Friday, April 29, 2011

We are "royal" family too, you know!

I know you are probably so tired of seeing & hearing about Prince William & Kate.  But please allow me to add my two cents.  Maybe I am the only one who was interested in it this morning, but I don't think so.  But you see, (I will show my age here) I remember details of the day his parents wed.  It was  in July of 81.  My sister & sister in law had carried me to Jackson that day.  I know you think to shop right?  Wrong.  They carried me to get my braces.  Then on to McDonald's for lunch.  Bad idea.  My lips were so cut up after lunch!!! Not a good idea at all.  Any way by the time supper time came, I was in pain.  So I had a bowl of spaghetti o's.  As I ate, guess what I watched.  Yep. The royal wedding.  So memories were made for me that day.  As I told D this morning, I think this was the stuff fairy tale's are made of. And I think there are many little girl's who do want the fairy tale.  They want their prince to love them forever.  They want to live happily ever after with him.  Sad to say though many little girls today, don't have a good example of a prince.  I did.  There was never a doubt in my mind that my daddy loved my mama & he loved his kids.

This week had been another crazy week.  And as I think back on it, all I can really do is just shake my head.  Monday seems so long ago.  But I do believe it is a day I won't forget anytime soon.  You see, a storm rolled through and as it did, we had the student body go to our basement.  I don't even remember how long they were there, but that is beside the point.  We got them back into the classroom when the storm had passed.  Not long after that I was on the phone and behind me it sounded like a firework that explodes with out the display of color.  We call them dud's.  It was behind my head.  Next thing I knew I was told there were flames coming from it.  Lighting had struck something.  And it came in behind me.  We evacuated the building.  Of course it all happened at the end of the day. 

We all know what the rest of the week has held.  As Tuesday night approached I was promised this in Psalms 91:9-12  If you make the Most High your dwelling, even the Lord, who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands.
I was reminded what D had said Sunday about luck.  With our Father, there is no luck.  It is all in His hands.  And that is where the "family"  part comes in.  I do not know of a father who really loves his children & doesn't protect them.  You see I know that I am a princess.  No my earthly parents were not of a royal family.  But because they brought us up and held true to Proverbs 22:6, they trained us up in the way we should go & now here we are & we haven't turned from it, I am a princess because I am a child of the King.  And my Father, the King, protects me.  Now men (if there are any reading this)don't go feeling left out.  If I am correct in my thinking, if you are a child of the King, then, yes, you are a prince. My Father, the King, protects His children.  Why?  Because He loves us so much.  And one day we will all sit at that table that He has prepared.  It will be a party bigger than the one's that have taken place today.  And I do believe He will dismiss me at the proper time to go play in the sand and watch the tide roll in.  I think He may do this after I have laid my crown at His feet.  (I hope I have more than one.  I smile)  So as much as I have enjoyed watching this fairy tale on TV, I hold fast to the fact that one day He's coming to take His bride home.  So with all of that being said, are you a member of His "royal" family?  He has crowns & robes waiting for you too!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Have you been copyrighted?

I read this on facebook once, "too many people buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't even like."  So I thought about this for a while.  Then God began to speak just a bit. 

You see, I have never really liked to be copied.  You know, in high school, I never really wanted to have the same shirt as someone else.  If someone showed up one day with one like mine, I just didn't wear mine again.  And to some degree, I haven't really changed a whole lot.  We once had a neighbor who set out the same shrubs as we did.  I didn't like it one bit.  But then someone said that for someone to copy what you have or have done is the greatest form of flattery.  So I have been thinking about that a lot in the past few days.  And  as I have thought about this, let's just say, someone has copied you...What have they copied?  Your clothes, your home, your car?  All of this is material things.  Have they copied what they see spiritually?  If so then good for you & Praise God.  If not, why not?  Do they see it?  You see in Matthew 5:14 Jesus tells us we are the light of the world.  If a city is on a hill, it can't be hidden.  In verse 15 He said people don't light a lamp & then put it under a bowl.  (if you are like me, i have lamps everywhere in my house & most of the time, they are on  so i get this verse) He also says they put it on a stand & it lights up the house.  (D would agree)  He finishes up in verse 16 telling us we are to be the same way.  We are to let our light shine before men so that they can see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven.  So I just have to know, is your light shining  Are you being copied?  I know that "we" shouldn't want to be copied, but we should want our Father to be copied.  How can He be copied if no one sees Him?  You know we may be the only chance some folks will ever get to see Jesus. 

The only example that comes to my mind is this, when I attended my first conference in 07, I watched Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer during the worship service.  But it was what I saw in Beth Moore that I wanted.  Did I want to be her?  NO. But I watched her worship our Father as if it were just HIM & her.  It didn't matter that there were thousands of people there.   At that moment it was just them.  And I remember thinking, I want that.  I want that kind of relationship.  But as I type this, I feel His presence asking "or do you think that was Me saying, I want that kind of relationship with you?"  I love how He just shows up like this & blows me away!!!!  All I can say at this point is this, I want it!  I want to be so full of Him that there is no doubt in any one's mind that I come in contact with who I belong to.  I want to be so full of Him, that He just flows out of me & onto them.  He is my light, my strength, my song.  What about you?  What are people seeing?  What would they be copying if they copied you?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't know how anyone could keep their seat through this!

I hate to keep putting videos up here, but music means so much to me.  I have to admit I'm not a big country music fan even though I grew up with it & know several of those old one's by heart.  But I'm gonna tell you, if I  had been in this place at the time of this performance, I am here to tell you they would have had to hog tie me to my seat.  It took these folks long enough to get to their feet.  But let me add this, I would not have been standing for the reason they probably were. Yes Vince & Carrie did a good job, but I would have been standing because yes, My God is Great!!!!!

