Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are you on dial-up or high speed?

I am back on dial up speed this morning…all because I watched Passion live link yesterday. When you live in the sticks you don’t get the modern conviences city folk enjoy. Therefore, we have satellite internet with a limited download access (whatever that means). Very aggravating!! In this information age we have been spoiled to having what we want to look at right now not in 15 minutes when the website finally's like waiting on water to boil!

My pokey internet reminds me of some of the pokey Christians in this world. They stand around waiting on someone else to do the work for the kingdom. They don’t want to step-up to the plate and take on the challenges facing believers today. For example, you are a member of a small church community with a mixture of young families, older more mature people (did I say that nicely enough), and singles. You see the need for a women’s or singles ministry. Will you stay in the background being a pokey Christian waiting on someone else to get a ministry started or will you step up and be a high speed one that gets the ball rolling?

We need Christians to be proactive in today's society.  We need believers to be willing and available to listen to God's calling on their lives.  If we don't, where is that going to leave the church body or the unsaved?  They will gravitate towards what's available to them...the worldly influences all around that are so accessable in this information age.  We are supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ.  His workers whose purpose on this planet is to lead others to Him.  We can't do that if we just sit on our hands in the background.  So step-up and be the high speed Christian that you are intended to be!  Do something for the kingdom and not just for yourself--you'll be glad you did (and you'll make Jesus smile too)!

"A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing." Prov. 20:4

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You can catch the vision

I just finished watching the replay of Passion2011 live link (with Sam :0) and it was AWESOME!  For those of you who don't know what Passion is-- it out!  Jon and I had the opportunity to serve over 20,000 college students at Passion 2010 in Atlanta.  It was an experience we won't soon forget.  If you're interested, you can still apply to volunteer at -believe me you won't regret the time you spend there.
And if you fall in the 18-26 year old age bracket you can go as an attendee.  (We were too old!). 
What I wanted to say about Passion is that it is not too late for this next generation to be a light for Christ! 
They are excited, they are challanged, and they are NOT afraid to share their beliefs!  This is the time for us "older" Christians to step up and serve these young people.  They are our future.  We need to be reaching them in the crossroads that they are in as they begin college life.  This is where the rubber meets the decisions are made! 
Wouldn't it be awesome if we could invest into these lives and equip them to go out and reach others their age?  Most of them are just lost souls who are far away from home without parental guidance looking for which road to take.  Don't we want them to take the good path? 
"Stand at the crossroad and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."  Jeremiah 6:16
So catch the Passion vision...if you can't go or can PRAY for the young people, the Passion movement leaders, volunteers, and everyone else that will be in Atlanta come Jan. 1!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have you forsaken your first love?

I've recently re-started Beth Moore's Revelation series (I started at the beginning of the summer and then started another study at church--so now I'm back to the first one) and she is so dynamic!  I just LOVE her.  She has such a way with women...OK moving on--my purpose is not to talk about how great Beth is--but she is great, isn't she?
On the third teaching CD she is talking about Rev. 2&3.  She goes into detail about only one of the letters to the churches leaving the others for the student to figure out for herself.  One thing she said stood out to me with such force I had to address it (mostly for myself, but you're lucky enough to get to share my rambling thoughts).  The church at Ephesus had forsaken their first love.  They did so many other things that got God's attention for the good, but they had a fault that I think a lot of us Christians today have.  They forsook (is that a word) their love for God. 
"I have something against you, namely, that you have forsaken your first love."  Rev. 2:4
I so don't want to be that person!  I don't want to be found lacking in my love for Him, do you?  So how do we love Him with a love we can be proud of?  Good question, I mean can you really love God as He deserves?  That I don't know, but I do know the Word says in 1 John 4:19 that-
"We love because He first loved us."
What should we do in response to such an amazing love from Him?  It's easier said than done I think.  When Jesus came He abolished the Law and the old Covenant and left His church two simple commands:  to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength AND to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 27: 37-39).  Easy right?  Yeah, OK.  I can follow two things...I've got the love the Lord one down!!  But love my neighbor as myself?  Depends on who the neighbor is right?  I don't think Jesus was talking about just our next door neighbor either.  I think He meant ALL people...even the crazy terrorist ones (He died for them the same as He did you and me).  Not so easy anymore.  I need to work on loving my neighbor and I pray that God'll give me His eyes to see others as He does--then it will be easy to love them. 
I think if I choose to love others and love Him, then I am actively pursuing Him, not forsaking Him and that's exactly where I want to be.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

An ordinary or extraordinary Thursday?

