Archive: June, 2011

See Y’all in Two Weeks

Heidi and I are going on vacation with our families. We will be back in two weeks with fun stuff to share!

Thank you bloggy friends for all your encouragement and support! We love blogging with YOU!

YES!

“For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas,[a] Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory,”(2 Corinthians 1:19-21, Emphasis Added (NLT).

“Amen” is a Hebrew word that stems from the word aman, which means “to be faithful, support, or confirm.” The word “amen” actually means, “so be it,” or truly,” or “yes.”
These verses leapt off the pages of my Bible this morning. God has put a seal of approval with a resounding “Yes!”
God isn’t like a teeter totter. He doesn’t go up and down between “Yes” and “No.” He doesn’t say “Well, I guess so” or “Maybe I could do that.” Isn’t it nice to know there is no gray area with God?
Is there a gray area in your life today? Are you stuck between a “No” and a “Yes?” Is God leading you to step out in faith, but you’re unsure of your footing? Know this~ God is sure about you even if you’re unsure about him.

We can be sure of one thing…God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with the ultimate “Yes!”

So, when you conclude your conversation with God today and the word “amen,” rolls over your tongue, remember you are actually saying,
Yes, Lord, whatever you desire for me today.
Yes Lord, whatever you require of me this week.

Yes Lord, whatever sacrifices I need to make right now.

I want to be a woman who says “Yes” to you.
Will you be a woman who says “Yes” to God today?

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Hot and Bothered

Yesterday, I heard the worst noise. My heart raced. I gasped for air. “What could it be?” I wondered.

Clankety,

clank,


clank…clunk.

I sprinted outside like Nancy Drew on a big mystery adventure. I took a couple of steps onto the porch and I saw it ~ concrete dust floating above our air conditioning unit. {Mystery solved!}

The air conditioner went “boom.”

Later, as I glistened all over myself, I explained what happened to the maintenance man. “It sounded as if a big rock became lodged in the air-conditioning unit. It shook, smoked, and shut off.”

In that moment I knew what it felt like to be a broken down air-conditioner.

I know what it feels like to have life moving along just fine, then, out of nowhere something interrupts well-thought-out plans and breaks all your parts. One minute you’re calm, cool, and collected. The next, some unforeseen circumstance throws a wrench in a perfectly good day leaving you rattling, clanking, and hot.

If you find yourself today with a rock of discouragement lodged against your heart, remember nothing is too big for God.

He has a special purpose for that rock. Maybe it’s there to interrupt you. To grow you.

He has a special purpose for you in that inconvenient moment. He always does.


So don’t try to fix it yourself, trust God instead.


He has the tools to move that rock and get things up and running again.

Here are some power verses for an extra rocky day.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5).


Thus says the Lord, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17).


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).


“The Lord will guide you continually …” (Isaiah 58:11).


“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

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Need a Good Father’s Day Idea?

Recently, I stumbled across LifeWay’s Stand Firm Magazine. It’s a must-have for today’s Christian man, Stand Firm equips men daily to be godly leaders in their homes, churches, and communities. This monthly, digest sized magazine is filled with daily devotions on topics including marriage, work, and church.
Just an idea for your man this Father’s Day!



There Is No Perfect Formula

In the midst of hair-yanking fights and beat-on-the-floor tantrums, I realize there is no perfect parenting formula. There isn’t an easy step-by-step plan I can squeeze my family into that will eliminate the chaos bouncing off the crayon streaked walls of our suburban home.
There is no perfect formula but there is a perfect parent, God. He breathed important truths across each page of his Holy Word. There, sprinkled beneath the surface, are treasures to unearth that will help maneuver through the battlegrounds of parenthood.
God, being the ultimate parent, sets guidelines we are to follow; establishes boundaries we aren’t to cross; and takes disciplinarian action when appropriate. Even though it’s sometimes painful, his corrections are what mold is into the image of Christ. It’s what builds a love-relationship with him and ultimately with our kids.
As parents, we must get into the Word, find God’s formula for godly parenting, and imitate it. Period.
I like the way the Message Paraphrases Hebrews 12:4-11:

“So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.”

God didn’t create us only to leave us. When we veer off the straight and narrow, God always steers us back to himself. In just the same way when our kids stray away in disobedience, we must point them back to Jesus. The way we respond, the words we use, the actions we take will either draw our kids closer to their heavenly daddy or further away from Him.
These mommy-hood adventures are ten times harder than I imagined. Wouldn’t you agree? Some days spin like an out of control merry-go-round with jerks and yanks at every turn. Some days I feel as if I’ve hobbled off the Scream Machine at Six Flags complete with a disheveled look and crazy hair.
Even though some days seem well put together, while others unravel at the seams, one thing’s for sure… if we remember who we are and whose we are, we will absolutely get it right. If we follow God’s perfect formula for parenting, we will succeed in glorifying his name as well as raising God-fearing kids.

Lord, please help me to live with a Calvary love for my children, who sometimes aren’t so loveable. I so desire to be the parent you intended. Please help me to raise kids that are crazy in love with you. Amen.

