Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What's Stressing You Out? What Do You Need To Lay Down?

This time of year can be very stressful. As if us ladies didn't already have enough to do, now we have to think about decorating, gifts, parties, Christmas dinner, and on and on. If we're not careful our spiritual lives suffer. Isaiah 26:3 says, " Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee..." . Christmas is supposed to be a time of remembering and celebrating Jesus and His birth anyway, isn't it? If you're finding yourself stressed out, ask yourself if your mind is truly on Jesus? If it is, you should be at peace.
I know that a lot of the stress comes from the added financial burden that comes with the holidays. However, Hebrews 12:1 says, "...let us lay aside every weight...which doth so easily beset us." I'm not saying not to celebrate, but think about what is truly weighing you down. What's getting your mind off of Him? Is there a way you can make things simpler and less costly for yourself and your family this year? Is it really necessary to exchange gifts with all of the people that you do? Are you trying to not look cheap and impress with the gifts you give? Give something inexpensive, but fun this year. I think I'll share some of my own ideas and things we are doing in my next post. Anybody else want to share some of their own ideas?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tips For Next Thanksgiving

Okay, my busy, frantic, Thanksgiving morning, was my own fault. For one, I am the worlds worst procrastinator. Secondly, my daughter decided to paint my kitchen the night before Thanksgiving. Well, that would have been fine if I had not procrastinated until the last minute to start my baking. So, we were up really late and I'm getting too old for that. Thirdly, a lot of my recipes are just in my head, so, it was easier for me to do most of the cooking, than to try to tell anyone else how to cook them, while I was trying to cook something else myself. It might sound like things were too crazy to be enjoyable, but that's not really true. I'm not complaining. I had a great Thanksgiving and really do love all the work that goes with the preparations. But, I did get an idea that I think will be helpful for next year, to make things a little easier (besides not procrastinating to shop and get started). First, I should make sure every little dish has the recipe written down. Before we get started, place the recipe along with all of the ingredients that goes in it, in the pan that it needs to be baked in. This may sound like a really simple thing, but if you have people there trying to help who aren't familiar with your kitchen and recipes, this should make it a lot easier for them to help. Second, don't try to bake your pies and paint your kitchen at the same time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Learning Can Be Messy


Galatians 6:9, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Confession: I have a problem with giving up too soon on my learning ventures when they don't turn out so good from the beginning. I could learn a lesson from this baby. He is very persistent in feeding his self. And, I'm pretty sure we won't have to be washing him from head to toe after every meal for the rest of his life.
Lesson to self: Don't be afraid to learn something new. And keep trying, and trying and trying!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From Flop to Frugal


A few nights ago I tried out a new biscuit recipe. Well, I made a couple of substitutions, using what I had on hand and it didn't work out so well. They were edible, but just barely. No one asked for seconds, and I had lots left over. Being the frugal homemaker that I am, I can't bear to throw anything away if I can help it. It called for a lot of butter and butter is expensive. I also had some green apples that were awfully sour and were not getting eaten very quickly, so I decided to experiment. I first sliced the apples up in a pan. Then I crumbled the biscuits up in the food processor with some brown sugar and a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Next, I sprinkled the crumbs on top of the apples and baked it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. It was wonderful! The perfect warm, fall, apple crisp! I love the creativity that being frugal brings out in us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reflections











I know! I keep saying that I'm going to get back to blogging consistently, but I've still been having computer issues. Last night my husband spent a really long time on the phone with the Internet tech and hopefully we have things fixed for sure now.
Since my blogging has been so sporadic this summer, I thought I'd post some pictures of a few of the things that have kept us busy.
pic 1 - Hubby and I on cruise (anniversary gift from kids).
pic 2 - We went to Ft. Riley, KS to welcome son, Ryan home from a year in Iraq.
pic 3 - Nolan, our grandson, turned 1 yr old already! Here he is with his mom and day, Kara & Adrian.
pic 4 - My house has been getting baby proofed.
pic 5 - My husband with our son, Jonathan, in the mountains around Albuquerque, on our trip out to see him.




Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Secret Place

Last Saturday morning, as our prayer meeting at church was ending, I heard the leader announce that I would be leading the prayer meeting the next morning. Panic! He had forgot that I had left the service early the week before and so he had not notified me that he wanted me to lead this Sunday mornings prayer. Okay, that was the first reason to panic, but the real reason was because, I had not been spending very much time in prayer and in the Word lately, and so what did I have to offer anyone? I had been allowing so many distractions into my days that they were crowding out my daily quiet time. I also wasn't feeling very good, I was feeling week, and had a slight headache, and it just got worse as the day progressed. I really felt like I was under an attack spiritually and physically. The last thing I felt like doing was reading and studying to prepare for the next days devotional. As I feebly called out a prayer to God for what to give, Psalms 91 came to me. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." I felt like this was for me, but also for me to give them. In the middle of all my distractions, I needed to be dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. But how? So many of the distractions in our lives are unavoidable obligations. The Holy Spirit also brought these verses to my mind:

Psalms 34:1 "I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart from thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night."

Ephesians 5:18-19 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess: but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

In the middle of our busy lives we need to make time with God a priority. We also need to remember that in the middle of our obligations, we can still stay in His presence, by keeping praise to Him, and His Words on our lips. We think of meditating as quietly thinking on something. But actually, in the Old Testament the word meditate actually refers to a low murmur. it seems likely then, that during the biblical process of meditation, memorized scriptures were actually spoken aloud to help the heart and mind engage with Gods truth.* So, no matter what we're doing with our hands, we can encourage ourselves in the Lord and stay in the secret place, by singing songs of praise to our Lord, blessing Him with our mouth, and meditating aloud on His words.

*taken from The Power of Crying Out, by Bill Gothard

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sorry!

I know I haven't blogged much lately, but I've had some pretty good excuses. Besides things just being pretty busy with a baby in the house now(how does one mother do it all?), we also had a death in the family last week (my aunt), and besides that, we've been having computer issues. I was without a computer for a little while and then once we bought a new (used) one, we've been working the bugs out and I've been trying to figure out how to use it. Now I'm back online and hopefully life will be a little more normal for a little while.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We're Back!

Actually, we returned home from our cruise on Saturday, but I've been busy playing catch up on chores and rest. The cruise was great! Just having 5 days away with no responsibilities, no cooking, and having someone pick up after you, made it worth the trip(it was actually very hard to get used to at first). The ocean is beautiful and very relaxing. My husband and I both fell asleep one evening on the deck of the ship, laying in lounge chairs, just enjoying the breeze and ocean movement and sounds. We enjoyed sitting around talking to complete strangers, especially the staff on the ship, who are almost all from other countries. It was interesting to find out that the staff on the ship work 7 days a week for 6-8 months at a time, get to go home to visit for a couple of months, then return back to the ship for 6-8 more months. It is sad that these people have to be away from their families so much just to make a decent life for them. Our waiter, who was from the Philippines said that because he was a christian, God gave him the strength to do this. What a mission field, people from every country and religion are represented aboard (anyone feeling called to the cruise mission field?:) .

Now it's back to real life, but there's no place like home. My daughter and her husband and baby have moved in with us while he goes to Bible college, so it's been a little busy around here, but we're enjoying it. This has been a very busy summer. Most of what has happened has not been things that I planned myself, or even thought were going to happen. As I looked over some pictures this morning, I thought, only God really does hold tomorrow, I just live from day to day, trying to be faithful in the little things He has for me to do.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Humility vs. Pride

1 Peter 5:5, "...God resists the proud and giveth grace to the humble."

I'll never forget the way that I saw this verse illustrated at one time. One person was walking toward, trying to get up close, to someone, and that person had their hand up, holding them back, so that they couldn't get near them. They were resisting their attempts to draw near to them. Pride is a horrible thing that everyone struggles with. But, I sure don't want the pride in my life to be keeping God away from me. It is a serious thing to distance ourselves from God and His grace. I used to have a real problem with people who I thought were proud or arrogant. I had a hard time liking them and listening to leaders who appeared this way. But then I heard someone teach that if we knew someone who was proud, we better pray hard for them, because their pride is causing God to resist them. They are placing themselves outside of the protection or grace of God that comes from being humble. It's a very scary place to be in.
Pride can express itself in a lot of ways that we don't even recognize. Often, we use the excuse that we are just shy (my excuse), But really, this just means that we are worried about what people are going to think about us, which is pride. This so much of the time, keeps us from being obedient to what God is telling us to do. We are often so self conscious, that we worry more about what others think of us than of what God thinks of us. We fail to obey and truly worship God our Saviour, because we are are afraid of how we will appear to others. Can you imagine? After all He's done for us and the humility He suffered for us.
My Bibles definition for humility is, "an attitude of mind that realizes that one is without any reason for distinction in Gods sight." I like this definition. We (I) need to remember that in Gods eyes, I am no better than anyone else, or any lower. Who cares what people think of me as long as I am doing what is pleasing to God. I need His nearness and His grace.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Minister Grace?

Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

I read across this scripture the other day, and the words "minister grace" lept out at me. Hmmm, what does that mean? Okay, I know that we should watch our mouths (tons of scriptures about that), and not say mean things to people, we shouldn't gossip, tear down, be dishonest, etc. But..., not only are we supposed to be watching the bad that comes out of our mouth, but, we are supposed to replace those words with words that edify, or build up others. We need to be using words that benefit and instruct in the knowledge of Christ. And not only to people who are easy to be nice to, but to those who don't necessarily deserve it. I've always been taught that grace meant "unmerited favor". Grace is an act of mercy, love, kindness, helpfulness, compassion, that is undeserved. Honestly, it's not always easy to give a kind word to someone who hasn't been kind. It's not easy to give a helpful word to someone who has done us wrong or irritates us. But, this is exactly what we are told to do. Say something that edifies, builds them up. Some people are just not easy to love, and it's easier to just ignore them than to try to help them or be nice to them. But, this is what God wants of us; at church, at the store, and even at home. Often, home is the hardest place of all to put this into practice. When my husband is rude to me, I don't exactly think of sweet things to say in reply. In fact, my natural reaction (besides saying mean things) is to "minister" to my own hurt feelings. Or, to clam up and not talk at all. But, I don't think that's what this verse is saying to do. Ugh. Do I really have to do this? I think I may need to ask for some help from above (unmerited). Who knows what a difference this could make in someones life, our marriage, our home!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Few More Thoughts on Acting Like A Kid

I can just hear some of you ladies who read my post yesterday saying, "If I didn't have so much work to do, I could go outside and act like a kid." Yes, I know we can't neglect our responsibilities, but we can make them a little more fun and physical. While you're in the house, turn on the music and move. I'm sure there are some women out there, like myself, who were taught that dancing is wrong. Well, I'm sure it's okay to dance with a broom, especially to Jesus music! Dance through the house while you're working, race your kids to the car, see who can finish their chores the fastest, grab a kid (or your husband) as they walk through the room and do a little waltz with them (my kids thought I was losing my mind half the time). Oh, and sing, sing, sing! This is good lung exercise. Not long ago, I was taking a little boy to church with me (he's around 8). I had the radio on in the car and was singing away. He looked at me and asked, "Are you an adult or a teenager?" (he was serious). When I told him I was a grandma he had a hard time believing me. My sister was talking to an elderly lady on the phone recently. The 80 something year old woman told her that when she looked in the mirror she noticed she was putting on a few pounds. She said she had started putting in her Gaither music video and moving to the music. I would love to see this.
So, try adding some movement to your chores, put a little bounce in your step. Show your kids that work can be fun. You may end up finishing your work faster and actually have time to go outside and play together after all!

Nehemiah 8:10, "for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Want to Lose Weight? Act Like a Child!

Yesterday, makingthemostofbeingathome.blogspot.com posted about her goal to lose weight and has invited others to join her. She inspired this post. Okay, weight is not really an issue for me, but, exercising is. I need to exercise, because I want to stay healthy, but I hate the very word, exercise. Lately, I've been working on just doing something physical everyday, even if it's just for a few minutes. Sometimes it's floor exercises. Some days it's this exercise machine I have (I don't know what it's called). This weekend I got a chance to go swimming. I wanted to just sit by the pool and read really, but, I made myself swim around for a while. I read a book once about a lady who lost a lot of weight by trying to spend some time doing the things she did as a kid. Watch a child for a while. They never quit moving. A lot of times even when they're watching TV they're moving back and forth. This lady took some time off, went to the country and lived that time like she did as a kid. She went from horseback riding, to swimming, to something else. She stayed outside and played all day. She ended up losing a lot of weight. Apparently, exercise is another thing we adults tend to complicate and make work. Why can't we just play like we did as a kid?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Put Yourself First

Doesn't the title of this post sound like such a worldly way of thinking? Does it go against the grain of everything you believe? Me too, but, there are times to put yourself first. What are some instances in which we should put our self first?
1. Our spiritual lives-I've been reading the book "The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman" a practical guide to Spiritual Beauty by Anne Ortlund. Today the exercise at the end of the chapter was to write down all the things you do with your time, and in prayer, give each area to God to do with as He wants, and also, to write down all the bad circumstances in your life and thank Him for each one(1 Thess. 5:18), and turn each one over to Him asking Him to heal your thought life concerning your worry, resentment, control, etc. over each one. As I did this and was praying, I thought about how important this was that I was praying these prayers for myself. Before I try to help anyone else or pray for anyone else, it's important that my own heart is right. I need to make sure my own ways please the Lord before I start trying to help someone else,otherwise, I just end up stressed, resentful, and wondering if this is the way the christian life is really supposed to be.Sometimes, especially as moms, we spend so much time trying to teach our children to live right, and praying for them, that we neglect our own personal prayer, study, learning time, which should be foundational. "The more of us is invisible, hidden from the world in quiet, in study, in planning, and in prayer, the more effective our visible life will be" (Catherine Marshall, Adventures in Prayer). How can we be effective in leading even our own families to the Lord, if we haven't first, prepared ourselves, and laid our own hearts open before God.
#2 Our health-My mom told me recently, "If you don't take care of yourself, no one else will." This is true. And, how can we take care of our families if we ourselves are weak and sick. Besides, our example speaks louder than anything to our kids.
#3 Our appearance-I don't know about you, but, my natural tendency has always been to get up and start getting everything else rolling before I take too much thought to what I look like. But, ladies, time to make ourselves look at least worth looking at, needs to come pretty high on our list of priorities in the mornings. Who wants to wake up to a mom that looks like she would love to be in bed herself? And, when your husband goes off to work, he doesn't need to go from someone who is not very appealing to look at and whose breath is repulsive, to a place where the women are pleasing to look at, smell nice, and carry on pleasant, lively conversations. He is human.
Putting ourselves first is not always a selfish thing. It can actually give us the peace, joy, and strength that we need, to then give ourselves to others.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What Do You Need?

I'm pretty good at asking God for whatever I need, whether it's a lost shoe or money for the electric bill. Some people shy away from asking God for anything and everything, not wanting to treat Him like a genie in a bottle, but He wants us to ask. He just enjoys that we're talking to Him. Anytime we're talking to Him we're building a relationship. And, when He answers my prayer, oh boy, I get really excited. The scripture, John 16:24, "...ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." is really true. I am so filled with joy just to know that God heard and answered my prayer. It strengthens my faith in Him and makes my love for Him even stronger. Just imagine, He cares about ME! He cares about what is important to ME. No matter how small and insignificant my need may seem, if it's important to me, it's important to God. Sometimes He may delay the answer, because He wants us to keep coming back to Him. He desires our fellowship. He wants a relationship with us. One day I lost a very important financial paper. I searched and searched. Finally, I stopped and called a friend to help me pray that I would find it. After we prayed, I went right to where it was! I called me friend, praising God, to tell her I had found it. She rejoiced with me and then laughingly told me that when she told her teenage daughter why I had called, her daughter said, "You women, always losing your stuff and then bugging God about it.". We laughed, then I said, "Yes, but God always loves it when we stop and recognize He is our source and turn our focus on Him." God is good. He always wants us to ask Him for what we need. I feel the same way with my children. I love to feel like I'm still needed in their lives. God wants us to bring our needs to Him. He delights in giving to His children. What do you need to ask your Father today?