Ready? Set? Go!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I have had a few ol fishermen on my mind today.  (Amongst other things.  To name a few, storms, kids in a basement, lighting strikes, evacuations etc.)  Any way, we talked a little bit about these guys in Sunday School yesterday.  They kinda carried over into today.  In Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:14-20 & Luke 5:1-11, we see Jesus call these men from their jobs.  He told them to "Come follow me,  and At Once they left their nets and followed Him" in Mark, same thing in Matthew.  We do not see these men debate Him.  We do not see them question whys, how comes, why not.  We see them lay down those nets & go.  In Luke we see they have fished all night.  Jesus told Peter to let down your net.  Now we do see Peter say, now look Jesus, we have been here all night.  We have nothing to show for it, BUT, BUT, because YOU say so, I will.  And look at what happened. 

Back in Matthew 28:19  Jesus tells the eleven to "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  You see, I believe He has told us right here to do the same thing.  

I believe those fishermen had a choice to make & we know they made the right one.  Nobody made those men go with Him.  They wanted to.  We have obviously made the same choice if we have accepted Him as our Lord & Savior.   But we like to debate Him.  Matthew 28:19&20 is very plain.  He said Go. I want to suggest to you, that means we are not to debate Him.  It isn't up for discussion.  There are no choices to be made. 

I know a dear, sweet, family who has been faced with some hard choices lately.  And they have chosen to honor God with what they have been given.  And what they have been given isn't very pretty.  But in my opinion, outside looking in, they have made it beautiful. 
We have a choice to make too.  He said GO!  He said PRAISE!  So I ask you this, are you on the go, or are you standing still?  Are you praising Him or sitting still?  Are you so full of Him that He flows from your lips with ease & then onto the ones you come in contact with every day? 

David Platt makes this statement in his book 'Radical',  "You and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed Him and really obeyed Him."

I don't know what He is asking of you.  Only you know that.  But I do know this, if He is asking or just down right telling you, then I bet you, you better be doing it. 
I have said before, I don't believe that the God I serve is a mean spirited God sitting up on His throne (the one with wheels ladies) ( I smile at the inside joke).  I think about Him as a loving, gentle Father with the hand to discipline just like my earthly father was.  Just like I see in D with our boys.  . 

So I ask you this, are you ready?  Are you set?  Are you ready to make a choice that will honor Him or are you going to debate Him?  Are you ready and willing to face some consequences for the One who loves you more than anyone on this earth does?  Are you ready to go?  I gotta remind you, party favors are waiting!!! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fourty days without this makes a girl what?????

So, here we are the day before Easter Sunday.  The past forty days or so, some Christians have been observing Lent.  Others haven't.  I honestly don't think I ever have. Until this year.  No one knew I was.  Not even D. 
In the past year I have become friends with a sweet sixteen year old catholic girl.  She finds it entertaining that a Baptist preacher's wife reads a catholic blog & is interested in others beliefs.  Anyway, she informed me the Tuesday night before Ash Wednesday what she was planning to give up in observance of Lent.  I was impressed.  God again, began to speak.  He spoke last year after this child told me she was glad to finally be able to have some sweet tea.  That was one of the things she had sacrificed. 
Any way I said ok to sweets & chocolates.  Yep. I did.  Now on the beginning I will have to admit it was a tad bit difficult.  Because if you know me at all, you know I love chocolate.  I mean next to Jesus, D, my boys & samps, it is there!  You also know I will bypass the meat & taters for the dessert table any day of the week. So if I said it was a piece of cake, I would be lying like a dog!! Anyway, those first few days, when the craving for chocolate would come, I would just go back in my mind, to a hill called Calvary.  I would think about this Man who loved me so much.  And you know what?  I didn't want that chocolate anymore.  I didn't want the sweets anymore.  Now I did have sweet tea & dr. pepper, but  they aren't really anything to me.  But now my diet coke, that is another story. 
Any way, I say all of that to say this.. Others gave up facebook, computers, language, tea, things like that.  But in the grand scheme of things when you stop & think about what my Jesus gave up, these things mean nothing. 
I found that in doing this, I drew just a bit closer.  I depended on Him just a bit more. Paul writes in  2 Corinthians 12:10 "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insult, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."
How do you become strong in your weakness?  By relying on Him. 
It also made me focus on the fact just about everyday, that yes, He gave all He had.  He spared nothing.  So giving up chocolate & sweets was really a piece a cake.  And you know what?  Now that it is over, I really don't care to have them.  Will I?  Probably.  When?  I don't know.  But I have again, been reassured where my strength comes from & it isn't in chocolate or sweets. 
I pray as the sun comes up in the morning, on Easter Sunday, you are reminded of how much He loves you.  We have much to be thankful for.  We have no need to gripe or complain.  Whatever we are facing, remember, it is already done.  It is finished.  You do have victory.  You may not feel it right now, but hold on.  It is coming.  Sunday is near!!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

What do your roots look like?

Oh where do I begin this post?  I tell ya.  What a day.  As it began, I was in desperate prayer for what to post.  After all, it is "Good Friday" & there's lots of meaning in this day.  In fact I had a whole different post typed up. I do that.  I type one up & let it sit for a while.  Until Daddy says hit publish.  The contents of it were something to the effect that as I got ready early this morning, I wasn't really finding anything "good" about it.  You know, it was my last day of spring break & I was getting ready to do something extremely hard.  Yet on the way, the sun broke through the clouds & was shining down on the trees & the colors were beautiful.  Yet on the other side of the road were trees that had been blown down by Tuesday nights storm.  Then I reach the destination & as the service was about to begin, the sunlight filtering through those stain glass windows were beautiful too.  So God spoke softly like He does & says, see My Sonlight does come through. 

