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Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Words of 2012

     As the last hours of 2012 tick away never to be seen again let us strive to allow our faults and failures of 2012 to also slip away.  

     Dust the past off our feet, wash it from our hearts and daily cleanse it from our minds.  Our future lies so plainly out in front of us but those failures and faults that we regret from the past will always  block our way if we let them.  We cannot go back, there is no way to relive it or change it.  We must ask forgiveness from those we've hurt or failed and then forgive ourselves.  From that point on it's time we live in the our "now" always looking into our future and leaving our past behind.


     2013 is going to be an amazing year.  It is so full of possibilities and potential.  All that is necessary to experience those possibilities is faith and a stout heart willing to step out and believe that...
All Things Are Possible!


May God Bless your New Year with amazing new adventures.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What An Adventure We Had !

     As this year is coming to a close so has my "job", my homeschooling that is, with 4 of my 5 kids and what an adventure we've had these past 16yrs.  I can't say that it's been easy but I can say it was the right thing to do and it was well worth it.  

   3 yrs into our homeschooling

     We never really did what other homeschoolers around us did.  We followed our own path.  I did what I felt was right for them no matter how many spoke against our choices.  (I'm so thankful that alot of homeschoolers don't know what it's like to not have support for this choice to homeschool.)  It's a large responsibility that is so much more easily carried with a good support system.

     So as my many years of homeschooling are coming closer and closer each year to an end, I would like to leave some words of advice.

  • Study to show yourself approved....  don't jump into homeschooling on a whim.  Check out books on the many forms of homeschooling, speak with men and women who have homeschooled for many years and whose outlook on it is positive but based in reality.  In essence, get educated yourself.  You need to hear about all the good that can come about through homeschooling.  You also need to hear about the hard times that homeschooling parents have had and how they worked through it.  This will help you come up with reality based expectations.
  • A three fold cord is not easily broken....  don't jump into

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Complete Image of God

     I was searching around in an old notebook that I haven't written in for some time and came across a little note I'd like to pass on.  At the time of my writing I was thinking about man and how man is an example of God so lets come talk about this idea.

Take out a piece of paper and write down a few things. 
     #1  Describe man.  What is he like? (the positive attributes)
     #2  Describe woman.  
           What is she like? (again, only the positive attributes)


As I sit down and try to describe the positive attributes of man I find myself listing protector, defender, provider, tough.   And when I describe woman I'm listing talker, toucher, feeler, tender, nurturer, encourager, all about relationships.  So I went out on the WWW and checked to see what I could find there.  One website had an article on it about the Top 20 Traits Women Want in a Man.  The first five traits were faithfulness, dependability, kindness, moral integrity, and fatherliness.  Other traits included generosity and someone who would listen.   After checking out man I started checking out the attributes of women.  I'll be honest, it was hard to find websites stating positive attributes of a woman but

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Tribute



I don't think I could ever say enough to God to truly thank Him properly for all He's done for me.
So instead, let me sing and maybe I can come closer.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Are You Silently Incredible?

     Several years ago I watched a movie called "Pay It Forward" that touched my heart to the core.  The new social studies teacher gives his students an assignment to come up with some idea that will improve or change the world.  Young Trevor thinks seriously about this assignment and comes up with just such a plan.  You see his notion to change the world is to find 3 people and do a good deed for them, something that they can't do for themselves.  Instead of them paying him back for his good deed they are ask to "pay it forward,"  ... to each find 3 people to bless who each one will do the same for 3 more people.  

     Trevor's choices to try and help are a homeless man, his physically scarred teacher and a classmate of his that is a constant victim of bullying.  After attempting to help the first two he feels like a failure and stops but eventually as the story goes on he is found by a journalist who has been crossing the nation trying to find the originator of the "pay it forward" movement.  You see, though Trevor tried to help the homeless man (Jerry) who was addicted to drugs it didn't go well.  Jerry eventually leaves town but in the midst of his "bad" place he finds a woman about to commit suicide by jumping off the side of a bridge and talks her down.  He can't ignore her needs and walk on as if nothing is going on.  The seed of "paying it forward" had been planted in him and just needed time to grow.  And it does continue to move forward story after story.  Then  a  journalist becomes the recipient of a brand new Jaguar S-type car after his old Ford Mustang is damaged in a car accident.  When he ask why the man was giving him this brand new car he was told that he was just "paying it forward."  As he listens to the stories he tracks them back till he eventually finds 12 year old Trevor.  Unknown to Trevor, this journalist is evidence that he has not failed.  He has silently affected the lives of many people across the nation that he would never know and never meet.  So the journalist conducts an interview with Trevor to  find out what he was thinking.  Trevor explains how "paying it forward" works and explains what his hopes were.  He then goes on to explain his concerns that many people are just too afraid to change their own lives in order to make the world a better place.  