1 John 5:15 " And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For Such a Time

God made me the way I am for a purpose! I don't know why I have been thinking about this lately, but actually, it's very humbling. Just consider, every asset, ability, character trait, talent, everything about you, God gave to you to bring glory to Himself. Maybe, it's physical beauty, poise, wit, wisdom, compassion, a certain talent, or even a spiritual gift. Maybe, you're a good speaker, good communicator, a good listener. Maybe , when people compliment you or mention these things, you can't help but feel a little proud. But consider, there's a responsibility that comes with these things. There's a reason God made you this way, to be able to accomplish something for Him. When I think about this, I am so humbled at the responsibility that comes with this. For each and every time God chooses to use me, my heart must be prepared. Whether it's in the everyday occurrences of life that I'm not even aware of, or like Esther, for a specific time and purpose, I must be walking in obedience and humility.
Parents, I believe it is important to teach this to our children, especially in areas that would cause pride. Teach them the responsibility that comes with the blessings of God. What He has blessed them with are not just their own accomplishments, but God has made them this way for a purpose.
We should all say like Paul, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14.


Esther 4:14 "... who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this."

Psalm 139:14 "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew the..."

Monday, August 3, 2009

You Have a Treasure! Guard It!

2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

This is the scripture I have been thinking about this morning. I want to guard this great treasure. I don't want to allow other things to come in and crowd Him out. I want to be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19). God is trying to teach me more and more all the time, that my life is not my own. My time is not my own. For instance, I knew that my husband was going to be working all Saturday evening, so I went to the library and checked out a christian novel. I love to read a good christian novel occasionally. I mean, love. Well, wouldn't you know, I was asked to lead the devotional time for prayer meeting Sunday morning. This was going to take some prayer and preparation for me. I battled with that book. Every time I walked past it, it called out to me. But, I knew, to really get the mind of God for this prayer time, I didn't need my mind being distracted elsewhere. I needed to spend time in prayer and listening for what He wanted for this prayer time. So, I didn't get to spend my evening the way I had originally planned, but making time with God was so much more rewarding in the long run. God has been speaking so many things to me as a result of that time spent in prayer and in His word.
Guard your prayer life. Make your time with God a priority. 1 Thess. 5:17 say, "Pray without ceasing". If things are coming into our mind that make it hard to be in a mindset of prayer, we need to not allow those things in. 1 Corinthians 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." I know, the majority the of the things on TV, leave me in a less than prayerful mood. If I let myself watch these things, I feel like I've allowed a crack in this jar of clay for His spirit to seep out. It takes effort to get back into an attitude of being worshipful and prayerful. I want to be able to say, like Paul in Phillipians 3, that anything that I have to suffer or give up for Christ, is worth it, just to get to know Him.

Phillippians 3:10 "That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto His death."

Friday, July 31, 2009

Changed Lives

Today, I'm talking, again, about how the Word of God changes us. Last Friday night my husband and I attended a graduation banquet for Teen/Life Challenge graduates. Teen/Life Challenge is a faith based program to change the lives of those suffering from life controlling issues/addictions. It was started by David Wilkerson. You may have seen the movie or read the book, "The Cross and the Switchblade". It's the story of how it started. This program has the highest success rate of any drug rehab program. One thing I know about T/L Challenge, is that they drill the scriptures into these people. They also have each man choose a life scripture to stand on. One pastor who was at the banquet told how God had changed his life through life challenge. He also said that after the many years of being out and pastoring, he still remembered and stood on "his" scripture. I loved sitting and listening to man after man come up and give his testimony of how God had changed and restored his life. As we left, I said to my husband, "Some of these men may choose to return to their former lifestyle when they leave, but they'll never be able to get away from the Word of God that's been instilled in them." The last song that the mens choir sang that night was, "He's Still God!"

Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Listen to Your Body

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I went on a fast not long ago. I actually was really worried that as soon as I officially went off, I would binge on everything I wasn't letting myself have, and thus, put on every pound I'd taken off plus more, and feel worse than ever. Well, so far, that hasn't happened. Yes, I am consuming caffeine now, but just not near as much. And, I am having some sugar, but not near as much. I find that moderation is a big key here. And most importantly, I'm trying to listen to my body as far as what works for me. I found that when I came off the fast, spicy foods were not making me feel very good, so I'm trying to stay away from them. Also, I feel a lot better if I eat simple and light meals. Anything heavy, such as a lot of meat I am trying to eat less of and load up more on fruits and veggies, and I can tell a big difference in the way I feel after eating these meals. I was starting to eat a lot of grains and I found out that I feel better if I don't overdo with that also. I read in "Nourishing Traditions"(p.466), that"Asians have larger pancreas and salivary glands in proportion to body weight than Westerners, and these traits make them ideally suited to a grain-based diet. The Westerners who eat rice at every meal, may develop serious health problems." I thought this was interesting, because every time I start eating a lot of grains (oats, brown rice, corn meal, whole wheat) I start feeling bad. Well anyway, in listening to my body, I'm finding that I am not putting the weight back on like I usually do after a fast, in fact, I actually lost a pound yesterday, and I was really surprised, because I thought I was eating a lot, but I'm trying to listen to my body and change my eating habits a little, accordingly. I thought this might be helpful to someone out there. Just think, you really don't need to deprive yourself, just get to know yourself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Changing the Way You Think

When I was a young(er) woman, it used to amaze me how the older christian woman could make a spiritual lesson out of everything. The simplest, everyday moments of life, brought to mind a scripture, song, or spiritual analogy. I used to wonder how they did this. Well, if you read my post yesterday, you might see that I tend to do the same thing now. As God brought this comb analogy to my mind, I thought,"I'm that older woman now. How did this happen?" I then thought about the many years that I've been reading, and listening to the Word of God, and how powerful it truly is. Without even realizing it was happening, it has become a part of who I am and the way that I think. I ran across a message by John McArthur on the Internet, recently, entitled "Adding to Your Faith". He says, "I discovered by doing a study of the human brain that although everything we hear, see, or experience is stored in cells in our brain, whenever you recall and relearn something, you expand the brains storage capacity. So, the more you hear and apply something you learned, it occupies a greater part of your thinking process. As you hear and respond to God's word, it takes over a larger portion of your thinking process. Repetition expands our capacity of recall. Recovering spiritual truth demands repetition and use. The more you hear, think through, and apply spiritual truth, the more it begins to dominate your thinking." Good stuff, hugh?!
I also mentioned yesterday the need for a transformed mind. Well, this is how you do it. By letting the Word of God become a part of who you are.

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

Deut. 11:18-19 "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when you walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick , and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Psalms 19:7-10, says the word of the Lord is perfect, converts, is sure, makes wise, makes the heart rejoice, is pure, enlightens, is clean, endures forever, is true and righteous, is to be desired more than gold, and is sweeter than honey. So, get in the Word today. Read it, study it, memorize it, sing it, listen to it being taught, talk about it, apply it. Remember, repetition will cause it to dominate your thinking, changing who you are. And ask yourself, "Do I really desire it more than gold? Do my activities and priorities reflect this?".

Monday, July 27, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

I bought a new comb! I have been using the same comb for years. I think this was the same comb I carried in my purse to pop my kids with in church when they were misbehaving. My kids are grown now, that tells you how long I've had this comb. It is a big, wide tooth comb with a handle, and the first two teeth have been broken off for a really long time. But, I knew exactly how to hold it, so that it would fix my hair the way I wanted it, even with the broken teeth. Well, I finally broke down and bought a new one similar to the old one (without missing teeth). I don't like it! I'm so used to the way I held the old one to get my hair to do what I wanted, that I can't get used to the new one. When I was pulling out my old, trusty comb the other day, I thought " This is exactly the way we are as Christians. God gives us a brand new life, and we're so used to the old way of doing things, we keep reverting back to our old man". The new is so much better, Gods ways are so much higher than our way, but we have such a hard time changing our old habits. He even throws in tons of promises for us if we will just do things His way, and we still have trouble making the effort to be obedient. What's wrong with us? We definately can stand to have a renewing of our minds.

