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Friday, July 31, 2009

Guest Post ~ Rockin' Worship!

Another guest post from one of my favorite girlfriend's Denise!

She wrote this after the last Praise and Coffee Night, it was such a cool evening worshipping with Trinity ftL all those ladies, I loved it!!!

Rumor has it, their CD is out...I plan to have it available at the Praise and Coffee Night August 13th.

Ok, now on to Denise's article! Be sure to click on her logo and visit her blog too, you will love it!

Rockin’ Worship

I had to clean my porch. Well, let me start farther back than that. We live in a very old farmhouse, and the front of our house is an old porch that the previous owners remodeled with windows to connect it as a room of the house. It has no insulation, it slants toward the door, it has no electric and it is my second favorite room in the whole house. The reason I fell in love with the house in the first place. The ceiling is robin’s egg blue and I painted the trim super bright yellow when we moved in and the floor is chipped dark blue. Everyone loves my porch.

We used it as a mud room this winter for the first time. It was a little odd to take a cute room and make it into a ‘drop’ room but it worked. And it has stayed that trashed drop room since winter and it was well past time to clean it out. It was so nasty I ended up just taking the garden hose into the porch and spraying it down. It was gross. Dirt I didn’t know existed came pouring out.

I took everything out of the porch, cleaned it and brought what I needed back in. It’s all cute again with two rocking chairs just waiting to be rocked in and chat with someone special. Our youngest was exceptionally impressed with the rocking chairs. “Come sit wid me!” he said to me, rocking back and forth.

“I really need to keep cleaning,” I’d say, but I did think he sure looked cute in the big rocking chair. I kept to task and soon S4 was rocking again, “Come sit wid me, Moma. I got you a piddow.” And sure enough, he drug the pillow from the couch to the rocking chair for me.

“Oh, okay,” I agreed and sat in the other chair. He rocked away with a smile.

“This nice, Moma,” he told me.

And it was. It was sweet rocking there with my little boy on my clean porch. I had been so busy putting it back together that I hadn’t realized just how nice it was to just sit there.

Later in the day I was frantically getting around for the Praise and Coffee night. I was so late! I hurried out the door without dinner; I made it too late to help out, too late for a sandwich but in time for coffee. Which I needed because I was so tired from all the work of the day.

Trinity FTL was playing and I had been looking forward to this day. But as they began to play I just kept thinking of all the busyness of the day, the things I had left undone at home, the things I had yet to do when I got home. And while the music was unbelievable great, I wasn’t ‘feeling’ it.

All the sudden the sun came thru the window and shown brightly on me just as Sue was praying for the Holy Spirit to be felt in this place and they began to play a Kari Jobe song I most love. It was one of those “frozen in time” moments, surreal. And I thought of my little boy sitting in the rocking chair asking me to sit with him. And it was like God said to me, “Are you going to give Me any of your time?”

And just like I had used the hose to clean out the ick of the porch to get to that moment where I could enjoy some special time with S4, God just hit me then, showing me all the ick that was blocking me from truly worshipping Him.

I cried. I don’t cry in public and I stood there and cried.

Thank you, God, for giving me a son to show me more of You! To show me how to have a “rockin’ worship” moment with You.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Steps to Avoiding Conflict in Marriage

Hello ladies!
Are you enjoying your summer? I hope so! I am having a great one, but wow is it ever busy!
Just got back from a wonderful weekend away with my hubby, we haven't snuck away like that since before Lauren came home from China three years ago...thank you Grandma and Grandpa for taking her for the weekend!

This post was written last year but it is timeless info for us as wives, I pray it blesses you!

Originally posted July 2008...


If you are married, surely you face conflict on a regular basis. Daily we are given opportunity for arguments and strife. I put together a list of things to consider before conflict becomes damaging to your marriage:

1. Avoid the words "you" and use "I" instead.
When we point the finger at someone it immediately makes them feel accused and they will automatically respond defensively.

