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Monday, September 29, 2008

Is the earth giving way under your feet?

(I wrote this before the fallout on Wall Street yesterday, but I feel that in light of that, I will leave it up today. "Two shall become One" will resume again next week.)

I love this verse:

Ps 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

This one has been a lifeline to me on more than one occasion when I felt that I was drowning. One such time was when Stephanie (my now 16 year old) was about 18 months old and she started having seizures. It was so hard. She had grand mal (full blown) and petite seizures (she would fall and then regain conciousness quickly). They would come monthly, then closer together. The doctors could find no real reason and after a year and a half they stopped.

I could tell you story after story of the terror it was to have them happen and rush her in an ambulance to the hospital. But the thing I want to focus on is how the Lord brought peace into my life one day when I was about to completely break down. I just cried out to Him..'please help Lord"...that was profound prayer, just the cry of a mother's heart for her daughter. Then He poured His peace on me like oil flowing over my head and in my heart I heard Him say..."have I let her get hurt? Have I not protected her through this?"

Well, He had. She never had any adverse affects or damage after the seizures and miraculously never hurt her head all the times she fell.

He's our ever present help in trouble...He's RIGHT THERE with us.

We are not to give way to fear...even if the earth right under our feet should crumble.
Even if our marriage...children...finances...all fall apart.
He promises to be our refuge and strength.
I'm so thankful.

I read your emails, I know that some of you reading this are struggling.

He is right there with you, call on His name and let His peace flood your heart.

If you need more encouragement, head over to my friend Melissa's place, you can click the Speak to My Soul Sunday button on the right.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Be Still and Know

One of my favorites.

Psalms 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Winners!

Today is the day!
The "Forget the Garage Sale Giveaway!"

I've packed the three boxes and even though I considered taking pictures, I decided not to.

I want the recipients of said boxes to do a post on their blog when they receive them and I will highlight them here on Praise and Coffee.
Fair enough? Good.

And here are the winners (chosen by Random Number Generator):

Dionna from "Keeping It Real"

Heather C from "A Woman's Worth"

Natalie from "Holy Chaos"

Thank you all for playing along!
I hope you find something in these boxes that you will enjoy.

Maybe we'll do this again for spring cleaning.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Frustrated with people?

Here's what God says:
Eph 4:29-32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (ie: grudge)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

There's freedom in forgiveness.

My Stunt Girl

This video was taken early spring- that's why my yard looks so horrible. :)

Matt (my oldest) was coaching Lauren to ride down the hill (I am shooting the video).
As of 2 weeks ago she ditched the training wheels- go Lauren!

She wanted to go out back and ride our motocross track but Matt started her in the front yard.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two shall become One ~ In Sickness and in Health


What does it mean to love for better or for worse, in sickness and in health?

I was looking up the song, "Mighty to Save" by Laura Story so that I could post it for you on Sunday, and I was so touched when I found this video. I just had to save it for TSBO Tuesday. It is Laura Story and her husband Martin's testimony.

I love this song. We sang it on Sunday, and every time we got to the line, "Savior, You can move the mountains..." I could not get past the word Savior. A lump would well up in my throat and I was overwhelmed at what a mountain-moving God we serve. I am astounded at His goodness.

I believe this video will touch your heart and remind you of the promises you made. have to check out these very cool t-shirts for husbands and wives. I love them!

From*me Tees ~ Thanks Christina for sending me the link!

I'm praying for our marriages,

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the "Forget the Garage Sale- Giveaway"...drawing on Thursday!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where is your faith?

Luke 8:22-25
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples,
"Let's go over to the other side of the lake."
So they got into a boat and set out.

23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying,
"Master, Master, we're going to drown!"
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters;

the storm subsided, and all was calm.

25 "Where is your faith?" He asked His disciples.

In other words,
when we are in the midst of a "storm" and we panic...
God's response is "where is your faith?"

Why aren't you believing Me in this?
Have I ever let you down?
Am I not right here with you?
Do you think I would let you just go under?
I knew this storm was coming long before you experienced it.
Nothing is too hard for Me.
I love you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My 300th post!!!

