Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There is JOY in Serving Jesus!



I Chronicles 16:10 "Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord."

When I stop to think about how wonderful God is, it brings joy to my heart!

If I truly want to experience a joyous Christian life, I need to always seek the Lord...a constant desire to learn more about Him and His ways. The more I learn about Him and the wonderful life I can have with Him by my side, the more JOY I will have in every area of my life. Then, in turn, the more I will want to seek Him!

Life for every person here on earth is full of "ups and downs." Why walk through this life alone when I have an Almighty Creator who desires to walk beside me and help me through the "down" times and rejoice with me in the "up" times?!

The Christian life...the center of God's will...What a JOYOUS place to be! I wouldn't go back and change one decision I have made for God.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hmmm...Chronicles!

I MUST admit I struggle to find a truth in my readings through Chronicles at times! Ha!

However, I did find a little nugget of truth in chapter 7 this morning. This chapter discusses the lineage and inheritance of 5 of the tribes of Israel. I find it interesting how God mentions a different area in which each family excelled.

God has given each of us a different area in which we excel. How sad when I take this area and excel for my own glory rather than using my God-given talents to glorify God.

It seems from this chapter that God is pleased when I am willing to give back to Him what He has given me in the first place!

Thank you for this reminder, God, to be unselfish in giving my life for Your service. There is nothing I would rather do with my life; what a HAPPY place to be!!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Am I a Spiritual Baby?


Hebrews 5:12-13 "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe."

It seems that too many of us Christians remain spiritual babies for most of our lives--needing help instead of becoming a helper.

God should not have to teach me the same lesson twice. I should take a lesson learned, apply it to my life, and then turn around and teach it to others. These verses obviously show us that God is disappointed when we do not mature into spiritual teachers but instead remain as spiritual babes, needing to be helped through every aspect of our lives.

What a great challenge! Thanks, God, for your patience with me...with all of us as Christians!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Serving God is FUN!

I feel sorry for those who feel serving God is a chore! It seems more wonderful and rewarding to me each day!!

I had the privilege of meeting up with some of our teen ladies and their moms at a tea room near us today. We had so much fun together! It is a great blessing to share some food and small talk with other ladies who also have a desire to serve God.

I feel that Christian fellowship is SO important! We all desire to have fellowship of some kind. If we seek it out among other Christian ladies, what a sweet fulfillment it can bring to our lives! Thank you, God, for the privilege of spending time with some sweet Christian ladies today.



Monday, August 2, 2010

Young People are IMPORTANT!


II Kings 15:1-3

"In the twenty and seventh year of Jereboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.

Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done;"

Thanks, God, for this reminder of what GREAT things young people can do for your work!

Young people can be great leaders for God if they surrender their life to You during their youth. Young people needn't wait till adulthood to begin their service for God. In their youth, they are establishing what kind of adult they will become.

Thank You, God, for the PRIVILEGE of working with young people and encouraging them to give their lives to You in their youth. I pray You will give me wisdom to show our young people through my life what a WONDERFUL thing it is to live a life fully surrendered to Your will. I couldn't be happier with my choice as a young person to yield my life to Your service. No regrets. It is so much fun to serve You!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How Can We Be Sure God Will Hear And Help?

Psalms 91:1 & 15 "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."

Great thought today, God!

EVERYONE wants God to hear their voice as they cry out to Him. How can I be sure He will hear?

By dwelling close to Him. Not just visiting Him in areas of my life, but centering every aspect of my life around His will--what HE would want.

What a great reminder, God! I need you in every tiny area of my life today, no matter how insignificant it may seem...how I dress, how I greet others around me, how I spend my spare time, etc.

I invite you into every area of my life today!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do Our Words Really Matter?

Apparently they do to God in Proverbs 15! Nine of the 33 verses in this chapter make reference to our words.

Verses 23 and 28 popped out to me as I read today.

Proverbs 15:23 "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due, how good is it!"

My words rightly spoken can be uplifting to others while bringing joy to myself at the same time! I personally always feel better about myself and my life after I have helped someone. Therefore uplifting words can help others and bring me joy at the same time!

Proverbs 15:28 "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."

My words are probably my largest area of influence in every relationship I have in my life. Why do I then so flippantly throw words out of my mouths without realizing the life-lasting influence they might have?

God reminds me here that if I want to be counted as righteous (Def: acting in a moral or upright way), then I need to study my words in my heart before I say them.

In short...Think before You Speak. Before I spill out what I want to say, I ought to think of how it will impact others around me.