I must confess, although I adore being at home with my children, I am beginning to go a little stir crazy.  You can only have so many intelligent conversations with a 3 year old and a 7 week old.  I miss people!  Never thought I'd say it because I am not a people person.  My mother says that I go out of  my way to avoid speaking to people when I see them in public...OK so I used to do that but haven't in years!
Hence, the online communication with adults...never thought I'd be a blogger, but the need for adult interaction over ran my senses and here I am! 
As I got up this morning, it was like any other Thursday...everyone running late, kid's wouldn't eat, Zach wondering around like a zombie (because he wouldn't go to sleep the night before), Charlie crying to be fed in the midst of it all...a regular zoo.  A normal morning at our house.  But upon more thought it really is an extraordinary morning at the Morrison household.  Why?  Well, let me tell you.
#1-the fact that there are 3 boys in the house on a given morning- we weren't supposed to have children or at least that's what the doctor said.  It is an extraordinary blessing that my boys are here to make my morning hectic!
#2-the fact that we have food for them to not want to eat- I've been out of work for 6 weeks and not once has Jon been without work (he's self-employed).  We've not missed a single bill or been hungry.
#3-the fact that I'm able to sit in my house and blog/surf the internet- I could be living in some third world country where every minute is a struggle for survival.  But God saw fit for me to be born and live in a country of freedom and privilege (right now anyway).
#4-the fact that I have been saved by a Redeemer when I didn't deserve it-this is what makes today and everyday extraordinary!  I am loved by a Savior who is like none other.  I am blessed with every spiritual blessing under the heavens.  I am honored to be chosen by Him to be His servant on this planet.  He is my friend, comforter, confidant, provider...what more could I ask for!  I am thankful that everyday is an extraordinary day because of Him and His love and blessings on my life.  Even if my "normal" day turns out to be anything but normal, He is still my constant source of strength. 
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,"  Ephesians 3:20

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shoes for Guatemala...

because EVERY child deserves a new pair of shoes!  Don't you agree?  Imagine sending your child to school in August without shoes on their feet or an old pair with holes in them.  Now imagine a child with  no mom or dad who lives in someone else's home with a bunch of other children.  They eat the same food every day and depend on the kindness of strangers for the bare neccesities.  They have the opportunity to go to school and because someone else did what God wanted them to do--they get to go to school sporting a brand spanking new pair of shoes!  What a blessing to know that YOU can be part of something that big.
Below, I'm going to paste a copy of a letter that I've done to help get support to raise the money needed to supply these shoes....please pray about what part God might have you to play!


Our family is attempting to raise $3200 by Christmas for Orphan Outreach Guatemala and Mama Carmen’s Orphange ( Our son is adopted from Guatemala and as I was looking at a blog from the Compassion International Guatemala trip one day last week he asked, “Mom, do we care about those people?” What do you say to that? Besides the obvious, of course we do and so does Jesus. We decided to show him how to be the hands and feet of Christ and show His love and ours to the children of his homeland.

From this, Shoes for Guatemala…because EVERY child deserves a new pair of shoes, was born. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help! Would you consider a gift of any amount to our cause? We are working on getting an account set up with Orphan Outreach, but in the meantime you can send gifts to us at:

The Morrison’s 301 Alewine Rd. Belton, SC 29627

Thank you in advance from the children. We may never know until we reach heaven how our giving of these shoes may have spread the gospel.

“How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

Isaiah 52:7 (NASB)

In Christ,
Jon, Allison, Zach, Sam, and Charlie Morrison

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Because she openeth her mouth...

