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Future. Flying. Saucers  ( http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/  )   is one of my favorite blogs here on WordPress and I just had to share her blog post about Easter.  I love her honesty and courage in sharing her faith and pray that this post will be as much of a blessing to you and yours as it was to us.

 

I’m Sorry…My Kids Don’t Believe in the Easter Bunny..

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Happy Easter 2013!

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just love.

Having already been betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, denied by Peter, abandoned by His friends, and beaten in the house of the High Priest Caiaphas, Jesus spent part of Thursday night alone in the darkness of this pit. Take a moment and read Psalm 88 – it is the heart breaking picture of how He would have felt that night.

Early Friday morning He was pulled from the pit and put on trial in front of Pilate and Herod, mercilessly beaten repeatedly, and eventually sentenced to death. The Roman soldiers played “The Kings Game” with Him at Antonia Fortress, where you can still see traces of the rules to the game carved into the stone, and where our Savior’s DNA rests in between those rocks.

Beaten, exhausted, and because of OUR SIN, He had to carry the weight of His cross to Golgotha, where He was hung below a sign: ‘The King of…

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Which one will you choose to be in life?

Which one will you choose to be in life?

Grandmother says… Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; “Which are you?”

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

—AUTHOR UNKNOWN —

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I feel so at peace for the first time in my life.  For as long as I can remember I’ve felt this inner unease.  I couldn’t have explained it or come anywhere close to having anyone understand how I was feeling.  I’m not sure I would’ve had the words to use to truly express what was going on inside me; my mind, heart, soul.  Such conflict.  Confusion.  A battle.

I searched and searched for an answer to it all and kept coming up short.   No way to end the war going on inside of me.  At least, none that I could see.

I realized that I was trying to find a fix to the issue on my own and that, quite simply, it was impossible.  Wasn’t going to happen.  I needed help.

So, who or what might help?  I tried all sorts of various things.  None worked.  Nothing.  I tried talking to lots of different people from friends and family to even doctors.   Help me?  Quiet all of it down, please?   They couldn’t.   Tried, sure.   But they couldn’t help me.

Why does it take us so long to find wisdom?  He makes it so easy to find, yet we still look everywhere else first so very often.

I figured it out.  No doubt He helped by shoving me in the right direction.

Prayer.

My Bible.

All I ever needed was Him.

He created me; knit me in my mother’s womb.

He knows me because I am His.  All His.

I wasted so much time.   Time that I’m not sure was even mine to waste, but I know He’ll take care of it.

I found Him, and there is where I found all the answers.  It was always there.

He is always there for us when we’re ready to find Him.

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narrow11

As most of you who are following my blog know, I’ve been reading, praying, and spending time in God’s Word in the book of Psalm lately.  Yesterday, I was spending some time in Chapter 119 where it talks a lot about God’s commands, His decrees, His regulations, and laws and how we should rejoice in them all and study, reflect on them, as well as delight in them.

Later in the day, while at work, I happened to notice a car in the parking lot with a tag stating “In God We Trust” and also a bumper sticker saying “straight but not narrow” on that same car.  It was like being hit, in a way, with this realization that the person that owns this car is stating that they trust in God, but that a law He’s given us can make us “narrow minded” if we decide to obey, rejoice, or delight in all of His laws.

Honestly, it made me sad.  Sad, because I know so many other people that feel the same way about all sorts of God’s laws and commandments.  He gave us His laws to help us, not to hurt us, but so many people feel that they somehow know better than their Creator does as to what is best for them.

I have tried hard to find you-  don’t let me wander from your commands.

I have hidden  your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

I praise you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us.

I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches.

I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.

I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.

Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word.

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

I am only a foreigner in the land. 

Don’t hide your commands from me!

I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. 

Psalm 119: 10-20

As Christians and children of the Most High God, children of our Father in Heaven, how can we say that ANY of God’s laws, commands, decrees, are anything but GOOD and PERFECT?  Maybe we don’t “LIKE” them all because we’d rather have our own way, just like our children do, but if you trust in Him, then you must TRUST IN HIM.  Trust that He is GOOD.  Always has been, always will be.   After all, anything less means you do not “trust in Him”.

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Yay!!!  I love starting out my day with a GOOD surprise and this morning I got to do just that thanks to FFS ( http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/ )!  She nominated me for the Beautiful Mama Blog Award! (Thank you!!!)  I’m still new to blogging, having just started back in July of 2012, but I love it.  I’ve met a lot of super awesome people and it’s a joy to read their blogs and share life in this way.