     After the interview, Trevor leaves the classroom and hears the sounds of his friend that is being bullied once again.  Even if he couldn't help the others, this is one person he can help.  He goes to his classmates defense and ends up being pushed into the main bully who was brandishing a knife.  Trevor gets stabbed in the abdomen and sadly enough dies from the stabbing.  

     Whether because of his death or not the "pay it forward" movement goes nationwide and hundreds of people gather outside of his home to pay their respects to him with a stream of cars visible in the distance all carrying those to are coming to honor Trevor.

     Trevor ... in this story.... is silently incredible.  He wasn't asking for attention.  All he wanted to do was positively affect the lives of those around him.  He didn't want people to owe him and he wasn't looking for recognition by others of this "wonderful" thing he'd done for someone.  He just wanted to make a difference in someones life.


Are you silently incredible?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Perfect or Perfectly Broken?

     For most of this year I've felt like God placed on my heart ministry to the needs of women away from and not including what and when I blog.  I jumped on this so strongly and began to pull things together but as my heart broke for the women around me I began to go through struggles I was not ready for.  As the year moved forward I encountered many hardships from being blocked from ministry by one in leadership above me to financial and physical hardships.  

My foundations began to shake.

     I didn't stop believing in God and what he could do.  I've seen what God can do but I came to a place where I was no longer sure he would still do it for me.  Now I felt even worse.  How could God use someone like me?  I began to question if it even was God that put women's ministry on my heart.  How could it have been him? It had to have been only me.  God knows me and he knows me well, there is no way that he could have placed this on my heart knowing how imperfect and fallible I am.  How could I possibly minister to women when I'm so perfectly broken?


     But now I remember.... its not the perfect that God wants to use, (as if he could find anyone) but those who are perfectly broken.... those who know that only God can do it through them because they can't do what he's called them to do on their own. 


     I know that I'm perfectly broken therefore I'm a perfect candidate for God's use, how about you???

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sanctuary or War Zone?


Marriage 101 :  

     The home is supposed to be a sanctuary, a safe place to relax and refresh and yet for many a married couple it isn't.  Many have the idea that home with my spouse is where I get to "let my hair down"... to "be myself" ...  I can blow off steam here but instead of blowing off steam... I blow up.  Everyone at home gets the brunt of the anger and frustration from the days events.  At home maybe I can't actually blow up at the person(s) that made my day so aggravating but I don't need to be concerned with controlling my tongue or my actions because here... well, I can't really be fired for saying what I think.  In the long run the family and the spouse end up with the short stick.  They end up with the "fleshly" uncontrolled side of you while you give everyone else the self-controlled side.  To me... that's backwards.  

     In your vows, you and your spouse said I'm giving up everyone else in the world for you and you alone.  They've seen you at your worst and they've stayed in spite of it.  So why is it alright to give your spouse the worst side of you and give everyone else..... people who couldn't care less about you,  people who don't know you from Adam and don't care to... Why is it that we give them the better and sometimes the best side of us? Why is it we ...(excuse me for being so blunt)... we give our families and most of all our spouses our proverbial butt to kiss?  This is NOT what Christ did for and continues to do for us.  

What we do AT HOME matters.

Who we are AT HOME is important.

     Our mission beyond all others is to BE CHRIST in our own homes with those that God has given us.  Our priorities are out of line when we put all others above our own family.  God does not approve of our actions when we give our best to everyone else and we give our families especially our spouse whatever is left over. It's time we re-evaluate and re-adjust our lives.  Christian marriages are failing at the same rate as non-christian marriages because we think of everyone else outside of our marriage as those that need ministered to.  We cannot conveniently forget that when we married our spouse became our #1 mission field.  

