Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Just a simple thought for today...
What are you doing to captivate your husband's thoughts?
I don’t want my husband walking out the door for work and forgetting about me all day, I want to be on his mind. I want him to miss me when he’s gone.
Let’s be unforgettable women!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I wish I knew how much of her first 2 years living in an orphange she remembers. She loves to read her books about adoption and drinks it in when I tell her how we flew on a big airplane to bring her home. Her books tell of little girls living together with their nannies waiting for their Mommies to come for them. She beams when we turn the page to Mommy holding her new little girl.
She is often upset to see a child on tv standing alone or crying for any reason. She asks, 'where is their Mommy?' and won't let up until I explain exactly where Mommy is and that she will be there to take care of her baby.
I felt so bad recently when I walked out of the room while she was watching the movie "Homeward Bound." I completely forgot about the part where the little girl is lost and alone in the woods. I came back into the room to check on her and she was about to burst. Her little face was beat red and she was crying so deeply that her body was quaking but the sound had not made it out of her mouth. I grabbed her in my arms and she started to wail, she was inconsolable. I felt awful and of course I burst into tears right along with her.
It's times like that I wonder what fears still haunt that little mind. Did she know while she cried in her crib those 2 years, that the ache in her heart was for the comfort of a mother? Did she see others leave as their Mommies and Daddies came and wish she could leave also? I'll never know.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Without God, we are lost. We are not equipped to walk through the trials without Him.
So often people spend all their time trying to figure out “why” something happened to them, and they do not walk in the protection and peace that God can give them. Not only does He offer us peace, but like the verse says, He promises to be the lifter of our heads.
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me;
my glory, and the
lifter up of mine head.
When I think of Him being the lifter of my head, I picture myself emotionally beat up, tired and battle weary with my head hanging low.
“Child you are mine, look up and square your shoulders daughter because you ….are….mine.”
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I admit it, I do not watch Jon and Kate + 8. Of course I've heard about them, I'm an avid news watcher and their mixed up lives have been all over the news lately.
Last night I was on Twitter reading tweets from Iran. (Yes, this is what I do in my down time.) And I noticed that Jon and Kate were trending #2, so I figured that something must be going on. I clicked on the trend and read what people were saying about them. It is amazing to me how these 10 lives have affected so many people.
I really did not want to watch the impending news of their divorce, I knew it was going to be very sad and upsetting. But then people kept tweeting about this woman's dirty feet and I started to get curious- how dirty can Kate's feet really be???
So I changed the channel from Mark's war stories show and saw the last 15 minutes of the program (he begrudgingly let me!).
We both sat there and watched this couple explain to millions of viewers that they were divorcing. They each shared all the silly little cliche's that people do when they have nothing else to say, for instance:"things will work out, we'll get through this", "change is hard but it's good - right?" And so on and so on.
It was awful. I was so sad about what a mess their lives were, and watching them in the past-playing with the kids- just amplified this, so much so that I forgot to even look at her feet.
In 15 minutes I gathered that these are obviously two very deeply wounded people who don't have a clue what being married is really all about. And I'm sure that the lights of Hollywood have dimmed the truth that they may have known at one time.
It seems I've heard that they were Christians??? Not sure, but I thought someone told me that once, but I don't see the evidence of two people bulding their lives on the proper foundation so I wonder. Like I said, I have never seen the show before so I can't comment on that.
But I will say that if Mark and I were sitting down with them to talk about their marriage, we would say the same thing that we have said to countless other couples facing an impending divorce....
The marriage problems are not the problem, they are a symptom of a greater problem. The real problem here is Jon's individual relationship with the Lord and Kate's individual relationship with the Lord.
If you deal with the symptoms, you'll never get to the real problem and you will repeat this cycle in your life...in many different ways....until you address the actual cause of all this pain.
It's kind of like having two broken legs and putting a bandaid on your knee. It won't help you walk. Your legs are broken! Deal with the broken part and then you can walk.
This couple is broken. There is only One that is truly equipped to "fix" them. He can and wants to heal these shattered lives.
And of course, we would say: "Stop the show, deal with your lives." Did the show cause the divorce- NO. But it's certainly not helping. The TV show exposed what was in their hearts. That's what pressure does, it squeezes out the true motives and agendas that are inside of us and exposes our hearts. The good, the bad and the dirty feet-out there for all the world to see.
I believe that if this couple would humble themselves before the Lord, they would start their healing. They need individual healing first and then healing of the marriage.