Thank You, God, for this important reminder that every word I speak will have an effect on others and myself.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Sweet Blessings...


Sorry it has been a LONG time since my last post. I have had some health and chiropractic issues with my pregnancy.

Yesterday, during the evening service we had a testimony time since it was Independence Day and our church's 63rd Anniversary Sunday.

Pastor asked for the testimonies to be limited to God, Family, Church or Country. It was sweet to hear different members give a testimony of what God has done for them in these areas and just spend some time praising Him.

The sweetest blessings for Dan and I were the heartfelt testimonies of some of our teens. God has wrought such amazing works in their lives the past 6 years we have been here at Arlington Baptist Church. Many of them reached as bus kids just a few years ago are now singing in church, preaching nursing home services, running bus routes, etc. Brought many tears to my eyes.

Thank you, God, for the PRIVILEGE of being used for Your glory!! What greater joy than to serve God?!

Proverbs 28:20a "A faithful man shall abound with blessings:"


Friday, April 23, 2010

Do You Like Pizza?


I LOVE pizza..I grew up near Chicago!...but not the grease-infested tasteless kind we get at Little Caesar's sometimes! I MUCH prefer homemade pizza.

Granted, it may not be the world's most healthy dinner! However, if you make your own, you control what toppings you put on and how much.

I have to admit I did not do it often because it took too long. That is UNTIL I found this so incredibly easy recipe about a year ago. We now enjoy pizza a little more frequently because I am in control of what goes on top!

Here is a quick, simple, and great-tasting recipe for homemade pizza...

DOUGH:

2 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2/3 c. water (Sometimes I have to use a little bit more, just depends on how it mixes up)

THAT's IT! C'mon, everyone has those 3 ingredients in their cupboard, right?! Just combine your 3 dry ingredients, stir in the water till you have a thick dough. Place it on a floured surface and knead it for about 2 minutes. Flatten and shape however you desire and put it on a pizza pan (cookie sheet works fine too).

TOPPING:

Vegetable oil

Tomato Sauce

Seasonings

Grated Mozzarella Cheese

Meat, Veggies, chopped onions, fresh garlic, whatever you like!

Spread some vegetable or canola oil on crust (keeps tomato sauce from soaking into the crust), then put the tomato sauce on. (Usually one little can is more than enough. I use the one with no added salt, so I can control the sodium.) Sprinkle seasonings on the tomato sauce (salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, Garlic powder, whatever you like). Top with fresh grated mozzarella cheese! Mmmm! Then top with whatever you like! We enjoy sausage, bacon or grilled chicken (cooked first!), zucchini, onion, fresh garlic. Be creative! This is a good way to get your family to eat some different veggies!

*For a real treat, I have even used a cream alfredo type sauce instead of tomato and topped with grilled chicken, grilled onions, mozzarella cheese and veggies!! I make my own cream sauce. Mmmm! NOT low-fat, though! Unless you buy a can of low-fat alfredo sauce, but I am not a great advocate of canned sauces! If you are in a hurry, they still might be a bit better than that greasy "to-go" pizza!

Enjoy this home-made treat with your family; a fun family dinner!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Think Before We Speak...

2 Kings 2:3, 5

"And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."

"And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."

Here Elisha was about to lose his mentor, the man he worked and labored with, one whom he loved dearly. I can imagine he must have been hurting emotionally. Elijah had taught him so much and been his companion.
Twice in the verses above, men (prophets even) spoke nonchalantly about this to Elisha. Probably not thinking about the hurt it would cause him.

We ought to work to be sensitive to the feelings of others before we speak. Oftentimes we blurt out something without thinking, sometimes even in jest, and then realize the hurt it may have caused another who is listening.

Simply because something is true does not mean it has to be spoken or told to others. A great motto to strive for in our lives is..."Think BEFORE we speak!"

Love it when my little man wants to "read with me" in the morning. We had fun! I always read a few verses very dramatically for him. He loves to "read" with Mommy using his little Bible! I always write about what I read. He wants to write too, so I got him a little notebook to write with Mommy! I want my little man to learn to LOVE reading the Bible while he is young.
It is the BEST way to start any day!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Hard Choices...


I Kings 15:13

"And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron."

I don't imagine it was an easy decision for King Asa to remove his own mother from the throne. Sometimes following God's way may require a stand that those close to us may not understand.

Taking a right stand for what we believe is God's will in our lives may require some hard choices. However, God is our greatest ally. If we make our choices as King Asa and King David did, "turning not aside from any thing that God commands us" (I Kings 15:5), then God will bless accordingly.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We Are God's Billboard...