This weekend we attended an awesome Beth Moore simulcast.  The topic covered Proverbs 31:26-
"She opens her mouth in wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness."
We spent the entire day on the three little words "law of kindness".  I would've never thought there was so much treasure in three little words, but there was!  We covered eight points and each one was timely and awesome, but two stuck out for me.
Kindness looks pain in the face and kindness craves an outlet.  It is so easy for us to turn our heads when we see other people suffering or in pain.  It's not us so therefore we don't care.  We have let our hearts grow calloused against the things that break the heart of God.  But as Job said to his friends (you'll remember how great they were):  "But now be so kind as to look at me..." Job 6:28.  Look at them...the homeless person, the widow, the orphan you see on TV, the boy at your child's school who is in foster care, the alcoholic, drug addict...LOOK at them.  Don't turn your face because God loves them and sent Jesus to die for them just as He did for you.
The second statement, kindness craves an outlet, is an outpouring of the goodness that God has blessed you with.  If you're a child of God YOU ARE BLESSED-regardless of your circumstances.  We should be so filled up with the blessings of God that we look everywhere for someone or something to bless in return.  Take David for example.  "Is there anyone still left in the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"  2 Samuel 9:1
He was seeking to show someone else kindness because of the Lord's goodness to him. 
So as a result of these statements and some other things that just kept popping up, I felt that God wanted us to do something for someone else as a family.  We have been blessed...with three beautiful boys (when we weren't supposed to have any) and other blessings too numerous to name.  I found a website that supports orphans in Guatemala.  I emailed them for information on how we could be of help to them.  One home in particular caught my attention.  Mama Carmen's Home.  She is an elderly lady who takes boys and girls into her home in Guatemala City.  She also accepts special needs kids.  Two things close to our hearts.
Anyway, the lady that emailed me back said that they really needed someone to donate the money for new shoes for the kids.  I emailed back with an immediate "OK" and what kind of goal were we talking about.  I'm thinking $200 or something...try $3200!  For shoes...but then I LOOKed with His eyes and see all those kids.  They deserve new shoes.  That's the least we could do out of our riches.  Do I have $3200?  No way.  Does God?  Absolutely.  So we'll accept the challenge to raise this money.  Don't know where we'll get it but these kids will have new shoes come January!
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."  Matthew 25:45

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall, Fall, I love Fall!!

Fall is in the least in the morning then it's up to 90 degrees still!  But I can at least feel it in the mornings.  It's hard to get into the festivals and activities of fall when it still feels like July. But it is still my favorite time of the year.  I love the colors and the pumpkins and the hayrides and everyting else that goes along with it! 
It also reminds me that God is ever faithful and that each year He brings about a change in seasons.  For some people, depending on where they live, the changes are very subtle and for others the change is drastic.  Kinda like the Christian life.  When you ask Jesus into your life you change.  That change can be subtle for just you to see or it can be drastic for everybody and their brother to see.  I hope my change has been the latter.  I want people to see me and my response to life and say, "Wow, I want what she has!  She takes everything with such a great attitude."  I don't want to be in the middle of the crowd acting the same way the world does to life situations.  I want to stand out and be different! 
I want to shine with the light of Jesus and light the path of others.  We are the light of the earth.  It is a dark, crazy-scary world out there.  But I imagine looking down from space and seeing all these lights shining in the darkness making the earth glow with the radiance of Him.  We are that light and we should hold it up lilke a beacon and be proud of it!
"You are the light of the world.  A city on hill cannot be hidden.  Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  Matt. 5:14,16

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What does real faith look like?

"Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf."  Prov. 11:28
I'm pretty sure the green leaf in the above verse is not referring to money, but it does for me today.  I've been praying about going back to work.  This has come to my mind as I'm halfway through my maternity leave.  I feel torn between my role as mommy and wife and the one of provider of the insurance.  I tell my husband that we could just go on Obamacare but I'd feel too guilty to do that when I'm able-bodied to work.  If we didn't get sick or need shots or well visits or dental visits (which we haven't used in a while) then I could just stay at home. 
So....what to do?  Then it hit me!  This is an area of faith.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Do I believe that God wants me to be at home and to be more available to my children?  Do I trust Him to take care of us if we are in the center of His will?  Or do I think that I have to be the one to take care of us by providing insurance and additional income?  Do I think that Jon should have to go out and get a job that provides insurance?
"If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, "You are my security,"  Job 31:24
"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you."  John 6:27
I have put my trust in my job and my green leafed money to provide the security for my family.  I have worked for food that spoils.  I mean really, when I'm gone do I want my legacy to be that I provided health insurance for my family or that I was at home investing in the lives of my children?  I need to be providing food to my kids that will last them for eternity not just while they are here on earth.
I need to step out in real faith and believe what I say...that God will provide for us and take care of us just as He has promised.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:19
I'll keep you posted on what happens as Nov. 1 draws nearer!  I'm praying I'll have the courage to jump out of the boat and trust God to keeps us afloat. 
Who wouldn't want to spend more time with these sweet boys?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heavy Crosses

