate, understand her, love her, cherish her

  • Men: if you were God's gift to creation-He would have stopped with you, but He then created's never good to leave man alone (Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18
2) Honor your wife
  • Respect her in the things you say, do, and think (when she is with or without you)
  • stop looking at other ladies...stop window shopping = not showing respect to your wife.
  • "weaker" not emotionally or spiritually, but (in most cases) physically
Word Picture:
  • fine China vs. daily plates
    • fine China you put away in a safe place where no one can touch it, you use them only for special occasions, you treat them delicately
    • whereas, daily plates are chipped, use them all the time, they are dropped, replaced, etc...
      • **Treat your wife like fine China--with special care, respect, she's special and worth it!
  • If you fail to honor your wife--you willingly choose to diminish your access to God.
    • if you don't want your prayers to be hindered treat your wife with honor and respect.
"To live like no one else, you have to live like no one else"
~Dave Ramsey
If you know Dave Ramsey, you know he is talking about finances, but in the same way with our life and marriage. If we want to look and be different for Christ, we are going to live different.
It's easy for us to listen to the voice of pride and every other voice out there except the voice of God. You can draw lines and live like everyone else...OR be willing to listen to the voice of truth and have a marriage that everyone else will look at and want to have.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Live to Love People

Live to Love People

1 Thessalonians 2:7-12

As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too. Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats hi own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.

Actions speak louder than words. You can’t just say “I love you,” you have to show it too.

Paul’s love for this church is demonstrated three ways:

  1. He shares his message.
    1. The Gospel—Telling people the truth about humans and telling them the truth about God. We have a sin problem…
    2. **If we can not share the gospel with people, we do not really love them. This IS the reason we are here! This is really tough to swallow, but true.
    3. Atheist was once asked how he felt about evangelist, his response, I’m honored they care enough about me to share what they believe with me.
  2. He shares his life.
    1. became friends—shared burdens, pains, frustrations
  3. He shares his example (by words and actions).
    1. Somebody IS looking up to you. You are being an example to someone right now.
Life Points

  1. Each act of love mentioned above carries a risk.
    1. Not everyone is willing to do it because there’s risk of being ridiculed and rejected.
    2. Don’t let the fear of someone making fun of your belief make you stop loving
    3. Make sure your lifestyle matches what you’re preaching
  2. Having authority/rights doesn’t mean always using them.
    1. Just because you have authority to press down on someone doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
    2. Be a blessing instead of a burden
    3. Follow because you want to, not have to
  3. There is a true family to church life.
    1. The Church is more than a legal organization—we are family.
  4. Loving people this deeply is not automatic.
    1. These relationships don’t happen over night
    2. Make a commitment—let your walls down and become a family member, not an observer.

Fight the Feelings


“Same but different”

1 Peter 2:11-12

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and will give honor to God when he judges the world.

Our loyalty should be God’s truth, his way of life, and his dedicated people. Because we are loyal to God, we often will feel like strangers (aliens) in a world that would prefer to ignore God.

What does it look like to be an alien, to be different, to be weird for God?

  • Some think, if I just blend in and not stand out maybe I can avoid some persecution
  • You must know, you are God’s chosen person—you are NOT an accident
  • He has given each of us a plan and a purpose—Jeremiah 29:11-12 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. In those days when you pray, I will listen.
Lets break down scripture:

 Abstain (keep away from/Restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something) we need to continuously, habitually, everyday—stay away from sin.

 Sinful Desires (worldly desires) = whatever makes me happy at whatever cost

  • Sinful desires will provide momentary pleasure—then it will start taking its toll. Then you physically begin to carry it mentally and emotionally until you can no longer focus.
War = temptation keeps coming everyday. There will never be a day I wake up and not be tempted. The temptations that trip me up the most are the ones that are going to come at me the most

Soul—my entire body. War against every part of me: mentally, spiritually, physically—to the point you literally feel like you have been beat up.
*Challenge: Fight against your feelings because:
            1) they are your enemy
            2) our friends need us to fight those feelings
Don't give into your feelings such as this song...

Following your feelings will lead you into:
            1) slavery NOT freedom
            2) insecurity NOT peace

The worst advice ever…”follow your heart”

Jeremiah 17:9-10
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

God makes it clear why we sin—it’s a matter of the heart. Our heart is inclined toward sin from the time we are born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue to sin. We can yield to specific temptation, or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.

We think we want “freedom” where no one tells us what to do, but it is guaranteed if you follow your heart it will lead you into bondage.
Bondage: The state of one who is bound as a slave

*Only trust the Word of God, not your heart! Find scripture to back up your feelings.

Our friends and unbelievers need us…
Don’t write people off because they misunderstand Christianity; instead, show them Christ by your life. The day may come when those who criticize you will praise God with you.

My friends watch my life, they need to see: Authenticity NOT Perfection
Authenticity: true to one's own personality, spirit, or character

Unbelievers think God is only here to judge, but take a look.
Visits from God in the Old Testament:
1)      to bring judgment
2)     to rectify
3)     to bring grace and mercy

Visits from God in the New Testament:
1)      to bring grace and mercy

God doesn’t want us running around stressing about this world, but to have peace. When God comes down in mercy and grace—that they (unbelieving friends) will be ready to accept him. I have so much to do with my unbeliever friends by how I live my life.