2. Don't use the words "always" and "never" while having a heated discussion with your spouse.
Chances are, it won't be a truthful statement, and it will bring a sense of hopelessness to the situation.

3. Think before you speak!
Sounds simple, but it is so easy to blurt out a statement without thinking through the possible reprocussions of it. Boy do I know this one!

4. Apply this verse during a disagreement:
Prov 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.

It is amazing how just softening your tone can change the atmosphere in a room.
Think about it like a can either pour gasoline on it or water. A gentle answer is like pouring water on a fire. A harsh response is like gasoline.

5. One of my favorite sayings, look in the mirror first.
What do I need to change? How have I escalated this situation? What can I do differently?

6. Deal with bitterness and unforgiveness.
Many times the argument at hand is just a symptom of a deeper issue that is unresolved. Sometimes we hold on to things for years and never deal with the hurt and anger than lie beneath.
Get alone and pray about it. Ask the Lord to heal your broken heart.
Forgiveness will most likely be involved in this process.

Here is an article I wrote about my story of a broken heart:
Bring God Your Broken Heart

7. Empathy.
Put yourself in your spouses shoes and try to see things from their perspective- especially considering their personality type...etc.

8. If you can't resolve things, please talk to someone who will give you Godly advice.

This is a short list, so feel free to add more in the comments!

I am praying for our marriages,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Do not fear!

1 Peter 3:14-16

But even if you should suffer for what is right,
you are blessed.

"Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."

15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.

Always be prepared to give an answer to
everyone who asks you to give
the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect,

16 keeping a clear conscience,

so that those who speak maliciously against
your good behavior in Christ
may be ashamed of their slander.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm a Weapon of Mass Destruction in my own driveway


It was a beautiful sunny day, not a care in the world, in fact I think I heard angels singing that morning. I was minding my own business, pulling my truck out of the garage. I have a big truck, an Excursion, yes one of those "green" vehicles you hear so much about. My tree hugging vehicle has one of those annoying beeping signals that goes off every time I put it in reverse and leave the garage because of the shadows, so once again, I pushed the little button to make it stop. However this time, I should have let it sing it's song of warning to me.

My husband had parked his truck in the most perfect spot for me to introduce my Excursion to it. Although it was trying to hide- can you believe how his truck just blends into the landscape? It's practically camoflauged there in the driveway, up against the green background of the trees, all dark blue and sneaky like. (This is a re-enactment so the truck was actually facing the other way but don't let that interrupt the story for you).

So I back out of my garage and smack right into his stealth truck sitting there all smug. Well, the joke was on that pickup truck because my Excursion didn't even get a scratch, but look at what happened to him.
I screamed, Lauren jumped, and then I kicked myself (which is not easy sitting down) for being so stupid as to turn off my irritating beeper and worse yet- for not looking behind me!
Ugh! How could I be so stupid?! I soooo wanted to turn back the clock about 20 seconds and do things very differently. BUT, as you know I couldn't.

That is where the lesson for marriage comes in. In the same way that I could not take back my actions, we can't take back our words. We need to think very carefully about what we say to our spouses, especially when we are really upset about something.

So many times, I have said things that I wanted to take back, but the damage had been done and I had to deal with the consequences of those bitter words.

Let my regrets in driving be a reminder to you and encourage you to think about the results and reprocussions of the words that you speak BEFORE you say them so you don't end up becoming a weapon of mass destruction in your marriage or should I say a "weapon of mass DISCUSSION".
Follow this and you should be just fine!
Eph 4:29
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.


So to answer the question stiring in your mind... he was fine. He shook his head and couldn't understand how I didn't see it...but he didn't get upset. Whew!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Life Changing Three Minute Message

This truth could change your life if you let it. (OK, almost 4 minutes...but he gets me at the first sentence- I love it.)

Escaping the Devil's Trap

I couldn't say it any better...

2 Tim 2:22-26
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil,

who has taken them captive to do his will.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Let's Not Be Fools!