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
Luke 9:23
Take up my cross....hmmm.  Deny myself?  Follow?  Every day?  No way, too hard you may be saying to yourself.  I know I did.  But that is what Christ demands of His followers. 
What kind of cross are we talking about here?  I know I don't carry around a huge wooden tree on my shoulders everyday.  Of course, that's not what He is talking about.  Our crosses are all different.  For some it may be sickness, pride, lonliness, doubt, fear, or anything else that we bear in our lives.
He is asking us to deny ourself everyday not just when we feel like it. Our own desire, selfishness, feelings...In order to truly follow Him we have to give up control and follow in His steps.  No matter where it leads us.
He will guide us and lead us in the right direction.  He will not fail us.
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."  Psalm 68:19
If we give up control to Him daily, then He will bear our burdens.  We can rest in Him and this knowledge.  Everything that happens to us in this life must pass through His hands first.  Nothing takes Him by surprise.  It may scare us to death to give up control of the cross that we are holding onto for dear life.   But to be completely free in Him and experience His rest we must give it up.
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:29-30
In exchange for us denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him He is offering His yoke to us.  And it is light, not heavy.  And that, my friend, should be a balm to our souls.  I'll gladly take up my cross every day and surrender it to Him.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Green stuff is falling from the sky...

Don't go running to look out your windows there is not literately green stuff falling from the sky.  But for the Morrison family it is!  The green stuff I'm referring to is money.  And no, it's not coming down in buckets over here, but it is definitely sprinkling!  You're probably thinking I've left my mind back in the mental hospital that I was in yesterday but it's actually present with me today!
No, I'm referring to the mysterious money that we have been blessed with while I've been out on maternity leave.  I guess it's not really mysterious as I know it's from God, but where it actually came from is the mystery.
Let me back up because as I read the above paragraph it really doesn't make too much sense.  As some of you know, my water broke six weeks early and baby Charlie made his appearence.  I went out of work then for my twelve weeks of leave.  Like most people, we have bills-surprise!  We don't have as many as some do, but more than we'd like or feel comfortable paying with me out of work.
So anyway, Jon had gotten paid a few weeks ago from a job he had completed and I was holding onto that money for dear life!  He asked me yesterday what I did with all the money because they wouldn't let him charge anything at Lowe's (he later apoligized for that statement when I reminded him I hadn't been anywhere to do anything with that money).  So I went online and paid all the material bills that were past due and the power bill (we do need lights) and my happy finger (another story for another day) cell phone bill.
With a little bit of money left in the bank I got to thinking where did all that money go?  So I got out my notebook paper and the calculator and wrote down everything we spent money on since he put that check in the bank.  Would you believe we actually didn't spend money on anything that we didn't have to?  Well, except the vet bill for the Chloe vs. rat poison deal.  I even wrote two checks at church Sunday as it was building fund day and I hadn't been there in a few weeks to tithe.
When I added up everything the total that we had spent was a very large figure.  I don't even think we make that much money in a month!  (I keep using terms like large, all that money, etc. but it wasn't a whole lot of money by the world's standards just for our family).  Where did all the money come from for us to make ends meet?
"So do not worry saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them."
Matthew 6:31
He knows that we need to eat, have shelter and clothing, and that Jon needs work.  He has provided all of these things for us.  I believe He has because I am where He wants me to be at this time in my life.  I am here with these precious children that He has blessed us with.
"I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."  Psalm 40:8
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will continue to provide for us.  He'll keep bringing Jon work and He'll keep providing the mysterious money to keep us going.  I thank Him and pray that we can continue to walk in the path that He has placed us on.
Our three miracles...Zach, Sam, and Charlie

Thursday, September 9, 2010

If you're looking for me today try the mental hospital!

