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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Families At Risk (equals) America At Risk

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There is so much on the news today about the concern for our nation and the direction that it is headed. Our America is changing and to a conservative like myself, it can be alarming at times.


This change has not come about since January 2009, and I don't blame one President or one administration for the redefining of America, there has been a downhill moral slide happening in this country for a long time.



In a simpler time in American history, Abraham Lincoln stated,
“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger?
By what means shall we fortify against it?
Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the
Ocean, and crush us at a blow?
Never!
All the armies of Europe, Asia and
Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their
military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a
drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand
years.
At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?
I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us.
It cannot come from abroad.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be
its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time,
or die by suicide”
(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume I, Roy P.
Basler [ed.], p. 109).


Our nation is as strong as our states,
which are as strong as our cities,
which are as strong as our communities,
which are as strong as our families.
The backbone of this country rides on the strength of our families.

When we teach our children respect for God and others, that becomes how they behave in school and how they respond at their jobs to their employers and in the relationships they have.

The state of our families reveals the state of our nation.

When the family unit becomes strong, our communities will be stronger.
When our communities are stronger, our cities will be stronger.
When our cities are stronger, our state is stronger.
And when the states are stronger, our nation becomes strong, stable and healthy.

So what is at the core of making our families stronger? You are.

Women, we have a responsibility in this. We can affect this nation by affecting our family.



YES! Fathers/men have a huge role is this also- but this blog is not focused on what men should do, I write this primarily to women so please don't write me about the man's responsibility- it goes without saying- if men rose up and lead like they should, things would be much different.


However, I know that many women are in situations where the men are not taking the Godly lead but that does not get us off the hook. God has given women tools to build her family. Here is the proof of that:


Proverbs 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
NIV


A wise woman builds her house.



Building does not equate "taking over" or lack of submission to the God-given authority in our homes, quite the opposite. A women who loves her God and respects her husband's postition of authority in the home will be a strength to her family. Living by example in the way she conducts herself and the affairs of her home.


Women, we must work at building our family. We can do this many ways, I will name a few, but I would like your input too.


1. Put family first. So many (good) things can pull us away from our family and family responsibilities, we have to be careful to protect our family time.


2. Respect your husband, especiually in front of kids. This is huge! It teaches your children to respect authority.
Mark 3:25 (Jesus said) "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." NIV


3. Honor the decisions you and your husband have made concerning finances and how much is spent. 'Nuf said....


4. Pray for your family everyday! We have to-who else is????


These are just a few, I'd love to hear your input.


I'm praying for our marriages and families,
Sue

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Don't Think a RUBY is the Stone I Most Often Resemble

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Proverbs 31:10-12
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.
NLT

Rubies, what a beautiful description of a woman after God's heart. A woman that is a virtuous and capable wife, her husband trusts her completely and she enriches his life. In fact, she's so great that she never hinders him-ever- only helps him all her life.



A ruby, how lovely. Oh how I long to resemble those qualities.


But instead of looking like a ruby ring...


I spend most of my days...


Looking like this ring...


...a mood ring.

I'm sure you heard about the woman whose husband bought her a mood ring so that he could monitor her moods. He discovered that when she's in a good mood, it turns blue. But when she's bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on his forehead.

But seriously, I struggle with my moods and emotions. Somedays it's a challenge to find my own happy place, let alone enrich his life!

It's days like that this verse comes into play:

Romans 12:9-11
9 Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
NIV

Yes, it can be a struggle to keep our moods in check, but choosing to honor our husband above ourselves is something that will benefit our marriages. When we obey God's Word, He will lift us up and then we will be like the woman that is more precious than rubies.

No, I don't think that a ruby is the stone I most resemble...but I'm working on it!

I'm praying for our marriages!
Sue

Monday, September 21, 2009

Looking for your "Twilight" input...


I would love for you to answer a few questions for me. Feel free to answer them anonymously if you like...but I will be posting all of them unless you specifically ask me not to.

I realize this is a hot button topic among many Christians, I do not want this to become an argument, I want information and input.

Feel free to copy and paste the questions into your comment and answer them that way:

1. Have you seen the movie "Twilight" or read any of the books? If yes, did you enjoy it?

2. AND...if you did enjoy it, have you felt a need to keep your love for the series a secret from your Christian friends?