(To the girls who I had dinner with last night...thank you, I had a blast!!!)

I scooted right by my 200th post without noticing , so I thought I'd catch this one. Who knew I had so much to say....(my husband rolls his eyes and shakes his head).

So for my 300th post I thought I would start listing all the colors my hair has been.... ok, no that would take too long. I know, I'll sing for you....yeah, that's not working so great either.

Well, I'm plumb out of ideas, so I am going to once again, take a big risk and invite you to ask me questions like I did for my 100th post. I must say were relentless! Feel free to ask me about my favorite flower if you like! :-)

Leave me a question in the comments and I'll answer in the comments.
Please be gentle. No anonymous questions! :)
And can I tell you that I have loved "meeting" you all. Blogging has been a blast for me, especially because I am normally sipping a cup of coffee while in my jammies reading your comments!
Thanks for being such an encouragment to me, you've gotten me through some rough times.

Don't forget to sign up below at the giveaway so I can bless YOU!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Forget the Garage Sale....Giveaway!

I first told you about my dilemna HERE.

I have been fall cleaning and I don't like to do garage sales so I'm doing a GIVEAWAY!

I will be giving away 3 (small to medium size- I promise no huge boxes of broken lamps or old fishing tackle! :) boxes of "stuff" assorted treasures that are perfectly good -some are even new, just not needed in the Cramer household any longer. I'm sure there will be some coffee thrown in for good measure!!

To enter the contest to win my "stuff" leave a comment on this post, I will draw the winners one week from today on the 24th....sometime after 12 noon.
Make sure to leave me a way to contact you.

If you want to do a giveaway on your blog, sign up below. No big rules, just give something away that is already in your home. You will pay for shipping. Please specify if you wish to only ship to the Continental United States.

When you put in your link- make sure that it links directly to your "Garage Sale Giveaway" link and not just to your main blog page.

(To do this, click on the title of your post and copy your URL address.)

Click on Mister Linky for other blog giveaways.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Is Marriage Outdated?


I had an interesting conversation the other day. It made me realize just how far this next generation has fallen from traditional values. We are light years from the days of "Leave it to Beaver!"

I was talking with a young couple that my son knows. They are dating and also live together. I asked them if they ever considered getting married. They shrugged their shoulders and said no, things are going really good, why mess things up with marriage?

It broke my heart. The idea that marriage, and not sin, would possibly mess up their relationship. I realize that their opinions are based on what they have or have not been taught all of their lives about love and marriage. Unfortunately I have to admit that their thoughts on marriage are probably more prevalent than my own.

The world and media have instructed us that marriage is old-fashioned, outdated, inconvenient and unnecessary.

Here are a few examples:

***Look at many of the most famous stars in Hollywood, the most famous of which is Brad and Angelina, they have no use for marriage and make adultery appealing. The list is long of those who are also raising families without the commitment of marriage.

***Here is a quote on marriage:

"Marriage is a form of ownership. ... I think it's dangerous. I think you lose your personal power." ~ Goldie Hawn

***Macy's took out a full-page ad in May 2008 that solicited the business of same-sex couples planning their nuptials.
"First comes love. Then comes marriage," the ad proclaims beneath an image of two wedding rings.
"And now it's a milestone every couple in California can celebrate."

This is just a tiny sampling of what I found when searching on the subject. I don't even want to post most of what I read.

But I do want to look at what God says about marriage. After all- wasn't it HIS idea in the first place?!

Gen 2:24
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.


One man, one woman.

Just so that you don't think it's an Old Testament thing...or that marriage has evolved...
Matt 19:4-6
4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'

5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?
6 So they are no longer two, but one.
Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Heb 13:4-5
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

God does not look down on marriage, He honors it. We should also. Marriage is not outdated, it is holy. I commend those of you that are married and have fought to stay married.

Let's uphold, through our lives and words, the honor or marriage.

(I do not say any of this to condemn anyone who has been divorced.)

I'm praying for our marriages,

Come back tomorrow for the "Not a Garage Sale Giveaway"

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Opportunity to Believe

I have a prayer list. Don't we all? Whether written or remembered, we have people and circumstances on our hearts that we bring before the Lord.