Yes I am blogging today from the inside...just kidding.  But boy did I think I needed to be committed last night.  Or maybe I just needed some Prozac!  My six year old just about did me in.  He had a project due today and I thought it would be a quick, no-hassle deal so we waited to the last minute to do it.  Boy was I wrong.  It took us three...yes three hours to complete a timeline with ten events on it.  We even had photo's to use and not hand drawings.  By the time we were done, I was exhausted both mentally and physically.  My poor child had writers cramp.  I said I wasn't going to be the parent that completed their child's projects for them, but if I could've written like a first grade boy I would've done it last night.
I felt a little bitty tiny bit what I think God must feel when His children frustrate Him.  I am not comparing myself to God, I'm just saying I got a little taste of frustration.
Imagine how He felt when the Israelites continually rebelled against Him.  No wonder He punished them with captivity and hardship.  But what about us?  The ones that He sent His Son into this world to save?
"But God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  John 3:17
How does He feel when we continue to walk in disobedience even after we've realized what Christ has done for us? 
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."  Ephesians 4:30
I think this means that we can grieve God because of our actions.  I know we can sure frustrate him!  We should strive to always walk in obedience to Him so that we are not guilty of causing Him grief.
"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." 
1 Peter 1:14
So how can we show obedience to Him?  Like the verse above says we should not strive for desires we had in our old life.  That could be money, prestige, success, or any other number of things that we sought to satisfy our needs.  He is our Supplier and He alone will meet all of our needs.  I know I don't want to be one to cause Him grief...I want Him to be proud of me.  Just like I'm proud of my child...even if he did frustrate the hound out of his mother!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We have pancakes every Saturday because I LIKE them!

I really do!  I like pancakes!  They are good and you can put different things in them to make them a little bit different...chocolate chips, sausage and cheese, pecans and cinnamon...see, a smorgasbord of pancake goodness.  OK, so I have to admit that as much as I like pancakes the real reason that we eat them every Saturday is because I don't like change.  There, I said it.  I. DO. NOT. LIKE. CHANGE!!  It is an ugly word to me that means insecurity and the unknown.  I don't like it.  I rate it up there with mice in my house.
Take this week for example.  As you may remember I spent part of my birthday with the technician from Dish network.  He was changing out our dish and receivers so we could get HD (like we really needed it but I do get to see Kirk Herbstreet better).  Jon comes home and completely redoes the way our receivers are hooked up.  It is different and I don't like it.  I don't need to see HD in my bedroom, but he seems to think we do.  It was as I was fussing at him that I realized my problem.  Change.  And I don't like it (can you tell I don't like change).
All of these feelings got me to thinking about why I am this way about change.  I mean it's not that bad most of the time so why do I hate it so much?  I like to be in control, that's why!  I like to know what's coming next.  I want to read the end of the book before I even start it to make sure it comes out OK.  I love security and stability.  Then it hit me-Ruth!
This summer I did the six week Beth Moore Siesta Bible study on Ruth by Kelly Minter (maybe it took me a tad bit longer than that but I did finish).  Ruth had to change everything she knew to follow Naomi.  She left her family, her homeland, her gods, her customs...she left it all to follow her mother in law into a foreign land.  A foreign land where Moabites were hated (Ruth was a Moabitess).  She was willing to change though and look what happened to her.  She ended up married to a rich man, Boaz, and her ended up in the lineage of Christ.
What about the disciples?  These were ordinary working men going about their business on an ordinary day when a man comes up to them and says, "Follow me."  And what did they do?  Say, "No, I can't today.  It's Saturday and my wife is making pancakes."  NO!  They dropped what they were doing and immediately followed Christ.  They knew He was something special and they didn't want to miss it.
So, where does that leave me and my resistance to change?  How can I be truly devoted and sold out to Christ if I'm not willing to change?
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
Luke 9:23
I must be willing to deny myself and my wants and needs of security and sameness every day to follow Christ and His will for me!  Am I willing to do this?  Absolutely I am!  I don't want to miss out on what He has in store for me because I know it will be something special!
We may even have omelets on Saturday...well, maybe...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to....US (all of us)!