Then as the day goes on I am replanting my ferns.  They have sat in these urns for two or more years now.  As I am trying to get them out, I thought to myself I bet this is quiet entertaining for the cars passing by or the neighbors if they are watching.  Those things were in there good.  But when I got them out this is what I got:
I know.  A big ol mess isn't it?  But what got me is it took on the shape of its container.  So needless to say, Daddy goes to talking like He does.  This is what I want you to look like.  I want you to have this many roots.  I want you to take on the shape of ME.
Sometimes that is so hard to do.  To take on the shape of my Heavenly Father.  But Psalms 1:3 says "He is like a tree planted by streams of water..." If we are planted in Him, & stay in our container which is Him, then yes, we will come out with His shape.
I want to come out looking like Him don't you? 
So for the rest of this day & the rest of this weekend, I pray you think about what you are looking like.  Whose shape do you have?  Are you looking like the world or are looking like my Jesus? 
I can't help but think that on this day so many years ago, my Jesus bled & died for me.  To strive to be like anyone else, to look like anyone else, would be just another slap in His face.  No one else has ever died for me, so why wouldn't I want to resemble Him?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"I Believe" - James Fortune & FIYA featuring Zacardi Cortez & Shawn McLe...

You all know the drill by now.  Don't forget to turn the player off.  You may not relate to the scenes in the video, but the words & meaning are so powerful.  I got up this morning with this song on my heart.  After yesterday, & yesterday's post, I thought this fitting.  Again, I believe with all that is in me, that my God has a plan for each of us.  His plan is perfect.  We don't always see it that way until we are on the other side of the storm, or until He gets us to the top of the mountain. 

I believe that tomorrow is Good Friday.  I believe my Jesus climbed a hill after He had been beaten beyond recognition.  I believe He endured all of it for me.  For you.  I believe that when He took His last breath I was on His mind.  You were on his mind.  I believe that was His hardest day.  I believe that after three days He blew out of that borrowed tomb for me.  For you.  I believe He is alive & living today.  And because He is, I believe we can make it through anything because it is already done!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mustard seed Faith

On this day, I have really been at a loss for words.  (I know hard to believe) Life sometimes brings hard times & tragedy.  And when it does, we as Christians have to dig deep.  Real deep.  Today has been one of those days for many people.  As I have thought about what to post or even how to post, I thought of this one.  I'm sorry to possibly bore you to tears again, but it is what is on my heart.

OK  during one of D's messages, he mentioned faith the size of a mustard seed.  Well, this really got me to thinking.  How big is a mustard seed?  Really?  So I googled it & they aren’t really all that big.  But given a little water & a chance to grow according to Matthew 13:32 spoken by Jesus mind you, “Though it is the smallest of all your seed, yet when it grows,  it’s the largest of garden plants & becomes a tree, so that birds of the air come & perch in its branches.”  So you take a tiny seed, water it & give it a chance to grow, you may just end up with a tree that birds can perch in.  In essence take a little faith & nurture it, you may end up with enough to can, pickle & store up for next season.  That is what my mama & grandma did with the things they planted in the garden.  Plant the seed, water, wait, watch it grow, eat, store up, & repeat the process.  No different with our faith.  Plant a small bit of it, water it, feed it, watch it grow.  Now some of you may be asking, how do I water & feed it?  Well, that is where your relationship with our Heavenly Father comes in.  It is called companionship.  You are not gonna grow your relationships by not ever talking to any one are you?  He is no differnet. 
Well, ok,  now let’s look at Matthew 17:20 Jesus was just a tad upset with the disciples.  They asked Him why they couldn’t heal the demon posessed boy.  He replied basically, (my interpretation here) because your faith wasn’t big enough.  He said “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’ & it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”   Now is Jesus really telling them to go speak to mountains or homes, or cars?  NO.  I don’t believe so. What I believe He is saying that no matter how big or small you circumstance may be, if you have just a little faith you can get through it.  Does it mean that when you ask Him to remove the situation He will? Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I believe that by asking with just a little bit of faith, He will strengthen you through it.  He will make it bearable.  He will make the mountain smaller.  Or so it will seem. 

I spent a few minutes with a couple of sweet families this afternoon.  Families that are facing a giant mountain and some very hard days to come.  As I talked with them, they know where their strength will come from.  They know the One who will sustain them through this unbearable time.  I am certain they will all have days when it will be hard to face the world.  But I have faith the size of a small mustard seed that I serve a mighty God who is able to comfort, strengthen  & sustain them. At all times.  But especially during those extremely hard days.  Days when the mountain seems impossible to climb.  He's going to be the One who will say, "Climb on Daddy's back & let me carry you to the top." 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 2 spring break....I forgot the ham!

Well on this day 2 of spring break I spent the morning with my mom.  She had a doctor's appointment  & it was my turn to take her.  In order to get the full effect of this story, let's back up to this past weekend.  She called my brother to see if he had a ham in his freezer or even, by chance, a gift certificate for one.  He had the latter.  So it was my responsibility to get the gift certificate.  Which I did, quite efficiently, I might add.  So today has come.  Day to go to the doctor & get the ham.  Let me reassure you, I remembered the gift certificate.  It was in my purse.  But because of the title of this post, you know what happens, right?  But let me explain.  There were a couple of stops I needed to make & I did.  Again quiet efficiently.  I asked mom, "Do you want to eat, anywhere else you need to go, any other stops you need to make?"  She said no.  But you see, we were consumed with the meal for tonight.  We were trying to make arrangements to get the list made and the food ordered.  I was busy getting in touch with my brother & asking him to lend a hand in preparation for the meal.   Well, we make it home.  Not long after that, Mom calls, this is what she said: "Do you know what we forgot to do?"   Crap, WE FORGOT THE HAM!!!!!!!!  All I can say is we lost focus.  Or shall I say our focus changed. 