It seems that as the years go by, the list not only changes, but deepens. Sometimes it's as though the burdens get heavier. I have witnessed so many situations that have appeared to be hopeless, and yet God moves in such a way as to once again show Himself more mighty than any flaming arrow the enemy can come up with.

There is a wonderful peace in knowing that 'no matter what' may come along, our God is more than able to get us through. He may not take the route we want Him too, but that's His prerogative. He sees the bigger picture. He sees the work that needs to be done, not only in us, but for His glory.

John 11:14-15
14 Then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead.

15 And for your sake, I am glad I wasn't there,
because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me.
Come, let's go see him."

There are a few people on my prayer list today that are facing a mountain. My prayer is first that the mountains would be moved, that they would be released from the trial that is in their path. I'm praying for a miracle for them.

I know that He will take their hand, pull them close and wrap His arms around them. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. If God's will is for them to walk through the fire, as it so often is, they will not do it alone. I pray that they would have peace. I pray that God would be glorified and many would see His hand working in these precious lives.

I pray that those around them would see hope. It is hope that keeps us fighting and hope that keeps us from giving up.

If you are facing a mountain today, trust Him, believe Him, He's right there with you. If you know me at all, you've heard me say it over and over again, He IS faithful.

Don't let your mind worry, just know that He is faithful.

He may just be giving others an opportunity to believe.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A New Look

My life seems to be filled with change these days so I thought I'd change the look of my blog too!

Change used to scare me, I really hated it. But now I see that change is just a part of normal life, and it's healthy.

We all go through seasons with friends, jobs, name it! The one thing that I have learned is that God never changes through it all. However, sometimes He alters my outlook on this dance of life. Whenever there's change, it seems He shows me a new aspect of Himself in my life.

Kids go off to college, jobs change, addresses change but God remains steady and faithful. This nation is going through changes...not sure how it will all play out, but I am confident that the Lord watch over His people. He will continue to lead us and guide us as He always does- in direct correlation to our dependency on Him.

So as our family goes through changes, I'm sure many of your families are going through changes also. Some huge, some not so life altering, but our foundation is built on the One who puts it all together and picks up the pieces if it seems to fall apart.

Don't worry, my life is not falling apart. I will share more later, but really it's all about God bringing us to a place He wants us to be! He's giving us a new look. :)

He is soooo good and sooo faithful!!! I can't imagine what life would be like without His love!

What about you? Any change going on? What's it doing to ya??


PS: Do you like the new header???

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't be a lunatic

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him
than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word,
'darkness' on the walls of his cell.
C.S. Lewis

Our God, THE God, Creator of all that we see, is real.
People may mock our belief in the Holy Bible, but it is truth.

We can not shrink back in our beliefs and convictions. We have to stand for what's right even when we are humiliated and scorned.

I do believe that God created this world from nothing. I do believe that there was a great flood. I do believe that Jesus came as God's Son, died on a cross, was buried and then 3 days later rose from the earth alive. I believe the whole Word of God.

And I believe that He did it to pay the price for my sins. He did it so that I would have the opportunity to identify myself with that death, burial and resurrection as payment for sin. That I could receive LIFE when I acknowledged that it was done for me and asked Him to forgive me and bring me into fellowship with the Father.

Rom 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.


We are in a battle, but the battle is not to fight men, it is to live for His goodness through our lives, show His love and mercy.

Eph 2:3-6
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.

The same grace that we received is available to all, even the mocker. Our job is not to condemn and judge this world, we have to offer grace.

Stand. Stand for truth. Stand for love.

I have been so frustrated with some of the things I hear lately and frankly, I'd just as soon pray for God to smote them all! But God has a better plan.

Rom 12:17-21
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:
"It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Those are some powerful words!!!!!

I said to Mark this morning, "I am so tired of people dragging God through the mud!" His response was basically that God is not moved by it, why should I be.

UGH! So true.

Like the quote can not diminish God's glory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September Winner and another Giveaway!