Since it's vacation season I thought I'd re-post this one I wrote last summer during our travels doing trackside support at motocross races...enjoy and happy travels to you all!!!


Ever travel with your husband? As in, reading maps and whatnot???
Lots of fun!

I believe that traveling together can give you many opportunities to get offended and frustrated with your spouse. I’ve talked to a few women this past week about this very subject. Like us, they have traveled over 20 hours to get to these races and it has given them plenty of opportunities to get their feathers ruffled.

This all reminds me of a few scriptures:
Eccl 5:2
2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

James 1:19-20
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Slow to speak… I’m working on that one and had a great chance to do so this week. When we pulled into our vendor spot last night and the rig didn’t fit… it was best for me to be SLOW to speak! If I would have started trying to tell him where we should go and how we should move, I’m quite sure it would not have gone over well. Especially because I have no idea what I’m talking about and if I stressed about it or seemed frustrated, it would have further raised the tension of an already overwhelming situation.
It’s not easy to back up and wiggle around 75 ft of vehicle! But my man did it!

Have you ever put thought into this verse:
Prov 13:10
10 Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

In other words… the only reason we quarrel is PRIDE. Whenever there is a quarrel, pride is involved in at least one, but probably both sides.

And what about this one…
Prov 20:3
3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.

Ouch, does that one hit home with anyone but me?!
Have you ever been in the kind of mood when you just kept insisting on quarreling? I have and results of it are not so good. The Bible clearly calls us a fool if we keep up this kind of behavior.

But, it is honorable to avoid a fight. I love that. I want to be a woman of honor, don’t you?

Let’s be woman of honor and see how many times this week we can avoid an argument!

I'm praying for our marriages!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sidewalk chalk goes awry...

It starts out like (almost) any other day, a father and daughter doing some chalking...

Suddenly, things go bad...(or good depending on your point of view)

She returns the offense...

With great satisfaction!

is would never do this with me....

..and she's so right...

It's like putting mascara on, you can't do it with your mouth closed...

Add a squeel for effect...

And a hearty guffaw!

...continue with giggles throughout...

My little Asian smurf and her very fun Daddy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's been your struggle?

I read one time that wisdom is:
"Making decisions today that I'll be glad about tomorrow."

I like that. It's simple and true.
I wish I would follow it more often though!

So often I feel like Paul when he says:
Rom 7:14
I don't understand myself at all,
for I really want to do what is right,
but I don't do it.
Instead, I do the very thing I hate.
I was reading Romans chapters 7 & 8 this morning and they are such a wonderful reminder of the fact that we can't live for God-without God.

We need Him and His Spirit to help us live this life. Our natural desires are sinful, they rush to sin, but if we belong to God we can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us in these weaknesses.

I encourage you to read those chapters if you are struggling with sin- and who among us is not?!

Romans 7 is a heavy read...but hold on because Romans 8 brings us hope. I re-wrote verses 9-14 into a confession/prayer using the word "I" in the place of "you." I was going to post it, but I think it would be much more effective if you did it yourself.

So, what's been your struggle??
It doesn't matter what the sin you stuggle with is...He already knows about it- in fact He's been talking to you about it (because He loves you so much), so why not choose today to address it.

Wisdom will make choices today that you will be glad you did tomorrow.

July Winner!


And the winner of the JulyPraise and Coffee is:


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm not being fed!

Ok, I know I already posted today, but I just read this and I have to post it!

This blog is one of my favorite's and today he hit the nail on the head!
He's talking about people that grumble in church.

Check it out:
“I’m not being fed!”

Women's minds are like balls of string!


That's what my husband tells me.

He had a long drive last night and listened an episode of Focus on the Family. He recommended it so I'm passing it on to you.

Differences That Strengthen
Dr. Walt Larimore and his wife, Barbara, offer insight to couples in a discussion based on their book His Brain, Her Brain: How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen a Marriage.

I haven't even listened to it yet, but I'm going to play it while I get some things done around the house today. I hope it blesses you!