I pray this happens.
What do you think??
Friday, June 19, 2009
We are having a good time so far this summer.
Starting with swimming lessons...
Tip toe-ing through the tulips...kind of.
But don't let the dress fool you! She would much rather be riding her quad all day long!
Fresh Air Fund
Thursday, June 18, 2009
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in Your strength and glory.
In Your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless You every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to You.
(The Message Bible)
I love that picture of worship! I love to worship Him because as I empty myself and give all the glory to Him, He fills me and speaks to my heart like no other time.
The first time the word "worship" is used in the Bible is when Abraham brings Isaac to worship on the mountain.
2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?""Yes, my son?" Abraham replied."The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!""Here I am," he replied.
12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
We tend to think that if we sing songs in church on Sunday, we've worshipped. This is not always the case. We may have sang songs, but worship requires some sort of sacrifice/offering. If our heart is not engaged, it's not worship.
Isaac knew they had the wood and the fire, but wondered where the sacrifice or offering was.
For it to be considered worship, an offering is necessary and both Abraham and Isaac were fully aware of this.
Today in worship, we are the offering. We are to put ourselves on that "altar."
(No, I don't mean the steps in front of the church platform.)
The altar now is symbolic of Jesus being the final sacrifice made for our sins. His death, burial and resurrection is the altar, but then we are to bring the offering.
Rom 12:1-2The sacrifices we bring to worship are:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.
* Abandonment of our own ways, desires, wants and dreams
* Something God calls you to do but honestly you just don't feel like doing it
* Sometimes a very difficult path
We don't deny that the offering or sacrifice is painful, but in the midst of it, we recognize that God is faithful and will bless the sacrifice made as we honor Him with our lives.
I love this song because it speaks well of the fact that there IS pain in the offering of our lives, but still we will bless the Lord!
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our "God is a consuming fire."
If you live in the Plainwell, MI area, come out and worship with us tonight!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I highly doubt any of you have idols sitting around your house in the form such as "Dagon" but I love that God will have no other gods before Him.
This takes place as the Philistine nation captures the Ark of the Lord. They are unaware of the power involved with the presence of God and they carry it in to the temple and place it beside the idol of Dagon.
1 Sam 5:1-4
After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then they carried the ark into Dagon's temple and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.
(As it says in the book, "if you find your god bowed facedown on the floor before another God, then it's time to get a new one!")
"No power set against our Almighty God can stand in His presence. And those who dare to set themselves up against Him are setting themselves up for a fall...it is a facedown fall."
We can not underestimate His holiness. He IS paying attention to everything happening right now, in our individual lives and in the lives of those who lead others.
Our God is a holy and jealous god.
Let's bow by choice and not by force.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I've been practicing with the boys of Trinity ftL (for the Lord). I suppose I should't call them boys but I knew them when they were toddlers! They have become one of the best bands I've ever heard.
They are incredibly talented and their hearts are set on the Lord (the drummer's heart is also quite set on my daughter- they are the cutest couple!).
Thursday, June 11, 2009
We love our boxes don't we?
We go to THIS church, with THIS pastor. We listen to THIS preacher and make sure that everything we do and believe lines up with their teaching.
We so limit the possibility of God speaking to us in different ways and through different means.
God used men, angels, chickens and even donkeys to speak to us.
But so often we get caught up following a leader and filter everything through them instead of God's Word.
1 Cor 1:10-13
10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
Paul knew that for us to follow after any one person was dangerous, and he was a mature enough believer to correct those who did.
There is nothing wrong with being plugged into one church, that is a good thing, but if being plugged in means that you are not allowed to hear God's Word anywhere else, that's dangerous. I know women who are fearful of their leadership finding out that they visited another church or meeting.
A strong-Godly leader would never fear you being ministered to by anyone else. A healthy leader would never be jealous or envious of you fellowshipping with believers outside of your church. I've actually heard of churches that try to control who their congregation spends time with, unbelievable!
Our identity as Christians should first be with Christ and not the name of a certain group or church.
There is a danger in making people dependent on its leaders, it's made God’s people passive in their own spiritual growth. We wait for others to show us how, or even just follow them in hopes that they’re getting it right. Jesus wants this relationship with you and He wants you to be an active part in that process.
Jesus is the way to the Father. As you learn to yield to his Spirit and depend on His power, you’ll discover how to live in the fullness of his life. Yes, He’ll often use other people to encourage or equip you in that process, but the people He uses won’t let you grow dependent on them. Healthy leaders would never get between you and the greatest joy of a growing relationship with the Father himself.