Now I’m supposed to share three things I love about motherhood with you and then nominate some other “mom blogs”… so let me get busy here!

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Three things that I love about motherhood-

  1. I love how they think I know everything at this stage of our lives together (this ends at some point lol).
  2. I love how much we actually enjoy being together as a family – hanging out or doing whatever.
  3. I love watching them grow, mature, learn, and become these amazing, God loving, people that I helped bring into this world and how they fill up my heart to the point of bursting.

My Nominations:

She’s already been nominated (obviously lol) but still… she is one seriously awesome mama, so my first nomination goes back to – http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/

http://barrentoblessed.wordpress.com/

http://graceismessy.com/

http://heathercking.wordpress.com/

In order for you to accept the award, please do the following  –

  • Save the above image (award) and use it in your acceptance post.
  • List 3 things that you love about being a mama.
  • Nominate other moms you feel deserve this award.  You may choose as many as you like. (And let them know of the nomination)

Congratulations to everyone!!!   And if you’re not into accepting and passing on awards like these…. well,  that’s okay too.   We still love and appreciate you! 🙂

I pray you all have a very blessed day!

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Marc5Solas

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We all know them, the kids who were raised in church. They were stars of the youth group. They maybe even sang in the praise band or led worship. And then… they graduate from High School and they leave church. What happened?

It seems to happen so often that I wanted to do some digging; To talk to these kids and get some honest answers. I work in a major college town with a large number of 20-somethings. Nearly all of them were raised in very typical evangelical churches. Nearly all of them have left the church with no intention of returning. I spend a lot of time with them and it takes very little to get them to vent, and I’m happy to listen. So, after lots of hours spent in coffee shops and after buying a few lunches, here are the most common thoughts taken from dozens of…

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Remember When…

I have a terrible memory.
I often joke about it, but it’s true. I have a very hard time remembering all sorts of things. Things that I WANT to remember even, not just those I don’t. I forget names, dates, phone numbers (actually does anyone remember phone numbers anymore?), items on my “list of things to do”, appointments, and well, you get the picture by now, I’m sure. It’s very annoying! To me, to my children, to my husband, and probably plenty of other people who have been affected by my loss of memory issues.

There is one area of life where I work extremely hard to NOT forget anything! This area is the area of God’s Love and His promises. I never want to forget the things He’s done for me and my family.
It seems silly to think you could ever forget a miracle from God! How could anyone ever do that? Well, trust me… it happens. A lot. You can find many instances of it happening right in your Bible!

Just take a peek in the book of Exodus in Chapter 15. God parts the Red Sea and saves the people of Israel in a very grand and dramatic manner and then three short days later those exact same folks are crying out and complaining because of drinking water. Didn’t they know that God was in their midst? Wasn’t His saving them from the Egyptians enough to let them know that He was there with them, caring for them?

Apparently not.


We can’t say too much about them though, because we do the very same thing. God will prove to us that He is right here with us and we’ll still question Him. I’ve done it more times than I care to admit. Quite simply… we forget. Over and over again, we forget all the ways that the Lord has come through for us.


What can we do about this problem?


The easiest way to deal with the problem of spiritual amnesia is to create a journal of God’s blessings. You can go out and get a fancy leather journal to record all the ways in which the Lord blesses you, or you can simply get a spiral notebook and jot it all down. You can also type it all out and save it in a Word document on your computer. I prefer to keep a private blog that I can type it all in to and it’s saved in the land of the internet for me. There are loads of various options out there. The important thing is to WRITE IT ALL DOWN! Keep it where you can go through and read it all over and over and over again. Refresh your memory every time you hit a rough spot in life so you can KNOW that God is there. He hasn’t left you. He’s promised to always be with us and He is.


And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.
Psalm 50:15 (AMP)

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I used to smoke,  a lot.  I started at the tender age of 14.  My mother smoked and back in the day it was thought to make you look cool, and older.  I was a terribly rebelious teen so smoking seemed like a grand idea.  A good way for me to look cool and rebel parental authority all at the same time.  Everyone knows a teenager of 14 wants more than almost anything else to appear more grown up, so smoking helped me with that too. At least in my mind, if not in reality.  In reality, I’m sure I just looked foolish and silly, if not stupid.