My birthday and Jon's have just passed.  There's no doubt about it, we are getting old!  Some would say that's better than the alternative, but I'd tend to disagree when the alternative is being with Jesus!  Being in the birthday frame of mind that I'm in (we've got a passel of birthdays in our family in September) got me to thinking about what a birthday actually means. Obviously you are celebrating the day you were born.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."  Psalm 139:14a
Your parents, spouse, children, and friends all celebrate with you and it's a day just for you.  You get presents or maybe a special dinner and a cake (my favorite part).  Strangers suddenly become your friend.  This is especially true if you're at a restaurant.  EVERYBODY seems to take notice and sing right along when the wait staff comes to your table with a silly song!
But did you know that your physical birthday isn't the only one you have?  Well, not everyone is lucky enough to have two, but if you are a child of God--here it is---you have TWO birthdays!  Yes, two!
"In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..."  1 Peter 1:3b
"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."  1 Peter 1:23
So you are not only born into this world as an infant, you are also born into the family of God (a spiritual birth).  Once you ask Jesus into your heart you are born a second time!  Not literately, of course, but you are born clean and new and into the kingdom of heaven.  I'm glad I can say that I have two birthdays.  I think you ought to be able to celebrate them both accordingly.  Sure the physical birthday is important, but the spiritual one is the one that will carry you through eternity!  If you're missing the spiritual birthday, then you're gonna miss heaven and the new earth.  I thank God that He chose me before the beginning of time to have a place in His family!
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God..."  1 John 5:1a

Monday, September 6, 2010


Yes, I do know how to spell...though you wouldn't know it from the title of this post.  The word is supposed to be butterfly, but Zach used to call them flutterbies.  Cute, huh?  We were riding down the road the other day and out in one of the fields near the house there had to be hundreds of butterflies around some cotton bushes (bushes, plants, whatever you call them).  I immediately thought, "Wow this is one of those teaching moments that people talk about!"  This is the second one that has come my way in recent weeks (you'll remember the squirrel and the chiuahua).  I've never noticed them before...does this mean I'm getting old or just more intuned to God?  Hopefully the latter!
Anyway,  I pointed out all of the butterflies to the boys and told them that we are like butterflies when we have Jesus in our hearts. 
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17
This verse makes me think about how a butterfly changes from a caterpillar into a butterfly.  This process just doesn't happen overnight.  The caterpillar just doesn't say, "Hmmm, I'm tired of being a caterpillar, I think I'll turn into a butterfly."  No, there is a process.  The caterpillar goes through several different "caterpillar" stages, then into a chrysalis (like a cocoon) where it finally emerges as a butterfly.
This is how we are in our Christian life.  Before we come to know Christ, we are like the caterpillar in that we are lost and not the person we were created to become.  We are created for God's glory in His image.
"God created man in His own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them."  Genesis 1:27
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory..." 2 Corinthians 3:18
We eventually become so lost and confused we wind ourselves into a cocoon and live in darkness.  When we finally realize our need for a Savior and ask Christ to be the Lord of our life then we burst forth out of our cocoon into the light as a beautiful and brand new creation!
"God is light, in Him there is no darkness."  1 John 1:5b
"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."  2 Cor 4:6
Isn't it awesome that God made creatures like the butterfly that we in our simple mindedness can use to attempt to comprehend the love He has for us?  It's the simple everyday things of life that we can use to see Him and that we as believers can use to tell others about Him!
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure.
That He should give His only Son,
To make a wretch His treasure.
How deep the Father's love for us (above verse from this beautiful song)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A day in the life of Jon