I Kings 10:8-9a

"Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."

"Blessed be the Lord thy God,"

These verses are in relation to the Queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon. She was coming to see for herself if he was really all that people said he was.

One thing that she noticed about those around Solomon was their spirit towards their service. They were HAPPY! Interesting that her very next words after this observation were..."Blessed be the Lord thy God,"

I also serve a King, THE King! I am an "advertisement" for Him (whether good or bad) in every moment of my life. My spirit, my attitude about the work of God may be the deciding factor in whether or not someone chooses to follow God or look for another road to happiness.

Simply my disposition in a church service may have a profound impact on someone sitting near me. I may not even officially speak to them, but someone is watching, always watching my life.

Thank you, God, for this reminder that I am a walking "billboard" for you. What kind of advertisement am I for the cause of Christ? I hope anyone I meet today will be able to say, "She is HAPPY to serve the Lord!!"






Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We Must Take the First Step...

I Kings 8:38-40 "What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:

Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)

That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers."

God's promises are usually conditional; they begin after we take the first step. These verses seem to show us that one step leads to another.
~ As God's people humble themselves and pray (vs. 38)
~ Then God steps into action with four responses in vs. 39...
1) Hear 2) Forgive 3) Do 4) Give.
~ God's people will see His actions and gain a respect or a "fear" of the Lord (vs. 40).
The second and third steps only occur if we as Christians take the first step towards God. Thank You, God, for this reminder that You desire a working relationship with your children, but will not force it on us. We must take that first step.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Humble Service...


I Kings 6:38 "And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it."
This passage of scripture refers to Solomon's building of the temple.

The last statement of this verse which is the last statement of the chapter stood out for me. "So he was SEVEN YEARS in building it."

Most of us would want a gold medal for spending such a tremendous amount of our time for God. However, this was a reminder to me today that I OWE God a portion of my time.

It seems that too often Christians obtain "Martyr Syndrome" about service for God. If one does not receive recognition for the "great" things done for Christ, a Christian might become a little offended, some perhaps might even quit their ministry or quit church.

God gave me the very air I breathe; therefore I ought to humbly and willingly serve Him on every occasion possible. I should expect nothing in return for my service; after all, I have already received everlasting life!!

A great reminder that I should not have to even be asked to help out around the church, I ought to volunteer to any and every opportunity in order to express my love to God. Great reminder!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our time = Our Life...



I Kings 3:4 "And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar."
Think how LONG it must have taken King Solomon to sacrifice 1,000 burnt offerings?! Our time is our life, therefore the most precious thing we possess. This is the greatest thing we can give back to God.
Solomon must have set aside hours to sacrifice to God. When was the last time we set aside any time for God, let alone hours?
Thank you, God, for this convicting reminder to set aside time in this fast-paced life we live, to be still and know that You are God.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Changing Hats...


I Thessalonians 5:14 "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."

Four things Paul mentions in this verse for God's people to do...Warn, Comfort, Support, and Be Patient.

These are four very different hats to wear as a Christian. Obviously I must learn to be a well-balanced Christian. In the ministry I will be called upon to wear many different hats...warning one moment, comforting another person the next, offering support for a Christian trying to grow and then showing patience with all around me.

As I juggle all the different "hats" God allows me to wear, I must strive to learn how to change each "hat," or transition from one situation to the next, quickly and smoothly. I cannot carry emotion from one situation into another. If I really want to be a help to people then I must learn to live 100% in each moment and situation I am in, leaving all others behind.

For example, we cannot properly comfort one person if we are still emotionally charged from a warning we shared with another person. Is this possible for me in my own strength? Probably not! I need the wisdom and discernment of God and the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit daily!

Thank You, God, for this great reminder! I LOVE I Thessalonians chapter 5! This is one of my very favorite chapters from which to learn.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How Can I Help Others Grow?


The following thoughts came while reading 1 Thessalonians 1-2...

How do we help others around us grow as Christians? These chapters seem to show us that it first begins in our heart!

I must cultivate, through Christ, a sincere love for others. It does not take people long to spot a fake!