I am not saying you should run here and there grasping for truth. We need to use discernment whenever learning about God's Word from someone. Jesus was the greatest Teacher, but He left us His Word and the Holy Spirit to pick up where He left off.
25 "All this I have spoken while still with you.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to
Let God's Word be the final authority in all situations and trust your gut!!
Check out their website, it has some awesome information and is a great resource for marriage!!!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
In Southwest Michigan alone, 56 women were killed due to domestic violence in 2008.
That number is staggering, one woman a week.
This is not just in marriage but dating and even teen-dating relationships.
Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. (Children Now/Kaiser Permanente poll, December 1995)
The subject has been heavy on my heart and I plan to have information available at the Praise and Coffee Nights about how to seek help if a woman is in this situation.
The truth is that this is happening at an alarming rate and we need to be prepared to know how to help women. Yes, we need to pray for them and for their marriages, but should never encourage a woman to go back into an abusive situation. Being abused is not what being a Godly wife is about.
Abuse is a pattern of coercive control that one person exercises over another.
Battering is a behavior that physically harms, arouses fear, prevents a partner from doing what they wish or forces them to behave in ways they do not want.
Battering includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender.
It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating.
Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. (Source: NDVH website)
If you are in this situation, please get help. Not only for yourself, but for your children. Even if they are not the direct victim of abuse, these are some of the results of them living in an abusive/violent home:
Impact on children
You Are Not Alone:
And another (warning, graphic) :
Here are some important links to check out:
11 Myths regarding domestic violence and abuse
Things to say to a friend being abused
Why women stay
Sylvia’s Place~ Allegan, Michigan
The National Domestic Abuse hotline is: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
And click this button for their website:
Add this button to your blog:
I'm praying for women who are victims and potential victims of domestic abuse, please remember them in your prayers and reach out to help these women in your lives and communities.
PS: One more day to enter the June giveaway! (see June 1st post)
Saturday, June 6, 2009
So was Timothy:
2 Tim 1:3-7
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Paul was encouraging Timothy to fan into flame the gift that God had given him, so obviously Timothy had let that gift grow cold.
How? Paul acknowledges that he is feeling fearful and intimidated and then reminds him that God didn’t give that to him, instead He gave him power, love and a sound mind:
2 Tim 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and
of love, and of a sound mind.
It can happen so quickly!
Look at Elijah, God had used him powerfully to show forth His glory.
(You really should take the time to read the whole chapter, it is awesome!)
1 Kings 18:36-40
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!"
40 Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there. NIV
I’d say that’s some pretty powerful stuff!! I think I might be walking on clouds after that, feeling pretty good about God using me so mightily.
But in just a few verses, Elijah gets intimidated by the woman Jezebel and it sends him fleeing in fear.
1 Kings 19:1-5
19:1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,
4 while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors."
5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
Seems so hard to believe that Elijah could be intimidated and running in fear so quickly after such an incredible victory, but I’ve seen it happen in my own life, have you?
Things are going well, you’re walking hand in hand with the Lord and feeling His peace all around you, then you hear something that someone else says about you.
OR, you see someone who represents a painful situation in your life.
OR you compare yourself to another person.
SNAP, you’re intimidated and you start shrinking back.
You suddenly feel inadequate, you no longer hear the Lord’s voice or sense His presence.
I am focusing on us as individuals, but this spirit can be at work in churches and ministries also. It seeks it’s own way and will do whatever it can to destroy God-given authority, usually cloaked in a person who seems very strong in their faith.Listen again to Paul’s words to Timothy:
2 Tim 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
The first step out of this pit is recognizing that God did not give you this spirit of fear (intimidation). It is not from God, so you don’t need to put up with it for one more minute. Pray against it, confess God’s word over your life and put off (rebuke) the lies of the enemy. Don’t let them determine one more step in your life.
Second, recognize what God has given you- NO MATTER WHAT anyone else may says…He’s given you power, love and a sound mind.
Third, acknowledge that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. There is a side of this that we must look in the mirror and see. If we let ourselves get intimidated by others, that means that there is a part of us that is more concerned with what others say than with what God says.
Pride causes us to want the approval of others more than the approval of God.
Therefore, repent and choose to look to God for all the love and acceptance we need.
HIS Word should mean more to us than anyone elses.