After all this, & some comments from my brother, God stepped in & said, "How like my children."  You see we & I include myself in this, are all to often, quick to lose focus.  When things are going good, then we say, God is good.  But let the wind change, & let something happen, and our focus is changed.  We lose touch with Him.  Why is that?  He never moves.  We do.  You see, I had thought about the ham while in the doctors office.  Several times.  But we changed our focus & there you have it...NO HAM.

God wants to give us His best.  In fact, He did.  But He also wants our best.  He wants our focus to always be on Him.  Nothing else.  Not our challenges.  Not our circumstances.  Just Him.  He wants us to lay those things at His feet & let Him deal with them.  1 Peter 5:7  says to "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you".  Again, it says ALL, not some but, ALL.  When they are ALL cast there, we can focus on Him while He focuses on us.  So I ask you today, What & who are you focusing on? 

I will say, that, yes, we will be having some ham for Sunday dinner.  I turned it over to someone who is a tad bit more resposible than I. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

First day of spring break

I know none of you asked for this, but I thought I would share my first day of spring break.  It isn't interesting & will probably bore you to tears.  But here you go. 

It started with this & a good cup of black coffee.  Nothing gets the day started better than this!

A few hours later I was here.  I took a small road trip.   Had a good quiet time with Daddy!  No radio, no noise,  just me & Him. Some people enjoy quiet time with Him on their tractor, on a lawn mower, in a boat, or even in a deer stand, but this is some good quality time too.   I read & heard last week that research shows that shopping is good for your  health.  So what's a girl to do? Yep go for some retail therapy. 

And then there was THIS!!!!!  Need I say more?
I didn't think so.

When I got home, I took a walk outside & got this. 

And this........

Then there is this.....

Spring is definitely in the air.

And lo & behold, look a here.  Mama sittin in here nest.

She flew out after the flash.

Once again, spring is in the air.

Checked in on my sunflowers & yep, they are springing up nicely.

You may not can see him very well, but I ran up on him.

And then there's this toy.

So, the fun & games were over.  Time to get to work.  Now you ladies of our congregation reading this, please get your husbands to look at this picture  & the one to follow.  You know who you are.  You see, there are times when the preacher likes to tell how much I don't cook.  (which is partly true since it isn't something i enjoy doing.) But I felt sorry for him & decided it was time for him to have a good meal.  At least better than we are use to having here lately.  This is proof I cooked this.......

I know your mouths are watering right now aren't they?

And I will end the day here, typing this with him close by.  Yes, the preacher & the boys were a part of the day too, they just don't really like having their pictures taken.  Samps doesn't either, but he really doesn't have much of a choice.
I promise, I won't bore you with this kind of post everyday this week. 
These are really just blessings & gifts He showed me today.  Hope you saw yours today too.  They are never far away.  We just have to look.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

So let the real count down being

On one of my calendars it states that today is Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday:  Have you ever give more thought to it than that?    I realize that we southern Baptist don't really observe Palm Sunday.  So let me say that what I am about to type here are just my thoughts.  Not our church's. Our pastors',  just mine.   I can't help but go back to that time on this day. Luke 19: 28-44 tells of the Triumphal Entry.  It is my understanding that many believe that this took place the Sunday before the Crucifixion.  If that is the case, which I am almost certain it is, I have to wonder what was going through my Savior's mind as He rode on the back of that donkey.  Was He thinking "Father, this is the beginning of the end". "This is the beginning of the beginning".   "This will be my last week on the earth in human flesh with the people".  Being a sentimental woman, my imagination leads me to think maybe it was a very bittersweet day, moment, week.  He knew why He came to this earth.  He knew it was for us.  Yet we later on see He asked God to remove the cup if it be His will. So as time ticks by this week I challenge you in each day, maybe several times a day, to think back to that week for the One who died for us.  As we see in verses 37 "the whole crowd of disciple began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen".  Yet in verse 39 the Pharisees didn't like it.  They tattled & said to Jesus will you please make them stop.  We are uncomfortable with it.  But Jesus said in verse 40 Boys, I tell you what, if they sit back & do nothing, the rocks will cry out.  (my paraphrase)  I don't know about you, but I don't want any rocks crying out for me.  I don't want rocks singing my praise.  He's done too much for me to sit back & do nothing.  What we are celebrating this week is proof of it. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stronger by Mandisa (From the Upcoming Album "What If We Were Real")

Again, you will need to stop the player at the bottom to hear this song.  It is another of my favorites right now.  Gotta get it on the ipod soon!!! It goes right along with the past few post.  I will give you a heads up.  There is one part in the song where she says, if God started this work in your life, He will be faithful to complete it if only you believe it.  (or something like that)  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that part!  Hope you enjoy!  Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hangin on

As I finished up on the post titled Desperate, I was reminded of something I heard a preacher say several years ago.  "When you think you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot & hang on."  I believe the quote came back in the summer of 92.  You may be asking how in the world do you remember that when you barely remember your name.  That was a rough summer to say the least.  It was the 2nd  "cancer" summer with my daddy.  Isaiah 40:31 became our family's verse during that time. Especially for mom & dad.  But I'm gonna back up to verse 28.  Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom.  29)He gives strength to the weary & increases the power of the weak.  30)Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall: 31)But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Today I am wondering how do you encourage someone to just hang on when you yourself are barely hanging on?  My word it is hard.  I so understand impatience.  I am as impatient as anyone.  Just ask D.  I want what I want when I want it.  It is a trait, which I am sad to say, that it seems both of these boys have inherited from me.   

