Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Photo

Midway Community Church World Changers Jackson MI 6/2011
 "and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

Everyone can do something to change the world for Christ.  Age is not a factor.  Money is no object.  Time is irrelevant.  What I do won't be the same as what you can, but we should all start in the same place-with PRAYER...Seek Him, then go out and be His witness!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday...

 'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.'  Colossians 4:2

I am not content.  I am humbled.  Blessed.  Awed.  Undeserving.  Indebted.  Convicted. 
I had the honor to hear Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts, speak this past weekend.  I was inspired by her words.  Inspired to live for the purpose I was glorify Him, to know Him, to worship Him, to THANK Him.

I am in process of reading the book and I hang on every word Ann writes-her words are powerful and convicting.  Everything I have has come from Him.  All that I don't have is by His choice.  I am thankful.  Truly thankful.  Because of what He has done for me, I am joining with others in listing my one thousand gifts.  Feel free to join in here, on your own blog, on paper, or in your heart. 

The list begins...
#1  the smell of the orange on my hands that I just peeled for my hubby
#2  the sound of voices coming from the shower where 2 of my favorite boys are getting  clean from the day
#3  the uneven pitter-patter of my 4 year-old's feet as he comes to give mama a kiss
#4  hot water
#5  running water, the fact that I have water at all
#6  my wiggly 11 month-old when I try to put on his diaper
#7  our Soldiers and their families who sacrifice all for us
#8  the new wireless printer in my room (the inspiration for me to clean out a home for it)
#9  a little shack in the woods
#10  our second home on wheels

What are you thankful for today?
We are traveling in the home on wheels for the weekend, enjoying some time with the hubby's side of the family--be back Monday! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday

How is your harvest this season?  Did you sow seeds early for a fruitful harvest?  Or did you squander away what you were given?  Maybe you hid them for another day?  As His servants, we should readily plant the seeds of His word into others lives as often as we have the opportunity.  Then we wait for the harvest and when the fruit ripens, we pick it and claim it for His Kingdom.

Linking up today with Word Filled Wednesday

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

She Speaks or Does She?

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  Proverbs 31:26

Whew!  What a weekend I had at She Speaks.  It was exhausting and my brain feels as if it will explode.  I found out two things about myself:  1) I am not now, nor will I ever be a speaker and 2) I will not, nor anytime soon will I be writing a book.  I found out I need a platform, tagline, brand, social media savvy, 'fresh' ideas, etc.  So much to process!  I left Charlotte Sunday feeling overwhelmed and lacking in my ability to write for Him.  After thinking about what was taught, I realize that it is not about me!  My ability is not dependent on what I can do, but what He can do through me.

There was a breakout session taught by Whitney Capps (who has to be one of the funniest speakers I've ever heard) on Spiritual Warfare.  If I learned nothing else at She Speaks, I met Jesus at Whitney's talk.  Satan is out to get those who are sold out and surrendered to do the work He has called them to.  Case in point, this is the first time I've turned on my computer since Friday.  The little whisper in my ear tells me "No big deal, no one reads what you have to say anyway.  They won't even miss you."  I am thankful I was prepared by the talk I heard this weekend to head Satan off before he can even get a word in edge-wise.

To top things off, when I checked the mail upon my arrival home, there was a Spiritual Warfare for Women book in my mailbox.  What can you say to that?  God, that's what!  He knew what I'd face when I got home and He wanted to show me He was on the job.  I've got a lot to think about when it comes to blogging, writing, etc. and I'm sure you'll be hearing more about it soon.  Until then, I'm off to check in on my bloggy buddies...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

'The LORD will guide you always;  he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.'  Isaiah 58:11

Tomorrow is finally here.  Yes, I know that technically tomorrow is always here, but in this case it's a very special tomorrow.  I will be traveling with a friend to Concord, NC for the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference.  Although, for me, it should be She that's what I'm going for!  I feel like a 5 year old getting ready to start school...excited, yet nervous and unsure of what to expect.