Ephesians 4:22-32 "...put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Friday, July 24, 2009

God and Trouble

Here are some great thoughts from Paul David Tripp on God being our shelter in the time of storm:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNl61WuMxSg

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Weary Land

Have you ever been going through a rough time, feeling discouraged, and Ms. Happy comes along telling you how you should be happy, because you're a christian, and everything should be wonderful and going smooth if you are serving God? By the time she leaves you feel worse than ever. Well, one day last week I was having "one of those days", and feeling very discouraged. When I opened up my email from my friend Virginia, who sends me a devotional and encouraging word every morning, she had included the words of the chorus from the song "A Shelter in the Time of Storm".
"Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, A weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land-
A shelter in the time of storm."
I suddenly felt such a comfort come over me. These words brought to my remembrance that, yes, we do live in a weary, fallen world. But! Jesus is always there for us. He is our Rock. He said He would never leave us. He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. No matter what we are going through, He is always there. Things will not always be the way we want them, but He is always there.
Verses:
1.The Lord's our Rock, in Him we hide, A shelter in the time of storm; Secure whatever ill betide, A shelter in the time of storm.
2.A shade by day, defense by night, A shelter in the time of storm; No fears alarm, no foes afright, A shelter in the time of storm.
3. The raging storms may round us beat, A shelter in the time of storm; We'll never leave our safe retreat, A shelter in the time of storm.
4. O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A shelter in the time of storm; Be Thou our helper ever near, A shelter in the time of storm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Contentment

1 Timothy 6:8 "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

I've read this scripture a million times and for some reason it just jumped out at me the other day and gave me such a peace. Maybe because God has been working on me about disciplining my flesh, and contentment truly is another battleground that we need to have discipline in. Anyway, when I read it, it was like, "Hey, I don't have to feel guilty because we don't have money for nicer cars, vacations, eating out whenever we please, etc. We are fed, clothed, and have a roof over our heads, and that's all that it should take to make us content." God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. So many of the things that we think we need, and so we worry over obtaining, just add extra stress to our lives anyway. Besides, verse six of this chapter says "godliness with contentment is great gain". I do want to be godly!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Be on Guard! We're at War!

The last note that I wrote was about the Christians need for a disciplined life. I talked about some of my struggles and the fast I am on. I want to share with you one of the scriptures that has stood out to me during this time. 1 Peter 2:11 "...abstain from fleshly lusts,which war against the soul." Oh wow! What a reminder, that my fleshly desires, don't just affect my flesh, but also my soul! We are in a battle. Don't let whatever your flesh craves hinder you in your spiritual walk. Whether it be: food, entertainment, habits, sleep(too much or too little), etc. It may not even be something bad.But, if it's hindering you from being obedient to God, it is warring for your soul. Remember, 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he my devour."

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Life of Discipline

The christian life really does require discipline. After all our flesh must be in submission to our spirit. I've been made aware of that more and more as the Holy Spirit calls me more and more to pray, often early in the morning, and I have had a real battle with this flesh. It just does not want to get out of bed as early as it used to. And, I know a lot of the battle comes from me not being disciplined in the way that I eat, and getting to bed too late. I know that when I am eating right and taking care of this temple, I can tell a big difference in the way I feel , and it's easier to get awake. I really have a desire to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, so I am working on getting my fleshly appetite back under control. I have began a 21 day progressive fast this week. Fasting is the best way to get control of your flesh, especially if you are struggling with habits or addictions. These habits or addictions may not necessarily have to do with food, either. Once we let the flesh become strong in one area, it takes control in others. I am sharing this, not to announce to everyone that I am fasting, but, to encourage others. I desire that everyone prosper spiritually and be in good health. I don't want the Lord to tell me to do something someday and because of my lack of discipline, I cannot complete the task.
Time is also an area of discipline in my life that I struggle with. Not only getting to bed at a decent hour, but also how I manage my time during the day. There have been days that I really feel that I need to spend time interceding about something in prayer, and it is a struggle, because I have procrastinated about getting things done that needed to be done. If I would manage my time better, it would free me up to do more things for God without feeling guilty. If I had been disciplined in how I use my time, I would be more obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The way that I take care of my body also affects this area of my life. If I feel good and have more energy, I get more accomplished when I should. In times past when I have fasted, I remember waking up very alert and with so much energy. Just being able to think clearly is a huge benefit physically a spiritually. Why do I always go back to my bad habits? Thank God for His grace and that today is a new day. His mercy is new every morning. That's why I'm not giving up! Let's continue to pray for and encourage one another!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Are You Judging God?

To judge someone means that you look at all the things that you know about that person, and you form an opinion of them. Hebrews 11:11 says "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed,and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised." No doubt, Sara looked at all the things she knew to be true about God, all the things He had done in the past, and she determined that He was faithful. She had never seen any inconsistencies in His past. He had always kept His promises, so she knew this time would not be any different. When God promised her that she would have a child, even though she was past the season of her life to have children, her faith in God strengthened her to act on His promise. Has God promised you something that seems impossible? Are you judging Him? How are judging Him? Are you judging Him faithful? Are you acting like it? Let your faith in Him, give you the strength to live out, what you know to be true of our God!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad - Sunday - Memories

Father's Day being on Sunday has brought back a lot of memories of what Sundays were like with my dad. Actually, I guess it started Saturday night with dad polishing shoes. When we were small, Saturday evenings Mom was washing and rolling my sisters and my hair, and dad was polishing every ones shoes. Come Sunday morning, he was up and dressed for church and had normally gone to get donuts, before I ever thought of getting out of bed. He loved going to church and his enthusiasm on Sunday mornings usually came a little earlier than I appreciated. He would be up, dressed, donuts on table, and radio blaring loud enough that we could hear it anywhere in the house, tuned to the local station, which was airing the local church services where some very unprofessional trios or soloists were singing some very old fashioned tunes. Especially during my adolescent, teen years, I had very little appreciation for this talent. Then, he would go to each of us kids rooms and knock on the wall outside our rooms to wake us up (I hated that) as he was telling us to get up. When we were up, fed, dressed and heading out the door he always made sure we had our offering. After I grew up and left home, Sunday mornings just didn't seem the same without dads enthusiasm and Sunday morning routine. When my kids were small, he would often come over to my house on Sunday mornings and help me get them ready for church. What a great dad! I never could understand how anybody could not want to go to church. Maybe it was partly because dad made it such an important, exciting event at our house.And it still does not seem right to get dressed for church without that radio blaring and donuts on the table.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Why Do Adults Complicate Things?

When I was reading my Bible I was trying to decide where I should stop my Bible reading for the day. After all, I didn't want to get carried away and read too much just for the sake of reading, right? As I was thinking about this, I thought about when I was a young girl, and I would sit and read and read and read. Sometimes I was just trying to finish reading a certain amount of chapters or books in a certain amount of time. Or, trying to complete a goal for a prize in Sunday School. Most of the scriptures that I know today, I learned as a child. All of that marathon reading must have done some good! As adults we are always being taught "how" to read and study the Bible and pray. I'll admit sometimes it's confusing. When you get down to pray and you are more concerned about whether you are doing it the right way and saying it the right way, it really takes away from the pure joy of just pouring your heart out to God as a Friend and Father. As a child, before I had any teaching on the "how" of prayer, prayer was so simple, it just seemed to flow naturally. No wonder Jesus tells us to come to Him as a child.

Luke 18:17 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

II Timothy 3:15 "...from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Joy at sahmissionary.blogspot.com has a guest writer today who has a really good idea she calls "sink verses". It is a wonderful idea for getting the Word of God in our hearts. Go check it out.

By the way, I am still around. I just had a really busy week last week. Our church had its annual district council the first part of the week and I had company the last part of the week. The message from district council that stuck in my head more than any of the others was about letting God breath His dream/vision into us (Prov. 29:18 "Where there is no vision the people perish..."). The minister, Rick Dubose, used the illustration of blowing into a balloon. When God breathes into us it expands us beyond what is comfortable for us, we grow. He said that whatever we dream about is what we love (not night dreams, daydreams). Do you dream about retiring, taking it easy, becoming wealthy, how you look, or are your thoughts consumed with how you can win your neighbor to the Lord, training your children to serve the Lord, making a difference for eternity? Since I heard that message, when my mind starts to wander, I try to remember to ask myself, "Do these thoughts reflect the heart of God, do they have eternity in mind?".

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are You Carrying Your Load or Someone Elses?