Do I really desire to make a difference in the lives of those involved in my area of ministry? If my answer is yes, then I must ask for God's help daily as I strive to grow my love to be more like His...a mature, unconditional, selfless love.
How important to learn to love people despite their show of emotion or actions toward myself! How important to work on cultivating an interest in every part of the lives of the people to whom I minister!
Someone will believe I really care when they see that I show an interest in every area of their lives...not just the areas that directly affect my relationship with them.
Thank you, God, for this reminder to cultivate a more unconditional love for people! Thank you for the reminder that I cannot make a difference FOR You apart from a relationship WITH You! I can never love people as I ought until I first love YOU as I ought.
What a privilege to serve You, God!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Helping Hand

We Need God's Helping Hand...



II Samuel 24:14 "And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man."



As David spoke with the prophet, Gad, he made it obvious that he was more concerned with what GOD thought of Him than what MAN thought of him. A wise man!

This verse seems to be a challenge for us to be more concerned about being on God's side than to be esteemed by man. God is the One who can help us find a fulfilling and wonderful life. May we be reminded to spend more time trying to please Him than we do our fellow man.

Thank you, Lord, for this reminder; and thank you for the WONDERFUL privilege of living the fulfilling life of a separated Christian. It is such a happy place to be!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A HUG from God...



A HUG from God, today!

I am hosting a formal banquet for my teen girls on February 12th. I have been trying to find a formal for myself without spending a fortune. I went looking at thrift stores today.

As I was driving, I told God..."Ok, God, I am trying to be frugal and not spend money we don't have. I don't have anything formal to wear, so if you want me to save money, please help me to find something nice today!"

I went to 3 thrift stores. The first two had some pretty things, but nothing to suit me. As I walked in the last store, I saw a sign...50% off of ALL women's clothing today!! And of course, God had a BEAUTIFUL dress waiting for me, just my size!

I was able to buy a beautiful full-length formal gown and a velvet half-sweater to match it. I paid...(are you ready?)...$2.50 TOTAL!

THAT was my HUG from God!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fun in Sunday School...


I should have taken a picture! I always leave about 7 minutes at the end of my Sunday school class to teach a little "Lessons For
Ladies," as I call them.
Today we were learning about Proper Table and Dinner etiquette. I had a table set up with silverware, plates and cups, salt and pepper shakers. Our food was a plate of donut holes! I passed around their handout and then we briefly practiced passing the food, salt and pepper shakers, etc. (we were short on time today, but we had fun!)
Here is the content of today's handout...
General social and dining etiquette rules:
· Arrive at least 10 minutes early unless otherwise specified.
· Pass food from the left to the right.
· Always say please when asking for something. Be sure to say thank you to your server and bus boy after they have removed any used items.
· If asked for the salt or pepper, pass both together, even if a table mate asks for only one of them. This is so dinner guests won't have to search for orphaned shakers.
· Set any passed item, whether it's the salt and pepper shakers, a bread basket, or a butter plate, directly on the table instead of passing hand-to-hand.
· Never intercept a pass. Snagging a roll out of the breadbasket or taking a shake of salt when it is en route to someone else is a no-no.
· Food is served from the left. Dishes are removed from the right.
· Butter, spreads, or dips should be transferred from the serving dish to your plate before spreading or eating.
· Turn a wine glass upside down to decline wine.
· Always scoop food away from you.
· Taste your food before seasoning it.
· Do try a little of everything on your plate.
· Don't blow on your food to cool it off. If it is too hot to eat, take the hint and wait.
· Keep elbows off the table. Keep your left hand in your lap unless you are using it.
· Do not talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed.
· Cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Eat in small bites and slowly.
· Don't clean up spills with your own napkin and don't touch items that have dropped on the floor. You can use your napkin to protect yourself from spills. Then, simply and politely ask your server to clean up and to bring you a replacement for the soiled napkin or dirty utensil.
· Do not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room. If you cough, cover your mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
· Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent or vibrate mode before sitting down to eat, and leave it in your purse. It is impolite to answer a phone during dinner. If is is an emergency and you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside of the restaurant or room.
· Do not use a toothpick or apply makeup at the table.
· Whenever a woman leaves the table or returns to sit, all men seated with her should stand up.
· Do not push your dishes away from you or stack them for the waiter when you are finished. Leave plates and glasses where they are.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

STOP and reflect...


Psalms 36:1-4

"The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil."

It seems God gives us six things in these 4 verses that describe a wicked man; 6 things obviously we should work to avoid!!

6 Ways This Psalm describes a wicked man...



1. (vs. 1...there is no fear of God before his eyes.) A lack of fear or respect for God.

2. (vs. 2...For he flattereth himself in his own eyes,) A pride, arrogancy or self-exaltation.

3. (vs. 3...The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.) Ceasing to care whether ones' words or actions are wise or good.