3. Have your children seen the movie or read the books? If no was it because you didn't allow them to see it?

4. Do you feel they are acceptable for Christians to see and read? Explain.

5. Do you feel they have "teachable" moments or qualities in them? If yes, explain.

6. Any other thoughts about the Twilight series....

Thank you!!!!!
EDITED to add:
Thank you so much for all your input!!! Keep it coming :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Paths Are Lined With Terror

Do you think God is unfair? That He is just a big rule-making, fun-destroying entity that wants to heep guilt on your happiness?

Many do.

Just the other day I talked with someone who felt that God was the big bully in the sky bossing people around.

I don't see Him like that at all. I see Him as a loving Father that has given us all the freedom we desire. We have the choice to take any path we want in this life, He won't stop us. However He tells us that the choice we make will determine the joy or heartache in the journey. He sets before us life and death, but His desire is that we would choose life, not only for His joy, but for ours also.

Proverbs 1:29-33

For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD.

30 They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them.

31 That is why they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way. They must experience the full terror of the path they have chosen.

32 For they are simpletons who turn away from me — to death. They are fools, and their own complacency will destroy them.

33 But all who listen to me will live in peace and safety, unafraid of harm."
NLT


As parents who love their children, do we tell them, 'you have the freedom to do whatever you want- go play in the streets if it makes you happy!' No, we protect them, we show them boundaries because we love them. We even discipline them when they make bad choices.

God does the same with us. He warns us, through the apprehension in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. He sends friends and counselors to help guide us. And of course He speaks so clearly through His Word and sometimes He disciplines us when we get off the path.

I believe this in on my heart today because someone is facing a choice that is hard. Their emotions WANT one thing, but they know that isn't what's best and may even be harmful.
I encourage you to listen to that still small voice...look to God's Word for answers and seek out someone who you know will tell you the truth.

Praying for you...
Sue

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do You Outclass Other Women?

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Hello girlfriends!
How are you doing?? Are you back in the swing of things? Summer's over, school has begun. It's carpool season! Some people worry about hitting a deer on the road, I think the deer watch out for us this time of year! We are women- hear us roar!!

Give us enough coffee, we can get it done...maybe...but there's so much more to life than just getting it all done.

There's that still small voice that calls out to us...wooing us to quiet our hearts and spend time with our God so that we can be the woman, wife and mother that He's truly called us to be.

Let's look at this verse:

Prov 31:28-30
28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:

29 "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!"
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. NLT



I love how the Message Bible says it:
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

...lives IN the fear of God.

I know that I visit from time to time...but LIVE there...still working on that.

The fear or reverance of the Lord is a beautiful, powerful place to be.
It means so much more than closing ourselves away in our closets to pray...or witnessing to every person that breathes...or even having a great ministry...

Living in the fear of the Lord is an attitude that plays into every aspect of our lives. Recognizing that He is greater, and we are less than...and walking in obedience when He calls us to lay down our own will and desires- no matter how worthy they may seem- so we can serve Him by serving one another, and if we're married, it starts with our marriage.

How are you and your Mr. doing these days??

Is he praising you like this verse says?
Ouch! Yes, I just stepped on my own toes too so don't get mad at me please. :)

Do I (out of my reverance for the Lord) honor my husband and act as his helpmeet?
I believe that is our #1 priority as women and that is a very important part of what makes us worthy to be greatly praised. Especially if you're married to someone who never praises you or takes his role as the leader of the home, God sees your heart and your willingness to serve Him through your husband.

And I am not saying...the only beauty that matters is what's inside...just let yourself go on the outside...forget the makeup and hair color!
LOL, if you know me, you know I wouldn't say that!
Pretty up the outside girls, it's our perrogative as women, but pay more attention to the inside and how we are honoring the Lord with our calling as a wife.

Then we can outclass all the rest!!

I'm praying for our marriages,
Sue

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Regret My Past

Do you regret the things you've done in the past? Regret can be a wonderful teacher, it keeps us from making the same mistakes again.