God wants me to focus so much on him that I don’t get distracted from this world. He doesn’t want me to worry all the time because THIS world is NOT my focus.

Don’t get caught up in chasing worldly desires and consumed with them so much that you lose sight if what’s most important. Our goal should be to take as many people to heaven with us as possible.  We should live our life based on our TRUE home, not our earthly home.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'd still love you if...

Walking and talking with my girl...

A great friend of mine gave me the genius idea of 14 days of Valentines...for Daron and each of the kids I have given them a small little gift each day to show them my love and appreciation. The kids have really latched on and look forward to the next days gift.

As Faith and I were on our walk this morning she said, "Are you giving us a gift today?" When she asked I realized I had forgotten to give them something yesterday--oops! I immediately apologized and said I loved her bad...

She looked at me and said, "Mom, you don't have to give me gifts to make me know you love me, or to make me love you. I would love you if you didn't give me anything! I will love you no matter what.  I'd still love you even if we were poor!"

Ahaha my precious one! I explained that I would love her no matter what as well.  It's not about the gifts it's about innocent, pure love.

When I told Daron, he was like...did she ask for an iPad again? LOL...We will still want things, but at least we know our love is NOT conditional!

Titus 3:4-5
But--"When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:9-10
Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Sin vs Holiness

This morning Faith joined me for a walk/run. I informed her that it would be a long one, she said she was up for it. As we began our morning venture I told her we would do whatever she felt good with...when you want to run, I will run, when you need to walk, I will walk, and we did just that.  Might I add her run is more like my sprint :/ but that's neither here nor there :)

We were a little over half way into our 3.8 mile venture when the trail split into two. One half was asphalt and the other half was crushed gravel. We had been talking about all kinds of stuff. After a few moments of silence, she said, "This is a lot like sin and holiness..." I said, "What is?" (At this point she was walking on the paved part and I was walking on the gravel) She said, "THiS, pointing to the asphalt, is like's bumpy, cracks all in it, dirty looking...and THaT, pointing to the gravel I was on, is like know, pure." 

For a brief moment I felt as though the World stopped turning. My 8 year-old gets it...For us to be randomly walking and her make such a connections. It was a learning experience for me. I am thankful for Awana that she attends each week that engages and encourages her to learn more about Jesus and memorize scripture. It has helped Daron and I memorize scripture as well as we help her learn it.

After a brief moment of soaking it all in, I looked over at her and told her how amazing she is and how I proud I am of her.  She smirked at me and started running on the asphalt and said, "I'm gonna be a bad girl for now and run on sin...I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm not a bad girl, but the rocks on the gravel keep getting stuck in my shoe so I'm going to stay on this side." :)  I pray fervently that she will continue to live on this path of righteousness and will not turn from it (Proverbs 22: 6)

I think we will take these walks way more often now.  It was such an awesome feeling to have that one-on-one alone time with her. Her smile, her glowing blonde hair blowing in the wind, her beautiful eyes glistening at me...moments like these I latch on to and never want to let go of. I am so blessed to be her mommy!

~Be Blessed~

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Three Signs of a Healthy Church

This morning was another great sermon from Bro. Zach, thank you.

Paul was one of those people that would say it just like it Galatians Paul was not pleased with the way they were living or the way they were was as though simple faith in Jesus was not enough.

Galatians 1:6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to the Good News.

"When you love someone deeply you can tell them the truth even if it hurts...if it's in love"

Lets take a look at Thessalonians and three signs of a healthy Church.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why was Paul so pleased and inspired by Thessalonica?

Sign #1-Faithfulness to Christ. even when it's no longer convenient...we endure for Christ.
               faithfulness--Making Christ first and doing so daily in every area of my life.
Relationships are important and there are all different types of relationships, but if I'm putting anyone before Christ, it's impossible to be faithful to Him. He MUST be FIRST!!
(well when it's put this's clearly evident I need to work on this area of my life!)

Three Roadblocks to faithfulness:
  1. Distractions from the enemy: Note, that it's not always from the's our desires
  2. Desires from within: James 1:13-15 And remember when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
  3. Disappointments that are being blamed on God: Sometimes we are so disappointed in our circumstances we just decide to go somewhere else. Disappointments will either point you to Christ or push you away from Christ
Sign #2-Service/Ministry (Compassion/Mercy) to others
  1. When we serve others-we become more like Jesus "May You increase and I decrease" Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 9:35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."  1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
  2. We change the World around us.     Everywhere we go we can identify a problem. What does it take to be the person to change the problem? Lets not be people who get in circles and complain about these problems. Lets get to the place where we live in the power of the spirit to change the World around us.
Sign #3-Pure Motives

Paul affirms the church's actions and motives.
  • if you do              for the wrong means nothing.
  • Your faith, hope, and love are pushing you to do the works of God.