I'm praying for our marriages,

Monday, July 6, 2009

If your dreams don't scare you ...

they're not big enough!

Habakkuk 2:1-3
I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.
2 The Just Live by Faith
Then the LORD answered me and said:
"Write the vision And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

What has God put in your heart that you have been too scared to believe He could bring to pass?

Trust Him today, maybe it's time to take the next step.

Dare to dream big!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where's the beef and then some!

I'm blogging over at the Internet Cafe',
here's a link to my post about being a woman
who is living her faith out loud!

Where’s the Beef?!

And here is another fun guest post by my friend Denise, click on the picture to visit her blog.

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for
they shall be satisfied.”

It is summer vacation here on the farm with our four boys. The first day after Memorial Day Monday when I heard the other local bus go by and know I didn’t have to take my boys to school, ah, pure bliss.

I looked forward to days of beach time and fun with my boys and pure laziness….well, as lazy as you can be with four boys and a busy husband and the huge garden and baby chicks and so on and so on.

All that ended that very first day mere moments after I made my boys chocolate chip pancakes. “I’m hungry”, one of them said and soon they were all asking if they could have a snack, if there was anything to eat, if I had more cookies, what was for dessert…..

To give you an idea of how much they ate, on one morning I made them oatmeal for breakfast, they ate half a bag of apples and one and half bunches of bananas BEFORE lunch.

I am pulling my hair out.

I made my famous chocolate chip cookies and HID half of them to last for another day.

By dinner time when my husband gets home from work I am totally frazzled. Years ago, when my husband’s dad – who made all the meals for the family - was alive, I would hear how my father in law would have nightmares of not being able to feed his family of four kids. I always thought that was overkill. I suddenly understood what he had been worried about. I timed my boys, they completely cleared their plates of food (as they had for lunch and breakfast too) and exactly HALF AN HOUR LATER they were asking for something else to eat.

I was bemoaning this fact to someone I had called for a recipe (go figure). “Well,” she said, “they are more active now. They require more food.” I hadn’t thought of that. I was trying to figure out why the sudden huge jump in appetite from when they were in school and this made a lot of sense. More activity, more need for food. Kinda makes me want to make them sit quietly in the house…as if that would ever happen!

As I was making brownies for my boys, a verse popped into my head all of the sudden. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Our youngest comes in the kitchen and asks for chocolate milk and I thought “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.”

I was wishing God would send some kind of manna or something like that so that my boys wouldn’t be hungry and thirsty all the time. As I was thinking how grand that would be, I also got to thinking how I have been anticipating this time, this time alone with my boys, for ever so long. I have grand plans, to get back into doing a devotional with my boys, to read a long list of books together, to just ‘be’ with my boys. To reconnect after a hectic school year so we can go into next year ‘filled’. My boys aren’t getting younger, my time to ‘train them in the way they should go’ is now.

I spent some time in the kitchen chatting with Son number three about how God cares even about the baby bunnies we found in the field, and for my son to remember that God cares for Him. I may be running out of ideas to feed my kids, but I can still be feeding their minds with God’s word as they help me in the kitchen.

I want my boys to hunger and thirst for God. I pray my boys find their ‘fill’ in God. Somehow, I want to instill in them a desire, a hunger, for them to want more and more of God and never think “yah, I’m full” and walk away from Him. Do you understand what I am trying to say here?

And then, as God always seems to do with me, He made it personal to just me. When was the last time I felt like I was hungry for God’s word? To thirst for Him? When was the last time I was starving to get closer to my God, looking to Him to fill me? Beth Moore talks about filling your ‘love bucket’. If I’m not spending time being filled with God’s love, how am I supposed to share God’s love with those who seem to be draining it….like my family?

Things I am contemplating as I bake some more food to fill my growing boys.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July Praise and Coffee Giveaway!!


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!


~> Post a comment to THIS post telling me you favorite type of book-or name of book you are reading. (I love non-fiction informational books about faith but enjoy Joel Rosenberg's fictional series also)

~> 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

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