However, we don't want to spend our time re-living those past sins, we want to move on. God has a plan for us and it's time to stop beating ourselves up. We don't need to see ourselves through our past, we need to look at our lives as God does, with hope for our future. He loves us so much and wants us to see how precious we are to Him.

I put together a short video about the subject. I have to be honest, it is difficult to bare my soul by putting out these videos- you know how we girls tend to hate seeing out own pictures??? Well, it's even worse to see yourself on video, but if they help and encourage one person, it's worth it.

Much love!
Sue


Friday, September 11, 2009

Tears of Sadness and Joy

I will never forget this morning 8 years ago. I was teaching Bible study and I felt a pull on my heart to drop our lesson for the day and devote the morning to prayer. In fact the only thing written on my agenda was one word- pray.

As the ladies and I sat praying for the different needs in our families that morning our youth pastor came in and said "pray for NY, a plane has hit one of the twin towers." I admit, I had no idea what that meant, I was picturing a little twin engine bumping into a building.

Then he came in again, a second tower has been hit and they think a plane is headed for the white house, they have fighter jets in the air...then the scope of what was happening started to hit us. Our nation was under attack.

As the day unfolded, the horrors were made clear. I just remember thinking...the world has changed, everything changed today.

I will never forget seeing this, how far we have come:





We need to remember...we need to keep praying.

And then...I never dreamed that 5 years later I would be waking up in a hotel in Xi'an China. Nervous, excited, scared and overwhelmed at the thought of meeting my 2 year old daughter for the first time.

11:00 AM finally came around and we sat in the lobby waiting for them to bring her to us. I'll never forget when they walked through the door. I grabbed Mark's arm and said- it's her!
So tiny and frail. Her little face emotionless. The nanny carried her up to the hotel room and it was there that I reached out to her and put her arms around my neck for the first time.

She was beautiful, she was perfect, she was mine. I didn't let go of her the whole day. She had captured my heart instantly. I looked at Mark after the others left and I said, "I love her, I really love her."
She's never stopped capturing our hearts, and I've never stopped falling in love with her.

So needless to say...this day is an emotional rollercoaster for me. The news and radio make me cry with sadness but this little girl with the almond shaped eyes makes me shed tears of joy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Heaven is the face...

A powerful video from Steven Curtis Chapman.
I love how he has taken his incredible pain and turned it around for God's glory!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Underlying Anger

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We may not think about the issue everyday, but it's there. That thought pattern that plays over and over in our minds. A cruel word or action, a lack of sensitivity on the part of someone that should be very sensitive of our feelings.

Underlying anger can paralyze our ability to function as a healthy person. It often stems from feeling fearful and helpless or just frustrated about not getting our way in a situation.

Often underlying anger is lurking in our marriages. We can pretend it's not there, but the cutting comments and quick rebuttals prove it's presence.

Instead of ignoring it and hoping it will go away in your marriage, I encourage you to choose forgiveness.

Forgiving is not forgetting, but it is letting go of the pain. Choosing to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. We don't forgive others because they deserve it, we forgive out of obedience and faith, trusting that God is smarter than we are.

Matt 18:21-22
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
NIV

Lord, You know how much _____(this person or event)____ has been hurting me, please help me to forgive. As I lay this offense at Your feet, I confess Your words from Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" and I receive the forgiveness You promise me.
Thank you Lord for setting me free!


I'm praying for our marriages,
Sue

Monday, September 7, 2009

Why Praise and Coffee Nights ~ Video

Hello! Hope you're having a wonderful long weekend!
Here is a little video about Praise and Coffee Nights.
Don't forget, just a couple more days to sign-up for the September Praise and Coffee Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ever do the right thing and still have it backfire on you?

That's what I'm talking about over at the Internet Cafe' today...

Why am I being persecuted when I did the right thing?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Praise and Coffee Giveaway!~ And my first vlog!

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This month's Praise is this devotional on praise:



You'll also get "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 DRAWING:

~> Post a comment to THIS post telling me a little known fact about YOU!

~> 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. Here is a link to all my buttons: Blog Buttons

video

And here is my first attempt at vlogging (video blogging)!
Don't you just love how it grabs one frame and that is the picture you see LOL!!

Edited to add:

The winner of the September Praise and Coffee is:

Karen!


Congrats!!!!

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