Thanks to the Random Number Generator, the winner is:

Kim (A Stone Gatherer) @ Scattered Stones

Congrats Kim, email me your home address
and I'll get your Praise and Coffee right out to you!

And now for another contest...

I am a fall cleaner, not a spring cleaner. In the springtime, I am out the door, forget about the house, Momma needs some air! So today I started my fall cleaning today.

As I was re-organizing my cupboards, the job quickly snowballed from one pantry, to the spice cupboard and on to the storage room in the basement.

There I tunneled my way through piles of tissue paper, towers of empty (just the right size for saving) boxes, Christmas wrap, a bread maker, a fondue pot, several worn and tattered purses (I just can't throw away a Coach bag no matter how old it gets), several different size crockpots, bags and bags of new gift items that I never gave away (I like to stock up because you never know when someone will show up at your door with a gift and you will need to have something special just for them too), knick-knacks, pictures and wall hangings, more tissue paper....who keeps buying tissue paper?! I think I even ran across a litter of kittens in there, they were nesting in the tissue paper.

Well...I can only organize so much...some of this has to go. I thought to myself, this is when most people would have a garage sale. But you know what, I don't like to do garage sales. It takes hours of preparations only to have me look at someone and say, "oh just take it..."

Instead I decided to donate it. Then I had this crazy idea...that's where you come in :)

What if I hosted a
"Forget the Garage Sale, Give Away!"

It will be our inspiration to get rid of some of the perfectly good things that we no longer need or use.

Knick-knacks, candles, a Christmas something or other... whatever you want.

So I was thinking that I would give you a week to get something together- that is already in your house- to give away. It does not have to be new, but should be something that someone else would like -even if you no longer want it- yes I see the irony. I will probably do a box or 2 or 3 of an assortment of "stuff."

You will just have to pay to ship it to the winner.

On Wednesday, September 17th I will set up the "Mr. Linky" so that you can enter your website. We will take sign up for 1 week and all have the drawings on the 24th.

So what say you??
(This is not the sign up, I'm just curious how many of you might be interested.)
Also, let your readers know!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Smart Marriages


I found the coolest site! It has tons of info on marriage and fun ideas to help make your marriage stronger and strengthen the marriages around you and in your community.

Here are some of the links that you will find when you go there:

Are you smart enough to have a Smart Marriage?

Are you smart enough to have a Smart Marriage?
The #1 predictor of divorce...
Ask Dr Romance
Marriage on Radio & TV - watch & listen
Daily Temperature Reading
Marriage QUOTES, wedding vows, cartoons & toasts
SINGLE? How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk (or Jerkette)
How Marriage Therapy and Marriage Counseling Can be HAZARDOUS to your Marital Health
UNWANTED DIVORCE? How to fight it. Alternatives to Marriage Therapy and Marriage Counseling...
BEFORE you even think about divorce...
Affairs/INFIDELITY-you CAN recover
What is it with Men and Commitment?
When a Family Man Thinks Twice (about divorce)
What's Your Relationship IQ?

Strengthen Marriage in Your Community

Strengthening Marriages in Your Community: 101 Ideas to Get You Started
An Optimistic View of the Future of Marriage
Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences
GIFT certificates: Weddings, anniversaries, new baby, etc
Marriage Week USA - Feb 7-14/Resources
Black Marriage Day - 4th weekend in March/ Resources
Hispanic Marriage Day - Oct 12, 2008/Resources
Marriage and the MOVIES
Marriage & Wedding RITUALS
Order a FREE Smart Marriages Bumper Sticker

And much more!
Check out this link for all the links:
Smart Marriages

The one about "Strengthening the Marriages in Your Community" has some great ideas that we could use to make a difference in the marriages around us.

I'm praying for our marriages,

PS: Don't forget to enter the drawing from the September 1st post!

Monday, September 8, 2008

He's the Missing Piece

Rom 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Peace with God, what an incredible thing! This world longs and strives for peace with God, all along not even knowing that peace is what their soul desires. They seek to fill an emptiness, and unknown, a real yet so often misunderstood longing that comes when we don't abandon our own selves and give Him our lives.

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.