Do you ever feel like your load is too heavy to carry? Do you pray and pray and it seems like the answer is nowhere in site? I've been there. There was a time when my husband was not serving the Lord, he had quit going to church with me, and the burden seemed too big to bear. I was always crying and praying for God to change my husbands heart. Going to church was very difficult at times for I had never imagined myself in this situation before and when I would sit in church and see all the happy couples and families around me worshipping God together it would often bring me to tears. One day when I was praying for my husband, the Lord gave me the scripture "Bear ye one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2. I then looked around the church and found two other women,who also came to church alone, whose husbands were not serving God. I began to pray for their husbands instead of just praying for mine all the time. Within a years time both of their husbands came to know the Lord. Eventually, mine also recommitted his life to God. Do we love our brothers and sisters in the Lord enough (the law of Christ) to carry their burden like it is our own. As I was recently faced with a huge financial mountain this scripture came to me. I thought about a family that I know who is having it very, very hard financially. To be honest, it is harder to pray with as much concern and fervency for them as it is to pray for my own need. But, with the help of God, I will continue to help bear their burden. In our intercessory prayer meeting last week, the leader talked about how as intercessors we are to stand in the gap for others. We are not interceding for ourselves, we are interceding to God for others. But, when we intercede for others, God meets our needs. So, if you are carrying a burden today, lay it down and pick up someone elses, and watch God help carry yours.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Are You Fleeing Youthful Lusts?...Are Your Friends Helping?

2 Timothy 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

In this verse Paul is talking to Timothy about what it means to be a soldier of Christ. Always before when I have read this verse, I automatically think about it applying to young men. But, today as I was reading this scripture, I began to think about how this scripture can apply to all of us, especially in a society that seems to want to perpetuate our youth. This verse says to flee youthful lusts(desires). What were some of your youthful desires? What were the things in your youth that kept you from maturing, especially as a christian? Was it a constant desire for pleasure? Was it foolishness, sexual lusts, self centeredness, lack of discipline, being consumed with friends, music that did not edify you, peer pressure? Are these things still affecting your life? Think about it. Are your youthful desires still affecting you? Run! Flee! Follow righteousness, faith, charity, and peace! "With them..." The Bible doesn't just tell us what to do, but who to do it with! Are your friends helping you or hindering you? Is it easy to be foolish, deny your responsibilities, etc. when you are around them? This verse says to follow after God, not by ourselves, but with those that have a pure heart and know how to call on the Lord. Not just people who say they are Christians, but those who truly have a heart for God and seek for more of Him. So, think about what your desires were as a teenager and compare them to your desires today. Think about what changes you (we) need to make to be a more effective soldier of Christ and ask Him to help you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Godly Mothers Influence

II Timothy 1:5 "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also."

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I read this verse and was struck with what a huge influence we mothers have on our children. We have such a huge responsibility to pass on our faith to our children. And that is done by first having a genuine faith in God ourselves. In this verse first the grandmother Lois is said to have an unfeigned (genuine) faith. She then passed the faith on to her daughter Eunice, and they both passed it on to Timothy (Timothy's father was a Gentile). And Timothy became a mighty man of God. I believe the key here is that these womens faith in God was real. As mothers our children need to see that we have an unwavering relationship with God. That no matter what, we are going to serve Him. That He is supreme in our lives. A friend and I were talking today about how so many woman use their husbands lack of dedication to God as an excuse for their own lack of dedication. This can not be the case. We must stay true to our faith for our childrens sake and also because we will each give account to God for ourselves one day. And, know that God is faithful!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just Get Started!

Do you ever have days when you have very little energy or motivation, lots to do or maybe a task you really don't want to do, so you sit doing nothing or doing everything except what you need to be doing? I have those days also (today). Usually, if I will just talk myself into doing one little thing, it starts a chain of events and I'm rolling. Like, after supper when I'm so tired that doing dishes is the last thing I want to do. I sit and look at them thinking," I'll rest awhile and then I'll do them" ,( knowing that a body at rest remains at rest). Or thinking, "I'll just leave them until in the morning when I have the energy to do them". But, if I tell myself, "I'll just wash the pans and leave everything else til later", once I wash the pans, I end up washing the plates. Why stop now? Next I wash the glasses, then the silverware and I'm finished before I know it. Likewise, if I keep a bottle of spray cleaner in the bathroom, often I'll think " I'm just going to spray the mirror down real quick". Before I know it, I've sprayed every surface in the room. Etc.
It also motivates me at times to turn on a tape, CD, or radio teaching in the room I'm cleaning in. I get into what I'm listening to and don't want to leave the room. So, I end up looking for things to do in there until what I'm listening to is over. And, I end up with a very clean room. Music can also be very motivating when you are cleaning. Anyway, the moral of the story is, whatever you have to do or tell yourself to get you motivated, do it, and most importantly, " Just Get Started!"

Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Poor Stories"

Are you afraid of how your poor financial situation right now might affect your children? Are you unable to provide all the things that you would like to for them? Well, don't worry about it too much, you may be helping your kids create some GREAT poor stories!
When my oldest son, Jonathan was working in the office at the university here in town, he came home one day telling me about the great time he and a fellow worker had that day talking about the things their families did when they were younger and didn't have much money. One of his stories was about what a big deal it was to get to go to McDonald's once in a while when we were in town running errands. We would buy two .69 cent hamburgers and 2 fries and split them between the four of us (3 kids and mom)and have water for everyone. Now that was fun! Well, he and his co-worker were having so much fun telling their stories and rolling with laughter that another young man working in the office said that he felt left out. He didn't have any " poor stories" to tell. Poor guy!

Philippians 4:11-12 "...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. "

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say rejoice."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Feeding Your Family Frugally

A lot of people are having to cut back on their grocery bills right now. Not just so mom can stay at home, but because dad has last his job also. As I was praying for different people in our church who are needing work, I started thinking about this, and about the ways I have stretched our grocery dollars. My husband is a meat eater so usually the first thing I think about in preparing a meal is what kind of meat to start with.
Some really inexpensive choices are:
-liver (we happen to love it)-fry it with onions, and eat it with mashed potatoes and gravy.
-canned salmon-make it into salmon patties or season it and bake it in the oven.
-ground turkey-I cook with the frozen turkey sausage because I like the flavor better. I think it's Jenny-O. Anyway, it's cheaper than ground beef at Wal-Mart.
-ground breakfast sausage-you can usually buy this cheaper than ground beef and it is great in spaghetti sauce.
-smoked sausage-great cut up either with sauerkraut(mix in some sour cream and it takes away the tartness), or fried with chopped potatoes, or in macaroni and cheese.
-a bag of boneless chicken breast-take out one or two piece of chicken at a time to cut up and eat in a soup, casserole or sauce.
-regular fat ground beef-according to the book "Nourishing Traditions" we don't really end up with that much more meat by buying a leaner meat, because the lean meat loses moisture while cooking. So, there is not a lot of difference in the amount that the two cook down. (The book also talks about the nutritional reasons to buy fatty meat, but I won't get into that, you'll have to read the book).
These are some of my favorites meats to cook with.
We also have eaten lots of beans, first as a soup and then what was left we made into refried beans and had lots of tostados and burritos.
We have also eaten rice every way there is to season it and eat it. Adding either cut up chicken or ground beef to make it the main dish.
I'll end with a couple of recipe ideas:
Hamburger-Rice Skillet
1 lb. ground beef, 1 med. chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper(opt.), 1 minced clove garlic, 1 c. rice, 1 16 oz. tomatoes, 1 8 oz. tomato sauce, 1 tsp. Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1 1/2 c. water, 1 tsp. salt.
Cook beef, onion, pepper, and garlic-add rice. Cook 2 minutes stirring. Add undrained tomatoes, tom. sauce, Worcestershire, basil, water, and salt. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover, simmer 25-20 minutes.
Garlic Chicken Spaghetti
Melt one stick of butter and saute 1 or 2 tsp. of garlic (to taste) , 1 tsp basil, and 1 or 2 cut up chicken breast. When chicken is cooked through, you can either mix it with cooked spaghetti and eat it like this or add 1 or 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (depending on taste and how far you want it to go), heat, and eat over cooked spaghetti. Oh, and don't forget to add some Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Children and Competition

Me first! Me first! Do you ever hear these words? I suppose competition (maybe the better word is selfishness) among kids is inevitable considering their sinful nature. Having three children, close in age, I used to hear these words a lot. So, I had a talk with them and taught them the scripture that says "the last shall be first, and the first last..." Matt. 16:20. I told them that whoever yelled out "Me first!" was automatically going to be last to get whatever they were wanting. Well, after putting this into practice and them realizing what was going to happen if they asked to be first, it started a new practice. Instead of saying "me first", they started saying "Me last! Me last!".
Okay, maybe I didn't really solve my immediate dilemma, but hopefully the principal from scripture was drilled in their head enough that they will never forget it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Notes on Prayer

Prayer is the highest order of business! Don't pray when you have time. Save the other, less important things for when you have time.