First of all, let me say Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband.  He's halfway to 40 today...just a friendly reminder to him in case he forgot.  For those of you who know Jon, you know he's just....well Jon!  Bless his heart, he was trying to do something for me so I must give him credit for that, he was putting rat poison under the house this morning and his two favorite girls were helping him (annie and chloe, the dogs).  Now let me just inject a side note here...I do not like mice.  Not one all!  I live in the country and it's just a problem that you have.  I am a city girl at heart...let's just leave it at that!
So anyway, he was putting rat poison under the house and I left to go to the doctor.  He calls me about an hour later with the words, "We might have a problem."  I immediately think something is wrong with Sam.  But it was Chloe the psycho weenie dog.  She had gotten into the rat poison and eaten 2 containers of it.  He's like, "Well what should I do?"  I say, "Better call the vet before she bleeds out all over you and Sam."  All the while I'm thinking to myself, "Why did you not put the dog in the house?  Did you not think she would get into the stuff?  I mean we're talking about psycho weenie dog here!"
This is where Proverbs 10:19 becomes truth. 
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
I had to choose in that moment whether to let loose on him or be graceful and just give my advice.  Ok so maybe I mixed it a little, but I really was trying to be good.  God gave me this man with his faults (which are very few) and his strengths and I am his helpmate.
"It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him."  Genesis 2:18
I need to remember to hold my tongue when I should because harsh words tear relationships down and cause strife.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1
The best thing I can do for my marriage is to be kind even when I don't want to be.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Prov. 16:24
Holding my tongue and being graceful with my words help me to be a wife that my husband can be proud of not one that he wants to hide.
"A wife of noble character is her husbands crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones."  Proverbs 12:4

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And then the end will come

It seems like everytime I turn on the news some new natural disaster has occured or a new war is breaking out or peace talks in the Middle East are on again.  This gets me thinking about the end times and how it seems like we are close to them.  Of course, things have happened in every generation to make people think that may be the case.  Given my flesh pattern of worry, anxiety, and selfishness I immediately start to think about what may happen if we are here for part of the tribulation (which is the belief that our church adopts-pre wrath) or what if Jesus really comes back by surprise and there is a great evacuation of all believers (pre trib) or what if we are here for the whole thing and are hunted down and killed like animals by the anti-christ and his followers (post trib)?  Can you tell I have a grand imagination and could easily give myself ulcers or sink into a deep depression?  I think Satan would love that! 
Ok so I am not an expert on the end times by any means.  We studied it at church and I've listened to radio and online teaching from respected preachers and teachers and I've done inductive bible studies on Daniel and Revelation.  With all of the different view points on the end times I really just ended up more confused than anything else.  Depending on who you're listening to at the time you can believe any of the above mentioned scenerios.  I've done some studying to find the truth on my on and what did I discover? 
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."  Matt. 24:42
"But the day of the Lord will come like a theif."  2 Peter 3:10
"for you know very well that the day of Lord will come like a theif in the night."  1 Thess. 5:2
In other words, no one knows when the end of time will come but God.  I also think that no one idea about the rapture and tribulation is without flaw.  So in light of this, what do I do with all of my random, crazy thoughts every time I see something in the news that can be interpreted as a "sign of the end times"? 

#1)  I have to choose to believe that God is God and He is in control. 
Mark 9:24 says, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief."
"Be still, and know that I am God..."  Psalm 46:10

#2)  I have to choose to trust my time is not my own but God's.
"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God."  My times are in your hands..." 
Psalm 31: 14-15
"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139: 16b

#3)  I have to choose to enjoy the peace of God that is mine as His child.
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." 
Isaiah 26:3
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  John 14:27

#4)  I have to choose to walk in faith on a daily basis.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  Heb. 11:1 
Entire chapter of Heb. 11
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2Tim. 4:7

#5)  I have to choose to pray continually.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:6

I could go on and on but you get the idea.  God's Word is full of His promises to us as believers.  He will not forsake us and our purpose in life is to glorify Him.  So whatever He has in store for us we just need to sit back and let God be God.  All that matters in the end is hearing "well done good and faithful servant come and share your master's happiness."  I think if we focused on the eternal things and not earthly ones our mind set would be completely different.  Instead of fear we'd be excited to see these things happenning.  It means that eternity is on the horizon.  We'll be worshipping at the feet of Jesus and walking the new earth with our loved ones (who believein Christ) before we know it!  This life on earth is just temporary and we'd do well to remember that.  We need to be doing all we can for the kingdom while we are here not just focusing on ourselves and our small section of the big picture He is painting. 
When I renew my mind with all of this truth I am comforted and can move on in Christ to fulfill my destiny He has already determined for me.  I may have to remind myself every few minutes, but thank God His Word never changes!
I'll leave you with two of my favorite passages of scripture that nourishes my soul when I am afraid of the future:
"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you."  Deut. 31:6
"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."
Psalm 33:20-22