I am having to live out my Moving from Fear to Freedom principles as I'm leaving 2 of my 3 kiddo's at the lake with my hubby (that would be the concern over the well-being of my family).  Don't get me wrong, he's an awesome Dad, but that's just it-he's Dad, not Mama.  He'll actually have the baby Friday until my parents get there and then they'll take him home with them.  I cringe at the thought, but I am leaving them in Daddy's (earthly and heavenly) capable hands.

Then there's the issue that I have yet to get together any writing to take for the Writing Critique.  I should be doing that instead of blogging, oh well...
Add to that the fact I haven't really packed yet...and still have to pack for the rest of the family to go to the lake.  Did I mention I'll be going to the lake this evening and leaving from there in the morning? 
My house needs cleaned...especially the bathrooms and the dog hair where I'm sitting is enough to make extensions for me to wear this weekend.

But I am not going to let Satan get the best of me.  He is prowling around trying to get a hold of me and defeat me.  He is trying to make me nervous, anxious, and just flat out not want to go to She Speaks.  Did I mention that I really don't like to meet new people (no offense to anyone)?  I repeat, I will not let Satan win.  I will not let Satan win!  I WILL NOT LET SATAN WIN!  In Jesus name and power, I am ready for what He has in store for me this weekend!  See ya'll back Monday :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday

What are you taking delight in today?  Your life, family, material possessions, status, or the Lord?  His Word tells us if we delight in Him, then we will have the desires of our hearts.  Not our wants, but the desires that He places in our hearts as we place our focus on Him alone.

Joining up with Word Filled Wednesday.  Photo courtesy of my Mother-in-Law, Decima.  Check out her website here!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Are you Being the Church?

 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-47 

Imagine if you were born to parents who'd been stranded on a desert island.  You've had no contact with the outside world except for what they've told you.  They have a few things salvaged when they were stranded, among them a bible.  You read about the God of the bible, Jesus, the Church, and have no influence from society about these things.  One day, your family is finally rescued and brought back to the States. 

Would you recognize the church as it is today?  Would it look like the church you'd read about in the bible?  The early Church that is described in the Word is not the one that we see today.  They shared their belongings, took meals together, and didn't just meet on Sunday.  They didn't come together for a few hours of Praise and Worship followed by one guy getting up and sharing a few words from the bible.  No, they met in the temple every day.  Every day. 

How humbling it is to see what we've made church into today.  Instead of being the Church, we do church.  If I'm not mistaken, I think God intended us as His followers to be the church.  Wherever we are, because we are His ambassadors, there the church is also.  May we be reminded of the simplicity of the Acts 2 church.  May we strive to be that way again.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Th...Th...That's All Folks!

Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”  The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” 
  Exodus 4:10-12

My boys love to watch the new Looney Tunes and that means Mama does too.  On one of the most recent episodes, Speedy Gonzales has a new pizza he is wanting Bugs Bunny to market.  Poor Porky Pig wants to be in the commercial so bad, but if you'll remember he has a little speech problem.  Of course, Speedy only wants the more eloquent Bugs to be the spokesman for the newest Taco pizza.  Bugs doesn't want to be in the commercial and so begins the parody of getting it made while making all parties involved happy.

This hilarious episode reminds me of how I feel this week as I get ready to attend the She Speaks conference that is put on by Proverbs 31.  The writer in me wants to have the Bugs Bunny voice, but I feel more like Porky Pig.  When I look on the SheSpeaks Facebook page, I feel like Moses when God called him to be the one to lead the Israelites out of captivity. 

I am not eloquent with my words and I never set out to be a 'writer'.  Whereas Moses felt inadequate in his speech, I feel most inadequate putting my thoughts into words.  But He has had other plans for me, it seems.  When I read the verses above, I like to remind myself that God made not only our mouths to speak, but our hands to write.  This week, I am stepping out of my comfort zone, giving Him my fears, and continuing a journey that He has set me on.  By the way, Porky does end up being in the commercial...

Friday, July 15, 2011

5 Minute Friday


The object of the 5 minute Friday is to write for 5 minutes without thinking about what you're writing, no editing, no nothing and then link up with other bloggers over at Gypsy Mama.  I said I was going to take a blogging break on Fridays, but I just couldn't pass this up (at least this once).