When prayer delights the least, then learn to say,
Soul, now is greatest need that thou must pray.

We must pray or pay the price.

Prayer is living the "now" life. Everything we intend to do for God must be done NOW.

Holy living is essential preparation for prayer.

No one can expect to understand and receive the holiness of God, who is not often and long alone with God. As we recognize His holiness, we will realize our sinfulness.

"I made this my business as much all the day long as at the appointed time of prayer, for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thoughts of God." -Bro. Lawrence

Realize, the Lord loves you so much that He longs to have you near Him without a break, so that you may experience His love.

When you pray, take your time. Fellowship with Him as with a friend. Remember, He enjoys this time with you.
Wait on God. Spend time in His presence.

When things comes to your mind, that seem like distractions, make them a matter of prayer.

"Sweet hour of prayer... that draws us from a world of care."

James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer!

When I sat down for my devotions this morning, I decided to read the book of Malachi. During the time it was written, the temple had been rebuilt, but the Jews enthusiasm had worn off. After a period of revival under Nehemiah, the people and priests had backslidden and become mechanical in their observance of the Law. As I read this Book, it reminded me of our nation and the church today. These people were offering impure sacrifices, the priests were being unfaithful causing many to stumble, there were spiritually mixed marriages, they were breaking the covenant of marriage, robbing God by not tithing, and they had become very arrogant. This book was a great guide for helping me know how to pray today:God help our leaders in government, church, and in our homes to repent and seek You. Help us to repent as a nation and as individuals of our impure sacrifices, of coming to you in worship not having a pure heart. Forgive those who are not taking serious the holy sanctity of marriage. Forgive us for not tithing the best of everything we have, for it all really belongs to You. Forgive us for our pride and arrogance, for we often act as though we are God. Forgive us for the sin of abortion. Have mercy on our nation, Oh God!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Financial Challenges/Blessings of a SAH Mom

Being a SAH mom family definately came with sacrifices. My husband did not have a high paying job that made this choice easy. Every day was a challenge. But, as we trusted God to provide, His blessings often came in ways that would make it impossible for my kids to ever deny the existence of God. That made it all worth while. Let me share a few examples. One day we went in the thrift store, just to browse around. My daughter saw some drinking glasses on sale for a dime apiece. She said "Mom, we need some glasses, ours are all getting broken." Well, I had to tell her I didn't even have 10 cents for a glass. As we were walking to our car, a lady got out of the car next to us. She stopped us and said, "Do you'll happen to need some glasses? I have a whole box here I was going to take in the thrift store, but if you want them you can have them." Now, who could have done that but God? Another day as I sat in my car wondering what I could get in the store for supper with the change I had in my purse. When I opened my wallet, there was $3 in there! I knew it was not in there before! Now, it's easy to make a meal with $3. One morning as I was preparing for church, I was praying about my desire to take an offering to church. I felt like we received so much more there than we were able to give. It had turned cold that morning, and when I got out the jacket I had not wore since the winter before and put it on, guess what was in the pocket? Money! If I remember correctly, it was a $10 bill! Believe me, every time something like this happened the kids heard about it and we all rejoiced. I could go on and on. One thing my children also always remember are the friends who would show up with food at times. Now that they are older and realize how little our income was, it is even more amazing to them how we survived. One thing I know is, God made Himself real to all of us.
Psalm 78:4 "...we will not hide them from our children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done."
Psalms 89:1 "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Submit or Obey (cont.)

Thank you ladies for some really good, thought provoking comments on this topic. Everyone please go to the comment section of the previous post on this subject (Submit or Obey our Husbands? April 29) and read these comments.

My thoughts: I believe they both require obedience, but submitting involves placing ourselves in that position of surrendering to our husbands authority. Where a child is born under our authority and must obey us, as wives we must surrender to the authority of our husbands. Our husbands should not have to demand our submission, it should come from a heart of love and wanting to please him and God.
I'll be honest, it took me a really long time to learn this. But Gods way is always best. There was a time that I wanted to be the boss in our home. My husband has not always served God and so I didn't trust his decisions, especially when it came to the children (actually, even if He was serving God, I don't know if I would have been any more trusting or submissive). They always came to me for questions and permission to do things. I pretty much did what I wanted most of the time. The more I learned about submission, I realized how wrong I was. I also realized I was carrying a load of responsibility that God never intended for me to carry. Women feel like they are placing themselves in bondage by submitting to their husbands, but the opposite is true. I could not believe how freeing it was to give the responsibility that I had been carrying to my husband where it belonged and place myself rightfully under his leadership. I remember the first time I sent my child to their father to ask permission for something (although I was really wanting to answer it myself and I was dreading his answer). It was something I really felt he should decide. When he gave his answer I was shocked! It was exactly what I would have wanted. It seems trusting and submitting to God and trusting and submitting to our husbands go hand in hand. When he realizes the whole family is his responsibility and under his authority, I believe he will take his position under God more seriously.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Training Children-Some Things We Did

My husband and I just returned home tonight from a quick trip to Albuquerque. Our son is the Worship Pastor at a church there and they were recording a live worship concert Friday night, so we went for the concert. Often when we meet friends of our children, they complement us on what fine kids we have and tell us what a good job we did. That's always great to hear as a parent even though I know that our kids are not perfect nor were we perfect parents (just ask our kids). But, I am very grateful that we have a good relationship with all 3 of our children, and that they all 3 love the Lord. These 2 things were my top priorities in raising them. As I rode in the car today, I began to think about some of the things we did that were part of our childrens training.

Every morning, they came to the table for breakfast, and before we ate, we bowed our heads and thanked God for the night of rest, for the food, for another day, and anything else we wanted to talk to Him about.

During the day, we often had christian music playing.

The majority of the books they had were either Bible stories or had a Biblical moral to them.

When a situation came up that needed urgent prayer, I would gather all the kids together, and we would all join in prayer for the need.

The kids and I often went to the nursing homes sometimes to sing, sometimes just to visit and pray with the elderly. (The kids did not interfere with ministry, they were a part of it.)

We often brought neighbor kids with us to church.

At lunch we once again thanked God for His blessings and again at supper.

While washing dishes in the evening we usually listened to Adventures in Odyssey on the radio (christian drama) or sang songs about God.

On Saturday mornings we didn't watch Sat. morn cartoons, we listened to kids radio (Childrens Bible Hour, Adventures in Odyssey, The Donut Man).

When we lived in apartments we had Saturday morning kids Bible club at our home for the neighbor kids.

At bedtime we talked to God again.

At bedtime we would either read a Bible story, listen to a Bible story on tape, listen to praise music, scripture songs, or other christian music.

When riding in the car we were often either listening to gospel music on the radio/tape or we were singing (or both),( sometimes very loudly through our nose seeing how good we were at singing blue grass, lots of fun).

We almost never missed Sunday School or church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wed. night, or any other time we got a chance to go. This was not because we had to, but because we loved to go. (This was a great opportunity to show our kids how important God and His house are.)

We went to a lot of gospel singings/concerts, revivals.

We prayed about everything: lost shoes, lost car keys, broken washing machine, you name it.

This list by no means includes everything, but you can see, serving God was a way of life for us. Biblical training was not a boring exercise that took place in trying to ingrain the Word of God into our kids, it happened naturally. As a matter of fact, it was fun! It was the way we lived. As they grow up, they each have trials and tests that they must face, but there should not be any doubt in their minds where to turn for help.

Let me say, if you have not lived life in this way, start today. It's never too late to let your children know how important God is to you. Even if they are grown, begin to live your life in such a way that they can see that you cannot live without Him, and see if it doesn't make an impact on them.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shoult teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. "

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Submit or Obey Our Husbands?