It helps knowing that my Father doesn't grow tired or weary.  He doesn't need any breaks.  From anything.  And I know I give Him enough reason to need one.  But He carries on.  Verse 29 tells me He gives strength to the weary & increases the power of the weak.  31) He will renew my strength because my hope is in Him.

“this is the day that I have made.  rejoice and be glad in it.  begin the day with open HANDS of faith, ready to receive all that I am pouring into this BRIEF PORTION of your life.  be careful not to complain about anything, even the weather, since I am the author or your circumstances.  the best way to handle unwanted situations is to thank Me for them.  this act of faith frees you from resentment and frees Me to work My ways into the situation, so that good emerges from it.  to find joy in this day, you must live within its boundaries.  I knew what I was doing when I divided time into twenty-four-hour segments.  I understand human frailty, and I know that you can bear the weight of only one day at a time.  do not worry about tomorrow or get stuck in the past.  there is abundant life in My presence TODAY.”
psalm 118:24, Philippians 3:13-14 

 It is just how He works.  I was frustrated & needing a word from Him.  And there this was.  I though it kinda fitting for this post.  In this life, we face struggles.  Things we had really rather not deal with.  Mainly because we just want to have our way.  Well, sometimes our way isn't the best way.  But I serve a God who knows my every need.  A God who will strengthen me & give me abundant life.  But only if my hope is in Him.  Not chocolate, not food, not TV, not someone else.  HIM!  So, who and or what are you hanging on to today?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have to know, do you ever have days when you feel like one of these critters in this game?  You know the whack a mole games at the arcades or chuck e cheese?  You know, those days when you think you have it made & you pop your head out to make sure you do & satan is right there with his mallet to pop you back on the head?  I have some of those days.  Maybe I am the only one.  But I bet I'm not. 

The past few days I have had this scripture on my mind.  Mark 5: 24-34.  I so understand her desperation.  She was desperate for the healing of Jesus on her issue of blood.  But don't we all have issues?  She got word that He was in her neighborhood.  Knowing that there would be a mob of people, she made her way to where He was.  Once she got there it was, as she expected.  People everywhere.  But she was desperate.  She needed Him.  So she pressed her way through the madness.  Through the people.  She didn't demand to see Him face to face.  She didn't demand to even speak to Him.  She just knew she needed to touch Him.  Even the hem of His garment would suffice.  It would be enough.  Once she did, He knew someone had touched Him.  He felt the power leave Him.  He turned & asked who had touched Him.  Knowing she had been healed, she fell at His feet & confessed it was her.  He told her to go in peace & be free, all because of her faith. 

Are you that desperate?  Are you desperate enough to fight the madness & crawl to Him? 
Another one of my favorite songs is "One Touch" by Nicole c. Mullen.  I wish I could find a video w/ lyrics, but I haven't had any luck.  But here's part of the lyrics:

" If I could just touch the hem of His garment
I know I'd be made whole
If I could just press my way through this madness
His love would heal my soul
If only one touch.

Suddenly He turned around
He said somebody has unleasehd my power
well, frightened & embarrassed I bowed
You see I told Him of my troubles
And how...
I had to touch the Hem of His garment
And I know I've been made whole
And how I had pressed my way through the madness
And His love has healed my soul
Then with one word He touched the hem of my garment
And you know I've beed made whole
And somehow He pressed His way through my madness
And His love has healed my soul
I tell you He touched me
He reached way down & touched me
When no one else would touch me
Jesus, sho nuff touched me
And I know I've been made whole."

I shared with the ladies in S.S. class Sunday that last Friday this song was playing on my computer at work.  And as I was going about my business in my "fish bowl" ( which is what I call my office) I felt this desperate.  No, I don't have any health issues.  (for those of you who really know me, keep your comments to yourself:) ) If you stack me up against others, I really don't have any issues at all.  My family is in tack. We have our home, our jobs, food, clothes, health.  But as I have stated on here before, I see & hear lots in my work.  It has a tendency to give me a heave heart.  But I thought you know, Jesus, if I could, I would reach out  & touch you right now & I need you to reach down & touch me.  But the thing of it is, I can & He did. 

So yes, when I pop my head out & Satan is there, I can just say back off buddy!  My Jesus has touched me! He's got my back & I can walk with my head held high all because I am desperate for Him.  What about you? How desperate are you? Just reach out & hang on.  I know I am. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And we think our life is bad.......