4. (vs. 4...He deviseth mischief upon his bed;) A planning or plotting of mischief.

5. (vs. 4...he setteth himself in a way that is not good;) Placing oneself in the wrong path.

6. (vs. 4...he abhorreth not evil.) Ceasing to Hate and Abhor sin. The Bible doesn't way he committed evil, he just did not abhor it. Love the sinner, but hate the sin that destroys their lives.

Thank you, God for this reminder! Please bring these 6 traits often to mind so I may remember to avoid them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The snow was beautiful!

WOW! What a beautiful weekend to go to South Lake Tahoe! It had snowed all week prior to our visit. We went all day Saturday. We got to see some amazing scenery and have a blast with the teens in the snow. There were about 20 of us altogether. We get good reports about our kids everywhere we go. They are a great bunch!

Enjoy a few scenery pictures...















Thursday, January 21, 2010

Psalms 34...Great thought...


Psalms 34:11 seemed to jump out at me today. David said "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord."

It seems David felt the #1 basic principle to teach the young people was the fear of the Lord. If a young person's life is not based on a trust, a respect, yea, even an awe of God, they will most likely NOT make the right decisions in their life.

Every decision we make is important, whether it is seemingly small or great. Therefore, teaching our young people HOW to make their decisions, with a preference to God's will rather than our own, is of utmost importance.

If we have influence in the life of any young person, our own or young people in the ministry, may we strive to teach them HOW to make right decisions rather than trying to make all of their decisions for them.

What is that old saying?..."Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime."

It seems God is showing us through this small statement of David's simply this...We must teach young people to fear or respect the ways of God in every area of their lives. They will in turn learn to make right decisions for the rest of their lives!

Thank you, God, for reminding me of this truth to practice in my life!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SNOW!!!


We are off to Lake Tahoe for our annual teen snow trip on Saturday. The kids are so excited and SO AM I!! Since I am an Indiana girl,I have to get my "snow fix" at least once a year!

I posted a picture of Beautiful Lake Tahoe in the winter where we are headed. It has been raining ALL WEEK here, so you know what that means...SNOW in Lake Tahoe! We are going to have some serious sledding this year!

Pray for good driving weather. Pray our ol' bus will make it fine in the snow. Pray for safety for all the kids.

I was just thinking as we went visiting in the nursing home with the teens today... I LOVE our teens! They are a great group. What a privilege to serve together with them for the Lord. Why do we need rewards? Looking at the changed lives and sweet spirits of our young people is enough for me!!

THANK YOU, God, for using me to help others. As my preacher, Bro. Hyles, used to say, "Isn't it great to be used?"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ain't God good?


"...to give us SO MANY blessings?!"

As kids, we used to sing in the car on the way to church. We always lived a pretty good distance from church; so almost every trip to and from we would sing. I LOVED it! That is where I developed an ear for hearing parts and harmonizing. One of our old favorites was, "Ain't God Good to Give us SO MANY Blessings" especially when Dad would throw his good clear bass voice in there! Precious memories!

I thank God for my godly Christian parents! We never wondered if we would be going to church on any given service. If there was a service going on...we were there...Period! Unless we were dying! (And I Thank God for that now, by the way!) But, I looked forward to every service and the fellowship. Mom and Dad made church fun for us.

We would always share things about the service in the car on the way home. (Usually laughs at a funny joke the preacher said or something funny that happened!) We would share little "knowing glances"during the service with an inside joke or family thought. Mom and Dad just knew how to make everything we did a "happening."

I still LOVE church and look forward to every service and time of fellowship. Church services are the highlight of my week. I think much of that was mentally inbred as a young child. Those drives to church, all of us together at once, doing nothing but talking and singing! (How grateful I am that we did not have cell phones or ipods!)

My little man looks forward to church now as well. On the way to every church service, we talk about who we will see and what we get to do when we get there. (ours is only about a 5 minute drive so not too much time for singing!) I hope to pass on to my son the same precious memories associated with church that my parents shared with me! Someday I hope he will be able to look back to these times with the same fondness.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DANGER! Criticism Ahead...


I just read a great article about the poison of criticism. Ahhhh...may we learn to leave this deadly foe behind each day of our lives.


Our words are so very powerful. We ought to beg God daily for His wisdom in our words and actions.


James 1:5 says..."If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."