Over the years I deeply regretted having started smoking.  They cost a ton, they stink, they make you stink, and they make you sick.  Even so, I still loved smoking  – so I was in a mess.  I knew they were making me sick, yet I loved them.  I knew I had to go to the Lord and request His help in wanting to quit smoking first.  Without the desire to quit, nothing I did would make any difference.  Sounds silly to want to quit, yet not, but that was me.  My desire to smoke was just larger than my desire to quit.

I began asking God to please give me the desire to quit the nasty habit and then I picked a date.  I chose to simply give the whole mess over to the Lord and let Him deal with it.   After all, I knew He’d want me to quit and He tells us to ask and He’ll give us our heart’s desires. (Psalm 37:3-5) 

The date I set was November 1 of 2007.  I told everyone I knew that I was going to quit (not one single person believed me either – that’s how much I LOVED smoking at that time of my life – sadly) and that the Lord would help me accomplish it.  I knew He’d help.  I just KNEW it, deep down in my heart.  I didn’t know if He’d make it easy for me, or if He’d just hold my hand and walk me through the process, but I just knew He’d stay with me the whole time.  I was prepared for it to go either way and simply told any and everyone that would listen that I was going to quit on that day and that was that.

And I did.  I was blessed by my complete and total belief in Him and His promises, and He made it much easier than I’d ever dreamt of.  I’ve been extremely thankful ever since.  Thankful enough to know that I can never pick up even one and smoke it…. ever.

Now, it seems like I’m going to have to go to Him again and get His powerful help with another apparent addictiion – anger.  Seems kinda out there to call anger an addiction, but I honestly feel that it fits.  Anger is like a drug, like nicotine.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m not running around punching people or anything, but still… I know that anger (and pride) are some serious issues that I need to be delivered from.  I hate the way it makes me feel.   It’s so hard to let it go while in the midst of whatever issue has upset me.  I don’t like that feeling.  I’d much rather be more humble and less concerned about myself.

I had a work issue come up recently and, at first, couldn’t wait to tell one of my close co-workers all about it.  But then I got to thinking that no… I shouldn’t talk about it and fuel that fire.  I felt like I needed to just give it to God instead.  So, I decided to not speak about the issue the next day when I’d see this co-worker.  However, she brings up an issue closely related to the one I was upset over and even though there was a part of me screaming out, “Be quiet!!!!  DO NOT go there and complain or gripe or whatever you wanna call it!  Just don’t!”  Sadly, I found myself doing it anyway….  Ugh!  I hated that!  I felt just like I had in all the many times I’d tried to quit smoking in the past when I was trying to do it all by myself. There was the whole argument going on inside of me of “Tell her!  No!  Don’t, it won’t help anything and will only get her upset too!  Tell her!  No! Don’t…. ”  I felt like I’d failed myself, but mostly like I’d failed my Lord and Savior.

The experience has reminded me though that, just like when I prayed for His help to desire to quit smoking, I first need to go to the Lord and ask Him to give me more of a desire to let go of silly annoyances and the effect that they can have on me,  more of a desire to see His will done, rather than my own.  To be more concerned with loving His people, than what’s “fair” in my own eyes and understanding.   I need His help in desiring to lay down my hurt and pains at His feet, rather than seeking a way to make myself feel better through “making people pay” in any shape form or fashion.  After all, God tells us that vengeance is His.

There are times when anger is appropriate, but often times, our actions when angry aren’t.  I need Christ’s help in knowing what’s what and in choosing appropriate reactions.  The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:22 (the words of Jesus) But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!  If you call someone an idiot,  you are in danger of being brought before the court.  And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”    In Romans 12:14-19 We’re told, Bless those who persecute you.  Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.  Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with each other.  Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don’t think you know it all!  Never pay back evil with more evil.  Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.  Dear friends, never take revenge.  Leave that to the righteous anger of God.  For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

69286_554861371205447_1968733517_nIt’s not nearly as hard once the force of the feelings of the anger have calmed down some.  Once that’s happened, then I’m able to pray for those that have hurt me or angered me.  It’s during that “heat of the moment” that I’m having trouble with.  But I know that I know that I know that I can take this problem to Jesus and lay it at His feet and He’ll give me a strong enough desire to get past my “feelings” no matter how strong they may be at the time.  I KNOW I can trust in Him.  Please, won’t you also pray with me on this?   If this is an issue for you, please feel free to comment and we’ll pray for you too!  Or if you need help with quitting smoking, please feel free to comment and request prayers for help with that too!  With Jesus, we can all quit smoking and giving in to anger!

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