At  this point, in this day,  my heart is full of emotion.  There are things in this life,  people actually, that I just don't understand.  Yet, they may not understand me either. There are many days that I have to  deal with so many people who don't seem to know our God even exist. Maybe that is everywhere & everyone has to deal with it.  It is just sometimes more than I can deal with.  I leave work sometimes with such a heavy heart.  One day not so long ago, was no exception.  Some days you just have to laugh to keep from crying.  One day not so long ago, was no exception. I realize that we all have our different beliefs in our "religion", our "relationship". But I do believe we are all striving to reach the same outcome.  We are all striving to see Jesus at the end of this journey.   But there are just some days I have to shake my head & ask God why on earth are these people allowed out in public.  Anyway on this very unusual day, (probably a day when there was a full moon)  it all came to a head so to speak when I pulled up to the mail box & we had a letter from T.  I can't begin to tell you how excited I was.  Then the tears of joy came.  Then I was reminded of how blessed I am. We are. And as I started to really bring this day to a close, I checked in on one of the blogs I follow & pictures of children in Ethiopia were posted.  How ironic is that?  She was so close to our T.  But this picture ripped my heart out......
Yep, we think we have it bad... I don't think so.
I am not too proud to admit that on any given occasion, I'm pretty selfish.  I like what I like.  I want what I want when I want it.  But then there are so many times God speaks gently like He did on this particular day.  There are many times that He reminds me that these people, these children need HIM.  And that I may be the only chance they get to see HIM.  I know.  Scary.  I am human.  I am not tactful.  My feelings & thoughts show on my face.  (So I have been told.  Makes me want to walk around with a mirror strapped to my head just so I can see for myself.  But then some may think that's a little vain, which I don't think I am.) ok , Anyway,  when counting my blessings, I have many.  There are people, children right here in our town, in our county, in our state, in our country, in this world who need JESUS.  Who need food, shoes, love.  When counting my blessings, I realize my life isn't bad at all.  When you count yours, how do you stack up? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

He does play favorites you know!

Ok so it is Monday.  Sampson has been for his bath & hair cut.  Only today he also got his shots.  Now to add to that, the weather has been stormy & just yucky.  So I can only imagine how he feels.  It is bad enough on us older folk (smile) who can tell when the weather is changing.  I knew this morning he wasn't himself. It was his lucky day though.  She called & told me he was ready by lunch so D, being the good man he is, picked him up & brought him home.  Samps met me at the door but he wasn't moving too quickly.  I tried to ease my guilt by offering him some chips.  He snubbed them.  Turned his head.  But when I offered him a cookie with some chocolate, yep, he took it.  He is my dog!!! I ain't gonna turn down chocolate either.  I say all of that to say this, in case you are getting bored, I ended up in the floor with him because I could cleary see he wasn't feeling well. He snuggled on up closer to me.  I felt God tug my heart & say "you are lovin on him like I want to love on you.  When you hurt, I want you to snuggle on up to me.  Let me love on you & take care of  you.  But you just get so stinkin busy in trying to fix it yourself.  Why not just rest in me &  let me take care of your "it"?" At the time of this typing Samps is laying comfortably on our bed.  Asleep I might add.  All because he knows I am near. 

Why do we make things so difficult?  Why can't we just rest in our God & let Him take care of us?  He is in control you know.  He has our backs because He loves us & we are His favorites. 

I can only describe His love & how He longs for us in this way,  I can remember as a little girl sitting in a big chair with my daddy.  There wasn't any wiggle room.  But I loved sitting in that chair with him.  In fact if I was in trouble with my mom, (which was quite often) I got in the chair with him.  That is what God wants from us.  To climb in His lap & let Him love on us, protect us, comfort us.

Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Have you ever thought of yourself as being the apple of God's eye?  You are you know.  We all are.  We are all His favorites.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My brain moves way too fast sometimes......

Let me warn you before you read any futher. This is a scattered post.  I feel like I am all over the place. Which is normal for me. 

I wish my mind would slow down for just a bit.  So many thoughts are running through it right now. 
Let me back up for just a minute for those of you who were in S.S. class this morning.  I need to go back to our question & how we see ourselves in who we are & who we aren't.  You know the part where the statement is made, what we don't say will show up in action?  Here's the example of that that I wanted to share, but somewhere in between the lesson & the preachers bible "missing" I forgot.  We may say one thing, but our actions will always tell what is in our heart.  Now this is scary.  Very scary, especially for me.  I know without a doubt what is in my heart, what I am striving for, what I am longing for, but sometimes the flesh just takes over.  One of the boys gave a great example of that this past week.  They were telling that someone in a leadership position had shown & acted, even said the right thing, done the right thing, but the very next thing my boy knew, this person was acting on a totally different stage.  Do you get what I am saying?  They led him to believe they were one way but the next thing he knew he was totally opposite of what he had just said.  The reason this is so scary is because we are all that way to a certain degree.  Wouldn't you agree? 
As I was waiting for our service to begin  I was scanning scripture as I often do.  Psalm 15 stopped me in my tracks.  David asked the question in verse 1 Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?  The definition of dwell is to reside, make one's home.  So he is asking God who gets to reside in your sanctuary? Who gets to make it their home?  This was the reply in verse 2-5.  He whose walk is blameless & who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart & has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong & casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury & does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Well, I would dare say if it weren't for God's great grace, I would be out.  And if you are honest with yourself, you probably would be too.  I only know of one man who walked this earth who was blameless & perfect.  But as the preacher said, we should sure be found trying.  I am known for speaking the truth, just not very tactfully.  Every one of us, I dare say, is guilty of dropping the ball on one of these listed in these verses.  And as we talked in tonights service the tounge can kill someone.  It is the most dangerous weapon we have.  How many times have we said things about coworkers, neighbors, friends, the list could go on & on.

But let me share the Message translation on these verses: 1)God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?  How do we get on  your guest list?  Walk straight, act right, tell the truth.  Don't hurt your friend, don't blame your neighbor, despise the despicable.  Keep your  word even when it cost you, make an honest living, never take a bribe. You'll never get blacklisted if you live like this."