A christian marriage is a ministry and we are the ministers.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Take NO for an Answer

     There is something so totally stubborn inside of each and everyone of us that loves to hear a hero or heroine shout out loud... I won't take NO for an answer!!  We raise our fists and shout YES!.. That's it, tell them right!...  Make them give it to you!  It's as if somehow the word NO is an evil that needs to be vanquished.  As children we remember the smack on the back of our hands or across our fanny and the NO that accompanied it as we reached for something we wanted but couldn't have.  This stays with us as we get older.  There are things that we want to do, places we want to go, stuff we want to have but we hear the word NO and we squirm at the sound of it and we fight.  As we grow up and get out on our own we may attempt to do those things we couldn't before.  Sometimes we go to those places we couldn't go to before.  We acclaim our victory over the word NO because now we have the freedom to make the decision ourselves and no one can tell us NO anymore.  That works for a little while till we painfully realize that we only traded our life under our parents for life under a society and government .... under a universe that still has rules.  We can still be told NO..... and we continue to fight it.   

     What is it about that word that makes us feel that person who says NO to us is only trying to control us, be mean to us, not let us have or do anything?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Took A Forced Time Out…


     Health issues always have a way of creeping up on me.  It’s like a major blind spot I seem to have.  I’m driving down life’s highway and getting ready to change lanes when next thing I know I get blindsided or rear ended.  Sometimes what comes into my life feels more like a head on collision.  That’s what I’ve been going through for the past several months.  From getting somewhat congested and coughing severely enough that I twist my back out of alignment…. to coming down with some bug that put me in the ER with my breathing after only five days… to fighting with breathing issues that don’t want to be tamed or blood sugars that don’t want to go down.  As you can see, things have been nuts surrounding me for months now but I'm not here to complain.

     I've tried periodically to post a little but it’s been hard to sit down and write when you can’t think of anything positive, challenging or encouraging to say to others.  I fought with "Why me?" ... "Not again!!!" ...  and "Why not, everything else is coming apart anyway."  I wanted to just crawl in a hole and pull a rock over me and tell the world to just leave me alone.  BUT...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Toothpaste Sermon

     Imagine a tube of toothpaste.  You twist the top off and you begin to squeeze the toothpaste out.  You continue until all the toothpaste is out.  Can you put the toothpaste back into the tube like it was before you began to squeeze?  What you can get back into the tube, will it ever be the same?

     Now imagine the tube of toothpaste is you and the toothpaste itself are the words that come out of your mouth.
Image courtesy of Kozzi Inc / Kozzi.com


We make the mistake of speaking out of our anger or frustration over the pressure we're under.  Or we speak out of irritation or just a desire to be a "smart mouth."  Worst of all is when we just speak whatever comes out of our mouth without any consideration for the feelings of others.  

Our words are powerful.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Enough with the Pain and Suffering, Right?


“Thankfully, I have been thru this before.”

     Most of the last four weeks have been filled with a lot of physical pain for me.  I’ve had to find a way to deal with the pain without letting it take over my thoughts and become what I centered on.  I’m not new to this kind of pain, thankfully, I have been through this before.  I’ve been down this road and I know many of its twists, turns and pitfalls.  I’ve had previous experiences to help me so when this didn’t pass as quickly as the last time I didn’t become consumed with the pain. 

     But is physical pain the only pain we deal with? No.  We also deal with mental/psychological pain.  Throughout our lives we’ll deal with many kinds of pain and suffering… the loss of a loved one, illnesses in ones body, sometimes suffering the consequences of our previous actions or the actions of others… mental suffering from guilt, condemnation or anguish. 

Over the years I’ve heard many ask… Why?

     The youngest of my sons just recently showed me a poster he wanted to talk to me about.  The poster begins with a person carrying a heavy cross and you can see in the background many others doing the same.  In the second section you see the main character asking God to make his cross smaller… to cut it down because it’s just too heavy to carry.  And

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Don't Make Me Call Security

     Friendship and relationships are considered to many to be basic conversations on basic topics, things that you would have learned growing up.  Sadly though, because many consider it to not be an important topic it gets pushed to the back burner so we can talk about more important things.  So now, we are surrounded by people that really don't get or understand relationships/friendships in the right way... and maybe you're one of them.  It's ok.  Sometimes we just need a trusted friend to sit down and privately talk to us without judgement and pass on pointers or just a little wisdom.  I hope that's how you'll feel as you listen to my conversation on friendship.

     This is my first attempt at an audio post and I haven't figured out how to embed it yet so here's the link.          Don't Make Me Call Security   enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Introducing Author Sheri Powell

As you well know, menopause is a milestone in a woman's life.  No one knows from woman to woman how they will be affected by it.  This year, thousands of women (and their families) will question "What in the world is going on!" due to attitudes, lack of "drive", depression, memory issue, hot flashes and/or mood swings (just to name a few). It would be nice if there was someway we could just jump over this milestone and all the craziness that seems to come with it (for some) and not have to worry about it... but for most of us.. that is just a pipe dream. 