I pray that if you have been affected by intimidation, you would rise up out of it today! Don’t let the enemy have one more minute of your life by keeping you under this darkness.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This week I took the boys fishing.
I don’t like fish. I don’t like worms. I don’t like bugs. I can’t eat fish, it makes me sick. I do not take fish off the hook. But, when the weather is nice and I am sure to get some sun for a tan, I do take the boys fishing.
First though, I had to stop to get a fishing license. I have faithfully bought a fishing license for two years in a row now. This is big time stuff. When I walk in, they must think I am slightly crazy. Four boys, me and fishing. Yah, I would find us crazy too! But the local hardware knows us well and the gun and bait shop we now stop at somewhat regularly is always extra patient with all my questions and helps us out a lot.
So, we were standing in line and our youngest had to give us a play by play of the other couple with a young boy in line next to us. “He has ice cream.”
“I know. I can see it.”
“I like ice cream.”
“I know you do.”
“Can I have some ice cream?”
“Me too!” comes from the other three at a totally not in-sync chorus, each one trying to be louder than the other to make sure I hear that they want ice cream.
“No, we are not getting ice cream.” Why do they do that? Why do stores put tiny freezers full of ice cream truck treats right where you have to get fishing licenses on the first official day of summer vacation. But I was holding firm, we had just gotten our delivery from the Schwan’s man – yum!
“He’s eating his ice cream.”
“I know, I can see him.”
“Moma, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Moma, can I have ice cream?”
“NO!” and then it was our turn to be helped so I could get my fishing license and get out of the store. Phew! We made the purchase (they always ask me if I want a restricted one or not. I just tell them I am just taking the boys fishing, nothing more. The older boys then tell me it would be cool to go on a boat to go fishing, in say, Lake Michigan. And that trout do live in Michigan, just in case I didn’t know. As if I would ever take all four boys on a chartered fishing boat!)
We are ready to leave and S3 decides he should inform the employees and everyone else in the hardware store that we are going fishing. “Really?” the store manager asks “Well, you have fun.”
“We will!” S3 says confidently. “Cuz I KNOW EVERYTHING!”
Yup, he really said that. The manager chuckled and said “Well, that is good to know. Try not to forget it all by the time you get big like me.”
“I won’t,” S3 vowed, “well, bye!”
And we were off to our favorite deep woods fishing spot. We caught six fish, seen three snakes swim near us, watched a blue heron take off from the bushes right next to us, untangled two fishing poles that were so knotted up we had to cut them apart, rolled pants of boys who thought they would get better bites if they actually stood in the water and I got some sun, while reading a magazine on the dock when everyone had run out of worms and were trying some ‘new fancy bait’ they were sure would get them the biggest bass in the whole lake. We came home with four little fish, and S3 cried the whole way home, because he hadn’t caught a thing.
S3, who knew it all, who told us how to fish, who stood there extremely quietly sure he would trick the fish in, never caught a thing. I felt bad for him. It was surely not for lack of trying.
I was thinking of that later in the evening. I’m not much unlike my four year old. For instance, I don’t like to let my kids know I can’t do something they know how to do…S1 knows how to run our roto-tiller and I don’t have a clue but I won’t ask him. I know everything cuz I am a mom, right?
I think you can see where I am going with this.
It’s impossible to know everything. But I do know I am guilty of thinking I know everything in my Bible so why bother reading it? I mean, I have heard these stories since I was born, literally. And then something will happen in life, or a simple conversation, and I’ll realize how shockingly ignorant I am and how prideful I really had been.
Once again, God gave me a little insight into my own heart from the mouth of my gifts from Him.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I'm blogging at the Internet Cafe' today, here's a tease for you:
I ask myself, and you… what can I do today to BUILD my house, and how can I avoid tearing it down?
Here are two things that I believe are great building blocks:
For the full article, click on picture:
Monday, June 1, 2009
And, our famous, "Praise and Coffee" label coffee!!
You're going to love it!
PLUS, our good friends at Bayview Cards are giving you a beautifully handmade box of cards!
~> To enter the drawing, just post a comment to THIS post telling me the name of your current favorite worship song. (Mine would have to be "High and Lifted Up" by Hillsongs- I know, I know it's been my favorite for a while now...but I just love it!)
~> Please make sure that I have a way to contact you-PLEASE!
~> If you have one of my "Praise and Coffee Giveaway" buttons on your blog, let me know and you will be entered twice.