As we talked in S.S. this morning & as the preacher spoke a few weeks ago, there is a large difference between religion & relationship.  If we have a relationship, we will strive to be Christ like.  We will instantly know when we have done something that goes against what God wants.  If religion is the only thing we have going for us, then I dare say, we don't have much.  I don't know about all of you, but I want a relationship.  I don't want to just know about Him.  I want an invitation.  I don't want to just say He is good because the sun is shining.  I want to be able to say He is good because I have witnessed first hand what He has done.

Told ya my mind was racing!  I guess you could say this is the first of possibly many throw up post.  Now you have some insight to what the preacher has to put up with & some insight to my brain.  I hope it made some sort of sense to you.  If not, sorry.  Just my thoughts!  Have a great Monday.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

All good things

I have to admit I got in trouble today.  Yep, me.  I know it is hard to believe isn't it?  Anyway, I was texting with my niece.  We were talking about the temperature, the weather, the breeze.  I replied to her yes breezy & 78.  If water & sand were in front of us, then we would have perfection. (we both love the beach)  As soon as I hit the send button, I knew I was in trouble.  God pressed in.  Then in a phone conversation with a friend, we were talking about attitudes that stink.  Mine included.  He pressed in even  more.  So  as I sat outside to absorb some of this beautiful sunshine, warm temps & breeze I got to listening to Him.  Then He laid this verse on me.  James 1:17  "Every good & perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows".
So as I thought about this, this is what I got... No matter what the weather is, sun, warm, cloudy, cold, it is perfect because it comes down from the Father.  No matter what the circumstance is that we face, it is perfect because it comes down from the Father.  If we don't like it.. to bad.  He's God, He's in control & we are not.  When we allow or don't allow our children to do something, it is our call.  Not their's.  God is the same way.  He knows what is best for us.  He sees our need long before we even realize we have one.  He's just good that way.  So the next time I decide I might want to complain about the weather or something else, I hope I am reminded of this post I just typed. 

Now, I hope to see you all in church tomorrow.  If you don't attend ours I hope you go to yours.  He is so worthy of all our praise.  So go & praise Him well.  After all, He let the sun shine bright today.  And it was perfect.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glorious Day- Casting Crowns- Lyrics On Screen

  You will need to scroll down & stop the playlist in order to hear this. It is an old hymn with a new twist.  Powerful words!  One of my favorites these days.  Hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Twenty one years! Who'd a thought it!

I am not really sure how or where to begin this post.  I didn't ask permission to do this but then again I never do.  It was, again, what God laid on my heart.  You see, D & I celebrated 21 years of marriage yesterday.  Now if you count the years preceding that well, it is a lot.  As I thought back on those years, wow, is all I can say.  Only thing left to add to it is God is good & faithful.  Let me just say we have been on this ride a while & all along the way we have been strapped in the front seat of a roller coaster.  Sometimes my hands have been in the air, others they have covered my face, others I was just hangin on the bar.  But through it all, God has blessed us far beyond what we deserve.  Two of the main blessings are our healthy, handsome boys.  Who, by the way, are our joys in this life.

I can't help but smile & give God praise when I do look back.  You see, I have watched my man go from a rebellious boy to the great man of God he is.  I am so, so thankful & proud of him.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  Believe me when I say that satan tried his best to break.  But I can also honestly say that I can look back & see where God's hand has been in place since day one & I don't mean day one of the marriage, I mean day one way back before I was old enough to drive & He placed the two of us together.  He has been right there with us & has seen us both at our best & our worst.  Yet here we are being used by Him.  It was all in His time & in His plan.  And believe me when I tell you, you can't mess with His time or plan you just have to trust it.  Easier said than done, but true!!

So I want to say to you D, (& it will be here as proof that i said it) I am ever so grateful to our Father who saw us through.  I am so thankful to you for allowing Him to use you.  I am just completely in love with you more now than yesterday or all those years ago.  I dare say, let's keep hangin on to Him & each other.  Life is hard, it hurts, sometimes it just down right stinks.  But in the midst of it all we have Him & each other.  In good times & bad.  I would definitely do it all over again. 

I smile through tears & say I so love you!!! Happy 21!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It is with a smile on my face that I introduce to you.......

For you face book friends & church members, this isn't news to you. I have been wanting to publish this post for so long.  Finally the ok so without further ado........                           This is T.  That is the name we use around the house anyway.  God used this child to finally bring me full circle & complete me.  From an early age, I had always wanted to adopt.  But D & I got busy with life.   God blessed us with our two healthy boys.  And boy do they keep us busy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Anyway, I am an avid blog reader & a couple of writers had gone on a trip sponsored by Compassion International.  They were meeting the children they sponsor.  God starting moving me again.  Oh, He had been placing events & people in my path.  Things like the earthquake in Haiti.  The Gaither’s who serve in Belize.  Things like that.  Well I was moving toward sponsoring a child.  I thought that maybe this was where He was & had been leading.  D wasn’t so sure. So I dropped it.  God didn’t.  I thought, well, maybe if I take the idea to the Sunday School class.  Maybe that is what this has all been about.  Maybe it has all been for them to have the chance to serve in this capacity.  So I did.  They thought it was a great idea.  So the search began for the boy from Guatemala.  But this partyin preacher’s wife didn’t have peace.  Somehow I ended up searching in Ethiopia.  Why?  All I can say Daddy led me there.  This face engulfed me.  I was consumed.  I couldn’t get peace.  I was worried.  I was just gone…  So I asked D how he would respond to a church member who came to him & said I don’t have peace with this.  What do I do?  What if this is what we are supposed to do?  What do we do with this? What do I do with this?  What? What? What?  So he rolled the idea over.  He came in on Friday after Thanksgiving & said what do we have to do, to do this?  So the short of the long is this, I pulled him up on the website one more time to pray over it & read again & he was gone.  I panicked.  But Daddy had other plans.  I found him again & we sponsored him.  I felt whole.  I felt complete.  Now does this mean my boys didn’t complete me?  NOPE!  Not by a long shot.  My boys are my world & if you know me at all you know this.  But this was something God laid on me at a very early age.  D & I talked about it before we were ever married.  (He doesn’t remember it though.)
And now my world is complete.  I’m not going to lie. I worry about T.  I wonder if he if ate well today.  If he is ok.  If his grandmother is ok.  What the weather is.  If he is warm. Cold. Happy.  Does he know I am here? Does he know I, we, are praying for him?  Yes, I have written him & told him, but does that mean anything?  Someday I think I will just jump on a plane & ask him myself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Count down to Easter