What's the difference? I heard a preacher say on the radio that the Bible never says for wives to obey their husbands. It says children obey your parents, slaves obey your masters, but it says wives submit to your husbands. Just thought I would throw this out there in case anyone wanted to join my son-in-law and my conversation on what the difference is. I know this is a very loaded question requiring a detailed answer, but thought it would be interesting to hear some others thoughts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

We've Been Married 25 Years Today!

It's hard to believe, but today is our 25th wedding anniversary! For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, believe me, we've been through it all. I surely don't want my children or anyone else to follow the example of everything we've done, but I do hope that they've learned that divorce is not an option when the going gets tough (neither is murder). My husband has told me that I should write my story. I don't know that I ever will, but I'll tell you it hasn't been any easier than anyone elses. When my children were small we separated for 3 yrs., but God was gracious to restore our marriage. Let me say, we probably would have divorced, if it had not been for the encouragement of brothers and sisters in the Lord(very few) encouraging us and telling us we didn't have to. I am so grateful that we didn't and that our family is still intact. I am also grateful that through all we've been through the Lord has given me a testimony to share with others who are struggling, that gives them hope.


Matthew 19:6 "...What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."


Let me show you a picture of my husband who not only adores me, but also our children and grandson:



He is a great man who works hard to show his love for his wife. I thank God for him. And God has blessed us with 3 wonderful children and 1 really great son-in-law and 1 perfect grandson. And, this morning they surprised us with a Caribbean Cruise for our anniversary present. Yes, I cried, just as much from the sweet notes as from the gift, although I am so excited I can't wait for Aug. 31 to come. Here we all are:

Thanks kids! You're the best!



Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank God for His Mercy

I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever men may say
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He's always near.
This is the first verse of the hymn, "He Lives". I was cleaning house this morning and heard a preacher on the radio read the words of this verse. The lines, "I see His hand of mercy" and "And just the time I need Him He's always near" really stood out to me. I must admit I've had a pretty rotten attitude lately concerning some frustrations in my world. One day last week I made myself drop to my knees and ask God for help. I know God is always in control, but it wasn't really feeling like it. And I must say, even in prayer, I wasn't feeling too prayerful or trusting. Well, guess what, just at the moment I needed wisdom dealing with a situation, a verse came to mind that showed me just what I should do, and it worked. The amazing thing to me though, was not that it worked, but that God even heard me and answered my prayer in spite of my nasty attitude. He really is a God of mercy, and always near!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Effective Do You Want To Be?

"The greater the proportion of your day-of your life-spent hidden in quiet, in reflection, in prayer, in study, in scheduling, in preparation, the greater will be the effectiveness, the impact, the power, of the part of your life that shows. You cannot be with people all of the time and have a ministry to people. The impact of your ministry to people will be in direct proportion to the time you spend away from people and with God."

These notes were taken from the book, A Woman After God's Own Heart, by Elizabeth George. Great book!

Friday, April 17, 2009

What is Sin?

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and when you first sit down, the desserts on the menu looked sooo good, but, by the time you finished your meal you couldn't stand the thought of dessert? If you find a good book to read or hobby to do, you'll find you don't have time to sit and mindlessly watch TV for hours. I was thinking about this idea yesterday, that starting good habits often crowd out the bad ones. The scripture came to me, James 4:17 "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So, I was thinking, is it the wrong things that we are doing that are sin, or is it the failure to do good? It seems that when people are not being obedient to doing what is good or right, they just naturally seem to fall into sinful habits. On the other hand, if we are out feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, leading the lost to Christ, reading the Bible, praying, taking care of our families, etc. how would we have time to sit around gossiping, overeating, partying, watching things we shouldn't, etc. The scripture plainly says that if we are not doing what we know to be good, we are sinning. Maybe, we should quit focusing on the sins the enemy is condemning us with, start doing good, and soon we won't have the time or desire for the things that hinder us. So what do you think, what is sin? Is it the bad things that we do, or the good that we don't do?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not Enough Time?

Here's an idea!...
Do you find yourself getting so busy and rushed at times that you're not taking time to read your Bible? Don't forsake the Word of God just because you don't have a lot of time all at once to sit and read. Often, when I've had just a few minutes here and there to read a scripture, that one scripture has stood out to me as never before. It made me want to find time later to study it in length and in context. Here's an idea! Lay your Bible open somewhere accessible, so while you're waiting for a pot to boil or timer to go off, you can grab a little piece of the Bread of Life to nibble on. Maybe, it will make you hunger for more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

True Beauty

No botox, but she was beautiful...
Yesterday, I went to the nursing home to play the piano and sing for the first time in a really long time. I used to go more often when the kids were home. We would go pretty regular to sing and visit. Lately, every time I have been to visit, there is this one man who kept asking me when I was going to come and play the piano. I don't know why I've waited so long, but yesterday I finally went. And, as it always goes, I go to bless them and I leave feeling blessed. The man who asked me to come could not sing, but he would nod his head, tap his foot and look at me and smile every once in a while. He let everyone know he's the reason I came. As I looked around there were some really big smiles, some were singing, and some you weren't sure if they were really aware of what was going on or not. I looked at these and wondered if these old songs were at least awakening some good memory from their past. One man was suggesting a lot of old songs that brought back some really good memories from my past. This man with all the songs was sitting next to his wife, who had the sweetest smile and disposition. He told me several times, with a very proud look on his face, that this was his wife. He made it a point to get up, come to me and tell me he wanted me to meet his wife. I told him that we had already introduced ourselves and that I thought he had a very beautiful wife. He beamed. True beauty truly does come from the inside. This woman was obviously enjoying singing and talking about her Lord. I don't think this woman had a bit of makeup on, her hair was not especially well done, and no plastic surgery to remove all of her wrinkles. But, this woman was truly beautiful.
Prov. 31:30 "Favor is deceitful,and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Follow Closely

Sunday evening my son,Jonathan flew in from Albuquerque. He had an appointment here Sunday evening and had to fly back out Monday afternoon. My daughter & grandbaby came up Monday morning to see him. He needed to go to a store in North Dallas before he went to the airport so, I followed them in his rental car to a place close to the airport where we left my car, and rode with him to where we were going. Let me tell you, following him all through downtown Dallas was fun! First let me say, he drives like a mad man. He was going down streets and through areas I was not familiar with and had no idea what direction we were headed. Believe me, I kept me eyes glued to that little silver car in front of me. I made it a point to not let anything distract me for fear he would take a quick turn and I would miss it. I stayed as close as I safely could to him so that nothing could get between us and make it hard for me to see him and end up getting lost. As I was focusing on his car, the thought came to me, this is how we should follow Jesus. To get to where He wants us to be and ultimately our home in heaven, we must keep our eyes focused on Him at all times. We can't look to the right or the left, we can't let anything or anyone come between us. Our goal must be to follow as closely to Him as we can whether we understand the twists and turns in the road or not. We must put our faith totally in Him and trust that He is leading us where we need to go. Keep your eyes glued on Him today!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Input=Output

I've started being very conscious of what is on my mind when I wake up in the mornings. I started thinking about this on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday morning I woke up with the words to this song going over and over in my mind, "I will worship You, I will praise your name forever!". On Wednesday it was, "I go to the Rock of my salvation, I go to the Stone that the builders rejected, ...When the earth all around me is sinking sand, on Christ the solid Rock I stand. When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the Rock." On Thursday it was the old song "What will it be when we get over yonder, and join the throng upon the glassy sea. We'll see our loved ones and crown Christ forever. This is just what heaven means to me" (I haven't heard this song in forever). On Friday: "Jesus, When I speak His name mountains move, chains are loosed. When I speak His name darkness flees death has no hold on me...". I find myself singing these songs, that I wake up with, all throughout the day. It's not always a song. Often, like this morning, I wake up with just the name of Jesus on my mind. What a wonderful way to start the day. I'm reminded of the kids song that says input=output. It is very important what we feed our minds with. What is allowed in is what feeds us through the night and through the day. As difficult circumstances arose through the week, the words to these songs were there to strengthen me. At other times, they are there to encourage others with. Colossians 3:16-17 says"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Romans 12:2 says"And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Another word for prove is demonstrate. If we are to demonstrate for this world what God really wants the Christian life to look like, we must let the things that go into our minds make us different(transform us) than the world. Music is such a powerful tool. Let it, especially, be used to transform and edify you and those around you. Psalms 42:8 "...in the night His song shall be with me." Psalm 149:5 "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their bed."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flexible is Good, Right?