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Believing the Best

I visited a church a few years ago and the pastor asked this question…
“Are you expecting the worst or believing the best about your husband?”
Hmmm?
I confess, at the time I most definitely expected the worst from my husband. He’d say, “I’ll be home at 6” and I knew it’d be later. He’d say, “I’ll call you back in a few minutes” and I knew he’d get caught up. He’d say “I’ll get off of the computer soon” and I knew an hour would pass.
Bitterness and resentment became my best friends and love took a cold back seat.
There’s a massive contrast when you view things in the flesh and then catch a glimpse of them through God’s eyes.
God used that sermon and that question to make me painfully aware of the error in my thinking. And I became far less interested in what my husband did wrong. I had gotten into the bad habit of expecting my husband to let me down and in return I offered no grace, no understanding… and no love.
The greatest commandment is to Love. It’s not always easy, true. However, God is in the habit of giving us just the help we need.

And in the Amplified version of 1 Corinthians 13:7 sits that very help that allows us to love no matter what…

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, 
is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are 
fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures 
everything [without weakening].”
That says that Love believes the best about every person… not just our spouses, but our friends and even strangers.
So, if we apply these God-given truths to our relationships then we are freed up to simply love.
Believing the best about people is a choice. It doesn’t depend on circumstances… how a person behaves, what they say or don’t say… it just believes… it just loves.
Before I expected the worst from my husband and from most people and it was also, always about me. How upset I was. How wronged I felt. How my expectations weren’t met. And because of that I spent much time in mental torment.
Now, I am in the habit of believing the best and not only do I have internal peace, but I give out grace with ease and I love better than ever before.
What about you? Are you believing the best?

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Multitudes on Monday


“The time, always the time, I’m an amateur trying to beat time. The six kids rouse. We race. The barn… and hurry. The breakfast… and hurry. The books, the binders…and hurry! In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear. I have done it. I do it still. Hands of the clock whip hard. So I push hard and I bark hard and I fall hard and when their wide eyes brim sadness and their chins tremble weak, I am weary and I am thin clear skin, reflecting their fatigue, about to burst, my eyes glistening their same sheer pain.  The hurry makes us hurt. And maybe it is the hurt that drives on? For all our frenzied running seemingly toward something, could it be that we are in fact fleeing – desperate to escape pain that pursues? Whatever the pace, time will keep it and there’s no outrunning it, only speeding it up and pounding the feet harder; the minutes pound faster too. Race for more and you’ll snag on time and leak empty. The longer I keep running, the longer the gash, and I drain, bleed away. Hurry always empties a soul.” –Ann Voskamp
Are you in a hurry today?
I am… always rushing, trying to get it all done. Have you ever uttered the words, “oh, if there were just more hours in the day?” I have, but really I don’t want more hours in the day. I’ll still be tired at 6 PM and look forward to bed at 9PM, that extra hour would only blend into the crazed running that already exists in my life.
I just want to make the best use of the time that I have, not wish for more. And this causes me to examine just how my time is spent… is it on what’s most important? On what God has lain before me?
Mark Buchanan says… “Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, like in the wake of all the rushing… through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
I don’t want to miss what’s right in front of me because of all the rushing around. These children. This husband. The very blessings and ministries that He gave to me first. 


God has placed a new and deep burden within my heart to stop the hurry for them, to give myself to them and not rush past it all, because time… this thing I chase incessantly  is the very thing that has no trouble passing me by.
I want to slow-it-down and “live fully, right where I am”
What about you? What has hurry done for you?


Continuing on with Multitudes on Mondays…

20. family fun nights
21. adults who are kind to my children
22. husband’s vulnerable side
23. roasted vegetables
24. mr. man’s love of reading and The Magic Treehouse books
25. how they (my kids) do love each other… sometimes
26. books
27. Netflix… for access to old, wholesome movies and shows
28. anticipation
29. online banking
30. finding encouragement at the click of a mouse 🙂
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Erin’s Baby Shower….

Sling Shot Prayers

I was having one of those moments. Y’all know the kind. It was one of those “my bath tub is overflowing but I feel drained,” moments. I needed a mommy time out. Maybe even a trip to the potty ALONE. But instead, I decided to disappear into the bedroom. Steal a moment or two for myself. So I picked up an article written by Steven Furtick (author of Sun Stand Still).

It moved me.

God moved me as I read it.

Simple points packed with a whole lotta punch. Such a punch, that I wanted to share some of my knee jerk reactions with you.

“What happens when you dare to ask God for the impossible?

“Our God isn’t intimidated by long-shot prayers.”

“Audacious faith is for school teachers, stay-at-home moms, bankers, construction workers, hairstylists, college students.”

The article discusses the audacious faith of Joshua. Joshua 10 showcases Joshua’s march against the Amorites on an all-night march. God speaks Don’t be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand,” (v.8). The Israelites unleashed a surprise attack, and right from the beginning, the battle went well. When the enemy lines broke and the Amorites started to flee into the valley, Joshua’s men chased them down. And God got personally involved.
Then as the sun sank toward the horizon, Joshua faced a decision. The victory wasn’t complete, and once it got dark, the rest of the Amorites would slip away. This is where Joshua’s audacious faith came into play. Joshua asked God for the sun to stand still, “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon (v.12).
Did you notice? Joshua had the audacity to ask God to make the sun stop in the sky! And you know what? That is exactly what God did.
Webster’s Dictionary defines audacious as, “daring: bold, or fearless, especially in challenging assumptions or conventions.” Could it be that God intends for us to have the same “Sun Stand Still” faith like Joshua—the kind of faith that dares to believe God for the impossible—as a normal way of life?
I too believe God desires to make the sun stand still in the life of every believer. Let’s activate our audaciousness today! Let’s sling out a long shot prayer and trust God with the impossible. This is probably the most intimidating way to live, but I’m up for the challenge
…how about you?

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