I didn't start out to be a writer.  I really don't think I'm that great or that I have much to say, but everyone else seems to think I do.  I committed it to prayer and for some reason He keeps opening doors for me to write what is on my heart.  Take next weekend, for example.  I'll be traveling to NC for the She Speaks conference that is put on by Proverbs 31.  I feel so out of my league with that one, but He opened the doors by providing sponsors for me to go.  So now I have to go whether I want to or not.

I guess that's how He shows people like me the path they should travel on this earthly journey.  I am a doubter by nature and don't really think I hear Him right when He does speak.  This time, I'm stepping out in faith and WAY out of my comfort zone by going to this conference.


I have to add this:  I just looked closer at the 5 minute Friday and I was supposed to write about the topic provided, I think...oh well, now I'll have to do it next week so I can do it right :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Service with a Smile

'But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.'  1 Samuel 12:24

I think of faithful service as a waitress who is waiting on the ultimate customer.  He's known to be a big tipper, but he expects devoted service from the waitress when he is in her section.  As her biggest customer, he demands that she focus only on Him.  In turn, as a reward for her excellent service, he will leave her with an exorbitant tip when he leaves.

This relationship is like ours with our Master.  He has given us the greatest tip of all, eternal life in Him.  All He expects from us in return is a respect for His greatness and the wonderful things He has done.  He also deserves our faithful, wholehearted service in whatever ministry He has called us.  

Think about what kind of service you are giving the King today.  Are you the kind of waitress that keeps the water glass full?  Or are you the one who just puts a pitcher on the table for Him to fill up His own cup when it gets empty?  Consider the great things that He has done for you.  The least we can do in return is to serve Him faithfully all the days of our life.

Linking up today with...


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Word Filled Wednesday

Are you anxious today or are you experiencing the peace of God?  Try taking God at His word and think upon pure, righteous thoughts then you can experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Linking up with Word Filled Wednesday

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

She's Back!

She is clothed with strength and dignity;  she can laugh at the days to come.  Proverbs 31:25

This woman keeps showing up everywhere I go.  You remember her, the perfect Proverbs 31 woman?  I bet she even had great hair all the time!  I've read about her on numerous occasions, but have never seen the second part of the verse above:  she can laugh at the days to come.  I don't think the word laugh here means a giggle, but a full blown belly-busting hooorrraahhh!

If you read about the P31 gal, you'll find that her life isn't easy.  It's hard.  She is provider, nurturer, caretaker, helpmate, mother, business woman...her days to come probably seem pretty overwhelming most times.  But she doesn't look upon them with dread.  I'm thinking that maybe she had so much to take care of each day she couldn't do anything but laugh at tomorrow.  She was doing good to get through today!

On the other hand, maybe she had so much trust in God she just dared tomorrow to try to get her down.  She lived her life day by day trusting in her God and the promises that He had made.  She was faithful, diligent, and intentional.  The P31 lady just keeps getting better the more I get to know her.  I hope to be able to laugh at tomorrow.  Not a giggle, mind you, but the snorting, wheezing, crying kind!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Facing YOUR Giant

'As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.'  
1 Samuel 17:48-49 

It was hot, so hot.  The King had just put his own heavy armor onto the little boy's body, but it was to cumbersome and he couldn't even walk.  He took it off.  He didn't need it.  His Lord was with him.  He took one smooth, perfect stone from the pouch on his side and placed it in his sling.  He pulled it back with practiced ease and let it fly...right into the forehead of the big Goliath standing in front of him.  He let out a pent-up breath and ran to the giant's side.  The Lord had done it.  He had once again saved His people and this time He used a young shepherd boy named David.

What a story for the underdog!  God used the most unlikely person to achieve His plan with His people.  He's good at doing that, using the least likely of us to do His kingdom work here on earth.  If you're like me, you feel like part of the unlikely group rather than the equipped one.  I look out at the world around me and I see one giant after another.  These giants come in all shapes and forms, each one is different for each of us.  Some are big, others are small, but none are insignificant in our Father's eyes.