As I was listening to KLOVE radio, getting ready for church, the DJ mentioned that it was 21 days til Easter.  So I got to thinking about that.  Which is more important?  Christ birth or His death & Resurrection?  You know we count down to Christmas.  Why?  Is it because we are so excited to celebrate His birth or because we are so excited that santa comes & we get gifts?  How often have we overlooked Easter?  Oh we celebrate it.  We buy new clothes.  New shoes.  Need I forget a matching or new spring purse.  We hide Easter eggs.  We even make a bunny cake.  So yes we celebrate. But what are we celebrating?  I am totally in love with my Jesus.  And since falling head over hills for Him, Easter has taken on a whole new meaning.  Yes, use to, it was about the new outfits.  I wanted the boys to look cute in clothes they absolutely hated! But now, to think about my Jesus taking a beating for me,  dragging His cross up a hill for me, dying for me, & spending those days in between, just waiting, for me, then coming forth on that 1st Easter morning. I can't help but smile through some bitter sweet tears.  But here's the kicker, He didn't just do it for me.  He did it for You too!  He's just that good.  Luke 24:5 Says that the angels asked the women "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6)He is not here: He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: 7) "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."  8)Then they remembered His words. 

I know, if it weren't for His birth, there would be no Resurrection, all the more reason to be thankful & celebrate.  So yes, I am counting the days til Easter not because it is when the Easter bunny comes, but because that is when the party invitation was sent?  Have you sent your RSVP?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Whole Hearted Devotion

  This subject has been on my heart quite a bit lately.  And He has reminded me of our conversation several times this past week. 

Deuteronomy 30:6 says "The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts & the hearts of your descendants, so that you  may love Him with ALL your heart & with ALL your soul & live."

 Joshua 22:5 "But be very careful to keep the commandment & the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in All His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him & to serve Him with ALL your heart & ALL your soul."

1 Chronicles 28:9  "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father & serve Him with wholehearted devotion & with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart & understands every motive behind the thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you: but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever."

Psalm 9:1  I will praise you, O Lord, with ALL my heart: I will tell of ALL your wonders."

Psalm 86:11-12 "Teach me your way, O Lord, & I will walk in your truth: give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.   I will praise you, O Lord my God with ALL my heart; I will glorify your name forever."

Psalm 111:1 "I will extol the Lord with ALL my heart."

Jeremiah 29:13  "You will seek me & find me when you seek me with ALL your heart."

Revelation 3:15-16 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot, I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Now let me say that wholehearted devotion is a touchy subject for me.  I know first hand how easy it is to slip in with the crowd.  But I also know all too well what God wants from me.  It isn't easy to always have whole hearted devotion.  But this was one subject God spoke as audible as I have ever heard Him.

I had been to Nashville to my first ever Beth Moore conference.  It was the Deeper Still Event.  The place was packed!! I mean packed!  My friend & I got to the arena early so we could get in line.  Well, when we got there who else was in the lobby?  Yep Beth Moore.  So my friend said, go on. Let me take your picture with her.  Well, she was taking a picture with a group of ladies I didn't know so I wouldn't go.  I told my friend, "Nope. I want all by myself with her or not at all."  All or nothing.  Sunday morning after this trip,  as I was getting ready for church, actually I was ironing the preacher's clothes, I was on the fence about playing a song for special music that Sunday.  I had been asked me to play something so I was actually arguing with God about it.  But there was no more debate when He spoke to me & said, "I want all of you or none of you!"  Now if that don't stop you in your tracks nothing will.  I was astonished.  To hear God speak to me in that tone.  ALL OR NONE!!!  Guess what?  He got my attention that Sunday morning.  From then on, I have tried my best to be all in.  Yes, there are times when it has been half hearted.  And I am real quick to recognize it or He is quick to point it out. None the less, that is exactly what He wants from everyone of us.  Revelation leaves nothing to the imagination.  He wants us to be hot or cold.

So I dare ask this of you:  Are you all in or all out?  Are you hot or cold.  Half way in the middle just won't work.  Daddy said so. I admit I haven't been as hot or as radical as what my Father wants me to be.  But I am here to tell you, if the party favors depend on my answer I want to get the right one.  Cause the party favors sometimes make the party the best ever!  You know like a full ocean view or partial.  Cause let me tell ya after I worship my Jesus, talk a bit with Mary, visit with Peter & some of the others, (yes, I am gonna look up my earthly father too).  (Who knows he may meet me at the gate & escort me right to the feet of Jesus). I want a good view & a great beach party! So I am ALL in.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

FYI & enjoy the sunset

Ok so for those of you who don't know the blog listed as Ella B's Photography in my blog list, that is my other blog.  After a few years of taking pics as a hobby, mainly of my boys, I am now exlporing the business end of it.  Click there & enjoy the post that is up right now as I work on another one for here.