We don't really need another book or another author telling us what we can do (like more exercise) or what we can take, like another pill or medication.  We need a friend whose been through it or who is walking through it themselves who understands how we feel.  We need someone that won't just tell us that we have to deal with it and it'll eventually be over.  That's why I'd like to introduce to you the author Sheri Powell.  She has written a special book on menopause called Pausing With God.  It's not filled with medical advice or terminology... no, it's filled with common sense conversation from one friend to another about walking through this thing called menopause...with God.  Below are videos of an interview with her about the book and menopause.  I have not yet had the privilege of interviewing her but that will come.  Enjoy! 





Website - Pausing With God
Twitter - @PausingWithGod


Friday, January 20, 2012

Stick to It

     Just over two weeks ago I was ask to give a short little devotion on the topic of Endurance right before our praise and worship practice.  To be honest, I was happy to be ask to give a little 5 minute devotion but not so happy about the topic.  I would have rather talked about anything else BUT endurance.  All I could think of is I don't wanna talk about it! Heck, right now, I don't want to study and find out what the Bible says on the subject! 

I've done enough of it already!

So now that I have your attention, lets hear what I found out.

     You will not find the word endurance anywhere in the King James Version of the Bible and that matters because whenever I go to study I pull out my King James version and my Strong's Concordance.  Because I couldn't find the word there I had to dig a little deeper than I normally have to.  I went to my free E-Sword program on my computer and looked up the word endurance in it's Webster's 1828 Dictionary and it defines endurance as this :

continuance, a state of lasting or duration, lastingness, a bearing or suffering, a continuing under pain or distress without resistance or without sinking or yielding to the pressure, sufferance, patience.... a waiting for something that is delayed.
So I looked up patience :

The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent; a calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent; perseverance
As I read the words continuance and continuing in the definition of endurance I decided to look up constancy :

fixedness or firmness of mind, persevering resolution, steady unshaken determination, particularly applicable to firmness of mind under sufferings, to steadiness in attachments, and to perseverance in enterprise... lasting affection, stability in love or friendship.

These words all lay out a pretty strong picture in your mind about endurance so now it was time to go to the scripture and see what it says.  I found endurance in the Contemporary English Version.  In Romans 5:1-5 the Bible tells us what endurance builds and therefore why it's important.

By faith we have been made

Friday, January 6, 2012

Let Your Praises Ring !

     For some this New Year has brought more of the same... and although you have a New Beginning you can't see that anything but the calendar has changed.  I understand that because I've only gotten six days into the new year and already had my first pity party .... but... God hasn't changed... He's the same yesterday, today and forever.  I'm the one that changed.  I got my eyes off of Him and put them on my circumstances.  I found it impossible to praise Him.  It was impossible to lift my hands in worship.  A friend ask me "What do you think God thinks about you?" ... and I answered without thinking that as far as God was concerned 

I was the junk that he'd just scraped off his shoe and thrown away.  

     Wow!  Right about then I realized just how bad off I was because I wasn't feeling that way just a few days before.  Right then I began to see it... I had no Joy.  I had fallen so quickly into a dark place.  My circumstances had come crashing down around my head and I hadn't been able to breathe.  They were sucking the life right out of me and taking away any hope I had.  Then I found something that made me laugh.  It was amazing to realize my circumstances hadn't changed but my attitude was changing. I was starting to feel a little better.  The more I found that brought joy back in the better and brighter my attitude and outlook.  I don't know what you're going through but I can tell you that we are going through some really bad financial times right now.  It's hard when you don't know when you're going to be able to pay the bills and you have to deal with bill collectors calling 10-15 times a day.  It's tough when you have to make decisions about what you can and can't do according to whether you have money to put gas in the tank.  It's frustrating when it seems like every time you take a few steps forward that something happens to take away all your progress and put you further behind than you were when you started.  I know because we live it but God is still in control.  He hasn't left.  He hasn't walked away.  Don't let the circumstances take your eyes off of Him.  Remind yourself of what He's done for you and what He's done for others. 

Encourage yourself !
Let Hope and Joy come back...
...and then Let Your Praises Ring!


  
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