It is a privilege, and an honor to stand in the place of "child of God." Sharing in the glory of Him who created us with a purpose and a hope. How can we begin to be thankful enough?

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure.

It's not "all good"... sometimes life breaks our hearts. But God will use even the darkest hours to bring about good in our life when we trust Him too.

4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.

Without the trials, we would be shallow, empty and boastful. We would not appreciate the joy and expectation we have of the eternal life that He offers us.

5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

God never disappoints! He loves us, unconditionally! He wants our hearts filled with His love and only the Holy Spirit can do that. Nothing else we seek, not the bottom of a bottle or another relationship can fill us with true love. Only Him.

Don't go from here to there looking for happiness, the missing piece is Him.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Will Not Be Broken

Let me share with you an email that I received this week:

Hi again, Sue
I wanted to reach out to you again to follow up on my email from last week because I really need your help to spread the word. Russia is still dropping cluster bombs on innocent civilians in the Georgian republic, killing and wounding many and spreading dangerous unexploded bomblets that will surely kill and maim people into the future. Survivor Corps is one of the lead organizations in the movement to ban cluster bombs and to assist the survivors of this terrible weapon.

I've put together this social media news release which explains everything.

If you are able to blog about this very important subject, it would benefit many people. Please let me know if you are able to help and send me the link to your post.

Thanks so much.
Dani Sevilla, Survivor Corps

After this email I spent some time looking into Survivor Corps.
What an amazing organization started by a man with a heart wrenching story.
His name is Jerry White and here is a little about his book and testimony upon which the organization is built.

"I Will Not Be Broken"

The loss of a loved one, a painful divorce, or a serious physical injury---we must all, at one point, face tragedy -- unavoidable moments that divide our lives into “before” and “after.”

How do we muscle our way through tough times and emerge stronger, wiser -- even grateful for our struggle? In 1984, author Jerry White lost his leg -- and almost his life -- in a landmine accident. He has endured the pain of loss and the challenge of rebuilding. As cofounder of Survivors Corps, White has interviewed thousands of victims of tragedy. With this book, he shares what he has learned.

White outlines a very specific five-step program to coping with disaster; to achieving strength and hope; and to turning tragedy into triumph. In their own words, his survivor friends and colleagues share their stories. It's a group that includes the well known, like Lance Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, and the late Princess Diana, and also everyday survivors. Through their stories and the author's words, the book takes readers step-by-step through the process of not only surviving tragedy and victimhood, but going on to thrive.

But this goes way beyond the horrible effects of war,
it touches all of us who have faced loss and great disappointment.

Here is a link to an interview with Jerry White from Good Morning America last month:

You will be touched by his testimony and encouraged to rise above whatever may come your way in this life. It's all about faith and choosing life.

Life can break your heart, but God is faithful always!

Check out the link in the above email and see what you can do to help this organization and spread the word!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2008 Giveaway AND ~ Two shall become One


1 Peter 3:1-6
1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

The emphasis on behavior over words is such a powerful truth.
The lives we live will speak much louder than the words we "preach."
It's a tough question, but we have to ask ourselves...if I never spoke a word to my husband, would he see me living for the Lord?

2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Do our lives speak purity and reverance or are we that clashing symbol of 1 Cor. 13??

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

I don't think this means we should not try to look beautiful for our husbands, I know my husband loves it when I look good for him. But at the same time, outward beauty will fade and then what is left? If we are gorgeous but treat him with disrespect and disdain, we fulfill this verse:

Prov 11:22
22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout

is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,
6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

I believe that many times fear keeps us from honoring the Lord as wives. We fear he will not respond gently and with acceptance, but the Lord asks us to live this life FIRST for HIM, then toward our spouses.
Daughters, do what is right and do not give way to fear.

I'm praying for our marriages,


This month's PRAISE is Casting Crown's,

"The Altar and the Door"

And a bag of coffee from a local coffee house!

To enter contest, leave a comment to THIS post and please add your email if you do not have a website. And please remind me if you have my button on your blog so I can enter your name twice!!

Drawing will be on the 10th of September.

  ©Blog Design by Amy Bayliss.

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