I like to think of it in this way...God has a portion of wisdom set aside for each of us every day, much as a mother might prepare a portion of food for the members of her family. God is waiting each morning for us to come to the table and claim the wisdom that we need to help us through the decisions we will face that day. If we run right past the table without stopping to ask God for our "daily wisdom" we will most likely make some very poor decisions that day, just as someone who did not partake of any food or nourishment might run out of strength to accomplish their daily tasks.


I feel that some of us who have been "Professional Christians" for a while often think we know enough of the Christian "jargon" to limp through a few days on our own, but we will most definitely become "malnourished" in our outlook on life if we do not daily receive our refreshment from God!


Is it impossible to know the right things to do and the right things to say? How can we know what to say or what to do in so many various situations that pop up in our daily lives? One word...WISDOM!


Proverbs 4:7

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Serving the Lord is SO rewarding!


During the Sunday evening service, I was blessed as I watched 6 of our young people step up to the platform and sing the song "In Christ Alone." As I looked at each, I considered their lives, how much they have grown spiritually and what some of them have had to overcome to stand on that platform.

It brought tears to my eyes as I thanked God for the PRIVILEGE of being used to help influence the lives of young people. What an honor, with which comes amazing rewards!

May we all challenge ourselves in 2010 to be a helpful spiritual influence to someone this year. It has always been my personal goal, in any ministry with which I am involved, to be able to look in the crowd and pick out at least one person for whom I can say, "They would not be serving the Lord in that capacity today if it weren't for my influence." NOT to be boastful, simply to know that I am busy for God and yielding my life to Him as a vessel to be used for others.

Just wanted to say, "Thank you, God, for using ME!"


Friday, January 8, 2010

Heaven welcomes Dr. Doug Kalapp...

Dr. Doug Kalapp was an amazing man with a "bull-dogged" determination for furthering the cause of Christ across the globe. If he saw a need, he found a way to fill it.

At the passing of this great man, Dr. Doug Kalapp, who was used greatly in the area of world-wide missions, I was reminded of the importance of surrendering every area of my will to the Lord.

Thank You, God, for men such as this who were amazing examples of godly character and determination.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Any Ideas?

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for new healthy snack or dessert ideas.

If you have any, post a comment below my post!!

I will post a few that I use.

Apples and peanut butter

Blue corn Tortilla chips

Ezekiel 4:9 bread w/ apple butter

Corn Chips (plain)

Fruit

2 or 3 Big Marshmallows

(Sometimes if I have some cravings I might buy a candy bar and cut it in 3 or 4 pieces and put it in a Ziploc bag. Just eat one-fourth at a time!)

Nuts (I buy the bags of nuts in the shell whenever I can afford nuts. They are cheaper and Darren LOVES to crack nuts. Then I don't end up eating as many!)

Sesame Sticks...Mmmm!!

I also buy naturally sweetened cookies from the health food store, cut them in half, put them in a Ziploc bag, then I have a sweet treat with my cup of coffee or hot tea!

Can anyone give me some more ideas? Post a comment!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the Basics!

And I mean in...EATING!

My goal after a "not-so-healthy" Christmas holiday season is to bring our family back to the food basics! Dan and I started today working toward our goal of bringing our diet back to the basic healthy foods, namely more fruits and veggies, raw and whole foods...less processed and chemicals.

I personally have to eat some protein in the mornings or I feel tired all day. An egg and some fruit or fruit juice do the trick for me! Also, a piece of whole grain toast or Bible Bread. (Ever tried Bible bread? Actually Ezekiel 4:9 bread; it is delicious and SO good for you. Especially spread with some homemade sugar-free apple butter! MMmmmm!!)...

...(Ezekiel 4:9 "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof,") It is made with all the grains and sprouts mentioned in that verse. Found at your local health food store. A bit more pricey per loaf, but if we only eat one slice in the morning for toast it lasts almost a week. Worth a couple dollars more.

My husband and I LOVE to eat ALL kinds of different foods so we really don't cut out any one "type" of food from our diets (fad diets, carbs, etc.) One thing we are putting back in perspective is our portion sizes.

I have to readjust our "food eyes" occasionally and we have found this works WONDERS for maintaining our weight. We are surrounded by "Out of Control" portions everywhere we go. I go back to measuring EVERYTHING for a little while until our eyes and stomachs adjust to where they should be! Whenever we readjust that one area, we are always surprised at the results in our body weight and our appetites!

Also a great healthy tea to drink is Mulberry Leaf. It has LOTS of great health benefits and can also help you shed some pounds a little easier. Of course, I am not offering a professional opinion in health matters; these are just a few things that have worked for me! Hope they can be a help to you!