At the beginning of this year I resolved to exercise and eat healthy. I was doing really good and feeling really good for awhile. Gradually my good habits began to go down hill. I have really felt the effects of it too. I'm normally a morning person and I have been having a really hard time getting out of bed in the mornings. The last couple of days I have felt like I've been run over by a bus. My friend, Elisabeth told me that she has quit drinking Mt. Dew and has lost 10 lbs. and is feeling really good. When I left a comment to AmyEllen she encouraged me to define a few things I can do to "do better". Okay, these ladies have encouraged me so, I got up this morning and told my husband that I'm giving up caffeine and sugar, at least for awhile, til I feel better and can be moderate with it. I did without my cup of coffee (with cream and sugar) this morning and went without it all day. At lunch I decided it would be okay to have unsweetened tea. After lunch I decided it would be okay to have a piece of cake. I made a cake for company day before yesterday and it's sitting on the table all day. So, I'm letting myself have sugar until it's gone. Okay, I am still resolved to not have coffee or cokes (that's what we call all sodas in the south). I did realize though that part of the reason I've felt so bad yesterday and today is probably due to the fact that I am a woman. The months I was being so healthy I hardly even realised what time of the month it was. All the more reason to make some changes. But for now, I'll be okay, just let me go to bed with some pillows, a book, and some chocolate cake.
1 Cor. 6:19"...glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Leftover Delight


Recognize this dish? Probably not. Monday night it was my One Dish Dinner, last night it turned into, lets call it, Italian Sausage Helper. I hate to waste anything. Last night I cut up the couple of slices of sausage and heated it up with the onions and peppers in a skillet with a little water and garlic. Next I added about a cup of marsala cooking wine(I just happened to have this, if I hadn't I could have used chicken broth or apple juice) and let it heat a couple of minutes. Then, I added about a cup of gravy leftover from breakfast (if I hadn't had gravy I could have used a can of cream of something soup or just some heavy cream), a little basil and cayenne. When this was warmed I added some cooked egg noodles, sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top, and wah lah. It was very tasty. And guess what? We had leftovers. I think I'll put them in the freezer and add them to a soup one day.

I love making new dishes from leftovers. Recently, my husband came in and asked what we were having for supper. I said,"Tamale Pie". He looked in the oven and said "That looks a lot like the taco soup and cornbread we had last night". I can't get anything past him.


Proverbs 18:9 "He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lots of Advantages to Being Meek

I just sat down to clean off my desk and I ran across a page of notes I had written on meekness. There are so many blessings for the meek. I wanted to share this with you and I pray it will inspire you to let God cultivate a meek spirit in you.
Psalm 37:11 "...the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."
Psalm 25:19 "The meek will He guide in judgement: and the meek will He teach His way." (I often need a lot of guidance.)
Psalm 76:8,9 "Thou didst cause judgement to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, When God arose to judgement, to save all the meek of the earth."
Psalm 147:6 "The Lord lifteth up the meek: He casteth the wicked down to the ground."
Proverbs 14:29 "For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation."
Matthew 5:5 " Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 11:29 " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls."

Meek - mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries; humble; submissive to the divine will; not proud, self-sufficient or refractory(stubborn).

One Dish Dinner


I really don't know what the name is for this dish, but we love it. This is what I cooked for supper last night. First I sliced up a bell pepper and an onion. Next, I took a package of Italian sausages and cut each one in half lengthwise(opt.). I then cooked the sausage according to package directions in a large skillet. When the sausages were done, I removed them and put in the onions and bell peppers, and sauteed them until just tender. When they were ready, I took them out and heated some leftover brown rice in what little grease and broth were left in the pan. I didn't add seasoning to the rice, but, it would have been better if I had (garlic, cumin, cayenne). Next, I heated up the tortillas, I did use a different skillet for this but, I suppose I could have used the same skillet. I filled the tortillas with sausage, veggies, cheese, and sour cream. The rice went on the side. You may need to add a little water to the skillet during each step or oil whatever you want. And also, if you don't remove the skin from the sausage it will curl up. Now, only one pan to wash.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Homeschool Successes

One of the favorite things we did while homeschooling, was the Prairie Primer Unit Study. It uses the Little House on the Prairie Books as a base for this study. My kids loved it (and I). Every day we would read from a book in the series and do one of the activities. We made a straw tick(bed), a leather gun holster and belt, knife cases, took a gun safety course, made butter, buckwheat pancakes, and many other fun activities. That winter we read how the Ingalls children received a tin cup, stick of peppermint, and a coin for Christmas. On Christmas morning the first gift we gave our kids was a tin cup, stick of peppermint, and a silver dollar. If we would have known how excited they were going to be over this gift, we wouldn't have bothered to buy them anything else, and I think it would have been okay with them. To this day, they will tell you that was their most memorable Christmas and gift. This unit study was definately a learning experience that stuck with them.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Faye

A few weeks ago I told you I was going to start spotlighting and sharing some wisdom from some older Titus 2 women. I hadn't forgotten. Yesterday, while I was at Faye's house quilting, she said, "I told my husband I need to cook some big pots of beans to can while it is still cool out." She said she always cans her beans in the winter so that in the heat of summer, she just has to open a jar, season it, and heat it up, instead of cooking it for hours and heating up her house. In the winter she appreciates the heat in her house because her kitchen is not heated. This lady cans everything.Baked beans, potatoes, you name it, nothing goes to waste at her house. Last week when I was at her house, she threw together a stew for lunch, using a jar of brisket she had canned. She had some brisket left over from an anniversary dinner her kids gave her and her husband, so, she canned it. It was delicious!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feminine?

Last week, following my modesty post, Christa from http://www.empoweredtraditionalist.com/ , asked the question,"Do you think you can still be feminine & modest in pants/jeans?" Well, I've been thinking about this question a lot, not wanting to just throw out an answer off the top of my head. One of the questions it has raised in my mind is "What does it mean to be feminine?" I know a lot of very hard working, Godly, modest women who I would not really consider feminine. When I think about the women of pioneer days who had very hard lives, they probably didn't look or feel too feminine, as we think of feminine, especially compared to the women of Victorian times. When I see women from other countries/cultures squatting in their huts or bundled up in parkas, feminine is not the thought that comes to my mind. On the other hand, I've seen women in America, in pretty dresses and what we consider womens attire that are anything but feminine. And, I have seen women in slacks who because of their demeanor and whole outfit, are still very feminine . I will say though that more often than not, when a woman puts on pants, it does change the way she sits and carries herself. It is my opinion that it is harder to be what we consider feminine and modest in pants/jeans, but not impossible. There are some women who carry carry themselves with such grace that I don't think it would matter what they had on we would still think of them as being feminine. Personally, when I have anything on that shapes around my backside, I feel very self conscious if there are men in the room. I at least like to have a long shirt covering my seat. It's hard enough to find skirts that are not too poofy as to make me feel frumpy, and not so straight or tight that they are tight around my hips and rear. Anyway, this was probably a crazy rabbit trail but, if any of you women have any thoughts about what makes a woman feminine, it would be fun to hear.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

He is God Today!

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11. There is a reason this is in the Lord's prayer. He wants us to understand that He is God TODAY.
I once did a study on the words "day, today, daily" in the Bible. Over and over the word of God tells us that He is the God of today. Don't worry about tomorrow (Matt. 6:34).
Ps. 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits."
Lam. 3:22 " his compassions fail not they are new every morning..."
Ladies who are concerned about making ends meet for your family, God will supply for today.
Turn to Him for your "daily bready".
Psalms 118:24 "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck

Luck- the seemingly chance happening of events which affect one; fortune; fate

Lamentations 3:22-23 " It is of the Lords mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
Luck is not something you can depend on, but God is. God is faithful. He is all we need. God is our provider. He is our source.
Matthew 6:33-34 " But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Psalms 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits."
Ps. 118:24 "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
I am so thankful my life is not left in the hands of fate. I serve a loving, merciful God, who orders my steps.
The stedfast love of the Lord never ceaseth
His mercies never shall come to an end
They are new every morning
New every morning
Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord
Great is thy faithfulness.
May you continue to reflect on God and His goodness on this St. Patricks Day!