He has equipped each one of us to face our own giants.  According to the Word, we have everything we need for life and godliness.  He has promised to always be with us, to never forsake us, so why should we be afraid of what this world can throw at us?  We can stand tall with our stones and slings, ready for battle at all times.  I challenge you to face your giant today.  Don't cower in fear, but take advantage of the power He has given you and fight for your life.  You will be victorious in Jesus' name.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hat's Off!

'For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.'  1 Corinthians 3:9

Have you ever felt like a hat rack?  The kind where everybody and their sister comes by, leaves a hat, and then forgets to come back and get it?  Then you end up trying to wear each hat that's been left because they are all so cute?  That is exactly where I am at right now.  I am driving myself crazy trying to make sure all of the hats left on my rack get worn.

Mind you, not all of the hats were left there by other people.  I've bought my fair share of them only to look at the rack and wonder why I needed all these hats!  I probably sound like a crazed woman and you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about...hats....racks...I'm talking about the different kinds of roles (hats) we try to play in our daily lives.  Just so you get an idea of what I mean, let me list my hat rack for you:
Jesus girl, wife/Mommy, small group bible study leader, blogger (in 3 different places), nurse (3 days a week and a whole other story entirely), children's pastor, helpmate to youth leader, praise/worship singer, special needs child transporter/supporter/caregiver, Women's ministry starter-upper...I think I'll just leave it at that.

Can I say that I am tired?  Satan is really trying to beat me down as I try to juggle all of these hats I've 'bought' along the way.  I've decided that I need to bag up some of my hats and donate them to Goodwill.  The problem becomes:  which ones do I choose?  They are all so important.  Maybe I'm meant to keep all of them and He is going to teach me organization and time management?  I'm thinking it's more like "get over yourself girl!  You are not responsible for your little corner of My kingdom by yourself.  Let go of your pride and ask for some help!"  Whatever He's up to I'm willing to go with Him, but first I have to seek Him and His will for me.

So be on the lookout for some of my cool hats.  You may see one coming your way soon...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's in the Mail!

'Call to me and I will answer you.  I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.'  Jeremiah 33:3

Have you ever had an answered prayer just drop into your lap?  Or your mailbox, in my case?  I must say that I have not, until today.  A few weeks ago, my pastor approached me about doing a Women's Bible Study at our church.  My first thought was no, not me.  Someone else would be better suited for that than me.  Then I remembered that I lead a small group for the local women's fellowship in our area, so why couldn't I lead a study for the ladies at my own church?

Actually, I can't.  In my own strength, I can do absolutely nothing.  Ah, but in His strength, I can do anything.  So I emailed my pastor yesterday and told him that I'd be glad to do a study.  I gave him the stipulation that it had to be on Sunday nights (because we have our kid's programs then and FREE childcare) and it needed to be a 7 week study...I am not starting out with Beth Moore :)  With these stipulations, I was still trying to get out of doing a study.  Did I mention that I'd have to be the one to purchase the study material?

Well, wouldn't you know, when I got the mail this evening there was a nice brown package addressed to yours truly.  I first thought it was my next book for review from Bethany Publishers.  Then I noticed the return address was from Canada.  The only person I know there is Grace Fox, who's study we've been doing on Monday nights.  I open the package and there it was- a copy of the seven week DVD study as well as a study guide for Grace's Moving from Fear to Freedom.  Hello!  If that's not an answer to prayer, I don't know what is!

I guess if you don't want Him to answer, don't pray about something.  I could say this was chance and choose to ignore it, but I think I'll take it as the answer it appears to be!  I want to walk in obedience to my Father at all times and in every way.

Monday, July 4, 2011

True Freedom

'It is for freedom that Christ set us free.  Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.'  Galations 5:1

As our speaker this past week at World Changers said, in this nation our freedoms can come and go, but in Christ, no one can ever take away the freedom of our faith.  This world can dictate to us where and how we can observe our religion, but they have no say in our relationship with our Father.  Today as we observe the freedom we experience in this country thanks to those men and women who've given their lives, let us remember the true freedom that we have in our Savior.  Let us be zealous about sharing this freedom with others who are searching for the one freedom that can never be taken from us.